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Friday, March 29, 2013

Lundegaard: Why Don’t the Mariners Retire Edgar Martinez’s Number?

I haven’t seen an Edgar treated this badly since Edgar Buchanan in “Framed”!

The next year Edgar won the PCL batting championship (.363) and got another September call-up. In 1989, he actually made the team out of spring training but was still seen as a backup to Jim Presley, who hit 28 home runs in 1985, and was seen as the third baseman of the future. But ’85 was Presley’s high-water mark and the M’s finally traded him in January 1990. But even then, the club didn’t know what it had with Edgar.

“I think Darnell Coles is going to surprise a lot of people,” manager Jim Lefebvre told The Seattle Times in February 1990 about his new starting third baseman. “He knows there is no one in the wings, just Edgar Martinez to back him up. I think it is time for him to realize that he belongs at third, because to play that position you have to be an athlete. And Darnell Coles is an athlete.”

Edgar? Not an athlete. He’s just a backup. He’s no one in the wings.

Other people knew. That same spring, stats guru Bill James wrote the following about Edgar: “What a sad story this one is. This guy is a good hitter, quite capable of hitting .300 in a park like Seattle, with more walks than strikeouts. Martinez has wasted about three years when he could have been helping the team.”

Those were three years when he could have been adding to his counting numbers, too. Instead, he didn’t play regularly until May of that year. He was 27. He hit .302 with an OBP of .397. Two years later he won the batting title. Three years later he won it again. Never has an organization’s persistent obtuseness been so unjustly rewarded.

But Edgar’s chances for the Hall were probably gone for good. Because the M’s didn’t bring him up soon enough.

Repoz Posted: March 29, 2013 at 07:30 PM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4400527)
Acc to BBRef Foxx wore 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, and 26.
   102. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4400532)
From what I heard, they retired Guidry (at a game I attended) so he would come back and serve as a (not very effective) pitching coach.

Guidry's number was retired in 2003. He didn't become pitching coach until 2006.
   103. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4400536)
@102: well, he didn't say it worked well...
   104. Ron J2 Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4400561)
@31 an un-retire from my youth. The Toronto Maple Leafs gave #6 to Ron Ellis. It's kindofa strange story. The leafs had any number of great players, but 6 was retired for a guy whose career was ended by a dirty hit.

Back then teams didn't like to hand out numbers higher than 30 (and 30 was for backup goalies) and the Leafs were having real problems with available numbers. Ellis got 6 and his old number went to a new guy.


Also worth noting that the Leafs haven't won anything since unretiring 6
   105. dtewfik Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:38 PM (#4407191)
Interesting, check out the number of retired numbers broken out
   106. cardsfanboy Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4407193)
Interesting chart, the one that stands out is the Astros with 9.... You have the Yankees with the most at 16 and Cardinals second with 12, Dodgers/Reds with 10..then the Astros/Pirates/Giants/Braves/White Sox with 9....One of these teams is not like the others.
   107. Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4407220)
one of the Stros' numbers is for Don Wilson, a strange story I did not know.
   108. escabeche Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4407226)
I think it's absurd and kind of terrible that the Blue Jays have retired Roberto Alomar's number and haven't retired Dave Stieb's.

I don't think the Orioles have anybody whose number isn't retired but should be, but if e.g. Mussina had stayed in Baltimore and had the career he had as a lifetime Oriole, I think he'd be a good example of a player who might not make the Hall of Fame but who should have his number retired. Ditto Mattingly for the NYY.

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