Fourth-wall-breaking-congenial-authorial-disclosure: I had a great big philosophical rumination on fandom and losing streaks all ready to go for this morning, but the team went and ruined my fun by winning two legitimately exciting games. Don't weep for me, though, dear reader; I'll just use it next week when the next losing streak is underway. Instead, I've put together this frivolous little celebration of Marinerdom.
What I present to you is a selection of Mariners uniform numbers as represented by the current generation, as well as that of fame and infamy. Will Carlos Triunfel someday represent jersey #1? Will Kendrys Morales become synonymous with eight the way Griffey encompasses #24? All evaluations are based on my own subjective opinion, since I was too lazy to look up every last WAR value for each player. Feel free to make your own case in the comments.
Current Player: None
Best player: Jeff Leonard
Worst player: Jeff Leonard
Little known fact: Jeff Leonard is the only person to have their number retired as a Mariner. Not by the team, but by the players, who know in their hearts they could never be as Jeff Leonard as Jeff Leonard. Al Martin tried one afternoon, and ended up on the 15-day DL.
Current Player: Carlos Triunfel
Best player: Glenallen Hill
Worst player: Eric Byrnes
The number one seems to be a middle infield kind of number. I'm not sure if that's true for everyone, but it's certainly true of the M's, who have Ramon Santiago, Rey Sanchez and Dave Edler among others on the roster. Is that a thing?
Will Carlos Triunfel Be the Greatest? I don't know. Maybe? Glenallen Hill wins this award on personality alone, but the rest of this list is wretched, a cast of driftwood and broken shopping carts. Maybe the number is cursed? How did Carlos get assigned it? Was there a clubhouse manager with a wispy gray mustache and a single gleaming eye?
Current Player: Jesus Sucre
Best player: Kenji Johjima
Worst player: Miguel Ojeda
Weird that both these names are catchers. Other decent names on the list: Randy Winn, Jack Wilson.
Will Jesus Sucre be the Greatest? I don't think anyone expects Sucre to be as good as Criminally Underappreciated Kenji Johjima. Hell, we'd all be happy if he were better than Miguel Ojeda.
Current Player: None. Sorry, Robert Andino :(
Best Player: Alex Rodriguez
Worst Player: See Both Players Listed Above
Current Player: Carlos Peguero
Best Player: Harold Reynolds
Worst Player: Carlos Peguero
Jose Lopez also wore numero quarto, as did second baseman version of Danny Tartabull. Are all these players choosing these numbers because they match their position? If so, shame on you, athletes from long ago who will never, never read this. Shame on you for your unoriginality.
Will Carlos Peguero Be The Greatest? Only for half-second flickers deep within the REM sleep of Jack Zduriencik, as he drools out the words "plus power" into his pillow before his sleep apnea startles him back into consciousness.
Current Player: None
Best Player: John Olerud
Worst Player: Eric Anthony
There are arguments to be made here, if you're an argumentative person. You've got one year of Adrian Beltre and one year of young Bret Boone on the plus side. You've got three years of Yuniesky and two of Vidro on the minus side. And you've got two years of Mike Sweeney on the hugs side. But I don't have to defend myself to you. My disdain for Eric Anthony exceeds your pathetic attempts at quantification.
Current Player: None
Best Player: Dan Wilson
Worst Player: John Moses
Dan Wilson wins this one going away, and I'm not even a big Dan Wilson fan. On the opposite side, we don't talk enough about how awful John Moses was. And we shouldn't start now. Article ideas are hard enough to come by.
Current Player: Kelly Shoppach
Best Player: Spike Owen
Worst Player: Dan Meyer
Spike Owen is like the mid-80s Mariner equivalent of Dave Concepcion, which I believe is the saddest sentence that I've ever written. Kevin Mitchell and Jeff Cirillo also wore number seven, if getting your hopes and dreams crushed is one of your things.
Will Kelly Shoppach Be The Greatest? No. You know how when the M's traded Cliff Lee, and everyone talked about how it would be such an interesting piece of trivia about how Cliff Lee was once a Seattle Mariner? No one will ever say that about Kelly Shoppach.
Current Player: Kendrys Morales
Best Player: Carlos Guillen
Worst Player: Carl Everett
I often tell people that one of my regrets was getting into baseball writing so late, when I was already in my thirties. Mostly, I feel this way whenever I want to write and I have to go to bed early for work or clean my gutters. It also happens whenever I think about Carl Everett. Instead, all I have is this.
Will Kendrys Morales Be The Greatest? If he somehow re-signs, it's pretty much guaranteed. If he doesn't... well, it would be close. But he'll never replace Rich Amaral in my heart.
Current Player: Endy Chavez
Best Player: Ruppert Jones
Worst Player: Chone Figgins
Number 9 is the magic number for defensive replacements, including Scott Podsednik, Quinton McCracken and Jason "Invisible Man" Ellison. Among them, and only among them, Endy Chavez is king.
Will Endy Chavez Be The Greatest? No, but thanks for being here, Endy. I really do mean that.