David Ortiz made a name for himself in Boston, probably a Hall of Fame DH. But at one time he was in the Mariners organization and later was with the Twins. The question is who was dumber to let him go.
He was signed by the Mariners as an amateur free agent in 1992. He made his minor league debut in 1994 at the age of 18 in the Arizona rookie league hitting .246 with 2 homers in 167 at bats. Next year, same league, he hit .332 with 4 homers in 184 at bats. In 1996 he made the jump to A ball with Wisconsin hitting .322 with 18 homers and 93 RBIS. Only 20 and showing lots of potential.
The Mariners were in a playoff hunt in 1996 and on August 29th acquired Dave Hollins from the Twins for the proverbial player to be named later. On September 13 David Ortiz was the proverbial player. It can be said that giving up an A ball player in a playoff drive is a safe bet. Now it looks like a steal, but in 1996 no one noticed. Hollins, by the way, hit .351 in 94 at bats. He did his part.
Ortiz got into 15 games with the Twins in 1997 and split time with them and their minor league affiliates for a few years, also having wrist injuries in 198 and 2001. But in 2002 he hit .272 in 125 games with 20 homers and 75 RBIS at the age of 26. So what did the Twins do? Following the season they released him. Good bye, so long, thanks for nothing. good luck.
The Mariners would love a .275 hitter with 20 home runs and 75 RBIS. Can we go Back to the Future?
In his first year with Boston he hit .288, slugging 31 homers, driving in 101 runs, the first of five consecutive years driving in 100+ runs. And to rub a little salt into the Twins wound, Ortiz finished fifth in MVP voting.
There is no point going over his Boston career, that is not we are here for. We are here to see who is dumber Seattle or Minnesota. It is clear. The Mariners thought they had a good young player, but they could not know he would be a Hall of Famer, and you have to pay when you want to trying to get to the playoffs. The Twins, however, had a bat with 20 homers and a good average, and released him. They got nothing.
Forget websites, press guides, birth certificates. Raul Ibanez is not 41. Players his age do not hit home runs every 12 at bats. But, as you will learn, he is not younger, but actually older, much, much older.
Recently discovered manifests, logs, and ship roster show that one Juan Raul de Ibanez sailed with Ponce de Leon, who while searching for the fountain of youth, discovered Florida. Ironic in that a search for the fountain should take place in a state full of retirees. But that might be the key. Florida is overwhelmed by aged people who are growing older, all the while looking and playing younger.
Reports that De Leon never found the fountain are undoubtedly misleading. Cross checking documents on this Juan Raul de Ibanez indicate that he never died, but dropped the Juan and the de from his name. Along with the previously mentioned discovered material is a code book, that when broken by cryptologists indicate the fountain was indeed found, not by de Leon, but by an exploratory crew of three led by Ibanez. It is they who partook of the fountain, closely guarding its location to this day. Due to conflict between de Leon and the local natives, Ibanez and his crew were separated from de Leon, and were believed killed, and left behind.
And today, though Raul is 4th on the Mariners in at bats, he leads the team in home runs with 17 and RBIS with 42. He is 12th on the team in on base percentage, because he does not draw walks, but hits home runs, so as to take it easy on his body. A simple jog around the bases is easier than running around them. He slugs at a .524 pace.
Raul still plays the field like a 41 year old, but when you consider his true age of over 500 years he does well. The History Channel is currently producing a documentary in which all evidence will be presented in a three hour program detailing everything I have here attested to. Rumors are that Major League Baseball is investigating to see if the fountains waters could be classified as ‘performance enhancing.’ Stay tuned for more on this growing and explosive story.
The answer is yes, because I, like all Mariner fans, love Edgar. I know that is not enough reason for Edgar to be in baseball’s cherished institution, so let us look at some numbers and one important criterion as to why Edgar should be in the Hall.
If he wasn’t first in a category, he was near the top. He showed remarkable consistency, but there are a few things working against him.
First, he played for Seattle, a bad team for many of those 18 years. Most writers back East are either asleep or in bars when Seattle is playing in the great Pacific Northwest, and they probably can not find Seattle on a map in the first place, and believe people in Washington and Oregon are still fighting Indian Wars to avenge Custer. Add the fact that Edgar was quiet and unassuming, you can see Edgar was overlooked and taken for granted. He was not flashy, not outspoken, not controversial; he was invisible.
Second, he was a DH, therefore not a complete player, or so the thinking goes. He did play third base early in his career, and played some first base on occasion, but did not distinguish himself in the field, leading third basemen in errors one year with 27.
But-and this is what I was getting to earlier- one of the ways voters are to look at a candidate is this: was the player in question one of the best at his position during the era in which he played. As I mentioned he made seven All-Star teams as DH, meaning he must have been one of the best DH’s in the American League. And, for better or worse, the DH is a position. Consequently it is a position that needs to be looked at and Edgar was one of the best at DH, many saying he set the standard. In fact, there is an American League award given yearly to the best DH and the award is called the Edgar Martinez Award.
Now if they name an award after you, you must have been special. EdgarMartinez belongs in the Hall of Fame. The defintion of a HOF’er says so, not just me.
If the Mariners are looking for an outfielder there are many to choose from.
Need a leadoff hitter? Michael Bourn of Atlanta, 29, hit .274 last season. He averages 51 steals per season which makes him an attractive signing. Angel Pagan, 30, of the Giants hit .288 with 38 doubles, 15 triples, 8 homers, and 29 stolen bases.
Want to add power? Nick Swisher, 31, of the Yankees can be had. Nick hit 24 homers, had 93 RBIS, and a 272 average in 2012. A definite gamer with championship mentality, he brings positive energy to the clubhouse and diamond. B.J. Upton, 28, has not reached his potential according to some talking baseball bobble heads. He did hit 28 homers, drove in 78 runs and stole 29 bases. But he only hit .246. His brother Justin is in the same category of not reaching what was expected and Arizona reportedly has him on the trade block. Justin is only 25. His best years should be ahead of him. If the D-Backs are dumb enough to trade him, Seattle should be smart enough to talk with the Snakes. Justin hit .280 with 17 homers, 67 rbis.
I know he is ancient at 37, but Tori Hunter hit .313 last year with 16 homers and 92 RBIS. The downside is that he is an Angel and we had no luck with another Angel named Chone. If Tori could be had for a one year deal with an option for 2014, the M’s should sign him. If for no other reason than he seems to kill us.
There is also Shane Victorino, 31, but his numbers were nothing to get excited about after splitting the season between Phillies and the Dodgers. He gives 100% but if the price is not right on others, Shane could be in the picture.
A better fit would be Delmon Young, 27, of the Tigers who hit .261 with 18 homers and 74 RBIS. He could be coming into his peak years.
Then there is Melky Cabrera, 28, who was limited to 113 games because of his suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. A .346 average with 11 homers and 60 RBIs is the evidence. I would pass, due to the fact he was an average player until last season. Without enhancement he is likely to revert to ordinary.
For my money Michael Bourn is the man to sign as free agent. I also like a trade for Justin Upton. It is hot stove time meaning time for dreaming.