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McCarthy: Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina? Is This Some Kind of Joke?

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Baseball Hall of Fame has become the Hall of Very Good.

There’s no going back now.

The 2019 class represents the latest blow to the mystique and prestige of Cooperstown. A shady backroom committee already elected undeserving candidates Lee Smith and Harold Baines in December, and now the writers have voted in two more players that cheapen the Hall of Fame even more.

The election of Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez is a joke.

Mussina wasn’t even a top seven pitcher in his era. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Curt Schilling were all clearly better than him. If you consider Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia contemporaries of Mussina, then he barely cracks the top 10 among his peers.

He never won a Cy Young. He never came close, to be honest. His only finish in the top two came in 1999. Finishing second to Pedro in ‘99 is like finishing behind Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973.

Congratulations for trying.

It’s not as if Mussina lost out on the Cy Young to world beaters every year, as the Mussina defenders will tell you. He pitched in the American League when the likes of David Cone, Jack McDowell, Pat Hentgen, and Barry Zito were winning Cy Youngs. Over in the National League, the Cy Young was won by only four pitchers during the first dozen years of Mussina’s career, Glavine, Maddux, Pedro, and Johnson.

He had plenty of chances to be the best pitcher in his league for one measly year. He never was.

Mussina finished with a 3.68 ERA, good for 78th out of 81 pitchers in Cooperstown.

Oh, Mussina and Don Mattingly are the only Yankees in history to never win a damn thing. What a legacy.

Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees pitches to the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees pitches to the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Martinez’s putrid power numbers are an automatic disqualifier for enshrinement. To put a career designated hitter with only 309 home runs in Cooperstown is a sham. He didn’t have a 20 home run season until he turned 32, and then all of a sudden hit 20 home runs or more in nearly every year after that until the end of his career.

I wonder how that happened?

I’m not anti-DH, I’m anti-Edgar.

The Edgar cartel will tell you that he was a great hitter, and there’s no denying that he was. He finished his career with a .312 batting average and a .933 OPS (32nd all-time). But that doesn’t make him a Hall of Famer.

Nomar Garciaparra hit .312 and played shortstop. Larry Walker hit .312 and put up a .965 OPS. Todd Helton hit .316, had more home runs, a higher OPS, and played gold glove defense at first base.

Might as well just put all those guys in too, right? If Edgar’s a Hall of Famer, I guess they all are too.

What a circus this has become.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub's own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.