Josh Wilson is kinda funny looking and resembles someone’s little brother. He strikes fear into the hearts of few, and up until one month ago, he wasn’t even the best Josh Wilson in the city of Seattle, let alone the world (the local distinction, at least, belonged to the Seahawks cornerback of the exact same name).
But that matters not anymore, because Wilson, nicknamed “The Paperboy,” has delivered time and again for the Mariners so far this season.
That ability to rise to the occasion, along with Wilson’s unequivocal underdoggedness, has vaulted the 29-year-old shortstop to the top of my Favorite Obscure Mariners list. This small grouping of esteemed individuals has previously included the likes of the following few: Hiram Bocachica, Henry Cotto, Charles Gipson, Josias Manzanillo, Greg Pirkl, and Doug Strange, among a Webster-sized handful of others. It’s a select team of pseudo-all-stars that Wilson can forever and always associate himself with.
A minor leaguer to start the 2010 campaign, Wilson was called up to replace the injury-prone Jack Wilson in early May. On May 5, Josh Wilson became the team’s regular shortstop and proceeded to go ape nuts on the American League.
After his first six ballgames, the former Florida Marlin, Colorado Rockie, Washington National, Tampa Bay Devil Ray (back when they still associated with Satan), Pittsburgh Pirate, Boston Red Sock, Arizona Diamondback, and San Diego Padre was batting .353 with an OPS of 1.147. Those are Pujols numbers.
By the end of May, the four-time waiver claimee had settled in with a .300 batting average, .364 on-base percentage, and .776 OPS. He had come back to earth, but only slightly.
Now 19 days into June, the Paperboy remains as one of the team’s hottest hitters. With a .288/.346/.736 line, along with one home run and 14 RBI, Wilson has eclipsed his career averages of .238/.294/.633, and has made solid headway on his career totals (yes, totals) of five home runs and 37 RBI entering 2010.
Should Jack Wilson ever return from the disabled list in one piece, the Mariners will be hard-pressed to find a way for their former starting shortstop to work his way back into the lineup. Were Josh Wilson to be benched in favor of the higher-paid Jack Wilson, it would be an act more egregious than the time that rat bastard Eddie Martel crossed the picket line and took back the Washington Sentinels’ starting quarterback job from Shane Falco in The Replacements. Seriously.
In the midst of an increasingly-lost season, Josh Wilson is one of the M’s few bright spots. Veteran journeyman makes most of opportunity, becomes big-league regular. That’s the headline we can tag to the team’s designated newspaper carrier.
And if I may, one request for the Mariners’ marketing team. If it would at all be possible to introduce Wilson’s at-bats with Paperboy’s infamous ballad, Ditty, that would be fantastic. Some of us would really enjoy that. Namely, me. Thank you.