It's not easy to be a Mariners fan, especially over the past decade. The team has time and again failed to perform on the field, leading many to stay away in droves year after year, yet did you ever wonder how the team's dwindling fanbase compared to other professional franchises?
For those of you who did, take comfort in knowing that someone has answered your question. Unfortunately the results, as we've so often come to expect, are once again disappointing.
According to a study by the financial website 24/7 Wall St. posted via seattlepi.com, your Seattle Mariners are losing fans better than any other major professional sports franchise in all of America:
That’s a bad No. 1, not a good No. 1.
Over the past 10 years, attendance to M’s home games has dropped 51.4 percent, the AOL-affiliated finance website noted. That ranked the Mariners worse than such underperforming teams as the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Dallas Stars, New York Mets, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Wizards.
Meanwhile, on a somewhat related topic, Ichiro, the man who was the team's star attraction for the better part of the past decade seems to be staying with the Yankees for significantly less than what the Mariners paid him last year.
At times like this it's tempting just to give up and write off the Mariners completely, but for the loyal few who hold out hope for something better, perhaps the only thing we can do right now is dream.
Dream in the sense of taking a "money is no object" approach to free agency and rebuild with players that at some time or other have shown they can play at the major league level.
For fun, I've pieced together a list of a dozen free agents I'd love to see the Mariners acquire in a parallel universe where the franchise can do whatever it pleases.
Some players on this list will be obvious choices, others may be a bit baffling at first glance and some would probably sooner retire than come to Seattle.
You may ask, "Do the Mariners need all of these players?"
No, but each of them could certainly make next season interesting, especially if a few of them in the real world were willing to come to Seattle on the right terms.
So sit back for a moment and try to separate yourself from the painful reality this team has provided all of us for the past decade by reviewing one dreamer's mix of prime time players, fading stars, one year wonders and intriguing imports who would and possibly could make 2013 a year to remember.