In April 2011, my wife and I moved to the Phoenix area and as a longtime Seattle sports fan, I was pleased that I was able to follow all of my teams in our new home, but I was increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress in the Mariners and how it appears that the team’s front office attempts to appease fans into thinking there is this master plan in place, when in truth they make one poor baseball decision after another and concentrate solely on turning a profit thanks to the large TV and radio contract and goodwill that was built up from 1995 through 2002.
I decided I wanted to do some research as to what other fans and people in baseball outside of the Seattle market truly think the Seattle Mariners and their rebuilding plan.
A recent game with the Yankees had numerous comments on the low 200 batting averages comprising the Seattle Mariner lineup. One even went so far as to say that he had a hard time believing that these were major league batting averages this late into the season.
A visit with the Arizona Diamondbacks during a recent visit by the Mariners had the local media commenting that the Mariners are going through a very painful learning struggle for the young players that cound show a huge upside in the future.
I’m not going to say it’s time to give up on many of the young players because there certainly have been some bright spots throughout the season. Although inconsistent, Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Kyle Seager, Carp, and Jesus Montero have shown signs of being capable major-league players but as of yet not the star potential it was touted for them. On the other hand Justin Smoak, who is the key piece in the Cliff Lee trade, has been an out and out disaster to the point that he is been relegated to AAA for he is currently batting all of .222 as I write this article.
While Smoak has shown occasional flashes of power he is reported to have complained bitterly about the dimensions Safeco Field much to the point where it’s reported the Mariners are considering moving in the fences.
To me this is an attempt to mask the real problems on this team, a total and complete lack of players that are capable of performing in the clutch and hitting a Major League level. When Safeco Field opened it was known as a pitchers park but yet I don’t seem to recall too many of the teams prior to the last four years complaining that they couldn’t hit the park.
The much maligned Richie Sexson during his time in Seattle managed to average 31 home runs during his first three years as well as driving 100+ RBIs the first two years.
I know this is likely to fall on deaf ears but I think it’s time for the Mariners ownership to either put the team up for sale to an owner that will spend the money required to bring in top-flight players, or open their wallets and spend some of the recently earned priofit.
Ownership points to a bright future and the young pitchers that are coming up and while that is exciting, Felix Hernandez is proof that all the great pitching the world won’t win games without some offense.
I say it is finally time for the front office to do the right thing, step down, and give someone else a chance as the team currently is a rudderless ship adrift in a sea of continued mediocrity and appears destined to do so until major changes are made.