Glad to be back, albeit briefly. I’ve got a nice little trip to Hawaii coming up next week. In the meantime, I’ll try not to look ahead, and take it one blog at a time.
The big news this week is the Hall of Fame announcement on Wednesday. It’s really hard to ascertain how the voting is going for Edgar Martinez, because the 80 or so writers who have revealed their selections are a mere fragment of the 500-plus ballots that will determine who makes it. The Baseball Think Factory website has monitored 81 announced ballots, and they find that Edgar is at 44.4 percent.
If he can stay above 40 percent in the final balloting, it would be a decent jumping-off point for the eventual enshrinement I firmly believe he deserves. I never realistically thought Martinez was going to make it on the first ballot, but I’m encouraged that a solid percentage of the electorate seems to buy into his candidacy. I’m reserving judgment until Wednesday, however. Then we’ll find out just how encouraged we should really be. Jim Rice, who finally made is last year in his 15th and final appearance on the ballot, started out with 37.6 percent in 1997, his first year on the ballot, and gradually increased until he garnered 76.4 percent last year (75 percent of the vote is needed for election). Andre Dawson got 45.3 percent of the vote in his first try in 2002, and has a strong chance to be elected this time around, in his ninth try. It can be done.
I tweeted my selections last week, but here they are: Edgar, Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell.
It’s a first-time vote from me for Trammell. I was swayed by many persuasive essays advocating on his behalf. Similarly, a lot of good stuff has been written in support of Edgar Martinez, including this piece by David Schoenfield on ESPN.com. I’ve said all along that the closer one looks at Edgar’s numbers, the better he’ll do (which isn’t the case with some candidates). And there has never been more access to sophisticated, enlightened analysis than there is right now, which can only help someone like Martinez.