There are teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox that don't really need to prove themselves—in the eyes of the fans, they're elite teams that are perennially poised to take shots at the title.
Then there are teams like the Seattle Mariners. They have smaller payrolls and smaller markets, factors that prevent them from purchasing the top-tier free agents every offseason and that require them to play the game of baseball more strategically and frugally.
Another result of being a small-market franchise is that the Mariners are often brushed away as "just another team." As we, Mariners fans, know, the Mariners are not "just another team." Especially not this year.
This year, the team has potential for serious growth throughout the organization. And while player development is the most important part of that growth, it's also necessary to cultivate the team's public image.
The Mariners are on the rise, and in order to gain league-wide and nation-wide acclaim, they need to prove themselves this spring. Here are ten things they need to prove during spring training 2012.