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Top 50 Mariner Moments, 2007: #17

July 1st: Jose Guillen bounces a walk-off single through the left side of the infield, giving Mike Hargrove a win in his final game.

Box score & PBP

Game thread


The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I've already said everything I wanted to write about this.

I remember back in 2005, after we DFA'd Bret Boone and subsequently dealt him to Minnesota, my brother asked me why people were getting so sentimental over losing a guy who wasn't helping the team win, and who many of us had wanted to see go away for a long time. From an outsider's perspective, he thought that people would be ecstatic, not sad and emotional.

I think some people are probably wondering the same thing right now. And while Hargrove has never meant as much to this franchise as Boone did during his peak, to me, the answer is the same. When you have a guy who's been around for so long, he becomes a part of the team, and even if you're not a big fan of his performance, you almost always become a fan of the person himself. We're all so devoted to the Mariners that the players and coaches practically feel like teammates or even decent friends, people you make fun of from time to time but who, when it comes down to it, you're always rooting for to come through in the end. We want every single Mariner to succeed, and that's why it's been a little depressing to see Boone and Hargrove leave on terms that you know weren't really their own. Boone didn't choose to get old overnight and Hargrove didn't choose to lose his passion, but once they happened there was nothing either man could do, forcing them out of the organization sooner than they ever wanted. Seeing the end is always an unfortunate realization, and the emotion is warranted.  

Tearful, heartfelt goodbyes are never pleasant, but if it's any consolation to Grover, he's probably going out on the highest note of any manager in Mariner history. While there are a lot of things I won't miss about his time in Seattle, and while the team may be better off without him, he was still part of the family, and it's too bad he doesn't get to ride this out until whatever end awaits. I wish him the best of luck. Mike, you'll never be ripped on a blog again for the rest of your life. Rejoice. There are upsides to everything.

Mike Hargrove is one of very few people who can truthfully say that they ended their Major League careers with a perfect moment.

Honorable Mentions