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Morning Briefing: Alex Rodriguez pays tribute to Edgar Martinez

Hall of Fame Martinez Baseball
Edgar Martinez with the Mariners in 2001.
(Associated Press)

Edgar Martinez, who was the great third baseman/designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners from 1987 to 2004, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y. And former teammate Alex Rodriguez couldn’t be happier.

“When I was 18 years old and in my first days with the Mariners,” Rodriguez told ESPN, “Edgar Martinez complimented me to one of the beat writers who covered the team. When I saw it in print the next day, I went to a corner store, bought a pair of scissors and marker, and carefully highlighted and cut out the quote. I taped that shard of newspaper to the lower right-hand corner of the bathroom mirror in my apartment, and when friends would visit, I would point out the clipping and show them what he said.

“His words carried so much weight because of who he is — a great hitter, sure, a Hall of Famer, but a gentle person of substance and soul.

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“The funny thing was that when I first joined the Mariners, a team saturated with stars, he was an afterthought for me. I couldn’t wait to be around Ken Griffey Jr., the greatest player on the planet. ... But it turned out that Edgar was the teammate that I would stalk, in trying to learn about the craft.”

No Conor for Masvidal

UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal became the talk of the MMA world when he defeated Ben Askren in a record five seconds earlier this month. Now he has his sights set on Conor McGregor. It certainly would be one of the biggest fights of this year or next. There is one big obstacle though: UFC President Dana White.

“Hell no,” White told TMZ when he was asked about a potential Masvidal-McGregor matchup. “Masvidal is too big for Conor. There’s plenty of fights for [Masvidal] in his weight division without Conor. He’s too big for Conor. [McGregor] doesn’t belong at 170 [pounds].”

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McGregor (21-4) is a former 145- and 155-pound UFC champion who has fought only once in the UFC in the last 32 months — a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018.

McGregor has said in the past that he wants a rematch with Nurmagomedov, who is scheduled to defend his title against Dustin Poirier on Sept. 7.

“I think [McGregor] will be back this year or early next year,” White said. “We’ll see how this whole thing plays out in September.

Part of history

If you’re like me, when you think “Winter Olympics” and “historic places” your mind automatically turns to New Hampshire. OK, maybe not. But it will now that the Nansen Ski Jump in Milan, N.H., has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1938, the 65-meter Nansen Ski Jump was the largest in the U.S. at the time. Officials said Wednesday it was placed on the register because of its architecture and its place in U.S. sports history. It has been home to national ski jumping championships and to Olympic qualifying events. Which brings up a question: How do you practice ski jumping without killing yourself on the first attempt? But I digress ...

According to the Associated Press, the ski jump was part of a planned bid by New Hampshire to host the 1944 Winter Olympics, but the bid never came to fruition after the Games were canceled because of World War II.


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