After yesterday's debacle at Fenway, I received an interesting piece of advice on perspective from an e-mail newsletter I receive from The Sporting News. It had to do with fantasy baseball, but I think it applies nicely to the M's position:
Being the stickler for sample size that I am (imagine the disservice you'd have done to Radiohead had you judged them solely based on "Creep"), I'm hesitant to make any proclamations based on one week of games. After all, a week of baseball games is roughly equivalent to one half of an NFL game. You wouldn't call L.T. a bust just because he didn't score in the first half of Week 1, would you?
Excellent advice to keep in mind when considering that the Mariners are batting .167 as a team, have an OBP of .202 and are slugging .292. Seattle has faced some stellar pitchers in the first week (Rich Harden and Josh Beckett come to mind, and Joe Blanton absolutely owned the M's last year), and having four days off at the beginning of the season couldn't possibly have helped.
The moral? Exercise a little patience, and talk to me at the end of April.
That said, we now get to see if Felix Hernandez can pass the next big hurdle in his ascent to superstar.
No. 1 starters stop losing streaks, even against quality competition. They rise to challenges, which Diasuki Matsuzaka certainly presents. And they do their best work when the world is watching, which it will be tonight on ESPN2.
For my part, I can't wait to see how he reacts to the spotlight. I think it will go a long way toward telling us what we can expect from Hernandez this year. And I won't panic if the M's get shut down -- again.