It’s been more than a year since my last post. It isn’t that I’ve stopped watching. it isn’t that I’ve stopped following the Mariners daily like the silly fan I am. Maybe it was simply that the M’s were so wretched for a couple of years I couldn’t see myself writing without dissolving into pity, self-loathing and hysteria for loving a team that was so, so sorry. And yes, I know the suffering was all part of the step back, that became the tear-down, and the process that would, to borrow a few words from the President, ‘build back better.”
Today the Mariners woke up and found themselves with their noses pressed against the glass, looking and wishing and hoping. Lorri and I were at the Wednesday finale against the A’s. The Mariners swept the green and gold, and steamed into a tie for the second wild card game. then the Angels happened, and well, we know what happened. Baseball. At least, of the teams that got left outside the door, they seemed to be among the first in line. Damn, I hate the Angels.
I can only speak for myself, but from the beginning of the season, I’ve enjoyed watching these guys. That doesn’t mean I’ve always thought they could complete for a playoff spot, or even have a winning season. I thought 78 wins would be pretty good for these guys. I mean think about all the pitching injuries, the loss of Kyle Lewis, the ineffectiveness of Rafael Montero, the two no-hitters, the season-long struggle to score, the massacre-like blow-outs to the White Sox, the Padres, the Astros, the Kendall Graveman trade-deadline clubhouse revolt. There were lots of things that happened this season to undermine, de-rail, and implode this Mariner season. And that doesn’t even include the ridiculously insulting Kevin Mather comments that got the calendar started.
There will be lots to talk about as the good ship Mariner steams into the off season, and I hope to take a look at some of those topics, but just in general, it’s hard not to look at this season in a different way than years past. Since at least 2003, the average fan could look out across Elliott Bay and visualize the SS Mariner striking a rock somewhere out by Blake Island. The lifeboats were being lowered but some were jumping from the ship and swimming away as fast as possible. This year, the M’s could be seen heading for port, maybe unsure about the correct route to take, but at least sensing there was pilot aboard who was aware there were rocks to avoid.
I’m looking forward to 2022.