It takes patience to be a Seattle Mariners fan and right now, I’m running on empty. As of May 26, the Mariners were leading the American League west, with a record of 28-18. Since that day, the Mariners are 8-17 and have fallen 9.5 games out of first place. A potential roster move has me irritated with a pattern that is becoming far too familiar for baseball fans in the pacific northwest.
Rumors are swirling about the Mariner’s potential acquisition of right handed relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen spent five seasons with the Mariners from 2011-2015. Wilhelmsen was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers after posting a 10.55 earned run average in 21.1 innings, allowing 38 hits, 25 earned runs, with 11 strikeouts and nine walks. The 32-year-old pitcher opted to test free agency rather than going to triple A Round Rock. A part from Wilhelmsen being atrocious this season, why does this potential move have me so upset?
Almost a year ago to the date, the Mariner’s hired an an all-time great in Edgar Martinez to be the teams new hitting coach. Martinez spent 19 years in a Mariner uniform, batting .312, with 514 doubles and 309 home runs. Martinez hiring came when the Mariners were 32-37, sitting 7.5 games out of first place. The argument can be made that Martinez did help the Mariner offense, but the move did not lead to more wins. The move was an attempt to distract fans from the terrible product that the organization was putting on the field.
The same thing will happen with Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen is a familiar name, that the casual fan will be happy to see play for the Mariners again. The acquisition of ‘the Bartender’ will be a move that distracts the fans from the incredible dive the Mariners have taken.
The Mariners will need to go on an insane tear to reach the top of the AL West. At this point, the team is playing for the second wild card and is sitting 2.5 games out of a playoff spot. Don’t be fooled, Tom Wilhelmsen isn’t the Mariners answer. A nice run from the Mariners is desperately needed to refuel my tank for the remaining four months of the 2016 regular season.