Seattle Mariners Gearing Up to Win One for Ken Griffey Jr.
This season, they are hoping that will all change.
Aside from the 2004 WNBA Champion Seattle Storm, Seattle hasn't had a championship team since the NBA's Sonics won in 1979.
The Seattle Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Seattle Mariners won 393 games from 2000-2003, including an MLB-record 116 in 2001. The result? Two ALCS appearances, both lost to the New York Yankees.
The Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City following the '07-08 season.
The collegiate Washington Huskies have half an NCAA Football title (1991 with Miami) and nothing in baseball, basketball, or track and field in 70 years of play.
In 2006, before the Seattle Seahawks' first Super Bowl appearance, Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly wrote a column about Seattle. In it, he gave three reasons why Seattle is terrible at sports: They are too nice, they are too geeky, and they are too wet. (Most Seattle fans probably remember this article. Afterwards, Reilly said that getting hate mail from Seattle fans is like having Kate Moss raid your fridge.)
But now, with a storybook season opportunity in the making, the Mariners are making their move.
The Mariners have signed 3B Chone Figgins (.298, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 101 BB, 42 SB) away from the division rival Los Angeles Angels. They have traded for 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee (won 36 games with a 2.89 ERA the last two seasons).
In addition to Figgins and Lee, the Mariners have also re-signed SS Jack Wilson.
They re-signed their baby Jesus, Ken Griffey Jr., to a one-year deal. Griffey is second all-time in games played without a World Series appearance (2,638.) Griffey, age 39, has to be excited that the Mariners are showing that they are committed to competing for a World Series title in what may be his final MLB season.
2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui drew praise from Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese player to play in the MLB: "Ichiro Suzuki has had many accomplishments, but they've all been in the regular season. As the first Japanese to win an MVP in the World Series, this is a great accomplishment for Matsui and will have a huge impact."
Ichiro was the first Japanese player to win AL MVP (in which you need to be consistent for 162 games versus five), has won two AL batting titles ('01 and '04), holds the single-season hits record (262), has won nine consecutive Gold Glove awards, and is a nine-time All-Star.
This story line will get even better now that Matsui plays for the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners won 24 more games in 2009 than they did in 2008. Manager Don Wakamatsu, the first Japanese MLB manager, finished fourth in AL Manager of the Year voting and will look to continue his success in 2010.
With the Sonics gone and the Seahawks abysmal, Seattle fans should be excited for what appears to be one of the most anticipated seasons in Mariners baseball.
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