For the love of Bob Brenly

March 31, 2014

Mark Trumbo is wearing Bob Brenly’s number. I don’t know how I feel about that.

Not that No. 15 — the number worn by the only manager ever to win a World Series in Arizona — was ever beheld with reverence by the Diamondbacks. They gave it to backup catcher Koyie Hill less than a month after Brenly was fired midseason in 2004 for crying out loud.

In fact, 2013 was the first season in which someone hadn’t worn Brenly’s uniform number in Arizona. After Hill, it was dawned by Shawn Green (2005-06), Jeff Salazar (’07), Dan Haren (2008-10), Micah Owings (’11), Josh Bell (’12) and now Trumbo.

Don’t these guys know that if you’re going to take someone’s number you take it from the bench coach?

That’s what Tim Hudson did in joining the Giants this season. For most of his 15 years in the big leagues, Hudson wore No. 15. But instead of committing the same tactless blunder that Carlos Beltran once did by taking the number off of Bruce Bochy’s back, Hudson tapped the No. 17 of longtime San Francisco bench coach Ron Wotus.

Before Wotey’s fan club gets up in arms, it wasn’t exactly a storied number for the tenured coach. Wotus had already surrendered it for a three-year stint from 2010-12 when Aubrey Huff was with the Giants.

Beginning his 17th season on the Giants’ coaching staff, Wotus now has a more storied No. 23. Not only has it been worn by great Giants such as Tito Fuentes, Jose Uribe and Felipe Alou. It was the number worn by Bobby Thompson when he hit one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history with the Shot Heard ‘Round the World to send the New York Giants to the 1951 World Series.

As for the D-Backs’ digit situation, have at your No. 15 Mark Trumbo. It was worth the admission price of your historical faux pas to see you welcomed to the National League with a freakin’ laser beam of a throw by Hunter Pence to cut you down at third base.

And welcome to baseball season everybody. In the words of Bob Brenly’s era of Giants baseball — Humm Baby! It’s gonna be fun!

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