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 Post subject: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:58 pm 
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Edgar Martinez is retiring ...<p>"The sleepy-eyed Martinez was a hitting machine, spraying extra-base hits to all fields. Five-plus years from now, he could become a test case for whether a player who spent most of his career as a DH should be elected to the Hall of Fame.<p>"Martinez holds the DH record for home runs and RBIs, and has the highest batting average among DHs with at least 1,000 at-bats, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.<p>"Overall, Martinez is a .312 lifetime hitter with 305 home runs and 1,244 RBIs. He has 2,205 hits, including 510 doubles.<p>"A third baseman when he began his major league career in 1987, he played most of his games at DH. Of his 7,060 lifetime at-bats, almost 5,000 have come as a DH."<p>*Does he belong in the hall?*<p>[ August 11, 2004: Message edited by: ADKbrown ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:40 pm 
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He belongs in the Hall because he is the greatest designated hitter of all time, and the best players at each position belong in the Hall of Fame.<p>Whether or not the DH should exist is an entirely separate question (I don't think it should exist). But it does exist, and now that we have 30 years of it under our belts, it's time to honor the man who's filled that role the best.<p>For a contrasting view, see Rob Neyer, my favorite baseball writer, on one of the few occasions on which I disagree with him.


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:06 pm 
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I like Martinez -- he's been a productive hitter (factoring average, RBIs, power, clutch performance) for many years, a constant in the lineup until age made him increasingly susceptible to injury, and he's great in the clubhouse.<p>However:
Martinez has spent most of his career as a DH because, even when younger, he was a mediocre fielder.
(He was never much of a runner, either.)<p>To be the best DH means you aren't good enough to play the field. You're contributing to the team only half the time. <p>There have been better hitters than Martinez during his career but they didn't DH because, unlike him, they could contribute in the field.<p>I wouldn't rule Martinez out of the Hall, but he's not the first-ballot winner that others of his period will be. Or second-ballot.<p>[I lacked access beyond the first two grafs of Neyer's story because i don't subscribe and I haven't taken the time to work around that. He's one of my favorite baseball writers too.]<p>[ August 10, 2004: Message edited by: Wayne Countryman ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:08 pm 
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510 doubles?!!<p>Must we wait the full five years?<p>[ August 10, 2004: Message edited by: jjmoney62 ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:59 am 
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I don't think he belongs in the hall just because he was the best DH to date (is that true, by the way?). Should Gates Brown be in the hall as one of the best pinch-hitters of all time? A DH should have superb offensive stats to merit induction.
Martinez's numbers are good, but they are not spectacular. He doesn't rank in the top 100 in career hits. Chili Davis has more hits and more homers (but fewer doubles). Mark Grace had more hits and was a good fielder. I doubt people would say Davis and Grace are Hall of Fame material. Why reward Martinez for his inability to field?


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:38 pm 
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If anyone's interested, I'd be willing to trade my Edgar Martinez rookie cards for some used AP Stylebooks, red grease pencils and a new proportional wheel.<p>[ August 11, 2004: Message edited by: BlindsideCzech ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:01 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by BlindsideCzech:
If anyone's interested, I'd be willing to trade my Edgar Martinez rookie cards for some used AP Stylebooks, red grease pencils and a new proportional wheel.<p>[ August 11, 2004: Message edited by: BlindsideCzech ]<hr></blockquote><p>Throw in a Chili Davis card and it's a deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:06 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
I don't think he belongs in the hall just because he was the best DH to date (is that true, by the way?).<hr></blockquote><p>Off the top of my head, i can't think of anyone with better stats for a career as a DH than Martinez's. <p>As for respecting what DHs do, Don Baylor won the MVP award 25 years ago while hitting .290 (I think) with 139 RBIs and 120 runs. Of course, he was respected for often getting hit by pitches and for wiping out second basemen and shortstops trying to turn double plays. <p>Such is the thinking that goes into giving awards and Hall of Fame memberships. I'd rather think of Baylor and Martinez as good team players who did what they could with the ability they had. Martinez probably couldn't have gotten much better at third base; George Brett and Wade Boggs did.<p>If a quota existed for HOF membership by position, Martinez would have a better chance of getting in. Such a quota would be a mistake, I think, because third base isn't as important a position as, say, shortstop or catcher or centerfield. The HOF has relatively few third basemen. And I think you have to subtract value from a hitter who's weak in the field or not even on the field aside from batting.


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 Post subject: Re: Cast your ballots early
PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:09 am 
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What about Harold Baines? His stats were similar to Martinez's. Baines had fewer doubles but many more home runs:<p>22 Seasons AB: 9908 R: 1299 H: 2866 2B: 488 3B: 49 HR: 384 RBI: 1628 SB: 34 SO: 1441 AVG.: .289 OBP: .356 SLG: .465 <p>I don't think there's any doubt that Baines and Martinez were among the best DHs (don't forget Paul Molitor and Eddie Murray), but I don't think either belongs in the Hall because neither made any positive impact as a defensive player.<p>I do think that if you vote for Martinez to be put into the Hall, you have to vote for Baines as well. But that's a slippery slope I wish the Hall hadn't gone down when it elected the likes of Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez.


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