Well, I am a Mariners fan as well as being a Reds fan. I was at the game on June 24th when Jr. hit two home runs, and the fans gave him a standing ovation. At the end of the game, Ken waved his cap at the fans and acknowledged his appreciation for them. Many Mariners fans would love to have him back.
That being said, the Mariners probably do not need him to put people in the seats. Their average attendance is already up over last year (31,725 so far in 2007; 30,626 in 2006) but it used to be higher. Their average attendance was 43,300 in 2001, and 43,739 in 2002, and 40,351 in 2003, and 36, 305 in 2004. Of course their highest years since Safeco Field opened in 1999 have been the years they won the most games.
The Mariners have two of the best outfield prospects in the game waiting in AAA Tacoma.
Adam Jones has a 2007 line of .317/.385/.587 for an OPS of .972 with 24 Home runs.
Wladimir Balentien has a line of .306/. 379/.554 for an OPS of .933 with 23 Home runs.
The Mariners current outfield is Jose Guillen in right, Ichiro in center, and Raul Ibanez in left. Jose Vidro is their main DH. Mariners fans are already mad that Jones hasn't been called up to Seattle.
Why would the Mariners want to add Juniors salary and delay these two big bats MLB debut? Well, Junior is certainly the more proven MLB commodity, and will boost attendance. But many in the Mariners more knowledgeable fan base don’t want them to acquire any outside outfield help.
From U.S.S. Mariner
yesterday: “The only thing this team needs less than a new right-handed reliever is a new center fielder.”