The debate regarding David Ortiz's Hall of Fame merits has certainly heated up lately, as the lefty slugger enjoys a fruitful 2013 season on a resurgent Red Sox squad.
But the DH's case for Cooperstown is far from a lock.
The Boston Herald's Steve Buckley, in fact, pointed to the DH position as a problem for Ortiz. Buckley said that Big Papi's role as a designated hitter in and of itself hurts his odds with Hall of Fame voters--not that Buckley agrees with their sentiment.
"As you know, there's a lobby out there that doesn't believe the DH belongs in the Hall of Fame," Buckley said. "I disagree with that lobby because if it is a recognized position in major league baseball and he dominated his position, which is one of the criteria for getting in the Hall of Fame, you should look past the fact that he's the DH."
Setting Ortiz's position aside, his numbers are impressive. He has accrued 420 home runs and 1391 RBIs, all while batting a respectable .286. The fellows on The Baseball Show compared his stats to those of Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Jim Rice and found he held up quite well.
"When you look at those numbers, yeah you can have a discussion," Lou Merloni said. "You can have a very good argument that he belongs to be in the Hall of Fame."
Still, Ortiz will not have any easy road to the Baseball Hall of Fame. While his offensive numbers may add up there, as almost exclusively a DH, he has contributed next to nothing defensively. And, as Merloni notes, guys with numbers like Dawson and Rice may be in, but that doesn't mean guys with better ones are all in as well.
"I guarantee that if Player A without a head and Player B without a head had the numbers of Jeff Bagwell and Sammy Sosa, you'd say are these guys Hall of Famers and you would say 'Absolutely they're Hall of Famers!'" Merloni said. "But they're not, are they? And they've got better numbers than David probably."
In addition, Ortiz does not have a clean record when it comes to supplements. Ortiz has been linked to PEDs, and for Buckley, who is a Baseball Hall of Fame voter, this could also pose a problem.
"I've been very demonstrative about not voting for guys who have been linked to PEDs," Buckley said. "When you get named on a list, if you're in the Mitchell Report, if you're in the file at the place down in South Beach, no I'm not going to vote for you."
Want to hear the full conversation regarding this issue? Check out the video above to hear all of what Merloni, Buckley and Bob Neumeier had to say.