View from Spring Training: 2011 Seattle Mariners

2011 Seattle Mariners

NFL Equivalent – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This one was a bit of a stretch. About all I could come up with is that the star of each team, Josh Freeman for Tampa Bay and Felix Hernandez for Seattle, have hair styles somewhat similar to Eriq La Salle in Coming to America. This and the owner of the Bucs, Malcolm Glazer, also owns Manchester United of the EPL while the Mariners are owned by Nintendo. So there you have it.  Neither team has had all that much success in recent years, although Tampa Bay did win the Super Bowl in 2002 while Seattle won an MLB best 116 games in 2001.

Google Search: The biggest news out of Safeco this past winter was that the Seattle front office decided not to trade the 2010 Cy Young award winning P Felix Hernandez to the Yankees. Good for the Mariners, and good for baseball. Let New York deal with a rotation of Bartolo Colon, AJ Burnett, and Freddy Garcia for at least one season.

Famous Movie Quote: “After very careful consideration, sir, I’ve come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.” – General Berenger from WarGames.

This quote makes perfect sense when you think about how inept the Seattle Mariners offense was during the 2010 campaign. They were last in the league in runs scored per game at 3.2 and had the 14th highest salary in all of MLB at $86.5 million. Not exactly a lot of bang for your buck, kind of like spending billions on a new missile defense system operated by a large computer called “Whopper”. The only question for the 2011 Mariners is, will Ichiro Suzuki, who is now 37 years old, reach 3000 career hits in a Seattle uniform? He’s got a long way to go but I wanted to give Mariner fans at least a glimmer of hope. 2011 record: 72-90, 4th in AL West

view from Peoria Stadium courtesy of @sportsbrain

View from Spring Training: 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates

2011 Pittsburgh Pirates

NFL Equivalent: Detroit Lions – There was really no other play here. Like the Lions, the Pittsburgh Pirates are an ongoing exercise in professional sports futility. 2010 marked the 18th straight losing season for Pittsburgh and a 57-105 record was their worst since the Truman presidency.  With QB Matthew Stafford and DT Ndamukong Suh, Detroit could be headed for a renaissance in 2011, that is if there is in fact an NFL season. For the Pirates, the future is just as foggy.

Google Search: If you’re a fan of the Pirates, how do you have any confidence in your organization once it was revealed that your ownership has been skimming off the top for the past few fiscal calendars. The roster does have a stable of young, all star caliber players in 3B Pedro Alvarez, 2B, Neil Walker, and CF Andrew McCutchen, but if ownership is unwilling to spend the Yankees and Red Sox money on future free agents, that young nucleus will go on to star in some other city.

Famous Movie Quote: “Come on, fellas. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” – Coach Morris Buttermaker from The Bad News Bears.

As I was looking for quotes from The Bad News Bears, I realized that more than half of the one liners from this ’70s classic are now way too inappropriate to republish.  Even still, the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates are the closest thing we have to the Chico’s Bail Bonds sponsered Bears. The problem for the Bucs will once again be their pitching, hitting and defense. When you can’t throw strikes, put the ball in play or keep the ball from trickling between your legs you know you are destined for your 19th straight losing season in a row. Sorry Pittsburgh, at least your city is a desirable place to live. 2011 record: 64-98, 6th in NL Central

View from McKechnie Field courtesy of @xMusicSnob99x