Today will be Felix Hernandez‘s first start since his permanent enshrinement in Mariners history. As of today the Mariners have the best record in baseball since the All-Star Break. And as of today Michael Saunders is hot again. As if all that wasn’t enough, we have news that our very own Felix has issued the city of Seattle a promise.
This isn’t the first time we have heard something like this. Back in the 2009 finale, as the post game celebration cycled its way around Safeco field, a tear stained Felix proclaimed to the FSN interview crew that he wanted to spend the rest of his career with the Seattle Mariners. Again today, we been have been reassured.
I am not going to go in depth about what this promise means to us as fans, and whether or not it truly means anything. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I can do it any better than Jeff Sullivan over at Lookout Landing has already done. This isn’t an unknown promise in the baseball world; many players have expressed a desire to stay with their teams before being tempted by larger than life contracts during the free agent process. Alex Rodriguez for example, is a scenario far to close to home for the Northwest fan base.
Now that I have even remotely compared the two I am disgusted with myself. All the more reason for the Mariners to give Felix an extension before he ever reaches the free agent market. I’m not saying it has to be this offseason, but it does need to come before the next. We as fans love to judge players for the blatant money grab, but most of us would be hard pressed to deny the figures that these clubs offer to baseball’s star players. If the Mariners had to get into a bidding war with say, the New York Yankees, the home town discount would only go so far. Seattle cannot allow Felix to be introduced to temptation; historically it hasn’t worked out too well for the home town club.
If you are looking for a gut feeling out of this author, then I have one to supply. I have to agree with Jeff, I feel the Mariners and Felix have already started laying the groundwork for a future extension. Publicly, both sides have been far too in line, far too similar to suggest otherwise. Felix doesn’t want to leave, and Z vehemently denies trade rumors… The evidence doesn’t suggest anything definitive; it leaves plenty of room for hope.
Regardless of proof, Felix has offered fans a reason to dream, in a time when feelings are already running so high. I’m no soothsayer, I don’t know what the future holds and if recent history is any indication it will be wrought with disappointment and despair. But tonight, I don’t care about trends, bad history, or the logical. Felix Hernandez just promised fans he’d be a Mariner for life, and I’ll be damned if I am going to accuse a King of lying.