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Carl Barger’s family isn’t happy with No. 5 being unretired for Logan Morrison

Feb 13, 2012, 9:45 PM EDT

Logan Morrison

We learned over the weekend that the Marlins were unretiring No. 5 so that Logan Morrison could wear it in memory of his father. Nice story, right? Turns out it’s a bit more complicated.

According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the family of former Marlins’ president Carl Barger didn’t hear from the team before the announcement was made.

The Marlins retired No. 5 before the franchise’s first game in honor of Barger, who died while attending the winter meetings in December of 1992. No. 5 was chosen because Joe DiMaggio was Barger’s favorite player.

“It’s disappointing. He gave his life to the Marlins,’ said Betzi Barger, who’s father Carl Barger was the Marlins’ team president from July 8, 1991 until his death on Dec. 9, 1992.

“Nobody (from the Marlins) has contacted us,’ Betzi Barger said when contacted Monday by The Palm Beach Post. “It’s just a disappointment but there’s nothing we can do. We’re sorry we didn’t find out about it except from you.’

Marlins president David Samson said it was his understanding that the Bargers had signed off on the plan, so this wasn’t a matter of Morrison enthusiastically jumping the gun. The Marlins still plan to honor Barger with a plaque at the ballpark and want his family to attend the unveiling, but Barger’s daughter isn’t sure if they’ll go. And unless there’s a pretty good explanation for the misunderstanding, it’s hard to blame them.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    If anyone deserves to have a number unretired for them its Logan Morrison. Although its more for his ability to make an ass of himself on twitter than his ability on the field.

  2. seanb20124 - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Sour grapes

    • JBerardi - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Besides being kinda classless, that’s not even what “sour grapes” means:

      “Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’ People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.

      If the Barger family said that no. 5 was a stupid crappy number and they never liked it in the first place, that would be sour grapes.

  3. ptfu - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    The Marlins unretired much bigger numbers when they raised their payroll and signed everybody. Unretiring little #5 is a drop in the bucket.

    Apparently Marlins management is tone-deaf to their own extended family too. So it goes.

  4. Glenn - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    I thought retiring numbers was for ever. Un-retiring them cheapens the whole process.

  5. dad4dds - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    I do not believe numbers should be retired. Find another way to honor people.

    • ptfu - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Yeah, let’s overturn 70+ years of tradition because you say so without even giving a reason. Who needs a simple classy understated way of honoring team contributors? Nobody deserves a retired number, not even the simple classy understated guy who was the first to receive the honor. Go ahead, tell the Yankees they should re-issue #4 and forget Lou Gehrig.

      • cktai - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:21 AM

        Who would forget Lou Gehrig if #4 was not retired?

      • purnellmeagrejr - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        LOu WHo?

    • cktai - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:19 AM

      I tend to agree with this. Retiring numbers is hardly an effective way to honour people. Wearing their number is a much greater tribute. The number 5 was retired in the first place because Bargens associated himself with that number, yet it takes away the possibility for anyone else to associate himself with that number.

      In baseball, people used to wear 42 as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, however by retiring his number throughout the game, you take away this possibility. In football, when Ajax retired number 14, Cruijff mentioned he much rather wanted his number to be reserved for the clubs biggest talents. Manchester United does something like that with their number 7. After Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham wore it, Ferguson persuaded Christiano Ronaldo to wear the number to show his immense promise as a player, and he certainly repaid that trust, in his years at the club.

      Great players are remembered for what they did, not for their number. The only thing that retiring numbers does, is take away the possibility for players to play tribute to their heroes.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Feb 14, 2012 at 6:02 AM

        Wow, comparing a piss-ant like Ronaldo to Jackie Robinson is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

        Jackie Robinson was one the great, iconic people in history. Ronaldo is a punk along the likes of Logan Morrison, who thinks his status as a player allows him to be a complete dick to everyone around him, and then cry when someone calls him out on it. Typical Man U, glory-hunting fan.

        For those not familiar with soccer, Man U fan = Yankes fan + band wagon + narcissism.

      • cktai - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        Normally I would a comment like that slide, but I feel compelled to react.

        First things first, I did not compare Christiano Ronaldo with Jackie Robinson, I compared Bryan Robson to Jackie Robinson. They are legends on their own right. These are the players the numbers refer to, not the one wearing them now. I compared C. Ronaldo to the likes of Bruce Sutter and Mo Vaughn and Mariano Rivera.

        Second, although I honestly dislike C. Ronaldo, there is no denying that he is one of the best footballers around. A baseball player with his personality and skill would certainly stand a chance of having his number retired and would be a dead-lock for the hall of fame.

        Third, I don’t support Man Utd, I support PSV. Just because someone uses an example does not mean that he has to be a fan of a club. Most supporters have a wider range of knowledge about the sports they follow.

      • kellyb9 - Feb 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        *Soccer. (sorry couldn’t help it)

  6. ningenito78 - Feb 14, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Wait. What? Hate to sound insensitive but this guy was with the organization for about a year. How was that number retired and considered sacred? I mean get over yourself daughter. Your dad would understand. Trust me.

  7. ningenito78 - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    ‘He gave his life to the Marlins’. Really? About 16 or 17 months and he ‘gave his life’. Yikes. I’m sure he would be thrilled to hear people trying to piggyback an entire life worth of accomplishments onto a year and a half of work because his clueless daughter thinks he’s being screwed. Nice.

  8. dad4dds - Feb 14, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    They should do statues and have a ring of names around the park. Eventually you will run out of numbers. Unretireing a number is not a disgrace. I don’t think any true fan is going to forget anyone.

  9. vincentbojackson - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    No question the family should have been involved, but their reaction seems a bit dramatic. He never actually wore the number so it strikes me as a bad idea to have retired it in the first place. Name the clubhouse or press box after the guy instead.

    Both sides look bad here. Doesn’t anybody take the high road anymore?

  10. hushbrother - Feb 14, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    IMHO that’s a dumb reason to retire a number. Honor the guy some other way.

  11. lyon810 - Feb 14, 2012 at 5:52 AM

    As if they wouldn’t have done this anyhow had they signed Pujols.

  12. gallaghedj311 - Feb 14, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    I’m so confused. 1991-1992? I know I’m not a baseball guy, but I thought the marlins weren’t a team til 1994???

  13. badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 14, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    I can’t get past the fact that anyone would spell their kid’s name “Betzi.”

  14. damnyankee13 - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    hey Baseball idiot, your name says it all , you are a complete. blathering idiot

  15. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Never should have “retired” it in the first place. They named the street going into the stadium, Carl Barger Drive. That’s good enough, don’t you think? The fact that a grown man (Barger) had such an unhealthy obsession with another, even older man (DiMaggio), has always seemed a little creepy to me anyway.

  16. bananaballs - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    I believe number retiring should be reserved for exceptional players who played in those numbers. In this particular case, I don’t think the number 5 should’ve ever been retired in the first place. Honor the guy in some other way besides taking a number off the table that he never played in.

  17. Old Gator - Feb 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    I’m sorry, I must have been asleep. Did something happen?

  18. Jonny 5 - Feb 14, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    It was dumb to have Joe D’s number retired in honor of Barger anyway. I don’t get it. What’s wrong with a season of wearing a “CB” patch? Also the daughter must not realize they named all the practice fields after him too. IMO she’s being a brat.

  19. purnellmeagrejr - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Maybe they should have retired his favorite seer sucker suit.

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