The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Message to M’s fans: Be patient

April 11th, 2012 by cstark

Patience, grasshopper.

That’s the only way I know how to put it to all of you who are twisting and turning on every pitch, every game, every move, every story, every blog post, every talk-radio  segment when it comes to the  Mariners.

Just sit back and enjoy game. Don’t dwell on every strikeout, popup, or loss. Don’t over-analyze. There’s more important things to worry about.

There’s a lot of people with a lot of opinions, and most of them are wrong. Don’t let the masses suck you in.

Let the season play out, at least for a month or so, before y0u make any judgements about the Mariners. Who knows, they might be the 2012 version of last year’s Arizona Diamondbacks — an over-over-achieving club that won the NL West after being picked to finish last.

The Diamondbacks are off to a 4-1 start this year, mostly because they play every game like its the seventh inning of the World Series.

If the Mariners can figure out how to do that, they’ve got a chance to win more games than anybody ever imagined.

Trailing 3-1 going into the top of the ninth against the mighty Texas Rangers, how many of you gave the Mariners a chance on Wednesday night? The Mariners rallied to beat the Rangers 4-3 on Wednesday. The M’s are off to a 4-3 start and a half-game back of first-place Texas.

Closer Joe Nathan blew the save for the Rangers. How many more will he blow? When it comes to closers, there’s no sure thing. One of the most difficult things in sports is to stay on top.

Albert Pujols is hitting .222 and the powerful Angels (2-3) are last in the AL West. Will  the Angles end up in last place? Probably not, but you never know. There’s a chance Pujols becomes just another player in the American League. The Angels signed Pujols and lefty C.J. Wilson, but it doesn’t mean anything if they don’t perform. Big-name players with big, guaranteed contracts have been known to become big-time flops.

The so-called experts have already put the Angels and Rangers into the post-season, but there are no sure things in sports.

“That’s why,” as Herman Edwards so eloquently put it a few years back, “they play the games.”

Everyone has opinions, and you can make educated guesses, but nobody knows for sure how this baseball season will turn out.

I chuckle when I hear people dissecting the M’s seven games into the season.

“Why are the M’s playing Chone Figgins?”

“Justin Smoak looks like the same player we saw a year ago. He’s swinging at bad pitches and not driving the ball when he’s hitting good pitches.”

“Miguel Olivo is a passed-ball machine, one of the  worst catchers in baseball. And he can’t hit. He’s got a horrible on-base percentage. The guy should be gone.”

“Jesus Montero will never be a full-time big-league catcher.”

“Eric Wedge isn’t the manager I thought he was going to be. Coming from Cleveland I thought he’d be more progressive.”

Truth is we don’t  know how good — or bad — these Mariners are going to be. Some have suggested 80 wins would be a huge achievement based on recent seasons.

Why not 85-90 wins? Stranger things have happened.

The M’s might might get blown out on Thursday afternoon in Texas, and you can say “I told you so,” when Figgins goes 0 for 4.

But what if they win? What if they roll into Safeco Field with a 5-3 record after a split in Texas?

At the same time, don’t get too excited if they get off to a decent start. Remember last year’s 17-game losing streak?

All I’m saying is let them play a months worth of games before you decide that Figgins is washed up. There is a chance he’ll become the player we all thought he was when the M’s signed him to that disgustingly large contract three years ago. He’s been an above-average player in the past and who are we to say that he can’t do it again?

Maybe the M’s are showcasing Figgins and Olivio? If they show they can still play at a decent level, maybe they will be able to trade them. We can guess, but we don’t know what management is thinking?

Even if management is going cheap, even if they’re tightening the belt so they can sell the franchise,  there’s still a chance the M’s could defy the odds and put together a winning season.

The Mariners, I repeat, are seven games into a 162-game season.

It’s way too early to be sure about how this season will turn out. Perhaps it’s simplistic but don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Last year doesn’t count.

I’m tired of ready and listening to all of the so-called  experts and wanna-be experts who have all of the answers seven games into the season.

Sit back and observe. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Be patient, grasshopper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Message to M’s fans: Be patient”

  1. terrybenish Says:

    Just to make sure, you’re prediction oh swami is 85-90 wins? I can hear Bobby McFerrin singing Don’t worry be happy!

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