First of all, accept a hearty apology from me for a lack of activity to start 2009. Long story short, I have all sorts of commitments outside of the Mariners Musings that will not go away until mid June. It's all I can do to keep track of the Mariners and all the news they are making this year.
The season could not be starting any better for the Mariners. They are 7-2 (stunning enough), and have a 3 game lead in the AL West (perhaps even more stunning). The M's have already swept the A's, on the road no less, and guaranteed a series win against the Angels. To top it all off, a bevy of exciting and memorable plays have taken the hot start and made it magical.
Seriously, what is the signature moment of the season so far? Is it Ken Griffey Jr.'s opening day home run? Is it the standing ovation(s) Griffey received in the home opener? Perhaps it is Griffey's 400th career homer, a mammoth shot where he dropped his bat and watched, just like in his glory days? Or maybe the return of Ichiro is the signature moment so far, when he hit the grand slam on a full count in the seventh to blow open what had been a close game. As cool as Felix's grand slam was last year, there was no moment in 2008 like a handful we have already had in 2009.
Erik Bedard looks like an ace, nothing falls in the outfield anymore, Griffey is bringing back memories of the mid-'90s, and the M's are off to their best start since 2001. Admittedly, the team has some issues that are eventually going to pop up. They are converting virtually every scoring opportunity right now, so the offense is bound to cool off a little. Also, the bullpen has stranded more baserunners than is likely sustainable. Still, there are a bunch of smiles in the clubhouse. Players are stepping up in huge spots. The team clearly believes in itself right now, and that puts them in a much better position to continue to open eyes.