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.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.