Tailgating Online

Mariners Offense Soars In Oakland

The Seattle Mariners opened up their 2012 season, again, this weekend in Oakland. I had much doubt, like many, in the horrible offense the Mariners showed us in Japan. However, after compiling 26 hits and 15 runs in two games versus Oakland, one must wonder if Jack Zduriencik’s plan is coming to fruition.

Chone Figgins is unexpectedly paving the way for Seattle’s young talent with his team high .412 batting average and 4 RBIs. This is a pleasant surprise, considering he began the season as one of the biggest flops in Mariners history. Most importantly, though, the young batters are getting regular playing time and are showing great potential. Dustin Ackley looks like he will be nothing short of great and Kyle Seager has taken advantage of his opportunity with 4 hits and 2 RBIs in his 11 at-bats. Michael Saunders also appears to be turning his career around, finally getting good contact on the ball after shortening his stance and tightening his swing during spring training.

Many questions still surround Seattle’s offense. Is the offense on the right track or are the A’s really that bad? Either way, the Mariners appear to be improving, considering they averaged fewer than 3 runs scored per game against Oakland in 2010 and 2011.

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15 Responses »

  1. It’s nice to see Figgins being productive in the leadoff spot. Hope he keeps it up but I’m not holding my breath. Hopefully Seager keeps getting his ABs. I’m glad Saunders doesn’t look lost out there anymore. He’s one of those nice guys you can’t help but root for. Ichiro is showing he can still hit, however, I think I’d still rather see another young guy in his spot. We’re not competing for the division, we don’t need him. Now is the perfect time to get Jack’s young guys some experience!

    • Chris, you really want to give up 200 hits so the young guys get some plate appearances? The majority of the attendance at Safeco Field wants to see Ichiro, getting rid of him would do nothing more than empty the place out completly. There would be more fans at Cheney Stadium( Except when Felix pitches).

  2. First off, we can no longer refer to Ichiro as “200 hits”. He broke that streak last year. And what good is 200 hits on a team that isn’t competing for the division right now? It doesn’t matter if he has 2 hits or 200, we’re likely going to end up in the same spot in the standings. Ichiro is also on the last year of his contract. Will the M’s sign him again? Probably. But they shouldn’t. When the rest of the team is ready to compete in 2 or 3 years, Ichiro will be a nonfactor. We need to get guys like Saunders, Seager, Peguero, Robinson, Catricala, Triunfel at bats so they are ready to go in a couple years when our group of young pitchers are all called up to the majors. Studies have also been done that show players don’t affect attendance, including a Felix start. It’s really only determined by the weather and day of the week… with two exceptions, versus the Yanks and BoSox. The only real impact Ichiro has had in the last several years has been merchandise. He’s by far the most sold name on the Mariner’s.

  3. At this point I gotta agree with Jim… but not because of his potential 200 hits, or marketing/fan base impact… its the OTHER 18 million reasons. USAtoday mlb salary database has Ichiro listed as earning $18 million, which is the 23rd highest salary in the mlb, and also makes him the 7th richest outfielder. Now combine that salary with his poor performance, a 0.2 WAR last season, which pretty much makes him the worst right fielder in baseball, and this is one of the biggest contract disasters a gm could ever imagine to have to deal with. You cant trade him, he has earned 10/5 rights, so that window of opportunity has closed, and even if you could convince him to approve a trade, no team is going to take on even a fraction of that salary, and I am not too big on the idea of paying players to go play for other teams to save a few bucks. We are stuck with this guy for 157 more games… so ya, I want him playing everyday. I want him sweeping up the stadium after the game, doing autograph sessions in the team store, carrying the Kings suitcase if he has to as long as he finds a way to make himself useful. As far as beyond this season, I would not bring Ichiro back, the salary he would deserve would likely just be seen as an insult to the prideful aging star.

  4. Chris based on your arguments we should throw in the towel now. We will have the best Minor league team in the majors. Last year Ichiro hit 272 which is not a horrible average for having a bad year, I don’t think any player should be judge on one year especially one who has had a career such as Ichiro. As Joe pointed out the team will not get a lot for him in trade value. At best we will get more prospects which the Mariners system already has enough of them, Lastly I think Ichiro has too much pride and too strong of a work ethic to have another bad year, he will be back to his old form which cant be bad for the team.

  5. We have had one of the best minor league teams the last couple years. And there’s no sunch thing as too many prospects. And I’m sure Ichiro won’t be as bad as he was last year. That’s besides the point though. His 200 hits isn’t going to win us a World Series this year. And the money is spent either way. So we can choose to play our young guys to improve our future, or not. I’m all for improving the future team. Ichiro, hopefully, won’t have a future with the Mariners after this year. We’re not going to win this year. So let’s improve on our future team. Get the young guys seasoned.

    • So you wanna give him the Griffey treatment?

      • Griffey’s situation is differnt. The Mariners never should have brought him back that second year. He went into the season knowing he was the 25th man on the roster and things only blew up due to his soured relationship with Wakamatsu. Griffey did the right thing though and left under his own will and now is back with the organization. There’s nothing wrong with trading Ichiro, even if it’s for little in return, to a team that is competing. Nowadays, that’s the most respectful way to leave a team besides retiring on your own. It simply says, “you’re too good to be on a bad team.”

  6. But we cannot trade him, as I mentioned he is a vested veteran and is protected by the 10/5 rule. Do you think Ichiro wants to leave bad enough to waive his no-trade clause?

    • I don’t think his pride would let him deny a trade. It’s like when Jojima went home. The M’s didn’t want him anymore so he retired. The Japanese players work a little differently than the Americans. If we don’t want him, he won’t want to be here. But…. will we trade him? No. We’ll probably give him an extension. Another reason why the team needs to be purchased by a local owner. I’m tired of him being protect by a Japanese owner who’s never even been to a game. If I were in charge, Ichiro would be gone however I had to make it happen.

  7. We are a week into the season and already talking about getting younger guys time and giving up on this season. The Mariners are always a couple years away from contending. We just need a piece here and a piece there. With Ichiro hitting 3rd right now and Figgins actually getting on base, those 200 hits could turn into some real RBI’s and possible some wins. The other issue is the owner still wants Ichiro on the team, they are friends back home and he makes a lot of money of off Ichiro. The big advantage to having Nintendo owning the Mariners, rather than a local owner is money, Paul Allen is probably the only person in the Seattle area that could financialy due for the Mariners what Nintendo can do.

    How did Griffey do the right thing? Sleeping in the Dugout when he was called up to hit? Quitting from a gas station rather than being a man and telling your boss that your finished playing?
    Ichiro’s eraned the right to play for Seattle as long as he want to as long as he is still productive. If he stops being productive I agree he should no longer be a Mariner. I guess we could talk about Randy Johnson he was washed up also when the Mariners traded him RIght?

    • Ok, I agree with you Jr. was kind of a bitch the way he quit… But on the owner issue I couldn’t disagree more. The owner has never even been to a game. Even when we just went to his front door in Japan! He’s completly checked out as an owner. His top guys, Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong, are losers. Nintendo isn’t even that financially stable. Sales dropped 50% last year. The DS is selling at a net loss. And they ended up losing a net total of about $300 million. There are plenty of people who could fund an ownership group locally.

  8. Where do you get all your numbers from, that is insane? Trust me the owner hasn’t checked out, those Japanee’s business guys are always on top of their stuff.

    • It’s public information. Look it up! Nintendo stock is at a 6 year low. It’s widely believed the M’s have dunmped all their payroll, raised ticket prices, and are fighting bringing back the Sonics next to the stadium because they are putting themselves in position to sell.

  9. NIce work on the Nitendo stats, trust me the owner hasn’t checked out at all. Japanee’s business men always have their stuff together. He has some type of plan that he is following to the letter.

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