Dos and Don'ts of the Offseason

This is a FanPost. This FanPost is dedicated to telling you what to think. You're welcome to think something else, but then if you think something else you're not listening to me, and I think we can all agree that you should listen to me, because I have years of experience writing on the internet*.

It is now the offseason, a time of crushing disappointment change. The offseason is very different than the onseason. The offseason is when things may or may not happen, whereas the onseason is when we can pretty predictably expect the Mariners to be bad.

Rather than try to figure out if what I said above makes any sense, I'm going to immediately break into the dos and don't's's's's of the offseason. These are non-negotiable if you agree with me. The following represents what you should care about, what you shouldn't care about, and how to make sure you don't lose your mind. Prepare to be 10 seconds older:

  • DO get excited. Don't worry about the fact that the Mariners are run by a schmuck. This year, the Mariners were bad. If the Mariners stay the same, they are going to be bad next year too. So the offseason is a time of excitement, even if recent history suggests that the subsequent changes are going to be less than stellar.
  • DON'T be pissed at a player for their overpay. The Mariners may sign someone like Jacoby Ellsbury for a well above market contract. That's annoying. That's also not Ellsbury's fault. Be happy we have Ellsbury and be annoyed at the GM for the overpay, if that's your thing. Or don't be mad at all. That's an option.
  • DO pay attention to the little moves. Everything matters. Right now, the team has a lot of young players that could break out and probably won't. We don't just need good players. We need backups. We need depth. We need smart moves. The little moves matter almost as much as the major moves, especially if you want to build a team that doesn't overly depend on bad players.
  • DON'T listen to Twitter Rumors. Ever. They are always, always wrong. ANONYMOUS SOURCES ARE NOT THINGS. They can be literally everything. They can be speculation. You can explore an interesting rumor, but unless someone says something like "close to signing" or "have a deal in place for" it is almost always a baseless rumor. Some of the national writers are known to be mouthpieces for agents or make things up. Others get their information from people that aren't in the know, at all. Please do not overreact to a rumor, as there will be billions, and they will all be wrong. This is the most important thing ever.
  • DO feel free and formulate real thoughts about rumors. Don't rosterbate (DON'T rosterbate) but if the Mariners are linked to some random player, there isn't anything wrong with saying "Well, I could see a fit for him. We have depth at several positions that X team also needs. I could see a good match there." That's okay.
  • DON'T care about our payroll. Payroll is important. The Mariners need to increase payroll. But it's not about how much they spend. It's about the team they field. If they managed to get every amazing young player from every team in baseball, but their payroll was 25 million, would you complain? Of course not. It's not about how much money they spend. It's about whether or not their team is good. Spending money helps the team become good, and the Mariners need to start spending money. But what we care about is not the final payroll numbers. It's about who the Mariners get on their team.
  • DO flag anyone that starts any trade posts or comments that are impossible or unresearched. Please.
  • DON'T cite speculation as fact. This goes back tot he Twitter issue, but keep in mind that so much of reporting now is speculation. Even when they quote sources, they're saying things like "Sources tell me the Mariners are interested." Their source is probably someone guessing, and probably not even on the Mariners. Indeed, "sources close to the organization" means nothing. "Close to" means "not in the organization." Citing speculation as fact causes years of confusion.
  • DO watch what other teams are doing. First, they're more interesting than the Mariners. Second, it's important to know what other teams are doing so that you can better understand whether the Mariners compete. If players you want are taken off of free agency, or the Angels upgrade their team again, that's relevant to the Mariners. It will also make for great discussion.
  • DON'T expect a Guti-like trade. There is a lot of evidence that this GM is not the same as the GM we received before. Could we get one? Of course. But expecting one is dangerous. This is unlikely to be a GM that pulls magic out of his hat. More likely he is one to pull hate out of magic.
  • DO call your mother and tell her you love her. She misses you.
  • DON'T worry about the Mariners trading a young player for a good player. You can worry about the Mariners trading a young player for a bad player, but one of the reasons to have minor league depth is to get established players. Young players fail, a lot. We've seen that with the Mariners. If they want to deal some of their younger players for an established player, that's okay. It's easy to become too attached to potential stars, and certainly it may be a trade we regret (and there are bad trades, of course, that are plain bad trades), but don't be too attached to minor league players. Many of them will not amount to anything.
  • DO share this information with your friends. Especially the Twitter rumor part. We need to live in a world where people realize how much news is complete horsehockey.

So there you go. The Do's and Don'ts (Seriously, is it Dont's? Don't's?) of the offseason. Feel free and add any in the comments. I have very low expectations of this offseason, and suspect that many of you share my feeling. But the offseason means change, and if there is one thing that the Mariners need, it's change.

*I am also an expert on food, by the way. I have been eating food every day at least twice a day for 30 years, with the exception of the 10th of Tishrei. Ask me anything about food, and I can tell you your fortune.

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