How the Mariners Latch on to Your Heart and Never Let Go

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 11: Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners reacts in the dugout after hitting a home run during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 11, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - APRIL 11: Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners reacts in the dugout after hitting a home run during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 11, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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“Three and O! Three and O! Three and O!” Do the Mariners have a way of luring fans in. Pulling on your heartstrings after every home run, sparking curiosity after every win.

Fans chanted Seattle’s record after an Opening Day rout of the defending-champion Red Sox. But historically, the Mariners find a way to let you down. And even after a heartbreaking loss the following night on a pinch-hit home run by Boston’s Mitch Moreland, the Mariners would go on to take three of four from the Sox.

Then they swept the Angels in two games. Two of three from the White Sox. And in improbable fashion, a four-game sweep of the Royals.

Seattle was 13-2, and they had smacked at least a home run in every game. Their American League lead in runs, home runs, and batting average was a shock to the baseball world. That would’ve been one hell of a bet in Vegas last month.

Most importantly, the pessimism that we should’ve felt wasn’t there. The Mariner bats were bound to cool, but they hadn’t.

But sitting at a 13-2 record, the Astros came to town for a three-game set in Seattle. And what an awful time for the bats to disappear.

Sweep.

13-5. Still holding a one-game lead in the division, set to face the Indians.

Sweep.

And now, 13-8. An 0-6 homestand. Just nine runs in their last five games. The bats didn’t cool — they died.

Instead of punching the air, furious at a team that showed incredible promise, fans are sullen. They sigh, slump in their chair, knowing a regression to reality was coming.

Baseball fans in Seattle are numb to losing. Numb to having their hopes rise and shatter in a span of months. Last year — over halfway through the season — the Mariners were eight games ahead of Oakland for a spot in the postseason. They blew it. In 2016, the Mariners missed the playoffs by just three games. In 2014, they were eliminated from contention on the last day of the season.

It’s been an awful roller coaster ride for fans since 2001. Like one of those old coasters that jolt and throws you around painfully in your seat. The recent rise to dominance and nosedive to mediocrity in a matter of weeks reflects in the new neon pink signs all around Safeco Field — that’s what I’ll always call it.

But someway, somehow, the Mariners latch on to your heart and never let go. They electrify a fan base, luring enough fans into the ballpark before the power outage. And if they don’t electrify you — they at least electrify me.

Next. Mariners Extend Domingo Santana. dark

I’m a die-hard fan. I’m invested in the team. The season is long, and we’re still in April. So I’ll continue to buckle up for the ride.

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