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Perhaps this isn't at the top of anyone's list, but I feel in some ways that Gutierrez's season or lack thereof is symbolic of how this year has shaped up for so many players on the M's roster.
Yes, there have been some great stories this year with Felix tossing a perfect game being the best singular moment, while Kyle Seager's development has served as the best story the better part of the season in regards to the big picture.
Yet beyond Ackley, Montero, and Smoak's growing pains, the injuries to Guti and Mike Carp, Ichiro's departure, Brendan Ryan's struggles at the plate, Hector Noesi's struggles on the mound, Chone Figgins inexplicably continuing to taking up space, just to name a few...have made this year hard to watch until now.
This recent stretch of games has proven an enjoyable change of pace, but these next few weeks are just as much about next year as they are about this year depending on how things work out. Ultimately though, I want more than a .500 record and for Felix to stay each year.
We need guys like Gutierrez to fill out our lineup not to simply put nine guys on the field, but because of that slim chance that when everything is working this team could steal a wildcard spot. It probably won't happen this year, but we might have a shot next year if this group can prove it's capable of competing the rest of the way.