It is no secret that the Mariners need a lot of crap to pull together a respectful season. Actually, crap is the one thing that they don’t need at all. The Mariners have been a crappy ball club for the past decade.
Some of the only quality stuff they have put out there are their commercials. And last year, even that was debatable.
It was encouraging early in the offseason to hear the Mariners being touted as the favorites in the pursuits for high profile difference makers like Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher and Justin Upton.
However with only a few more weeks left until the Mariners hit Peoria, all that have arrived are a bunch of veteran risks.
For the first time I think that General Manager Jack Z had the backing of the ownership group to spend some legitimate money to pull in someone that could indeed make the difference that they needed. But nothing happened.
I don’t think it’s his fault.
Free agents don’t want to play for Seattle. Do you know why?
1. Seattle is stuck in the past.
While every club praises their best performances of the years, the Mariners gravitate to those moments as if they happened yesterday. The truth is that the magic season of 1995 was 18 years ago and the Mariners haven’t been a legitimate threat since they won 116 games in 2001.
Most of the players coming into the major leagues now aren’t even old enough to remember a time Seattle was good. They don’t want to be a part of a painful past. They want to be a part of a legend.
That is something Seattle doesn’t even look close to offering.
2. Seattle is kinda bleh.
Even though Seattle is a beautiful city, it is shrouded in the clouds of rain and doubt. This is both literal and metaphoric. The local weather is a challenge and so is the ownership group. The majority owner has never even seen his team play.
(Even when they traveled to the other side of the world and played in his native Japan.) Who wants to be a part of an organization that is gray and dreary all the time? Case in point.
Almost every veteran that has come through here watches his numbers plummet. This could be the ballpark dimensions, but I think most players see it for what it is beyond that.
Instability in leadership that affects the mental game.
3. Seattle doesn’t pay
The Mariners lose out on chances to sign the difference makers because they can’t compete with the other teams offering up the moon for mediocre players. The Angels are the worst at this at the moment. Unfortunately, the Mariners are living in their shadow, and will continue to be a plaything for the rest of the division if they don’t do something soon.
All thats left for Jack Z?
Players that know the team and don’t have all these preconceived notions what the Seattle club really is. Those that have played here before genuinely feel attached to the fans and the organization. Mike Cameron loved Seattle so much he signed a one day contract to ensure he could retire as a Mariner.
But here is the thing.
If all Jack has to really work with are those players in the league that give a crap then that means he would only be left with the shells of former good athletes such as:
- Ken Griffey Jr (2009)
- Russell Branyan (2010)
- Miquel Olivo (2011)
- George Sherill (2012)
- Raul Ibanez (2013)
Does that crap sound familiar? No wonder free agents don’t want to come here. No one wants to smell like crap.