The bloom is off the thorn. After a brief spurt of winning when new Mariner manager Daren Brown took the helm from Don Wakamatsu, the Mariners have sunk back to their woeful ways, having lost eight of twelve.
So why is Seattle so bad? What has happened since 1998 through the Piniella years?
Steve Kelly of the Seattle Times had an article earlier this week that compared the Minnesota Twins to Seattle and posed the question as to why Seattle can not be like Minnesota.
The Twins lose Johan Santana and Tori Hunter to free agency and win. They lose their closer Joe Nathan for the season, lose Justin Morneau to a concussion, yet they continue to win while Seattle continues to lose.
Kelly points out that the Twins have had two managers since 1986. TWO!!! The Mariners have had five since 2005.
What comes across in his piece is that the Twins have stability and a sound minor league system stocked full of quality players. And they have patience.
I think he is right. The Mariners would like to be the Twins, but they make bad choices in the draft, sign free agents who are a bust, are impatient with young players, trading them away instead of developing them, and generally make wrong decisions about everything.
Patience is a dirty word to the Mariners. They try to rush success rather than have a long term strategy, having all the bases covered with prospects who can step in when the time is right.
The good ship Mariner has round aground in shallow waters because of narrow thinking, while the Twins chart troubled waters with ease.
The Twins are the Rock of Gibraltar. The Mariners are just rocked.