Last year’s Mariners team was unbelievably easy to love. Whether it was Dae-Ho’s delightful spirit, Leonys Martin chirping from the top step of the dugout, or the bonesaw, there was a joyful spirit emanating from the team that transferred to the fanbase. Even when they weren’t winning, they were still a fun team. They made it fun for 161 games, and if not for one very bad June, would have muscled their way into the wild card playoffs.
The 2017 Mariners, on the other hand, have been a bit of a slower bond. The injuries that have wracked the team have robbed them—and us—of the chance to develop any consistent team chemistry. Leonys Martin is in Tacoma, in a situation that feels sort of sad and icky even if it’s what makes the most baseball sense. Even for those of us who write about the team every day, we get the various relievers shuttled up and down from Tacoma confused (I consistently have Tyler Cloyd’s MiLB page open to the “transactions” list). Many of us still mourn Dae-Ho Lee, human ray of sunshine, even while grudgingly admitting okay having a defensively capable first baseman is fine.
Following a tough series against the new Team-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named a few weeks back, the Mariners’ morale might have been a little low as they got set to roll out for a week-long road trip. Thankfully for everyone involved—including a fanbase still learning to love this team—Dress-up Day intervened.
Last year, the Mariners slipped into something a little more comfortable for “dress where you’re from” day, which gave us the majesty of Nick Vincent’s fully zinc oxided nose, among other gems.
It turns out they were just getting warmed up. In honor of their recent road trip to Minnesota, this year’s dress-up theme was simple: Twins.
Behold the spectacle that is 2017’s decidedly monozygotic Dress-up Day:
This almost Boschian panorama encompasses the entire spectrum of human experience, transcending geography, era, and follicality.
It also features Mitch Haniger as half a camel.
Now with our most discerning eye, let’s delve into this extremely scientific ranking of Mariners Dress-up Day 2017.
Jean Segura and Edgar Martinez - Disco Guys (10 Dae-hos)
Bienvenidos a Miami sometime in the 1970’s. Our favorite part of this is the wig, which looks like if Orphan Annie had a rebellious phase against Daddy Warbucks and his fortune built on the military-industrial complex.
Danny Valencia and James Paxton - Canadian Tuxedo: Casual Summer Edition (9 Dae-hos)
Even though it is physically paining stylish Danny Valencia to wear this much light-wash denim, he is willing to take one for his teammate here, bad clubhouse guy rumors be hanged. Pax, meanwhile, looks entirely at home—maybe too at home.
Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia - Doctors (8 Dae-hos)
In his tenure as GM, Jerry Dipoto has made a concerted effort to acquire a bevy of dynamic, athletic outfielders. He, you could say, doesn’t want no scrubs. These two must have slipped through the cracks.
Whatever, we’d still watch this over Grey’s Anatomy.
Steve Cishek and Christian Bergman - Biker Dudes (7.5 Dae-hos)
We all know Steve Cishek is an affable goofball/Acting Team Dad, so getting to see him cosplay as the Son of Anarchy who mows his parents’ lawn every Sunday is pretty cute. Christian Bergman definitely already owned these vests. This is one time where drawing names out of a hat definitely worked out; here’s hoping these two sat together on the plane and shared their favorite terrible nu-metal bands with each other via Zune. Everyone needs a friend.
Edwin Díaz - Baywatch (7 Dae-hos)
Now if the recent remake of Baywatch had featured Edwin, it might have actually made its money back.
Nick Vincent and Ariel Miranda - Ice Cream Men (6.5 Dae-hos)
While it’s tough to beat Ariel-Carmen Miranda from last year’s rookie dress-up day, this refreshing little double scoop with righty counterpart Nick Vincent ought to keep things cool on a balmy June afternoon.
Tyler Smith and Drew Smyly - Alpine Lederhosen People (6 Dae-hos)
This costume demonstrates Tyler Smith’s ability to provide above-average kneefense at shortstop. And we’ve heard Smyly is an exquisite yodeler, his timbre unparalleled from the top of a pitching mound. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until after the All-Star break to hear it.
Tony Zych - Solo Surreptitious Camo Ninja (5.5 Dae-hos)
He’s hard to see at first, blending in seamlessly with his surroundings. “Who could this solo surreptitious camo ninja be,” we mused. And then we saw the eyes. The eyes never lie.
You must learn not to give yourself away so easily, young grasshopper.
James Pazos and Mike Hampton – 12s (5 Dae-hos)
It’s always nice to see a little cross-pollination in the Seattle sports world. Plus, to say Pazos and Hampton both have “linebacker neck” would be an understatement.
Manny Acta and Demon Clown No. 2 (Sam Gaviglio? Is that you, buddy?) (4.5 Dae-hos)
We’re not 100% certain that’s sweet baby angel Sam Gaviglio under that mask, but process of elimination/those brown eyes pleading from behind the mask of death incarnate indicate so. Poor Sam. But more importantly, poor us.
Mike Zunino and Fleming Baez - Umpires (4 Dae-hos)
Leave it to Mike Zunino to get excited about the most boring costume of all the costumes, even if he is rocking that baby-blue polo. But seriously, who wants to dress like an umpire, unless you have a thing for polyester and power trips. We are also befuddled by the initials on the sleeves; there is no active umpire with the initials “KS,” but I am going to pretend Fleming Baez’s there is “JW,” for Country Joe West, of course. OR WAIT, is it not “KS” but in fact “Ks”? Is Mike Zunino grinningly acknowledging his 40% strikeout rate? Also, way to go the extra mile with the tiny notepad and pen tucked into the shirt pocket there, Mike. What attention to detail.
Goalie Chickens - Marc Rzepczynski and for the purposes of this narrative, Carlos Ruíz, before he put on his cowboy outfit like he wanted to all along (3.5 Dae-hos)
MR: So like what should we dress up as, something totally rad and scary, right?
CR: No. This is my 87th dress-up day. I want something comfortable I can sit in on a plane ride. Here are two pairs of soft pajama-type onesies. They have cute little chicken faces, see? Very wacky. Very comfortable.
MR: Okay cool, rad, totally. Now how can we make that terrifying, really like you know, melt people’s faces off.
CR: Why can’t we just be chick—
MR: HOCKEY MASKS ARE SCARY
CR: [raises hand] I would like a new partner
Robinson Canó - “Pimp Daddy” (14 Dae-hos)
It’s unclear exactly who Robi’s twin is. For all we know, he might have had him killed. But we can only assume the wad of cash in his hand came from behind an insulation panel in the two story penthouse where he stores all his contract money.
Through all its ups and downs, this year’s team has been tough to love at times—even by Mariners standards. But moments like these show that this crew isn’t afraid of a little levity. It’s taken some time for the 2017 Mariners to gel, but they’re here now. Since Photo Day, they’re 8-4 and currently riding a six-game winning streak. More importantly, they seem to be having fun with each other.
Dae-ho would be proud.