This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"The Mariners at least have a chance to be an entertaining sort of bad, with a plus offense and a minus pitching staff. Santana, Bruce, and Encarnacion will hit dingers, Gordon and Mallex Smith could steal 125 bases between them, and there are no automatic outs in the lineup. All of that is good, because this staff is bottom-five in the AL, and I can’t put them lower because there are some really awful pitching staffs in the AL. This Mariners team resembles, more than anything, some of the franchise’s old Kingdome teams. The results will be from that era as well."