A quote was making its way around LinkedIn recently.
I bring this up because I was overjoyed to see that the Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano have agreed to a reported 10-year, $240 million contract. Yes, it’s a lot of money. And it’s a lot of years. And then I start to hear the gloomy Mariners fans saying: “How can the Mariners do this? Long deals like this always go bad. Or, General Manager Jack Zduriencik is only signing this deal to save his job.”
My answer to these concerns is “what if the Mariners did nothing?”
How long did the Mariners play keep you engaged last year? I know in late May and June the conversation had shifted from can they compete for the playoffs to how well can these kids play.
Getting your first hit in the big leagues is a rite of passage for players. Many teams will have a couple of guys reach that milestone each year. When you look at a Mariner team with 5 or 6 players getting their first major league hit in 2013, they’re just not a great hitting team. You can have a great pitching staff, but you still need to score at least one run to win.
And Cano can hit. In a nine-year career, he has a batting average of .309 and for the last 5 years has had over 25 home runs and 85 runs batted in each year.
There’s also an interesting twist with this signing. The Mariners have been close, but not quite there, with a number of these deals in the past with Chuck Armstrong as president of baseball operations. Now that he’s gone, a large deal goes through. Had Armstrong been vetoing the deals or is this just a coincidence?
And as for Zduriencik, maybe some fans protest this signing in years to come. But I’d bet you have a stronger reaction if nothing was done.
If you listen to ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian you’ll hear him mention that baseball is one of the few sports where you can go to a game and see something you’ve never seen before.
I’ve been to a lot of Seattle Mariners games and seen a lot of weird things. But I’ve never seen anything like the obstruction call in last night’s third game of the World Series.
With Cardinals on 2nd and 3rd and one out in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied– I know talk about the scenario we all played as kids — John Jay hit a screamer to Boston 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia. Somehow Pedroia caught the ball and came home to beat Yadier Molina to the plate. Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia tagged Molina and threw to third to try and get Allen Craig. The wild throw got by a diving Will Middlebrooks and the fun started.
Craig got up and started to step over a prone Middlebrooks who lifted his legs. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, he tripped Craig and third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately called obstruction.
A quick play that ended a game that had gotten away from the Cardinals. It’s also turned game 4 tonight into a must-win situation for Boston. Ahhh. I love baseball.
The Cincinnati Reds released Dusty Baker as manager today because he just didn’t take them far enough in the playoffs. Wow. 🙂
He’s been with the Reds for 6 seasons, taking them to a 509-463 record. The last two years have been 90+ win seasons. And they’re firing him because it wasn’t enough. I guess that’s how the other half lives.
As a Mariner’s fan, I think he would be a great fit. The Mariners need a manager who will either have unquestioned credibility or an ability to establish a generational connection with all their young kids. Baker certainly fits the first criteria.
Recently resigned manager Eric Wedge wasn’t the reason the Mariners lost so many games this year and he may or may not have been able to take them to the next level in 2014. But with Wedge gone, the Mariners need to plan for next year and getting Dusty Baker in the fold would be a great first step.