How Seattle Mariners Can Give Their Fans Reasons to Celebrate in 2012
The Seattle Mariners are nowhere near the playoff race.
Nonetheless, there certainly are ways the team can give fans reasons to cheer. Regardless of their win-loss record, Seattle has various ways to keep the crowd interested in the outcome of the season.
The M’s are the worst team in the AL West, at a pedestrian 43-56. They recently traded away the face of the franchise and seem to be moving forward.
With Ichiro Suzuki in pinstripes, Seattle is seemingly moving to the next chapter of its history.
As they move on, the results could be dreadful, but it is a necessary step.
This season likely will not mean much in the annals of Mariners’ lore, but there are ways to keep fans interested.
Continued Growth of Young Talent
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Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders and Jesus Montero are just a few of the Mariners' gifted youngsters.
Saunders leads the team in batting average and on-base percentage. Seager leads the team in RBI, and the roster is filled with up-and-coming talent.
If the team can grow together and the core can remain intact, fans should be able to hold on to hope moving forward.
The Mariners must continue to build as they move forward with the current group of players. General manager Jack Zduriencik will surely have his hands full as he attempts to rebuild this once-powerful team.
There is lots of room for improvement, but perhaps the second half of the season will be when this team shows its true colors.
Knock off Playoff Teams
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The goal is obviously to make the playoffs.
That is out of the question for the Mariners. Hopefully, they will settle with eliminating other teams from playoff contention.
If the season ended today, three teams from the AL West would be entering the postseason. Luckily, there are still 63 games remaining and that should be plenty of time for the M’s to surprise some of their divisional foes.
Just imagine Felix Hernandez striking out Albert Pujols to reserve the Angels' spot at home when October comes.
The M’s will have to have to prove their record against playoff-bound ballclubs was no aberration. So far this year, the M’s have posted a respectable 22-22 record against the six AL playoff teams.
If Seattle can win some games against playoff teams, it could cause major implications.
Cy Young Watch
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It may be a longshot, but there is a chance Felix Hernandez could notch his second Cy Young Award in three years.
Currently, Hernandez leads the league strikeouts with 147, ranks second in innings pitched at 148, fifth in ERA and tied for 12th with nine victories.
At 9-5 on the year, a strong finish to the season could help King Felix’s campaign for another Cy Young.
He will certainly need to outperform his peers from the American League, but Hernandez could easily get a host of Cy Young votes.
Justin Verlander is having another historical season, David Price has been pitching out of his mind and Jered Weaver has been nearly unhittable. However, Hernandez possesses the drive necessary to outperform the best pitchers in the game.
If King Felix can get some offensive output from Seattle, he would have a chance to improve his win total. The race for Cy Young will unquestionably be a close one, and Seattle fans should pay close attention.
With the King’s Court screaming for punchouts, Felix will be on top of his game down to the last game of the season.