For a moment Saturday, it was as if the Mariners spring clubhouse had gone back in time – there in the middle of all the players was a familiar No. 11, laughing and talking baseball.
Edgar Martinez was back in a Seattle uniform, at least for three days, and looked as good in it as ever.
The Mariners have been after Martinez since he retired two years ago to coach in any capacity he chose, and this spring he agreed to come to camp for three days to work with hitters.
No one in franchise history was ever a better one.
"I have a little more time this spring," Martinez said. "Anyone who wants to talk about hitting, we’ll talk."
Since leaving baseball, Martinez has filled his life with business – Caribbean Apparel – and family, and while he missed the game initially, he’s found happiness outside it.
"I went through a stretch where I did miss it a lot. I miss the competition. I miss being in the clubhouse with the guys. But mainly it’s the competitive side that I miss," he said.
"The first year I watched a lot. Last year I didn’t watch as much. As I started adjusting a little better to the change, I watched less and less. It was almost a complete transition last year."
Watching the Mariners finish in last place hasn’t pleased him.
"It bothers me because I played with this team for so many years,"e said. "I know it’s part of the game, but I’m also a fan of the team. It affected me almost like I was playing again."
Could he come out of retirement and help the team offensively?
"I wouldn’t even get in the batting cage today," he said. "With my eyes, I’d never see the ball coming."
Want to see what Martinez has been up to professionally? Check out the website of his business: http://caribcostore.com/index.php