All-time Mariners field quite the lineup
Saturday, July 16, 2011
There have been no World Series titles, no American League pennants, and no Hall of Famers — yet. At least none who cut their teeth with the franchise.
But with the Mariners in the middle of their 35th season, there have been plenty of great moments and a fair number of great players. So why not take a moment to choose the franchise’s all-time All-Star team?
Here are one man’s selections, listed with the player’s years in Seattle:
C — Dan Wilson, 1994-2005
Wilson wins largely by default, having spent 12 years with the club, including 11 as a regular. A marginal hitter and a decent fielder, Wilson caught 1,237 games for Seattle. Dave Valle is next on the list with 798 games caught.
1B — Alvin Davis, 1984-91
The franchise’s first real player of note, Davis ranks fourth in team history in RBI. John Olerud was a better player at his best with the Mariners, but Davis was there a bit longer.
2B — Bret Boone, 1992-93, 2001-05
Boone spent his first two major-league seasons in Seattle, and when he returned years later he was a much different player. Wonder what changed.
3B — Adrian Beltre, 2005-09
Jim Presley has played more games at third base than anybody in franchise history, with Beltre second.
Presley was the reason the Mariners didn’t give Edgar Martinez a chance as a regular until he was 27, even though Martinez hit .344 in four seasons at Triple-A. Jim Presley was a lousy major-league player.
SS — Alex Rodriguez, 1994-2000
At his best, like in 1996 and 2000, Rodriguez was the best player the Mariners have ever had. Yes, even better than Ken Griffey Jr. He now has played one more year and 300-some more games with the Yankees than he did with the Mariners, and likely will go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee. That somehow doesn’t seem fair.
LF — Raul Ibanez, 1996-2000, 2004-08
Ibanez played sparingly during his first stint with Seattle, and he didn’t hit when he did play. He was terrific during his second tour with the club, driving in 338 runs from 2006-08.
CF — Ken Griffey Jr., 1989-99, 2009-10
Not a lot can be said about Griffey that hasn’t been said, so how about this factoid: Ken Griffey Jr. is the second-best player born on Nov. 21 in Donora, Pa. Hard to believe, but Stan Musial was born on the same date in the same city 49 years earlier.
RF — Ichiro, 2001-
By the end of this week, Ichiro will pass Griffey for second place on the franchise’s list of games played, behind Martinez. He’s first in hits, triples, and stolen bases; and third in runs, total bases, and doubles.
DH — Edgar Martinez, 1987-2004
One of the best hitters of his generation. But you already knew that. So how about this: Martinez’s on-base percentage of .479 in 1995 is the second-highest by a right-handed hitter in the past 82 years, surpassed only by Frank Thomas and his .487 mark in 1994.
SP — Randy Johnson, 1989-98
Johnson was 130-74 with a 3.42 ERA, 2,162 strikeouts, and one Cy Young Award in 10 seasons with the Mariners. In eight years with Arizona, he was 118-62 with a 2.83 ERA, 2,077 strikeouts, four Cy Young Awards, and one World Series title.
The guess is that the Hall of Fame, which has the final say, will induct him as a Diamondback.
SP — Jamie Moyer, 1996-2006
Moyer was 145-87 with Seattle and is the franchise leader in wins. He was 122-117 with everybody else.
SP — Felix Hernandez, 2005-
Now 25, Hernandez already has a Cy Young and at different times has led the league in wins, winning percentage, ERA and innings. He is signed through 2014.
SP — Mark Langston, 1984-89
Langston was Seattle’s first top-notch pitcher, but his greatest contribution might have been a midseason trade that landed a young Randy Johnson in 1989.
SP — Freddy Garcia, 1999-2004
The ace of Seattle’s historic 2001 team, Garcia went 76-50 during his time with the Mariners.
RP — J.J. Putz, 2003-08
Putz’s 2007 season remains one of the greatest ever put together by a closer — 1.38 ERA, 40 saves, 82 strikeouts, 13 walks, and 37 hits in 71⅔ innings.
Manager — Lou Piniella, 1993-2002
With a record of 840-711, Piniella is the only Seattle manager to finish over .500 with the club. He also guided the franchise to its only four playoff appearances.
Questions or comments for By the Numbers? You can reach Greg Jayne, Sports editor of The Columbian, at 360-735-4531, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To “like” his Facebook page, search for “Greg Jayne - The Columbian”