by: Bryant “B-Boy” Worthing @bboyworthing | PHOTOS: Rant Sports and AP Photo
With the 2015 season set to begin today the Seattle Mariners are focused on making the post season for the first time in 14 seasons. On paper they are projected to be big contenders for a World Series push. Last season the M’s were just one game away from making the playoffs in one of the teams most impressive runs of the last decade. With strong pieces already locked in with perennial Cy Young contender Felix Hernandez, Gold Glove third baseman Kyle Seager and second baseman Robinson Cano the rumblings with fans and media remained the team lacked one more star. After falling short last season the front office did not waste any time on improving the squad by that getting that missing star in free agent slugger DH Nelson Cruz. In December they signed Cruz to a 4-year $58M contract who adds a clear offensive threat. Last season with Baltimore, Cruz lead Major League Baseball with 40 home runs and was elected to his third career all star appearance. He gives the Mariners a new veteran swagger and potential all star that aims to not only add to the box score, but also putting fans in seats.
As the rain decipates on opening day, the Safeco Field roof will be open with the Los Angeles Angels coming to town. The “wait until next year” attitude has also decipated, because next year is here and Mariners are now a major threat in the AL West and to the rest of the MLB. One player will never change everything for a team, but Nelson Cruz gives the Mariners an element of excitement the team has been missing. Second year coach Lloyd McClendon won 87 games his first season and appears to be an elite manager that gets the most out his players. Now, with the power bat of Cruz the expectations are higher and all the pieces are in place for an epic run.