Batting coach Gene Clines offered some insight into Edgar Martinez, the Seattle Mariners' quiet man with the loud bat. "Edgar doesn't like a lot of attention," Clines said. "He doesn't care if anybody notices what he does. But the players in the league know who he is."
Like it or not, the Mariners' third baseman is beginning to get noticed. Being among the American League's batting leaders all season tends to draw attention to a player.
"I'm happy I've got a good start and I'm doing good right now," Martinez said. "It makes me happy that the team is doing pretty good, too. So far it's early but this helps my confidence. If I finish strong, it will be even better for my confidence."
Martinez is used to being overlooked. After all, he was even overlooked by his own team.
In 1988, he won the Pacific Coast League batting title by hitting .363 at Calgary. But that didn't win him the Mariners' starting third-base job in 1989. After the Mariners traded Jim Presley last season, Darnell Coles became the third baseman.
Martinez, a bargain at $350,000 this season, finally got his chance in April 1990 after Coles could not keep his job. He was later traded.
Martinez doesn't hit a lot of home runs, but the Mariners think he's on the way to establishing himself as one of the major league's most outstanding hitters.
"He's just a pure hitter," said Clines. "He's just blessed with a lot of talent. I don't know if he's going to keep it up at a .350 clip but there's no doubt in my mind that Edgar can be in the Top 5 in the league at the end of the season."