The Mariners last year just missed the post season by just a mere one game, if the Oakland Athletics would have lost in the final game last year the M’s would have clinched the post season for the first time since 2001 when the Mariners won a major league record 116 games.
Here’s the question though “would the Mariners have won it all last year if they made it?” I believed they would have, and I have extremely high hopes for a pennant this year for the team.
But here’s the thing the Mariners should have at least two American League pennants hanging in the banners of Safeco Field. The Mariners have seen the post season 4 times in their franchise history and have come up short 3 times in the American League Championship Series, only once have the Mariners failed to make it out of the Division Series.
But out of the 4 times the M’s have made it to the post season there have really been only two times where the Mariners could have won it all with the team they had put together at the time.
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The Mariners pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, down by 13 games in the AL West came back to take the West and win their first division crown in franchise history.
That 95′ team was the first and perhaps only team that I believe could have won it all. The reason I say that is because they had the HEART!
This team fought through everything including a devastating injury to their star center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. They had guys like Rich Amaral and Alex Diaz to step in and make plays in CF while Jr was out, and boy did they!
When Jr returned to the lineup that didn’t immediately spark a playoff run for the M’s they had to lose the first 6 of 9 games with Jr back in the lineup. But a match up with the New York Yankees changed everything.
Jr belted a walk off home run in the 9th to win the game for the Mariners but right then and there it sparked something in the whole Mariners team! Suddenly the M’s were winning games they really shouldn’t have won and they kept winning!
Through the rest of the season the Mariners never lost more than two games in a row before winning another one.
They just simply “Refuse To Lose”. After the one game playoff with the then California Angels the Mariners lost two games to the Yankees, but a return to the Kingdome made people see that this team was perhaps the team of destiny!
They won Game 3, they won Game 4, and they won Game 5 in dramatic fashion that put them in the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Mariners jumped to a 2 games to 1 lead in the ALCS but after that things fell apart and the dream season came to an end!
The 95′ team came within 3 games of the World Series, and here’s the thing……they could have won. If it were not for a messed up pitching rotation and the fact that they couldn’t capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities they would have taken the series to all 7 games and I do believe that they would have easily won Game 7 and would have went on to beat the Atlanta Braves.
1997 was different and pardon my French but every time I talk about that postseason team it pisses me off even more! But I MUST TALK ABOUT IT, THEN FREAKIN FINE!!!! First off if someone says that “the 97′ Mariners should have gone to the World Series” then I would have to beat their head in with a hammer because of how stupid they just sounded!
The 1997 Seattle Mariners only positive was that they set a major league record for most home runs hit by a team in a season with 264 but after that, well that’s where the crap hits the fan. The Mariners were the favorite to win not just the west that year but the AL pennant…..yeah too bad the “professional” analyst forgot to realize that the M’s played at the Kingdome perhaps one of the most friendliest hitting ballparks ever built!
The Mariners did win 90 games that year but almost every game they played they gave up 4-6 runs! Oh yeah those 264 home runs I mentioned earlier, didn’t do JACK SQUAT in the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Mariners batted a pathetic .218 in the Division Series. Griffey batted .133 and Edgar Martinez batted a dismal .188. Alex Rodriguez and Paul Sorrento were the only batters with at least 10 AB’s in that Division Series with a .250 or better batting average! In fact A-Rod batted .313 and Sorrento batted .300……see why I get so pissed off about talking about the 97′ Mariners?
Moving onto the last team that I believe could have won it all for Seattle, 2000 saw a different type of Mariners. Jr and Randy Johnson were gone but A-Rod stuck around (then stabbed us in the back a year later), and the team did fairly well winning 91 games.
The pitching was there and the hitters were there as well, Mike Cameron made some in Dave Niehaus’s words some “Griffey-ess” catches in CF.
The Mariners won the Wild Card and swept the Chicago White Sox in 3 games in the ALDS. But just fell short to the Yankees in the ALCS in 6 games. Now here’s the thing, the Mariners may have lost in 6 games but due to some dumb stupid really really REALLY idiotic jerky luck by the Yankees the Mariners bullpen gave up some key hits that hurt the Mariners in a way that prevented them from winning two games.
2000 was indeed the last team (besides 2014) for the Mariners that I seriously believe that if they would have won the ALCS they would have won it all in the World Series. 2001 was the worst. We may have won 116 games but that team never showed up in the postseason.
The 2001 Mariners just ran out of gas at the end and in the end it was nothing but heartbreak for the fans and the team.
The 2015 season shows to be a very promising year for the Mariners, lets all hope by October they will be holding up the World Series trophy and winning the first pennant in their history!
Go Mariners and Go Seahawks!!!!!