Originally written on Seattle Times  |  Last updated 2/23/12
One of the things tough not to notice after this week's batting order announcements by the Mariners is just how few jobs in the starting nine are actually up for grabs in spring training. I mean, for a team that's lost 196 games in two years, you'd think there would be some positions wide open for the taking. But not this spring. The team's starting eight position spots and DH are pretty much set. Not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. You can look at it two ways: either the M's feel so set with their future that they are ready to bypass competition and go with this squad, or, there are things trumping the actual baseball decisions you would normally tend to see out of rebuilding squads. I'll let you decide. But make no mistake: the fact that we can pretty much pencil in the regular lineup -- to the point where many websites, including this one, are now figuring out the batting order down to haggling over No. 7 versus No. 8 -- is not common for a team that's lost as often as t...
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