Voters believe this is the year for Edgar Martinez.
This week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers to predict when or whether Seattle Mariners legend Martinez would get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The day when this year’s Hall of Fame results are announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America is Wednesday, and the early returns have Martinez right on the cusp of getting the 75 percent required for enshrinement.
This is Martinez’s ninth year on the ballot, which means he has just this year and next year for being elected by the writers. If he isn’t elected by the writers, then he’ll have to be chosen by the Eras Committee.
So what do people think will happen? Here’s the results:
POLL: When will Mariners legend Edgar Martinez get into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Full context here: https://t.co/swX11t0lVZ
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) January 15, 2018
Tabulate the numbers and 59 percent of voters believe Martinez will make it in this year, while 32 percent said he’ll make it next year. That means more than 90 percent of the responders think Edgar is getting in via the writers eventually. Just five percent think he’ll need the Eras Committee to get in, while a mere four percent believe he’s never getting in.
Once again I find it interesting how the vote diverges between blog voters and Twitter voters. Twitter voters, who are less likely to have clicked the link and read the entire context behind the poll question, had a wide split between those who predicted Martinez would get in this year (63 percent) versus next year (22 percent), while poll voters, who most likely read all the contextual information, were much closer between the two options (56 percent-38 percent). It doesn’t really mean anything, but I always find it interesting.
Anyway, the poll was posted on Monday when 184 of the estimated 424 votes had been made public. At that point Martinez had received 149 votes, good for 81.0 percent, which is enough to get in. However, people who historically track poll voting predicted Martinez’s percentage would slip as more votes came in, with two of the three models I found predicting Martinez would fall just short. So what do the numbers say now?
Since then Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) has received several more ballots, and of the 197 ballots he received as of Monday morning Martinez was named on 159 of them, which is 80.7 percent, so a minuscule drop from where he was 13 ballots earlier.
What about the projections? Well, two of the three have updated since the poll was posted. One that had Martinez getting in has increased its projection from 76.0 percent to 76.6 percent, while one that had Edgar falling short has pushed him over the line from 74.3 percent to 75.3 percent:
#MLB Couple more votes trickled in to @NotMrTibbs #HOF Tracker, so here's my updated predictions. It'll be a long week for Edgar Martinez and Trevor Hoffman, best of luck to both. pic.twitter.com/orPY3fLK6s
— Scott Lindholm 📊 (@ScottLindholm) January 18, 2018
— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) January 18, 2018
So the signs continue to be positive for Martinez, but election is still far from guaranteed. No doubt Mariners fans will be crossing their fingers between now and Wednesday.
I recently had the chance to catch up with one of the voters, Kirby Arnold, who covered the Mariners for the Herald from 1999-2011, which happen to be Martinez’s heydays. My column on our conversation is slated to run Tuesday, so look for it then.