We will not do a Cleveland-style rebuilding

October 8, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 37 Comments 

…or whatever Lincoln said. Seems appropriate right now.

Starting with their last competitive seasons as year one:

Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians wins during rebuilding

Whether the M’s got lucky this year or when which team outperformed, they both came back to putting up wins at a competitive level at about the same time.

Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians attendance during rebuilding

Dave and I (mostly Dave) argued all through these years that the M’s didn’t need to undergo a slash-and-burn rebuilding: their crazy revenue streams meant that they could afford to bring in quality stop-gap veterans, develop players, and sign young guys like Beltre to long-term contracts if the opportunity came up. They ended up spending a ton more money than the slash-and-burn Indians without any return on that investment.

Here’s the big one, though:
Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians attendance during rebuilding

Maybe Howard Lincoln and all his people are far more savvy than we give them credit. Sure, we (and USSM readers) mocked their payroll figures, rolled our eyes at claims that the teams would be competitive, but the fans kept coming out. Maybe it’s the park, or something else at work, but they managed to keep the turnstiles spinning while putting up horrible records and some almost unwatchable teams.

Or maybe Cleveland’s just a lot smaller market with a park that doesn’t seem new and exciting anymore, so they don’t have a lot of room for error when the populace isn’t excited.

Anyway, it’s interesting to compare the Indians of 2005 with the Mariners of 2007 (hey, Broussard’s on both teams!) and think about how the Mariners match up as a franchise looking to compete.