Saturday night was Edgar Martinez night at Safeco Field, and Jason and I were there. It was really a wonderful day for baseball, and considering it was October 2, the weather was pretty close to miraculous — sunny, warm, no wind, not a cloud in the sky. The roof was open and the park was all decked out in playoff finery; bittersweet decor, under the circumstances. We missed seeing Ichiro break the hits record the night before, so we didn’t have that to look forward to, but this was Edgar’s day, so it was OK.
It was a weird day at the park. No one seemed to care that much if we won or lost, but everyone stayed until the end anyway. Edgar got a ton of standing ovations (as did Ichiro) throughout the game. The Hat Trick became the “Edgar Martinez Bat Trick.” It was an odd mixture of celebration and sadness.
Evil commissioner Bud Selig, who had been booed (deservedly — Seattle has a long history of Bud hate) twice already, managed to come up with a way to get a standing ovation himself — he announced that the Designated Hitter of the Year award will henceforth be known as the Edgar Martinez Award. I never thought that I would be cheering Bud Selig, but there you go.
I feel old. The players my age (well, Edgar’s just slightly older) are all retired or retiring. The Mariners are back to losing again. Autumn is coming — the sky is still blue, but the leaves are turning. There will be baseball and spring again, but it is hard to look forward to it now.
(Hey A-Rod? Junior? You see that outpouring of love for Edgar from the Seattle fans and from the other players and teams? That could have been the way it will be for you when you retire. But, no, I don’t think that will happen. Whining and money-grubbing might get you what you want in the short-run, but it doesn’t get you love and respect.)