These Aren’t Your Older Cousin’s Mariners

Younger Cousin:  “Hey man, have you been keeping track of the Mariners lately?  It seems like they might have finally turned the corner.”

Older Cousin:  “Yeah yeah, I’ve heard that at least once every year since 2003.  Aside from a little luck in ’95 and a crazy 2001, us old-time Mariner fans have heard this every year since 1977.”

YC:  “You were born in 1985… Also, do you read much about this team?  Watch any games?  The team is based around a young core who is actually playing well.  It seems like Jack Z’s process is actually coming together.”

OC:  “We’ve heard that about prospects for the last 10 years.  Have any of these players, Felix aside, been here for more than 5 years?  Much less, have any of them succeeded?  Face it, little cuz, this team will always be in the bottom.”

YC:  “5 years ago, we were coming off one of the worst trades in franchise history.  We lost our top prospects for a pitcher who couldn’t stay healthy.  We had just finished running out Jose Vidro as an everyday DH.  Sure, Yuni got fat, Jose Lopez got braces and it turned out that Jeremy Reed was bad but what other young players did we run out?  Their wasn’t any talent.  Now look!  Justin Smoak is a good everyday first baseman.  Kyle Seager is a star.  Brad Miller and Nick Franklin are hitting, walking and playing defense.  All of those guys are under contract until at least 2017.  The future is even more exciting than the present and the present has our hometown nine going 8-5 against 4 of the hottest teams in baseball.”

OC:  “They are all on hot streaks.  Seriously?  We’re still trying to talk ourselves into Justin Smoak?  That is so Mariners.”

YC:  “That’s the thing, they aren’t all on hot streaks.  Mike Zunino and Dustin Ackley still aren’t playing near their potential.  Sure, they are showing signs of progress but I don’t call hitting under .230 a hot streak.  As for Smoak, I’m not trying to talk myself in anymore.  I’ve bought in.  He’s been good for almost a calendar year now.  Sure, he had a rough April but most players have a bit of a rough stretch.  Shouldn’t we be encouraged that he worked his way out of it?  Kyle Seager has been good for 2 years, I don’t call that a hot streak.  Maybe Nick Franklin or Brad Miller flame out, but they aren’t showing any signs of that right now.  They aren’t just hitting, they’re walking and playing defense at prime positions.  Even Zunino and Ackley seem to be getting on base once a game and are showing definite progress.  If one of the other guys struggles, another player picks up the slack.  We haven’t even gotten to Michael Saunders yet.  It seems like he’s turning it around again and becoming a quality player.”

OC:  “Yeah, but…”

YC:  “I wasn’t finished.  Shannon Drayer made the point the other day that the Mariners aren’t riding one player during the last few weeks.  Yes, Ibanez is hitting quite a few dingers.  That’s what he’s supposed to do.  Kendrys has had a few good games but he’s hitting below or right at most of his career averages.  All the young guys are playing right about where you’d expect, or want, them to.  Smoak isn’t hitting .400 with a dinger every day.  He’s hitting consistently for a month as a good first baseman.  The young guys are carrying this team and they aren’t going anywhere.”

OC:  “Well, the rotation sucks still…”

YC:  “Aaron Harang is bad.  Yes.  He won’t be here next year, or maybe even in 2 weeks.  Joe Saunders has been better as of late.  Erasmo struggled his first time up but he’s been good for a year in major league baseball.  If he can stay healthy, he’s a great 4th starter.  We have Taijuan Walker tearing up Tacoma and he should be ready next year.  If Hultzen can get healthy, he could be in the rotation by the middle of August.  Paxton and Maurer could be solid rotation guys.  I haven’t even gotten to the lower minors guys.  Pitching help is on the way, just like the position players were.”

OC:  “Okay.  They still suck.  They are still the Mariners.”

YC:  “Did I mention that they could have about 40 million dollars to spend in the off-season?  An outfielder, hopefully named Choo, another starting pitcher, this team is finally in place to add quality pieces instead of trying to fill gaps.  For once, the promise finally looks to be reality.”

OC:  “I’m still not buying it.  Did I mention that I’ve been following the Red Sox lately?”

YC:  “Oh.  See you later!”

– Andrew



Filed under Mariners

2 responses to “These Aren’t Your Older Cousin’s Mariners

  1. “That is so Mariners.”

    This almost killed me. I may have to start using it in every-day life. Perfect.

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