According to a few sources, the Mariners have signed outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor-league deal. Whatever. Unless his name is John Lackey or Jason Bay, you might as well not announce it because no one cares.
Oh sure, a few of the diehard sabermetros might be wetting their pants right now over the thought of a has-been, former top prospect in a Mariners uni, but I’m not. Corey Patterson is the Oliver Miller of Major League Baseball. A product of ridiculous prognostications, and, in turn, ridiculously unfulfilled potential.
I remember when Patterson was coming up through the Cubs’ system in the late-’90s and he was God. Seriously, everyone loved him. He was Macauley Culkin in Home Alone. His rookie card was worth like two or three lunches, and ‘experts’ were calling him the next Ken Griffey, Jr. You know, aside from the fact that Patterson is about six inches shorter than Junior, is so-so in the field, and can’t hit home runs. Ten years later, Patterson is still Macauley Culkin. Only now he’s grown-up, creepy weird Macauley Culkin.
This move is nothing more than the Chris Shelton signing was a year ago. Shelton was another dude they took a shot on and barely afforded an opportunity to. He became minor league filler material, a roster spot in a Rainiers jersey. That’s what I see Patterson becoming, assuming Patterson wants to stick around to ride a bus and stay in cheap motels.
Think about it. Would you rather have Michael Saunders as your fourth outfielder (or possibly starting in left field), or Patterson? I’m sure some of you will say Patterson for two reasons: One, he’s a veteran and two, Saunders can play everyday in Tacoma.
But sending Saunders back down to the minors after half a season in the bigs is counterproductive. Sure, there’s some benefit to giving the kid everyday PT on the jayvee squad, but from a mental standpoint, he’d be outcast to Siberia. Saunders has potential, and there’s no sense turning him into the next Bryan LaHair/Clint Nageotte/Travis Blackley/Any Other Mariner Prospect That Was Never Given A Real Shot In The Bigs. It’s a trend this organization has overperpetuated in the last 15 years or so and it’s got to stop.
And another thing. Every move that Jack Zduriencik makes these days is lauded as ‘genius.’ I like Jackie Z., too, but I’m not on my knees giving him the business like a lot of you out there. Hell, Jack could sign Mark McLemore to a four-year deal today and some of you people would hold a parade. One of these days he’s gonna pen a dud and then all you Jackwhores will be faced with a decision: keep coddling his balls or face reality. I mean, at one point or another you’ve both hated and loved nearly every figurehead of every pro sports team in this town, so it’s not like this would be new. Just sayin.
Finally, one last point of emphasis that has nothing to do with the above. Let’s bring back the all teal jerseys this year, Mariners. For God’s sake, if there’s anything every M’s fan would embrace it is that move right there. Yeah, those teal unis are a little obnoxious, but they’re obnoxious in a fun, whimsical kind of way. Like a ‘Vote for Pedro’ t-shirt, or Superman underpants. You gotta do it. You gotta bust them out of the storage shed. This is a must. Season tickets are hinging on this decision. Not from me, but someone out there who has money, I’m sure.