Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Prism of Perspective

It's one's perspective
To see the half-empty glass
As though it's half-full...

No, I'm not starting another Senryu protest. I just thought I'd throw that out there to calm the waters a bit. Speaking of calm, I'm fairly certain Citizen K has likely yet to read a box score this week (usually on Fridays, from what I understand). He'll probably have a slightly different take on the state of the M's as those of us who, sucked into the ideology however willingly, feed our baseball addiction daily (let alone hourly). He'll notice that the M's have just rattled off two series wins in a row. If he overcomes the speedbump of having been swept by the AL-East-leading Orioles, he'll also notice that we took the series from the NL-West-leading Padres. That's three out of the last four series -- two of them against over-.500 teams. Being a generally positive guy (one of the reasons, though not the main one, for my blog name "PositivePaul"), I can actually cut through the crap that seems to have covered the M's as of late, and I'm sure that Citizen K can, too.

Of course, we all can look at the overall record for May (9-18), and look back on the Baseball annuals to see that it was, percentage-wise, the worst May ever in the history of the M's. Yes, even worse than last year's May, when we lost nearly 100 games. We can also look at the horrendous slump our highest-paid player (and highest-paid ever free agent signing) is in, and how baffling it is that Hargrove keeps putting him in there in the #3 slot. That would twist the guts of even the most loyal and dedicated M's fan.

Or, even without being an "optimist" (i.e. one who always believes good things will happen, no matter how bad the outlook is), we can identify the good things that have happened and do exist within our favorite team, the M's. I don't always agree with what Thumper's dad pounded in him (and his mom so gently reminded him, after teasing Bambi): "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all." But there are definitely certain times where it's extremely important to say something nice. Back in January, I had the urge, and now I've got it again:
  • The Mariners have just won 3 out of the last 4 series (and 4 out of the last 6). All but one of those series wins have come against good teams.
  • The M's are not in last place. We're not the worst team in the division this year so far.
  • Bill Bavasi has recognized the need for change, and has made changes. Sure, more changes need to be made, and the moves have been relatively small, but at least something's being done early.
  • There's a whole lot of baseball left to be played.
There. I've said something nice. Not one of these statements are purely optimistic. These are facts. All of them. It's really not that hard to say something nice, yet purely optimistic, about this team. It's quite easy to criticize, and throw zingers at people, but we also have to make the effort to look at things from a positive perspective.

Now it's your turn.


At 6/02/2005 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd rather always be positive if possible, but i can't escape realism. to be more accurate, i'd say "To see the 73%-empty glass
As though it's 27%-full..."
in fact, it might be a bit more full than that.
you can't rebuild over one or two seasons and expect success, at least lasting success. Cleveland tried that a few years ago when they traded Robbie Alomar, and it didn't work, but instead of shooting themselves in the foot by only going for one failing plan several years in a row, they switched philosophies and went into hyper-rebuilding mode, selling off whatever they could that would give them quantities of prospects, starting with Colon. Becuase of the depth in their system and their smart aquisitions, it only took 2 years to get turned around, and although they're regressing a bit this year, alot of it is due to injury and their performance will get better as the season goes along. the M's should follow that philosophy as best as they can, looking to pick up usefull pieces for the future, like Cleveland picked up a blocked prospect in Hafner from Texas. it is possible that we can have this thing turned around, and although things arn't looking on the up for next years starting pitching, its not without hope.
with some luck, we can contend in '06...maybe alot of luck, but the M's are due for a change in the tide; we've had about as much bad luck over the last few years as we enjoyed in our incredible run back in '01.
there's more good news though: its almost hard to believe, but Aaron Boone, Mike Lowell (the other guy i was looking at for 3b in the offseason), and Eric Chavez are all doing worse than Beltre. at least 2 of those guys are former or current all-stars. Boone's also missed a year, partly esplaining his Olivo-line ba (.154) but that should only serve to make us happy that Richie is ripping it instead of slipping into oblivion.

At 6/02/2005 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hopefully we can win about 76 (going 54-56 the rest of the way) games this year and about 84 in 06, leading to a contending 07...not out of the realm of possibility.

At 6/06/2005 11:12 AM, Blogger Mariner Optimist said...

Its a start, Paul. We'll make an optimist out of you yet.

The M's are not playing great ball, but they are starting to win games.

Lets see how a week against the NL East leaves them. Two more series wins and you'll be a believer.


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