Irrelevant by Memorial Day
Irrelevant by Memorial Day
The old baseball axiom that says the team in first on July 4th is likely to win the pennant is more often true than not.
Locally, our team struggles to not be out of the race by Memorial Day. At least for the last 10 years anyhow. Given this is Memorial Day weekend lets look at the standings, the players and see if indeed, the M's are already looking to the 2013 season to give fans a reason to go to the ballpark in August.
As of this writing (5/25-3:30pm-PST) the Mariners are last in their division, 7 games behind the powerful Texas Rangers. Now seven games isn't anything to be overly concerned about, at this time of the year, if you have a balanced ballclub. Many of you will remember the run in 1995, the one that probably saved baseball here for us, when the M's behind by 13 games in August, eventually came back and forced the one game playoff with the Angels to win the division.
That ain't happenin' this year baby.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a Mariner fan and a baseball fan though sometimes the two ideas seem opposed, and want them to succeed. Baseball, like all things in life, is more fun when your team is winning and providing a reason to follow their progress.
I was thinking about the roster the other day. With the exception of Ichiro, Ryan, Olivo and Figgins, the team is very young. Raw, inexperienced, wet behind the ears.
We all know the deal made with Figgins hasn't worked out. The speculation as to why is rampant and varied. It's a deal we all would have made at the time though. For some reason, unexplained and apparently unknown, he went right into the ditch after getting here. So he's now on the far end of the bench, trying to stay awake during games and not cause any trouble in the clubhouse.
Brendan Ryan is a great fielding shortstop, perhaps the Mark Belanger of this era (look it up). Except even the late Mr. Belanger hit better than Brendan. He has a lifetime average of .228. Brendan's is better than that, but in the 'what have you done for me lately' category, today his average is .180!
Miguel Olivo, in his third appearance on the M's roster, is the best the team has been able to do since Dan Wilson retired. He's tough and plays hard but doesn't seem to be able to prevent passed balls.
Ichiro. Well, I don't know what to say except after watching him play for a decade, he can hit. He can catch. He can throw. He can run bases. But he seems to do these things in a vacuum. Not that the ideas I grew up with about baseball can't be changed, but he seems to be the only right fielder I can recall that doesn't hit for power. Clemente, Kaline, Paul O'Neill, Dwight Evans are just a few of the names I recall and they all hit far more homers and doubles than our light hitting, highly paid, stand offish right fielder does.
If a team is lead by its veterans because the Ackelys, Seagers, Smoaks, Monteros and Carps are young, unseasoned and too green to lead, we are doomed. For this year anyhow.
Now get out there and take one for the team!