The Seattle Mariners were unable to sign Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. He will not be joining Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton to form the most deadly rotation in Major League Baseball.
Is anyone really surprised?
Sure, the rumors worked there for awhile. The Mariners put themselves into the conversation after overpaying for Robinson Cano. The west coast location of Safeco Field and the history with Ichiro and Iwakuma made for a “natural” fit.
And yet, Tanaka joined the New York Yankees. According to Ken Rosenthal’s article, “Tanaka to Yankees restores natural order to baseball.”
You’re right, Ken. It’s always about the Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Never mind that there are other teams in baseball. The Mariners should just accept their role as farm team to the east coast clubs. For a moment there, the Mariners thought they might actually compete against the favored franchises of baseball.
What were they thinking?
I particular like Rosenthal’s statement when he says:
It isn’t necessarily bad when the Yankees and Dodgers are the big, bad wolves of the sport — particularly when their $200 million payrolls are no guarantee of success.
Really, Mr. Rosenthal? First of all, this is such a misleading statement. As I mentioned in an article last week, this is about ongoing chance to make the postseason. Rosenthal is right when he says that money doesn’t buy a championship. However, money does buy a lot more playoff appearances. If you make the playoffs from year to year, you will have a better shot at a title. The numbers don’t lie. And don’t talk to me about the Oakland A’s.
Now that Masahiro has signed, the Mariners can turn to the less-than-inspiring pitching options on the free agent market. That is their lot in life, and as hinted by Rosenthal, they should accept their place in the baseball hierarchy. The Yankees are spending again, and apparently that is a good thing.