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During the inaugural season of No Rhubarb! we faithfully followed the exploits of Our Favorite Rainier, outfielder Adam Jones. Jones is in Baltimore now, on his way to what we firmly believe will be a long and excellent career. The title of Our Favorite Rainier cannot stay vacant though, and we will take the next few days to find our new favorite. This year we will let you, the reader chime in on the subject. No Rhubarb! will present the case of several players and then let you vote who you think is Our Favorite Rainier. After which we will almost certainly ignore the results and just name whomever we want anyway.

Next Up: Wladimir Balentien

The Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year for 2007, Balentien sports both a cool name and big bat. Busting out in 2004 with a Rookie league record 16 home runs, Wlad has done nothing but hit since. In 2006 he was named the MVP of Double-A San Antonio. He made his Tacoma debut last year, winning the PCL Rookie of the Year after sporting a .291/.362/.509 line with 24 homers and 24 doubles. He made his Mariner debut late last year, jacking his first major league home run off of Cleveland's Fausto Carmona.
Three Reasons Why Wladimir Balentien is Our Favorite Rainier
1.Wladimir Balentien doesn't hit home runs, he launches moon shots.
2.Balentien always plays with flair. Some might say too much..
3.Wladimir is actually pronounced "Vladimir", which is pretty cool.
Three Reasons Why Wladimir Balentien is NOT Our Favorite Rainier
1.He strikes out. Not like just any other player. Like, a lot. Like Reggie Jackson and Rob Deer had a baby lots.
2.Remember the flair we mentioned? See here for details.
3.Like our other candidates, he might not be a Rainier for long. Corner outfielder isn't the Mariners' strong suit, and Balentien could be in Seattle for good soon.
Bonus: I don't know what is more fun: Wlad's massive walk-off home run, or this guy's reaction to it.


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