MLB Notebook: Mariner regrets, Boone’s back, and the Trop being the Trop
Photo credit:© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
By Michael Liu1 month ago
Mariners sellers’ remorse
The Seattle Mariners were primed to make the playoffs in the final couple of weeks of the regular season. Yet, they slipped but still had a good chance. They needed to win – the only problem was that they didn’t win enough. A playoff miss for the Mariners leaves them asking many questions, which include their deadline dealings (or lack thereof).
One could argue that losing one of their most reliable bullpen arms in Paul Sewald didn’t do them any favours. The veteran reliever is currently part of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rotation currently featuring in the playoffs. It brings back a question that many were asking after the deadline: was this the sign that the Mariners were tossing the towel in? They barely made any transactions, and the ones that they did didn’t seem to impact the club for this season.
Now, that discourse faded thanks to the team going on an absolute tear in August. But when the bats quieted down and the Mariners started to sink, it was clear that the non-action at the deadline probably haunted the ballclub. Perhaps a couple more additions would’ve been able to help them tide into a playoff spot. Or they could’ve gone the way of the Angels and imploded right after the deadline. It’s a lot of hindsight retrospect, with the ones suffering the most being Seattle fans who were already penciling in playoff games to attend.
Aaron Boone expected back as Yankees manager
It’s no surprise that the 2023 Yankees season was a disappointment. GM Brian Cashman even called it a disaster. But, the manager at the helm with return for another edition of the pinstripes next year.
Aaron Boone’s return is something that will have a large segment of the Yankees fanbase up in arms. He hasn’t exactly turned in the best of results lately, and that includes this past year. The starting pitching outside of Gerrit Cole was underwhelming at best and flat-out bad at its worst. The injuries struck hard and fast, with key players out for extended periods of time. And when the team was healthy, they looked clueless, an anemic offence with some horrid defensive baseball.
And yet, it is Boone who earned Aaron Judge’s endorsement as the Yanks’ manager going forth. Management appears to view him as part of the solution, not the problem in the Big Apple. There’s a lot to fix in the winter and it seems as if Boone will be part of the voices helping make those decisions as the Yankee’s attentions turn to 2024.
Poor attendance continues at Tropicana Field
You’d think that a team that had legit hopes at a deep postseason run would attract some attention. Not the Tampa Bay Rays though, as Tropicana Field continues to sport some of the worst attendance figures in Major League Baseball.
Maybe the fans were right in staying home – The Rays got shellacked 4-0 and 7-1 in the Wild Card matchup against the Texas Rangers. It’s a whimper of an end to a season that started off with the best start in baseball history. And perhaps, playing in front of a sparse crowd, the cavernous, mostly empty Tropicana was an appropriate stage for that to happen, for a Tampa team that lost its momentum and never really figured out a way to regain it.
But the attendance woes may soon be in the history books. The Rays have proposed a new stadium plan in St. Petersburg, with hopes that the new ballpark will be able to attract more attendance. For a team that has been as solid as they have in the last couple of seasons, it’s a shame that people aren’t turning up for games.
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