Here’s what we know: the Florida Marlins retired the number 5 in honor of Carl Barger, the team’s first president until he died in 1992. Barger didn’t wear a number himself, obviously, but he was a big fan of Joe DiMaggio. Joe DiMaggio wore number 5.
This was just a thing for a long time. Now it’s a controversy. You see, Logan Morrison is switching to the number 5. Logan Morrison is a member of the Miami Marlins, who used to be the Florida Marlins. He’s wearing number 5 in honor of his dad, who idolized George Brett. George Brett wore number 5.
This wouldn’t really matter had the Marlins first gotten permission from Barger’s family. With permission, it would be a little unusual, but otherwise fine. They didn’t get permission. Here’s the embarrassing part. Joe Capozzi:
The Marlins said they had been trying for several months to reach the Barger family. But it took Heimeriks, the Post’s researcher, about 5 minutes on Monday.
Maybe the Marlins really had been trying to reach the Barger family for several months. Maybe the Barger family was just on a really long vacation. Maybe the Marlins are completely incompetent. More likely, the Marlins didn’t think this all the way through. More likely, they thought Morrison’s tribute idea was nice, and that was about the end of it.
I have to emphasize the fact that this just isn’t real important. We’re talking about a retired number. We’re talking about a retired number for a team president who never wore a number. It’s being un-retired for a worthy cause. Barger will have a plaque.
But this really doesn’t make the Marlins look good. They either come away looking incompetent, or they come away looking inconsiderate. A baseball organization doesn’t want to look like either of those things – especially a baseball organization that has made such a big deal about turning over a new leaf.