Since June actually.
I could make all kinds of excuses, but honestly the 2018 Mariners were just a difficult team to write about after about July 5th. All the things that went well in April, May and June-decent pitching, timely hitting and a different hero every night, dissolved into ineptitude, lassitude and tiresome losing baseball. 89 wins was a big improvement over 2017, but it was truly the most enervating 89 win season in history.
Even the playoffs didn’t really go my way. I rooted for the underdog A’s, clobbered by the hated Yankees. Then the Astros and Brewers, but all to no avail. A World Series featuring the Red Sox and the Dodgers? Really? Who do you root for in that? A meteor? A plane crash? The return of the bubonic plague?
But when it was all over, I had to ask what happened to the game I loved? More strikeouts than hits. Waiting around for a home run to win a game? This is analytics run amuck to ruin a game that used to be a chess match of skill versus skill. Now it’s simply a bet, a die roll and hoping for the best. This is the worst of 60’s baseball without the embarrassment for striking out. High 90’s heat versus launch angle plus exit velocity may be 2018’s idea of a good time. But if Rob Manfred really wants to know why people aren’t watching–this might be it.
Even so, 2019 is just around the corner. There will be trades and Hall of Fame voting to talk about. Spring Training isn’t all that far away.