I’m shaking my head and thinking “Oh please Mariners, not again!”

I want to cry!

Headline: With the winter meetings come and gone, could the M’s biggest signing already be done?

Feels like Mariners fans are halfway through a horror film. The enemy has yet to be identified, but something is hunting the protagonist down. Something or someone has struck fear into the hero and the audience, causing fear and adrenaline to course through the body.

That’s when everything gets quiet.

Unfortunately, we know what happens next. Sure, Jack Zduriencik seems prepared enough and has promised the pursuit of a bat and offensive help. Sure, ownership has given permission for an increased payroll upwards of $90 million.

But the enemy is still in pursuit.

Who is the enemy in baseball? Monotony, my friends. We know it well. From fleeting hope in Josh Hamilton or Prince Fielder, to actually getting a Chone Figgins or Cliff Lee.

The results have been the same.

The enemy has won, last year the Mariners were the only team in the division to finish under .500.

The Mariners have finished in last place in the division 3 years in a row and 4 of the last 5.

Seattle Mariners’ general manager Jack Zduriencik

Unfortunately, we know what happens next Jack.

No, hope is not completely lost, but finding out the Justin Upton is staying in Arizona and Zack Greinke has signed with the Dodgers, all signs now point to Texas likely resigning Hamilton, the best available player left on the market.

Will local boy Jason Bay be the Mariners best off-season acquisition?

Sure, Bay could produce quite well without the pressure of New York and a gigantic contract to live up to, but are fans expecting Bay’s bat to clearly out produce a player like Eric Thames or Casper Wells at this point in his career.

Are these the ramblings of a depressed and cynical person? Maybe. In reality, the most frustrating thing for this life long fan is the alleged hope in the future and the present that I eat up every off-season while so desperate for a great team to show up.

It is getting more and more difficult to argue this team is moving in the right direction if the front office fails to bring in a young, veteran bat to help these younger players. Yes, young and veteran players do exist and are available, but it will cost a young and unproven player, or some cash.

An established hitter can have a positive affect on the entire ball club.

Yes, when 1B Albert Pujols left the Cardinals last season, everyone anticipated St. Louis would regress back as a team. But they still made the playoffs and were one game from returning to the World Series.

On the other hand, look at a team with good players last season like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

On paper, they were good to great on offense, but in the first month of the year, they were pitiful. Enter Mike Trout; the team is revitalized by an MVP-type player changing the way pitchers played against LAA.

When one hitter is extremely good and consistent (not just on a hot streak Justin Smoak), the rest of the batting order gets to hit with runners on, and gets more pitches to hit because no one wants to walk a second or third guy on the base paths.

The team has more opportunities to be aggressive because one base runner isn’t more precious than gold like they have been for the Mariners inept offense for three years.

I know how this movie usually ends. Here’s to hoping that Zduriencik and the front office brains have pulled off a twist ending that no one sees coming.

Let’s go M’s.


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About Jeff Budke

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