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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Imagine The Possibilities 

After the 2001 season, I thought the Seattle Mariners had exactly one advantage over the other 29 Major League baseball clubs: the ability to sign Japanese players. I was starting to expect a steady stream of All-Stars from the Land of the Rising Sun, but that's turning out to not be the case after all.

After Sasaki starting mowing 'em down during his rookie 2000 season, I looked in to the Japan League to see what scouts were saying about other stars there, and I came away with three predictable names: Ichiro, Hideki Matsui, and Kazuo Matsui. Then we signed Ichiro. The Matsuis must be right around the corner, I thought. I was, of course, wrong, and Gillick was unable to obtain either player, but in a moment of pure conjecture, let's look at what our lineup might look like today:

Ichiro, RF
Kazuo Matsui, SS
Edgar, DH
Boone, 2B
Hideki Matsui, LF
Olerud, 1B
Spiezio, 3B
Winn, CF
Wilson, C

The M's had a golden opportunity to corner a potentially valuable market, and blew it. Just like it's worth overpaying Ichiro in his contract extension, it would have been worth overpaying for the Matsuis.

As it stands today, the Mariners have no advantages at all over the other clubs, and with Goat Boy and Gump (sounds like a 70's detective action-drama, picture Bob Melvin sliding across the expansive hood of a '78 Crown Victoria) at the controls, don't expect too much from this group.

Of course, all that is just a bunch of wouldda, shouldda, couldda. Who cares? Play some baseball already.

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