Okay, the alarm clock has got to start screaming anytime now for Seattle Mariners fans.
It’s time to wake up, gulp down some Starbucks and recover from that sweat-provoking dream that the Mariners were actually players in Baseball’s Hot Stove off-season.
As M’s fans read the headlines, they have to realize the latte isn’t working. Good ol’ cup of Joe is impotent.
The mocha and cappuccino has lost its ability to return the human body to a functional state away from the dream world.
Mariners fans are trapped like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day even four days past the winter deciding day of prognostication. A time when the Mariners have traditionally failed to make a single significant roster upgrade through the winter, typically signifying another nine months of frigidity for their diamond jockeys.
This day, the good people of Seattle, Washington state, the Northwest, and fans throughout the country and Japan realize their wildest dreams actually pale in comparison to the reality that Seattle essentially dominated the headlines this winter…
And hope springs eternal!
Their two biggest moves are touted as re-signing A.L. Cy Young runner-up Felix Hernandez and trading for former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee.
The big free agent signing was Chone Figgins, who was one of the most productive lead-off hitters in the American League last year with their division rival, and geographically challenged, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In 2010, the Mariners will boast the best one-two punch in the American League in both the top of the rotation and the top of the batting order.
The rest of the roster has some pretty substantial question marks as production from the back end of the rotation and the middle of the batting order will depend largely on youth development, team chemistry, veteran leadership, and injuries.
In short, even with the widespread accolades that GM Jack Zduriencik has accumulated in making the M’s a contender in the AL West in 2010, this team is not the Yankees or Red Sox.
The Mariners will still need to rely on some luck and some over-achieving performances to get back to the playoffs.
The addition of good players like Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins are paramount to building a contender, but addition by subtraction may be just as important.
Gone, are wicked, high priced roster-cloggers like Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva.
Over-paid players, like Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson, who were injury prone and never quite delivered offensively equal to the investment made in them, no longer weigh down the lineup.
Seattle fans need not worry as there are 10 reasons the M’s will vault into the playoff picture and possibly beyond.