The Mariners 2009 season has been phenomenal.The Mariners and there fans were the only ones who believed they could do what they have done thus far.
Heck, even some of the Mariners players didn't know that they would be where they are right now. It has been exciting for both the Mariners players and the Mariners fans. We have had so many close suspenseful games, yet we have come out with a win the majority of the time. It hasn't been this fun going to see the Mariners play since the 2001 season; which you guys already know of.
There has been so much excitement and belief within the organization brought on by many people. Many people including analyst said that we would not be able to keep it up. "Let's wait until july and then we will see where they are". Well, where are we? We are in a race. Yet sadly, I feel as if it is coming to an end starting today.
That man would be Jack Zduriencik. He has the sharpest eye for talent I have ever seen. There are so many guys he has brought in this season which have panned out for him. I cannot think of one guy who he brought in who has not excelled more then expected.
Everyone knew when he was hired that he has a keen sense for talent. He had turned Braun into an allstar. He had turned Prince Fielder into an allstar. He has turned the Brewers' farm system into one of the best in the league. Then he comes to Seattle and turns what Bill Bavasi destroyed into something positive.
Bill Bavasi was so awful that it almost seemed as if he was trying to make this organization fail for the short term and long term. He signed players to multi year multi million dollar contracts who did not deserve it....Ex: Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, and Jarrod Washburn for the most part. He destroyed our future by giving away countless prospects in awful trades. Most noticably was Adam Jones who played in the Allstar game this season.
When it comes down to it....Jack Z has turned low key players who haven't been heard of before into players who have been talked about on Baseball Tonight etc... on a pretty consistent basis.
Those are both adjectives which describe the new GM Don Wakamatsu. Since the Mariners first hired him I have heard nothing but good about Wakamatsu. When his team is getting smashed 9-0 against the Cleveland Indians and they can't manage to score a run he does not scream as a certain Ozzie Guillen would.
He simply approaches the media and explains what he thinks went wrong and what some of the positives were even if they weren't plentiful. None of the players when asked say that Wakamatsu would yell at them after the game. Yet they respect him highly. He seems as if he has been doing this for years, yet it is only his first. He has an uncanny ability to connect with players and talk to them one on one and work with them to figure out what is wrong.
He has been incredible and has given the Mariners organization and fans a fresh breath of air.
Griffey is the exception. When I say that I mean that he is the exception for guys on the roster with awful stats. Griffey has done so much more then just bring a presence to the plate.
Although his stats have been atrocious, he has brought leadership and happiness to the clubhouse, but especially to Ichiro. In all of his years Ichiro has not had a friend on the team. He has had a couple of players such as Raul Ibanez or Jay Buhner who he could talk to but no one like Griffey. He has such an awesome relationship with Griffey that he has allowed him to tickle him. Which Ichiro said he would probably punch anyone else in the face if they tried that.
So you can clearly see that although Griffey is not having a great year at the plate, he has brought so much life back to the city of Seattle.
King Felix. Angie Mentink and Bill Krueger prefer to call him the cat but I still prefer King Felix. What can you say about Felix. Everything. He has been so good this season living up to his name.
He has 10 wins after a Mariners loss which may not seem big but is huge. To step up and stop the bleeding is huge key in some of the Mariners success. He is sporting a 11-3 record with a 2.45 ERA and 137 SO. He is clearly the Ace and I am hoping he will get an extension soon.
Let's hope as Seattle Mariners fans we will continue to watch Felix dominate and hopefully win Cy Young this year and for many more years to come.
That is what Dave Niehaus has been calling Franklin Gutierrez for his ability to track down just about any fly ball. The nickname was previously held by Bob Ferguson. He has been an addition among many made by Z.
He has been much better then many believed he would be. He has been so good to the point to where he crashed into the wall a couple of days ago against the Detroit Tigers off the bat of Ryan Raburn, and many people said the Mariners season was over if he could not come back. Yup, he has been that important to the Seattle Mariners amazing season. The way he glides to the ball is amazing and its as if he can sense where the ball will end up as soon as it touches the bat by the way he runs on a straight line right to the ball.
While his defense has been there all year, the past month he has started to swing one of the hottest bats in the Mariners lineup with is average sitting right around .300.
He will be around for a long time and he has been a phenomenal player to watch.
Obviously I am referring to Russell Branyan. Yet another excellent addition in which Z has brought with him from Milwaukee. No one knew that Branyan would be flirting with a .300 average and 21 homers at the half. All it took was a manager to look him in the eye and say don't even bother looking at the lineup. Your in.
Apparently that is all that was needed. He is performing like he has never before in his career. That also leads back to the fact that every manager he has played for has questioned his capability to hit left handed pitching which he has shown he can with great success.
Branyan has been great and should have no problem finding a team for next year if it is not the Mariners.
As you can see I am referring to the best GM in history haha not. Bill Bavasi. Ugh.....he was unbelievably awful.
Such things as trading away an all star now in Adam Jones for a player who has been injured for the majority of his stop in Seattle in Erik Bedard had gotten him booed out of Seattle. He has signed players such as Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, and Kenji Johjima to multi million and year deals which honestly they do not deserve. At the moment only one of those players is earning his money and that would be Jarrod Washburn. He is having a career year. Although the excellent defense in the outfield has alot to do with it, he has still put alot of work in to adding a new pitch and his speed selections.
He has mixed it up unbelievably well. It is the Bill Bavasi years which should show us how bad it can get and how great it will get now that he is gone and Z is in charge.
Now that Bavasi is out we will have a very successful future and plenty of great years.
Yup the Bullpen.
They have been among the unbelievable stories which make up the Mariners season. They have been lock down for the most part and we owe that once again to Z. Aardsma who wasn't known very well had allstar numbers at the half but was not very popular with the fans so was not voted in.
As you know the mariners have had many many close games and Aardsma has been called in countless times to lock it down against the heart of the order. You really couldn't ask more from a guy who is playing on 419K in 09.
Aardsma has been great and you really have to hand it to him.
The Mariners have many many Prospects who are high risk high reward sort of players. Such players as Carlos Triunfel and Greg Halman. The Mariners future looks pretty good with players who are one or two years away from emerging into the Pros. Players such as Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Phillipe Aumont, and Adam Moore are a group of players who could be emerging onto the Major League stage very soon.
They look as if they could have very good futures and are obviously very young. A couple other promising players who aren't quite ready yet are guys such as Juan Ramirez, Michael Pineda, Joshua Fields, and Maikel Clato. All of those guys will be ready soon and are extremely exciting to follow.
The future looks great on both offense and defense.
There have been so many sensational things this season thus far, but after todays loss to the Cleveland Indians we have fallen back 6.5 games back of the division leading Angels. I do not mean to be a wet blanket, but I feel as if we do not have enough offense to get back in it seeing as how the Angels simply will not lose.
It also appears as if Z does not have any intentions of adding anyone. He is dead set on the future which is a pretty smart move. Even though we are all caught up in the excitement of the now, we do not need another Bill Bavasi which is to sell the farm and try to win now which did not work the first time around.
So as I see it we should try and get some top of the line prospects for both Washburn and Bedard before the deadline. Now I love the Mariners and would love to see them contend, but we are in a bad position which is the Angels winning constantly with the depth that they have and us not being able to consistently score runs.
I believe in Z and he will not disappoint us in the long run.