That’s okay, I’m optimistic
Building on Jason’s post below, I figured I might as well throw this out there – I couldn’t be any more thrilled with how the Mariners are being run right now than I currently am. I know, most Mariner fans see 2009 as a lost year with no hope of contention. They see Washburn and Silva and Batista and Bedard and Johjima and are reminded of just how badly this organization was run the last few years. They see a big payroll, a bad offense, and a pitching staff with a lot of questions.
I see a roster full of hope. I see two brand new tremendous defensive outfielders and realize that we no longer have to beg the team to understand that running down balls in the gaps is just as valuable as hitting balls in the gaps. I see a $1.9 million first base platoon of undervalued players who could produce league average production while holding down the fort until a long term replacement can be found. I see a potential long term replacement in the 22-year-old with a .400 OBP that just got acquired. I see two other intriguing young talents being added to the farm system in Ezequiel Carrera and Mickael Cleto. I see the team filling the holes in the bullpen with buy-low, solid upside guys like Jason Vargas and Jose Lugo.
If people want to call it rebuilding, that’s fine. I’d say it’s more of an overhaul, though – a complete teardown of the old processes and in importation of new, better processes. Not everything Zduriencik and crew do is going to work, but there’s a mountain of evidence that shows that they understand how to build a good team, and that the moves they make will be built on solid logic.
I see a team that has moved away from ERA, RBIs, and chemistry, and is marching towards actual wins. Yes, Raul Ibanez and J.J. Putz are gone, and the local media will tell you that those guys are humongous losses to a roster of bad players. I will tell you that this team, right now, is better than the one that went to spring training in March. Franklin Gutierrez is a better player than Raul Ibanez. The M’s aren’t rebuilding by getting worse and hoping kids develop – they’re rebuilding by bringing in better players than the ones that were previously.
The Mariners are going the right way. They’re building for the future and the present at the same time, and they’re implementing processes that will lead to long term sustained success. I haven’t been as optimistic about this organization as I am now in… probably forever. Let the pessimists wail about the losses of guys they know, and watch as the Mariners win with guys they don’t.
Go Z. Go M’s.