I know it's only Spring Training, but ...

I'll freely admit that as the Cougs swept me off my feet with their run to the NCAA Tournament, I somewhat used it as an excuse to ignore the Mariners -- both in my conciousness and here on the blog.

Like many M's fans, I'm just so sick and tired of getting my hopes up, only to have them crushed by yet another miserable existence of a season.

With basketball on hiatus until today, however, I found myself sucked in by a pair of exhibition games Thursday and Friday. I figured it was time to get myself reacquainted with the team that will be the bane of my existance from the time college basketball season wraps up on Monday until Seahawks training camp opens in August.

I did not come away encouraged.

I know it's only spring, but it's the end of spring. Batters and pitchers, theoretically, should be rounding into form. What I saw in those two games was more of the same crap I've seen for three years. The starting pitchers would pitch solidly, only to let a team off the hook and open up the floodgates with two outs. The batters would look positively lost at the plate, repeatedly chasing pitches out of the strike zone, especially with runners in scoring position. Yet, the offense would wake up midway through the game, only after falling hopelessly behind.

Let's hope some kind of switch gets flipped on Monday, but I'm not hopeful. Everyone says the offense is improved, but it looks exactly the same to me. No discipline, no clutch hitting ... same old M's.

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