As of some time ago, the voting results are in, and the BBWAA has once again not officially recognized Edgar Martinez as having been awesome. Nobody, this time around, was officially recognized as having been awesome, even though several of the players on the ballot were unquestionably awesome when they played. At least, I think they were unquestionably awesome, but by the BBWAA standard, that isn't true, for any of them. Some of them are considered to have been more awesome than others; none of them have been considered to have been actually awesome, on their own. I don't know what to think. Was Barry Bonds awesome? I was pretty sure he was awesome. But when I was younger I was pretty sure Korn was awesome so maybe I should leave this up to the writers. Maybe I should leave all my opinions up to the writers.
Nobody got voted into the Hall of Fame this year, is what I'm saying. Not Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell, which is almost shameful. Not Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, which is statistically shameful, but admittedly complex. Not Jack Morris, which means another year of Jack Morris debates. And not Edgar Martinez, who was never going to get in in 2013, not after receiving 36.5-percent support a year ago. People don't just double their support year to year, especially given this year's impossible ballot. Hell, even if Edgar had miraculously doubled his support, he still would've fallen barely short of the awesome threshold.
This isn't going to be a big long post about the Hall of Fame. My personal opinion is that it's absurd that no one got voted in. Not because someone should get voted in every year, but because holy fuck look at the ballot, the ballot was incredible. My personal opinion is that Bonds and Clemens and others happened, and their achievements should be recognized, because they're part of the historical record. My personal opinion is not necessarily the majority opinion, and -- and I can't stress this enough -- I also just don't really care. I'm not interested in getting into arguments, because I don't really care about the Hall of Fame. Induction is a great honor for players, but the voters are trained writers and not trained analysts. So oftentimes the analysis sucks. Why should I care about the results of flawed analysis? Thinking about the Hall of Fame is never going to make my day better. Better for me to think about other things. Like, I don't know, Edgar Martinez hitting.
If you want to take the sunny, misleading side, Edgar got about the same support as Bonds and Clemens did. So Edgar was viewed as being about as worthy as one of baseball's best-ever position players, and one of baseball's best-ever starting pitchers. In Bonds' first year on the ballot, he got 36.2 percent of the votes. In Edgar's first year on the ballot, he got 36.2 percent of the votes. In this paragraph, Edgar Martinez has been compared favorably to Barry Bonds, who for a stretch later in his career made fewer outs than non-outs.
As far as Edgar's long-term Hall chances are concerned, this could've gone worse, if you're into that sort of thing. Despite a complicated and crowded ballot, he didn't dip from previous support levels. Of course, next year's ballot is only going to be harder, but Edgar's going to be on the ballot for a while. My sense is that the people who vote for Edgar don't see it as a borderline case. I feel like the people on Edgar's side think he's absolutely a Hall of Famer, so those votes should stick. On the other side, you have some people who'll never be convinced to vote for a DH, and some people who are willing to have their minds changed. Edgar's got a chance, eventually, but if he's inducted, it won't be for several years.
I wonder if, privately, Edgar is being docked a little for steroid suspicion. Not because I think he used, of course, but because a lot of writers are bastards, and they know the era in which Edgar played, and they're aware of that one Shane Monahan report that Raul Ibanez refuted. Writers have talked more openly about their Bagwell and Piazza suspicions, so maybe Edgar is seen as one of the clean guys, but it's a thing that could be a factor. I don't know. It's hard not to be suspicious of everyone, and for me that isn't a deal-breaker anyway. On we go.
I understand it can be hard to see Edgar's name so low on the list of results. I understand how we all feel about him as a player, and I understand how much we want for our players to be recognized. Obviously, all else being equal, I'd rather have Edgar in the Hall of Fame than not in it, because I think he belongs. It would be a great thing for Edgar, and it would be a great day for us. But nothing about the Cooperstown voting will change the way Edgar reflects on his career. More importantly, for us, nothing about the Cooperstown voting will change the way we reflect on Edgar's career. We know exactly what he could do, and what he did -- we watched it, we analyzed it, we fell in love with it. If Edgar were to make the Hall of Fame, we'd experience a little high. Then we'd return to our established baselines, and at our established baselines, we recognize that Edgar was one of the very best. Induction wouldn't retroactively give Edgar another 50 clutch dingers. Edgar Martinez's playing career has already left all the impressions it ever will.
And the people who'll grow up without having seen Edgar Martinez? Maybe they'll wonder why he isn't in the Hall of Fame, if he isn't. Maybe they'll judge him on that. We'll set them straight. We'll tell them who Edgar was. And if they're not impressed, fuck 'em. Kids these days.
The most important baseball hall of fame is the one that exists in your memory. Edgar Martinez has got himself a whole god-damned wing.