I have some time at work, and the very-strong antibiotics I have been prescribed have been working to get me a few decent nights of sleep, so I feel like talking about some things today. We’ll get the photo capabilities back on the site in about two weeks.
Back around the middle of September, Larry Stone wrote this colum, depressingly entitled Mariners clearly not following any clear blueprint to success. I am not on any sort of personal friendship basis with Stone, but he appeals to me as one of our more upbeat writers in general, and pretty friendly and funny on Twitter. So when I saw the header on this one a few months ago, I knew it was going to be something I’d have to hold off on reading. Between my growing apathy and lack of time, I had one of two choices; either more apathy would just naturally occur, or I would go from zero to angry in less than a minute, and I didn’t want that to happen, either. Now that I’ve had some time to sit back and reflect on the 2013 season and have managed to talk myself down to a nice even end-of-season keel, I think I’m safe.
So yeah, it’s discouraging to read something like this; and not just because it comes from Stone. It was exciting when Zduriencik and company got here; they loved numbers, they seemed to be building a team by paying attention to them, and we were assured that things would get better. Our yearly commercial catch phrases and general feeling of how well the farm was being built up was very exciting. Maybe not this year, but man wait until next year…and then we started doing things like signing Cliff Lee but not really making any other improvements with the offense to back him and Felix up. Or signing Milton Bradley at all. Or giving Chone Figgins a four year contract. And the big killer for a lot of people – letting Ichiro go to play multiple years in hated New York City.
I am left, on this one, rendered speechless. What is it going to take for the front office, ownership etc to realize that what they’ve been doing isn’t working? When do the fans get the team they deserve? How much longer will it be before we see the “Best Fans in Baseball” nonsense for the “keep giving us money” plea it is slowly turning into? And how much longer can a lot of us tolerate being a punchline in a very bad joke?
After the team majority owner Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away a few days after the above article was written, I thought maybe that would change. Maybe there might be some sort of shakeup in the organization that would bring some sort of change, either negative or positive. It didn’t matter to me at the time which way things went. But I guess that’s alright, because nothing changed anywhere at all. The Mariners are apparently staying in Seattle, and that’s fine, but again, we need a shift in paradigm. Howard Lincoln says he’s not leaving his position until he makes that change happen. We’re still waiting. How much longer do we need to give the Armstrong and Lincoln team the benefit of the doubt? I can watch failure for free from my living room couch, or I can drive to Tacoma or Everett and watch less expensive, more winning baseball. Make me want to give you money; because as things stand right now, I gave up my left field seats in section 182, and I am totally fine with that. In the years past when I have had to let my seats go due to not having the money to make the first deposit, I’ve had a bit of a panicky feeling set in. But not this year. This year, I’m thinking I *might* make some effort to scrape together the $200+ it takes to secure two seats in the left field bleachers so I can go grab some seats during FanFest. But I also might not even make the effort to renew my season tickets at all; and that makes me sad. Then again, if the Mariners aren’t going to make the effort to win, why should I flip out over the ever-increasing seat prices, for a big plate of sadness and 16 mopey walks back to my car? The answer is, I shouldn’t.
I love baseball. I love the Mariners. But I don’t like what’s been going on since I’ve been a fan, and a few glimmers of awesomeness that the team seems to coast on (116 wins! 1995! Felix’s perfect game!) are not enough to maintain my interest in the team in general. I don’t want to have to make this an Orioles blog, but currently I’m getting about as much out of a Mariners team playing here that I am out of a team I can’t watch on a regular basis; and the Orioles are a better team.
So fix this shit, Mariners. I want to be in love with you again.