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    Time for Mariners to "get real"

    The Ms can afford new hire Robinson Cano - and he will deliver. What they can't afford is yet another losing season.

    (Page 2 of 2)

    Eighteen months ago, MLB announced new national broadcast rights deals with Fox and TBS that, combined with its existing deal with ESPN, are estimated to be worth $12.4 billion to MLB through 2021. That's roughly $60 million per team per year.

    Twelve months ago, the Mariners announced a purchase of a majority interest in Root Sports, the regional sports network owned by DirecTV that has for years been its TV outlet. Forbes magazine recently reported that the ownership share was 71 percent, and the value of the 18-year deal $2.5 billion, or about $139 million a year, minus a share to DirecTV.

    The Mariners and Root steadfastly dismiss Forbes' annual estimates as guesswork. But even if the Mariners' share is half of what Forbes claims, say $70 million, the combined local and national TV revenue estimates add up to $130 million a year. This year's estimated player payroll, with Cano and Felix Hernandez ($22 million annually), is around $93 million.

    Looking at it that way, the Mariners' Cano deal is hardly crazy. They can well afford it. There's one thing they can ill afford: another failed season.

    The club is off to a tidy start — with Cano hitting .391, the Mariners' 4-2 road trip put them in the AL West lead — but no serious baseball fan puts stock in April's first week. Cano will deliver; success pivots not on Cano but on the farm-raised youngsters around him.

    The long-derided Seattle sports world seems done with pony rides. As Zduriencik said, let's be real.

    Photos of Robinson Cano by Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest, and Keith Allison/Flickr.

    Art Thiel is co-founder of Sportspressnw.com and a former sports columnist for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His latest book, "Russell Wilson: Standing Tall," is available on amazon.com.

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    Posted Mon, Apr 7, 5:02 p.m. Inappropriate

    I was sure you were going to mention Alex Rodriguez (ten years, $240M). Probably just as well you didn't.


    Posted Mon, Apr 7, 8:39 p.m. Inappropriate

    "There's one thing they can ill afford: another failed season."

    Why, Art? You have pieced together a couple of decades of facts and reached the conclusion that this is the critical year. Why is that? The same ownership and management group is in place. The Ms were in the bottom 5 in attendance last year but still made money off a losing record. Why is this year any different?

    Come back when you have something to share.

    Posted Mon, Apr 7, 9:15 p.m. Inappropriate

    It's time for the Mariners to join the Thunder in Oklahoma. Please.


    Posted Tue, Apr 8, 9:19 a.m. Inappropriate

    Art, you are great, but come on. The Mariners are an entertainment business owned by an entertainment business. They are not a team owned by a family or businessman who wants to win at all costs. They are owned by a business for business purposes. If they win, it is of a secondary nature. See ya at the Park...


    Posted Tue, Apr 8, 3:55 p.m. Inappropriate

    Art's comments are pretty good at framing the issue. Personally, I think we cannot look like a winner and act like a winner until the ownership of the Mariners changes. If there is no ownership change and no change out of Mr. Lincoln and probably Jack Z, I think we are stuck in the one trick pony league. I have great respect for the talent of Robinson Cano and for Felix. But there are so many more things that the club has to change to be champions. I am gritting my teeth and taking one last shot with a piece of a season ticket but this is it. If they fail as before; we the fans need to stop going and stop watching this "entertainment".


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