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Holiday Mariner Rant

I began my shopping today and as you will notice in the following rambling, I kind of got the Christmas bug. As most of us are finishing up (or just starting) our shopping as we close in on the largest commercial event on the planet, also known as Christmas, the Mariners are also starting to finish their offseason shopping list. To get further into the Christmas spirit, allow me to supply you with some classic Christmas music to listen to as you peruse the following Christmas spirited rant.

Much to the pleasure of most Mariner fans, the Mariners did some early shopping this offseason before the crowds. Now they appear be pressing as the holiday gets closer, trying to complete their list as soon as possible much to the chagrin of Mariner fans. First came the signing of Carl Everett and now there are rumblings of the possibility of Jarrod Washburn. For four years. Occasionally, the best gifts are the ones you don't receive. Just because the holiday is a week away, there is no need to rush into just buying a gift. Sometimes, the best gifts are those that come after the holiday.

We all got to open a gift early in this offseason and could it have been any better? If you wanted to use symbolism, Kenji Johjima is this years XBox 360 to Mariner fans. If one position was an absolute offensive black hole in 2005, it was the catching position and Bill Bavasi brought in the best catching option in this year's market. Gone are the days of Miguel Olivo, Yorvit Torrealba and Miguel Ojeda. Here are the days of Kenji. Johjima will bring Seattle fans excitement for the next three years until it's time for the new version to hit the market in Jeff Clement. Until then, it's time for Kenji Johjima to become the next big thing in Seattle.  

I haven't really weighed in on the Carl Everett signing, so I figured I might as well get it out of the way. I have never met Carl Everett, nor have I ever met anyone who has. Whether or not this is a coincidence, I'm unsure. But I digress. No one truly knows what Carl Everett is like in the clubhouse and outside the baseball world. Most of us have read the newspaper articles about his past transgressions. Most of us have seen the video clips of Everett spitting and adjusting his cup in the general direction of Jamie Moyer. Oh, and lets not forget the confrontation with the umpire. While some of these events seem like they happened only last season, the majority of these events occurred 3 years ago and the once volatile Everett has appeared to have calmed down in the past couple years. I am in no way defending his deplorable past behavior. I'm just willing to look beyond his past digressions, for the moment.

My dislike for the Everett signing is based simply around the output. The M's essentially paid $4 million ($3.4 base salary plus his $600,000 2007 buyout) for a well past his prime dinosaur, er, player. It's not that he is an absolutely useless player. He may still be able to contribute in some way, shape or form. What I can't fathom is how his declining numbers, the impending move of Raul into left field, the move from U.S. Cellular to Safeco and his previous baggage is worth $4 million. In fact, I quickly came up with 10 ways to spend that money more effectively next season:

  1. Sign Eli Marrero.
  2. Sign Juan Encarnacion.
  3. Sign Jeff Conine.
  4. Sign Matt Lawton.
  5. Sign Rondell White.
  6. Sign Preston Wilson.
  7. Sign Reggie Sanders.
  8. Give it to Mike Piazza to be our back-up C and fulltime DH.
  9. Add and extra million and sign Jacque Jones to a $5 million contract for a couple years.
  10. Don't spend it. Allow the owners to pocket it and give the playing time to Choo and Morse.
One of Bavasi's main points at the press conference was Everett's ability to light a fire in the clubhouse (not sure if he meant literally or figuratively) and that he wasn't afraid to get onto someone for not doing their job. Isn't that the job of the manager? Is Hargrove such a poor motivator that Carl Everett was considered a good fit? Hell, I bet for $4 million the team could have easily secured Tony Robbins for six months in 2006.

Essentially, Everett is like that itchy sweater you get from your grandmother. You don't want it, but you know that you can't take it back. So you deal with it for a year until she forgets about it and then you get rid of it, never to speak of it again.

So let's recap. So far, you have an Xbox 360 and an itchy sweater. Not too bad of a haul. Sure the itchy sweater is an inconvenience, but you still have the 360 to look forward to. What would make the haul even better? How about a new iPod with video capabilities? That's Kevin Millwood. We've discussed Millwood ad nauseam, so there is no real need to go any further. However, you have also overheard that you might be receiving a four year supply of fruitcake. Enter Jarrod Washburn. Discussing four years of Jarrod Washburn at $9 million per will make me nauseous, so I don't want to go any further. There's still one package left under the tree, only time will tell what it contains.

To use a parallel, Mariner fans are a lot like Clark Griswold. Things started out great and have just got progressively worse. Eddie and Snots have shown up and Uncle Lewis just burned down the tree. But the worst news has just arrived and we just received a one year membership in the Jelly of the Month Club. If the other events haven't pushed us over the edge, this has. We all stood dumbfounded after seeing the news and let fly with one of the craziest rants that somehow included tap dancing with Danny Kay. If we're lucky, Eddie will kidnap Mr. Shirley and he can realize the wrong of his ways and not only give Clark his bonus, but also add 15%.

Please Mr. Shirley, we desperately need that Christmas bonus.