SEATTLE MARINERS

Julio Rodríguez’s Super Bowl picture should hype Mariners fans up

Feb 12, 2024, 3:17 PM

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners participates at a Fe. 9, 2024 Adidas event in Las Vegas. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for adidas)

(Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for adidas)

Seattle Mariners superstar Julio Rodríguez has been busy lately.

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If you scroll through his social media account, over the last week the two-time All-Star has been to an NBA game in Los Angeles between the Clippers and Lakers, hung out with music sensation Bad Buddy and soccer legend Zinedine Zidane, and then attended Sunday’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

But if you think for one second that means his eye isn’t on the ball with position players reporting to Mariners spring training next week, what he shared at the end of the Super Bowl should help clear things up.

“I want to know what that feels like. #starving,” wrote Rodríguez in a caption for a picture he took of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrating their second straight Super Bowl championship.

It seems winning is the one thing above all on the mind of Julio Rodríguez ahead of his third season in a Seattle Mariners uniform.

Rodríguez is coming off a stellar second year in the big leagues, finishing fourth in the American League MVP voting after posting a .275/.333/.485 slash line for an .818 OPS with 32 home runs, 37 stolen bases and 103 RBIs. But in some ways it wasn’t as good as his rookie season in 2022, when he slashed .284/.345/.509 (.854 OPS), and the Mariners fell two wins short of the playoffs last year.

It sure doesn’t seem like Rodríguez is taking any of that lightly.

Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez focused on ‘next step’

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto talked to Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk just a few weeks back, and his read on Rodríguez’s mentality going into the 2024 season paints a picture that lines up with the center fielder’s post from the Super Bowl.

“I’ve spoken with him, I spent some time with him and I’m thrilled with where he is,” Dipoto said. “And I know more recently (Mariners manager Scott Servais) had an opportunity to visit with him down in Tampa just a couple of weeks ago. He is in a tremendous place. I think right now Julio is focused on the right things. He’s focused on taking that next step as a player. Maybe most importantly he’s focused on taking that next step as a team leader, which is an exciting thing.

“Watching him mature as a person and as a player over these last couple of years has really been fun, and my sense in spending some time with him this offseason is that he is really chomping at the bit to take the next step… He has accomplished so much in his time in the league, and I think his teammates respect both what he does on the field and how he prepares, and I’m excited to see what that next step looks like for him.”

Based on what Rodríguez shared Sunday, it seems like the next step in his mind involves leading the Mariners to their first World Series. Doubt any M’s fans would argue with that.

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Julio Rodríguez’s Super Bowl picture should hype Mariners fans up