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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Zunino will end M's catching nightmares

By David Schoenfield

Every team seems to have that position -- you know, that one that is always a problem, perennially plagued by a past-his-prime vet or soon-to-be failed prospect. For the Seattle Mariners, they've had two positions like that in their franchise history. Left field has historically been a problem -- especially during the Ken Griffey Jr. years when there was a new left fielder almost every year (Greg Briley, Kevin Mitchell, Mike Felder, Eric Anthony, Darren Bragg, Rich Amaral, Glenallen Hill, John Mabry), but the M's did get some good seasons from Phil Bradley in the '80s and Raul Ibanez in the 2000s.

But catcher has also been a big issue, in part because of some investments gone wrong through the years. That's why the Mariners are counting on Mike Zunino to develop into a big star.

The Mariners did receive some good seasons from Dan Wilson (he even made the All-Star team in 1996), who started nine consecutive Opening Days. They brought in Kenji Johjima from Japan and he gave them two decent seasons and two awful ones.

However, it's mostly been a tortured history of catching stories for the Mariners. Witness:



Which will hopefully work out for Seattle. That Dan Wilson All-Star season seems like a long time ago.