Between Felix's sustained dominance, Pineda and Ackley proving to be everything we hoped they would be, and the acquisition of young players like Trayvon Robinson and Casper Wells, this has been a pretty fun season! It seems like everywhere you go, you hear people talkin' Mariners! In honor of this 2011 Mariner squad, I thought I'd look at which Mariners best represent the members of our fair team.
Brendan Ryan = Brendan Ryan. Remember the days of old Yuniesky Betancourt as our shortstop? Brendan Ryan, with his grit, awareness and athleticism is the polar opposite. We haven't seen a player like him since Brendan Ryan. Both Ryan and Ryan exhibit the basic qualities every fan expects from the shortstop position, but the similarities don't end there. You can tell how much both of them love the game, and don't forget... they both had a 'stache!
Miguel Olivo = Miguel Olivo. Miguel Olivo seems to have found a doppelganger in Miguel Olivo. Miguel can hit for power, but struggles to get on base. This is a lot like Miguel Olivo, who slugged 16 home runs in 2011, yet also claimed a .270 wOBA. Both men are known for being tough catchers, and despite the occasional difficulty, have still been a welcome change from Rob Johnson.
Brandon League = Brandon League. Brandon and Brandon have experience as set-up men as well as closers, have a remarkably similar pitching repertoire, and even have the same tattoos!
Jamey Wright = Jamey Wright. A 36-year old journeyman who came to the Mariners, had early success but ultimately produced a negative WAR? Exactly. Jamie Wright is Jamie Wright.
Jason Vargas = Jason Vargas. Forget that both players previously played on the Marlins and Mets. Forget that both were originally after-thoughts in multi-team trades that brought Franklin Gutierrez to the Seattle Mariners. Both men are lefties who stepped up on Father's Day to shutout Philadelphia. It's eery how much Jason Vargas is Jason Vargas.
Justin Smoak = Justin Smoak. Brought over in the Cliff Lee trade, Justin Smoak has been many things to many people: our team's savior, a bust, an argument as to why Zduriencik should be resigned or fired. In my mind, he's been Justin Smoak. Smoak, too, had a disappointing 2011 season, both due to his individual struggles and by how brightly his other young teammates shined in comparison. Of course, no one wants Justin Smoak to hit as poorly as Justin Smoak has, so I truly hope history proves me wrong with this one.
Mike Carp = Mike Carp. While studying Carp's 2011 stats, I noticed they looked familiar. See if you can tell which line is by which ballplayer:
You're forgiven if you got them backwards, but the first belongs to Mike Carp, while the second is Mike Carp's. Pretty similar, aren't they!
Franklin Gutierrez = Franklin Gutierrez. When all the talk happened about Guti being diagnosed with IBS, I was surprised that no one made the connection to Franklin Gutierrez, who also had IBS. Of course, the congruences don't end there. Both played an excellent center field for the Mariners in 2009, and even started their careers in Cleveland!
Kyle Seager = Kyle Seager. We all know that Kyle Seager played with Dustin Ackley in little league and college, but did you know that Kyle Seager did too? It's true! Right down to playing third base for the Mariners, these two guys have an awful lot in common.
I think that's most of 'em! Thanks for reading, and feel free to add your own below!