Brock Huard: How are the Mariners doing this? A few reasons
Apr 12, 2019, 9:55 AM
The Mariners are 13-2.
The Mariners are 13-2.
Not only that, but they’ve been the most prolific offense in the history of the game in the first 10 percent of a season in MLB history.
Why? Here’s a few reasons that stand out to me.
Players on the upswing
Salk loves to say that by the time you know someone’s name, especially in the NFL, they’ve peaked and maximized their potential. Well, when half your lineup is largely made up on lesser-known names like Mallex Smith, Domingo Santana, Daniel Vogelbach, Ryon Healy and Omar Narváez, there are two options: Either they’re an ascending player, or like the many Mariners that preceded them, a non-player. Right now? The arrow is pointing up on all those guys.
It matters. It’s why St. Louis has always developed pitchers. It’s why the Rays have always developed young players into trade pieces. It’s why Oakland has grown power hitters. Manager Scott Servais made significant and wholesale changes to his coaching staff over the offseason, and as he said to us in Arizona, now he is getting to coach his coaches who he hired because of their ability to coach and teach players.
It’s a powerful tool when harnessed, and Dee Gordon, Tim Beckham, Edwin Encarnación and Mitch Haniger don’t have a shortage of it. They are the son of a big leaguer, a No. 1 overall draft pick, baseball’s most prolific home run hitter over the last seven years, and a one-time All-Star who seems destined for even bigger accolades.
A smorgasbord of age, experience and personality
I loved Mariners bench coach Manny Acta’s laugh Thursday during an interview on Brock and Salk when Salk brought up personality. He was chuckling before the question could be finished. The hot mics in the dugout caught some of the smack talk. The cameras are catching Mallex and Dee having fun. Domingo and Edwin bring charisma and a cool factor. Mitch is so intense, met only by Marco Gonzales. And Vogey is the big kid we all had on our little league teams that we just loved.
Go ahead and save all of the above when this team starts to scuffle and just laugh at me. Why? Because ultimately this is just baseball.
The beauty and the curse.