There’s One Born Every Minute A Sucker That Is ………….. And If You Happen To Be Mariners’ Fan …………….I’m Sorry !
There’s not much that can be said that hasn’t already been said as to the woefully inept season that the Seattle Mariners have been having in the AL West this year so far. They’re pretty much “out of the running” of winning the division much less obtaining a wildcard berth in the postseason .
Here was a team that a great deal was expected from , with them having acquired several stars to add to their seasoned roster. Instead their moribund record of 18-28 has them sitting at the bottom of the AL West looking up at the Texas Rangers (26-21), Oakland Athletics (25-23), and Los Angeles Angels (23-26). And now 7 1/2 games behind the division leading Rangers , one could surmise that for all sense and purpose their season is pretty much over !
Slide show for your perusal. Use the directional arrows indicated to move the projector
in the direction you wish.
Now to make matters worse there’s the very inkling that if this team isn’t within earshot of gaining a wildcard berth then it will broken up and certain players will be discarded. Amongst those being talked about as being traded come the MLB __ trade deadline is none other than starting ace Cliff Lee . This is the same Cliff Lee who was acquired via trade and who will become an unrestricted free agent fort the 2011 season. Lee we were told would be the lynch pin of a starting rotation that would be the envy of the league . Instead we’ve a team whose pitching is amongst the best in the American League in terms of team ERA at 3.75 per game . But whose offense ranks amongst the worst at 27th (.238) of the 30 teams in the majors. And for an organization with its vast and untapped financial resources. It’s hard to explain how the Seattle Mariners could find themselves in such a moribund situation .
Team GM Jack Zduriencik , team manager Don Wakamatsu and the coaching staff saw fit to assemble a team that they thought would be in contention for the divisional crown. But their play has been so inconsistent that one has to wonder how the team can lift themselves out of such a rut ? And it certainly hasn’t helped that the attitudes of veterans such as Ken Griffey Jr and Milton Bradley have been questioned. The latter of whom , in Bradley , recently came of the team’s disabled list having suffered we’re told from bouts of depression and some acute personal issues. Well , given Bradley’s predilection for the outlandish and making the most absurd of statements , it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as to the player’s woes. He’s walking ticking time bomb waiting to explode any minute. When things are going right for the player he can be a tremendous asset to a team but when they’re going wrong then watch him self combust. He’ll apportion blame elsewhere rather than hold himself accountable for his lack of productivity or for whatever else might be wrong with him at the time.
On the other hand, with Ken Griffey Jr, we simply have a player who’s on the downside of an illustrious career and whose productivity if anything has been labored. While much of this has been going the team’s best most respected player Ichiro Suzuki just continues to do what he does best and that’s to be productive. Unfortunately, for him and the die-hard fans in attendance at Safeco Field in Seattle , his immense talents are being wasted. Personally, I feel that if the Mariners are looking to build for the future then their best bet would be to seek a trade of not only Lee but Ichiro as well ! The team would be able to acquire a King’s ransom for Ichiro and we all know that Lee would be a prize asset for any team with an ambition and whose eyes are set on the postseason and in particular winning the World Series . Teams such as the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees , Los Angeles Dodgers , St Louis Cardinals and New York Mets may well now be savoring the possibility of acquiring Lee in order to add to their respective pitching rotations. And it has to be said that those same teams may well be interested in acquiring a player of Ichiro’s caliber. But such has been Ichiro’s loyalty to the team out of obligation to the organization’s many Japanese corporate sponsors. The thinking might well be that he’s prepared to remain there in Seattle in “baseball purgatory” , rather than going elsewhere. As good as that altruism may well appear to be I now get the feeling that the player himself might well now be thinking ………..” to hell with this s_it I’m outta here ” !
Now comes the hard part for the owners of the Mariners in trying to sell such a scenario to their long suffering fans. Given what they’ve had to put up with over the last decade from the lackadaisical and laissez-faire approach of the front office from their “former owners” in the Sony Corporation to the partnership syndicate now led by Chairman & CEO Howard Lincoln , President & COO Chuck Armstrong , Chairman Emeritus John Ellis and Minoru Arakawa . And granted, there may well be public outcry if Ichiro were to be traded but in all honesty keeping him there while the organization plainly has no chance of winning their division much less a World Series , gives the impression that the organization is unambitious and plainly now out of creative ideas. But then again not much has changed over the last decade concerning the organization to begin with. They simply shuffled from one mishap to another while still trying to create the perception to the fans that they were indeed heading in the right direction. On the face of it nothing could be further from the truth. The Seattle Mariners have now become just like the vast majority of teams within MLB that continue struggle. Much of it coming from their own self created and self inflicted wounds.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
For the fans of the Mariners the subterfuge was created that this was an ambitious organization that wanted nothing more than to win. The fans were suckered into buying into the fairy tale and unfortunately for them they bought into it all , hook , line and sinker. What team and organization in baseball do you feel are selling their fans short ? Why do you think that is and how best do you think that they ought to go about changing that mindset ? I look forward to reading your comment and responding to them in kind.
To those of who on this most meaningful of holidays , have a great Memorial Day weekend. And if you should happen to be in the presence of a military veteran simply show your appreciation by simply saying ……….. “thank you” ! It’ll mean a great deal to him or her that you’re recognizing their valor and duty to their country ! Having served in the military myself, it’s a great feeling to know that others have appreciated that sacrifice. So once again have a great weekend and above all a wonderful Memorial Day.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………….
Bob Marley & The Wailers Live from Dortmund, Germany. ……………..“Get Up , Stand Up” . Only Marley could have a crowd eating out of his hands the way that he could.