One more year….

At the onset of his initial return, I dubbed it Real and Right as Rain. That is exactly how it ended up.

Okay, the true story book ending would have been World Series rings all around for the navy and teal. But, hey, you can’t have everything ~ not in just one year anyway.

It really turned out better than anyone could have imagined. Sure, it would have been nice if Junior had been totally healthy and capable of playing like he did in his first ten years instead of the second ten. But, despite his limited playing time and declining ability, he was able to make a HUGE impact on what had previously been such a MARK HARRISON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

dysfunctional clubhouse. His mere presence – that smile and his unadulterated joy for game – acted as an elixir for all that ailed the young and scared, the old and injured and the just plain burnt out.

From all accounts it was, and is, all genuine. Junior truly cares about this entire organization, all his teammates and each and every person in it, from the clubhouse guy, to the PR people.
Junior, by word and deed, made the game what it is supposed to be, for the players one through twenty-five and for the fans. He made if fun again.

There are those who think, from a baseball standpoint, this is not a move that should have been made. I can understand that view, I just don’t happen to agree. Early indications, from reporters and even from his own agent, are that Junior is willing to play whatever role is best for the team – likely one more limited than even last season. This gives the M’s flexibility from a financial and personnel standpoint and is only going to serve to further strengthen what was started last season. In other words, this move is not going to hinder other moves – Jack Z is just getting started!

I, for one, am so very glad that the fans will be able to give Junior a season long send off. He deserves it. So do they.

And so we have one more year…
One more year to bask in that contagious smile.
One more year to savor that presence at the plate.
One more year to admire that sweet, sweet swing.
One more year to revel in that unadulterated joy of the game.

One more year to say goodbye.

btw ~ the Seattle Mariners won 24 more games last season than the year before. Some may deem it a coincidence. I think not.

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