A Moment In Time

Jeff Sullivan · June 22, 2013 at 1:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Fewer things in this world are certain than you think. At least, I think so, but I’m not certain of that. Right now, though, at this writing, I can tell you with certainty one thing that’s certain: we’re into the last third of June. And I can tell you another thing that’s certain: at this writing, Munenori Kawasaki owns a higher wOBA than the Seattle Mariners.

Some people might read that and think, yep, that says it all. It doesn’t say it all — it doesn’t say close to it all — but it says a lot more than your average sentence. The Mariners are in a bad situation these days, and it’s unclear what’s going to happen to the people in charge, meaning it’s consequentially unclear what’s going to happen to the roster. How bad is the Mariners’ situation? The priority, last winter, was to beef up the team offense. The team offense isn’t beefed up. The team offense is being out-wOBA’d by Munenori Kawasaki, who we all thought of as a mascot.

This is two stories. This is the story of Kawasaki, and this is the story of the 2013 Mariners, and this is where they come together. I don’t know where things are going to go henceforth. Kawasaki might lose all his playing time to the returning Jose Reyes, and the Mariners might do, I don’t know, anything. But this is what’s true after almost three months. It’s laughably inconceivable, we thought. Funny thing about certainties.

Kawasaki just hit his first big-league home run. It could easily be his last big-league home run, and it wasn’t by any means a moonshot, being measured as the shortest home run of the day. But what matters isn’t that Kawasaki didn’t hit the ball 450 feet; I didn’t know if he could hit the ball 350 feet, and in Toronto, Kawasaki has become a different sort of icon. He was beloved in Seattle for his antics. His personality was unlike anything we’d ever seen. They love his personality in Toronto, too, and that part of Kawasaki hasn’t changed, but he’s also produced as a real-life ballplayer. The Jays could’ve been devastated when Reyes got hurt. Kawasaki hasn’t been Reyes, but he hasn’t been last year’s Kawasaki. Last year’s Kawasaki was so bad Eric Wedge couldn’t bench Brendan Ryan even when he wanted to, because he felt like he didn’t have a backup.

Going deep at home gave Kawasaki an opportunity for a curtain call. It gave him an opportunity to feel appreciated as a player, and not just as a sideshow. They love him there, they love him to death. There are a lot of comparisons made between fandom and relationships. Lose a superstar and it can be hard to watch him succeed somewhere else, because that was your partner, and now he’s happy on greener pastures. I don’t find it at all weird with Kawasaki. I’m thrilled for him and I’m thrilled for Toronto, because it was never a serious thing between us. Kawasaki was a one-summer fling, and there wasn’t long-term potential. You don’t miss that without long-term potential, and it’s great that he’s delighting a new audience. It’s great and it’s great in part because of the improbability.

There were people who wanted the Mariners to hang on to Kawasaki, but almost none of those people cited actual, legitimate baseball reasons. He seemed, to me and to so many, like a simply inadequate baseball player. There was nothing in his bat and his glove wasn’t special, so he had an 80 personality and a 20 skillset. No part of me figured to miss Kawasaki’s on-field ability, and I was pretty surprised when he wound up with a major-league job. Then he wound up starting. Then he wound up being fine, mostly because he stopped swinging, but also because the swings were better. This is another case where I don’t know why we even bother. Last year I evaluated Kawasaki as one of the worst players in baseball. I was so sure of myself, and I loved the guy anyway. It was meaningful to me, that I could love him despite the complete lack of anything valuable. He’s out-hit the Mariners. He’s out-hit some presumed core Mariners. When Kawasaki left, I knew at least he wasn’t good. Turns out he’s less not good than I thought.

Early last year, somebody dropped by Lookout Landing and claimed that Kawasaki would surprise everybody and bat something like .300. It was laughable, and it became even more laughable in retrospect over the course of the season. The idea of Kawasaki batting .300 was like the idea of Jesus Montero batting .400. Kawasaki now is nowhere in the vicinity of .300, but the more general point is that someone saw skills. Skills exist in there, to the extent that he could be out-hitting the Mariners.

So it’s sweet, to see Kawasaki deliver. It’s sweet to know he’s thought of highly, because he deserves it and because baseball is better with Munenori Kawasaki playing a part. It’s bitter when you drag in the Mariners comparison. You want to feel good about the baseball toy that came to life, but you can’t help but notice your assortment of broken machines.

It gets said every year that the Mariners underwhelm, but this team is approaching unwatchable, if it’s not there already. There are, of course, bright spots, and this isn’t, of course, as dreary as 2008, but baseball games are an investment and there are so many of them and the Mariners are bad in so many of them, too many of them. I know I personally don’t remember the last time I wanted to watch the Mariners, and any viewings have been out of some sick sense of obligation. You can tell yourself you’re watching for the prospects, and there’s a lot of youth going around, but that gets tired. You can tell yourself you’re watching for entertainment, for simple good baseball, but that gets tired. There’s no substitute for baseball that matters. The Mariners don’t matter, again, and teams that don’t matter are hard to watch for the season’s last months. At least on a regular basis.

I used to wonder how people graduated to the point of no longer having a one favorite team. How people just tracked all of baseball, picking a bunch of rooting interests, instead of focusing on one club. I focused on the Mariners, primarily and almost exclusively. But it’s a funny thing that happens when your team sucks. Teams that suck are dreadfully off-putting almost all of the time. So you’re left having to make a decision: either you step away from baseball, or you search everywhere for what might be rewarding. It becomes less about getting something out of your investment in a team, and more about getting something out of your investment in a sport.

This is what leads people to bandwagon. They don’t want to say goodbye to baseball — they just want to distract themselves from a team that’s not good. And it’s not always about cheering for other teams. It can be about cheering for other specific players, players you might find curious or interesting or delightful. I’m searching for reasons to give a hoot. Munenori Kawasaki has been one of them. Kawasaki hasn’t made me feel good about the Mariners, but at least he’s made me feel good about baseball, which is the next-best thing. The Mariners, this season, have drained my interest. Kawasaki has busily poured water into the bucket. Or probably energy drink. Or perpetual-motion cocaine. It’s cocaine, except instead of the come-down, more cocaine.

At this moment in time, Munenori Kawasaki has a higher wOBA than the Seattle Mariners. That sentence is why I hate baseball. That sentence is why baseball’s all right.


48 Responses to “A Moment In Time”

  1. Goose on June 22nd, 2013 1:57 am

    The last few paragraphs are spot on. Years ago, I decided in order to keep interest in the sport that I need to watch quality baseball on a semi-regular basis. For a while that meant following the DBacks, the last few years it’s meant following the Reds.

    Maybe it means I’m a baseball fan first and a Mariners fan second. If so, I’m fine with that. The Mariners haven’t given me any reason not to be the last 10 years.

  2. maqman on June 22nd, 2013 2:10 am

    There is justice here.

  3. GLS on June 22nd, 2013 2:47 am

    I’ve thought about adopting the Cardinals as a sort of second team of interest/pseudo-fandom. I suppose I could pay for mlb.tv. It might be helpful to gain some perspective on what a good team looks like on the field and the sorts of moves that a competent front office and ownership make.

    But mostly I’m stuck on the Mariners.

  4. pdome01 on June 22nd, 2013 4:05 am

    I don’t understand why this article seems to be deflecting frustration on the fact that Munenori Kawasaki can hit this year(big deal) and not on the fact that people who are running this organization(The Mariners) are getting away with running the team into the ground while making there millions. People care about this team. I do. I just don’t want to watch anymore because they run the same old product out there year after year and honestly I think this product is worse than its been in five years, and who didn’t see it coming??? Big deal a player is hitting this year when he wasn’t cable of it last year. That happens every year, even to proven veterans. Personally I always thought Kawasaki would be fine although that was based on my opinion and no factual evidence. I do think however that my opinion could have put together a better team than this group of losers. Don’t get me wrong theres a couple of bright stars in there. And I mean literally like 3 and Felix is 1 of them. Even though he blew last game.

  5. idfan on June 22nd, 2013 6:23 am

    Being a fan of a losing team is hard work. It’s difficult to make yourself sit a chair and watch night after night as they find ways to lose games they should win. Usually my Mariner’s fan fatigue doesn’t set in till late July, early August but here we are, not even to the half way point and most nights by the 5th inning I have turned on the tablet, fired up MLB and watch a real team play baseball. I am a Mariner’s fan, and will be back next year, but for the rest of this summer, I think I’ll return to the team of my youth, pre 1977, and root for the Giants. See you next spring!!

  6. lemonverbena on June 22nd, 2013 7:33 am

    The Blue Jays should have a contest where the winner gets to do coke with Mune Kawasaki.

  7. jak924 on June 22nd, 2013 7:44 am

    The odor is getting bad.

  8. terryoftacoma on June 22nd, 2013 7:55 am

    I’ve been a baseball fan for over half a century. Back when that meant following a team through newspaper box scores, on radio(thank you Vince), a couple live games a year and 6-8 TV games. I collected baseball cards(still do). If you were lucky your local paper posted the team stats daily and the league stats once a week. I kept notebooks full of these very basis stats and had to do the more advance stats on my own. I picked up a book, Baseball Abstracts, in 1982 and found out how little I really knew.

    I began following the Mariner’s about the same time. They were bad. Every year they were bad, but I still followed them. I found little pleasures in those games. I grew not to care that much about who won or lost but found entertainment in how they played. I laughed a lot at those teams.

    Today, I watch every game but I don’t get emotional about wins or loses. It’s entertainment. It’s a game. Prehaps, I’ve lost my passion for the game. I watch for the entertainment and this team never fails to entertain. Believe me I’ve seen worse teams than the current one.

  9. Seattleken on June 22nd, 2013 8:15 am

    Its a weird mix for me as I have always had two teams as I have followed the Jays and the M’s since expansion in 1977. As a fan I don’t expect alot as neither team has done great, except for the years Pat Gillack ran the show in Toronto and Seattle.

    I was very excited with the GM change both did in the last 5 years, as both teams had GMs then I had no faith in. I thought Jack was going to be a balance GM that looked at both scouting and advanced stats. It seemed to start that way then he let go of the stats part of the balance, and since then I have lost all faith in him.

    I will always follow and care about the M’s, but I’m happier now with Toronto’s GM as AA has been trying to build a winner, his moves make sense to me. Sure some moves will fail, but atleast the reason behind is to build a quality team for the fans to enjoy.

    I’m a baseball fan I love and hate the M’s and Jays but nothing felt better than after 15 years the Jays win the World Series in 1992.
    Seattle its watching the superstars Griffey climbing a wall, a Johnson slider where the batter misses by two feet, Edgar controlling the strike zone, Mark Langston as a rookie and of course Felix.

    I love baseball, and have two teams which helps me get through knowing the Mariners wasted the last five years, and there will atleast two more years of below .500 baseball.

  10. WestyHerr on June 22nd, 2013 8:21 am

    Of the 23,086 at the game last night.. How many know what wOBA is? How many know Kawasaki played for us last year? And that’s why Jack Z and Wedge will still be here come spring training ’14. Nothing will change.

  11. Seattleken on June 22nd, 2013 8:56 am

    Westy probably not many care about wOBA, but the fans are not coming out attendance is way down. I think its clear you put crap on the field year after year, and still not have a major all-star success from the farm. The M’s have had a ton of top 10 and top 5 picks.

    I think Zack was way too conservative in the first round (Zunino, Ackley, Hultzen) higher floor lower ceiling college players. Not one of these guys has Hall of Fame potential, and thus no ability to draw fans just to see them. I did expect better of them, as I saw Zunino having Miguel Montero potential, Ackley with Kendrick potential and Hultzen a solid #3 starter.

    So we used the pain of getting the tops picks for guys who have a good chance to be 10-25 WAR careers, instead of going for 0-80 WAR career guys. Peterson is also a low ceiling first rounder… Thankfully we got Wilson in round two who I like far better than Peterson, as he has the tools to be a five tool star.

  12. Ike Clanton on June 22nd, 2013 9:09 am

    When I was in college in San Francisco (~2005), I adopted the Giants as my NL team, for those unfortunate moments when one realizes that they have a choice between NL baseball and no baseball at all.

    The Mariners kind of make me feel like that’s my choice. I’ve always thought it was kind of lame of people to adopt teams that they don’t even have a tenuous geographical link to, so I thank my lucky stars that the Giants have gotten much better since 2005.

  13. WestyHerr on June 22nd, 2013 9:11 am

    Just by shear chance.. How did we not pick a Trout, Harper, Strasburg, Puig over the years? There should have been one kid in there that reshaped the franchise. I guess we did get Jr. in 1987. Instead, we’re trembling with anticipation that AAAckley can hit .245.

  14. sawsatch on June 22nd, 2013 9:24 am

    I’ve been a fan for almost 70 years. I saw the Bobby Thomson home run on my TV in Newark,NJ and so was part of the “wait till next year” Brooklyn Dodgers fan base. I remember listening to the last out …grounder to Reese -to Hodges and the Dodgers won their first World Series in 1955.
    My point… as a Dodger fan… there was always hope for next year; real hope.
    I am now a Mariner fan… a fan without hope and that robs me of some of the joy of baseball.
    And yes, I saw Satchell pitch in Yankee Stadium when he was with the St. Louis Browns.

  15. terryoftacoma on June 22nd, 2013 9:33 am

    We’ve had our stars. Jr, A Rod, Edgar, and Felix come to mind and we will again. Propects are at best a crap shoot. Harper and Strasbburg were number 1 picks. Trout was a number 25.The same year we picked up Ackley and Franklin. Puig was a cuban free agent. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when it comes to prospects.

  16. terryoftacoma on June 22nd, 2013 9:38 am

    sawsatch, You got me by at least 10 years and here I thought I might be the old man around here.

  17. MrZDevotee on June 22nd, 2013 9:39 am

    Ichiro (modified version of a draftpick)

    And we may be witnessing it right now with Nick Franklin. He’s an All-Star 2nd-basemen if he can keep up what he’s doing at the moment. (Jinx protection enabled- “click”)

    We’ve done okay with franchise/Hall-of-Fame picks, it’s the guys we surround them with who yank the fun away.

    I think the sorrow deepens when we add in our recent expectations (versus reality) for Ackley, Smoak and Montero.

    But as gets said about this sport over and over and over and over– “that’s baseball.”

  18. sawsatch on June 22nd, 2013 9:51 am

    The Dodgers had great owners. Enough said..

  19. terryoftacoma on June 22nd, 2013 10:14 am

    I was a Dodger fan when they moved West.

  20. MrZDevotee on June 22nd, 2013 10:16 am

    AND… The Dodgers had probably one of the few owners worse than the Mariners until a couple years back.

    That’s baseball.

  21. PackBob on June 22nd, 2013 10:30 am

    What Jeff describes is the early stages of being a fan. You eventually grow out of that (or not). Santa Claus is not real! But I still enjoy Christmas, and I still enjoy following the Mariners, just not for the same reasons I lived and died with the Cubs as a child.

    Baseball is a diversion, an entertainment, an investment of time and energy into something where it doesn’t really matter at all if your team wins or loses. It’s a safe bet without the consequences of life decisions.

    I follow the Mariners because it’s more enjoyable to identify with a single team than to follow all teams, and easier. I want “my” team to do well, out of pure and simple selfishness. But I enjoy baseball no matter what they do.

  22. katayla on June 22nd, 2013 10:34 am

    I wanted to watch the Mariners on Thursday. That went well for me.

  23. gps on June 22nd, 2013 10:49 am

    A couple of commenters have noted watching the M’s for the entertainment value. I presently don’t find them entertaining or even interesting. And I’m a baseball fanatic. I went to 40-50 games a year when they were starting out and I was in college. Left field bleacher tickets were $1.50, and the back of the stub had a coupon for $2 off at Pizza Haven; we felt we were being paid 50 cents to go to the game! Those expansion-era teams stunk, but somehow managed to be interesting. The only thing I find interesting about the current Mariners is how they manage to hit into so many double plays when they get so few runners on base. Also interesting is how they’re consistently able to identify GMs without a clue.

  24. PitchersRule on June 22nd, 2013 10:52 am

    I got teary-eyed watching replay of MK’s HR. Muni has a lot of heart. The Mariners as usual are breaking hearts and I say if this group of kids aren’t IT, well, then Z simply has to go, ASAP. The team has devolved due to both injuries and bad balance of personnel.

    Pitching has been a problem, as it always is almost everywhere. First, the starters were weak and not ready. Now that they have solidified, somewhat anyway, the relief corps has sunk.

    The fielding going down the drain is another issue. Injuries and not enough backup has us struggling. It is painful, being a fan. After 40+ years as a Yankee fan, I was seduced, shagged, and now apparently left for dead by the Seattle Mariners that I grew to love. I need to check into Betty Ford, asap!

  25. Mariners35 on June 22nd, 2013 11:22 am

    I would watch Brendan Ryan over Mune, because Ryan’s defense is brilliant and one-of-a-kind. I would watch Mune over Ackley or Franklin because his personality is brilliant and one-of-a-kind. At the very least Mune could be in a spot that has been occupied for most of the season with the likes of Andino or Triunfel, complete non-entities baseball-wise.

    If the M’s are going to suck, they could at least have some good people to root for. I can’t be interested in most of these people as people, and since they aren’t generally getting it done as players, there’s pretty much nothing to watch for most days.

    Dumping Mune for Andino / Triunfel this offseason was just daft.

  26. Roscoe on June 22nd, 2013 11:23 am

    I’ve been reading/lurking here since the traffic reports from Idaho. Jeff’s hit a chord, I guess.

    I’ve been a fan since 1953 when someone gave me a comic book about the 1951 Giants. I cut out every Giant box score that year and pasted them into a notebook, I can still quote W/L records from the likes of Reuben Gomez and Jim Hearn.

    Over the years, I’ve followed the Orioles and Redskins when I lived in the DC area and the Mariners/Seahawks since we moved to Washington.

    I’m helpless when confronted with daily exposure to a team. I always fall for the local nine. I get to “know” them – start to root for them – and them I’m hooked. The media has my number. I’m an addict.

    But the Mariners are numbing in their yearly plummet from hope to disclosure to disappointment.
    They may be the antidote.

    Part of me is wishing the M’s management would go all Marlins-like and give us just one WS team – I don’t care if they bust it up after that…

  27. qwerty on June 22nd, 2013 11:25 am

    Westy, we COULD have had Strasburg. That’s the one that is maddening. The others not so much. I would add Tulowitski whom we changed our minds on at the last minute…

  28. WestyHerr on June 22nd, 2013 11:29 am

    Growing up in Auburn… Thank God I somehow made it to the Bay Area. Exciting last couple of years.

  29. WestyHerr on June 22nd, 2013 11:29 am

    Posey too.

  30. sandalfan on June 22nd, 2013 11:36 am

    Jeff, YOU are my Munenori. Or maybe my cocaine, I can’t decide.

  31. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2013 11:43 am

    I’ve thought about trying to switch teams, but that’s not easy to do. Back in the 70s I was a Dodgers fan mainly because of Ron Cey – he was from Tacoma, and my dad knew him because they were both in the same Army Reserve unit (so we got autographed baseballs every year). But I can’t get attached to them now – seeing them fail as they try to emulate the G. Steinbrenner Yankees is very satisfying, actually.

    Funny how I still dislike the Reds because do their dominance over “my” Dodgers, way back then, even though I now dislike the Dodgers.

    I have an interest in the Rays because of how they seem to run the team… but I’ve never managed to turn that into fandom. And while the As share the same sort of philosophy, the fact that I don’t like them tells me I haven’t been successful in detaching my heart from the Mariners. But most of the time I feel like a battered spouse, and maybe like an enabler – I keep tuning in, so they see no reason to change their self-destructive behavior.

  32. sawsatch on June 22nd, 2013 11:53 am

    Baseball has changed a bit over the years, people change over the years, and thus the fan base and fan interest changes over the years. This is not a “one size fits all” type of thing.
    Baseball is still more “local” than other sports and ownership that is aware of that fact and acts accordingly will enjoy a larger and more multi-dimensional fan base.

  33. MrZDevotee on June 22nd, 2013 12:46 pm

    You may be onto something… I think we could all benefit from some counseling based on “battered spouse syndrome”…

    It’s the echo that leads to nothing good:
    “But I LOVE them…”

    Yeah, but they knock the snot out of you, everyday. And have NO concern whatsoever if you’re happy in the relationship or not.

    “You just don’t understand them like I do…”

    No, YOU don’t seem to understand them, like everybody else on earth does…!

    “But I’ve been with them for so long… What would I do on my own?! I’m too old to start over again… From zero.”

    Uh, what would you do? Maybe… be happy?

    “But you don’t see the good stuff… The little stuff… I’m gonna stick with it a little longer, if even just for the ‘kids’…”

    Let me guess, they’re gonna change. They’re REALLY trying hard to get better…

    “They promised me next year will be different. They swear they love me too. And they’re not just with me for my family’s money. They really want this relationship to work…”


  34. msfanmike on June 22nd, 2013 12:55 pm

    Westy, you were a Dodgers fan in the 70’s? Man, that would have been blasphemy to me at the time. I was a Reds fan. Hated the Dodgers. I hated them so much that I can still name their entire starting lineup. When they whooped the Reds in ’74, I cried. When the Reds had a 17-20 game lead in ’75, 76 I checked the paper every day to make sure the freaking Dodgers weren’t gaining ground. I remember that time very well. I eventually did come to grips with the whole matter by the time I was 13, but man … A few if those formative years were difficult. A few others, were great.

    That was a great rivalry.

  35. IwearMsHats on June 22nd, 2013 1:02 pm

    Why can’t the Mariners get a player as good as Munenori Kawasaki?

  36. alexD on June 22nd, 2013 1:19 pm

    Someone mentioned they thought Jack Z will be back next year…FWIW (and it might not be worth much), but I went out with a girl last night whos good friend is a scout for a certain team (*cough* NY). He said that one of his friends in the org was being interviewed by the M’s for GM, and he “has a 50% chance apparently” which I guess means they are down to two candidates? I don’t know..anyways, there was no discussion about M’s leadership in our convo she just brought it up when I mentioned I was an M’s fan, so seems unlikely to be made up. Food for thought.

  37. casey on June 22nd, 2013 1:36 pm

    it is odd that guys that get washed out of the organization as never do wells – including Carp, Tui, Mune all do well outside but are terrible in Seattle. And mostly guys not named Jaso that we bring in are ordinary to terrible at best – Beltre, Morse, Smoak, Ryan, etc. Guaranteed the M’s trade Ackley or Saunders and they turn into stars in Boston, or Cleveland or Miami. Is it ownership, management, the coaches, the field, the climate, the fans, the coffee, the City ….

  38. codybond31 on June 22nd, 2013 1:51 pm

    Question: Everyone was so upset Josh Hamilton choose to sign with the Angels over the M’s even though we supposedly offered the same years and dollars.

    Well, why not trade for him now?

    I know on the surface it sounds terrible, but really, we could get him for nothing right now, the Angels would LOVE to ‘dump’ him right now because their payroll is so high now and in the future with him, Puljos and the eventual Trout/Trumbo extensions.

    Hamilton isn’t this bad, and yeah the 5th year is one too many, but come on, we all would have praised Jack if we got him 5 months ago. We still need a true big bat and our outfield is terrible now and nothing seemingly come up through the ranks.

    I’m all for it

  39. Westside guy on June 22nd, 2013 2:00 pm

    Mike, that’s pretty funny. My dad’s family is pretty much all in Kentucky and Indiana, centering around Louisville – so they’re all great Reds fans.

    We’d go back there every year, in the summer, to visit. It was always friendly, but there was constant trash talking about the other guys’ team, and there was always a Reds game on the TV. Funny thing is – I know the Dodgers won some of those games, but it always seemed like the Reds had the upper hand! Looking back, it’s amazing how many great players were with the Big Red Machine during those years.

    My favorite memory was one particular game when they put a mic on Tommy Lasorda – I think he was the Dodgers’ third base coach at the time, but it’s possible this was from the dugout. He was freaking hilarious! He was telling Pete Rose jokes the entire time – “Hey Pete! The Dodger wives voted on who was the best looking Red, and you came in second! The other 24 guys tied for first…”

  40. Seattleken on June 22nd, 2013 2:38 pm

    I was upset that the M’s didn’t go after Swisher , Bourn, Lohse and Grienke. Hamilton I was ok with but he was my 5th choice as his second half was poor and I expected his numbers decline, especially in years 4 and 5.

    I would happily to give up Peterson and the contract money for any of the top four guys. I would do that trade now re: Peterson for any of Swisher, Bourn, Grienke Lohse (yes I know 2013 picks can’t be traded).

    Hamilton I would have done it then if the option was only Hamilton or Ibanez/Bay – I would not now knowing how far Hamilton has fallen.

  41. TheMightyMariner on June 22nd, 2013 3:12 pm

    I’ve been a Mariners fan since 1989. For years I could cheer for Jr., Bone, Edgar, the Big Unit and so on. They had the best players at several positions but never put it together.

    Today’s Mariners are worse. There aren’t too many guys you can cheer for. Sure, lots of solid players but none that can compare to the aforementioned.

    I just can’t get into the team like I used to. A decade of just pathetic baseball does that to a fan. Winning does a lot…it does everything for a pro franchise. I still follow the M’s but it’s not like before. I can barely watch a full game of MLB.

    These days I follow the Seahawks and the Canucks far more than the M’s. I have no optimism left for the M’s. They’ve rendered me into a state of indifference in regards to MLB.

  42. heyoka on June 22nd, 2013 4:20 pm

    Mariners gonna be awesome next year.

  43. Seattleken on June 22nd, 2013 4:41 pm

    Eric Thames dropped from the 40 man, Morse to DL and Franklin up..

    Sad for Thames as the M’s never gave him a chance this year, so you knew he was going to be dropped from the 40 man at some point coming up.

  44. GhostofMarinersPast on June 22nd, 2013 5:41 pm

    Trade for Hamilton?! That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard

  45. islandan on June 22nd, 2013 6:34 pm

    Indeed the Jays and the fans like MK. His work ethic, humbleness, and thrill to be in the ballpark have rubbed off on a veteran squad that was underwhelming until recently. And after watching MK on the Jays network, he has played decent dependable defense, and has not been an easy out at the plate, working the count, playing small ball. I’m not sure it would make any difference at all for the Ms, there’s just too many holes and problems with “the team across the Sound”.
    This is also the team that gave up on a 27 year old LHH who had an off year, and is now on a first place club, hitting behind David Ortiz. Seattle must be a players purgatory on their way to a better place.

  46. MrZDevotee on June 22nd, 2013 7:07 pm

    Carp is an interesting mention– but the numbers are misleading… He’s K’ing at the highest rate he ever has (28%), and walking at the 2nd worst rate of his career (8%). His success is purely related to an absurdly high BABIP so far, and a HR rate over twice his norm… (He has a .400 BABIP at the moment– no way that sustains… And has a way huge 20% HR rate going on FB’s thrown his way– that will change, too, as pitchers catch on… “psst… throw Carp breaking balls, low and away”)

    Granted, he’s probably LOVING the boost of playing in Fenway, after Safeco, a’la Adrian Beltre (though Carp gets the short RF line instead of the Monster.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing Carp succeed, but we’ve seen it ourselves and he always turns back into Mike Carp.

    .400 BABIP and 20% HR/FB rate– that’s Hall of Fame stuff.

  47. mdkathon on June 23rd, 2013 5:39 pm

    Sometimes it (can be, please) just not all about stats. I just want to be entertained. As I assume most of us want to be when watching the home team. Last year was not-so-fun when it comes to we-still-lose. I realize it makes no sense with our minor league depth at that position during the offseason and all. Though I wish that Mune stayed and everything happened the way it is in Toronto right now.

    Felix competes. Brendan is a joy to watch in the field (as a former SS, really, a joy to watch). Beyond that I feel like we have a lot of people on our team that want to compete, and yeah, it’s not happening. Mune just made things a little brighter. His gifs may be the greatest gift to the Mariners and their fans. I have most of them saved on my hard drive in case I am having a bad day. Better than Prozac.

  48. Coug1990 on June 23rd, 2013 8:58 pm

    I remember an interview Lou Piniella gave when was managing the Mariners. He said that if you want your bench to contribute, you have to play them more than once a week or once every few weeks. He said you cannot expect a player to sit for a week or two and then get up and hit major league pitching.

    While Kawasaki is not a great player by any means, he was likely better than what we saw last year.

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