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A Neat Sports Friendship: The Marco Gonzales-Wade LeBlanc Chronicles

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A tale as old as time...or at least Instagram

Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Editor’s note: We will be using exclusively header photos including Jean Segura until the Final Vote period ends. If you’d like to vote for Jean, please do so here!

If you’ve been snooping around the Mariners’ social media accounts lately, you may have noticed something of a pattern. It appears as though some of the team members — most notably starting pitchers Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales — have formed a close bond, close enough to share their inside jokes with the entire world. But are these so-called “inside jokes” truly harmless? And what role does this humor have in the Mariners’ strong performance in the last month?

Using our extensive resources and deep, deep pockets here at Lookout Landing, I searched through hundreds of documents, issued dozens of subpoenas, and interrogated multiple characters in this affair. I now present to you: The Bromance Chronicles.

Exhibit A: The Prelude

Jealousy, run amok. A one-way friendship that hurts feelings and puts others on edge. It all started back in early June, when Mr. LeBlanc lashed out at Mr. Gonzales.

Wade, to Marco: “Remember that time you never tagged me in your cool pics that im in?”

Looking back, this is clearly a sign of things to come.

Exhibit B: The Opener

Amped. #TrueToTheBlue

A post shared by Seattle Mariners (@mariners) on

Marco: “neat!!”

Wade: “can confirm that was, in fact, neat!” (wade back to marco)

This is the first evidence of any sort of back-and-forth, and clearly a harbinger of the comments to come. A friendship? An inside joke? A blood-pact to maintain tidy habits? Only time would tell.

Sidebar I: The Adorable (and Slightly Oblivious?) Canadian

There are two ways of interpreting this post:

  1. James is implying that this inside joke/team dare has officially launched.
  2. James is oblivious to the commenting feud happening above him and is just trying to encourage his teammates.

If it’s the former, then I love it. If it’s the latter...oh, James, you really are something special.

Exhibits C & D: Ramping Up

In the midst of a strong stretch for the Mariners, Wade and Marco appear to be at it again. It may seem obvious to cheer for “good sports” and “neat performance[s],” but perhaps these major leaguers simply want to keep the momentum going. If sports it is, then neat it must be.

Regardless, however, their teammates are now getting in on the action. The inside joke is slowly trickling out.

June 16 [Wade’s IG]: “Sports!! What a game ” (mitch to wade)

Exhibit E: The Catchphrase

Move over, Stan “The Man” Musial. You should’ve specified. Wade “The Sportsman” LeBlanc is here to steal your thunder.

Sidebar II: Ryon Healy Messes With the Wrong Middle Infielders

When you sift through this many Instagram posts, you come across some real gems (and a whole lot of random trolling comments). This is, without a doubt, my favorite comment thread of the season.

Over the past four years we’ve seen Robinson Canó lay claim to nearly all infield popups. He’s an excellent fielder of them, which is nice, but it also sheds insight into the hierarchy of infielders. Veterans lay claim to fielding percentage boosting gimmies. In the power vacuum of Canó’s absence, Ryon is the odd bro out.

Other adorable moments from the Mariners supporting cast include:

Exhibit F: Back to the Future

Turn Ahead the Clock Night went over spectacularly in Mariners fandom, so it’s reassuring to know that the players were even willing to bend their inside jokes to the theme.

Victory complete. #TurnAheadTheClock

A post shared by Seattle Mariners (@mariners) on

Now the team account is even getting involved!

It must be noted that no scarier Mariners’ chimera-esque combination could exist than Wade LeBlanc affixed with Nelson Cruz’s massive upper limbs. He might even touch 89 mph.

Exhibit G: Cross-Platform Pollination

Marco may be a hugely active Instagrammer, but he’s equally dedicated to putting in work on the Twitter front. Hard not to appreciate this.

Although I do think this is worthy of debate: Should we be encouraging Wade to join the dark and oft-depressing world of Twitter dot com? Honestly, if we get more of these moments, then I would say it’s 100% worth it.

Exhibit H: Standing On Guard for Canada Day Shenanigans

In honor of James Paxton’s dominant performance on Canada Day (and his bobblehead game!), Marco and Wade decided to pay him a few compliments.

There is no greater achievement than to be above-average. Congratulations, James, from two sportsmen to another.

Exhibit I: Wade Gets An Extension

Just about a week ago, the Mariners announced a well-deserved extension for Wade. Let’s just say Marco was very happy to see this. (And read on for more praise from other teammates!)

What a neat day! #thanktheLord #GodisGood #SPORTS

A post shared by Wade LeBlanc (@wleblanc23) on

Congratulations to Wade showing impressive versatility, using his sports arm for writing as well.

Exhibit J: Wade Steals Our Hearts (and Vita Vea’s Too)

The culmination of a brotherhood, a friendship forged in fire and fun.

There are more vital storylines in the Mariners’ success this season, but a constant refrain from observers and insiders has been how James Paxton, Marco Gonzales, and Wade LeBlanc have been three of the most pro-active adopters of the advanced technology available to help them refine their performance. It’s nice to see them enjoying using technology of a different sort together too. Pretty neat, even.