Success can be measured in different ways. The Mariners concluded their twelve game road trip having lost four of six, but that is not surprising as they lost two of three to those swaggering Bronx bullies and two of three to those pesky New England elitists, two of the top teams in the American league.
Considering the Mariners dismal season, not getting swept in New York and Boston is a success in itself. They won two of three in Baltimore and Cleveland, so come home with a 6-6 road trip. The old baseball adage is to play .500 on the road and the Mariners on their twelve game road trip did that.
I don’t know what long ago player, manager, owner, reporter, or baseball stat man came up with that adage. It may go all the way back to the 1860’s when Horace Fernwicky took his Cooperstown Mohicans to Pennsylvania on a barnstorming tour and split nine games (one game was tied when a Civil War battle broke out and the players scattered to parts unknown, though it was said a couple of players joined the fracas).
But Fernwicky declared it a success, saying the .500 road trip was all you can hope for when playing on the road in hostile cities. As baseball lore there may be some truth to the story, though it has never been confirmed.
So the Mariners tip their hat to Fernwicky with their .500 road trip and are playing better to be sure.
It is hard to measure the effect of a managerial change on a team. The Orioles are playing better under their new skipper, Buck Showalter, and the Mariners are playing better under Daren Brown, their new helmsman. So the early returns are good.
Chone Figgins who started off the season hitting below the Mendoza line is now getting back to respectability and Casey Kotchman has also improved. The team is still frustrating to watch at times, but next week or the week after some young players will be called up and we can see how the team will shape up in September, who plays, who sits, and how the team plays when they have nothing to play for and the players are planning their off season fun and games.
I wonder if the front office is considering a Horace Fernwicky bobblehead night.