Can Seattle Mariners Reverse Its Fortune Heading Into 2014?

By Karim Akbar
Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports

I know you’ve heard this one before — the Seattle Mariners have skidded into another sorry season. The Mariners finished below .500 yet again and have failed to make the playoffs again. And oh, there are questions in every area of their team and management heading into next season.

Disaster? No — it’s a recipe for failure.

Really, the team has to figure out who will lead the team going into 2014. Their current manager Eric Wedge says he will not return next year. Although Wedge says the decision not to return has nothing to do with his expiring contract and lack of progress on a new deal, it’s obvious that he knew the axe falls on him. While I agree that it’s not his fault the team is hitting .230, it ultimately falls on him to improve the club over the course of his tenure.

Seattle took a small step backwards in year three of the Wedge experiment. The Mariners had 75 wins last year, while their 40-41 record at home in 2012 was better than the 71 they have this season as of Saturday. They also took a step back at home, where they are currently 36-44 — all bad signs for the skipper.

This team does feature some bright spots heading into next year. Felix Hernandez will definitely bounce back from the disappointing season he’s having thus far. I guarantee that. Hernandez lost his last home start of the season, his record standing at 12-10 now after the defeat.

In contrast, Hisashi Iwakuma has been a revelation this season. He made the AL All-Star Team for the first time in his MLB career, while his 13-6 record leads the Mariners rotation.That gives Seattle a solid one-two punch heading into 2014.

Speaking of one-two punches, Seattle sure could use some pop in the lineup. While Kendrys Morales has rescued the Mariners on multiple occasions this season, he really doesn’t have much help. Everyone else is wildly inconsistent. That inconsistency led to a handful of wins slipping out of the Mariners’ hands this year. The team could really benefit from an experienced big bat in the lineup.

But let’s get real, who would want a plane ticket into Seattle and a locker in this dysfunctional locker room? Until management figures that out, this team is destined to repeat it’s same sorry season next season too.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings writer for Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem , “Like” his RantSports page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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