We all remember that strange final interview in the Mariners locker room before Bret Boone eventually made his way to Minnesota. He'd last less than a month in the Twin Cities, and then would never play the game again. It all felt awfully surreal to watch a man at the peak of the game fall so suddenly, so unspeakably hard. There were all sorts of rumors surrounding his quick departure, I won't give them the light of day here, but you could just tell there was so much weight upon the man's back.
Recently, with an autobiography coming out soon, revelations about Bret's life have started to come to light as he has allowed his personal life to become more transparent. In the book, where Bret staunchly denies the use of performance enhancing drugs, Boone reveals his struggles stemmed from an uncontrollable alcoholism. While the book is still unreleased, we all hope that the ending, his present circumstance of being in control of this devastating addiction, carries forward for him.
I remember Bret for what he did in that second stint in Seattle. If it wasn't for his teammate, Ichiro, winning Rookie of the Year and the MVP in 2001, the MVP was Bret's alone. His 2001 season saw him put out nearly 7.8 fWAR while bashing 37 home runs and running a .331 average at second base. He absolutely laid waste to the MLB during those early 00's seasons when the Mariners were doing the same. His opposite field power feels almost unmatched in the modern era, and his defense was hard nosed, exuberant. He'd go on to win four Gold Gloves and appear in three All Star games.
By all accounts, Bret is a hell of a guy. We wish him the best going forward and hope that he can continue to maintain control of his life in the face of a terrible and debilitating disease. He is, undoubtedly, a Mariner legend being attached to those "Two Outs So What" and "SoDo Mojo" teams of the Early Aughts.
From the frosted tips to the bat flips, he was a unique and fun player and person in a Mariner uniform. We wish him the best going forward.
We love you, Booney.
PS - If you have a spare half hour on this Friday, this will give you all the Feels -