Peoria Arizona Mariners
Spring training is underway in Peoria Arizona when the pitchers and catchers hit in the field today, the long wait is finally over. I was hoping to make it down to Peoria Arizona this year for spring training but unfortunately could not get away from work. If you haven’t been down to the Peoria Sports complex it is definitely worthwhile, especially in these early days when only a few fans are milling around and you get a chance to get up close and personal with the players.
In more good news it was announced today that Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners have come to terms on his contract extension. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik made the announcement today and apparently the Mariners and Felix’s agent made only minor concessions to the extension deal in light of the Kings reported elbow issues. This is good news and will allow the club to get down to business and put this distraction behind us as they try to put together a contender this year.
Manager Eric Wedge has a little more to work with this year than in the past couple seasons with the additions of Mike Morse, Raul Ibanez, Kendry Morales, Jason Bay, and pitchers Jon Garland and Kameron Loe. I’m expecting bitter competition in the outfield for the starting spots which may leave a few guys out in the cold like Eric Thames and Casper Wells but that are life in the Big Leagues. The pitching staff looks to be shaping up as a work in progress as well especially for the fourth and fifth starters spot.
One gets the feeling that the Mariners ownership group is gotten the message loud and clear that the Seattle fan base is tired of waiting around for a winning ballclub, and despite the fact that we are in the tough AL West with this year’s offseason acquisitions the Mariners brass has given us fans some hope. This is the time of the year we can dream and hope up here in the cold and clammy Northwest before the grim realities of long seasons, tough competition, injuries and other forces come into play.
It will be interesting to follow things from afar this year though I’m quite sad that I’m not down there in Peoria with the boys of summer due to work considerations, but with the Internet age there will be a lot of information coming our way through various sources to keep us abreast of every little thing that happens on and off the field. Until the last week or so of spring training most of it will just be guesswork, projection, and conjuncture. The young guys aren’t quite so young anymore, and the older veterans brought in are hungry to prove they can still produce, so perhaps coming out of Peoria this year we will actually look like a real ballclub ready to do battle instead of the AAAA teams we have been fielding for the past two or three years. Offensively we are in a much better position especially in light of the fences being moved in at Safeco field. I am hopeful and I look forward to writing more about the upcoming 2013 campaign, make sure you follow me by subscribing to this blog via email, Twitter, or Facebook so you can participate and comment on the campaign as it unfolds. Go Mariners!