|Yes, it was indeed a backward season…|
Unfortunately, being swept in the last home series was a fitting end to one of the worst seasons in Mariners history. There was so much hope after the rather remarkable turnaround last year from the 101 loss season of 2008. During the ‘winter of our content’ Jack Z snared Cliff Lee for a song, rid the rotation of Carlos Silva (even though acquiring Milton was a bit of a risk), signed Figgy who was sure to provide more speed on OBP at the top of the lineup. And then there was Junior – yeah, his 2009 season wasn’t great, but his presence seemed vital to the clubhouse kumbaya.
But then it all went horribly wrong…
~ Cliff was out with an injury for the first month of the season and while they were able to tread water at 11-11 during his absence and fans and players alike were dazzled by his outings in his short but sweet stint with the M’s, run support wasn’t only hard to come by, it was nearly impossible – for Cliff and every other M’s hurler.
~ Milton’s emotional problems weren’t hidden for long and soon he was on ‘restricted status’ (a status few even knew existed) while undergoing therapy (meanwhile, Silva was tearing it up for the Cubbies) and even when MB returned, he was unable to contribute and was eventually placed on the ‘normal’ DL
~ Figgy’s bat dropped off the planet as it never had before and the dream of two lead-off hitters became a nightmare – especially after his blowup in the dugout when he was benched during a game vs. the Red Sox in which Wak didn’t appreciate the perceived lack of effort on a ground ball.
~ And, then there was the Junior situation. It started with nap-gate and ended in a way no one could have imagined at the start of the season – with a call to Chuck from Montana on his way home to Florida – for good.
~ Then there were the many players who were playing so far below their career norms, it was unbelievable that the team collapse could be so … complete.
~ The bullpen dominos began to fall beginning with Mark Lowe (injury and subsequent surgery, then traded with Cliff Lee to the Rangers).
~ Fundamentals seemed to be a thing of the past – defensive miscues and base running blunders were almost the norm instead of the exception.
~ All this and then, firing of the manager. The one who a year before was heralded for his calm, direct leadership and praised for his handling of superstars and rookies alike.
What a difference a year makes.
But, I wouldn’t be Compass Rosy if I didn’t point out that amid the horror that was 2010, there were actually some bright lights.
Our “King” is contending for the Cy Young award despite the abysmal performance of his team. It IS an individual award, after all. And, even some of the old school national guys are coming ’round to the the reality that “pitcher wins” are NOT the end all be all. In fact, wins are something out of their control – particularly Felix’s – as he had the LOWEST run support in the MAJOR leagues (93rd of pitchers with at least 160IP)
Another 200-hit season.
The first player in major league history to record at least 200 hits in TEN straight seasons.
While his bat wasn’t up to par, his defense shown more than ever.
He became the major league record holder for an outfielder with the most total chances (415) without an error. Death to Flying Things, indeed.
Like Felix, Jason was not blessed with run support (he is 88th on that same list).
But, this was really his first full, healthy season in the bigs and seemingly he made great strides. He pitched more than double the innings than ever before and gave a lot of credit to Cliff Lee whom he learned a lot from in the short time they were teammates.
Some parting photos of my last day at The Safe….
|Goodbye Section 331, Row 8, Seat 15 – see you next year!|
|Filing out of Safeco Field for the last time in 2010|
|Our fair city from the upper concourse|
|please, Please, PLEASE, Jack …. get a supporting cast for these characters!|