The whole world now knows the Seahawks crushed the Broncos in the Super Bowl with all the delicacy of a meat tenderizer. The team earned its championship with superb play, great leadership and tenacity and is receiving its just recognition from the national press.
While the team basks in its brief celebration before heading off to take a well-earned break, the city and its environs is ready to explode with enthusiasm and pride that at last Seattle has a champion for the first time since 1979. Who knows how many will attend the parade on Wednesday, but the downtown Seattle is likely to be packed with the 12th Man, both the hard core long time supporters, and the newly won fans who will now have an attachment to this team for the rest of their lives.
Seattle is now a city that tasted winning. It’s always been a sports town despite the lack of winning. And there has been winning, if not championships. The Sonics had several long stretches of winning, including an appearance in the NBA finals against Michael Jordan’s Bulls. The Seahawks made many appearances in the playoffs before winning it all on Sunday. The M’s have had fewer playoff appearances, but made it to the ALCS three times, tied the all-time record in wins, and drew 3.5 million fans in 2002. Seattle loves a winner.
That’s why it’s so important the M’s do what needs to be done and pick up a couple more pieces for this team. At the very least it needs one more guy for the rotation, and at least one more proven bullpen arm. An outfielder, a good one would be nice too. Pay the money, make the trades. Fans, looking for sports excitement will come out to Mariners games if it looks like this team can compete, but will stay away in droves it it goes 10-17 by the end of April. This is a year when the M’s might be something special. Robinson Cano was a bigger signing and will have a bigger impact on the M’s than even a healthy Percy Harvin will have on the Seahawks. There are some appealing young players on this team with Kyle Seager and Brad Miller, as well as young pitching in Taijuan Walker and James Paxton. There are things to get excited about.
I don’t think the M’s can win it all, but they should be better, they could compete, if holes can be filled. They could be the Seahawks of 2010-2011, good enough to interest fans, good enough to put a scare into opponents, but only if they get eliminate the big trap doors this team has seemed to to stand on top of every year since at least 2009, and blithely pulled every April. Count the ways-Joe Saunders, Michael Morse, Jack Cust, Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins. But this team still has no legitimate center fielder. It has an exploding relief corps, and they need more depth in the starting rotation. Answer these problems and I can begin to nod. The team has possibilities. All offer likely Wile E. Coyote episodes if the problems aren’t answered.
Seize this moment. There is fan momentum for sports in this city. Seahawks fans will be looking for someone to get behind; should it be the Mariners or the Sounders? The latter had their own problems last year. The M’s should seize the moment and put the finishing touches on this team.