Questioning The Mariners
The Mariners are four weeks into their new season and questions about this team --- this franchise --- abound.
Where are runs going to come from? The M’s are next-to-last in runs scored in the AL, and a look up-and- down their lineup doesn’t even produce a single murderer, much less a Murderers’ Row. Truth be told, they barely have a jaywalker or litterbug on the roster.
Does Robinson Cano have a clause in his big fat new contract that penalizes him for hitting home runs? While he’s inched his batting average to just over .300 heading into Yankee Stadium this week, he’s managed to clear the fences only once. Too many times already he has come to the plate with men on base and not delivered a game-changing blast.
Is it just me, or does it seem as if every inning starts with an out already on the scoreboard, and every batter comes to the plate with a strike against him?
Four years’ worth of historically inept offense seems to keep repeating itself with no end in sight.
You begin to wonder what sort of inning is worse ---the kind where you go down in feeble fashion, 1-2-3, or frustratingly, leaving those rare baserunners who have found their way into scoring position stranded? Goodness knows there have been plenty of opportunities already this year to compare and contrast the two.
Is there something in the air/water/diet around here that saps Mariner batters of their strength? It used to be said that when a guy put on the Yankee pinstripes, he added twenty pounds of muscle. Guys come here with good track records as successful hitters and they nearly all seem to work their ways in an eternal-vortex-of-doom slump---the only cure for which seems to be to pack their bags and join another team---whereupon they find their stroke and resume normal play.
Never mind contending for post-season play, will this team even manage to play .500 ball? At the rate they’re going (10-14, .417), they’ll be lucky to win 70 games. And this includes what now looks like a complete anomaly, the season-opening three-game sweep of the Angels.
Finally, if the team continues to flail and flounder, finding (old and new) ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, will the few remaining fans of the team continue to pay top-dollar to watch bad baseball? I can’t imagine why.
There’s no question about it.