I do not have words of profundity to offer here, or any wax left for being poetic. The 2015 Mariners were one of the most disappointing teams in the history of a very disappointing franchise. For the vast majority of this region, and perhaps even most of the team's fans, we've maybe started to just accept that success isn't something the Mariners are going to give us.
It's been since 2001 since we had a winner here. I was a college sophomore out of state, and my dorm had no cable TV. There was the very, very beginnings of MLB TV but I couldn't pay for it, because I was a college sophomore. The last great Mariners team I got to follow was 1997, when the team bashed a still record 264 home runs, won the AL West, and meekly bowed out to the Orioles, of all teams.
In 1995, when Randy pointed to the sky, and was covered by the Dome and bedlam, Dave Niehaus spoke perhaps his most personal words: "Nineteen long years of frustration is over!" It has been nineteen long years of frustration for me since the last time I got to enjoy a good Mariner team.
We are all very tired. Tired of losing, of the offseason, of not having a payoff for all this love and devotion we show day after day and year after year. We have no idea if Jerry Dipoto, finally detached from the twin ballast of Mike Scioscia and Arte Moreno, can get this organization to the top. We don't know if Felix and Robbie can bounce back, if Cruz can hold off time, if Marte is for real, etc. We could (and did) write thousands upon thousands of words this winter about all the trades, the players, the angles, the pros and cons, etc. It's all in the end just a place holder, a "this place reserved" for whatever the truth will be.
Today, finally, we start to find out. For some this doesn't matter, as the regular season doesn't start for another month and a half. I'm sure in a week or so I will start complaining about my hatred of the Cactus League. But if you're tired of this winter, and if another rainy day has got you fed up with Seattle, and if you can close your eyes and visualize Seager charging a bunt, or Nelson Cruz hitting a ball into the bleachers, today is the beginning of the end of it. Today, baseball is back. Enjoy it.
It's skinny James Paxton pic.twitter.com/EkCqsYPtv6— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 19, 2016
Or, if you like your forced metaphors:
Let's fire it up. Goms.