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Sun., April 1, 2007, 9:39 a.m.

April 1 headline: Mariners win World Series


With the Major League baseball kicking off today with one game, and everybody else starting tomorrow, just about every newspaper in the nation picked April Fools Day as the right one to preview the upcoming season. (Any message in that?)

But this post is about Seattle's team, the M's, which just happens to be the Inland Northwest's team of choice as well – or was I deluded by all the Mariners fans I saw around here in 2000 and 2001?

So all those M's fans are interested in the answer to just one question: How will Seattle do this year?

The responses can be divided into two camps, those who think 2007 will be an extension of '04, '05 and '06, and those who think this season will herald a rebirth of the M's glory days. Honestly, there aren't many people living in that latter camp.

With that in mind, we draw your attention to this Everett Herald column by John Sleeper that, ironically enough, doesn't herald a rebirth of anything except more losing.

If that happens, according to this Geoff Baker story in the Times, there will be a wholesale house cleaning, from Bill Bavasi through Mike Hargrove and probably including Ichiro (the subject of this Steve Kelley column).

Tacoma's John McGrath falls somewhere in between, mirroring the age of most sportswriters (just kidding) and the proof of their favorite beverage (not kidding) by calling for 80-something wins.

The "we're-going-to-win" group includes Bavasi, according to this Larry LaRue story, and manager Mike Hargrove, according to this Associated Press story.

Today's hot list …

• The Times had its baseball preview section today with stories from all around the bigs. The one piece I want to call your attention to that I haven't already linked: Jerry Brewer's column on Felix (who earns a starring role in this Indy Star piece).

• No doubt a big part of the M's success will rest on J.J. Putz's right arm and the health of same. The Herald looks at that key appendage and the guy it is attached to.

• This is only peripherally about the Mariners, but it does mention Ichiro and is a good read, so I'll pass it on. The Hartford Courant takes a look at the future of Japanese baseball.

And our question for the day …

• Once again I'm asking the simplest of questions: How will the Mariners do this season? I'll share my thoughts Monday.

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