Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
Hello Mariner Fans! Well here it is once again…opening day of the Major League Baseball season. Thirty-seven years ago, in 1977, our Seattle Mariners played their first game ever at the now blown away Kingdome. Born out of a lawsuit stemming from the rip off of the old Seattle Pilots following their one season in Seattle back in 1969, the Mariners had 15 seasons of futility before recording their first winning season in 1991. With the arrival of Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Lou Piniella and the rest our fortunes began to turn and for a few seasons we could look forward to a summer of thrilling play and tight pennant races and even the prospect of a World Series right here in Seattle. Those seasons in the mid’90s at the old Kingdome are what saved baseball in Seattle and ultimately brought us the magnificent Safeco Field we enjoy today. An ironic footnote to those years is that Lou Piniella actually started his playing career when he was with the Pilots briefly at the start of that ’69 season. The Pilots traded him to Kansas City where Lou went on to become American League Rookie of the Year for 1969. Sound familiar? You can add Lou’s name to the long list of bad Seattle trades; a tradition that you more recent Seattle baseball fans can now see was just continued by the Mariners, not started by them.
Speaking of Lou Piniella, I really miss that guy. You want to know why? It’s simple…Lou wanted to win…and I don’t just mean win games or a pennant. Lou wanted it all. He wanted to get to the World Series and he wanted to win it. Lou wore his passion on his sleeve, as many umpires found out while being forced to dodge spittle and infield dirt during one of his legendary protests at their errant calls. There was never any doubt with Lou; you knew where he stood. To date the only Mariner teams to make it to the playoffs were teams managed by Lou. He took the team to the American League Championship Series in 1995, 2000 and 2001 and the playoffs in 1997. He goaded that 2001 team to an astounding and record breaking 116 win season and the ALCS despite losing all three Mariner superstars (Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez) between 1998 and 2000!
Lou left the Mariners following the 2002 season and since then the team has once again descended to sub mediocre status. Attendance even at the beautiful new ball park has fallen to half of what it was during the glory days of the mid ‘90s through 2001. We fans have endured nearly a decade of bad front office and bad team performance on the field. It is time for things to change and it starts by realizing why this team is here and why the game is played. It starts by realizing what the goal and purpose of the Seattle Mariners should be. For Lou Piniella that was an easy one. It is for me too: I want to see a World Series in Seattle and I want us to win it.
I love good baseball. I will turn off my TV in disgust at bad baseball. I want winning baseball, a great team and a World Series…nothing less will suffice for me. With the Jack Zduriencik GM era now entering its 5th year we have a rebuilt minor league system with good, young players already arriving in the “Bigs” and on the horizon. We have a “Randy Johnson-like” ace in Felix Hernandez and a team manager who shows some of that “Lou-like” passion in Eric Wedge. We have a team now stocked with talented and proven Big League hitters like Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse and veteran leadership from Raul Ibanez. I see no reason why this team cannot go out this season and make a serious run at it…I really don’t. They have the talent… they just need to rally around the goal and take us all on a ride this summer we will never forget.
OK! You Seattle Mariners and the rest of you fans now know where I stand at the start of this new season. To the Mariners I can only add one last thing…Go get me that World Series!
Copyright©2013 by Mark Arnold
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