Mariners Feelings heading into 2023: How did 2022 change our expectations?

Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The curse is finally broken, but for a team whose lone goal for the past two decades was just to break the playoff drought, we may find ourselves asking "what's next for the boys in blue?". For the city that had known only pain year after year, we seem to finally have something different in front of us.

We have a young star in Julio Rodriguez who has become not only the face of the city but also become one of the most popular players in the league in such a short time. We have a loaded starting bullpen led by big names such as Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo as well as the emergence of George Kirby and Logan Gilbert who look better every single outing of their young careers. This team with the supporting cast is no doubt now a playoff-contending team for years to come but now we get to ask, "what's next?".

For many, just securing a Wild Card spot this past season would've been good enough, a sign that the times were changing in Seattle for the better. After beating Toronto in the Wild Card, every game after that just felt like an extra gift, especially when we finally got to have a home playoff game for the first time since 2001.

Now the series against the eventual World Series Champion Houston Astros didn't go the way we would've liked but in my opinion, it showed something. It showed how close we were, almost every game against the Astros was close and it sure felt like the Mariners put up the best fight against the Astros of the teams remaining on their way to a World Series win.

So now, let's be crazy fans for a second. Should our expectations for the Mariners be the World Series coming into the 2023 season? Or is it to just build upon the momentum made from last season? Are we fine again with a WC spot or should we be expecting to dethrone the Astros and take back the division?

Seattle has some pretty crazy/passionate fans, I should know, I'm definitely one of them and I don't think it's ridiculous to say that as of now, every year should have the goal of being a banner year. The pressure of being that team to end the drought is over, the weight has been lifted and now they can reach for more. Just for the sake of being realistic, let's just put the goal for next year as being to make the ALCS and for Julio to win the AL MVP, seems easy enough.

No matter what we expect out of this team for the upcoming season one thing is for certain, we have fun baseball back in Seattle. The Mariners are a playoff team, it only took essentially my entire life but they are back and with the exciting young talent in the organization from top to bottom, it doesn't feel like an overreaction to say that the Mariners are primed to be good for a very long time.