On Saturday, the Mariners were officially, mercifully eliminated from any miraculous chance at playing in the postseason. This year has been crueler than most Mariners experiences, which is saying something.
The Mariners got me to swoon in the first half of the season. They were fun. The guys seemed to like each other, and the joy they showed in eking out one run games made them all the more fun to watch. But they were playing above their heads, and the doggy paddle of low expectations (?) turned into drowning (??) under the exhaustion of contender status (???). As they started dropping deeper into the shark-infested AL West ocean (????), the fun understandably vanished, and the guys started getting into it.
This isn’t just a vibe. As I noted earlier, the funnest first half Mariners—Dee Gordon and Jean Segura, who during the first half were best friends—became the least fun second half Mariners when they got into a fistfight in the clubhouse in front of every Mariners beat reporter.
Here are the main things that the Mariners did wrong in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, it’s not a comprehensive list, since losing dozens of baseball games requires hundreds of smaller fuck ups.
- A Seattle Times report uncovered a years-long culture of sexual harassment allegedly perpetrated by Mariners executives, including team President Kevin Mather and his predecessor, Chuck Armstrong. Mather is still team president and appears at public team events.
- The Mariners’ most famous player, Robinson Cano, got suspended for PED use and missed 80 critical games. This is bad for two reasons: 1. It’s just a huge bummer, because I like Robbie a lot and this is hard to reconcile, and 2. the team might have stayed in contention if they hadn’t swapped out Robbie’s bat for, essentially, Cameron Maybin’s. Maybin hit .202 after joining the Mariners via a midseason trade.
- The god damn A’s, who kicked off this miserable playoff drought in 2002 by getting insanely hot and passing the Mariners in the standings damn well did it again. (You may have seen the movie. It stars Brad Pitt.) As with that year, the Mariners didn’t even have the decency to flame out and humiliate themselves. They just passive-aggressively kind of sort of went through the motions, felt sorry for themselves, and let the world mete out their fate.
- Meanwhile, they helped themselves to a bunch of King County money instead of paying for their own damn stadium, which they got built by extorting taxpayers.
- That fistfight.
Sure makes me glad I spent money on them I couldn’t afford.
Also published on Medium.