Mediocrity rules supreme
This is M’s Rant Version 1.0. I hope I don’t have to write this column to much more this year.
As a life long Seattle Mariners fan, I have never really expected too much from the boys in blue. With the exception of the “Refuse To Lose” campaign of ’95, and the impossible dream of ’01, we have basically lived in mediocrity, or mostly, worse.
Sometimes I am glad that I live in Arizona, it makes it easier just to read about how bad we lost last night, instead of having to witness it live in person.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love this team with all of my heart, but I have come to realize that I can’t expect too much out of them anymore. It hurts too much.
As we enter decade number two of our rebuilding plan, I think it is time to look at what is wrong currently with this team.
I know that we’re young, and we will get better, but sometimes I feel that the guys upstairs are trying their best to emulate Rachel Phelps from the movie Major League, instead of actually trying to field a competitive team.
I’ll start with saying this; if Ken Griffey Jr. was expendable, so are 99% of this team. And that is where we need to start I think.
So here is my top five things that tick me off about the Mariners.
Okay, here’s the deal with ownership. They suck, plain and simple. There really isn’t a good thing to say about them except for the fact that they haven’t sold the team to some jerk in Oklahoma City yet.
The hiring of Jack Zduriencik was supposed to help this team, not keep them in the cellar. One bad trade after another, not to mention the awesome free agent signings too.
4. The veterans
Every team should have a delicate balance of veterans and young guys on the 40 man roster, this I know. But what is eluding me is the fact that the veterans are still getting a shot to play every day when they are not performing at all.
While we’re at it, I think it may be time to see what we can get for Ichiro at the deadline too. His contract is eating up a lot of salary, and we have players that can cover right field almost as well, plus they can actually bring some runners home.
And this leaves us with the question of what to do with Felix Hernandez. I say put him out there on the trading block too. If we get a ton of prospects in return, what’s it going to matter if we set ourselves back another year or two on rebuilding. It’s not like we’re going to be catching the Rangers anytime soon.
3. Franklin Gutierrez
I’ll say this about Franklin Gutierrez, he’s a hell of a center fielder, but how long is too long to wait on a guy who hasn’t played a full season in two years?
By the time he comes back, the M’s will have held on to his position for almost a whole season, counting last years debacle. We don’t really have any huge number guys playing in his absence, or anybody who can cover the field like he does, but honestly, we can’t afford to sit prospects in Tacoma while we pay him to nurse whatever is ailing him this week!
2. Brandon League
The king of the blown save, and another piece of an awesome trade by management, Brandon League needs to find whatever he had at the beginning of last year, or we need to ship him out.
We wouldn’t be in first place or nothing, but if not for League, we would have a little more breathing room from the bottom of the basement.
Maybe it’s time to give Shawn Kelley a shot in the closers role. It’s not going to hurt anything since we are obviously not trying to win ballgames this year.
Ah, the up and down roller coaster that is the Seattle Mariners starting rotation. The only bright spot this season has been lefty Jason Vargas. Felix can’t get any help, bullpen wise or scoring wise, and the other three are no-shows half the time their names get called.
I have no suggestions in this matter. Maybe it’s time to move some guys up from the minors. I know there are a few that would love to get the chance to wear the Mariners uniform this late in the season.
I left Eric Wedge off of this list because it seems to me that he is actually trying to find a solution to this mess. He’s moving guys in and out of the line up, up and down the order, and benching the veterans who need benching.
Maybe he’s not the answer in the dugout, but until Lou Pinella comes out of retirement, he may be the only man for the job at the moment.
Whatever the case may be, we are in trouble once again. I really don’t see a quick fix to this either.
We, as fans, just need to keep riding this out like we always have done.
And when the Washington Nationals make the World Series this year, we can at least relish in the feeling of being the only team in MLB that has never reached that feat.