Hi Deckies, it’s the October Sky On VHS and Worksheet Day portion of the blog here to get at ya again.
YOWZA picked a bad month to have quit smoking for quite some time! Right!
But in all seriousness, potentially it was how close the team was to mathematical elimination in mid-September which primed the pump, but I see I am not alone in casting my eyes to the future of what Greater Marineria will look like in the year (gasps in Old) two thousand and twenty-two.
As sure as the boomers and geese will fly southward for the winter, the great Normie Sicko Hot Stove Convergence will be upon us in, let’s call it, 28 business days. A beautiful time of year — voices BaseballTeenNeverDoubt, ShitAssBaseballOld, and GenerallyOfflineButBoredAndWantToGetThoseTaeksOff will attempt to rejigger the Rubix cube that is the Seattle Mariners in this hamfisted metaphor to a state of color-match zen.
Tis the season (szn?) of The OffSeasonPlan.
And This Writer’s Official Position On This Is “Go For It, Hoss Heckyeah!” It’s fun to banter with folks! Use the strange obsession about control of the future to deepen your knowledge of the game’s history! Challenge your assumptions about stuff! These are positive steps! Over the last 48 hours, I’ve had a ton of fun chopping it up with internet friends regarding the direction of the team.
This year, more than most, feels impactful on the future direction of baseball in the Northwestern region of North America. This offseason, an unusually robust crop of the good players has germinated, sprouted, blossomed, and made themselves available in instagramable buckets made of repurposed wood that pop just right during golden hour. The team has a chance — I do not say this lightly, for it is not every year — to bring in its most talented player (nay players!) this offseason for simply the price of American Currency. This is a chance to throw a Sobe bottle full of gasoline onto a raging bonfire and really kick this puppy up to 22.
Please, by all means, do not stop with the rosy feeling that comes with going to bed thoughts occupied with Actual Good Players dancing in your head. When thinking about 2022 and beyond, I really want to Crank Out Some Names’ and Get The People Goin’ but I find myself coming to a similar stumbling block which has made this particular exercise moot.
John Q (Quadzilla) Stanton.
Stanton has been the definition of “slightly worse than a staggeringly wealthy cardboard cutout” since becoming the majority owner in 2016. He permitted a middle of the road payroll from 16-19, and picked the one year where there were 420 playoff teams to start trimming that back. Whoopsie. Since 2020 the team has induldged in a little bit of Value Village poverty cosplay. In 2021 the $10 outfit party was actually pretty ‘bitchin! It was fun to throw back a Keystone, or 6 listen, put on some Kid n Play, watch a new Blooper McDick become a Boomer McDude every night, and enjoy some 16 bits with your friends while reminiscing about the past. Now that the season has ended, and enough time has passed to let the sepia-toned seep out, one number comes up…
81.8 million (roughly).
The Seattle Mariners, in all their wisdom, decided that a top-15 media market, some of the wealthiest real estate per capita counties in North America bordered by even MORE of some of the most affluent real estate in North America, a gem of a centrally located and while flawed still accessible ballpark, could only support an eighty-one-million dollar-payroll.
My Dearly Beloved Readership, dare we find out just how dusty it gets? When do you think was the last time a payroll of 81 million dollars would be the median for playoff teams?
2014 we must look deeper
2010 think again
2006 still not the trick
It’s the 2003 remix to playoff contention medium payroll 80.5 million sigh-doubt-ass-Edition. Yes, dearest dumdum reader, it was two thousand and three. Also, because I’m just primarily dumb and not completely drywall brain’d and then understand inflation, that’s roughly about on your 120 million today.
The Era Of Platitudes And Promises ended the second that Drew Steckenrider shut the door on the Oakland A’s on September 29th and was pronounced Legally Dead by the first 40k+ attendance stretch of three September games since Ichiro broke George Sisler’s hit record. The 2021 Mariners were closer to payroll 30 than they were to the average payroll; this cannot happen again. The research team is also confirming there was no pandemic during the year 2003. We live in The Age Of Capital Double U Winning; there is no more try, only do.
There is no offseason plan without a commitment to double the team’s current cash payroll. Even if this were to occur, the team would still miss the 2021 Median Playoff Payroll Number of roughly 167.7 million by a hair. Let’s just call it acceptable shrink. This is what C-Grade Maintenance Of The Public Trust Looks Like In Seattle For The Year 2022.
This is a fanbase of smartypantses, John. While we can never know the exacts, middle of the road gate (20th in attendance during a pandemic with a team in a self-proclaimed transition year, during the longest playoff drought in North American Sports, is nothing to sneeze at), a sweetheart of a television deal, “non-baseball revenues,” and appreciation of non-liquid assets of the ownership group account for a number way higher than 81 million. I’m not a gamblin’ writer, but I’m guessing all them monies aren’t all going into charitable donations or ballpark improvement, but hey willing to be wrong here.
There is no offseason plan without a demonstrated commitment and follow-through to the Public Trust. And to level with ya here, John, this is a chance to define your legacy. Tossing out the dozens of the folks who read business journals in places outside of dentists’ offices, you can walk down the street of whatever city you’re in with a modicum of anonymity. Heck, I’d bet my mortgage that, let’s call it for the sake of argument, “Joe Piscopo” would garner more attention walking down Pike at this very second. You will likely go down as someone whose name’s on an auxiliary business building at an East Coast Private College which, hey, neat, I guess, but this year has the chance to do something not many of us souls on this mortal coil get an opportunity to do. Forever guarantee flowers on your ofrenda.
Think about it, slugger. Beeg-John Stan-Ton, he who didn’t tolerate mediocrity. Got the team up to the luxury tax and didn’t spend a penny more because of his 80 Grade Business Acumen (you just can’t teach The Sense Of The Deal). The offseason of Extremely Smart And Good Spending not only ended the longest postseason drought in North America, but it also kicked off a two-decade window of contention as the Baseball Teens started to fill out and contribute to the hottest media property in baseball. Heck champ, you may even be able to double your investment in a few years if that’s your thing.
Or you could continue to run the club like a cable company. Hey, these jamokes have no other options here in South Alaska (amirite! Always gets a chuckle). Bump payroll up to, let’s call it, 103 million and take a victory lap on Committing To Intellexcellence or The Triad Of Paradigm or some bahooey. The checks are gonna clear, tills will fill, things are gonna come up green at the end of the year, we all get a lovely fruit basket and a party at one of the Many Premium Chains in Bellevue (let’s call it Joey’s) after the team scraps to a watchable but cosmically irrelevant 84 wins which will be lost to the waves of time.
I’m just going to level with you again here Johniel, I do like option A, and I think deep down you do too. People in this town venerate Paul Allen, a bookish second banana with minimal regional connections and charisma, simply because he decided to build a museum where “you can come to look at the doodads I had in my basement,” and he saved the football team from being run like a line item. He put up and got out of the way.
Nobody has any strong feelings about the head of any non Papa pizza company heads, but people in Detroit will forever venerate Mike Illich.
Fresh out of feelings for prominent American Trial Lawyers, but I am sure the folks in Baltimore have a thing to say or two about Peter Angelos.
Entirely out of stock in Taeks About American Art Dealers, but I think you could ask a Floridian to chime in with one or three about Jeff Loria.
Heck, Boomers of Seattle won’t be able to name a single other Real Estate Developer but have some Peaty Aged Platitudes to break out about Jeff Smyulyan and Ken Behring when the time is right.
And for One Dollar. Name another Shipping Magnate That Didn’t Date A Kennedy Of Which There Is Any Space In Your Deep Memory outside of the Steinbrenners.
This is it, Jack. This is where your legacy is defined. Whether this is right or wrong is not up to this blog, it is what it is.
Do you want to be able to pocket the savings from never having to buy a food and or drink within the Pacific Northwest for use in Big Brain Business Activities? Commit to and follow through on spending like a relevant baseball team, restore the public trust, allow us sickos to actually have an offseason plan, sit back and watch it bloom.
Or, I ran some Manny Cairo simulations on ol’ VIBES, and I’ve concluded that if the Public Trust Is Further Shattered By Yet Another Poverty Cosplay By Ownership, the Median Mariner Fan is 69420% more likely than a Bellevue Rotarian to call you Lil’ Johnny Pissypants.
You wanna be able to go out of Bellevue without being called Lil’ Johnny Pissypants, right?