Confusion Over Jersey Numbers At Mariners Press Conference


August 24, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman

Corey Hart

(1) is greeted at home plate by shortstop

Jean Segura

(9) after Hart scored a run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners held a press conference today to officially announce the acquisitions of Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, and all seemed to go pretty well. Hart seems to be excited to be here, and Morrison didn’t say anything stupid, while repeatedly saying he just wants to play the game.

But there was some confusion over the jersey numbers given to the two players. Nick Franklin wore #20 last year, but it was given to Morrison, while Taijuan Walker‘s #27 was given to Hart.

That caused a quick uproar on twitter from people jumping to the conclusion that the players had been traded. MLB writer Greg Johns then tried to quell that uproar with the following:

You would think that means all is okay. Players do often change numbers after their rookie year, either because they weren’t given a choice, or the number they wanted was already being used. Even Felix Hernandez change his number, as he originally wore #59, before switching to his current #34.

However, Taijuan Walker took to his own twitter over the issue (he deleted the original it seems, so this screenshot will have to do):

Let the speculation resume.

That tweet certainly suggests this isn’t as cut and dry as originally thought. Walker is claiming he didn’t request a number change, and that seeing the “Hart 27” jersey took him by surprise.

Then, Ryan Divish tweeting the following not to long after, in response to the hysteria that broke out again:

And Walker calmed everything down himself a little later:

And here we are again. That was a fun little trip across the spectrum and back right? Jumping to conclusions, then re-jumping to other conclusions, then plummeting back down to the original conclusions again. That’s new-age media for you.

This still isn’t really resolved. The most recent comments by Jack and Walker seem to suggest everything is okay, and there was just a misunderstanding between the team and the player. As of right now, Taijuan Walker is still a Mariner, even if he does have to wear a different number.

But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee he won’t be moved. I personally don’t think you should read into this too far. If they really did give Walker’s number to Hart because they knew he wouldn’t be on the team anymore, the trade would have already happened. I don’t think a team can surrender a player’s number because a trade might happen. He is still on the team, and that is still his number.

Most likely this was just a clerical error somewhere along the line, and it seems like it is being resolved, if it hasn’t been already. Could Walker be moved? Yes. But I personally don’t think it will happen.