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This—this is not good, for the Mariners or their fans
We can't keep doing this. But we will.
I like to believe the universe can wink at you. It’s not a religious thing, but to say it’s spiritual wouldn’t be inaccurate. Every now and then, there’s some kind of bigger force plucking on the strings connecting it all together.
Or, as the great/fictional Terrence Mann once put it, “There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place—and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what's possible.”
Usually, when you see it, it’s in a good way.
The last three days for Mariners fans were the opposite.
You know. We all know.
They couldn’t get a runner in from third with nobody out to win a game—the most typical, cliche nonsense mediocre Mariners teams pull. They follow that up by dropping a must-win rubber match vs. the same bad team. Félix Hernández is no longer the most recent pitcher to deliver perfection. Aaaaand, because even off days have to have something now, you get the likes of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager on American League All-Star Starter graphics adorned with art depicting Seattle’s own ballpark.
The cosmic tumblers are grinding us to despondent dust right now.
There are levels to the frustration. I don’t even know if ‘frustration’ is the right word. That implies there’s still some raw emotion. This is just miserable. There’s nothing new to say or observe. The things we’ve been saying about the 2023 Mariners we’ve been saying since 2022.
Now I’m here saying things about saying things. Providing words about words. Good times.
Cal put it well after Tuesday’s loss, as relayed by Divish.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a lack of effort. I just look at us, and we’re not a good baseball team right now. Straight up. It’s nice and all with the good vibes and whatever, but we’re not playing well right now, and we know it, and we’ve got to pick it up.”
The inconsistent play has led to the back-and-forth nature of the Mariners’ results.
“We’re just kind of stagnant,” he said. “I don’t really feel like there’s been a big change so far. It’s not on anybody else except us. We’ve got to find a way to change, and we keep saying it over and over. I feel like this is getting repetitive. Win a couple, lose a couple, win a couple, lose a couple. You guys come and ask the same questions. We’ve got to fix something.”
It’s the same thing. It’s been the same thing.
It’s the same thing in the micro. And it’s the same in the macro.
The playoff drought is over but we have been doing this for years. Win a couple seasons, lose a couple. We’ve got to fix something.
And it’s hard not to wonder if maybe, like, it’s me that needs fixing? Maybe I gotta hope for less? Hell, my last post was about, if not caring less…at least caring maybe a little differently?
This tweet from fellow LL alum Amanda Lane Cumming has been bubbling to the surface of my conscious since I saw it.
Maybe this is all they’re ever gonna be. It is what it is.
And the thing is, no. Nope. I refuse to learn my lesson. I will not.
That’s what makes this season so frustrating. You feel like the biggest dork in the world to admit to yourself or anyone you hoped they could be really special and now it hurts they are not.
Larry Stone’s most recent column hit on the reasons Mariners fans are so uniquely frustrated by this year in particular and it was this line, this word, that hit a nerve.
I think this is the big one: There is an undeniable feeling of, well, betrayal that the Mariners didn’t take the necessary steps to fill the team’s holes and maximize their chances to move beyond a second-round playoff ouster.
I feel like a sucker.
If I were to attempt to distill it down, that’s gotta be it.
I feel like a sucker.
And honestly, if you were to ask me if I were going to do anything about it, well, probably not. I’ll write on it. I’ll try to write on it, even when there’s not much to say.
And then I’ll go to ballgames. I’ll watch and listen to ‘em, too.
Tonight, my wife and I will ride our bikes down to one of the best ballparks in the league in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We’ll get in on the first Season Tickets that had my name on them. They’re ours. It’s a weird thing to feel almost proud of, but what isn’t?
So I don’t know. Life’s too short not to watch baseball when you can, to not sip a cold beer, sit in the sun and hope for the best but deal with the worst.
That’s what this feels like right now, the worst. It’s a low-point not only for the season or this era, but the organization’s history.
We want more—but the Mariners have us. At least, the nuts like me.
It’s tough right now, though. Real tough. If there’s nothing we can do besides say it, we may as well at least do that.
And if they hear it, maybe they feel it, too.