If the Mariners had to throw out their best two games of the season - and their two worst ones - then tonight's 12-3 loss to Cleveland would almost certainly go into that bin.
Seven games into the new season (2-5), the Mariners aren't hitting well and aren't hitting for power at all. Cleveland shortstop and former Mariners prospect Asdrubal Cabrera hit his second home run of the year tonight, which gave him as many as the Mariners have.
That's right - all the Mariners.
There will be better nights for Seattle, which disappointed a crowd of 45,727 fans. The question looms, however, will there be enough of them to move the club forward from it's 101-losses a year ago?
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There is talent on the farm, talent on the roster. Just not enough by major league standards.
Promising talent like Michael Pineda, Dustin Ackley and Josh Lueke can excite a fan base, and down the line there are outfielders with power potential - Greg Halman, Carlos Peguero and Johemyn Chavez. No one in the American League is more fun to watch pitch than Felix Hernandez, and Ichiro remains a 200-hits a year machine.
It's not enough. Not now.
As was the case nearly 20 years ago, when Lou Piniella was hired, manager Eric Wedge was brought in and one of his tasks was simple - find the players capable of moving this team forward, and the ones who could not.
Wedge may have found one this week in shortstop-turned-second-baseman-turned-I-want-out-candidate Jack Wilson, who pulled himself from a game in Texas after committing two more errors. Worse, he told writers tonight, he didn't see himself playing in the field again any time soon. He had to learn his new position better.
Run your fingers down the 25-man roster today and ask yourself how many of the players here look like long-term solutions? For that matter, how many will be here by July 1.
No, Virginia, the 2011 Mariners are not contenders. They won't have many games as bad as their home opener. and perhaps, as Wedge insists, they will improve as the year goes on.
Certainly, John McLaren, Jim Riggleman, Don Wakamatsu and Daren Brown said much the same and most of them probably believed it. They didn't have much talent, either, which made the job available for Wedge.
Seven games in doesn't mean much, unless you believe perception matters. In that case, this team is in trouble.