You could almost hear the collective gasp from long-time fans of the Seattle Mariners when they heard the recent news.
Oh, no. Not King Felix. Say it ain’t so.
Sports fans are a funny group of individuals when it comes to projecting into the future. Some fans remain optimistic that sunnier skies just have to be on the horizon, and that someday their beloved team will bring home a title.
Other fans, particularly those that follow a historically beleaguered team, are quick to proclaim that the sky is falling at the first sign of bad news. Given the recent history of the Seattle Mariners, there is probably going to be more of a propensity to project despair.
How will fans handle the news that Felix Hernandez may have elbow issues? What will they do if the entire contract extension is derailed?
It has certainly been a week of emotional ups and down for Seattle fans. First the news that King Felix was about to sign a mega-deal that would keep Hernandez in Seattle for a long time. And there was much rejoicing (apologies to Monty Python).
Then, a snag. A scary snag. A snag that might derail not just the deal, but also Felix's entire career. The pessimistic fan emerges and shouts, "Perfect! Just perfect! I knew something like this was going to happen! All is lost! This team will never, ever succeed!"
Finding the pulse of the fans is obviously difficult, but one has to assume that most people will cross their fingers, hold their breath, apply some cautious optimism and take a wait-and-see approach.
Granted, those that worried about a seven-year contract for a pitcher might actually be relieved to hear that the deal could be altered with injury language.
Again, you can be optimistic and look on the bright side. As noted by Lookout Landing, “Better the elbow than the shoulder, right? At least we haven't heard anything about Felix's shoulder.”
Then again, any injury involving a pitcher’s arm is never a good thing. The Mariners need some good news about their talented ace.
Perhaps this is much ado about nothing. Perhaps the language of the contract will indeed be tweaked to include injury clauses. Perhaps the deal will soon be announced.
As tweeted by Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times:
My personal opinion on Felix Hernandez: he's going to be a Mariner for a long, long time. Just a matter of contract language.— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) February 11, 2013
Obviously, patience and perspective are warranted. Until the Mariners make a formal announcement, there is nothing to do but wait.
Greg Johns of MLB.com recently tweeted:
Hearing Felix Hernandez won't be available to media tomorrow when #Mariners pitchers/catchers report. So might not hear from him til Wed.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) February 12, 2013