Friday, July 8, 2011

Winning takes Time

By: Insider Steve

I have a quick question to all of Mariners nation. What is the worst part about losing? I’ll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with the games lost. The worst part about losing is it makes winning seem all the more improbable.

That’s what 674 losses, five losing seasons in seven years has reduced this fan base to. A no holds barred, go for it at all costs, take the rebuilding process and shove that aside to shorten the time it takes, so we can win already, desperate type fan base. Do you want me to give you an example of this? On June 30th, Dave Cameron of wrote a piece advocating the idea of trading a huge piece of our future, Michael Pineda. Here is a snippet of Cameron’s article “I realize that the thought of trading Pineda is going to sound crazy. He’s a 22-year-old flamethrower who is already a quality Major League arm, and the Mariners control his rights through the 2016 season. He’s the leading candidate for the American League Rookie of the Year, and a big part of why the Mariners have been competitive this season. But, for those same reasons, Pineda would attract a ridiculous amount of demand if the organization let it be known that they would move him for the right price”.

Trading Michael Pineda, really? This is how far losing has sunk Mariners nation? Never in a normal world would this even be conjured up, but because we reside in a city were losing baseball has become the norm; every summer around this time now has turned into a series of ridiculous trade comments and ideas. All of this Pineda trade talk is just as ridiculous as the Felix Hernandez to the Yankees trade talks. That made sense, right? Give the Yankees another World Series title at the expense of setting the Mariners back another five years. All of that sounded ridiculous to me because in either situation it doesn't make the Mariners a better team. I don’t care how good of the haul you could get. It will not be as equal to the haul you will receive with Pineda pitching every fifth day behind Felix Hernandez. That is a foundation of a championship rotation that makes your team better. You cannot trade away championship pieces for other unproven commodities unless you’re looking to lose.

I understand how hard it’s been dealing with all the losses, and all of the losing seasons that started out with the “believe big” expectations. It’s too easy to get caught up in the idea of the 2011 Mariners playing in the post season. One look at the standings and you really can’t help yourself from smiling at the idea, but I like to look at the job Jack Zdureincik has done in three seasons to point me in the right direction. Two of his top draft choices in 2009, Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager, are already playing prominent roles in Seattle. His starting rotation has an ERA of 2.77, and the bullpen has a 3.08 ERA. The foundation has been set. There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future of this franchise. There is no need to make irrational and harsh moves that could derail the progress that has been made. What would you rather have? Team A: Go for it at all costs that result in a spirited run to the playoffs that ends in the divisional series, but because of those moves, you have to deal with another five year stretch of what we just came out of. Or team B: Remain the course , make a couple of minor moves that help the process, continue giving the young guns their playing time, let this season play out, and have sustaining success over a ten year period with multiple trips to the post season that could yield our first title?

Losing over a long period of time is the worst thing a fan base could deal with because these are the topics we end up inevitably having. None of these talks ever result in anything productive. It just splits the fan base even further down the middle than it already is. We all must realize that our window of opportunity to win a championship is opening. The last thing we can afford is doing something in the heat of the moment that abruptly shuts that window before it opens. A deep breathe Mariner fans, patience is needed here.

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