There are many good things about being a Mariners fan. Er, at least there are a few. One of them is the hyper-stat-literate Mariners blogosphere that converts all those obscure baseball metrics into explanations the lay fan can understand.
With spring training underway, those scribes have gone into overdrive summarizing this year's team. So arm yourself for summer arguments and obey the Moose oracle's command: Know thy M's!Which Mariners pitches are most likely to be, as Dave Niehaus would say, swung on and missed? What's the best pitch on the Mariners' roster? Would you be surprised to read that it's Mark Lowe's changeup?
In a situation begging for statistical intervention, JJ Putz ripped Ichiro for "selfishness" this offseason, and there have been a lot of stories on the lingering clubhouse tensions from displeasure with the Japanese star. Putz argues that Ichiro doesn't steal bases when it matters. Except he does (Update: more on that). And some numbers say he's a Hall of Fame outfielder, even without his Japan stats.
Finally, it feels a little weird to write it, but behold the M's' outfield's awesomeness. At least, behold it if Junior doesn't get to play in left, as he's rumored to be expecting, and the spot goes instead to Endy Chavez. Most of all, behold new centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez, a prolific flyball gobbler--the 2nd best in baseball last year.