The Seattle Mariners have arrived in the place where many believed they might land in 2012. Granted, it is still relatively early in the season and the Mariners may eventually climb out of their current position. However, for now, the Mariners find themselves in the cellar of the American League West.
Not terrible, but not good
I don't see the Mariners as a bad team. They just aren't terribly good. When you are 15-20, I guess it is fair to say that you are well below average and heading towards dismal. A few more losses may put them squarely in the dreadful category, but hopefully they will at least pull out a few wins every so often. Overall, the team stats aren't as bad as they have been the last couple of seasons. They just aren't in the upper half of the league, and the Mariners are still trying to build consistent momentum.
Reason for optimism
There are signs of optimism. The pitching remains solid, and I do like this rotation. Overall, I think it is fair to say that the lineup is improved over last year, and a few of the young hitter appear to be blossoming. If the Mariners were more effective at the top of the lineup, this is an offense that might actually be able to do some damage in the future. Jesus Montero looks like the hitter everyone hoped he would be, and Kyle Seager is developing into a very solid player.
What can we hope for?
As a fan I do have to admit that it is hard to get excited about the reality that a best-case scenario for your team might be a .500 finish. You almost wish that other fan bases could understand what it is like to be loyal to a team and stick with them through long stretches of rough times. For example, if you are a follower of the New York Yankees, it doesn't take much to be a fan. Who wouldn't find it easy to follow a perennial contender in a league without a salary cap? Talk about being totally spoiled.
Keep at it M's. Perhaps someday you will be a winner again.
The author lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in Seattle and still roots faithfully for the Mariners even though they are sometimes frustrating to watch. He gets to Seattle whenever he can to see his M's. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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