This is Doctor Frasier Crane, M.D., Ph.D., A.P.A., Ed.D. here today filling in for the "Bulldog" Bob Briscoe on the Gonzo Sports Show. Unfortunately, Bulldog was rushed to the hospital with a bout of Campylobacter following trois unfortunate helpings of Gil Chesterton's foie gras at the company luncheon. Thus, I have been called here today, in relief, to discuss the 2013 Seattle Mariners. While my critique may be, at times, abecedarian, it is important to remind you that I'm listening.
I must admit, my extensive knowledge of the feats of athleticism begin and end with the sport of kings. However, I do find myself at somewhat ease knowing that the Mariners have a King of their own. Yes, I speak of King Felix Hernandez, the star pitcher of the Seattle Mariners who recently signed a $135.5 million extension to remain in the Emerald City. Though, I must say, I feel rather odd referring to an individual as "King Felix." After all, it was Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix who first popularized the name "Felix" as a dictator in the Republic of Rome in the first century B.C.E.. While my producer Roz feels "King Felix" is a tad redundant, I feel it borderlines non-sequitur as each ruler is bestowed with a separate set of powers and stems of authority. Granted, that is true only if you take the Sulla definition of "Felix" and not the literal definition meaning "luck" or "good fortune." But I digress . . .
It is fair to say that the majority of my knowledge stems from listening to my father, Martin, bumping his gums at that dastardly idiot box in the corner of the room. Thus, it is a bit difficult for me to provide anything other than mere pedestrian references to the team beyond that the uniforms they have been sporting over the past few year makes them far cries from the bobby dazzlers in the days of Griffey and Rodriguez. That being said, I feel the addition of Jason Bay, who appears to be as monumentally unkempt as he has been injured in recent years, may give the offense the pyrotechnical display it needs to flourish.
If there is one thing that you may be able to say concerning the Seattle Mariners of recent years, it is that their offense has been downright offensive. It appears the Mariners have attempted to remedy that a bit not only by signing Jason Bay, but also by bringing about the second homecoming of Raul Ibanez. Yes, my dear friends, Raul Ibanez is back with his third stint with the Mariners! Kismet!
Granted, the return of Ibanez is jejune compared to the reacquisition of Michael Morse. Certainly, I do hope that The Beast's return to Seattle will be more in the form of an Amphisbaena than a Charybdis bringing down the rest of the Mariners into Davey Jones' locker. Alas, it appears that I a mixing my metaphors as much as Niles mixes his brandy.
Another key cohort in the 2013 Mariners lineup will be infielder Robert Andino. If you recall, Andino began his career acting as a happy-go-lucky popinjay with Lady Baltimore's club and then slowly devolved into a lugubrious sack. Frankly, I believe a weekend at a Mt. Rainier bivoac will cure what has ailed young Robert over the past few years.
I must say that General Manager Jack Zduriencik's role as ombudsman to the other major league personnel directors will surely payoff this year. The lineup is certainly retooled and appears to have had more reconstructive work done to it than Niles' ex-wife Maris. Of course, when you begin with something short of the crème de la crème, one may very well be satisfied with what amounts to over-curdled milk.
If the 2012 Mariners' offense was an overly fermented dairy product, then the starting rotation is a well-stocked biscuit tin. Surely, the aforementioned King Felix is pitching delicacy. The acquisition of Joe Saunders, a hard throwing southpaw, gives the rotation further panache. Meanwhile, a more experienced Hisashi Iwakuma will mean batters will be even less successful than the crudités Niles served at our last dinner party soiree. Oh dear God! That was a disaster! Can you believe serving crudités without asparagus?
I do anticipate Seattle improving in 2013 from their 2012 sojourn. It will certainly be difficult with the Rangers and the Angels to compete for the division title. However, with the lowly Houston Astros joining their milieu, they will, at the very least, not finish in last place. The Astros, as my sister-in-law Daphne puts it, are bloody awful.
I believe the writings of Horace Walpole most aptly describe the predicament the 2013 Seattle Mariners find themselves in. "Men are often capable of greater things than they perform." The players signed by Seattle in the offseason must grow into their roles and truly recognize their full and healthy potential. Likewise, the returning players must sprout like Gibraltar Campions if they seek to return to the glory years of the Kingdome. And, frankly, I hope that all of you, my listeners, desire to sprout the same way into the delicate and unique flowers you all have the potential to be. Until next time, this has been Doctor Frasier Crane wishing you all good mental health.