HOUSTON – If you were at Mariners FanFest this winter, you may have seen the slogan on the wall heading out to the dugout, or maybe you heard the slogan in an offseason interview.
“Whatever it takes” are the three words that are written above the doorway from the clubhouse to the dugout at Safeco Field, and they are words that were heard throughout spring training. Last year the slogan was “Are you ready?” – words that were a self check of sorts for each player about their preparation. With a team that the organization believes is ready to win, they now ask for a little extra.
“We are through the whole ‘try to improve stage,’ trying to make the team better year-to-year,” Kyle Seager said. “We are at the point where it is time to make the playoffs. You have got to do whatever you can, whatever it takes to improve that day to win that game and ultimately make the playoffs.”
In the Mariners Insider audio piece from opening day embedded above, Robinson Cano and Scott Servais point to the number of one-run losses the Mariners had in 2016 as something that should drive the point home that every game, every play matters. First base coach Casey Candaele agrees that it is the right slogan at the right time.
“It doesn’t come into play when you are 20 games out,” Candaele said. “It comes into play when you finish one game out of the playoffs. If we would have had that mantra, would it have made a difference? I don’t know, but now we have that to really think about. Yes, it can make a difference and if I do whatever it takes to win this game or this pitch or this play right now, it can have effect on the end of the season. It’s important.”
With or without the slogan, a whatever-it-takes attitude is something new outfielder Jarrod Dyson hopes to bring to the Mariners.
“Whatever it takes to get yourself ready to win a ball game, that’s what it means,” he said. “If it is being a good teammate, picking someone up on a good play, getting the sac bunt down, stealing the base, getting the extra bag, that’s what we are about right here.”