Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season is special. Every team in America (and one in Canada) is even — 0-0 — and its fans can dream of a World Series championship.
Opening Day has come and gone for the Seattle Mariners, and yet the Mariners faithful remain optimistic for the season ahead. The M’s are 2-0 and playing great. Pitching has been good and the bats are hot.
The Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (you can’t make names like this up) 10-3 on Opening Day and picked up the 8-3 win on Tuesday night in Anaheim.
So can Seattle go 162-0? That’s the buzz as of today on Facebook.
We all know that won’t happen. If a team wins 100 games a year it’s considered a fantastic season.
In reality, the Mariners are not quite that good — at least not yet.
But the offseason moves appear to be good ones. Top of the list is signing former New York Yankee superstar Robinson Cano. He’s a gold glove second baseman with a bat that’s even better.
This is how Seattle Times sports writer Ryan Divish described Cano’s talent while watching batting practice in Arizona:
“The moment he steps into the batting cage, the crowd grows, coaches and players move closer for a better view, casual conversation quiets and eyes focus on Cano as he takes batting practice.
“He rewards them with a series of screaming line drives rocketing to all parts of the outfield. Some sail over the fence, some are laser beams that never rise more than 10 feet off the ground. The maple bat smacking the baseball makes a distinctive pop that is unmistakable. It sounds identical, swing after swing, because Cano always hits the ball the same — on the barrel.”
It gives long-suffering Mariner fans chills.
New Manager Lloyd McClendon has also impressed in the first two days of the season, making all the right moves. And, of course, Felix Hernandez — The King — still has the “stuff” that earned him a Cy Young Award, which goes to the best pitcher in the American League.
The Mariners were predicted to be in the middle of the pack by the experts. Perhaps they misjudged the Mariners.
Right now (before the Angels and Mariners square off again tonight) the 162-0 season remains possible. We can always dream.