Blow Up The Mariners
Now that Commissioner $elig has taken steps to clean up the Dodgers’ off-the-field mess (and what could possibly go wrong with that, given owner Frank McCourt’s mulishness and Bud’$ ineptness at reading and properly handling any ticklish situation?), it’s time for me to take a hack at fixing the on-field problems that are again plaguing the now seemingly perennially inept Seattle Mariners.
Last season found the local nine in the throes of offensive ineptitude not seen in Baseball since the advent of the Designated Hitter.
Early returns would seem to say that not much has changed, at least in the team’s ability to strike the ball for hits. Perhaps the sole glimmer of hope is that this year’s squad has shown signs of actually requiring the pitcher to throw the ball over the plate before they swing futilely, resulting in a MLB-leading most walks being issued to the M’s.
It’s obvious to all that this year’s team isn’t going to be hoisting the 2011 pennant. And yet the roster is inexplicably dotted with older players who are designed to help this team win just for this year, at the expense of getting some valuable big league experience to younger players who will be the team’s backbone for the next few years to come.
The time has come to clean house.
Out with the old, in with the young.
Blow the whole thing up.
Blow it up real good.
Jack Cust isn’t hitting his weight, and at 32, his pounds are apt to rise before his batting average. Go and darken our door no more.
Chone Figgins is 33 and not getting a day younger. Trade him while he still appears to have some value.
Milton Bradley, also 33, has taken to wearing ear-plugs WHILE PLAYING IN FRONT OF HIS HOME FANS. Nobody else will have him, so swallow his salary, M’s, and be glad he’s gone. If ever a ballplayer was to be voted the Most Likely To Go Postal, it’s Bradley. Let him do it on his time, not yours.
Now I like and respect Ichiro as much as the next guy does, and I appreciate the fact that in the Game’s long and rich history there has never been a player quite like him, with his string of 200+ hit seasons, Gold Glove Awards, and inimitable style.
But keeping the 37-year old and his $20 million dollar salary around while this team begs for power from every spot in the lineup is like the family that struggles to pay the rent, put food on the table, and pay the light bill, but they have an original Picasso hanging on their wall.
Howard Lincoln needs to figure out a way to get Mr. Yamauchi to allow him to trade away Ichiro (who would have to waive his 10/5 rights, permitting such a move). Let GM Jack Z use his talent-evaluating acumen to get some able bodies who can be a part of this team’s future.
As presently constructed, this veteran-laden team is going nowhere and exciting nobody.
There are young players toiling away in the minors for the M’s who need to get their shot at playing in the Big Leagues.
Let’s find out if Matt Tuiasosopo can fulfill the promise some of us have watched up close since he was a Little Leaguer in Woodinville.
Michael Saunders, Carlos Peguero, Dustin Ackley, Alex Liddi, Mike Wilson, Greg Halman, Mike Carp, and others, these are this franchise’s future.
Calling up kids this year would be a bold and exciting move by the team’s ownership, one that would give the fans a reason to come back out to The Safe to watch their home grown kids develop before their very eyes.
Fans can accept losses if they believe the future is bright.
The way things stand right now, though, there is a greater likelihood of the Commissioner coming to town to clean up our mess than there is of a pennant ever flying by the shores of Puget Sound.
And poor old Bud has his hands full in LA.
We wouldn’t want to distract him, would we?
There’s no question about it.