I’ll get around to doing a proper season recap type thing eventually, but I figured today would be a good day for a rapid-response type of reaction piece.
Taking a final look at my pre-season predictions, I had the M’s at 65-97, they finished 67-95. TWO games off! That’s probably the closest I’ve ever come in any sport, but it was also probably the easiest record to predict.
I had the M’s last in the AL West; that ship came into port LONG ago.
I had the M’s drafting 4th. It turns out, even two games better than I predicted, the M’s are going to draft 3rd. (and, even if my record prediction was spot-on, it would still be 3rd, so shows what I know about what it takes to draft 4th). My hope for the 3rd draft pick? That it’s someone who goes on to a Hall of Fame career, and that it’s someone Baltimore REALLY wanted to draft. Something tells me I’ll be lucky if the guy even makes it to the Majors.
As for everything else about this season? I don’t know what to tell you. It was KIND of fun when the Mariners were .500; then it got irrelevant really fucking quick with that 17-game losing streak.
Felix was awesome as usual, though not QUITE as awesome as the last couple years. Pineda was fun to watch, then he struggled as anticipated. BUT, he didn’t struggle as much as I thought coming into the year, so that’s a big plus. Doug Fister was becoming one of my favorite players, so it’s sad to see him go (but exciting to see him dominate – something else I foresaw – and charge through the playoffs).
We saw the end of the Erik Bedard Era, which was fitting no matter how you slice it. We turned five guys into two guys over the course of three years. In the end, Baltimore will get Adam Jones for a while, he will be okay; in the end Seattle will likely get nothing. Sunrise, sunset.
We saw Brandon League close for a full season; we saw that he can be a really fucking good closer. It would be interesting to see what he would’ve accomplished on a good team. Would he have faded down the stretch? Will the extra rest he got towards the end of this season help him in seasons to come? Will we even HAVE him in seasons to come?
And we saw a bunch of other young relievers I’ll be sure to talk about just as soon as I’m done yawning.
On the flipside, the batting was still pathetic. 556 runs scored was an IMPROVEMENT over last year, and yet it’s still good for 30th out of 30 teams. Our leading RBI man (and our leading Home Run man) was our catcher. A guy who batted .224 with a .253 on-base percentage. Miguel Olivo still managed to have an OPS under Ichiro, if that means anything to you (it’s bad). 19 homers and 62 RBI! These numbers need to increase next year! Whether it’s Olivo or it’s not Olivo, these numbers need to increase significantly!
Carp and Ackley finished 1-2 in batting average this year (for position players) and both look like locks for next year. Ichiro saw his first big decline, finishing for the first time under 200 hits and a .300 batting average. He’s going into his final year, so there’s that anxiety to worry about (that is to say, if they do re-sign him, how much are we coughing up?).
Everyone else was terrible and I hate them all.
Like I said, I’ll have more on the Mariners as the offseason progresses. Starting with: what I want to see us do in the off season.