Mariners winners, losers from Bump & Stacy’s 2nd annual Bumpies
Oct 18, 2023, 10:54 AM
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The first and most important thing you need to know is that “The Bumpies” are a serious awards show. The second thing you need to know is that the second-annual Bumpies – held only a few months after the first-annual Bumpies – recognizes the great (and not so great) feats from the second half of the Seattle Mariners season.
And the nominees are …
The “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to Guardians of the Galaxy 3” Award for Most Improved Player
• Jarred Kelenic
• J.P. Crawford
• Matt Brash
Winner: J.P. Crawford
Don’t know what this means? We don’t either! The award names are created by board operator Matt Nelson, who loves all things Comic Con. We’re sure it’s great, so let’s get to it.
This year’s nominees were Jarred Kelenic, Matt Brash, and J.P. Crawford, and Crawford ran away with this one.
Seattle’s shortstop saw career highs in home runs (19), RBI (65), walks (94), slugging (.438), and OPS (.818). Better yet, that production didn’t cool in the second half of the season; Crawford’s seven home runs in September were his most in any month (if only the rest of the offense could’ve followed suit).
Suddenly, Crawford wasn’t just a Gold Glove defender who could draw a walk – he was the captain you counted on to give Seattle hope in its biggest games. He did as much in the Mariners’ final series of the season against the Rangers, but it was too little too late for the Mariners.
The “Milton from Love is Blind” Award for Best Win
• Aug. 20 – Sweep of Houston during win streak
• Aug. 30 – 21st win of the month, setting franchise record
• Sept. 28 – Crawford’s double for a win over Texas
• Only having to play one more season in the Oakland Coliseum
Winner: Sweep of Houston
The Astros and their fans can pretend they don’t find Seattle to be a pest, but that’s what the Mariners have been at times. Houston is in the ALCS while Seattle’s players are sitting at home watching, so there’s still a gap to close … but does anything feel better than beating a team you (and most of baseball) can’t stand?
The “J.P. from Love is Blind” Award for Worst Loss
• June 28 – Series loss to the Nationals, 4-1 loss to Patrick Corbin
• July 24 – Kolten Wong homers in ninth, but M’s lose in extras to Twins
• Aug. 12 – 1-0 extra innings loss to Orioles on night Félix Hernández goes into M’s Hall of Fame
• Sept. 30 – Game 161, 6-1 loss to Rangers
Winner: Series loss to Nationals
Game 161 might’ve been the most gutting for the Mariners and their fans, particularly when the D-Backs failed to get back into a game against the Astros to close the door on Seattle’s slim postseason hopes.
But missing the postseason by a game or two – heck, missing your division by a game or two – makes you reflect on costly losses from the season, and something about that series against the Nationals so fully encapsulated the most frustrating version of the Mariners.
Nats starter Patrick Corbin, who had allowed at least one earned run in 17 starts and an opponent average over .300, pitched seven shutout innings. The Mariners offense struck out nine times, and three of their best hitters – Teoscasr Hernández, Eugenio Suárez and Cal Raleigh – got nothing in the ninth.
Best Seattle Mariners Drama
Winner: Jerry Dipoto
And here we thought Cal Raleigh’s comments about spending would be the biggest controversy at seasons end. Alas, Dipoto came in out of left field with his now-infamous “54 percent” comment days later.
Was there a cardinal sin with Dipoto’s sentiment? Not necessarily.
Yes, aiming for a higher percentage would sound better, but the real issue was the message (and tone) coming from the president of baseball ops of the only franchise to never appear in a World Series.
In his final weekly radio show of the season on Seattle Sports two days later, Dipoto sounded contrite and said he was embarrassed. The good news is he won his first Bumpies(TM) Award.
Now, he and the rest of Seattle’s decision makers need to make sure they can back up their sentiment with wins and playoff appearances.
Fan vote: Favorite Seattle Mariners highlight
Winner: J.P. Crawford walks it off
KEEP. FIGHTING. pic.twitter.com/UDv6jhMkcU
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 29, 2023
The last great moment of the season was one of the more electric finishes to a game. There was a hope, a feeling that the Seattle Mariners would will themselves to a playoff spot, regardless of what the odds say. Here was Seattle’s de facto captain proving to the rest of baseball that this team wouldn’t go down without a fight.
If only they could’ve packed a bigger punch this season.