Salk: Some still don’t know how good the Mariners are right now
Mike Salk of 710 ESPN’s Brock and Salk hopes that there are some Seattlites out there who haven’t yet heard the news about the Mariners’ incredible season.
“I’m really hoping that there’s a group of people out there who don’t know yet what’s happening with the Mariners, how good they are … this is the best they’ve been since 2003,” Salk told Greg Tomlin The Dori Monson Show, hosted by Greg Tomlin.
Salk called the team’s playing this year “vintage baseball,” a title that seemed apropos given that Greg wore his old-school, blue and yellow Mariners cap. Greg said he was “starting to believe” in the Mariners again.
Salk pointed out that the Mariners are just 1.5 games out of first place (currently held by the Houston Astros) in the American League West Division, with a 7.5 game lead over the Oakland Athletics for the Wild Card spot.
“Half the league is not even really trying this year and the Mariners are part of a select group that are actually going after the playoffs,” Salk said. “They’ve got a really, really good chance of getting there.”
However, even more than the other teams’ lack of trying, Salk believes that it is the Mariners’ top-notch set of players that truly has turned the team around. The team has a new identity, he said, as a force to be reckoned with on the national stage.
“The players that have made a difference are athletes,” he said.
As an example, Salk pointed to second baseman Dee Gordon, who is “incredibly fast,” and outfielders Mitch Haniger, Ben Gammel, and Denard Span, who are “legitimate athletes who catch the ball, they run around, they threaten the other team when they get on base.”
“They are beating teams in a variety of ways,” Salk said.
One factor that is not contributing to the Mariners’ success this year is a team slogan. Unlike the years of “Sodo mojo” and “You gotta love these guys,” the M’s don’t have a catchphrase this season — and as far as Salk is concerned, that is only a plus.
“The best thing about them is that they don’t have one,” he said. “I love that they don’t have a catchphrase.”
Salk noted however, that the team does have an internal catchphrase, one word that is simple yet fitting — “good.”
“Quite frankly, that’s what they are — good,” Salk said.