I wonder if you've heard that the Mariners have been bad. Have you heard that the Mariners have been bad? The Mariners have been bad. As spring arrives and baseball returns, it's not uncommon for the fanbase of a non-contender to delude themselves into a collective stupor of carefree optimism for, oh, I don't know, like a month into the season. We do not have these advantages, my friends. We're far too intelligent and good looking for such things. It's our curse, us. That, and the Mariners have been very bad. Their record is poor and their place in the standings low. The players are hurt or not good at baseball or both.
There have been three players not good at baseball lately that most of us were counting on to be not not good. Those three players are Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, and Jesus Montero. Your patience and mileage may very on a certain individual, but combined, it is these three former can't-miss prospects upon whom the hope and future of the franchise has/had been placed. Right now, my current crack evaluations of the three are as follows:
Smoak: Not good never going to be.
Ackley: Not good but will be ok.
Montero: Not good might be ok I don't know.
Not exactly glowing, but don't just take my word for it. There has been some really great swing analysis done on this very site since the start of the season (Stephen Cheatum on Justin Smoak and Michael Barr on Dustin Ackley come to mind) and in that grand tradition I'd like to offer my own humble observations to support my claims. When reading the below reports, it's important to remember that I'm a baseball expert.
All GIFs professionally rendered by Internet Gentleman Stephen Cheatum.
Here is Dustin Ackley swinging and missing and he's just not doing anything right. First, he doesn't even make contact with the baseball, which is totally the main goal of any batter who decides to swing his bat through the strike zone. And look at his head! It's all jerky and stuff. You know the tried and true hitting axiom see the ball, hit the ball? Ackley does neither of those things here. Be better, Dustin. Be better.
I don't even know where to start with these Justin Smoak swing mechanics. That's a figure of speech but also the honest truth because I have zero experience or expertise when it comes to discussing this subject. This post was a terrible idea. And that pitch was low, he just shouldn't have swung. Simple.
Another swing, another miss, this time by Jesus Montero. Remember when Montero hit that really long home run in Houston? And it hit that building or whatever? His goal should always be to do that. The benefits of a Montero home run are two-fold. One, home runs are pretty much the best thing a hitter can do and two, a home run means that Jesus can round all the bases at whatever pace he likes, without all the added pressure of having to put one foot in front of the other in an effort to run with the ball in play. That type of thing clearly weights on him, both mentally and in that his running motion looks likes he's trying to stomp his feet below soil. This has been a paragraph that was supposed to be about Jesus Montero's swinging motion and instead devolved into cheap jokes about how he's bad at running. This has been an unsurprising paragraph.