Spring Training has almost arrived and I've probably never been more invested with the Seattle Mariners than I am now. It's quite odd considering the team is attempting to rebound from a horrid 101-loss campaign. Before we look to the future let's take a stroll through memory lane:
* The 2010 offense was perhaps the worst in the DH era.
* Don Wakamatsu got canned late in the season. He failed to motivate the team and didn't have the best of relationships with Ken Griffey Jr. and Chone Figgins
* GM Jack Zduriencik acquire Josh Lueke not knowing he was accused of rape (and later plead no contest to a lesser charge). Scouting Director Carmen Fusco took the fall but it's believed Z is on thin ice in 2011.
Since the season ended Milton Bradley said/texted some bad things to a woman and newly-acquired 2B Adam Kennedy was tagged for driving drunk.
Yea, bad times. But hope springs eternal in the Cactus League and Seattle has a slew of exciting mainstays (Ichiro, Felix, Gutierrez) as well as intriguing prospects (Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda) to watch for. That doesn't even mention the subplots that will dominate the M's preseason. Will Chone Figgins' return to 3B set him back on track? Will he be traded? Can Michael Saunders or Justin Smoak take the next step? How will the middle infield situation sort out until Ackley is ready?
The mainstream isn't paying much attention to the M's but there's plenty to follow two months away from Opening Day.