Admittedly, this Mariners' season isn't inspiring a lot of excitement. The team's star outfielder is out with a bleeding ulcer, its top pitching prospect decided he no longer wants to start, and its left fielder is a hobbled shell of his former self. Having inherited a total mess, Jack Zduriencik and the new management are basically trying to piece together a team that will be watchable this year and good somewhere down the road.
Nevertheless, today is opening day--sadly, it's in Minnesota and not 70-degree Seattle--and the Mariners will be starting Felix Hernandez, the man dubbed "King" and one of the best young pitchers the game has ever seen. As Dave Cameron pointed out last year, only six other pitchers in history--Bob Feller, Dwight Gooden, Frank Tanana, Bert Blyleven, Dennis Eckersley, and CC Sabathia--have pitched so many innings at such a young age and struck out batters at such a high rate. Says Cameron:Out of the seven guys on the list, there's a couple of hall of famers, a guy who should be in the hall of fame, a guy who would have been had he avoided cocaine, Frank Tanana, and the two active pitchers. Tanana is clearly the worst guy on the list, and he racked up 240 wins as a slightly better than average pitcher who spent 21 years in the majors.
Mariners vs. Twins, 5:10 PM, Fox Sports Northwest.