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Yuni vs. his predecessors, part 8 March 13, 2008

Posted by Brad in commentary, stats.
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Here he is, the second-best-nicknamed Mariners shortstop of all time.

1994-1995: Felix Fermin
Stats: .275/.302/.326 in 579 at bats over two seasons with the M’s. No triples.
Place in M’s fandom: Slight. He had the misfortune of being traded with Reggie Jefferson for Omar Vizquel. Fermin wasn’t a complete butcher in the field, and hit an (empty) .317 in 1994. Yet, no one here wanted him. A Seattle Times article from 1994 makes it plain.
GM Woody Woodward on the trade: “How do you think I feel?… We develop a great player in our system and then we have to trade him for payroll. Trading Omar Vizquel is a knock on baseball.”
Ken Griffey, Jr.: “Felix isn’t as fluid as Omar… but who in baseball is?”
Manager Lou Piniella: “I miss Omar… but if we had him we wouldn’t have a No. 4 pitcher in the rotation.” (By the way, the M’s #4 pitcher in 1994 was Greg Hibbard, who was 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA in the strike-shortened season.)
Fermin on Omar: “I don’t want to say nothing about Omar… He is a Gold Glove, he is No. 1… I will get more hits on the AstroTurf of the Kingdome, and I will make fewer errors… I can’t explain to you how bad the field in the old park was in Cleveland. It is the worst one in the American League.” Clearly, Fermin layed the seeds for Ichiro’s hatred of Cleveland.
Fermin on Alex Rodriguez: “I know Alex Rodriguez is the shortstop of the future… they may want to give him the job in 1995. But right now, it belongs to me. And that feels real good.” Remember, he said this before he’d played a regular season game with the M’s. Felix, like everyone else, knew he was temporary.
My only lasting memory of Fermin is his nickname “El Gato.” Now he’s just the second-best Felix to wear an M’s uniform.
Wikipedia/Google: Wikipedia says Fermin got his nickname due to his quick reflexes, but that’s a lie. He got it because there was a better Felix that was a cat.
Fermin now manages the Águilas Dominican winter league team, which has won the past two Dominican championships. This past season, his team included Miguel Tejada, Tony Pena, and Rafael Furcal. That’s a lot of shortstops. There video of Fermin as a manager on YouTube. He sounds like a manager giving a bland press conference.
Fermin’s also been a coach for the Akron Aeros in the Indians organization.

Felix Fermin was a stopgap shortstop, but he was better than future M’s stopgap shortstops Pokey Reese and Wilson Valdez. He did have a better nickname than Yuniesky Betancourt, but only because there aren’t any cute cartoon characters named Yuniesky.

Tomorrow: Another stopgap

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