There wasn’t any bitterness or anger in Edgar Martinez’s voice. Even through a cell phone, he sounded, well, like Edgar. Upbeat and positive, but always realistic, he understood that his chances of being voted into this hall of fame class were slim. He read stories analyzing the vote and understood that the addition of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas – all of whom were voted in – made things a little more difficult for him and others.
“Since the writers can only vote 10 players, and in this class you have so many great players, plus the other deserving players that were still waiting to get in, I thought it could be difficult for my chances,” he said.
He didn’t allow himself to even gauge the possibility. The analytical side of him wouldn’t allow it.
“I knew I wasn’t going to get in,” he said. “I’m not surprised that my percentage went down. We just have to wait and see for the future.”
Could the fact that Thomas played more games at designated hitter (1,310) than he did at first base (969) during his career help Martinez’s campaign? It’s possible.
”I think it can improve my chances,” he said. “But in reality, Frank’s numbers were amazing. When you have the numbers he has, over 500 homers – that’s a big number – he’s well deserving to be in the hall of fame. He was a great hitter. He was a definitely a first ballot player.”
Martinez played in 1,403 games as a DH. Some hall of fame voters haven’t been able to look beyond that stigma.
“What I’m hoping is that in the future, some of the statistics can extend out and I get more credit for the hitter I was and for my contributions to the team, not just that I was a DH,” he said. “I hear that a lot of writers that vote are not completely in tune with all the players and the new statistics and metrics that are being used today. Hopefully that changes and it helps. It’s hard to tell.”
As for the other two inductees, Martinez felt they were deserving. He faced Maddux once in his career, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
“He’s not overpowering, but his control was amazing,” he said. “He had a lot movement on the ball. He just knew how to pitch. It was amazing what he was able to do. He played in Chicago for a lot of years and that was a hitter’s park.”
Martinez was quite pleased with the Mariners’ signing of Robinson Cano.
“I think it’s a great choice,” he said. “Cano is a very consistent hitter. He’s a great all-around great player. You have to have a player like that in the lineup to build around, somebody that’s going to consistent. That’s the key part of any team.”
It sounds a lot like Edgar during his playing days.
As for his future, Martinez knows his former teammates – Randy Johnson (2015) and Ken Griffey Jr. (2016) will be eligible soon. Could he be inducted with Junior in 2016?
“That would be great, but I think it might take a little longer than that,” he said.