Jun 8, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders (23) walks back to the dugout after being relieved against the New York Yankees the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Today is September 10th, and the pennant race is heating up across the United States and Major League baseball. The AL East is a cluster-you-know-what with three teams scrambling for a wild card spot. Atlanta is building their resume in the NL East. The NL Central is as tight as a wife beater on Mark Wahlberg. Even the AL Central, where Detroit was considered the run-away favorite, will come down to a photo finish. And our beloved AL West will come down to the wire like it did last year between the A’s and the Rangers.
So is not the case for the lowly Mariners. Since really the 2001 season, there has been little by way of the postseason to get excited about in September. My roommate in college, who is a Mets fan, has at least had something to smile about from time to time over the last decade. The good ol’ M’s? Not so much.
Our September consists of getting excited about new prospects, hoping the other teams we hate keep losing, and lobbying for Felix to win the Cy Young despite a terrible win-loss record because of crappy run support. It hurts, ladies and gentlemen. There is no two ways about it.
And all we can do is continue to hope. There is no improbable run in these 2013 Mariners… I think we are a loss or two (or a Rangers/A’s win or two) from being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
It hurts and I am tired of it and it needs to change soon. Hopefully that turnaround can start in 2014.
But it really is quite sad– year in and year out we say “next year will be the year”. And hope springs eternal. The Astros have used that adage on their way to being one of the most lucrative teams in baseball despite a win-loss record more abhorrent than an ingrown toenail.
I am ready for a change. Like I said, we all know it won’t come this season… and maybe not even the next season… but I will continue to be hopeful, love my Mariners, and enjoy the game of baseball.
You should too. It’s a game after all, and when the M’s finally do start winning, you can shove decades of sass down the throats of your friends who claim to be die-hard Yankee fans that are from Portland. (To give them their fair shake, their sister’s boyfriend’s aunt’s nephew’s stepfather used to work in Queens).
All in all Mariners baseball, baseball in general, and sports fanaticism, all rest on hope. Hope for a bright future. Hope for a new season. And hope for, someday, meaningful games in the month of September.
P.S.: I’m really not a cynic… but when Joe Saunders gives up 6 earned runs in less than three innings against the Astros, my bubble really just wants to burst.