A Paragraph With The Mariners – 67

I guess one of the points I was trying to make in that last post was Revenue. The team still has to make money if we expect them to let Jackie Z SPEND money. Of course, the team DID, in fact, make money last year, only to go ahead and presumably reduce our payroll from 5-10 million dollars, depending on who you ask. Money that could’ve been spent on a Vlad or a Dye or a Damon. Money that could’ve been spent on bringing Branyan back directly instead of trading for him halfway through the season. So, it’s hard to know what to think. I can say with confidence that if the team suffers another 100-loss season this year, and attendance starts hitting more of these all-time lows we saw back in April against the A’s, then I’m pretty sure payroll won’t INCREASE next year. Could, in fact, decrease some more. It’s hard to know what the owners think, as they’re so hands-off on this whole experience. They were willing to give Bavasi $110 million after the 2007 season in hopes we’d take a winner and make it even more winner-y. But, that was after a real solid run of seasons following Safeco’s inauguration where we saw lots of butts in the seats and a lot of cash entering the organization’s bank account. Needless to say, attendance has been dwindling pretty hardcore starting with 2008’s disaster. While last year may have been a nice little blip to the positive, it still had the freshness of supposedly being Griffey’s last season, as well as the team not being the disaster many expected. And even then, it’s not like we were anywhere near breaking records for tickets sold. More than anything, I think Branyan is an attempt to stop the bleeding. If we can avoid making headlines for futility as far as paid attendance is concerned, maybe we can avoid a hemmoraging budget for next year’s team. Maybe we WILL be able to buy a bat or two to compliment a few nice pieces having some unlikely bad seasons to date. After all, you have to expect Figgins and Lopez will get better (as they’ve shown over the last couple weeks). You have to hope Guti and Ichiro won’t hit a wall. You have to pray there’s something a little better than these Mendoza-like performances out of Bradley and Saunders. And you have to riot if the team can’t get a cornerstone catching prospect ready to shoulder the load starting next season in the upcoming Cliff Lee trade. So help me God if I see Rob Johnson as our everyday catcher again next year, I’m going to be homicidal.

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