A GRIP ON SPORTS
It won't be a good day in the Edgar Martinez household. The Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its 2014 inductees this morning and once again the best line-drive hitter to ever wear a Mariners uniform will be disappointed. Read on.
• You know what Major League Baseball's designated hitter award is named, right? Ya, the Edgar Martinez Award. Yet the guy whose name is on the award will probably never be honored with a plaque in the Hall of Fame. And it might be because his name is on the award. See, there are some people who would never vote a designated hitter into the Hall of Fame. For some reason these folks, who have no trouble voting for starting pitchers and closers into the Hall, don't see DHs as complete players. Very few argue with Martinez's lifetime numbers (.312 batting average, .418 on-base percentage, .933 OPS, 1,261 RBI, 512 doubles which is 50th all-time) but a bunch of folks disparage them because he was a DH. So, basically, they are saying if Martinez had trundled out to first base every day, booted a few ground balls, showed the range of a lamp post and cost his team defensively (as a few Hall of Fame first basemen did during their career – I'm talking about you Jimmy Foxx) then they would vote for him? That doesn't make sense. Martinez was a decent third baseman early in his career – though he led the league in errors at the position in 1990, he also posted the fifth-best fielding percentage for the position the next year – but the Mariners realized he helped the team more as a designated hitter. And isn't that what baseball is all about? Helping your team? So Martinez became a DH. He excelled at it. And more than likely cost himself a shot at Cooperstown.
• Baseball writers all over the country have taken pictures of their official ballot and posted it on the Internet, mainly via social media. Good for them. Some vote for players who have been accused or cited or rumored of using performance-enhancing drugs. Most others don't. That's their prerogative under the voting rules. I agree with the latter but also wonder how you make the distinction. It's easy to not vote for a Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. They have been shadowed by PED clouds for years. But what do you do with a Jeff Bagwell, who has been the source of whispers since the turn of the century? Do you ignore them? Do you ignore his long-time association with Ken Caminitti, a self-proclaimed user? Or do you not check his name due to suspicion? It's a slippery slope. Maybe that's why one writer decided to only vote for Jack Morris this year – his final year on the ballot – and then never vote again. He didn’t want to vote for anyone associated with the steroid era. Of course, that means he's not voting for Greg Maddux (pictured), the best pitcher of his generation and whose career overlapped Morris' for nine seasons. That makes a lot of sense.
• WSU: One down and one to go. The Washington State women broke a 36-game losing streak to the University of Washington last night and Jacob Thorpe was in Pullman to document it. (By the way, the last time WSU defeated the Huskies, I was 38). He has a game story, video interviews and a blog post on the 82-80 win. ... Jacob also has an advance of tonight's game in the Spokane Arena against 15th-ranked Colorado, a blog post on DaVonté Lacy's latest injury and a morning post with links. As a bonus, he also has a blog post on former WSU football player Logan Mayes. ... The Cougars' offensive output in Tucson was a long time in the making according to Bud Withers. ... The Buffs would like to do better on the road this season. ... The Pac-12 basketball schedule is a bit screwy this season and the standings might just end up the same way. ... Oregon will be getting another transfer. ... In football, Utah has another new offensive coordinator. ... Jon Wilner has an early top-25. Yes, for football in the fall. ... Christian Caple ran into a familiar face while covering the unveiling of Washington's new football staff. ... I guess I should explain the first sentence of this section. The UW losing streak was not the longest the Cougar women had. Nope. Not even close. They have never – and by never, I mean never – defeated the Stanford women. Now that's a streak.
• Gonzaga: It's a light week, game-wise, for the Zags and that's good. The flu bug has bitten them. That's part of Jim Meehan's notebook for the week. ... The Bulldogs' ailments is also part of this West Coast notebook. ... Pepperdine has started the WCC season well thanks to help from a UCLA transfer. ... Thomas Clouse has a women's basketball notebook that leads with Gonzaga.
• EWU: With success comes change. The Eagles have lost an assistant football coach to Boise State. Jim Allen has the story of Junior Adams moving down the road. ... Former Eagle basketball player Justin Crosgile, given his walking papers last season, is in trouble at UTEP.
• Chiefs: It's Wednesday so Chris Derrick has a WHL notebook.
• Preps: There was a traditional boys rivalry game across the border Greg Lee covered, as Coeur d'Alene survived some iffy free throw shooting to get past Lake City, and there was a not-so-traditional rivalry game at Central Valley Thomas Clouse covered, as the Bears, undefeated in GSL play, handed Ferris its first league loss (pictured). ... We also have a GSL girls roundup and roundups of other girls and boys action around the area.
• Seahawks: So what is going to happen Saturday? No one, least of all Sean Payton and the Saints, expect a repeat of the most recent meeting between these teams. But one thing that's for sure, the Hawks will try to ram the ball down New Orleans' throat. ... There are still four players on the Seattle roster that predate Pete Carroll's arrival and the culture change he brought with him. The Four Horsemen if you will. ... This postseason is a chance for Carroll to really write his name in the Hawks' history books. ... Darrell Bevell has been forced to talk about his future. In a good way. ... Marshawn Lynch is being forced to talk, period, and John McGrath thinks that's a good thing. ... Carroll spoke with the media yesterday as did Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas and receiver Doug Baldwin. ... Yes, Percy Harvin practiced yesterday. So did Luke Willson. ... The Saints tried to make practice like a game. Saturday's game. ... Without K.J. Wright, the Hawks will have to band together to stop tight end Jimmy Graham.
• Another day done. Except I will again be a guest on the Patchin, Lukens and Osso show. If you want to listen between 3 and 6 p.m., you can here. Until then ...