How High Would You Like My Boot To Go With Your Celebratory Ass Kicking … ?
By tophatal ……..
Well it’s that time of year again and the Spring Training schedule will soon be upon us both Citrus and Grapefruit Leagues take shape as the teams ready themselves for games and then regular season schedule set to begin on 4th April , 2012 . Given the fact that the end of the regular season in 2011 was exhilarating , this year has a great deal to live up to and then some. Granted , with the idiocy in recent weeks with the overturning of Ryan Braun’s 50 game suspension by arbitrator Shyam Das , whose decision is binding . I’d dare say that baseball is now in need of a real PR uplift ! But then again, when the game is actually mired in controversy I sincerely doubt that the MLB hierarchy would know how to be proactive !
Suffice to say Bud Selig and Rob Manfred are either two of the stupidest senior executives in all of sports or this is simply what we should now come to expect from the commissioner and his now almost two decade tenure as the game’s highest ranking executive . I’d say the latter myself , given Bud Selig’s lack of intelligence and those who have countenanced his leadership. Can you here me on air baseball analysts at ESPN , Fox and TNT ? Keep on kissing and worshiping the porcelain chamber that the commissioner continues to defecate and urinate in , as you’re all deserving of that to no end !
Slide show for your perusal .
Ah , PR and the game of baseball , I would say that now becomes an oxymoron because the commissioner , team owners and the MLBPA (union) have done the game a great disservice in spite of the year end and postseason heroics of 2011. And 2012 will need a number of great highlights throughout to keep the fans enthralled if it’s to be the equal or surpass the events of last year.
It says a great deal when as an organization you have all the financial resources available but somehow as owner the parent company somehow appears to be disinterested or simply wants to maintain the status-quo in keeping things just as usual . The Seattle Mariners owned by the multi-billion dollar gaming company Nintendo Inc of Japan . However the ball-club is overseen by a managing partnership presided over by Howard Lincoln , Chuck Armstrong , Minoru Arak awa and John Ellis . GM Jack Zduriencik in conjunction with Eric Wedge as team manager are handed the reins to run the AL West team as best they can . Suffice to say , it’s hard to see how an organization that hasn’t been a part of the postseason in a number of years can be considered even anywhere near legitimate contender within AL much less the rest of baseball is as perplexing as trying to elicit interest in the campaign of Rep Ron Paul (R-Tx) . He may well say all of the right things but no one seems to be interested the congressman at all . In politics , it’s never been about the campaign or ideology but how damn well deep your pockets are in order to actually be heard and then some ! Paul’s campaign treasure chest is minuscule in comparison the leading Republican Presidential nominee candidate Mitt Romney . And as we can see , the former Massachusetts’ governor is about as clear as many of the underlying issues as Stevie Wonder would be in a room full of naked strippers . Romney’s insight on so many of the issues are like that of a male who suffers from ED when in the presence several voluptuous females premature ejaculation tends to be the next step on that roller coaster . Oops !
In 2011 the Seattle Mariners finished so far behind the pace within the division that by the midway point of year end they were already a non-factor factor as a contender within the division. And it’s not hard to understand why this team performed so miserably , that beyond pitcher Felix Hernandez there was very little to be interested in beyond the performances of the starting pitcher and the always consistent …. Ichiro Suzuki . All-round the Mariners struggled right across the board from its pitching to the offense and so much more .
The projected starting pitching rotation will be headed by Hernandez alongside Jason Vargas , Hisashi Iwakuma , Kevin Millwood and Hector Noesi , with the projected closer thought to be Brandon League .
Ichiro Suzuki , a former AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP has been his consistent self throughout much of his career . A batting champion , hits’ leader and some might say the best hitter within the AL . And that is now with due respect to both the AL batting champion in 2011 …… Miguel Cabrera and the accomplishments of the players within the AL .
Now if the Mariners are to show any signs of real competitiveness within the AL West against the likes of the Los Angeles Angels , Oakland Athletics (A’s) and Texas Rangers then the team’s overall performance will have to greatly improve beyond what was shown last …. season and when adjudged against the rest of the MLB . The offense of the Mariners alongside Ichiro , will have to come from the likes of Dustin Ackley , Franklin Gutierrez , Justin Smoak , Chone Figgins and Brendan Ryan . And that is going to be no small task when one considers what was added to the offenses of the Angels and Rangers in particular .
For Eric Wedge and his coaching staff he can now go about in preparations judging the roster along with the none roster invitees to gauge what he will have at his disposal this season . Chances are the manager will want to no doubt improve upon last season’s 65-97 mark that saw the Seattle Mariners with one of the worst records in all of Major League Baseball (MLB) . And unfortunately this now seems to be mirroring the Mariners’ ambition and appetite as it relates to the game over the past few seasons . It has been over a decade since the organization made a postseason appearance back in 2001 when they lost in the ALCS (4-1) to the then rampaging …… New York Yankees . For the Bronx Bombers however, their foray in the 2001 World Series would come to an untimely end against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a memorable series .
As a fan of the game I have become attuned to the idiocy and apparent apathy of the fans who’ll simply accept the mediocrity and mundane when it comes to their teams ! They claim to be passionate but show as much discourse when their teams are being routed and beaten like a damn pinata , only to excuse it all by saying well we’re looking to improve over the course of time ! How stupid can those fans actually be ? And that has clearly been the case with the Seattle Mariners’ fans over the years as they have seen players come through their system only have success elsewhere , while team remains in the doldrums . Safeco Field home to the Mariners during their heightened years of consistency , once held sway to yearly attendances that were amongst the highest within the league but as of late and that hasn’t been the case with the team averaging 23,411 per home game in 2011 . That figure was amongst the lowest of the 30 ball-clubs within Major League Baseball this past season . My standpoint , if you’re not going to be passionate about your team but continue to accept their mediocrity then you’re simply not a fan at all , merely a curious observer whose intent is to accept what’s being served upon a platter by that organization especially when it is an inferior product ! Apathy clearly does make the heart grow fonder , and nowhere is that more prevalent than within the game of baseball !
Now I know that the Mariners are averse to spending money on players the way that New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers are known to have done . But Christ almighty, when you have a multi-billion dollar corporation such as Nintendo as an owner , you have to admit that they are in essence poorly serving their fan-base if they are not willing to spend even a nominal sum to obtain the best talent available on the market ?
I get the feeling that with this being Ichiro’s final year with the Seattle Mariners , as he can become a free agent in 2013 . It may well be now or never for the organization in terms of making a successful run at making the MLB postseason . I certainly don’t believe that this team is simply good enough to challenge the likes of the Los Angeles Angels , Texas Rangers within their division , much less the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays , Yankees , Red Sox , Detroit Tigers or the Toronto Blue Jays for that matter and that’s not based on last season’s standings at all ! It simply comes from the fact that this organization shows that continually they have no passion or ambition to be successful and that it is in spite of the claims of Howard Lincoln , Jack Zduriencik and even the team’s manager Eric Wedge . Much like the French , during WWII by mid-season the Mariners may well be raising the white flag of surrender as they often have done over the past decade ! This organization is spineless as it is gutless and it seems to the prevalent not amongst their front office but also amongst their fans as well members of the roster . I may well be proven wrong this season as it relates to the Seattle Mariners but I seriously doubt it ! A kick in the ass would be kindest thing that could be done to this organization and that still wouldn’t be enough to motivate this team or their long-suffering fans !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As a fan of the game are you hoping to see the Seattle Mariners have some semblance of success or do you believe that this team will fade by mid-season and simply finish at the back of the pack not only within their division but amongst the AL teams and all of baseball ? Also do you believe that quite possibly by the trade deadline we could see Ichiro being dealt elsewhere should the front office get an inquiry from a AL or NL contender ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki , from Japan, throws during spring training baseball Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 in Peoria, Ariz. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..
(2) PEORIA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….
(3) Manager Eric Wedge of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …….
(4) Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …
(5) Jesus Montero (63) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) ….
(6) Pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……..
(7) Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is flanked by CEO Howard Lincoln (L) and COO Chuck Armstrong as he receives his Gold Glove Award prior to the Seattle Mariners’ home opener against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on April 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images North America /Otto Greule Jr ….
(8) Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is presented with career stolen base number 400 by President & C.O.O. Chuck Armstrong (L) and GM Jack Zduriencik prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field on July 1, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. …….
Now batting way above the Mendoza line we have Denise Milani and her ample assets . Lovely !