The sun is starting to come out more, the temperature is going up, and that familiar scent is in the air… Baseball is back. Spring training is well under way and our Seattle Mariners are playing hotter than ever right now. One of the top records in MLB Spring training complimented by power numbers to the likes we haven’t seen during spring before. The Mariners are getting a much needed buzz about their hopes for the season, because this season is pivotal for their future.

                In 2012 the Seattle Mariners had one of the worst attendance records in all of MLB. Their average home attendance was 21,258 putting them just over 1.7 million for the year; 5th worst in MLB. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, they were worst in attendance capacity percentage at home (44%) and overall in MLB (55%).  Let us compare this to the Seattle Sounders FC home attendance last season: average attendance 43,144 with 17 regular season matches and 7 additional games puts them a bit over 1 million for the season (only a handful of games are open to the stadiums full capacity).  Yes, Century Link holds roughly 1/3 more seats, but baseball has four times as many games. 

                This spring training will go down in the record books for the Mariners. 11-4 is one of their best records at this point in team history and the power numbers have been better than a couple combined spring trainings thus far. The team is hitting at a .303 average with 36 doubles 30 home runs and a slugging percentage of .547. These number aren’t being skewed by one or two players ripping it up, this has been by a team doing this game in and game out. The farm is looking better than it has in a long time with some young guns poised to be great starters in the near future along with good depth at catcher and around the diamond.  This is baseball that wins games, puts fans in the seats, and allows farm players to develop as needed. Too many times we give away good farm players in hopes of winning now. We lose and then get stuck with big contracts and no good farm players left in the system.

                Does this spring really mean anything though? Can you really forecast a season based on spring ball? I don’t really think so, but I really do hope so. I hope this is just foreshadowing a season of great surprise and enjoyment. Show us something Mariners… show us we are still a relevant team not just in MLB, but here in Seattle as a sports team.  The Sounders numbers in attendance, cups, and post-season appearances speak for themselves. They are only getting bigger. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks… ‘nough said… and to cap it off the return of the SuperSonics parlayed with a possible NHL team… this season couldn’t be more pivotal Mariners. GET IT DONE! Or, you will be 4th maybe 5th not just in the AL West but in the city of Seattle…for a while. 

Steve Fenton


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