As Mariners FanFest happens this weekend, I am sitting at home on my computer writing about the team. My work schedule this week didn't allow me to go and participate in the festivities this year. Friday the team held it's annual press day and that involved a couple of interviews with our GM, Jack Zduriencik and Manager, Eric Wedge. If you didn't see it already, they also put together an interesting video for the event. (Shown Above)
Listening to Eric Wedge, I understand that they have a plan. That Jack Z and the front office are on a mission to build a foundation for this team that will last for a long time. They are building a foundation. That means that we are not going to be a team that is going to spend through the roof in the free agent market to win one year and then spend another ten years in last. This is the right way to do it. It's what Jack Z has preached since his very first day on the job and he has done exactly what he said he was going to do. Build from the ground up.
We have some of the best prospects in all of baseball. Five come up in the top 100, but 3 of those 5 come up in the top 20. Many of them are going to be on the MLB club this year. I am super excited about where our team is headed and really love listening to Wedge and Jack talk about "THE PLAN". Even more, was Eric Wedge's thoughts on competing this season. By competing he doesn't mean that the Mariners are going to win the AL West, but he does admit that every day it's anybody's ball game. Every 162 games he wants players out there fighting for every win and he is going to push them and hold them accountable. He said he had a chance to sit back and watch things play out last year and that this year it is going to be different.
One of the main things on the radar, Ichiro. Ichiro, for the first time in his career may not be a lead-off hitter. Wedge has promised that he is going to do what is best for the team and that he has already talked to Ichiro about that. Ichiro has finally come to terms with the fact that there are 24 other players on the Mariners. 10 years later.
Everybody wants to see the Mariners win and many are angry if we settle for anything less than a World Series Championship, but I too say, Stay the Course! If we abandon our plan now, our future begins to crumble. If we stay the course, I believe the Mariners will be the team to watch in a short 5 years. We will be able to watch this young club really work and pry and scratch and claw their way to win after win and I believe that we will be surprised at times, like last years 1/2 game out stance in July. I also believe we will be disappointed, frustrated, angry, but hey, this is baseball. More often than not, if we understand "THE PLAN" I believe that we will have fun being Mariner fans.
Buy your tickets! You'll see!