Until now, I never felt compelled to think about whether or not liking a team makes one obligated to support every individual member of said team. In a way, I think it does - sports are about what happens on the field, not off it, so I don't think a guy's personality is that big of a deal, as long as it doesn't have an adverse effect on the team's success. Everyone here just wants to see the Mariners win a championship, and if doing so came with the requirement that the team harbor one "bad guy" for the duration of the season, I'm sure all of us would take it. It's not like we'd have to deal with that guy in person or anything. Besides, how many championships have the Mariners won lately with their choir boy rosters? Maybe we need someone like this.
And yet...I still feel a little dirty saying that, because Carl Everett has said and done a lot of awful things, and even if he's a changed man these days, that shouldn't make up for his history. He's probably one of the last people who deserves so many chances to prove that he has nothing left in the tank, especially for more money than I'll see in two lifetimes.
And so I'll have to alter my approach. Last year, I didn't like having Matt Thornton on the roster, but I rooted for him when he appeared in games in the hopes that he'd prove me wrong and carve himself out an effective career as a Mariner reliever. This is different. I don't like having Carl Everett on the roster, but like anyone on the team, I'll cheer for him when I have to. But I don't want him to come back. I don't want him to be so good that Bavasi triggers the 2007 club option. I want him to do his thing in Seattle, hopefully helping the team win a few games, and then be on his way out next November. And if he totally sucks out of the gate, I'll be pissed that he's dragging the offense down, but I won't be upset in the least when he gets kicked to the curb by July.
Carl Everett is a Mariner. He's not the worst player in the world. He's (usually) a left-handed bat who can send 20 balls into the right field bleachers. Even at his 2005 level of production, he'll still be better than a lot of the guys who made out after out in Seattle last summer, so at least in that respect, he's an improvement. And hey, he played for last year's World Champion, so maybe some of that experience will rub off on the younger guys.
Maybe Carl and Jamie will become best friends.
So it is.
Now find us a starter, Bill.