Entering the season, Matt Thornton changed his number from 54 to 53. What follows comes courtesy of a fluent Japanese speaker:
Let me elaborate: There are different ways to read numbers in Japanese. The proper way to read fifty-four would be gojuh-shi (rendered into English phonetics that would be something like go-joo-she). The Japanese often read numbers literally as five-four or go-shi. Since shi is a homonym for "die" in Japanese, go-shi could be interpreted as "die five times" or mixed with English could mean "go die."
Now, 53 read as five-three in Japanese is go-mi (pronounced "go-me"). Taken as separate syllables, that doesn't mean anything in Japanese, but when put together they form the word gomi which is Japanese for garbage.
Maybe the team knows more than they are letting on.
Here are a series of season predictions from a few people I like (myself included). I'd like to point out that I'm more optimistic about the Mariners than these other guys appear to be.