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Articles Tagged Edgar Martinez 

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February 24, 2012 3:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Big Shoes to Fill

6

Jay Jaffe

What kind of production do teams receive from players tabbed to replace superstars?

Earlier this week, Mariano Rivera arrived at the Yankees' spring training facility in Tampa, Florida, and caused a stir by strongly hinting that the 2012 season would be his final one. The 42-year-old, who has served as the Yankees’ closer since 1997, has shown no signs of slippage, with four straight seasons of ERAs under 2.00 backed by stellar peripherals—strikeout and walk rates better than his career numbers, even—and high save totals. Late last season, he surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader, and with five World Series rings in hand, the only real challenge that remains is for him to convince manager Joe Girardi to allow him a cameo in center field.

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Continuing a jaunt through the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot with the help of the revamped JAWS, a certain DH goes under the microscope.

It's been nearly 40 years since the designated hitter was introduced to Major League Baseball, and in that time, only one player who spent the plurality—not even the majority—of his time at the position has made it into the Hall of Fame. That was Paul Molitor, who spent 1,171 of his 2,683 career games riding the pine between plate appearances. When I reviewed Molitor's Hall of Fame case—in what was actually my Baseball Prospectus debut, at a point when the system hadn’t even been named JAWS—I considered him as a third baseman, because he had played 788 games there, and the majority of his games playing somewhere in the infield. He had generated real defensive value (26 FRAA according to the measure of the time, 22 FRAA according to our most recent batch), strengthening a case that was virtually automatic anyway by dint of his membership in the 3,000-hit club.

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December 30, 2010 9:00 am

Prospectus Hit and Run: Class of 2011: Edgar Martinez

19

Jay Jaffe

Can a DH from a small market overcome steep odds to eventually make it to Cooperstown?

Edgar Martinez could flat-out rake. A high-average, high-OBP hitting machine with plenty of power, he played a key role in putting the Mariners on the map as an AL West powerhouse, and emerged as a folk hero to a fan base that watched Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and Alex Rodriguez lead the Mariners' charge to relevancy, only to force their ways out of town over contract issues. When Martinez debuted on the Hall of Fame ballot last year, I compared him to the enshrined third basemen using JAWS because he played 562 games at the hot corner and accrued a bit of value there before settling in as a designated hitter. Considering him in a broader context beyond the Hall's third basemen actually strengthens his candidacy.

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Reviewing the qualifications of Tram and Larkin, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile, and Edgar Martinez.

Having kicked off this year's JAWS series and addressed the Hall of Fame candidates on the right side of the infield on Monday, we can now turn our attention to the left side today. It's a pretty fair crop, to say the least.

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The Mariners today announced the retirement of Edgar Martinez, one of the best hitters of his generation and arguably one of the best right-handed hitters of all-time. To celebrate Martinez's career, we're re-running this special edition of Derek Zumsteg's Breaking Balls from last October, when it first looked like Edgar would hang 'em up.

I saw fans cry for the first time on Sunday, the last day of the Mariners season. Edgar Martinez was at bat in the eighth for what may be the last plate appearance of his career, and the standing ovation rolled on and on.

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October 28, 2003 12:00 am

Internet Baseball Awards

0

Ryan Wilkins

As many of our readers were submitting their ballots for the annual Internet Baseball Awards, 11 Baseball Prospectus authors went into the polling booths themselves, voicing their opinions on who should win the major baseball awards this year. Here are the results...

As many of our readers were submitting their ballots for the annual Internet Baseball Awards, 11 Baseball Prospectus authors went into the polling booths themselves, voicing their opinions on who should win the major baseball awards this year. Here are the results:

National League Player of the Year

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Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame candidacy remains controversial, judging by my e-mail, which baffles me. There is a historical precedent for electing a Designated Hitter to the Hall of Fame. As baseball has evolved, the players who have evolved with it have been recognized for their accomplishments in the new roles they've filled. Shortstop, for instance, hasn't always existed in its present role, but would anyone argue that no shortstop should ever have been elected to the Hall of Fame because they would be the first? For most of baseball's history, the relief corps has been random swing starters, position players, the rotation on their off-days, and passers-by. Would anyone argue that true relief aces like Goose Gossage and Dennis Eckersley shouldn't even be considered because their contributions in relief came in a role that didn't exist, or wasn't important, throughout baseball history? The DH is a position in the rules, and the DH contributes to a team's success or failures.

There is a historical precedent for electing a Designated Hitter to the Hall of Fame. As baseball has evolved, the players who have evolved with it have been recognized for their accomplishments in the new roles they've filled. Shortstop, for instance, hasn't always existed in its present role, but would anyone argue that no shortstop should ever have been elected to the Hall of Fame because they would be the first? For most of baseball's history, the relief corps has been random swing starters, position players, the rotation on their off-days, and passers-by. Would anyone argue that true relief aces like Goose Gossage and Dennis Eckersley shouldn't even be considered because their contributions in relief came in a role that didn't exist, or wasn't important, throughout baseball history? The DH is a position in the rules, and the DH contributes to a team's success or failures.

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June 12, 2003 12:00 am

Breaking Balls: More Edgar, for the Unconvinced

0

Derek Zumsteg

Derek Zumsteg's latest Breaking Balls takes a closer look at Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame candidacy, sparked by an onslaught of e-mail.

  • Edgar doesn't belong in the Hall based on career contribution.
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    Does Edgar Martinez belong in the Hall of Fame? Edgar, in conventional terms, is a weird case. His career is outstanding, but limited by organizational incompetence at the early end, and his own desire to hang out with his family on the late end. He's fragile, earlier injured badly too often in the field, dogged as he aged with hamstring injuries that slowed him. Because of this, his counting stats fall short, while his rate stats remain amazing (Edgar could easily finish this season in the top-10 hitters all time for his career on-base percentage, and top-20 all-time for his career slugging percentage). A friend of mine who is smart and frequently argues for the intangibles, momentum, and chemistry aspects of baseball says that his ultimate Hall of Fame standard is that a player must transcend the sport for a period of time, to almost rise above the game, and that no player should even be considered unless they have dominated and changed the game around them. I like that standard, because it means Will Clark gets in while Rafael Palmeiro doesn't.

    I wrote this about Edgar in the Mariners' chapter of Baseball Prospectus 2002:

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    Certainty changes everything. Baseball's exciting, if for no other reason, because the Devil Rays--an abjectly bad franchise--can beat the Yankees every couple of times they meet. Unlike in football, the outcome of a single contest between a defending champion and a perennial cellar-dweller is relatively uncertain, thus every game has the ability to provide a legitimate sense of drama. It's the lack of certainty that makes it the greatest sport in the world.

    Certainty changes everything. Baseball's exciting, if for no other reason, because the Devil Rays--an abjectly bad franchise--can beat the Yankees every couple of times they meet. Unlike in football, the outcome of a single contest between a defending champion and a perennial cellar-dweller is relatively uncertain, thus every game has the ability to provide a legitimate sense of drama. It's the lack of certainty that makes it the greatest sport in the world. On that note, however, watching the A's rack up wins as the Mariners continue to struggle has begun to make me numb. Every game, the A's are victorious. They're not playing out of their minds--or like they're in another league--they're just winning every single game they play, and it's scary. Intellectually I know that there's luck, chance, and the simple fact that teams go on tears once in a while, but in my gut I know that the A's are going to win tonight, simply because they're taking the field.

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    November 7, 2001 12:00 am

    Staff Ballots

    0

    Baseball Prospectus

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    (Numbers in parentheses indicate number of ballots on which the player appeared, then number of first-place votes received.)

    AL MVP (14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

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