Congratulations, Willie Bloomquist

I mean that. I'm long past the point of delighting in Willie's failure, because I reserve most of my ill will for bad Mariners who cost a lot of money. Willie Bloomquist was a pretty bad Mariner, but he did not cost a lot of money, nor has he been a Mariner for a while. Willie Bloomquist hasn't been a Mariner since Jeremy Reed was a Mariner, or since Miguel Cairo was a Mariner. Oh man, those Mariners had Willie Bloomquist and Miguel Cairo. Anyway. Willie recently declined a $1.1 million 2012 option with the Diamondbacks. Today:

Diamondbacks re-signed INF-OF Willie Bloomquist to a two-year, $3.8 million contract.

That's a raise, and twice the yearly commitment! Willie played his cards right. Or Willie's agent played his cards right. Holy fuck, Willie Bloomquist's agent is Scott Boras. I know I knew that before, but it's stunning to be reminded. Everybody slums. Alternatively, everybody needs a challenge. Willie Bloomquist is like a Scott Boras brain game to ward off early Alzheimer's.

I'm not posting this to make fun of the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks could be made fun of - they guaranteed two years to Willie Bloomquist shortly after guaranteeing two years to John McDonald, and last November they guaranteed two years to Geoff Blum. The Diamondbacks have Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald, and Geoff Blum. That's silly, but that's also the predictable angle, and there will be enough people exploring that angle without my involvement.

Rather, I'm posting this because the recent Bloomquist rumors brought something back to my attention:

Year Tm PA AB H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2008 SEA 192 165 46 1 0 0 25 29 .279 .377 .285 .662
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/9/2011.


Remember that? I remember that happening in the way that looking at the numbers jogs my memory, but I didn't remember that off the top of my head. I had to be reminded by Baseball-Reference that, in Willie Bloomquist's final year as a Seattle Mariner, he posted an OBP of .377, and a slugging percentage of .285.

It isn't just that he posted a slugging percentage of .285, either. It's that he posted a slugging percentage of .285 and a batting average of .279. That's good for an isolated slugging percentage of .006. Here's Willie's 2008 tally of extra-base hits:

Ground-rule double (fly ball to deep LF line)

That's it. One automatic double against Alan Embree on July 10th. He came to the plate 192 times.

Setting a minimum of 150 plate appearances, Willie's 2008 ISO is tied for the lowest single-season ISO during the expansion era, dating back to 1961. Glenn Beckert came in at .006 in 1974. Luis Gomez came in at .006 in 1974. There were not extra-base hits in 1974. It was the season of singles. There was a book written about 1974, titled The Season Of Singles. Willie Bloomquist read it so often he got it memorized.

And then the .377 OBP. Willie Bloomquist finished the season with one extra-base hit, and he posted a higher OBP than Carlos Beltran. He posted a higher OBP than Dustin Pedroia. He posted a higher OBP than Ian Kinsler, Justin Morneau and Grady Sizemore. Obviously Willie had a very limited sample of plate appearances, and obviously he wouldn't have sustained a .377 OBP over a full year, but .377 is the number that will forever show on his stat pages, and it's incredible. Willie walked 13% of the time he came to the plate. Over the rest of his career, the figure drops to less than half of that.

Willie Bloomquist's 2008 season as a Mariner stands as one of the stranger seasons I've ever seen. He'll never do it again, so I'm thankful that he got himself in the news so I could have my memory jogged. Good luck to Willie as he continues his career with the Diamondbacks, because whatever, he's inoffensive, and who cares about the Diamondbacks? The Diamondbacks gave two years and 3.8 million dollars to Willie Bloomquist, for God's sake.

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