Let me start off by apologizing. For the past few years I’d been under the impression that you were just another bullpen guy. Even after you established yourself as a great setup man last year, I still saw you as interchangeable. I’d think, “Just give me another guy who throws hard and then we might be able to trade Lowe for a valuable prospect.” At times I would openly question Wak’s decision to bring you in. Going into this year, I thought you would be surpassed by League and Kelley. I’m sorry for questioning your ability. Sometimes even the geeky baseball fans get it wrong.
You’ve had a pretty interesting career. Watching you jump onto the scene, get injured, become dominant, and then get injured again has been somewhat frustrating but also has brought some good times. When you first came up you would blow people away with your fastball and then make their knees buckle with that filthy slider. Having you and Rafael Soriano as our bullpen future was a cause for optimism in down years for the Mariners. Of course, the front office screwed the whole Soriano thing up but we don’t talk about that. Then you went on the shelf and no one really knew if you’d come back with the same authority. But, you did.
There were many explanations as to why the Mariners were so good in one-run games last year. Luck, Aardsma, and great defense were just some of the reasons thrown out there. People might mention your name but they’d hardly give you the credit you deserved. This year we’ve watched the Mariners stumble through their miserable May and June, losing one-run game after one-run game, without you. We both know the offense sucks, you have to watch it in person every day and for that I apologize again. We both know some of your bullpen mates have been awful. But, if you were there maybe this season would have been a little easier on us all. Maybe we wouldn’t have blown 8th inning leads. Heck, maybe you’d be our closer by now. Now I see that you were one of the key ingredients in our winning formula last year.
All this to say, it sure would be nice to have you back Mark. You’ve got this weird nerve problem that no one seems to know about and it’s keeping you out of action. Hopefully, you wake up tomorrow and it’s gone but I’m not holding my breath. And please don’t let this all go to your head. You aren’t going to save the season. No one is. I just miss last year. I don’t like not knowing who’s going to come in to shut the door in the 8th inning. Kelley can’t get the job done in the last week. League has had one of the weirdest seasons I’ve ever seen from a bullpen guy. And I don’t even want to talk about White.
So, get well soon Mr. Lowe. I look forward to seeing you pitch again. Don’t worry if you screw up because us fans are used to that by now. This injury has really hurt the team but because of it, I now see your worth.