I don't write these very often and the pen feels laggard so please excuse my bumbling hand. We've never met, yet I feel as if it is time I wrote. Yesterday a task was asked of you that so many before you have failed at, and I hate to bring that up at the moment of your highest elation in being hired. The role of General Manager of the Seattle Mariners has reduced almost all to rubble. There is no King Midas here. Not for some time.
There is another job that you must perform, one that maybe wasn't discussed over glasses of water and catered lunches and questions about hitting-tool evaluations. This is the part of the job that often goes without saying. However, implication has not lead to results in Seattle, so let me spell out this most important factor in plain words. Give us winning baseball. Take us to the playoffs. Make us love you. Make us care. Make us come and cheer what you have done. We all want to. We are all waiting to.
You already know our recent past, you've seen it first hand. Our "misses" on draft day have amounted to a "Who's Who" of stars and many of our draftees have turned in to afterthoughts. A few months ago, we looked back at the farm and saw nothing but fallow fields. The land was salted and whatever remained was on fire. It isn't all bad, though. Ketel Marte has come up and can play shortstop for you. Shawn O'Malley has showed he could potentially be on your bench. There was something in those fields, after all.* Sew those fields green again.
We were given a team this year that had a lot of promise, Jerry. It didn't work out. But you will still have Kyle, Nelson, Robbie, and Felix next year. There is so much room going forward for hope. There is so much brick from which to build this new house. Hope is a poor man's food, though. We are tired of being fed on it. We need something real to eat. And we are hungry. And there is yet so much work to do.
Make us love you, Jerry. Let us, even. We are so wanting to come and watch what you give us. We want to eat at your table and all we ask is that you set us a place. I believe you are the right person to lead us where we have all wanted to go for so long. There should be nothing in your way, now. Not lack of resource, not lack of fan engagement, not a crazy manager and a crazy owner, not even the hazy sunsets of the Los Angeles nights. Up here you may breathe the fresh, pine-laden air, and create a roster that may fill that same air with dingers and children's cheers. You may see the stars at night. Up here you may become a hero.
Feed us. Love us. And in return, we will cheer. Loud and often.
*It should be noted that potatoes grow underground and therefore none of us could tell the farm was just a spud farm and not failed alfalfa.