Oh, the Mariners. It has been hard to be excited about the mighty M’s in recent years. The star power is lacking. The win totals have been unimpressive. Despite a loyal group of fans and a beautiful stadium, the franchise seems to be struggling for direction.
The Mariners did make a “splash” in the offseason when they signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. Unfortunately, the lineup still has a few holes and Cano cannot play multiple positions at once.
This brings us to the 2014 season. Do the fans dare to get excited? Do they hope for a season that actually resembles contention? Hope may spring eternal each April, but fans know what it feels like to be disappointed. Fans can be optimistic, but oftentimes that is tempered with a measure of caution.
Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma should still be good. Kyle Seager looks like a player that could be a star. Mike Zunino and Brad Miller might be solid hitters in the future. There is excitement about Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
All good things.
And yet, this team is far from complete. The Mariners have many questions, and contention may require just about everything to go Seattle’s way in 2014.
So, are you ready for an average season? Sadly, that may be the best that fans can expect. It would be fantastic to be wrong, but the reality of sports is that winning does always come easy.
2014 may be yet another building year for the Seattle Mariners.