"Another Blog on the Fire" Michael Dashiell
Contact Mike at email@example.com
Michael Dashiell (that's me) is editor of the Sequim Gazette. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Western Washington University, has worked at the Sequim Gazette for about 10 years and enjoys writing — occasionally. He and his wife Patsene live in Sequim; their two daughters are in college. He will write about anything, but particularly enjoys sports, arts, breaking news and news-of-the-weird. He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
Rey Quiñones stole five bases over the course of his four-year career — and got caught stealing 11 times. In mostly unrelated news, it took Christopher Crews and a few buddies in London just four months to steal six miles of copper wiring in January 2013.
First, a little explanation: What exactly is this? What are the Rey Quiñones Files? For those not familiar with really bad Mariners baseball — no, not the kind you see nowadays playing itself out at beautiful Safeco Field, but the kind in the glorified parking garage called the "Kingdome" — Rey Quiñones was the starting shortstop for a series of painfully bad Mariner teams (1986-1988). Like, 95- and 84- and 93-loss teams bad.
Rey wasn't a terrible player. He hit 12 home runs for the M's in 1987 and 1988. Then again, EVERYONE was hitting at least 12 home runs during those whiffle ball-era seasons. The Pirates' bat boy, for example, hit 23 home runs in '87. To me, Quiñones is the epitome of the Mariners at that time: listless, unremarkable and seeming to go nowhere. Not historically bad — because that would at least be interesting — but simply ho-hum bad.
It fits, then, that the year M's fans said goodbye to Quiñones was 1989 — the year Ken Griffey Jr. earned a starting spot, the year Seattle traded for Randy Johnson, the year Edgar Martinez convinced the powers-that-be that he'd be a better fit at third base than Jim Presley, and just one year away from a guy named Jay Buhner cracking that lineup for good. And though they were still six years from their magical playoff run that would keep Mariner baseball (for better or worse) in Seattle, it was the beginning of something magical. All they needed was a little less Quiñones and a little more … anything else.
For an interesting, compelling and chilling account of Quiñones' Seattle Mariner days, click here.
And so, as I tried to catch some Zs the other night, I fell into something between consciousness and sleep. Partially obscured by cliche dream-clouds and gnat-like baseball fairies buzzing to and fro, a vision of Rey Quiñones emerged … pretty freaky stuff.
After some awkward chitchat, I asked Rey what he was doing in my almost-dream.
"I've come to tell you," he said through his rich, Puerto Rican accent, "about another universe."
"So, what's it like? Are there spaceships and dinosaurs and jet packs? Tell me there are jet packs!"
"No, no, nothing like that. It's basically like the universe you know now."
"Yes. Only … I manage the Mariners, not Eric Wedge."
"That's basically it. Almost exactly the same, man."
"Why me? What I mean is, why of all people did you come to tell me?"
Rey considered this.
"I had to tell somebody. And you might be the only person who would recognize me."
A pause. I wasn't sure what to say.
"So … you're not Omar Vizquel, are you?"
So began a series of ever-increasingly odd messages from Mariner manager Rey Quiñones regarding the nearly-of-this-universe Seattle Mariners. I've tried to capture them here in my blog, for the edification of all Mariner-dom.
The Rey Quiñones Files #1:
Mariners' third base coach found dead — near third base
Pat Putnam, former major league player and third base coach for the Seattle Mariners, was found dead near the base Saturday evening.
Police officials say that based on the body's decomposition, Putnam had been dead for at least three months. With so few base runners reaching third, Seattle coaches said, Putnam's death simply went unnoticed.
Current Seattle players expressed shock and grief over the loss of the former Mariner.
"I feel just awful about it," said Brendan Ryan, the Seattle shortstop who is batting .188 and last saw third base when he played for Visalia in the Venezuelan summer league in 2008. "He was a good guy, I think. I mean, I always meant to visit him and all. Just a shock."
Putnam played for the Mariners in 1983 and 1984. His 19 home runs and .269 batting average couldn't help the M's avoid a 102-loss season — and his high cholesterol couldn't help him avoid a massive heart attack.
Police authorities suspect Putnam may have died May 28 in a 6-1 loss to Sand Diego.
Mike Morse, who scored the M's lone run that game, may have been the last one to see Putnam alive. But Morse doesn't recall if he did or not.
"I was just so shocked to be past second base," Morse said. "Normally it's a strikeout or home run for me and I don't even look at the third base coach when I'm circling the bases. I feel terrible about it."
Seattle head coach Rey Quiñones said he hopes to have a replacement named by the end of the season.
"With the offense the way it is, there's no rush," Quiñones said. "We want to honor Mr. Putnam and we certainly don't want to damage his memory or hurt the family's feelings by rushing into anything."
Putnam's remains will be buried alongside Bobby Ayala's fastball, Bret Boone's medical kit, Bucky Jacobsen's upside and Quiñones' glove in the team cemetery, Mariner officials said.