"In case you haven't noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven't, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.": Amazingly enough, the Mariners actually managed to win more games than they lost in spring training this year. Of course, that counts for absolutely nothing come the regular season. Get the M's back up here to Safeco Field and we'll start hearing all the yearly moaning about how it's too cold, there's a marine layer, the fences weren't moved in far enough, etc. In turn, the attendance will continue to decline and set yet another record low since Safeco opened.
"Just a reminder, fans, comin' up is our "Die-hard Night" here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.": And apparently tonight is Die-hard night at Safeco Field. The Mariners got themselves a new tv and they've decided to show their benevolence and let everyone in for free to watch the game tonight. Reminds me of back in the Kingdome where if you were in certain areas of the 100 or 200 level, the decks above would block your view but they had tv's you could watch. At least tonight they're giving you that privilege and not charging you for it.
"Don't you guys go anywhere. I plan to put on a hitting display." - Said nobody on the Mariners for the last 10 years. The biggest question, as it as seeimingly been since they left the 'Dome, is can the Mariners hit? The spring gave us a little hope with home runs being hit at the same rate as double play balls last year. Michael Saunders was apparently using a wiffle ball bat in the WBC hitting something like .700. Of course, the key will be keeping the offense at that level, particularly early in the season.
"Just a bit outside, he tried for the corner and missed. Ball 4. Ball 8. Low, and he walks the bases loaded on 12 straight pitches. How can these guys lay off pitches that close?": Ok, maybe it's just me, but I'm seeing a lot of holes in this pitching staff after Felix and maybe the Bartender Tom Wilhelmsen. Who is our #2 starter? Hishashi Iwakuma? Really? This is all too reminiscient of a few years back where Felix could maybe win 60% of his games since he got no run support and the other guys maybe won 30% of their starts. Nobody's saying to themselves "Hey, it's a 50 degree Tuesday night in May. Let's go see Joe Saunders pitch".
"Hey bartender, Jobu needs a refill!": Rumor has it that the beer prices this year will only be exhorbitant instead of extortion. Well, that's just for one beer, the remainder will still be at the extortion level. The M's brass has decided that Miller High Life will be the low low price of $5 this year. So, apparently the message is drink up tonight, have the beer shits tomorrow. Fun for the whole family.
"Look at this f***in'guy. My kinda team, Charlie, my kinda team.": I'd love to think the M's have an Indians-like run in them and, against all odds, will find themselves in the playoffs come October. But there's just too many questions. Will Justin Smoak finally hit something close to .250? For that matter, will Brendan Ryan hit .180? Can the bullpen, which actually had a decent year last year, keep it together with the lack of a solid starting 5? Does the Cloud of Ichiro finally leave this city and allow the youngsters to develop? Does Felix lose his edge with that massive contract now signed and guaranteed? Hate to say it, but that's just too much to overcome in my uninformed, overly pessimistic view. Like so many of the past years, we get to the 4th of July and are doing anything we can to keep ourselves occupied until football starts.
Season Prediction: 75-87