This is how excited I am about this season: Ichiro’s bleeding ulcer that will keep him out for the first part of the season only gave me a minute or two of palpitations. In years past it may have compelled me to do a Google Earth search for the highest bridges in the area.
Messing with the only time an M’s fan gets to say, ‘Yeah, we’re undefeated”, to destroy the hope in the hearts of fans suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency, to start spring with such a dud of a team like the last few years has been tough.
To have the shiny payroll and yet be the first $100Million/100 Loss Team borders on cruelty, especially because the real numbers were actually a little north of this prestigious Club Requirement.
But that was last year.
Hope is like a bulb designed to survive the harshness of nature, and this off-season we got one heck of a fertilizer.
He is in the process of upgrading our fences (D), re-seeding our farm system and he has already brought back the prodigal son to ride off into the sunset from home. The worst case scenario for this team will be a lot of low-scoring, close games where we get to watch Griffey, Ichiro and Felix play.
Purely with the defensive upgrades in the outfield we can’t possibly do worse than last year. If Beltre plays like he did in his last contract year, Lopez keeps his upward trend with the bat and Betancourt plays defense as well as some people say he can we will be fine.
If Branyan/Sweeney, Chavez and Gutierrez have average years, we will be pretty good. If they have career years, this will be a very exciting team to watch.
Jack Zduriencik, our new GM, is sewing hope in the soil of the northwest. He is accumulating great minds around him and bringing in players that have potential. His moves so far show a firm grasp on the modern concept of statistical analysis and how to apply this thinking on the field and the in organization as a whole.
Another nice thing about his hiring is that it came as such a surprise. The owners didn’t go for some ‘experienced name’ GM. They took a chance on a man with a plan and now there is a positive feeling without a game having even been played.
Stop and savor this feeling for a minute, it’ll be close to a year before we get to smell this again.
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