Sep 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Fireworks explode over the left field stands of Safeco Field concluding fan appreciation night against the Oakland Athletics. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A Postion-By-Position Comparison Of The 2013 M's To The 2001 M's...


Merely including the 2001 M’s and 2013 M’s in the same thought, let alone the same sentence, is ridiculous.

But if an ultimate standard or benchmark for success exists within the M’s organization, it’s the 2001 squad that won 116 games during the regular season — which is tied with the 1934 Chicago Cubs for the most wins in a season.

The 2001 M’s inhabit a place that few other teams have ever come close to reaching. It should be the franchise’s goal every single season, regardless of personnel and regardless of payroll, to win 116 games (unless of course there’s a prospective heir to Ken Griffey Jr. entering the draft in the coming season, in which case the M’s should start Aaron Harang and Blake Beaven every other day).

Expecting to win 116 games every year, especially for a franchise that can only boast 11 winning seasons in its 37seasons of existence, is just as ridiculous as the premise of this article.

But once a team experiences a 116 win season, any season in which they do not reach that mark will always leave something to be desired — unless of course the team wins a World Series, which therefore so far precludes the M’s from the discussion.

Regardless of the futility of reveling in the past, at the end of each season the M’s and their fans should take a moment to remember the 2001 M’s, and also to compare the current team and their exploits to the exalted ones.

The reason for this isn’t to find more ways to lament the M’s current plight, but instead to show the imperfections of the current team, and where specifically the team needs to shore up loose ends.

The 2001 team was —during the regular season— perfect, and what better way to gauge imperfection than to compare it to perfection.

So, without further delay, let’s once again revisit the 2013 M’s, but this time through the lens of 2001. Hopefully you’re not prone to nausea.

 

Catcher:

2001                    Games      AVG.       OBP.      SLG.      HR     RBI

Dan Wilson        123           .265              .305       .403         10        42

2013                  Games       AVG.       OBP.        SLG.      HR   RBI

Mike Zunino      52               .214          .290          .329          5         14

 

First Base:

2001                              G       AVG.     OPB.     SLG.    HR     RBI

John Olerud                 159    .302        .401      .472       21        95

2013                               G         AVG.  OPB.    SLG.    HR        RBI

Justin Smoak                131    .238       .334      .412      20        50

 

Second Base:

 

2001                        G    AVG.  OPB.    SLG.   HR   RBI

Bret Boone            158   .331     .372      .578      37     141

2013                     G          AVG.  OPB.   SLG.  HR  RBI

Nick Franklin    102      .225   .334       .412        12    45

 

Shortstop:

2001                        G    AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Carlos Guillen       140 .259     .333    .355           4         53

2013                    G          AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR  RBI

Brad Miller           76        .265    .318    .418         8       36

 

Third base:

 2001                  G        AVG.     OPB.    SLG.    HR   RBI
David Bell         135     .260        .303       .415       15      64

2013                   G          AVG.    OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Kyle Seager      160      .260       .338      .426     22      69

 

Designated Hitter:

 2001                          G    AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Edgar Martinez       132    .306      .423   .543       23      116

2013                             G        AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Kendrys Morales      156     .277       .336        .449     23     80

 

Right Field:

2001                     G    AVG.   OPB.    SLG.   HR   RBI

Ichiro Suzuki     157   .350     .381       .457        8       69

2013                  G     AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Mike Morse       76   .226     .283      .410       13      27

 

Center Field

 2001                             G    AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Mike Cameron           150    .267    .353       .480      25     110

2013                              G      AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Michael Saunders   132      .236     .323     .397        12      46

 

Left Field:

 2001                      G       AVG.    OPB.    SLG.   HR   RBI

Al Martin             100     .240       .330      .382      7       42

2013                        G       AVG. OPB.  SLG. HR RBI

Raul Ibanez         124    .242  .306  .487 29 65

 

Utility:

2001 G  AVG. OPB. SLG. HR RBI

Mark Mclemore 125 .286 .384 .406 5 57

2013                           G    AVG.   OPB.   SLG.   HR   RBI

Dustin Ackley         113  .253       .319      .341        4      31

 

Starting Rotation:

 2001                                             Games   Innings         Wins/Losses    ERA

Freddy Garcia                              34                238.2               18           6             3.05

Aaron Sele                                    34                215.0               15            5           3.60

Jamie Moyer                                33                209.2               20           6           3.43

Paul Abbot                                   28                  163.0               17           4           4.25

John Halama                              31                110.1                  10           7           4.73

 

2013                                  Games  Innings      Wins/Losses      ERA      

Felix Hernandez              31           204.1                    12      10            3.04

Hisashi Iwakuma            33          219.2                     14       6              2.66

Joe Saunders                    32           183.0                     11     16              5.26

Aaron Harang                   22         120.1                      5      11               5.76

Erasmo Rameriz               14           72.1                       5      3                 4.98

 Top Reliever:

 2001                         Games      Innings      Wins/Losses       ERA      

Arthur Rhodes            71                68.0                   8         0                1.71

2013                          Games     Innings       Wins/Losses      ERA       

Yoervis Medina        63               68.0                       4         6               2.91

 

Closer:

 2001                                  Games  Saves   ERA

Kazuhiro Sasaki                69            45          3.24

2013                                     Games  Saves  ERA

Danny Farquhar                6               16           4.20

 

 

The Verdict: Nothing really needs to be said. The 2001 Mariners were superior in nearly every way. The only exception is the top two starting pitchers on the 2013 squad — Hernandez and Iwakuma. Though the game has supposedly progressed in recent years to be more ‘pitcher friendly,’  both of the 2013 staff aces would have been the top-two aces on 2001 staff. Hurray. Besides that, Seager actually put up better numbers at third than Bell did, which when considering the lineup protection bell had speaks to how good Seager actually is — M’s fans should be pretty happy with his production so far and the fact that he’s ours for awhile. But in closing, this little expose really just goes to show that the M’s are a shadow of what they have been. They may be rebuilding, but at the moment the M’s are nowhere close to fielding the personnel necessary to be considered elite. But as M’s fans, we can always hold onto the memory of that one season when we ruled regular season baseball like few others ever have, or ever will.

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