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Drayer: With new role, Edgar Martinez will get family time back and still be part of Mariners

Edgar Martinez has a new role with the Mariners away from the everyday coaching staff. (AP)

When Edgar Martinez first took the job of Mariners hitting coach, he joked that with his kids in school and wife Holli working full-time, he was bored and needed something to do. He felt the time was right. He was curious to see if he could make the adjustment to full-time big league coach, and for 3 1/2 years he enjoyed the opportunity to work with big league players and coaches.

Edgar steps down as Mariners hitting coach, takes on new role

For coaches, however, the grind of the Major League season is perhaps even more extreme than for the players. They are first to arrive, the last to leave, and have little downtime before the start of games. For Edgar, the hours added up and in the end, the balance was off.

“It can be tough,” Edgar said on a conference call with reporters following Tuesday’s announcement he would step down as hitting coach and take a new role with the club.

“The situation is when you come home late at night, your whole family is sleeping. In my case I get up early in the morning so I can see the kids and Holli and then they are gone the whole day. Then I come home at night and it is the same again. Also we travel, we are away. My situation I thought at this time in life I probably would rather choose to be around a little more while mainly the girls are growing up.”

Edgar will be around home more in the new role of organizational hitting advisor with the Mariners. He will continue to spend a good amount of time with the big league club, being on-hand before games to assist where needed as well as be available for special projects in the minor leagues and one-on-one coaching.

“The thought behind it was I wanted to have more of a flexible schedule,” he said. “At this point I thought if I could have an ideal situation where I could spend some time with an MLB team and help in expanding other roles, working some with minor leaguers and assisting the minor league hitting coaches and working with the mental skills and high-performance area. It’s a broad role that allows me to be home more but at the same time be tied to the team and part of it.”

Make no mistake – Edgar said a part of him will miss what he has done for the past 3 1/2 years.

“I enjoyed working with the players,” he said. “We have great guys in the clubhouse, great coaching staff. Being around is going to help. I am glad I tried it, the time I spent with the guys and the coaches, it was a lot of fun.”

With any luck, a good amount of extra time now on Edgar’s 2019 schedule will be taken up with Hall of Fame activities. Having received 70.4 percent of the vote in 2017, the hope is he will reach the 75 percent required for election in his final year of eligibility for Cooperstown.

“I have no control over it,” he said. “There is not much I can do, just wait. Hopefully it goes in the right direction. I am realistic and know there is a chance it could never happen. So far I am still thinking it’s a chance it could happen, but if it doesn’t there’s not much I can do about it. We just have to wait and see.”

One distraction for a least a couple of weeks will be a trip to Japan for the MLB Japan All-Star Series from Nov. 8-15, where Edgar will be a member of manager Don Mattingly’s coaching staff. It turns out that in addition to the baseball, Edgar will get good family time on the trip as well. When the opportunity was presented to him, he told his wife that while it would be fun, after the long baseball season he was looking forward to the time off. It turns out he got outvoted by the family.

“She and the kids said, ‘No, we are going.’ Pretty much that makes the decision for me,” he said with a laugh.

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