Peoria’s version of March madness

When pitchers and catchers from the Seattle Mariners officially report to the Peoria Sports Complex in just a few days, baseball will begin to re-enter the consciousness of many Seattle sports fan for the first time since the start of preseason football. This annual “re-awakening” of the casual baseball fan from their gridiron hibernation will begin to take hold by the middle of next month. Spring Training is such an exciting time for fans of all teams. After all, everyone has a chance of winning before the regular season begins….

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From Optimism to Expectations: The 2015 Seattle Mariners

Opening Day is finally upon us. But this isn’t the same Opening Day that has come in previous years. The Seattle Mariners begin the season as a legitimate World Series contender and American League favorite, according to many pundits. The rebuilding and retooling tags have been shed. The ‘bubble team that needs things to break right’ better defined the 2014 season and hasn’t even been mentioned when discussing 2015. This time last year, Alex Carson posed the question, “is optimism silly?” when discussing the 2014 Mariners. He noted the addition…

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Mariners built to win now

The Seattle Mariners are set to open their 2015 season tomorrow and, much to the chagrin of some fans, the team is this year’s “sexy pick” to make a deep postseason run. During the six-years that I’ve lived in the Puget Sound area, I’ve come to realize that being a favorite can create anxiety for some local fans. That’s understandable considering the fact that Seattle along with Montreal/Washington are the only two Major League Baseball franchises  that have never appeared in a World Series. Yet, there are valid reasons for…

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McClendon goes with a second lefty reliever

After an offseason spent plugging various holes, the Seattle Mariners entered Spring Training with only a few notable position battles: the back of the rotation, the bullpen, and the starting shortstop job. The shortstop delimma took care of itself when Chris Taylor was shelved with fractured wrist. Taijuan Walker locked up the No. 5 spot with a dominant spring. Although nothing is technically official, yet, it looks like the final spot in the bullpen will go to Tyler Olson. At the outset, manager Lloyd McLendon suggested closer Fernando Rodney was…

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Can Mariners rotation pitch until Halloween?

With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training tomorrow, Seattle Mariner fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2015 season. It’s not just Seattle fans who see good things for the team in 2015; national pundits, well-respected baseball websites, and Las Vegas bookmakers alike are forecasting that Seattle will reach the postseason and possibly the World Series. To reach the World Series for the first time in the club’s 38-year history, Seattle’s starting rotation would have to do something that it hasn’t needed to do in over…

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Analysis: Maurer for Smith

The Seattle Mariners have acquired veteran outfielder Seth Smith from the San Diego Padres for right-hander Brandon Maurer, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Presumably, Smith will be part of some kind of timeshare in one or both corner outfield spots. The Mariners get a 32-year-old for the next two years at $12.75 million with a $7 million club option for 2017. The left-handed hitting Smith has a track record of strong production versus right-handed pitching and batted .266/.367/.440 overall in 2014. Smith is a below-average defender but has played a…

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Mariners need more than one more player

The Seattle Mariners fell tantalizingly short of making the 2014 postseason by just one game, which has led to high 2015 expectations by many in the national media and within the Mariners’ fan base. Many pundits and fans have hailed that the addition of slugger Nelson Cruz as the move that will get Seattle over the hump and into the postseason for the first time since 2001, while others believe that the team still needs one more bat to ensure contention. While Cruz will certainly help Seattle improve and adding…

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Fowler could be a fit for the M’s

It’s no secret that the Seattle Mariners are in dire need of an everyday outfielder. Particularly one that can hit left-handed pitching and bat near the top of the order. Reports have linked the M’s to free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, but it doesn’t sound as though the two sides are or were close to an agreement. Trade talks surrounding Matt Kemp and Justin Upton appear to have cooled on the Mariners front as well, at least for the moment. Fowler, 28, is in the final year of a two-year…

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