Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Under new management, Mariners confidence grows

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

The Mariners enter the break riding a wave of confidence.
The Mariners enter the break riding a wave of confidence. (USATSI)

All-Star Game: Starting lineups | AL, NL rosters | Cespedes wins HR Derby

MINNEAPOLIS -- What do you get when you have a very good team in the Pacific Northwest that hasn't made the playoffs since 2001 and has only had two seasons with winning records since 2003? You get an underrated team that not nearly enough people know a lot about, that's what.

Make no mistake, these Seattle Mariners deserve more attention than they've gotten all year -- and I've tried to do my part in recent weeks to help their cause. Maybe having four All-Stars -- the most since 2003, when they sent five -- will start to turn more than a few heads. Felix Hernandez is the well-deserved AL starting pitcher while Robinson Cano is starting at second. The perpetually underrated Kyle Seager is a bench option for AL manager John Farrell and Fernando Rodney is a late-inning relief option.

There's a very real possibility that the Mariners leave a huge stamp on his Midsummer Classic.

These four players are part of the core for also-underrated manager Lloyd McClendon -- whose bunch took a 51-44 record into the All-Star break. In taking two of three from the A's heading into the break, the club sits idle for a few days with a bit of extra confidence.

“When you're winning, you get extra confidence in yourself and in your team," Cano said. "The coaches have done such a great job and as a team we have a great chemistry and that's what you want -- a great clubhouse. That's one of the things that has helped us be successful.”

Cano's presence and leadership have surely helped, just as McClendon and his coaching staff seem to have shifted the attitude. This is now a well-knit team playing very good baseball and right now holds the second wild card and is battling admirably in possibly baseball's toughest division.

"We're playing good baseball," Seager said. "We had a few down years, but it's a different coaching staff and a bit of a new team. To have four guys here is a great sign for us."

Perhaps the first of several good signs moving forward. Keep in mind, the Mariners dealt with lots of injuries in the first half, most notably to the starting rotation. If anything, they should get even better as players get healthy and the confidence -- even a swagger -- grows.

Or, perhaps this is all that needs to be said: "We're a good team," Seager noted. Confidently, of course.

Now it's time for the rest of America to start paying attention. Seager's right, this is a good team that deserves to turn a few heads.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

mlb Video

September 17, 2014
MLB Power rankings 9/17 (5:47)
1 September 16, 2014
Papelbon suspended
(0:57)
2 September 16, 2014
MLB Top 10 players of the second half
(3:37)
3 September 16, 2014
Gary Sheffield talks about his career
(17:05)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Baltimore Orioles Majestic Charcoal 2014 AL East Division Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

MLB Division Champs Gear
Get your team today
Shop Now