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Why We Shouldn’t Care About The Hall Of Fame

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Every year since Edgar Martinez became eligible I’ve paid very close attention to the Hall of Fame vote. It didn’t start there though I’ve always been interested in who gets in. But it seems clear to me that I shouldn’t care who the hall votes in.

The steroid era players have filled the ballot to the point that voters have too much talent to fit on the 10 person ballot. And while I don’t like the thought of rewarding players that used steroids, they really need to.

The face of the steroid era also happens to be the home run king, Barry Bonds. His 73 home runs in 2001 is the single season record and his 762 is the all time record. No matter what you think of the guy, those records stand. Ignoring these amazing numbers isn’t going to change that.

Now the steroid issue isn’t something tied closely to Edgar. But that is part of the reason he isn’t getting votes. Having the steroid era players on the ballot has caused some voters to submit blank ballots while others have had to strategically vote for players that they want to get in/just stay on the ballot.

I have read several articles over the past few years in which writers have had to remove players that they have voted for in the past, something that has irritated them. Not voting for a deserving player after voting for them doesn’t make sense, but voters have been forced to do so.

Edgar was one of these players that started on some ballots but found himself booted off when the backlog of great players built up too high. Edgar, in my opinion, certainly is a hall of famer but right now there are plenty of players on the ballot that have better numbers.

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Whether or not these players gained those numbers from steroid use is another issue.

Edgar Martinez has the award given to the best DH every year named after him. He’s got incredible numbers which includes a .418 career OBP. If the Mariners had a player like him in the lineup they would be miles better.

I realize the arguments against him include the fact that he was a career DH, really only playing the offensive side of the game. But I don’t believe that is what is keeping him from gaining ground in the vote.

The hall is going through a dark time right now. They’re punishing hitters with or without ties to steroids. Players that are assumed users are being punished but where is the line drawn?

Players that deserve to be in Cooperstown are going to be locked out and this is why they need to get off their high horses and vote for the players that have the deserving numbers. There will be a gap of great players that earned the right to be there because the voters feel they can erase what happened.

This is why we shouldn’t care about who gets in the hall but clearly I still do. I was extremely excited when Randy Johnson made it this year. It will bother me if Edgar doesn’t find his way there.

It shouldn’t matter because the flaws in process and voters have made it too difficult but it will bother me.

Regardless, he will be remembered as one of the greatest DHs of all time if not the greatest. And many players like Edgar will have to be remembered without a plaque in Cooperstown as well.