I have been hit pretty hard by whatever plague is going around the area lately, and have not watched any of the playoffs at all this year. It’s hard to want to keep track of baseball when you’re stuffed full of cold medicine and keep drifting off and it’s all you can do to stay awake at work, but I know enough to know that the Dodgers are moving on, and that the Detroit Tigers (yay!) have forced a game five against Oakland. That one I’m kind of torn on. The Tigers are my sort-of fifth team, and I would love to see them advance; but I’m also aware that the A’s are ridiculous this year and will provide a very tough hurdle to get over for Detroit. Hopefully this won’t linger too much and I will feel well enough by the time the World Series is on…and care about who goes to the World Series, which is super debatable right now as it is.
Anyway, a few days ago, I received an email from our fearless leader Jack Zduriencik in the form of a season ticket holder announcement. Here it be:
Dear Season Ticket Holder,
Now that 2013 is behind us, I’d like to share with you some thoughts about where we are and where we are heading.
First of all, like you, I am disappointed in how the team performed. Coming out of Spring Training we all had high hopes, but there were some key injuries, setbacks and disappointments which forced us to bring up several young players to fill our roster needs. The good news is these youngsters (Nick Franklin, Brad Miller, Mike Zunino, etc.) got some valuable Major League experience. But the fact is this team just did not live up to expectations.
We still have work to do over the winter, but we are building on a solid foundation. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are an excellent base to build around for our pitching rotation and we like the young talent that has earned its way to the Major Leagues. We recognize that there are challenges ahead as our young players mature into their roles, and we will be working over the winter to augment what is already in place.
The most important decision of the offseason will be a new manager. We are going to do a thorough process so that we end up with the right person to take this young team to the next level. I am already compiling names and have started the vetting process for potential candidates. In the next 10 days, these efforts will pick up steam. But because we may have interest in candidates who are involved in the playoffs, the final decision may come after the World Series.
I know this has been hard on everyone, especially our season ticket holders. We could never get through this difficult process without your support. You are demanding better of us, as you should, but you have not given up. Everyone inside the Seattle Mariners organization is grateful every day for your loyalty. Thank you for standing with us.
I’m excited about 2014 and beyond. Our plan from the beginning was to build this from the ground up, starting with a solid foundation. With the young players already on the team and the solid performances of our September call-ups, I hope you agree with me that the Seattle Mariners future is bright.
The next time you hear from me, I’ll be introducing our new manager.
Executive Vice President & General Manager, Baseball Operations
I am taking this one with a few grains of salt, because until something is done, it’s all just talk. Yes, I am encouraged by some of the things on the field this year, and yes, I also see a lot of potential in the younger guys on the team. But the beginning and end of the story follows thusly: We need offense. The end. I’m not espousing anything new here, clearly.
I find it interesting that the team built on pitching and defense approach went so horribly well that the bats just got left behind in the process. Talk about overkill. But I am skeptical that there is much that will or even can be done in 2014. It’s possible, but I am not holding my breath. We now have basically a lame duck GM, and some random manager that might or might not have delivered a baseball team to the playoffs and who might or might not stick around past next season. That’s not really fair to the team or the fans, and I’m afaid I don’t have a whole lot of hope for massive change next year as things stand right now. Than fan part of me wants to jump in head first and be cheery about the prospect that big things are in store for next season; but the part of me that has been burned every year that I’ve been a fan just shakes its head sadly and grimaces. The Mariners may be painful to watch for a while to come; and because of that, I couldn’t justify scrambling to keep my seats in left field. I may try to make something happen at FanFest next year with another 16-gamer if I can (please keep in mind that I am also currently saving for a trip east to go see some other teams, and on my salary, that’s not easy), but the lack of inspiration I’ve had for Seattle baseball is making automatic renewal of season tickets a shoulder-shrugging event at best.
Back to trying to get rid of this unholy cold. Stay healthy, Mariners fans!