Notebook | Mariners, fans salute Edgar
The Mariners rolled out the red carpet for one of their legends Saturday night, inducting former designated hitter Edgar Martinez into the...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners rolled out the red carpet for one of their legends Saturday night, inducting former designated hitter Edgar Martinez into the franchise's Hall of Fame in an emotionally charged ceremony before Saturday night's game.
The event gave fans one more opportunity to belt out the cheer that for many years became synonymous with baseball in Seattle.
"ED-GRRRRR!!!" rang from the nearly packed Safeco Field stands as Martinez was introduced. The crowd applauded for several minutes before the tributes began.
Martinez, who played all of his 18 major-league seasons with Seattle before retiring in 2004, donned a sport coat and dark glasses as he waved in recognition to fans. Their reaction showed his popularity hasn't waned.
Former players Jay Buhner and Alvin Davis and broadcaster Dave Niehaus, who are already in the team's Hall of Fame, were on hand for the ceremony. It featured brief speeches from Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and president Chuck Armstrong and a video tribute to Martinez.
"He played the game with pride and with class and a quiet dignity about him," Lincoln said.
Today | vs. Texas, 1:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Ryan Feierabend (0-1, 5.40) vs. RHP Robinson Tejeda (4-5, 5.75).
Monday | vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (3-3, 4.10) vs. LHP Erik Bedard (4-3, 3.67).
Tuesday | vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Cha Seung Baek (3-2, 4.93) vs. LHP Brian Burres (3-2, 3.08).
Wednesday | vs. Baltimore, 1:35 p.m., no TV | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (5-4, 3.57) vs. RHP D. Cabrera (4-6, 4.72).
Friday | @ San Diego, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Miguel Batista (5-4, 5.72) vs. RHP Justin Germano (4-0, 1.74).
Martinez received a plaque, and a bust with his likeness will be displayed at the ballpark. Then he got his turn at the podium.
"Last but not least, I want to thank the fans," he said after several acknowledgments, "for accepting me as one of your own. I could not think of a better place to play my 18 years."
Texas Rangers players stood on their dugout steps to watch the ceremony, as did all the current Mariners. Fans waved commemorative placards, and giant signs above right field and over the center-field batter's eye read, "Thanks Edgar!"
After the ceremony, Martinez said he felt greatly honored.
"The fans have been great, and one more time they showed it for me," he said. "Every year I felt closer and closer [to them]. Early in my career it was a good relationship with the fans, and it's hard to explain but it just grew over the years and I feel like it's still close with the fans."
Martinez capped his night by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to fellow Puerto Rican Jose Vidro, the Mariners' current designated hitter.
Beltre out, White to DL
Mariners bench coach John McLaren said third baseman Adrian Beltre will miss the next couple of days with a sprained left thumb, which Beltre injured diving for a hot smash down the left-field line in Friday night's game.
Willie Bloomquist replaced Beltre late in that game, and was in the starting lineup at third base Saturday, batting ninth.
"You know Belly, he wants to play every day," McLaren said of Beltre. "We're just going to play it by ear and he'll let us know when he's ready ... He's very sore, so we'll just take it day by day."
Outfielder Jose Guillen also left Friday's game early with pain in his right elbow after being hit with a pitch. He was back in the lineup Saturday and homered in the sixth inning.
Right-hander Sean White was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right biceps. White is 1-1 with a 7.03 earned-run average in nine relief appearances. He pitched Friday against Texas, going 1-1/3 innings and allowing a pair of earned runs on two hits with three walks, a hit batsman and a balk.
White held opposing batters to a .217 average in his first seven appearances but after his two most recent outings, that average went up to .271.
Seattle recalled right-hander Jon Huber from AAA Tacoma Saturday to take White's spot on the 25-man roster. Huber was with the Mariners from May 25 to 29 and pitched four innings in two games, allowing one earned run.
"Whitey tried to pitch through this and it finally caught up to him and he wasn't himself," McLaren said of White. "This is the best thing for him [is] to get well. ... It was affecting his control and he wasn't finishing his pitches."
• Mariners pitchers got to take batting practice Saturday, and the star was Felix Hernandez, who belted two home runs. The longest home run belonged to Jarrod Washburn, who sent a ball some 15 rows up into the right-field seats. Relievers J.J. Putz, Jason Davis and starter Cha Seung Baek also went deep, to the delight of teammates.
• A new Spanish language play-by-play radio announcer, Alex Rivera, debuted for the Mariners to start the current homestand. Rivera, a producer for the broadcast, is handling play-by-play temporarily in place of regular announcer Raul Sandoval.
For the record
vs. AL West: 11-10
vs. L.A.: 2-7
vs. Oakland: 4-1
vs. Texas: 5-2
vs. AL East: 7-6
vs. AL Central: 8-7
vs. NL: 1-2
vs. LHP: 9-3
vs. RHP: 18-22
Extra innings: 0-0
Saturday's crowd: 41,988
Season total: 773,068
Biggest crowd: 46,181 (May 13)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (26 dates): 29,733
2006 average (26 dates): 26,754