This fine chilly Seattle afternoon (or bitter cold Thursday night, depending on who you believe or what you’ve read) sees the world looking at a likely very angry group of San Diego Padres fans. And understandably so. Trading away your best player for a group of prospects is a common thing to do, but it doesn’t take the sting out any less. Regardless of how Bud Selig continues to insist I feel, I have no beef with the Pads – as far as I’m concerned, the Angels are our “natural” rivals. So I find myself being a little mournful for the Padres and their fans – and also for the Seattle Mariners, because as a member of the Red Sox, we will have to face Adrian Gonzalez 9 times this year.
Trying to be a little more mindful of things lately (while at the same time being lazy and using MLBTR for news), it looks like Jack Hannahan has been moved to the Indians organization with an invite to Spring Training. I don’t necessarily miss Hannahan per se – he was not around long enough to really gain any footing with me, but I didn’t have a lot of complaints, either – I just like keeping track of ex-Mariners in general. Speaking of which, it appears that Ronny Cedeno remains a Pirate. His Mariners partner-in-crime, Jeff Clement, however is currently a 27-year-old free agent recovering from knee surgery. That link also refers to his offense as “putrid”, which is gratifying and sad at the same time. Gratifying because it means science was right, sad because I’d hoped that the brief glimpse of possibility I saw back during September callups in 2007 could become polished and shiny. Good luck to both of them.
Here’s a fascinating little article from Yahoo!’s Steve Henson, a sort of winter meeting preview. If you don’t feel like clicking on the link and wading down to the part where the Mariners are mentioned, the basic gist of what is said about us is that we should take whatever we can get (Russell Branyan) because free agents are avoiding us like the plague because we’re awful.
OK. Fair enough.
But you know what? We may continue to be awful if players continue to avoid us. I’d post a challenge and a bit of a plea to all top-tier free agents – come here and make us better. Put your money where your mouth is, and be the hero. Because the longer we are avoided, the worse things may get. Why not be the guy or guys who make us better? You could be on a team that already has a chance to win and therefore no true need of you, or you could come to Seattle and make a team win. Obviously it’s up to you, and you’ll likely take the easy way out, because easy money is better than having to deal with a daily challenge, right? And yeah, consider that a bit of a call-out from a nobody. Sure, maybe we could pull a Tampa Rays and do something phenomenal if we all wish real hard and throw pixie dust at each other, but the chances of that happening in the next two years are not looking great now. If players continue to avoid Seattle, they’re only being part of the problem.
Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone that the formal public remembrance ceremony for Dave Niehaus is this upcoming Saturday the 11th. The gates of SafeCo opene at noon, and everything starts at 1.10pm. The Mariners organization will be serving complimentary coffee and hot chocolate for those of us who will be there to say goodbye to Dave on what will likely be a very chilly December afternoon. Dress warmly and come pay your respects. I am also trying to get a group together at Hooverville down the street to raise a glass of vodka/soda/lime or whatever your poison might be, after the ceremony – all are welcome there, as well.