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All Things Washington (and the Trail Blazers) E

Sam Barbee
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Mariners make a move forward

05/15/2014 8:38pm
last edited:05/15/2014 9:28pm

I'm not a stat geek. I don't need to look at a myriad of numbers and averages to know if a player or team is good. And I finally have a ruling on the Mariners.

They're so-so, which is an upgrade. 

The last decade of Seattle Mariners baseball has been one word: inconsistent. When the pitching showed up -- which was most days -- the hitting ran away. When the hitting was present -- which was exceedingly rare -- the pitching took a day off. 

But there has been a stark change under new manager Lloyd McClendon. True, the Mariners sit at the bottom of baseball in offensive categories and they hold an even 20-20 record, but there are a few differences with this team versus the past decade's team.

First of all, the consistency of the team has improved. They can score five or six runs and not worry about giving up seven or eight, as they would in past years. There is a spark at the top of the order in recent call-up James Jones and Stefan Romero. There is a consistent threat in Robinson Cano and there is timely hitting. 

I wrote a few weeks ago that this season feels different. And I'm not backing down from that claim.

Although the last two series haven't gone as planned -- a 2-2 split with Kansas City and a series loss to Tampa Bay -- the Mariners are playing exquisite baseball. And from my experience, good baseball leads to wins. 

I'm excited for where this M's team is going. They won't be bad this year, that's for sure, but they probably won't contend this year. And that's ok. Winning is a process. You have to learn how to compete, then learn how to win games, then learn how to win a championship. Right now the M's are in stage two, as they've already learned how to compete. 

This season is going to be fun. But this era of Mariners baseball is going to be magical. 

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