Rod Carew picked a convenient time to "boycott the Hall of Fame" on Bert Blyleven's behalf

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Rod Carew, who was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991, said earlier this week that he’ll “boycott the Hall of Fame” if Bert Blyleven “doesn’t get in this year” during his 14th appearance on the ballot.
That’s a very nice gesture by a former teammate, but also one that would have been far more meaningful a decade ago when Blyleven was actually struggling to receive votes. Threatening the boycott now is essentially meaningless, because Blyleven is all but guaranteed to get into the Hall of Fame after falling just five votes short last year.
Blyleven needs 75 percent of the vote for induction and last year he was at 74.2 percent, which was up from 62.7 percent in 2008, 47.7 percent in 2007, and a low of 14.1 percent in 1999. He should get in with votes to spare this time around, and deservedly so, but Carew may want to get behind his next cause a little earlier.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.