That team would be Oakland, but I am not talking free agents, but scouts. Oakland must have the best scouts in baseball. The A’s won the division with no-name rookie pitchers starting 103 games. The Mariners have a Cy Young winner in Felix Hernandez and a top lefty in Justin Vargas, yet guys like Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, and former Mariner farmhand, Travis Blackley got it done for the A’s.
Milone 13-10, 3.74; Parker13-8, 3.47; Griffin 7-1, 3.06; and Blackley 6-4, 3.86. Not stellar numbers, but consider the A’s team batting was .238. How did this team win 94 games while their hitters led the league in strikeouts and finished 13th in hitting? It had to be clutch pitching and the young guys came up big.
Sign the Oakland scouts. Dangle some salmon in their faces. Promises of free Starbucks double chocolate java zinger-dingers. Have them greeted on their Seattle visit by the Seagals. Free dinners at the Space Needle. Shares in Microsoft. Whatever in takes.
The A’s were not projected to win. The Angels and Rangers were to vie for the West crown, but the Angels underperformed and the Rangers went in the toilet the last few weeks, stinking up the Ranger corral, playing more like Mariners than Rangers.
The A’s are managed by Bob Melvin, a man who got his first managerial job from the Mariners. Just another former M doing well. He should get 1st or 2nd in manager of the year, his strongest contender being Bucky Showalter from Baltimore. East coast bias may prevail for Bucky, but my vote goes for Melvin.
Maybe Seattle can trade Eric Wedge for Melvin, throwing in Chone Figgins, the Mariner Moose, and Harold Lincoln. A pipe dream? Yes. But at least get their scouts. We need a climb to the top. The waters are getting murky in Elliot Bay.