I would just like to point out, for the record, that I am NOT ready for baseball to start. Psychologically, anyway. All these stories are starting to pop up on the various blogs and websites about the new crop of pitchers we’ve got in camp this year and it’s TOO MUCH TOO SOON.
Didn’t the season JUST end? I’m not gonna lie to you, after a campaign like the 2010 Mariners, I could easily take 6 more months off before investing in another season.
It’s not like I’ve been putting up all that much of an effort this offseason with regards to posting; but then again, it’s not like I was given all that much material. Our only major signings were a DH who’s underachieved lately and a catcher who’s underachieved forever. Everything else has been an exercise in seeing who can sign the most crap relievers to minor league deals. You’d think, at the very least, an off-season spent not thinking about this team (for the most part) would be enough to recharge the batteries.
So, what is it? Well, part HAS to be a continued hangover from last year; but I think I’m like a lot of fans (and all the players) when I say that I want nothing more than to put last year behind me and start making some new memories.
Another part of it – a more significant part – would be the general malaise surrounding this team. We were bad last year, we didn’t do much of anything outside of hiring a new manager, therefore it would stand to reason we will be bad this year too. It sucks when the main argument for us NOT to be as bad as last year is: We can’t do any worse. Yes, there were a lot of players who severely underachieved compared to their career norms. But, if you take away guys like Griffey and Bradley (guys with outstanding careers who have fallen off the map due to age and declining skills), how severe did we underachieve REALLY? Ichiro was Ichiro, Felix was King; you’re basically looking at Jose Lopez and Chone Figgins as your primary underachievers. Everyone else pretty much did as expected, or was a call-up from the minors (and thus did as expected). I suppose being rid of Lopez and Casey Kotchman would be cause for ANYONE to say, “We can’t do any worse,” but how much better can we reasonably expect to be? We won 61 games; can we win 70 with this squad?
The primary reason why I’m not ready for the new baseball season is simple: I have no reason TO be ready. We were handcuffed from the start thanks to ownership putting the clamp down on any additional spending, so unfortunately we weren’t able to make one splash in free agency. While some of the guys we brought in could very well go under the ‘Pleasant Surprise’ catagory, there isn’t a single guy we can look at with optimism in our hearts. Aside from Bedard, we don’t even have a guy who could provide us any Hope either! What we have now is what we had last season, except last season we HAD hope, we HAD optimism. We thought, “There’s a team that can contend for a wide-open AL West.” And this year, we’re thinking, “There’s a team that can contend for a wide-open Number 1 Draft Pick.”
The fan in me isn’t ready to start thinking about baseball again. However, the blogger in me is happy for the content (and the chance to bitch). So, here we are. Pitchers and catchers have reported. Time to devour these nuggets of Mariners information like so many bitter bites of brussels sprouts.