I feel good about a few things:
1) Survival 6-6 against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays. Winners of the last 2 series. And....3 games back. The Mariners have survived, in my opinion, the toughest stretch of games they will encounter in the 2nd half.
The Ben Broussard trade is good because
a) The M's got a solid lefty bat without giving up too much
b) Carl Everett is gone
c) A platoon with Eduardo Perez at DH is sweet
d) All of the above
Three games back. I don't care that they're in last place or 3 games under .500. I don't care that if they were in any other division in the AL, they'd be out if right now. All I know is the Mariners have weathered the storm(s) of Guardado, Everett, and Felix sucking and are still in it. Imagine if the Mariners had started with this exact team from Opening Day. Do you think they'd be three games better? I do. The difference between Putz and Guardado alone could make that up.
I'm still cautiously optimistic, becuase one more lousy week or two can pretty much sink the Mariners for the season. But, one more fantastic week or two can put them in first place. And even if they don't end up making the playoffs, think about what the experience of a pennant race could mean for Lopez, Betancourt, Felix, Jones, etc. This could be a fun two months M's fans. Stay tuned.