The votes have been cast, and the envelopes mailed out. There’s no going back now.
Soon we will all know the results of this year’s election into Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Given the attention the ballots have garnered in recent years, this is sure to be a polarizing reveal.
Some players will get in, most will not. And there will be significant outrage on both sides, for players who are elected, and for those who are left out in the cold.
So, without further delay, let the outrage begin.
Edgar Martinez does NOT belong in the Hall of Fame.
After studying the statistics, and reading the accounts of those who watched him play and those who played against him, I sill come away unconvinced that Edgar Martinez is one of the greatest baseball players to ever take the field.
Because that’s what the Hall of Fame is for, the best of the best, the greatest to ever play. It’s not for players who excel, even significantly, at one aspect without revolutionizing the game.
It is not for players who shine brightly for a short time and then disappear. Unless, of course, their time in the spotlight is so dominant their longevity doesn’t matter.
It is why Sandy Koufax is a revered inner-circle Hall of Famer, and Johan Santana never will be. It is why even if Clayton Kershaw never throws another pitch he’s a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame.
And position players face an even steeper climb for Cooperstown.
Mike Trout has had what many consider to be the best start to a career for any player, and yet he would have difficulty getting elected if his career ended today. He’d likely get in, but not of the first ballot.
And with Trout we are talking about a player who has the potential to go down as one of the top five players in history, not just a very good hitter in an era of offensive explosion.
Edgar Martinez is not that, not even in the conversation.
He was a terrific hitter, one of the best of his era, and may have changed how the Designated Hitter position is viewed. Or at least he brought its worthiness more mainstream.
But that doesn’t make him a Hall of Famer.
Nor does his .300+/.400+/.500+ slash line that has only been achieved by a small percentage of players, and only bettered by a very select few.
With modern statistics there are many ways of measuring player value, not just what they do with the bat. Defense and base-running are also highly valued, and Martinez gave nothing on defense and very little on the bases.
A DH Needs To DOMINATE For Election
Was Edgar Martinez’s prowess with the bat so enormous that it should overcome his shortcomings?
Well, let me pose it this way…are two hits (low-leverage, no-impact mid-game singles) and one walk per month enough of a difference to justify the shortcomings in the field and as a base-runner?
If it’s not, why then does Scott Rolen not garner as much Hall of Fame-attention as Edgar Martinez?
Their career numbers are eerily similar.
They played practically the same amount of games, have almost equal number of plate appearances, extra base hits, home runs, runs scored, etc.
The difference between is that Martinez reached based roughly 17 times (12 singles, 5 walks) more per year than Rolen did.
However, Scott Rolen was also one of the best defensive third baseman who ever played, earning eight Gold Gloves in his career. The base-running metrics also grade him far better as well.
He also edges out Martinez in career WAR (70.1 to 65.5 according to Fangraphs).
Fangraphs calculates a player’s overall value, offensively and defensively.
Martinez was valued at 500.8 from an offensive standpoint, and -133.5 defensively.
Rolen, less imposing offensively (256.2) more than made up for it with his glove (182.2), giving him a 71.1 higher overall value than Martinez.
Scott Rolen was a better all-around player than Edgar
Martinez, but very few are clamoring for his induction into Cooperstown they way they are Martinez’s.
It leads one to believe that Martinez only generates so much attention because he was just a DH, and there is a need to prove it’s a Hall of Fame-worthy position.
Not playing half the game shouldn’t be criteria enough to enter baseball’s most sacred institution.
In any case, Edgar Martinez is likely to receive a plaque in Cooperstown, but he’s still not a deserving Hall of Famer.
Yankees’ Preparing Record-Setting Contract Offer for Gerrit Cole
The New York Yankees are looking to make free agent front-line starter Gerrit Cole an offer he simply cannot refuse.
According to the New York Times’ Bob Klapisch, the Yankees are working on a making a record-setting seven-year, $245 million contract offer to Cole, which would set anew mark for pitchers in terms of overall value as well as average annual value.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and Mark Feinsand, while the Yankees have not officially made the offer to Cole, they are not far from doing so. Cole and his agent Scott Boras have requested interested teams to submit their initial offers.
Cole is expected to draw interest from the Los Angeles Dodges and and the Los Angeles Angels, who could throw their hat in the ring of what could be a fevered bidding war to land Cole, who is widely considered to be the cream of the free agent crop this year.
The Yankees have made it their priority to sign Cole this offseason, and appear to be taking a clear, and aggressive approach, to get that deal done as soon as possible.
Rays’ Blake Snell Rips Tommy Pham Trade During Twitch Stream
Tampa Bay Rays’ ace pitcher Blake Snell wasn’t a big fan of the Rays recent trading of Tommy Pham to the San Diego Padres for veteran outfielder Hunter Renfroe and infield prospect Xavier Edwards, and aired his thoughts during a recent stream on Twitch.
Snell, who is one of many MLB players trying to battle it out as one of the best Twitch channels, was streaming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on one of his Twitch streams when the news initially broke regarding the trade, and offered his raw, unfiltered reaction.
Blake Snell lol pic.twitter.com/sjwTZNU5f6
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) December 6, 2019
Snell gripes that “We gave Pham up for Renfroe and a damn slapd–k prospect?”. While Snell went on to talk more on the trade, and even later apologized on the stream and told the the Tampa Bay Times he was just frustrated over losing Pham.
Pham was a big part of the Rays postseason run last season.
“I apologized on [Twitch] just saying I’m sorry I’m just upset we’re losing a guy like Tommy who helped our team in so many ways!” Snell said in a text to the Tampa Bay Times. “Didn’t mean any disrespect to Edwards who I didn’t know who he was until after I said that. I was just sad to lose Tommy. … Pretty much we could’ve got [Nationals rookie Juan] Soto, I was just sad to lose Tommy. It’s tough losing someone you respect so much and enjoy being around.”
“He actually reached out to me earlier today and explained that he was a good friend of Pham’s and he kind of just reacted in that moment and said what he said, but that he didn’t mean any disrespect or any hard feelings,” Edwards said. “I’ve got to take him at his word, and just looking forward to getting after it.”
Cubs Non-Tender Addison Russell
While the Chicago Cubs tendered contracts to six arbitration-eligible players for the 2020 season, there was one notable name they decided to non-tender: Addison Russell.
According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Russell, 25, will now hit free agency following five years with the Cubs, the last two proving to be rough for the infielder.
The Cubs tendered Russell for 2019 after he was suspended for 40 games near the end of the 2018 season for violating the league’s domestic abuse policies, forcing him to miss the first 28 games of the 2019 season.
Russell, a National League All-Star in 2016, was later demoted to the minors, after he struggled on the field.
“We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said in a statement. “In the year since we decided to tender Addison a contract last November, he has lived up to his promise to put in the important self-improvement work necessary off the field and has shown growth, as a person, as a partner, as a parent and as a citizen. We hope and believe that Addison’s work will continue, and we have offered our continued support of him and his family, including [ex-wife] Melisa [Reidy].
“In the last year, the organization has also put in the important work necessary to bolster our domestic violence prevention training for all employees, all major league players, all minor league players and all staff. We also offered healthy relationship workshops for the players’ partners and provided intensive, expert domestic violence prevention training for player-facing staff. This heightened training and our increased community involvement on the urgent issue of domestic violence prevention will continue indefinitely. We wish Addison and his family well.”
Russel was a key factor in the Cubs winning the World Series after a 108 year drought back in 2016, with a Grand Slam in Game 6 which catapulted the Cubs back from a 3-2 deficit in the series.
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