Monday, February 28, 2011

MARINERS: Time to buy some new sneakers

We all are connected to something. Your special thing could be a person, a movie, sports, clothes, or in my case, shoes. You see, at the end of summer from Kindergarten to 4th grade, my Mom would buy me a new pair of shoes. The shoes she brought home always were better than my last pair, without fail. I would open the shoe box and boom, there would lay my awesome new Sketchers. I would rock those bad boys to school to show off to all my friends, who would stand there jealous and ticked off at their moms because they only had some “out of date” pair of glow-in-the-dark shoes.

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A lot of good things have bad sides however. With every new of pair of shoes came the ritual of throwing out my old ones. Most kids would have no problem throwing out a dirty, smelly, worn out pair of shoes, but not me. I had this weird emotional connection to my past sneakers, even if they didn’t fit or have the ability to be worn anymore. I would just keep my old shoes stuffed in a closet, just so I wouldn’t somehow offend the inanimate objects. No one knew about this sacred shoe preserving tradition of mine, and I was determined to keep it that way.

Even if I was determined to hide my past shoes, I couldn’t stop letting my Mom look into my closet one day. She discovered my sacred stash, and was about to get rid of the shoes before I started crying. “MOM!” I pleaded. “Don’t take those! They’re memories!” Then she replied something that is the point of this story. “Nathan, you can’t hold onto stuff like this forever. Sure, memories are great, but if you live in the past you can’t get anything accomplished in the present.”

Hear that line Mariners?

From 1995 to 2001, the Mariners were a powerhouse in the baseball world, and they liked it. Edgar Martinez was mashing doubles, Griffey was stealing bases, and Randy Johnson was pitching the lights out in the Kingdome. Team president Chuck Armstrong liked where the team was at, as he should have.. Times were good, and it seemed like the Mariners could be good forever.

Then, reality struck. After that miraculous 116 win, 2001 season, Chuck Armstrong and the Mariners front office felt as though they needed to add just one more piece to the puzzle to finally grab that 1st World Series championship for Seattle. So, the M’s proceeded to add ageing, declining veterans to expensive contracts (Richie Sexson, Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista), and in the process forgetting about the all-important farm system. Most of the people who the Mariners signed failed, and all the while former stars like Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner retired.

With signing those free agents, the Mariners tried to bring out the old, dirty shoes to see if they would work again, only to be hit in the face by reality that those shoes are pieces of garbage. Sure, they were great in their prime, but they don’t have much use anymore.

The Mariners have attempted to live in the past the last couple of years and that’s resulted in two 101 loss seasons. The M’s need to admit defeat and go out and buy a new pair of shoes. Sure, it might be painful at first, but buying those new glow-in-the-dark Sketchers will be worth all the trouble in the end. It’s time for the Mariners to swallow their pride and admit it: it’s time to hit the reset button.

Jack Zduriencik has told everyone that the Mariners have woven the white flag and are now officially rebuilding. But that’s what Jack Z said in 2009, and then proceeded the next year to get greedy and go trade for Cliff Lee and sign Chone Figgins. That can’t happen again, rather the M’s have to rebuild slowly and surely through guys like Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, and Michael Saunders.

Instead of living in past good times, why not create good times right now? The current Mariners need to make their own history, not wallow in the great times of 10 years ago.

Well Chuck Armstrong, looks like it’s time to buy some new sneakers.

Reach Nathan Parsons at