Mariners Insider Blog

Willie Bloomquist's Bittersweet Farewell

Six years into a career fans never appreciated as much as his teammates, Willie Paul Bloomquist may have played his last game as a Mariner - and has already bid adieu to Safeco Field this year.

Once called the best utility player in baseball by team president Chuck Armstrong, Bloomquist asked the team to let him come off the 15-day disabled list and play the final two weeks of '08.

The Mariners declined, and instead placed him and his ailing hamstring on the 60-day DL.

A free agent, Bloomquist may well be more attractive to a National League team, much the way Greg Dobbs in Philadelphia became a vital part of that franchise.

The lads at Big Boat Mariner won't miss and will likely dismiss his depaerture.

Bloomquist was an old-school player, even in a reserve role. He pushed teammates, cajoled them, befriended them.

He had an impact on players as diverse as J.J. Putz and Adrian Beltre.

If Bloomquist is gone, he'll be missed. He never gave less than his best, which is something not all Mariners could say.

It's too bad that on the final day of what could well be his last season, the local-boy-made-good won't get one last chance to say thanks.

Or say you're welcome.