Saturday, February 21, 2009

Junior is a Mariner

I don't think I've ever been so excited about a Mariner season as I am about this one. It's not that I expect the M's to be great--they're not going to win the American League West, let alone the World Series. But there is something magical about Ken Griffey, Jr., or just Junior for those of us who love him.

Junior's best days are gone, the legacy of his injury riddled nine years in Cincinnati-likely more the legacy of playing on the Kingdome's unforgiving artificial surface. Yet, he brings something special back to this city-a sunny optimism that win or lose, baseball is good, playing hard is important, and the harder one plays the better the team will perform.

I am not a believer the Ken Griffey Jr. or any other single player will make the Mariners a pennant winner. My hope is that he can do the following things:
  • 400 at bats
  • 20-25 home runs
  • 70-80 rbi's
  • .270 batting average (.340 obp)
I also hope he can bring a sense of unity to the Mariners, perhaps divert some of the attention from Ichiro Suzuki, whom I also admire greatly, and make this year a fun year. Last year was horrible, not only because of all the losing, but because they just looked terrible, like they didn't care and didn't belong in the majors. I believe they are better than that.

I know that the M's won't be the Mariners of 2001, or 1995, but I believe they'll be better than they were in 2008. I also believe that Junior is our Last Lion, and that he's come home to make us better.

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