It’s become an annual complaint among Mariners fans whenever Toronto comes to town: Safeco Field becomes overrun with Blue Jays fans. It’s definitely always been a thing, but it’s really exploded over the last 5-10 years. Then, I remember someone saying something the last time Houston was in town, about how many Astros fans were in attendance. I mean, the Canadians I understand, but I can’t imagine that people from Texas are flying to Seattle to take in some regular season action. I also noticed a good number of Detroit and Philadelphia fans at Safeco recently, and now this Royals series – while still not as bad as with the Blue Jays – really has the sound of a Kansas City home game at times (the chants of MOOSE when Mike Moustakas hit that homer off of Felix yesterday were VERY disconcerting).
And then it hit me. By and large, we’re not talking about opposing fanbases who love to travel (again, Canadians aside); we’re talking about people in the greater Seattle area. People who have probably grown up here. And, if they’re too young to remember what it was like the last time the Mariners were actually good, then guess what? Those are would-be Mariners fans who made the decision to root for another city’s baseball team, because they got sick and tired of all the bullshit losing that’s been going on around here since 2004.
I became very jealous at this thought. Growing up in this day and age, you don’t NEED to suffer the indignities of rooting for a perennial loser! You can buy a special MLB cable package and watch every game from every market! You could’ve jumped on the Kansas City bandwagon when they went to back-to-back World Series! You could’ve gotten in on the ground floor of a Houston renaissance, with all their young talent blossoming into All Stars. You could’ve been rooting for literally every other team in baseball and enjoyed at least one playoff appearance since the last time the Mariners made it.
As a cynic, I can sit here and write about how much the Mariners must love it when opposing fanbases come in here and fill up Safeco. But, in reality, it’s endemic of a much larger issue: these could be – and rightly SHOULD be – Mariners fans, if only the Seattle Mariners hadn’t fucking stunk all these years. Those are fans you’ll never get back, Mariners!
While those of us who stuck with this team continue to suffer.
The Mariners lost 7-3 yesterday. Felix didn’t have it – and we’ve officially blown his entire career, since I see no way he’s ever going to approach his former glory – and the offense didn’t either. The Mariners are back to 3 games under .500, and Ariel Miranda gets to go today to try to avoid the sweep. Good God.