Friday, February 20, 2004

Spring Brings Out the Optimist in All of Us... Almost 

Ahh... spring is in the air! Flowers blooming, sun shining, and the thoughts of men and women, both young and old, turn to love... and baseball!

Yes, its finally here! Pitchers and catchers report today! It is during this wonderful time that even the most pessimistic bloggers can find hope that their beloved team can put their diatribes against the front office behind them, and look ahead to a season of excitement and glory culminating in a World Series victory, preferably crushing the Yankees somewhere along the way. Spring Fever seems to have affected the M's blogosphere already...

Jeff at The Safe reveals his Inner Optimist as he dreams of good things happening to Griffey, the M's and even A-Rod. Ahoy the SS Mariner features a touching ode to Spring that had me hungry for Skittles and beer.

Some are not ready to dive in, but are just dipping their toe into the pool of optimism. The Sons of Buhner have publicly stated that Bavasi is not the worst GM. Jeff at San Shin is already envisioning the next big bat that the Mariners could trade for, and this one, while not fast, is not a lifeless piece of ash or maple. Sodo Oh No reflects on great games they have seen in the past and reminds us that "you just never know what you'll see when you go to the ballpark." Raging optimism? No. But signs of hope abound.

Even the fellas at USS Mariner have put up their pessimist pens for a few days, and updated the best source of optimism for the Mariners franchise in the beloved Future Forty. But nowhere on the Future Forty is the man who has inspired both Steve's Mariner Wheelhouse and Jim's Cracking the Safe... the future immortal Bucky Jacobsen, who at age 28, ripped up the AA Southern League to the tune of a 952 OPS. Oh, and did I mention he's a right-handed first baseman? I think I'm in love... Count me as a Bucky Backer. The Grand Salami also jumped on the Bucky bandwagon, but they remind us that there is also this little fella named A.J. Zapp to consider.

Some of the most pessimistically named blogs are even feeling some optimism this Spring, even if its source is questionable. At Least the Red Sox Have 1918 have boldly predicted their team will be in the World Series. Unfortunately, their team at this moment is the Cubs, but its optimism regardless! Fire Bavasi is similarly excited by a trade.

Of course, the PI blog takes the pragmatic approach, providing links to guide you through Spring Training. And Ivy at From Basketball to Baseball provides a similar guide to Springtime in Peioria.
Both useful as you head off to watch the Boys of Summer in the Arizona heat.

Alas, not all is rosy in the M's blogosphere. Peter at Mariner Musings had to rant one last time about the thorns before he can move on to enjoy the roses. The folks at Sports and Bremertonians are still lamenting the sufferings of Seattle sports fans (maybe I'm an optimist because I remember the Sonics 1979 Championship and all the cheering that went up at my Little League game while it was going on). And Dave's Mariners Page is sure that the M's can be blamed for the downfall of Western Civilization.

Finally, Trent (the artist formerly known as MsFan4Life_24) is focused on his offseason letdown and gets in one last dig at Bavasi and yours truly (though calling Shawn Estes, Jeff Fassero and Royce Clayton good signings is not going to win over the casual fan or the statarazzi).

A few other blogs have not been bitten by the optimist bug yet, but hope Springs eternal that JAMB (heck, with a URL like edgarfan, we should see an Ode to Edgar in the Springtime soon), the Onesixteeners will end the rants and begin the raves, and even Bavasi Stinks will get bitten by Spring Fever, and wax poetic on their love and hopes for the M's in 2004. Maybe even one of the intermittent blogs will chime in with a warm and fuzzy post, or a new blogger will emerge on the scene to remind us why we love baseball and our Seattle Mariners.

Beginning next week, to celebrate the beginning of Spring, your Mariner Optimist will begin publishing the Glass Half Full Previews. This position by position breakdown of the Mariners will focus on what went right and wrong last year, what happened this offseason, and what to expect for 2004 and beyond. I hope you enjoy it. Now, get outside, smell the roses, throw the baseball around, and get ready for an exciting season that will end with your Seattle Mariners pouring champagne on Bill Bavasi's shiny dome, and a tear-filled Edgar hoisting the World Series Trophy.

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