Monday, February 20, 2006

The (Uniform) Numbers Game

So, there was an article saying how Adrian Beltre is going back to his old uniform number of 29, now that Bret Boone's sorry ass isn't using it. And that's cool. If he thinks it'll help him, great.

If you glance at the Mariners 40-Man Roster and their NRI list, though, you'll notice some other things besides Beltre's number switch. Well, first, on the NRI list, Dave Burba has a number assigned to him. It's number 34. Does this mean that Felix isn't going to be taking #34, or is this a sign that Burba's really going to have to earn his way onto the roster and arm-wrestle Felix for it later?

Second, and this is a little weirder, but Yuniesky Betancourt has a new number. Now, maybe it's just me, but I thought there were a few numbers that were sort of "untouchable" even though they weren't officially retired on the Mariners roster. #24, for Junior. #11, for Edgar. And, well... #3.

Pokey Reese dared to try to wear #3 last year, and look what happened to him.

As far as I can tell (at least glancing at the lists on Baseball Almanac), nobody's worn #3 on the Mariners in an actual game since Alex Rodriguez did in 2000. This does not bode well; I think the number may be cursed. The last thing we need is for something bad to happen to Betancourt. Do we really want to see Morse at shortstop this year, or worse, Bloomquist?

And for the random Johjima note of the day, both Johjima AND the Japanese press seem pretty confused as to why on earth people would be calling him "Joe Mama". (Pretty funny to run across that article after seeing the same thing from the English press side of things.)

Also - I saw the rest of the Ichiro episode of Furuhata tonight! It was very cool. The funniest moment was probably when Furuhata's investigating the crime and he comes to talk to Ichiro in the weight room and Ichiro just looks at him like "What, do you want me to sign more stuff?" Either way, I'm really, really impressed with his acting in the show, seriously.

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