Baseball is a sport, but it’s also entertainment. For Seattle Mariners fans, though, the last decade hasn’t been so entertaining. That’s about to change, methinks.
Whether that means winning baseball in the great Pacific Northwest this year, no one knows. We won’t know until September (or probably before like May), and although winning is the most entertaining (see Seattle Seahawks, 2013 season), not winning can be entertaining, too. This is what Mariners fans should prepare themselves for.
The team may still not win much this year, but it’ll be entertaining because Felix Hernandez is still on the team, and Robinson Cano has signed on. There’s a new captain guiding the ship, and even if he doesn’t bring winning right away, at least he’s not Eric Wedge.
There are also youngsters who just excite Mariners fans: Taijuan Walker, who we all want to make the starting rotation from the get-go, and Brad Miller, known as Crazy Legs, who hits without batting gloves and runs like a madman around the basepaths. And you can’t forget third baseman Kyle Seager.
Under those glorious blue skies of Peoria, Ariz., the Mariners are preparing for the 2014 MLB season with hope. Adding new manager Lloyd McClendon (who has incorporated music during practice to liven things up) and Cano to man second base for the next decade, the team has excited its fanbase. Perhaps it’s also because the Seattle winter has been mild so far compared to most of the nation, or the euphoria of the Seahawks’ first championship still permeates around the Emerald City. Regardless, it feels different on the Mariners front this year. The seas seem a little calmer. The ship finally seems headed in the right direction.
With Cano filling a hole in the batting order and the possibilities of young prospects like Miller, Walker and Mike Zunino, it seems the Mariners are ever so slowly building a competitive team. Slowly because aside from a winning campaign in 2009, the Mariners have averaged 70 wins over the past six years. That’s a losing record, and Mariners fans are sick of losing as proven by the yearly plummeting attendance at Safeco Field.
The key word here is competition. The Mariners have to be more competitive against foes, but also among each other. Spots are up for contention like at first base, the entire outfield, and (apparently) shortstop. There are spots open in the rotation and the bullpen. There are many holes still, a sign of an incomplete team. A losing team, perhaps.
In a few days, though, the Mariners will begin finding out who will fill the 25-man roster, and not until September will fans see how the decisions made in March play out. But with King Felix, Cano, Crazy Legs and newly-acquired Corey Hart to DH, hope truly does spring eternal on this ship.
But hold the high expectations, Mariners fans. It’s next season that I think they will break waves. Be patient because we may have to be. We have for so long, after all. But good things come to those who wait, right? My hope for this season? That Hart’s at-bat music is “Sunglasses at Night.” Now that would be entertaining — even if the wins don’t come right away.