Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/26/14
Version 2.0: Seattle Mariners Spring Training Update Spring training comes to a close for the Seattle Mariners on April 4.  In the two months since the players reported to the valley of the sun, there have been some gasps of excitement and some groans of despair.
Things that made us gasp:
Jesus Jesus Montero smacked a ball so hard it flew out of the park where it hit a passing truck.  The legitimate power potential that Montero offers made fans almost forget how much they loved Michael Pineda. He also prooved he has a hard head. Kawasakiiiiiiiiiiiii Munenori Kawasaki is not only ecstatically excited to play for the Mariners, he is actually way better than anyone anticipated.  His exuberance, even if the other players can’t understand a word of it, is contagious. Not many people want to play for Seattle these days.  It is a nice change. (As I type this he just hit a triple vs. the Rockies)
KAWASAKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII #Mariners — Northwest SportsBeat (@NWSportsbeat) April 3, 2012
Ichiroooooooooooooo Ichiro Suzuki willingly made a change in the lineup for the betterment of the team and so far it seems successful.  With the streak and records behind him, Ichiro can be more of a team player than he has been in years past. Seattle showed off the health of the organization as a whole as the M’s minor leaguers showed reasons to be excited about the future. In the return from Japan, a team comprised of guys heading to a “single A” season were able to dominate against major league competition.  The Padres do still technically count as a major league team right? Things that made us groan: Despite how successful the Mariners were in the spring, their two game series in Japan opening up the regular season showed a severe lack of offense.  The Mariners had very few hits and even fewer hits that mattered. The quality at-bats that were promised appeared not to be there. Munenori Kawasaki is actually way better than anyone anticipated. Chone Figgins Chone Figgins still stinks. Although the M’s have catered to his every whim and they are paying him astronomical amounts of money.  He is not delivering as promised. It is looking like the M’s are determined to give him time to prove himself, but each of his at-bats are taking away from kids that have proven themselves over the spring: Alex Liddi, Kyle Seager and even Vinnie Catracala. Cut and run Seattle. Cut and run. The outfield seems weak.  We knew the bullpen would we questionable, the starting rotation would be in doubt, but the outfield seemed fairly solid.  It is filled with defensive strength and offensive woes. Again.
There are no announcers that can take the place of Dave Neihaus, who made good baseball great and bad baseball bearable. 
It is harder to be a fan without Dave’s voice ringing over the airwaves. Note to the Seattle broadcasting team: vote Ken Livine off the island. Please. What made you gasp?  What made you groan?  I’d love to hear. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB! © Danny Ferguson for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment | Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook Post tags: Alex Liddi, Arizona, Cactus League, Chone Figgins, Dave Neihaus, Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero, Ken Livine, Kyle Seager, Mariners blog, Mariners News, mariners update, Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, Munenori Kawasaki, Seattle Mariners, Spring Training, Vinnie Catracala
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