Edgar Martinez > Dan Shaughnessy

Somebody named Dan Shaughnessy hacked into SI.com on Monday and posted an article about why he’s not voting for Edgar Martinez for the Hall of Fame.  I suggest you read the article now, before it gets taken down by the site admins.

Shawnhessy doesn't like numbers

Oh wait, seems like Dan Shaughwhatever is a columnist for the Boston Globe.  Huh, that’s weird, I thought Sports Illustrated catered to a national audience.  Oh well.

Here is a tasty sample platter of Shoonbussy’s reasoning for not voting for Edgar (with acknowledgement to the Fire Joe Morgan guys for pioneering this style of textual rebuttal):

I just can’t bring myself to put him in Cooperstown alongside Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
But how about putting him next to Carlton Fisk, Lloyd Waner and Joe Medwick?  They’re all there, too.

Each Hall voter applies his own standards, and mine often references the famous line that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart applied to pornography. Stewart argued that he might not be able to define what was pornographic, “but I know it when I see it.”
Ah, okay, so you’re making shit up as you go along.  I’m glad you’re in charge of enshrining people.  I’d hate for those hallowed halls to be defined by some kind of rigorous bar against which players are measured.

Edgar Martinez was a very fine hitter, but I never said to myself, “The Mariners are coming to Fenway this weekend. I wonder how the Sox are going to pitch to Edgar Martinez?”
Oh wait, I think we’re getting to the gist of it here.  Let’s keep going.

It was different with players like Eddie Murray and Jim Rice.
The reasoning emerges.  See it yet? 

A lifetime .312 average is impressive and Edgar’s OPS puts him in an elite class. But he wasn’t a home run hitter (309), he couldn’t carry a team, he didn’t scare you, and (sorry) he rarely played defense.... Edgar Martinez was a fine hitter and got on base a lot. But he was a corner infielder who didn’t hit a lot of homers and then he became a guy who spent the majority of every game watching from the bench.

Okay.  So Dan Shooboody thinks that teams weren’t afraid of Edgar Martinez, he didn’t hit home runs, and he didn’t play defense.  Let us address this, as succinctly as we possibly can.

Not photoshopped.

1)  Dan Shudthumper thinks Edgar is not a Hall of Famer because The Red Sox weren’t afraid of him.  I looked up numbers, and that’s valid.  Edgar only hit .299/.395/.469 in 69 games in Fenway.  However, how did The Edgar do against some other teams (in away games)?

Angels (.319/.423/.489) in 97 games
Rangers (.282/.381/.508) in 78 games
Orioles (.327/.436/.574) in 56 games
Red Sox (.299/.395/.469) in 69 games
White Sox (.315/.423/.514) in 68 games
Twins (.371/.454/.610) in 69 games
Yankees (.337/.439/.545) in 68 games

You can bet that sports writers in St. Paul and New York knew when The Edgar was coming to town.  And if one team can get a player out, then surely Jim Rice is not a Hall of Famer, having hit only .264/.305/.449 against the Angels in 148 games.

2)  Edgar did not hit home runs.  Well, he hit 309 in 7,213 at bats, or 1 per 23 at bats.  Jim Rice hit 382 in 8,225 at bats, or 1 per 21 at bats.  The big difference?  Jim Rice hit them in Dan Shankapotomus’s home town

Our boy pulls out the ol’ calculator-hate-card in this article (quoted below), but he does mention Edgar’s .300/.400/.500 career line.  So on the off-chance that he actually knows what slugging percentage means, let’s point out that Edgar’s career was .515.  Jim Rice’s career slugging was .502.  Slugging is a rough measure of your power.  Edgar didn’t hit 500 home runs because he was busy hitting 500 doubles.  Jim Rice hit 73 more home runs and 141 fewer doubles in 1,112 more at bats.

Corner infielder needs to hit home runs, eh?  Perhaps you would have preferred Vinny Castilla, or Ken Caminiti?  Are you suggesting they were more appropriate corner infielders?  That they knew their roles better?

3)  Edgar didn’t play defense.  Yeah, he was a DH for much of his career.  But Paul Molitor, himself a DH and a Hall of Famer, put it nicely.  Speaking about being a DH and under Hall consideration, he said: “They’re not going to hold it against you.  It’s part of the game and should be included as such.”

It’s part of the game.  It’s patently unfair to deny someone membership in the Hall because they played your least favorite position.  To Dan Shawshank, The Edgar’s real sin was not being a DH in Boston. 

Here, again, is David Schoenfield’s great article laying out Edgar’s case for the Hall.  He includes all those numbers which Dan Shawnofthedead thinks are ruining the game (if analysis is ruining the fun of a game for you, you must not like the game that much).  But, as Dan Stickinthemud says,

The stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime, no doubt will be able to demonstrate that Edgar was better than Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby. I’m not buying. Stats don’t tell the whole story.

And for Dan Shouldntbevoingforthehall, the whole story is that Edgar didn’t play in Boston.

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3 Responses

  1. When Dan Asscrotch makes the assumption that statheads are destroying baseball one can presume that he believes viewing of baseball to be the mode of choice for Hall of Fame judegement. He then says that statheads would have the gall to claim Edgar better than Lou Gehrig and Roger Hornsby. All we have for these two players are numbers. The first televised game was 1939. Hornsby’s last season was 1937 and Gehrig’s 1939. Dan Shaufuck was born in 1953.
    Based on observation and no numbers at all I would like to elect ol’ Dan as a complete imbecile with no grasp on what he is writing.

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