Valentine’s Day Special: Mariners Players We Love

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz of the Mariners hug.
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz of the Mariners hug. /
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Justus Sheffield of the Seattle Mariners looks on.
Justus Sheffield of the Seattle Mariners watches play. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Lee’s All-Time Favorite Mariners Player

Five years ago I was at Mariners spring training but it was only at the time when pitchers and catchers were reporting. I was standing on a sidewalk watching the pitchers walk to the individual fields but inside the building where the Mariners hold their team meetings, I could hear a constant “thwack thwack thwack” sound, very repetitive and always the same sound.

Someone walked by me and said, “I bet it’s Edgar.” I walked over to the building and there was a smallish batting cage and there stood Edgar Martinez, hitting coach for Seattle at the time, just having fun taking some swings.

Martinez was as much of a hitting freak as Ken Griffey Jr., just with less power. But Martinez had an uncommon eye for following the ball to bat and hitting is why he is in the Hall of Fame. Watching him hit was a joy to watch when he played, plus he is simply a good dude.

Lee’s Favorite Mariners Player Right Now

Justus Sheffield is my favorite Mariner for a lot of reasons. One (this might sound odd) is that he has to work on his craft to be really good. He doesn’t dial up 97 MPH fastballs one after another but he has to use his changeup and curve to get hitters to have weak swings. While Sheffield still has tons of talent and still has to prove himself long-term, Sheffield will always be a bit of a grinder, just like most of the rest of us in our daily lives.

Also, Sheffield is fun to listen to when he does interviews. He clearly still has a lot of his youthful love for the game and hopefully will hold on to this. He is going to be fun to watch in Seattle for a long time.