Thursday, March 31, 2005
The team that won at least 90 games from 2000 to 2003?
Or is it the team that lost 99 games in 2004?
If there's one thing for certain about this ballclub, it's that the offense will be better, with the additions of third baseman Adrian Beltre and first baseman Richie Sexson.
I'm going to do something "different" for my Mariners preview this year. Instead of doing a full-blown preview like I've been known to do, I will make some predictions about the 2005 Mariners. For example, "Ichiro will hit over .300". Right now, it just works out better this way.
I can promise you that I won't talk about PECOTA or any sabermetric stats. I'll leave that to the other sites.
Predictions are just that, predictions. No need to take them too seriously. They play the games despite what people like myself say.
2005 SEATTLE MARINERS
---The M's will finish in third place in the A.L. West., winning 79 games, a 16-game improvement from 2004. I agree with David, I'm really looking forward to the 2006 M's. As long as I don't have to through another season like 2004 again, I'll be alright.
---Ichiro won't hit .400, but he'll still win the batting title (.359).
---Jeremy Reed is my 2005 A.L. Rookie of the Year (.308, 14 HR, 79 RBI).
---Adrian Beltre won't reach his 2004 numbers, but it would be unfair to label him as a one-year wonder. If you do that, you don't know baseball. Beltre will be one of three All-Stars from the M's in 2005. He'll also provide Gold Glove-caliber defense. The Dodgers were fools to let him walk.
---Richie Sexson will defy the skeptics and stay healthy throughout 2005. I don't think he'll hit more than 35 home runs, however. But that's fine. Give me 30 home runs from Sexson and I'll take it.
---Bret Boone is in his last year in Seattle.
---I'll still criticize Raul Ibanez, regardless of what happens this season.
---Randy Winn will be traded to the Giants by the trading deadline. Just a gut feeling.
---Jose Lopez will be called up from Tacoma by July and take over at shortstop for the rest of the 2005 season when Pokey Reese is dealt to Minnesota for a minor leaguer.
---Miguel Olivo will be an All-Star within the next 3 seasons. He'll be much better defensively as well. We crack on Dan Wilson a lot, but I'll give Wilson this, he does know how to play defense. Surely Olivo has already learned a thing or two from Wilson.
---Bobby Madritsch will lead the M's in wins (15).
---Joel Pineiro will struggle to stay healthy.
---Jamie Moyer won't be as bad as he was in 2004, but his best days are behind him. He'll still win 12 games, though.
---Gil Meche will stay healthy.
---Felix Hernandez will be called up in August, when Pineiro is placed on the DL (again), ending his season.
---Eddie Guardado isn't Everyday Eddie anymore. I still like the guy. You can't go wrong with a guy who has a personality like Eddie does. Rock and roll, bro.
---Ron Villone will be Ron Villone again in 2005. I still can't believe he's back.
---Aaron Sele is gone by June. At least I hope he is.
---Jeff Nelson will get his radio show back on KJR. Tuesdays with Nellie is much, much better than Tuesdays with Willie.
---Speaking of Willie Bloomquist, why hasn't he been reunited with Bob Melvin in Arizona already?
---Since Rich Waltz is in Florida now, Kevin Calabro will fill in for Dave Niehaus this summer. Niehaus usually takes his vacation in July, after the All-Star break.
---Ichiro, Adrian Beltre, and Bobby Madritsch will be your 2005 All-Stars from your Seattle Mariners.
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There's no telling how many chances I'll get to see the Mariners play on television here in Arkansas. I'll be lucky to get 10 games at the most. No, I don't have the cash to pay for MLB.TV right now.
Anyways, to sum up my take on the 2005 Seattle Mariners...
79 wins, third place, no playoffs.
2006 is the year I'm looking forward too. But that doesn't mean that 2005 can be written off. Opening Day is Monday.
Swung on and Beltre'd. That's my tagline for the 2005 M's. Not "What A Show!"