Happy 2018 to everyone who is still with me – all five of you.
I wanted to write about the winter meetings, but sadly they had all the excitement of a wet firework, so I opted instead to concentrate on my holiday month, and eating and drinking as much as humanly possible while hoping that some of the rumors connected to the Mariners might come to fruition. Spoiler alert; they did not. The one move that Jerry Dipoto did make over the last month involved Dee Gordon for some prospects and cash with the Marlins. Gordon has been connected with PEDs as recently as last year which is disappointing, but I have learned to temper my disappointment on this topic (though I still maintain that there is a HUGE difference between steroids and amphetamines because I’m familiar with pharmacy, but I digress). There isn’t much I can do about it, and I assume that the front office will provide Gordon with some information about the Mariners clubhouse culture that they have worked so hard to cultivate over the last few years since Jack Zduriencik’s departure. I don’t know much about what happns behind clubhouse doors outside of the glimpses we are allowed into spring training bonding events, Rookie Day, and the like, but I would assume that players are encouraged to not use steroids, or at the very least, not to get caught with them. The last thing we need is a player suspension, given last year’s injury-fest, so maybe we can steer clear of PEDs for a bit
I vaguely remember reading something indicating that Gordon wasn’t super happy about the trade, and I get that; we don’t have an Ichiro or a Giancarlo Stanton or a Christian Yelich. I understand that generally speaking, the Mariners are not a destination team. To top it off, it looks like we’re going to possibly platoon (someone let me know if I’m off here) him in the outfield, rather than maintain his second base or even short stop position. I would imagine that is a bit difficult to get used to, being switched around without having much of a say in the matter. But Robinson Cano is still an everyday player at second, and we are still getting plenty of work out of Jean Segura at short. I do hope that if the case is truly that Gordon has any negative feelings towards this development, we as fans can change his mind this year. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do. Per his numbers, we’re not getting a power guy, but a guy who does do some hitting and some base stealing. I’m OK with that. I have in recent years become a huge fan of smaller more strategic ball playing. The occasional home run is never frowned upon, but getting to an opposing pitcher can be such a treat, and it’s a treat we don’t seem to see very often. I’m ready.
The Mariners Caravan has started! Usually the harbinger of Fan Fest every year, the group kicked off today out in Yakima at the SunDome. I have never been able to attend a single Caravan. Even if I got an hour for lunch, I would really be pushing it to get to Bellevue and back before I had to get to work again. I gave some serious thought once to trying to get to University Village to see RA Dickey years back, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Seattle traffic is a cruel mistress that only gets more cruel as time goes on. As for FanFest, woof. The new grass they put in last year after the end of the season will not be grown well enough to have fans stepping all over it to play catch and bat tees and zip line. While I think most fans would be totally cool with having it at WAMU Theater or some other larger venue like a lot of other teams, I can also appreciate the fact that the Ms want to maintain that in-the-park atmosphere, and it just wouldn’t be the same indoors somewhere. I mean, I’d still take it, but half the fun of the thing is being in the park, and I like the dedication they have to maintaining that for everyone. The other bummer part was that I figured they’d invite Dee Gordon out to introduce him to everyone and answer questions; the fan questions most years are pretty generic, some are funny, but it’s the way I get a feel for the new guys, when we are lucky enough to have them come out. Next year, I may have to go to both days to make up for this loss.
Mariners Mondays are currently on, and the Mariners are lighting up the Houston Astros during the 2017 home opener. I am huddled under a blanket and remembering how cold I was that day, sitting in left field; but I’d give a lot to go do that now, so while rerun sports is not something I’m a big fan of, I am welcoming the little bit of it I get to watch because this year it’s going to be a longer than usual wait to head back to my big, beautiful, black-domed metal summer home.