Tracing the Mariners' woes

The Mariners' team-building process wasn't bad, but the results have been

Originally Published: July 25, 2011
By Jonah Keri | FanGraphs
Michael Pineda and Felix Hernandez Getty ImagesThe Mariners have a solid young core of pitching, but what else?

They've been patient with young talent. They've built a team that's well suited, in many ways, to their home park. They've mostly avoided albatross contracts (with one glaring exception). If making the right moves on paper was all it took to build a winning baseball team, the Seattle Mariners would be serious contenders.

But that hasn't happened. The M's lost their 15th game in a row on Sunday. They've fallen out of contention in the AL West, all the way to last place. In their third season under general manager Jack Zduriencik, the Mariners aren't much better than they were when Bill Bavasi skipped town after a 101-loss season. Sometimes even the best laid plans fail to pan out.

Jonah Keri (@jonahkeri) is a staff writer for Grantland. His book, The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First, is a national best seller. His new book Up, Up, and Away, on the history of the Montreal Expos, is now available for preorder.