Friday, April 6, 2012
Mariners "Sort Of" Opening Night
With the shadow of Howard Lincoln's TERRIBLE PR move hanging over the team like Galactus from that awful Silver Surfer movie, the Mariners begin the 2012 season already two games into mediocrity. While the spring has been good to many of Seattle's batters, only the regular season will show whether this young lineup is ready to compete for playoffs again. For the first time since he took over, this really feels like the team that Jack Zduriencik wants to put out on the field. Well, except for Chone Figgins.
But I, as the eternal optimist, see this team winning over 80 games this year, including quite a few over the Los Angeles Angels of Middle Earth. Pujols does not a team make, and unless he's got anti-aging cream hidden in that gigantic bat of his, the rest of his team hasn't gotten any younger. In fact, much of that team has been aging in a very anti-Benjamin Button way for the last few years. and Albert is no spring chicken himself. Why the Angels signed him when they have Mike Trout on the rise and Kendrys Morales coming back from injury is beyond me.
But enough about the Los Angeles Angels of Palaven. The eternal optimist in me says crazy stuff some times (fire is frequently involved) but I see our young core scoring enough runs to turn those 1-run outings by King Felix into wins. I see Ichiro bouncing back and getting one more 200 hit season, with a few gappers to the wall along the way. I see Chone Figgins getting booted by the all-star break and Kyle Seager or Alex Liddi making a name for themselves. And I see our bullpen not pitching nearly as poorly in the friendly confines of Safeco Field as they have in the bandboxes of the Cactus League.
Even I kind of think I'm crazy to expect anything from the Mariners, but with the starting pitching Seattle has had, and what they might have in the future (Ramirez, Hultzen, Paxton, Walker) it's not hard to believe that three runs can win nearly every night.