Seattle baseball fans have a great to deal of which to be proud this season. No fewer than 10 Mariners lead the division on July 19,2012.
Of course, they play for other teams. In fact, ex-Mariners dot the roster of division leading teams as we enter the dog days of the baseball season. While, in some cases, the loss of these players couldn’t be helped, in other cases it would have behooved the Mariners to just sit tight and wait for youth to develop.
The Yankees lead the American League East. Ex-Mariners Alex Rodriguez (.267, 14 HR’s, 41 RBI’s), and Raul Ibanez (.242, 12 HR’s, 40 RBI’s) play vital roles in the Yankees current position as the team with the best record in baseball. Freddy Garcia has a 5.25 E.R.A going into tonight’s start in Oakland but has a record of 4-2 and is a valuable long reliever/spot starter for the Yankees. Closer Rafael Soriano is the big story here among players who once toiled in the Emerald City. He is 2-0 with an E.R.A. of 1.46, but is 24/24 in save opportunities this year.
The Rangers lead the American League West. Third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting .322 with 17 HR’s and 59 RBI’s for the two time American League champions, while reliever Mark Lowe has a 3.31 E.R.A. at this juncture.
The White Sox lead the American League Central. Reliever Matt Thornton has a modest 2-5 record but he also has 2 saves and a 3.43 E.R.A.
The Washington Nationals, perhaps the surprise of the first half of the season, lead the National League East. Muscular outfielder Micheal Morse is hitting .289, with 4 HR’s and 18 RBI’s in what has been, so far, an injury riddled season. He will play a key part in the Nats attempt to win their first division crown.
The Reds lead the National League West. Wilson Valdez (.229, 0 HR’s, 9 RBI’s) and Miguel Cairo (.144, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s) play utility roles for Cincinnati.
The Giants lead the National League West, and have no ex-Mariners on their 25 man roster. They do, however have two time Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum on their staff…but how he got there (and not here) is a topic for another time.
The Mariners are in a self-proclaimed rebuilding mode, attempting to climb the ladder with young position players and a strong pitching staff. The day may well come when an article can be written that says “The Mariners lead the division”. For now, though, the 25 man roster is hitting .233, with 81 HR’s and 351 RBI’s. The current staff is 39-54 with an E.R.A. of 3.99 and 19 saves.
Contrarily, the 10 ex-Mariners that are on division leading teams are hitting .271, with 47 HR’s, and 173 RBI’s. Pitchers that used to work here are 8-7, with an E.R.A. of 3.31 and 24 saves.
Monster contracts were given to lure some (Alex Rodriguez) away. Others only found their true potential after they left the shores of Puget Sound (Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano, Michael Morse). The sum total, though, is a case of what might have been this baseball season.