Omir the Storyteller

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

What is wrong with the Mariners?


Now I will admit to not having watched or listened to any games recently, so I don't have a good answer to that question, but as I write this the Mariners have lost 10 of their last 11 games. By my count that means they started this skid at 12-11. They were almost even with California Anaheim Los Angeles Disneyland the Angels. Now they're about six games back.

On paper this team looks good. Beltre is coming off a solid season. Boone is a gold glover. Moyer started out the year 3-0. Pineiro and Meche both have the makeup to be the kinds of pitchers general managers would trade their mothers for. Everyone on the team except maybe Ichiro has hit better than they are now. Boy, if we were playing on paper we'd have it made.

So what's the problem?

Injuries have to be one of the big problems. Who knows where we'd be right now if Bobby Madritsch was in the lineup? Maybe Pokey Reese could make a difference. It's hard to tell. And the team has to be down what with Dan Wilson being out for . .. well, maybe forever.

But injuries can't be the only problem. It could be morale, or it could be that losing begets losing, but dangit, these guys are professionals. They aren't supposed to let stuff like losing close ones get to them.

I just wish I knew what the problem was. Bill Bavasi would probably pay me a nice hefty consultant's fee if I could just help him put a name to it.

It's gotten bad enough that I don't even want to turn on the scores anymore. And I know it's been bad before, but I don't think it's ever been this bad after it's been that good. As recently as two years ago we won over 90 games. Now look at us.

It's gotten bad enough that yesterday, when Dave from the Aquasox ticket office called me to pitch their plans for this year, I didn't kick him off the phone like I do most telemarketers. I just listened to his pitch and all the while though oh please oh please oh please can the Aquasox season just start now? Please make the bad baseball stop.

But you know, as bad as things are, it could be worse, and I don't mean we could be looking at 0 for the month of May. Some of you remember five years ago in August when the Mariners were on a skid that eventually went to eight losses on the way to losing the West by less than two games. Worse, they were losing to terrible teams like Kansas City and Detroit. After about the sixth or seventh loss Lou Piniella got up in front of the microphone on KIRO and said something like, "Well, you know, you have to keep it in perspective. I mean, look at the sailors on the Kursk." A Russian submarine had gone down that week with 118 men on board. Even when it's bad entertainment, baseball is just entertainment. Even Mariners baseball.

Well, at least we have the Sonics to watch.

Oh, wait . . .


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