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Comment of the Day: The Mariners don’t need Felix Hernandez

Dec 23, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

Felix Hernandez

Reader ufy1950 would like to disabuse Seattle Mariners fans of the notion that they really need Felix Hernandez around:

Well my friend.  It’s you who are delusional.  In a team sport no one player is any more valuable then his teammates.  Unless the Mariners are successful King Felix will be nothing more then a footnote in MLB History.  And that’s a fact.  Ask yourself this question.  How valuable was Dan Marino to the Miami Dolphins who never won a Super Bowl?  Other then his personal accomplishments the Dolphins could have accomplished the same things they did with or without Marino and the same is true of the Mariners.  So don’t overestimate or overstate King Felix’s value to the Mariners.

So I guess what he’s saying is that any of you Dolphins fans who remember the Marino years fondly are very, very wrong to feel that way. Because any team that retains popular superstar players without winning a championship is an utter failure that is not to be enjoyed. Or something.

  1. easports82 - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    He went on to say that Felix is only as valuable as what would be the return in a trade. Anyways, this isn’t the first time this guy tried to convince the world of why Felix should be traded now:

  2. elmaquino - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    leave it to a football fan to not understand something as simple as individual greatness

  3. b453841l - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Craig is delusional. And that’s a fact! A-rod, Lee, Holliday, Mauer, Hamilton, Han-Ram, Cabrera, Jeter, Votto, and Pujols were all utterly worthless last year. No fan I know paid money to watch them NOT win a championship. It’s a good thing the Giants won the championship or Pablo Sandoval, lacking any personal accomplishments during the season, might have simply vanished…

  4. Panda Claus - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Could the Mariners finish in last place without Felix Hernandez? Why yes they could. His 13 wins didn’t mean all that much in the larger scheme of things last year. But without him how much lower would attendance have been or would the team have been?

    And the ’72 Phillies would’ve finished with the worst record in baseball with 27-game winner Steve Carlton. Probably would’ve been one of the worst all-time teams too.

    Just like the Dolphins could have lost Super Bowl 17 without Marino. The answer to whether they could have even reached that Super Bowl without him is probably a “no”.

    It’s easy to say a non-winning team can still lose without any of its players. But that over-simplifies a player’s value to the team and to its fans. For a dreadful team, sometimes grabbing a high draft pick out of a season isn’t enough. For the fans of the 1972 Phils and 2010 Ms, at least they have some Cy Young hardware to soften the blow of an otherwise lousy season.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:52 PM

      Actually, they did reach Super Bowl XVII without Marino. That was the David Woodley/Don Strock Team. Marino was drafted a couple months later. Now, whether they could have reached Super Bowl XIX without him is an open question …


  5. theahbal - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    I am sure he understands individual greatness but these days athletes are judged by the number of rings&championships they have and lets be honest King Felix is more likely to get it with the Yankees than the Mariners! Simple fact

    • motherscratcher23 - Dec 23, 2010 at 1:58 PM

      Well yeah. Of course he’s more likely to get it with the Yankees. Over the long haul, EVERY player is probably more likely to get a championship with the Yankees than just about any other team.

      So, if we want all of the really good players to achieve their maximum potential and win the most championships, they should all be given the opportunity to play in New York. Any thing else and we are doing the player, and world a grave disservice.

      I guess Yankees fans have been right all along.

    • seattlej - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:29 PM

      “these days athletes are judged by the number of rings&championships they have”

      Actually, I would say that that’s a less true statement today than it’s ever been. At least in baseball. Haven’t we gotten past the point by judging individual talent based on wins and championships? You don’t have to look any further than the example of Felix Hernandez and his Cy Young award to completely sink this inane statement.

  6. Reflex - Dec 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    The entire argument is premised on some demonstratably false ideas about the M’s. For instance:

    – The idea that they are hopeless and not going anywhere so they should trade Felix because they won’t be competitive by 2014

    This is a pretty ridiculous argument. Felix is himself 24 years old. Any rebuilding effort would be accomplished around him. The M’s have a very rich farm system, won the AAA PCL championship, and soon will have an infield with Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin to go along with an Outfield of Ichiro, Gutierrez and possibly Michael Saunders. Their pitching is also pretty good. Will they compete in 2011? No. But to say they should write off the next four years is ridiculous. They are well set up for the next four years, in fact.

    – The idea that the team is a small market team that can’t afford a player like Felix

    This is also pretty silly. The M’s are one of the ‘haves’ in the game, pretty consistantly in the top five in revenue. Historically they had payrolls in the early part of the decade in the top ten and were profitable at those levels. The M’s have a *huge* region they cover(the entire pacific northwest), with multiple major metro areas(Seattle/Bellevue plus Portland, Spokane, Boise, Salem, etc) and run trains to Seattle for the more far out cities. They do not lack for a fan base, or revenue, and thats before you see how big they are in Japan due to Ichiro.

    – That their payroll is shrinking, so surely Ichiro must go

    This is premised on the fact that since Jack Z has taken over the payroll has consistantly shrunk. But this is actually an artifact of all the bad contracts handed out by Jack’s predecessor, Bill Bavasi. Those contracts are coming off the books one by one, and Jack has refused to spend that money on signings that will not make the M’s win today. Much smater than the Pirates, Royals or other franchises that spend such money on useless vets. Spending money on players who will not help you win now is not a sign of a franchise that is becoming competitive, its a sign of a franchise that likes throwing money away. When the M’s are competitive again, they will have the money to get that big bat or #2 pitcher they will need thanks to Jack not being tied to a lot of useless veteran contracts.

    Disclaimer: I’m not an M’s fan. I just live in Seattle. As far as I am concerned, AL baseball is not real baseball. I hate the DH, I like double switches, etc etc. But the fans here are generally nice, the ballpark is beautiful, and there are far worse things I could spend an afternoon doing, and after seeing the mania of 2001, I’d enjoy seeing them win it all some year. So yes, it irritates me to see Yanks fans act like the M’s are thier farm system. But honestly not moreso than when they say it about other teams, even if some seem to act like that anyway.

    • kolfax - Dec 23, 2010 at 6:36 PM

      The 101 losses shows how much Jack Z (the Terminator) traded for wins today last year. You can have a great farm system and still stuff happens. There’s a big jump to being successful in AAA and being successful in the majors. I’d rather trade or retain proven major league players for today than for AAA potential of tomorrow. Potential greatness never won championships. What if the King’s arm goes? What’s to build around? It’s all about fielding major leaguers and winning in the present and the future will work itself out. The AAA players Seattle brought up last year clearly weren’t ready and it wasn’t fun to watch. It’s great Seattle has a good farm system, but that’s just one dimension. The other is winning at a major league level. Seattle’s history of not retaining proven talent for prospects of tomorrow is pathetic. 106 losses next season and JZ is toast.

      • Reflex - Dec 23, 2010 at 9:02 PM

        Everything you said about Felix applies to anybody they could acquire for him. Yes, he could blow out his arm next week during his workout. So could anybody they could acquire. You don’t make decisions on the basis that somebody could blow up, unless you are talking about free agent signings.

        The M’s built a contender that lasted for a decade from 1995-2004. Bill Bavasi spent the next four years destroying it with a series of terrible draft decisions and bad free agent signings. Jack Z is attempting to rebuild the franchise. Time will tell if he is successful, and I don’t even see last year as a bad thing given that he turned three marginal prospects into Cliff Lee who he then turned around for Justin Smoak. Thats a damn good return. I’d like to see him get something of value for Aardsma, I think they are two years from serious contention and a decent closer is a luxury they don’t need given that.

  7. aaronmoreno - Dec 23, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    If you don’t win a championship, why did you even show up?

  8. uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    To Craig – I appreciate the plug. But nowhere in my post that you were kind enough to quote did I make any reference to “Dolphin Fans”. My post was simple and straight forward I’ll re-post the portion I believe you misunderstood “How valuable was Dan Marino to the Miami Dolphins who never won a Super Bowl? Other then his personal accomplishments the Dolphins could have accomplished the same things they did with or without Marino….”. Is that not an accurate statement? At this point those same comments could very well apply to the Mariners. There is no need for you to guess what I was saying, it seems pretty clear.
    If this were golf or tennis individual accomplishments are the thing that makes legends but as long as he is with the Mariners and they are mired in mediocrity his individual accomplishments mean nothing in a team sport. Disagree if you like but that’s a fact.

    • Reflex - Dec 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM

      Wow, you just don’t get it. You just clarified exactly what he said you said. Rebuilding teams do not trade their star pitcher when he is 24 and signed affordably for years. Felix *is* the rebuilding process.

      And yes, individual accomplishments still mean anything. And yes, the Dolphins would have been worse without Marino. Meaning no, they could not have accomplished as much without him as they did with him.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:19 PM

        Reflex, I don’t think it’s me that doesn’t get it. I know you keep saying your not a fan of Seattle you only live in there. That’s fine that Seattle is going to “rebuild” around Felix but Felix is only signed through 2014. As best I can tell Seattle has done nothing to impact their chances to improve in 2011 that leaves 2012 and 2013 to make any sort of impact by 2014. I also hear you say consistently they have money to spend. When are they going to spend it? Losing is contagious, and right now Seattle has done nothing to improve. Talk all you want about “rebuilding and Seattle has money to spend.” but up to now they have done neither. You know what that sounds like? “WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR”.

      • Reflex - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:33 PM

        I do not know any team that plans for four years of failure. It is entirely possible that the M’s will not be successful in four years. I have no idea how it will all pan out. But they certainly are not planning to be unsuccessful through 2014. If they are unsuccessful for that long(which would be five years given the past season) then the management deserves to be tossed out.

        As for the money, I assume they will spend it when it makes sense to spend it. There is nothing they could spend it on right now. Even if they had gone and acquired Cliff Lee, Adrian Beltre, Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford this offseason they would *not* have been contenders next season, so to do so would have been pointless, would have cost them valuable draft picks, and would have delayed the progress of a promising group of young players that Jack Z has been acquiring over the past couple seasons.

        Spending money now on a non-contender would be ludicrous. Spending that money on building the farm system, international signings, top draft picks, and having some left over so that when they are improving they can make the big signing of an impact back and shut down closer or whatever the need is makes a heck of a lot more sense.

      • Reflex - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:35 PM

        Also, I’m not sure what you expected to see for improvement in 2011. Their moves to improve in 2011 took place at the trading deadline last year when they answered their longstanding 1B problem with Justin Smoak. Next year expect Dustin Ackley to make an impact at second. They picked up a reliable catcher to pair with Adam Moore, another young prospect. The only position that does not have a very good prospect due to make an impact in the next couple years is 3B, and thats why I hope they are talking to the Rockies about what it would take to get Ian Stewart…

      • seattlej - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:50 PM

        uyf1950. I am a Seattle fan, though that doesn’t make me an illogical homer and imbecile – as it does for some number of the fans of all teams. The point for the Ms isn’t to improve in 2011, though they certainly will (it would probably be almost impossible for them to be worse), the point is for them to be competitive from 2012 or 2013 forward. They’re in a pretty similar place to where the NYY were in the early 90s. They have a young core to build around and they simply need the time to see how things develop. Let’s not forget that the Yankees were perhaps the most disgusting and worst run franchise in baseball for a long time. This was despite having the benefit of being located in one of the richest cities in the world. Just because a team doesn’t win this year or next, doesn’t mean they can’t win in the future.

    • motherscratcher23 - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:55 PM

      “Disagree if you like but that’s a fact.”

      Dude, that is absolutely not a fact. That is an opinion, and it is dependent on how you are choosing to define “accomplishment.” Which, btw, seems to be different than everybody else.

  9. jkay123 - Dec 23, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    UFY1050 and Craig, that was in response to my sarcastic comment and joking how he is more valuable than guidry and ruth, but i guess my joke wasn’t very funny, nor did he understand what I was saying. If he scrolled up, there are discussions with myself and others saying the Yanks would only get about 5 more wins out of king felix if they traded him for hughes, and on top of that, theyd want cano, montero etc. It was in response to a bunch of us saying that most yankee fans dont even discuss king felix nor think we are getting him. Not to mention I wouldnt trade cano, hughes and their prospects for him either.

  10. bradwins - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    This is easily the stupidest thing I have heard in some time. This guy doesn’t get it so its probably a waste of time to explain it. So I’ll try to do it quickly.

    1. Felix helps them sell tickets and gets people to watch on TV. Therefore, he has value outside winning the World Series.

    2. Your assumption that the Mariners can’t win the World Series is dumb. Of course they can. They’re in an easy division to win, they have money to spend. They probably won’t win, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try. By that logic there would only be 4 or 5 teams in baseball, and everyone else should ship their best players to New York, Boston or Philly and just shut down.

    3. What motivation would the Mariners have to send their best player to New York? Nobody they would get back would be as significant of a piece in building a World Series team than the player they’re giving up.

    Talk about not getting it…this is the most home-team-centric perspective I have ever heard. Your team sucks, therefore they should give me their best player. Really?

  11. jkcalhoun - Dec 23, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    And there it is: Yankeeism enters the baseball lexicon.

  12. marinermousse - Dec 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Seattle is the 13th largest metro market in the U.S. The Mariners had the #1 attendance in 2001 and 2002 in the AL (YES…even more than the Yankees)…They were then #2, #3 and #4 in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2008, when they lost almsot 100 games and were horrid, they were still #7 and even last year, with a brutally bad team they were #8 out fo 14 in the AL. Their payrolls for 2007-2010 respectively were: $10, $118, $99 and $86. In 2011 their basic lineup will probably be an OF of Ichiro, Gutierrez and Saunders; 1b Smoak, 2b Brendan Ryan, SS Jack Wilson, 3B Chone Figgins, C Miguel Olivo. Thus, Felix will be pitching in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball with what is arguably the finest defense in baseball….not a weak link in the group, along with a Spanish speaking catcher who threw out 42% of basestealing attempts last year. That lineup, unfortunately will not score many runs and Felix will be challenged to put up a lot of wins, but certainly will have every possible change to perform to his best given the defense. He is 24 years old and has 12-14 more years ahead of him. In a 4 team division with a team willing to spend $100mm and top scouting, the likelihood is that Seattle will have contending teams before the end of his current contract.
    It is also likely that Felix realizes there is a high probability that he will play in the post-season in his future. In fact, it is a rarity for ANY player to be in the big leagues for more than 10 years and not play in the post-season, given average odds and teams’ cycles.

    Sooo, all of this is a lot of hot air. Felix has gone out of his way to show how much he cares about being in Seattle in many ways, most recently by showing up at Eric Wedge’s meeting with season ticket-holders.

    There are many great athletes who have not worn a championship ring and are still revered for their performances on the field in ALL sports….so more hot air.

  13. uyf1950 - Dec 23, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    Gentlemen, I’m happy to see that my post has inspired such strong comments. I just want to set the record straight on one thing. No where in my post did I say the Mariners should or would trade Felix to the Yankees only that I believe at some point if the Mariners continue to lose, if they do not “right” the ship he will be traded. Either because he requests a trade or the Marines figure they can get a package for him that makes it worthwhile to trade him. We will just have to wait and see if I’m right or if those of you that feel he will never be traded are correct.
    With that whether you are a Yankee fan, a Seattle fan or a fan on one of the other 28 teams I wish all of you a Happy and Safe Holiday Season. Enjoy.

    • mvd513 - Dec 23, 2010 at 10:44 PM

      I’m a Reds fan and no, the Yankees cannot have Joey Votto just cuz Texeira is getting old very quickly, was always overrated anyway and now sucks. Shut up.

  14. phukyouk - Dec 24, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    @ Reflex – “I do not know any team that plans for four years of failure.”

    Please see METS,NY :-)

  15. Griffey's Gigantism - Dec 24, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    As a Patriots fan, I couldn’t agree more with the comment. We’ve been stuck with that hack Tom Brady for almost 10 years now. Imagine how much team-oriented greatness we’re missing out on? All that selfish jerk has done is lead the team to four Super Bowls. Give us a replacement-level quarterback like Derek Anderson or Kyle Orton and the Pats might be looking at seven or eight Super Bowls (obviously).

    But no. Instead, Brady might wind up with a Hall of Fame plaque, but all we have to show for it is three (maybe four this year) trophies.

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