For those of you reading this, I'm apologizing right up front. This is going to be a long post --- but I promise it's one that has a point to it. Sorry, didn't know of any other way to really address questions other than to make it this length. This is not spam ... rather it's an attempt at a rallying cry towards the Mariner Faithful.- MA
Ex-Jocks … Working Stiffs … Cyber-Dweebs --- lend me your ears!!
Up until now the campaign to change things has been waged mostly amongst ourselves (the fans). We’ve debated back and forth and found creative ways to say the same thing … THINGS HAVE TO CHANGE ON THIS TEAM. I've listened to fans of this team literally everywhere. Know what I've found? ... everyone's basically saying the same things ...
... Which lead me to the idea of a starting a petition AND drive for personal letters from fans. You see ... it's very apparent that the bulk of Mariner fans are unhappy and desiring Mariner management to recognize that they need to make those changes that have long been needed to create a perennial winner.
Here are the links to these sites:
Phase 1: Petition
My plan with the petition is to gather as many names as possible by July 1st and then send a letter off (via email or traditional snail mail if necessary) to Seattle Mariners management along with the names of those fans who’ve endorsed it.
Phase 2: COLLECTIVE AND PERSONAL LETTERS TO MANAGEMENT
Now ... I could have merely written my own personal letter to management as well if I'd wanted to ... which, like many others get the obligatory (Thank you so much for writing) letter and into the trash it goes. But ... address a letter to management with the signatures of 100, 200, (whatever number of fans) and it makes it a LITTLE HARDER to ignore. The idea behind this is on July 1st we're planning on sending a letter off to M's management referencing the petition along with the list of names from it.
HOWEVER, that's not the full extent of this idea ....
In addition to the petition drive, I've also started a thread on the MLB message forums as well:
MLB Message Board - Personal Letters to M's Management
I'm also asking Mariner fans to write their own personal letters to management there. I personally believe that someone from the Front Office keeps an eye on the MLB message boards ... and it makes complete sense why that is. If I'm trying to guage the overall tenor of my fanbase, why not create a message board so that I can monitor. The webmaster there (who is an employee of the Mariners) probably often reports on the tenor of the boards.
My idea was to have each person who wants to post individual "personal" letters to management over on the MLB forum. It was my hope to have posts get into the thousands there (I've seen threads that high there).
So What's the Point Man??
Many of you are undoubtedly reading this post regarding this idea, rolling your eyes and saying: “Oh Brother! … What’s the point?”
Well, before you click off this give me a just moment here to explain this:
What is this petition really all about? … Do I expect 20,000 signatures? No … Not really. What are the reasons behind it then you ask? … several --- let me explain some of the rationale:
1. Unity vs. Disunity
… ONE voice (whether in the form of a written statement in the paper, letter, radio station call-in, or water cooler talk) by ONE fan can easily be dismissed. The argument can easily be made: “those are HIS views only, but they DON’T really reflect the views of the masses.” A petition statement (and subsequent letter) with ONE-HUNDRED + fans endorsing it as their views as well ISN’T as easily dismissed. If I’m management and see even that many on a statement like this I’m asking myself: “Is this merely a microcosm of the collective views of the majority of my fans?”
2. Cacophany of Noise … or Unified Tune?
(Public Awareness) Let me tell ya, this whole year I’ve listened to comments coming from fans. I’ve tuned into radio stations …. I’ve read posts on MANY internet sites … I’ve read comments in the papers … I’ve listened to fans on the street … in the break room … in the store … (basically everywhere). Know what? … It seems that nearly every fan’s basically saying the SAME THING
. All this petition is … is an attempt to unify those same disgruntled fans
. It also lets them know … HEY!!, this many people feel the same way? It signals to other fans that they’re not alone in their viewpoints.
3. Fringe Radicals or Important Influencers of Public opinion? …
The question is … how influential are those hardcore fans who publicly put forth their views in public forums like this one? … If I’m management … I DO worry about the voices of these fans in particular especially IF my team is losing and attendance is dropping. These vocal fans are the ones who will put forth their views and insights quite freely. They are the ones who WILL influence the opinions and attitudes of the casual fan. Casual fans may not listen when times are good … BUT, you can bet their ears become a little more attuned during times of famine.
4. Public Relations
… The main point of this petition and letter is really about PR. Question: Does this FO value public relations and how fans FEEL about their team?
YOU BETCHA!!! For Management … perception of effort and competence is EVERYTHING. If I’m Lincoln … and I see that THIS many fans believe management’s doing a poor job, I get very worried about the consequences of probable slipping ticket sales. Management wants its fanbase (even the ones it deems “radicals”) happy. Happy fans generate more $$$.
For those fans who still disagree with this idea consider this: …
I take it that as a Mariners’ fan you’re probably undoubtedly unhappy at this point by what’s going on with the team. You’re probably posting your INDIVIDUAL complaints about the team on this forum board … about this and that (the defense, the offense, the pitching, management, etc. etc. blah .. blah .. blah) because:
You’re getting things off your chest – venting, and making yourself feel better.
You hope to possibly influence the greater public opinion, thus increasing the possibility that things will change.
Now, if that’s true, and that’s why you’re choosing to post here you can choose to either: option #1) flail away by yourself. OR option #2) hope to add your flails to the COLLECTIVE blows of others.
I’ve done plenty of option #1 this year myself … It’s just that I’ve now decided to try option #2.
What are the odds? …
Odds for change option #1 … maybe 1 in 1,000,000?
Odds for change option #2 … maybe 5 in 1,000,000?
Even if you're a complete cynic who holds out even the slightest hope for change … which option do you honestly choose? Even if the odds for change are only increased by the *slightest* of margins (and we could equate these 2 efforts to playing the Lotto) I’d lay my money on option #2 over option #1 EVERY time. Simply put, do you have a greater chance to win buying merely 1 Lotto ticket or 100 tickets?
Bottom Line: It's FAR more effective to campaign for change as a GROUP than simply as an INDIVIDUAL. Unity is the KEY!!
To those of whom out there who are still asking themselves: “why bother?”
I say to you that I’ve often found that anyone’s performance (whether that be a team, a business, or an individual) is largely dependent upon the expectations of others.
If those expectations aren’t voiced clearly, loudly, coherently, and appropriately often enough by enough people --- then frankly there’s little reason on the part of the other party to WANT to perform up to expectations. Mediocre expecations … mediocre performance.
(as a side note: Simple profanity laced tirades RARELY produce the desired effect).
Mariner Fans Unite for Change
As far as the petition goes … I plan on posting management’s response (If/When I get one) on 4 forum boards: MLB.com, The Seattle PI forum, TOPMLBForums, and InsidethePark
If there are any questions regarding the views being presented here OR you wish to somehow join in this venture … you can contact me through [url]seattlemariners.topmlbforums.com[/url], where I post most times or by emailing me at the address provided on the petition site. Feel free to pass these posts and links along – (post on other sites or publicize however). This is intended to be a fan-driven movement – not simply the vision and efforts of only 1 person. Feel free to take the ball and run with it. My desire isn’t for personal glory, but rather to see M’s management finally do WHATEVER it takes to really fix this team’s problems.
With all that said ... who is all game for this idea?