Statistics may show how many hits a player has or strikeouts, but do they say anything about a person? No. Our players have shown heart in the last two years, several of whom have since been traded. Will new players display the same spirit as the 2023 team?
The Mariners Have Heart!
Fans love the Mariners in part because they have heart. Eugenio Suarez and Paul Sewald were men with skill and heart. Marco and Monica Gonzales have invested in the Seattle community for the same reason. Marco Gonzales and Evan White and their families made the Seattle area their homes year-round as I understand. Jarred Kelenic only kicked that cooler in frustration because he wanted to excel for his team and their fans.
Clubhouse Culture Matters
We all know that baseball is a business and that playing the game requires significant skill, but also that a great clubhouse culture helps players gel as a team. This sense of team is what gets them excited to play when fatigue and bad weather make playing less attractive. The team spirit allows them to play beyond their statistics in given games.
The Mariners' 2022 team and the 2023 team had this heart. In 2022, they were in the playoffs. In 2023, only one game separated them from the Texas Rangers who won the World Series. The team required one or two reliable bats to have a real chance of winning it all. Baseball is not just about statistics and numbers. In the recent past, when the Mariners recruited players, and these players talked with current members of the team, the sense of community on the team was part of what attracted them.
Do Mariners Decision-Makers Have an Understanding of the Fans?
In addition to being a Mariners fan, I am a fan of surveys and focus groups. Focus groups gather maybe ten people, in this case fans, who discuss various topics related to being a Mariners fan. As I witness this wild shedding of players, it makes me think that leadership is out of touch with fans. I have seen comments, via Twitter and Instagram that fewer people have bought their season tickets for 2024. No doubt this is a reason for dumping players with higher salaries that we are witnessing.
How Do Trades Affect Current and Future Players?
I cannot imagine how dispiriting these moves must be to the remaining players. Most players are practical about the business of baseball and are aware that they may not stay long on a given team. Commitment to players by team leaders is what has allowed some players to stay with their team for a long time.
If I were a player being recruited by the Mariners, I would wonder if I too would fall victim to salary dumping the following year, Would free agency be the end of my time with the team? How do the Mariners trading patterns appear to potential players?
We Still Have Wonderful Players . . . at Least for Now
I have great confidence in the key players who remain with the team. They can continue the clubhouse culture that has fed the team's spirit and heart with any new players. While statistics may be able to measure aspects of talent, it does not measure heart. Our team has a lot of heart. Please stop trading it away.
We Welcome the Players Who Will Come to Us From Trades
Thus far, the players from the Diamondbacks have helped our playoff efforts. I am looking forward to learning more about the new additions to the Mariners team. I anticipate writing about the heart of new players in the 2024 season.