Pedro Martinez talks A-Rod's Hall candidacy, Colin Cowherd comments

ByJerry Crasnick ESPN logo
Saturday, July 25, 2015

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Pedro Martinez will join Juan Marichal as the second player from the Dominican Republic to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. He expects them to have plenty of company soon.

Martinez foresees a run on Dominican Hall of Famers in the coming years and has no complaints with the Hall of Fame electorate in its selectivity to this point in picking players from his homeland.

"What we got is what we deserve,'' Martinez said. "There's no crying in baseball. We did not have the numbers or do the kind of things to make us qualified to have another one. Juan Marichal was the Dominican Dandy and represented the Dominican Republic for a long time. Now, after 32 years, I showed up in the area.

"I don't think we're going to wait 32 more years for another representative. Vladimir Guerrero is right on the edge of becoming the next Hall of Famer. And there are guys who are still playing and posting numbers that I think are going to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm talking about Albert Pujols. Maybe David Ortiz. Adrian Beltre. I think those are guys who will make it right away on the first ballot.''

Guerrero, who'll make his first appearance on he ballot in 2017, was a nine-time All-Star and an MVP winner who hit 449 home runs in 16 seasons with Montreal, Anaheim, Texas and Baltimore. Pujols, Beltre and Ortiz are still active and won't be eligible for induction until five years after they retire.

Martinez walked a fine line in assessing the candidacy of Alex Rodriguez, who is of Dominican heritage but was born in New York and spent much of his youth in Miami.

Although Rodriguez has Hall of Fame-worthy numbers, he is likely to encounter significant resistance because of his history of performance-enhancing drug use.

"There's nothing I can do with the way voters handle who did what,'' Martinez said. "Certainly the numbers are there. But as you know from previous cases: 'Why not Roger Clemens? Why not Barry Bonds?' It's for the same reason. I hope they all make it, to be honest.''

Martinez was also asked about the controversy surrounding radio host Colin Cowherd, who no longer will appear on ESPN after he sparked an outcry with comments this week that questioned the intelligence of Dominican players.

Martinez said he placed no stock in Cowherd's remarks.

"It's only an insult to anyone that falls to that level,'' Martinez said. "I'm not at that level. I'm here dealing with educated and polite people -- people that understand human rights and understand who we are. These are the people I'm paying attention to.

"I don't even know that person (Cowherd). I've never heard of him. I don't know him, and I don't want to know him. I want to know the people who represent something, and understand how we can get better.''