"staying the course" is no longer an option. If anything, it..."/>
"staying the course" is no longer an option. If anything, it..."/>

I Call Hyperbole

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"“staying the course” is no longer an option. If anything, it will be detrimental to the franchise’s future because of the lack of interest from fans. Nobody wants another 90-to-100 loss"

I’m not trying to call anyone out. Obviously, I agree nobody wants to watch a Mariners team that loses 90-100 games. Those seasons suck and no one enjoys them. Not the players, not the staff, not the media, not the fans. No one wins, everybody loses.

But here is what gets me with that statement: the reason we need to abandon ship and abandon the “plan” that is in place simply because the interest from the fans is going to get to be so horrible that this team is going to continue to lose money at such an increasing rate that it’s at the point they need to grab every ADD fan out there right now with a recognizable name otherwise there is no coming back. Suddenly we starting talking Montreal Expos territory and we’ll wind up getting Sonic’d for someone like … I don’t even know… North Carolina.

Now, this made me think about the Pirates. We all know the Pittsburgh Pirates have the longest running organizational losing streak in professional sports. It all made me wonder what their situation has been over the past 10 years with their fan base. I mean if there is one fanbase that has a reason to completely have given up on an organization it’s baseball fans found in the greater Allegheny County. Then again there is other  Not only that, but how many wins did they accrue over the course of the season and did they spend any time in first place?  How about their payroll and highest paid player? Let’s take a look at the information I collected

YearRankTotalAvg Per GWinsDays In FirstLast Day In FirstPayrollHighest Paid Player
20112218963212425572625-Jul-11$45MPaul Maholm ($5.7m)
2010271613399199185738-Apr-10$34.9MPaul Maholm ($5m)
2009281577853194796238-Apr-10$48.6MJack Wilson ($7.4m)
2008281609076201136723-Apr-10$48.6MMatt Morris ($10m)
20072717491422214168710-Apr-10$38.5MJack Wilson ($5.4m)
20062718615492326967N/AN/A$46.7MSean Casey ($8.5m)
20052718172452300367N/AN/A$38.1MMatt Lawton ($7.7m)
2004271583031211077215-Apr-10$32.2MJason Kendal ($8.5m)
2003261636751209837578-Apr-10$50MBrian Giles ($8.8m)
200222178499322594721425-Apr-10$42.3MBrian Giles ($8m)
20011724362903083962N/AN/A$57.7MBrian Giles ($7.3m)

What amazes me is that there isn’t any reason why one year the Pirates out drew another. Take a look at 2005 and 2006, they had all of 67 wins and yet still out drew their 2002 and 2003 season in which there was obviously steady growth, not just in terms of performance but also in terms of cash as they went from 42 million to a little over 50. Yet there was no increased interest in terms of fans attending the games.

This past season was their best season in terms of attendance in over a decade but then again the team was in first place as late as July and for a team that has been so horrible for so long you would have thought they would have done better than that. Then you look at 2001  in which they had all of 62 wins and yet posted the top attendance record for the decade.

What does this have to do with the Mariners? Well obviously the Mariners have now gone a whole… well… two years since their last season above .500 (a little bit of sarcasm there) and before that it had been only a year. I know it’s been a tough two years (no sarcasm), but there is a game plan in place and already you can tell the talent in this organization is way better than what it was just two years ago. If there is a specific sect of fans that can’t continue to be patience and just be willing to support the local team through the tough times while they attempt to actually build the RIGHT AND SUSTAINABLE way then all I can say is that they aren’t very educated fans and  they typically the type of fans that come back anyways whenever the team is winning again.

That sounds harsh but the fact is despite the lack of banners over the last 10 years this team has fielded some interesting teams that have had their competitive moments and have even challeneged the other AL West teams. Sometimes that’s on accident such as in 2007 and 2009. Sometimes they were even the better team that just folded under the pressure (2002/2003 come to anyone elses mind?).

Don’t think I’m just trying to paint a rosey picture. There have been some pretty ugly bitter moments in the past 10 years and I’ll be the first to agree that it’s been more bad than good that we take out of this era. But, the team is moving forward and you can tell that with the talent that we are gathering we are trying to move forward. It hasn’t been all bad and we need to remember that there has been some fun moments a long the way. Remember this team was a surprising 2.5 games behind Texas and in second place going into 4th of July weekend, prior to that crazy 17 game losing streak. Now, I didn’t expect them to stay close but I certainly didn’t expect such a harsh drop off either.

It’s not time to freak out and do everything you can to break the bank so the Mariners can break the 600 runs mark and still lose 80+ games. This team is getting better, trust the plan that is in currently in place. Jack Zduriencik has yet to really show that it’s an unreliable plan at this point. He’s made bad decisions but they’ve hardly set the organization back.