Mariners Dream Team 2002-2012
This article is based on a simple idea. What 10 Mariners from 2002-2012 could have given the team the best shot at a winning season?
For the life of me I cannot convince my wife that the Mariners used to be good. No matter how many times I’ve told her about the 116 win season in 2001 and the magic of the 1995 team that refused to lose, she stays indifferent and almost hostile.
In other words she is turning into the average Mariners fan that is tired of a long decade of refusing to win.
I began to wonder if we compiled a list of every player to wear a uniform for the M’s for at least one full season from 2002-2012 which ones would have given the team the best chance at a winning season.
All this was sort of a wish that in some alternative universe somewhere this group of Seattle baseball players would have added a World Series banner above right field in Safeco field.
And now your all 2000 Mariners dream team.
Batting first your right fielder: Ichiro
Ichiro Suzuki has been the most consistent of all the Mariners over the past decade. Well Ichiro has been the most consistent player of the entire MLB. With an assurance of gold glove and 200 hits, the Mariners came to rely on the Japanese superstar for his hits, on base percentage, stolen bases and ticket sales.
Batting second your second baseman: Bret Boone
Although Boone never matched his 2001 stats in which he had a league leading 141 RBI’s and a .331 Batting Average, he was still very good for the next two years which is the point of time I would transport him from.
With over 100 RBI’s in a season and 20 plus home runs not to mention a gold glove in the middle infield makes Boone an obvious choice in the all 2000′s team.
Batting third your designated hitter: Edgar Martinez
Although the best years of his life were behind him by the time of our criteria of 2002, Edgar Martinez is a hall of fame caliber hitter a fan favorite and a team leader. He is the kind of guy that you want younger batters to be around. Not to mention that in 2003 he still had 146 hits, drew 92 walks and had an on base percentage of .406.
He knew how to have a good at bat. Something the M’s desperately need to learn again.
Batting forth your left fielder: Raul Ibanez
Left field is typically a power position as defensively it is not as demanding as the other outfield slots. However in Safeco field where left field is much larger than most parts it has become a fielding position which limits the power potential than can be found there. Ibanez filled the role very well and has been desperately missed since his departure after the 2008 season.
He hit for average, had good pop and drove in runs. Everything you want from a good cleanup hitter.
Batting fifth your third baseman: Adrian Beltre
Third base has been a continual disappointment for the Mariners as guys that are supposed to be really good end up stinking really bad. None of the guys who played 3rd base for the M’s from 2002-2012 had great years, with the exception of Jose Lopez having one all-star caliber season.
Over all with what Beltre has been before his time with the M’s and what he has been for the teams he has played with after proves he is the better baseball player.
Defensively he was a solid contender for the position in the all 2000 team.
Batting sixth your first baseman: John Olerud
Olerud is not the A-typical first baseman with a large power frame to knock the skin off the ball, but he was still very, very good. Olerud was not a power hitter, but still would get into double digits with home runs and get more than a buck fifty in hits.
That and he had a .995 fielding percentage providing another gold glove in the infield.
It doesn’t hurt that he is a fun loving northwest native.
Batting seventh your catcher: Dan Wilson
There were quite a few good players to choose from including Kenji Johjima, Miguel Olivo and Yorvit Torrealba. (I’m trying to forget the existence of Rob Johnson so don’t bring him up).
However when I thought about who would be on the Mariners all 2000 team I couldn’t justify it not being Dan Wilson. Maybe I am biased because we share an awesome first name.
I think it has more to do with his 12 seasons with the team, his attitude, his knowledge of the game and his 2002 stats in which he hit his career high .295
Batting eighth your short stop: Yuniesky Betancourt
Betancourt didn’t have a great reputation with the management in Seattle but every team needs one “bad boy” right? Someone who keeps the sports talk radio guys and bloggers up late on game nights with fresh material.
Despite his off field antics, Betancourt was the best candidate when being considered in both defensive AND offensive categories.
Batting ninth your center fielder: Mike Cameron
Ok, this may be more of a tribute to the recently retired center fielder who is best known for replacing Ken Griffey Jr. in center field, but always sported a smile on his face.
He also had a strong friendship with Ichiro and made the clubhouse more of a friendly environment.
Of course he was also the strike out king while he was in Seattle but could be depended on for some clutch at bats and timely home runs.
And on the mound your pitcher: Felix Hernandez
If I need to tell you why then you are obviously not as good of a fan as you think you are. Be ashamed.
Well that’s my list.
Agree – Disagree? Love to hear all about it.
Help me convince my wife that the M’s could have been good enough to win.