It Was Still Fun
The last four days haven’t been much fun for anyone. Getting the doors blown off at home by teams that are trading players away is not how you want to end July. Beyond the losses, they’ve just been ugly – bad pitching, bad defense, and bad hitting, as usual. Just a total collapse that basically ends the 2009 season and pushes the M’s into looking towards the future.
But, in the midst of all the speculating about where Washburn will go or who will fix the SS hole, we have to stop for a second and realize that this is the most fun we’ve had watching the Mariners play in years.
During the Bavasi era, we got a reputation for being negative about everything. We were the blog to come to if you wanted to know what was wrong with the organization. We loved Felix and Beltre and lauded the greatness of J.J. Putz, but for the most part, there just weren’t many things to be excited about. The team was bad and old, and the guys in charge didn’t understand how to fix the problems. We lived in fear of every transaction, and the best we could hope for is that the talent in the farm system could charge through the minors so fast that they’d make it impossible for the team to trade them for some crappy overpaid veteran.
But 2009 has changed all of that. This season has been legitimately enjoyable. From the breakouts of guys like Gutierrez and Aardsma to the maturation of Felix Hernandez, the majestic home runs of Russ Branyan, the deportation of Yuniesky Betancourt, the arrival of pre-injury Shawn Kelley (I’d love to see that guy again before the season ended), and now the debut of Michael Saunders, there has been a lot of reasons to watch this team on a daily basis. Instead of fearing what the GM will do, I’d imagine most of us are legitimately excited about the potential of Zduriencik being able to get some value in return for Jarrod Washburn.
We were always fans, but the organization made it very hard to find things to root for from 2003 to 2008. This year won’t end in a playoff series, but it re-established our ability to enjoy Mariner baseball, and that might be the biggest accomplishment of all. A few weeks ago, we were actually referred to as a “homer blog”, which, given our response to the team the last five or six years, might be the most impressive accomplishment of all.
So, congratulations to Jack, Wak, and the rest of the crew on a successful 2009. You probably didn’t want it to end in July, but these were the best four months of baseball we’ve seen in years. We look forward to even better baseball in the days ahead.