A look into the future
I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opposing team create a stir in Seattle as what the Los Angeles Angels were able to accomplish with their additions made at the winter meetings.
Not only did the Angels take pessimism to an all time high in Mariners nation, but the frustration of losing 862 games over the last 10 seasons has boiled over into anger or flat out rage.
The fans want a response from Jack Zduriencik, and immediate response. Preferably one that involves a left-handed slugging first baseman who formerly played in Milwaukee. As nice as Prince Fielder would be in a Mariners uniform, I have one simple request from all of Mariners nation.
Please, take a deep breathe and relax.
While your calming down, I would like to share a few things that has been on my mind the few days. Does anyone realize how similar the Seattle Mariners are to the Texas Rangers?
I know it’s hard to fathom considering the Rangers have won consecutive American league championships, but outside of these last two seasons, the Mariners have mirrored something very similar to the Texas Rangers.
Both franchises for years have thrown around a ton of money at the major league level while neglecting their minor leagues, and while both teams have shared the painful process of going through a major franchise overhaul.
The 2000 off-season heading into the 2001 season is where I’m going to start off at because this is where the Texas Rangers started their “Bill Bavasi” years.
It was in this off-season former Rangers president Tom Hicks hired former Cleveland Indians GM John Hart to take the Rangers to a level where former GM Doug Melvin couldn’t.
It was during these five seasons were the Rangers not only failed to reach the postseason, but it also started the worst stretch in team history of over-bloated payrolls and albatross contracts that would hamstring their future payrolls.
To highlight the five years of mismanagement under Hart, one just needs to look at the $399,914,445 million dollars in contracts the Rangers handed out to Alex Rodriguez, Andres Galarraga, Ken Caminiti, Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett, Rafael Palmeiro, Kenny Rodgers, and Chan Ho Park.
Never once during this time did the Rangers have their eye to the future while chasing down a world championship. It was all about right now.
On the flip side, never once during their glory years or even going through the Bavasi era did the Mariners give their minor leagues much consideration.
It was all about feebly chasing the now, year after year. Never once could you point to one specific period in Mariners history that all levels of the minors we fundamentally sound to the point were talent is pushing the levels above.
That was the Rangers organization until they bottomed out in 2004.
They realized they were never going to get to the world series unless they to built themselves a stable franchise that was constantly stream lining talent from the minor leagues to the big leagues every season.
See where I’m going with this?
See this is were I think we get lost in all of this pessimism and negativity. The Mariners bottomed out after the 2008 season. All credit to the Mariners organization. They realized they never had a stable ground with which to build upon.
They had been so hell bent on throwing away money at free agents, they never once stopped to realize that you need top prospects as a base to add free agents to.
If you don’t have system constantly producing those prospects, what you have is the Seattle Mariners of 2004 and 2005.
The Mariners should be looking to take a page from the Texas Rangers book. They committed themselves to building their foundation. They never acted out emotionally when division opponents added big pieces.
They kept calm all the while forming their nucleus, and when the time came to add pieces to their puzzle, they did so wisely.
The Rangers never over-payed on one player to fast track the process, they added low cost, high reward veterans like Josh Hamilton, Marlon Byrd, Andrew Jones, Colby Lewis, and Vlad Guerrero as way to compliment what was already in place.
It wasn’t until after their first World Series appearance did they up their payroll.
All I am saying is the Mariners need to tune out the gallery and keep with the current plan in place, and not over react to what other teams are doing. Bad things happen when team lose track of what’s really important: Long-term success.
Would Prince Fielder look nice in a Mariners uniform? Absolutely, but not in excess.
If the deal fist with what the Mariners need, then a deal makes all the sense. The last thing the Mariners need to do is ruin what they have started by grossly over-paying for someone that could potentially eat up future money.
That being said, this isn’t the same Mariners franchise.
Believe it or not, this team is committed to winning. They do not want the same fate as years past. They want what Texas has, and are not going to detour from that.
When the time comes, the money will be there. It’s a matter of trusting Jack Zduriencik and his model of operation.
The Mariners are the Texas Rangers, just three seasons behind.