Safeco Field has been suffering from poor attendance numbers. While some might attribute this to a wavering economy, many attribute this to a wavering interest in the Seattle Mariners – after all, when was the last time the won a pennant? The team seems to be comfortable keeping the bottom slot on the AL West rankings warm.
“King” Felix Hernandez certainly has star power, and with his perfect game last season, many may line up just to watch him strike out the opponent batters. However, it’s not clear this isn’t enough to bring people into the stands. I can’t help but think of the film Fever Pitch – not the original, but the remake based on the Boston Red Sox. What the team needs, frankly speaking, is a good strong season.
In 2012, the Oakland Athletics launched to baseball stardom int he second half of the season. They came back from trailing behind the Texas Rangers to win the AL West Division Championship. Talks of moving the team to San Jose were staved off once the Oakland Colosseum was filled. What the Mariners need is something of that magnitude. They need some good wins. They need some star players. Frankly, they need to shake the bottom of the AL West reputation they’ve dug themselves into.
In order to do this, the Mariners will really need a lot more than some hitters who were strong players in the past. They’re going to need a solid team that really plays like a unit. They’ll need strong pitching, they’ll need strong hitters, and they’ll need guys who can get on base and make it around the infield. They’ll need infielders and outfielders who can hustle. The Ms have definitely had some stars over the years, but for it to be their time at the World Series, they’re going to need to turn those stars into a fully functional team.
I think they can do it. They’ve been to the playoffs before, they can get there again. They can fill Safeco Field. Sure they can rely on some of their silly commercials and on the various promotional days – but they will also need a solid season to attract the attention of the Seattle crowd who has given up on the team. They’ll need to rely upon those fans who have been sleeping through the past several seasons to wake up and care about their hometown team.
What do you think? What can the Mariners do to help fill Safeco Field with fans?