Edgar Martinez has seen the good times and bad times in Seattle. Unfortunately, he’ll be ending his career during one of the bad ones as the Mariners open up a three-game set with the Minnesota Twins.
The 41-year-old Martinez, a two-time AL batting champion and seven-time All-Star, announced on Monday that he would retire at the end of this season, his 18th in the majors.
“I have decided that this will be my last season,” Martinez said. “I am very fortunate and grateful that I have been able to play my entire career with the Seattle Mariners. The fans here have always been and continue to be great.”
Martinez spent most of his career as a designated hitter and owns the highest batting average (.312) among DHs with at least 1,000 at-bats. He also holds the DH record for homers (305) and RBIs (1,244).
“He’s the best DH of all-time. Just a classy person. He’s got Hall of Fame numbers,” said Tampa Bay’s Lou Piniella, who managed Martinez in Seattle. “He’s one of the best right-handed hitters I’ve ever seen. As he got older, he hit for more power, and that’s pretty incredible.”
Like many of the aging Mariners, Martinez’s numbers are down this season. He is hitting .258 with eight homers and 46 RBIs and has seen his playing time cut somewhat since Bucky Jacobsen was brought up from Triple-A Tacoma in July.
“Everything has gone in a different direction—it’s been hard for me,” Martinez said. “It’s been hard for everyone in that clubhouse.
“It’s baseball. Sometimes you have to go through that. I never saw it coming.”
The Mariners lost 5-1 to the Devil Rays on Sunday, ending their four-city road trip 3-11—just the fourth time they have ever lost that many on a trip. Jose Lopez scored Seattle’s only run on a fielding error.
“It’s been a rough one,” second baseman Bret Boone said. “It seems like we’ve had a lot of rough ones this year. It can test your character, I’ll tell you that.”
The Twins lost 8-2 to the Oakland Athletics on Monday for their fourth loss in five games. Jose Offerman doubled and tripled for Minnesota, which won just one game in the four-game set after winning their last six series.
The Twins will send Terry Mulholland to the mound Tuesday, just two days after he allowed three runs and five hits in the decisive 18th inning of Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Mulholland lasted just 3 2-3 innings in his last start on Thursday, allowing seven runs and nine hits in an 8-5 loss to the Anaheim Angels.
“Pitching (Sunday) didn’t take a whole lot out of me,” he said. “It was just a matter of being out there after working on my legs real hard and throwing a bullpen.”