Friday, November 20, 2015

#BYBHUB Change-Up: Is David Ortiz a HOFer?

Don't be alarmed. Everything is fine. We're just trying something a little new today. As mentioned below, right now myself and fellow BYB Hub member Greedy Pinstripes are swapping blog posts. We both wrote a post on whether or not David Ortiz deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. His post appears right here, right now. To see my response, head over to Greedy Pinstripes, and see what I had to say. In the future, this little exercise could involve many more BYB Hub members, so look for more of these in the future! Hopefully it's a lot of fun. If you like Greedy's writing, I encourage you to check out the BYB Hub to see more of his blogs posted. Or, follow him on twitter.


I am excited to bring you this post and my case against David Ortiz making the Hall of Fame. Not because I’m a Red Sox hater, but truth be told I am, and not because I am a David Ortiz hater, respect can be had while still hating a player and I have both in my heart for Big Papi, but because we are doing something a little special here. Myself, along with Section 36 (a Red Sox blog that is listed on the BYB Hub), are syndicating these posts at the same time on both blogs so both sides of the argument can have both arguments in the same place at the same time. Maybe it will lead to more posting between blogs, maybe it won’t, but this is just the tip of the iceberg with what we have planned as far as interaction between the BYB Hub bloggers. I hope you enjoy my case, a Yankees side of the argument, against David Ortiz’s Hall of Fame case. Please keep all comments respectful, thank you. 

Entering the 2016 season David Ortiz has the stats of few before him in Major League Baseball history. Ortiz has enjoyed one hell of a career, let’s call a spade a spade, for the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox including such milestones as breaking the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, winning another World Series in 2007 and yet another World Series in 2013 and many other statistical markers. You know the numbers so I won’t dwell on them much; 503 home runs, 1641 RBI, a career triple slash of .284/.378/.547 and for a long time he was one of the most feared hitters in all of Major League Baseball. Ortiz has been great and if you’re using the back of his baseball card alone the argument against his case into the Hall of Fame is not only pointless, it’s mundane. The problem for Ortiz, Major League Baseball and its fans is that players these days are judged on much more than that. 

Me personally I have no issue with an accused steroid user getting into the Hall of Fame. Frankly I wouldn’t mind it if they all got in. At the time these steroids were not against the rules of Major League Baseball, they weren’t mentioned in a Collective Bargaining agreement and I don’t think they should be an issue as long as the steroid use stopped there. Should Alex Rodriguez be in the Hall of Fame? Hell no, not after Biogenesis, lying a second time and then going on a lawsuit rampage against the league, the union that represents him and his own family. Do I think Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be in? Absolutely and I continue to vote for them every single year on my Internet Baseball Writers Association of American (IBWAA) ballot. The problem here is I think it would be irresponsible to go on a case-by-case basis for Hall of Fame voting and I think it sets a nasty precedence that nobody wants to set. You either, again in my opinion, have to let everyone and anyone into the Hall of Fame that was even so much as linked to steroids during their playing career or none at all. 

Looking at the Mitchell Report you see that 89 players were named in the report which basically showcased who did steroids and who failed the supposed anonymous test that they were promised back during the 2003 season. The list includes a few notable names and some names that will never have their names discussed in a Hall of Fame roundtable. That list includes Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens, Lenny Dykstra, Eric Gagne, Jason Grimsley, Jerry Hairston Jr., David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Denny Neagle, Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts, Dave Segui, Miguel Tejada, Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, and Rick Ankiel to name a few. One notable name not on the list was that of Ortiz or his teammate Manny Ramirez although both reportedly failed a drug test either in 2003 or later on in their careers. 

None of those players; not Bonds the all-time home run king, not Rafael Palmeiro who hit 500+ home runs but shook his finger in front of Congress vehemently denying his steroid use only to fail a drug test later that calendar year, not Roger Clemens who won 350 games and was acquitted of all charges related to perjury and steroid use and none of the other players mentioned got into the Hall. What makes Ortiz different or special? Because he “bought the damn things” at a GNC in the mall? Because he can take selfies with President Barack Obama and hugs Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig after winning the World Series? If you’re asking me, a full-fledged Yankees fan but a general baseball fan as well, I have to say nothing makes him special. 

Look, if Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, probably Gary Sheffield on this upcoming ballot and the slew of others that are being kept out of the Hall not because of their stats but because of their links or suspicions to steroids get in then 100% absolutely put Ortiz in. I’ll vote for him 10 times out of 10 and I’ll walk him in myself, he’s a special talent. I’m just fighting for an even and for a fair playing field here and if Ortiz gets in they should all get in. If they all can’t get in, because maybe they went to that same GNC… we’ll never know for sure, then Ortiz shouldn’t either. Those are my two cents anyway. 

If this isn’t enough then someone explain to me why Ortiz should be in, basically a full-time DH for much of his career, and Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners, another full-time DH, is not. Martinez is probably a better hitter than Ortiz according to the numbers and only managed to receive 27% of the vote in his sixth season on the ballot of 2015. If that’s not enough then you’re either a Boston fan or you haven’t been following the Hall of Fame votes and blogs I’ve been writing for the past two or three seasons anyway. 

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