Friday January 11, 2013
Edgar Martinez Dissed on HOF Dissed List
The Baseball Writers Association of America announced the results of its Hall-of-Fame balloting the other day and no one got in. It's indicative of an age that is clouded by big numbers and PED accusations and admissions.
Here are the results from BaseballReference.com:
|Less than 75% of vote, but still on ballot.|
|Craig Biggio||388||68.2%||1st Yr|
|Mike Piazza||329||57.8%||1st Yr|
|Curt Schilling||221||38.8%||1st Yr|
|Roger Clemens||214||37.6%||1st Yr|
|Barry Bonds||206||36.2%||1st Yr|
|Sammy Sosa||71||12.5%||1st Yr|
|Less than 5%, will not be on next year's ballot|
|Kenny Lofton||18||3.2%||1st Yr|
|Sandy Alomar||16||2.8%||1st Yr|
|Julio Franco||6||1.1%||1st Yr|
|David Wells||5||0.9%||1st Yr|
|Steve Finley||4||0.7%||1st Yr|
|Shawn Green||2||0.4%||1st Yr|
|Aaron Sele||1||0.2%||1st Yr|
|Reggie Sanders||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Jeff Cirillo||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Woody Williams||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Rondell White||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Ryan Klesko||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Roberto Hernandez||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Royce Clayton||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Jeff Conine||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Mike Stanton||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Jose Mesa||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
|Todd Walker||0||0.0%||1st Yr|
Some Twitter jokes about Aaron Sele's one vote. On the plus side, Jose Mesa, the bain of the Mariners relief corps in the late 1990s, and I'm sure still unforgiven in Cleveland for 1997 Game 7, got bupkis. Same with Jeff Cirillo, brought to Safeco in 2002 after four straight NL seasons over .300. He promptly delivered the following line at Safeco for two years: .234/.295/.308. We kept waiting for him to follow through. In some ways, we're still waiting for whoever has replaced him to follow through. We've been waiting for more than 10 years. Or 35, depending.
Now it's the players who are waiting. Remove the taint of PEDs, based solely on the numbers, and you have eight sure-fire Hall of Famers on this list: Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro. No brainers. But they were too little brain, too much brawn.
I guess some didn't see Biggio's numbers as first-ballot worthy. Maybe. But he would've gotten my vote. Bagwell and Piazza have the taint on them without any proof, which feels awkward. They're guilty until proven innocent. Are others? Is Greg Maddux next year? Frank Thomas? Junior in 2016? Bonds and Clemens would've gotten in before their suspected use began. Should they go in anyway?
I don't agree with those who say that steroids, HGH and other PEDs are the same as greenies (1960s) and cocaine (1980s). Those allowed you to play a little longer at your natural state. PEDs warped your natural state. You hulked out, and the record books hulked out with you. It's now misshapen beyond belief. There's a taint on it: 73 and 762, for example. .609 and 1.421, for example. And those are just the numbers of Barry Bonds, the man who became, at the retirement age of 39, the greatest hitter of all time, better than Babe Ruth in 1920. It makes us angry, thinking about it. And Barry won't like us when we're angry. But then he's never liked us.
As for my man Edgar? He dropped a bit in the voting: 0.6%. He keeps hovering mid-30s. Will he ever get higher? People are making cases. Joe Posnanski, prognosticating on the site SportsOnEarth, writes, “I'm still hopeful that people will appreciate just how good a hitter Edgar was as his time on the ballot begins to run out.” Amusingly, the art accompanying the article includes pics of 11 players and none are Edgar. Not only is he not making the Hall of Fame, he's not even making the list of guys who aren't making the Hall of Fame. So it goes. So it's always been.
My take on Edgar's quiet, glorious career can be found here. The Jim Lefebvre quote still astonishes me.