The baseball off season has been very wonderfully busy for the Seattle Mariners. We acquired a Cy Young pitcher in Cliff Lee, we got rid of some bad contracts, and we got a nice hitter with the hilarious name of Milton Bradley. In addition to the pieces already in place and the feel good signing of everyone's childhood hero Ken Griffey Jr., this is shaping up to be a masterpiece.
Bradley has a pretty bad reputation as a troublemaker, actually, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For one, when you're winning, those things become less important. Secondly, I've heard some pretty nasty things said about him from the fans in Chicago, and that would make everyone a little irate. I can promise you this, Milton: we might chuckle softly at your fun name, but there will be no racist epithets from the fans at Safeco. We do not tolerate that in Seattle.
So, the year that I may be leaving Seattle is the year that they trade for some star players and really make a try at contention. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2001, and they look to seriously want to get back in 2010. If I do move, I am flying back to Safeco for the games this season. I'll hitchhike to the playoff games if I must, but I will not miss a winning season here.
I often state that people should support teams by geographic region. Meaning, if you live in NYC, you root for the Mets or the (God forbid) Yankees. But I have destroyed my own theory with my devotion to the Mariner's in the past few years. I can change football teams, I can root for other NL teams...But I'm doomed to be a Mariner fan, for good or ill. No matter where I live, Seattle is going to be my baseball team. I am now stuck with two teams, my university, West Virginia University, and the Mariners.
The current GM, Jack Zduriencik, definitely gives me reason to hope. If I was the kind to hold up signs at the ballpark to express myself, I'd make one that says "Cliff Lee is great, Jack Z, but you had me at Junior."
On second thought maybe I'll become the kind of guy who makes signs just for that one.