A Very Unofficial Guide to the 2014 Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners' baseball season officially got underway on the evening of Monday, March 31, when the team took to the field in Anaheim, unproven but spry after a successful spring training. Nine innings later, a window of hope had opened.

The M’s, led by a 11-strikeout effort from Felix Hernandez, served up a surprising offensive assault that seemed scripted to answer every one of the team’s lingering questions: Will Robinson Cano make good on his 10-year, $240 million contract? Will Justin Smoak stop sucking? Will the Lloyd McClendon Era be the greatest in the history of Seattle baseball? Will Dustin Ackley’s beard get in the way and give us all an opening to maybe suggest a trim? For one night, at least, the answer to all those questions was a resounding “Yes.” As they say endlessly this time of year, hope springs eternal.

And yet, those fans who are far too familiar with the Mariners’ 37 seasons of World-Series-free baseball know how easily, and quickly, the window that opened just a few days ago can close. And how sometimes our fingers are still on the sill when it does. And how much that can hurt. But we refuse to give in to the suggestion of those harsh memories . . . not completely, at least.

On the eve of the team's home opener (Tuesday, April 8, at 7:10 p.m.), in this however-brief season of giddy, mindless hope, Seattle Weekly presents our “Very Unofficial Guide to the 2014 Mariners,” filled with a little nonsense, a cautious hope, and some cynicism for good measure. Play ball! MARK BAUMGARTEN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Rise of the 89 Percent The Mariners need more than Robinson Cano to fill the stands.

Behind a Moose’s Eyes The mascot tells us why he thinks that Jack Zduriencik 'gets it.'

Beleaguered Ballclub Asks, ‘Are My Stars Aligned?’ A real astrologer gives the Mariners a real reading.

SW Staff Predictions Seattle Weekly’s (largely uninformed) panel of experts weighs in

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