Mariners fans have a 42-year old child that lives with his mother, sharing a bunk bed with an imaginary friend named Shimp while playing Mortal Kombat into the wee hours of the night in lieu of seeking gainful employment.
I get it. You're disappointed--maybe even embarrassed. When that beautiful new Mariner baby was born in 1977, you had only the highest expectations for him. And though you've shared a few wonderful, even magical, moments, for the most part it's been difficult to look proud Yankees and Dodgers and Nationals fans in the eye.
And now a new baby is being born into the family. The rebuilt Jerry Dipoto love child that prospects analysts are raving about, and you want to believe. You really want to believe.
But then you stare at your 18-year playoff drought eating Cheez Whiz straight from the can, and you look at his best friend Shimp, who's doing God knows what, and you are reluctant to love another thing, particularly something so young, and so full of dreaded promise.
Well, you need to stop. This thing is real. This thing is right. And this thing is ahead of schedule. The Mariners aren't going to win again this season, but once they start winning--perhaps as soon as 2021--there's a good chance the winning won't stop, not for a decade anyway.
The idea is to create, from the ground-up, a consistent a winner, a decade-long contender. Challenge from 2021 to 2031, and I mean truly challenge, and the droughts will take care of themselves. The playoff freeze will snap, the World Series dreams will be realized. And behind names like Rodriguez, Kelenic, White and Gilbert, summers in Seattle will once again be spent at the ballpark.
At the end of a week full of sun and fun, I feel like I just went 4 for 4. Now, when you go 4-4 it doesn’t guarantee a good season, but it definitely makes you feel better at the time!
My First knock was a double! We had Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic on together. We got to see the confidence shine thru all while they teased each other like the kids that they are. Ultimately they both said that they’re gonna be in the big leagues someday, but regardless of who makes it there first, the real one/two punch is gonna happen when they both arrive on Seattle soil. “The change is comin!”
My second hit was Jerry Dipoto. The Mariners GM is more open and transparent than any member of a front office that I can remember regardless of the sport. The most exciting thing that he said to us was that he feels they’re “ahead of schedule”, and “that the M’s are gonna win some games sooner than many think”. I like to hear that!
At 2-2 I’m feeling pretty comfortable at the dish.. and that’s when a fellow late-bloomer walks up to the table. Justin Dunn spoke to us with poise, control, and maturity well beyond his 24 years of life would normally provide! I had ups and downs last year, but nothing is gonna keep him down, because after all he’s been playing keep up or catch up most of his life! I have a feeling he’s about to start blowing by any obstacles that pop up in the next couple years just like his mid-90’s fastball.
When you’re sitting at 3-3 the day is already a success. You might as well swing for the downs and see what happens. That’s what I did, as did Jerry, when we got to know Evan White. This young man has a quiet confidence that is obvious, yet unassuming and understated. He’s gonna have some growing pains that is a fact for anyone that jumps from double-A to the Show. He however looks the part. He has the prototypical body of a first baseman, and if you combine that with an unending work ethic you have the recipe for achieving your potential. I, like Dipoto believe in this kid!
Again, going 4 for 4 doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s also a sure thing that some of these prospects aren’t gonna pan out. That being said I feel pretty good about more than a handful of em!