Optimism Sunday: What are you excited about?

DMZ · March 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Really — we’re two weeks out from the start of the season. What are you looking forward to this year?

Quick ground rules: no one is wrong. Unless they’re looking forward to Moose lap dances. That is wrong for everyone.


46 Responses to “Optimism Sunday: What are you excited about?”

  1. DMZ on March 22nd, 2009 12:18 pm

    I’ll start, since I posted (unless someone beats me)–

    I’m so eager to see the M’s put out a potentially stellar defensive outfield. One of the great joys of my long time as an M’s fan was seeing the Winn-Cameron-Ichiro! outfield at work in the field, and the thought that we might see something similar makes me happy.

  2. MarinerDan on March 22nd, 2009 12:21 pm

    I am looking forward to seeing what Jeff Clement can do. I remember being excited when the M’s drafted him and then watching him rake at USC.

    I hope he gets the bulk of the time at catcher and can put up 20 bombs and hit .275 with a .350 OBP. That would be nice.

  3. B.W.Marx on March 22nd, 2009 12:22 pm

    to finally see Felix reach another level of his potential.

  4. dirk on March 22nd, 2009 12:29 pm

    I’m excited to see a manager run out the best team everyday regardless of seniority, stature, salary, or anything else.

  5. MER on March 22nd, 2009 12:32 pm

    I am optimistically looking forward to the Mariners’ top 3 starters (Felix/Interview/Morrow) being the best 1-2-3 starters in the league. If so, then we will likely have a contenting team.

  6. eternal on March 22nd, 2009 12:35 pm

    Even though I wasn’t around when he was in Seattle before (nor did I even like Baseball then), but after yesterday’s day in Peoria I’m looking forward to seeing Jr. at bat with his big smile. Looking forward to seeing the new guys I don’t know play. And looking forward to a year where the team looks like they are having fun out there and not constantly attacking one another. I’ll have to watch this from afar (Asia), but looking forward to the few glimpses I’ll get. Go M’s!

  7. sass on March 22nd, 2009 12:35 pm

    I’m excited that my wife bought me MLB extra innings so I can watch the Mariners from Kansas. I’m excited for Z to fleece someone at the trade deadline…and I’m excited about Franklin Gutierrez; I think he’s going to turn into an even more special player as he gets a chance to play full time. Just a hunch.

  8. brad_i on March 22nd, 2009 12:39 pm

    It dawned on me last week that I haven’t seen Yuniesky play since last August (I moved out of state, and the Mariners don’t get on Comcast Sports Midwest very often). It’ll be really fun to watch him play again. He’s not a great player, nor even an average player, but for whatever reason he’s the one Mariner right now that I key in on. Especially when going to games at Safeco, it’s fulfilling to have that purpose of hawking one player, all game. Yuni usually does something great, funny, or depressing whenever I watch. A lot of people feel this way about Ichiro or Felix (which is probably more sensible), but that’s Yuni.
    On the flip side, if Yuni crashes and burns, it’ll be nice to find a new favorite player.

  9. ScottBrowne on March 22nd, 2009 12:47 pm

    I’m excited to be excited about the team again. I’ve been a fan through the (few) good times and the (mostly) bad times, but watching your favorite sports team lose 101 games takes some of the enjoyment out of watching them everyday.

    It’s a great feeling to have hope for the team again.

  10. Skiba on March 22nd, 2009 12:51 pm

    I’m most excited to see Franklin Gutierrez running down balls in the gap a la Mike Cameron. I’m also excited to see what Adrian Beltre can do on a team that actually has some potential.

  11. Jake N. on March 22nd, 2009 1:01 pm

    I am excited to see reality based coaching. The best team of players hit the field. Z and Wak have made great strides to clean up this roster. It is encouraging. Yet, I still hold many reservations. How do they manage Batista/Silva, do they alow these bums and their contracts to bring this team down. Does the front office make good choices, cut bait and run on bad contracts to develope young talent? Oh, how I wish they continue on the road the have started! Hope, what a wonderful philosophy. Go Mariners!

  12. R. Kelly on March 22nd, 2009 1:05 pm

    I’m excited to see what Jose Lopez can do this year and my sentimental side is excited to see Griffey back in the right uni.

  13. Teej on March 22nd, 2009 1:20 pm

    Felix Felix Felix Felix Felix!

    Outside of that, I’m really excited to see what Gutierrez can do at the plate. We know he’s not going to hit .300/.400/.500 or anything, but if we get .260/.330/.450 out of a center fielder with amazing range and a cannon for an arm, we’re looking at a hell of a baseball player. And while those numbers are optimistic, I don’t think they’re out of the question. [Runs to his PECOTA spreadsheet to see if he’s crazy . . .]

    PECOTA has him at .261/.325/.422. CHONE is less optimistic. We’ll see. But if he really is a +20 center fielder and he figures things out at the plate, we might be looking at a four-win player.

  14. ChrisB on March 22nd, 2009 1:27 pm

    FELIX! His first strikeout of the season.

    Ichiro coming up in the top of the first in Minny, tapping his bat on his spikes, then stretching back and slapping a single off the turf.

  15. chris d on March 22nd, 2009 1:27 pm

    I am looking forward to:
    1) Manager who does not bat a Jose Vidro like player 4th but who puts out a line-up that can win.
    2) The outfield playing top notch defense.
    3) A bullpen that can shut down teams from 7th – 9th
    4) Seeing that a smart GM , like Z, has been lacking all along.
    5) Jeff Clement hit 4th with 25HR’s and .360 OBP
    6) Wak get the middle infield efficient and effective either with current personnel or Z making a trade.

    Maybe all of these won’t occur but it will be fun if a few happen and it is already better than last year. At this time last year the Bedard trade had occurred and most of us knew that BB had made a big blunder and this year most of us feel good about Z and his moves.

  16. chris d on March 22nd, 2009 1:35 pm

    I hope to see as well:
    1) Junior as DH hitting HR’s.
    2) Felix liking defense behind him and a team that wins so that he signs a contract and stays forever with M’s.
    3) Gut turning into a top end CF and show that Z got the better of a trade just with him let alone the other pieces. When was the last time M’s ever got the better of a trade!!!

  17. SonOfZavaras on March 22nd, 2009 1:36 pm

    This year, I’m excited because after a very solid off-season of moves overall, we’re going to see just valid, how on-course the direction the M’s are going is.

    And there are moves we make this year (Bedard gone? Beltre gone? The 2009 draft and our 4 picks in the top 50 certainly warrant notice..) that will determine just where we’re going for years, maybe a generation of such, to come.

    I’m looking forward to Jack Zduriencik rebuilding a farm system that suffered years of damage from one bad trade. I suspect this year is when the biggest steps to being a top-10 system will be taken.

    Franklin Gutierrez. I have unbridled enthusiasm about him. Is it too much to ask for a player to defy expectations in a pleasant way, and just be a lot better than what we thought we traded for?

    I’m looking forward to Felix Hernandez taking his game to a brand-new level this year. I realize I’m overtly optimistic at times, but this year he really could go monster on the whole league.

    Junior’s first two home runs this year. It’ll bring him to 400 as a Mariner. Anything else is gravy, but seeing him at the plate will be good for a thrill or two.

  18. ThundaPC on March 22nd, 2009 1:41 pm

    My Top 5 things I’m looking forward to:

    1) Don Wakamatsu: It’s a bit unusual but I can’t wait to see him in action. Even in Spring Training, I’ve been impressed with his insight. Seems like we’ll finally be getting some tactician-based managing.

    2) Brandon Morrow: I don’t expect things to be smooth. Already he’s had a setback that won’t allow him to break the starting rotation on opening day. But since we’re talking about the whole season, he’s going to be a fun guy to watch. Hopefully, by the end of the season he’ll look like a regular fixture in the rotation.

    3) Ken Griffey Jr.: Well, he’s here. The fans get what they wanted. Should be a lot of fun if he produces. I’m mainly looking for his production and playing time. He’s going to see some time on the field but it will be interesting to see how much given that Wak, wants to maximize his production to the team.

    4) Carlos Silva: Yea, not a big fan of his, but we’re stuck with him for another 3 years and they don’t all have to be as bad as the first. Even cutting down the Korea-sized meltdowns will be an improvement. I still expect some bounce back.

    5) Jack Zduriencik: Looks like he’s going to be constantly winding ways to improve this team. The big things I’m keeping an eye on are the Draft and the trade deadline. Those are going to be some exciting days, that for sure.

    Even as a projected “75 or so” win team, there’s A LOT to look forward to. That’s not even counting the improved outfield defense, Russell Branyan, whomever takes the closer job on opening day, or Chad Cordero.

    This year is going to be fun. And unlike last year, I’ll still be interested in this team by June.

  19. idahowriter on March 22nd, 2009 1:48 pm

    Looking forward to the ridiculous amount of Junior-mania revenue we’ll get to spend on Mariners of the future.

  20. thegroovewrangler on March 22nd, 2009 1:51 pm

    I’m looking forward to Ichiro hitting a lead-off single in the first inning on opening day, and the whole team never looking back once for the rest of the season.
    Seeing all these shrewd off-season moves translate to command of the AL West, going all the way into October, and shutting up all those who doubt the new FO’s tactics would be the greatest thing I could ask for. However, if someone from the future came back to tell me only that the M’s will win more games than they lose this year would be enough to make me smitten.
    Seriously, in the years I’ve followed the M’s they’ve never been worse than they were last year. If I could stick with ’em through 2008, there’s very little that I can’t look forward to.

  21. appleshampoo on March 22nd, 2009 1:58 pm

    Aw shucks, this post is making me tear up.

    I’m looking forward to seeing RRS probably be in the rotation, with Morrow banged up to start the year. Even though it might make us a worse team, I’d like to see him continue the success he had at the end of last year.

    Other than that, I’m just looking forward to getting out to Safeco for some nice games. Got my tickets for opening day, and am about to pick the 10 games to which I want to go this year for sure.

  22. Mr. Egaas on March 22nd, 2009 2:12 pm

    I’m excited to see if Franklin Gutierrez can come around with the bat, making him one of the most valuable and unheralded players in the game. I have a feeling it’ll be a month before he’s my favorite player.

    I’m excited to see a 1B platoon that rivals the 2006 Indians platoon of Perez and Broussard. Look it up, the numbers are lethal.

  23. Go Felix on March 22nd, 2009 2:45 pm

    The development of Felix.
    Morrow the starter or Morrow the closer?
    Phillipe Aumont.
    The draft.

  24. TheEmrys on March 22nd, 2009 2:49 pm

    I’m looking forward to some stellar defense inflating the values of every starting pitcher. Someone may actual want Silva…. well, maybe the Cardenales de Lara would want him.

  25. cheeseheadtransplantmax on March 22nd, 2009 3:02 pm

    To second what others have said, I am looking forward to the draft and the trade deadline.

  26. ppl on March 22nd, 2009 3:11 pm

    DEFENSE! hopefully a return to having a superior outfield. Also, the extra speed that Endy and Franklin bring to the table. While they did not replace Raul’s production, They actually stand to have decent production from the spots: First-Base and Designated Hitter, that were almost totally not productive last year, but now are occupied by Left-Handed power bats. That, along with the potential platoons serve to raise the overall threshold, and decrease the individual weak links in the line-up. And speaking of the platoons, I am also optimistic that the guys who make this team as reserves, actually get used. In the past this team broke camp with seemingly useful players, that never got used. It was an annual event. Also Chavez at the bottom of the order, means he will be on a lot to advance and maybe score on Ichiro’s singles.

  27. lailaihei on March 22nd, 2009 3:12 pm

    I’m pretty sure we’ll see career seasons from 2 of Gutierrez, Lopez, and Felix.

  28. derubino on March 22nd, 2009 4:03 pm

    Well, since it’s the optimism thread, should I go all out?

    1) A breakout year from Jose Lopez. Seems like he’s been coming on, he’s at a good age, he’s tearing up the WBC…could he go crazy this year?

    2) Felix finally gets it all together and has a monstrous year. Morrow builds on last year’s success. Bedard reminds people why he was so highly touted last year. The result is one of the best 1-2-3 punches in baseball. And while Washburn/Silva are grossly overpaid, there are worse 4/5 combos out there…plus RRS is always out there to make it easy to trade one.

    3) Ichiro and Griffey. Quote gold. Not only that, but these are two players who are so cool that they make walking to the dugout cool.

    4) When Griffey hits his first homerun I’m going to do a lap around my house.

    5) And finally I’ll try to be optimistic and hope that someone amongst Lowe/Corcoran/Messenger/Aardsma/Cordero/Everyone Else steps up for the bullpen, cause this bullpen is scaring me like no Mariners bullpen since early 1990’s.

    6) Finally, I too am stoked about the outfield defense. It was amazing how good Paul Abbott looked with Ichiro-Cameron-Winn. Of course, that was a good offense too, but it helps right!

    Go Mariners! Here’s to our 15-20% chance of winning the West!

  29. slescotts on March 22nd, 2009 4:50 pm

    That, regardless of what happens, the Mariners WILL be playing in October this year.

  30. behappy on March 22nd, 2009 5:06 pm

    WOW! I haven’t looked forward to a Mariner’s season like this in a long long time.

    We’ve had it so bad as Mariner fans the last few years, that I get a chubby everytime Dr. Z makes even the smallest move that makes sense. For the first time since the Pat Gillick days we actually have a plan of attack.

    I am looking forward to rooting again for a team that is building for the future and knowing that we will only be getting better and better. And maybe even become a one of the dominate teams, that has a chance to make the playoffs every year. Wouldn’t it be great if Seattle was spoken about with the likes of Boston or New York or we become the new Rays or if we could string 10 or 11 seasons in a row like the Braves did in the ’90’s.

    That would be awesome. We have the ownership in place. We have the stadium. We even have the revune in place. Now all we need is some leadership in the FO that knows how to build an annual winners. And think we all agree we FINALLY have that as well.


  31. John D. on March 22nd, 2009 5:08 pm

    Will WAKAMATSU platoon when the need for platooning is obvious, or will he let the seasoned veterans go up there even though they’re hitting below the Mendoza line?

    BTW, is it true that BAVASI is in line for the Baltimore GM job ?

  32. daveblev on March 22nd, 2009 5:19 pm

    I got back to Virginia yesterday from Peoria. I’m optimistic for a 3rd place finish this year based on what I’ve seen out there..15 to 30% chance of winning the AL west. I’d say 0.5% chance being the Angels and A’s will run away with the division as usual. I’m pulling for Mike Wilson to make the team.

    On a side note…looking into the past..and not 1995..If you live in MD,VA,DC, or NC right now..I’m watching the 1997 ALDS on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)..Jr just grounded to second off of Arthur Rhodes..Edgar just got called out on strikes..I remember hearing this game on the radio just days before I left for bootcamp.

  33. Slippery Elmer on March 22nd, 2009 5:37 pm

    I’m excited to see a definite improvement on the 2008 season. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of numbers a finally (hopefully?) healthy Bedard can put up. I’m really anticipating seeing Felix lead the league in ERA and strikeouts. I’m hoping Ichiro will continue to put up his usual ungodly stats. And I’m expecting “#24… Ken Griffeyyyy, JUNIOR!” to hit several score homers in his swan song.

    “A rabbit can dream, can’t he?”

  34. mark s on March 22nd, 2009 5:39 pm

    Things I am looking forward to:
    1) The Draft
    2) Felix’s development
    3) Trades, and all the moves over the next 6 months that will make us even MORE excited for 2010.
    4) Defense Defense Defense
    5) Morrow’s development
    6) Ichiro!
    7) The bullpen
    8 The last 2 weeks of the season could be very exciting. All 4 teams could be within 5 or 6 games of each other.

    Finally, only important to me
    9) Spending 1 or 2 nights a week with my mom at the baseball game.

    Oh and everyone here and at LL will have more to talk about! 😀

  35. Mariner4Life on March 22nd, 2009 5:43 pm

    It would be awesome if the Mariners were able to find takers Johjima, Silva, and Washburn. Its basically impossible for that to happen, but thats what we get for having Bavasi as a GM. Its time for Clement and Rowland-Smith to get the chance to go out every day and to show what they got. And those 3 players are just blocking their path, while Clement and Rowland-Smith are wasting away on the bench or in the minors. Its a new season and we need to start fresh, and that means getting rid of players that have no future.

  36. mwalter on March 22nd, 2009 5:44 pm

    # chris d on March 22nd, 2009 1:27 pm

    I am looking forward to:
    1) Manager who does not bat a Jose Vidro like player 4th but who puts out a line-up that can win.
    2) The outfield playing top notch defense.
    3) A bullpen that can shut down teams from 7th – 9th
    4) Seeing that a smart GM , like Z, has been lacking all along.
    5) Jeff Clement hit 4th with 25HR’s and .360 OBP
    6) Wak get the middle infield efficient and effective either with current personnel or Z making a trade.

    Maybe all of these won’t occur but it will be fun if a few happen and it is already better than last year. At this time last year the Bedard trade had occurred and most of us knew that BB had made a big blunder and this year most of us feel good about Z and his moves.

    I was cruising through the posts when I came across this one and it made me smile. Somehow I had blocked out the memory that Jose Vidro was on the team last year (don’t ask me how – I’ve got no idea). It made me smile because I realized that no matter what the Mariners do this year I will never have to witness a Vidro at bat from any position in the batting order…let alone batting clean-up!!

    Good year!!

  37. section331 on March 22nd, 2009 5:54 pm

    I think right now, the thing I’m looking most forward to is the electricity of Opening Day. I’m looking forward to hearing them announce Junior, and watching the sold-out crowd around me lose their minds.
    I’m looking forward to my 16+ games, and a manager who might actually pull a pitcher when they start to lose it, rather than letting them “work through it” (sorry, but that strategy never really worked last year). I’m looking forward to sitting over first on warm summer nights with the air coming off the Sound, and a good view of the field and city skyline. I’m looking forward to hot dogs, cold beer, and talking to strangers sitting next to me. I’m looking forward to screaming myself hoarse when I’m there, and yelling at my TV when I’m not. I’m looking forward to having friends over for barbecues and game-watching on the weekends, and getting caught up in the tiny, 3+ hour dramas nearly every day until October. Sweet. Long live baseball, and go Mariners!

  38. stevie_j13 on March 22nd, 2009 6:44 pm

    I am looking forward to a great OF defense, and watching Felix take the next step in the eyes of the regular fan. I am excited about Clement and Morrow. I am excited for Jose Lopez getting 100 RBIs. And I am most excited about watching a team headed in the right direction.

  39. Breadbaker on March 22nd, 2009 7:02 pm

    I’m looking forward to . . . wait, my thoughts have been nicely preempted here. Felix having an awesome year. Lopez developing. Great outfield defense making the pitchers look better (the Interview, in his postgame interview, actually said as much about today’s ST game).

  40. bakomariner on March 22nd, 2009 7:11 pm

    I’m looking forward to Mariner baseball…good or bad, I’m ready to get on the bus (no pun intended)and go for a ride…

    “My, oh, my…”

  41. Bender on March 22nd, 2009 7:32 pm

    I’m looking forward to the same thing I look forward to every year:


    I love how he plays the game, I love everything about him. I’m looking forward to him being surrounded by good players instead of incompetent jerks. I can’t wait to see him happy and performing well.

  42. msb on March 22nd, 2009 8:38 pm


    Ichiro’s ensemble on his first day in Peoria.

    Cammie 2.0, and if RF has another who is fleet of foot, ahhhhhh.

    FelixFelixFelix. Bedard takes his attempt to turn around his image into the field. And what, if anything, Adair brings to them.

    Griffey tweaking Ichiro.

    Beltre being Beltre.

  43. naynay51 on March 22nd, 2009 8:54 pm

    Why stop with Junior? Let’s bring back Edgar, Bone, Mr. Mariner, Boonie, etc. An All Geriatric team would excite all of us old-timers. REFUSE TO LOSE!! THE MARINERS ARE PLAYIN’ HARD BALL. HIT IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!!!

  44. DMZ on March 22nd, 2009 9:02 pm

    I’m not sure that’s really in the spirit.

  45. naynay51 on March 23rd, 2009 5:27 am

    …..and Gormbo and Wimpy and Gaylord and Cruzer and Hendu! What the Moose does during the off-season is none of our business. It’s April, I’m excited about everything Mariners. Check back in June.

  46. JLP on March 25th, 2009 9:38 am

    I’m excited to see if Joh turns it around.

    I’m excited to see the outfield where triples go to die.

    I’m excited to see if Lopez can turn it up a notch.

    I’m excited to see how Wakamatsu deals with the Betancourt Ordeal.

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