Let us be honest here. The Baseball Writers Association of America failed. Again.
A Seattle-based perspective is obviously going to be accused of having a degree of bias. Fine. However, none of us is truly objective in life. We all have our biases.
That said, Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame. Period. Am I biased? Sure. Again, we all are. Still, I can be loyal and also objective. In this case, the numbers speak for Martinez’s candidacy. Jay Buhner was also a popular member of the Mariners, but he is not worthy of the Hall. Plenty of Mariners have contributed to baseball in Seattle but will never be elected to Cooperstown, and shouldn’t be.
I won’t rehash the numbers because that has been done by a number of writers over the years. If you dig into Martinez’s productivity, his accomplishments are impressive. In other words, worthy of joining the Hall.
The ongoing problem seems to be this designated hitter thing. Frankly, this is frustrating because the argument is so incredibly weak. Martinez has been a critiqued because he was a DH throughout his career. In the minds of voters who have their own special criteria for voting, this is a reason to leave him off the ballot.
Fine. Don’t vote for a DH. Live in the past. If you don’t vote for a DH because they only perform one aspect of the game well, then you can’t vote relief pitchers in either. Sorry, Mariano Rivera. You weren’t a complete enough pitcher because you only pitched in 1-2 innings and you didn’t pitch all that often throughout the season.
A ridiculous argument, right? Exactly. Rivera will be in the Hall of Fame. The writers need to let this DH thing go. There are some “purist” fans (and I suspect writers) that still believe it is 1972. The DH is part of the game. Deal with it.
I have a feeling that Martinez is never going to get in. Again, the criteria is set by the Hall of Fame, but some writers seem to feel that additional qualifications can be penciled in. If writers truly did their homework, they would have voted Martinez in already. Instead, Martinez is forgotten. It is fair to suggest that if Martinez had played for the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox, he would already have been inducted.
Sorry writers, but you failed. Martinez should be in Hall. Let go of your biases, expand your baseball geography and fix your mistake in the future.