Five Ways the Seattle Mariners Can Fix Their Hitting Woes
The Mariners' hitting is, to be blunt, very bad.
As an Indians fan, I think of my team's hitting, and think to myself, it could be worse. We could have the Mariners' hitting.
They are last in runs, home runs, and slugging percentage, and nearly last in batting average, hits, and other categories.
So the question is, how do we fix this?
Clearly, the Mariners are still in the hunt in a tight AL West, so they aren't out of it, and can afford to make some changes.
Here are five guaranteed ways to lift the Mariners' spirits and get them back into things.
Note: The following list is satirical, and not a list of serious suggestions. Their minor league team isn't hitting well either, so they don't have many options available for modifying.
Batter for a Day!
Many of us have had that dream of being a professional baseball player. If you still harbor it, well, why not try out?
The Mariners can set up an audition process and allow Mariners fans to have the chance to hit in the team's actual lineup!
Not only would it generate publicity and boost attendance, but who knows, you may uncover a good hitter that you can use.
Give the Tacoma Rainiers a Chance
Trades are a normal part of baseball, so we might as well use them to our advantage. Let's trade up those in Tacoma to replace those in Seattle.
By trade, I mean let's swap the teams.
Since Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez are hitting fine, they can stay. Matt Mangini can make his debut, Josh Bard can see if he has any major league stuff left, and Brad Nelson can fill out a suddenly pretty good outfield.
Many contracts already have incentives for performances, such as getting a certain number of runs or whatever. Let's add that into the game itself.
Hit a home run? $10,000. Hit the game winning run? $25,000.
This should help bats wake up, as they have an added incentive to get those hits they need to get to satisfy the decent pitching.
Maybe Ichiro should originally be ineligible, so that he does not get all the money from the rewards though.
Have The Pitchers Hit
Cliff Lee hit .212 for the Phillies last year. Jason Vargas was a .300 hitter for the Florida Marlins. Felix Hernandez just looks like he'd be a good hitter.
We can put them in slowly, start with one as the DH, and have some others pinch hit.
Then who knows, we could have some rising batting averages. Seeing the pitchers in hitting action would boost attendance, since that's not something Mariners fans get to see in person.
Bring in Eric Byrnes' Softball Buddies
Earlier today, SportsCenter showed Eric Byrnes' towering home run shots back at his new hometown team.
If he can play that well over there, then there must be some talent in the hitting. After all, he only hit .094 for the Mariners. He certainly isn't now.
If nothing else, it complements the batter for a day sweepstakes and brings in possibly great talent.
If I had a good answer for how to fix Mariners' problems, I'd provide it.
Tacoma's batting average isn't much better than Seattle's. A .231 average is not something you can fix overnight; even if they went on a .300 tear, it would take them a while to get back in the middle of the pack.
The veterans are not hitting at all, the young guys are not much better, and it unfortunately is really a mess down there.
Changes do have to be made somewhere, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later, since they're not out of the playoff race just yet—tempting as it is to write them off.
They threw out the hitting coach a little while ago (hidden in the wake of Griffey's slumber), so perhaps that will help get the bats moving.