We learned over the weekend that the Marlins were unretiring No. 5 so that Logan Morrison could wear it in memory of his father. Nice story, right? Turns out it’s a bit more complicated.
According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the family of former Marlins’ president Carl Barger didn’t hear from the team before the announcement was made.
The Marlins retired No. 5 before the franchise’s first game in honor of Barger, who died while attending the winter meetings in December of 1992. No. 5 was chosen because Joe DiMaggio was Barger’s favorite player.
“It’s disappointing. He gave his life to the Marlins,’ said Betzi Barger, who’s father Carl Barger was the Marlins’ team president from July 8, 1991 until his death on Dec. 9, 1992.
“Nobody (from the Marlins) has contacted us,’ Betzi Barger said when contacted Monday by The Palm Beach Post. “It’s just a disappointment but there’s nothing we can do. We’re sorry we didn’t find out about it except from you.’
Marlins president David Samson said it was his understanding that the Bargers had signed off on the plan, so this wasn’t a matter of Morrison enthusiastically jumping the gun. The Marlins still plan to honor Barger with a plaque at the ballpark and want his family to attend the unveiling, but Barger’s daughter isn’t sure if they’ll go. And unless there’s a pretty good explanation for the misunderstanding, it’s hard to blame them.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.