On a day where the Minnesota Twins – a season after losing 103 games – clinched the second Wild Card spot (thanks to an Anaheim Angels defeat, glory to God), the Seattle Mariners dropped to 77-82.
The Twins feel like nothing special, right? They started out as the Washington Senators in 1901, went to three World Series in their first 60 years as the Senators (winning one), then moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. Since then, they’ve made three more World Series (winning in 1987 and 1991), but since THEN, really haven’t done much. Just another American League team in another American League city. You know, the city of wherever it is the Minnesota Twins play.
Would it shock you to know that this is the 7th time they’ve made the playoffs since 2002? You’re probably more of a baseball fan than I am, so you probably already knew that. But, here’s a team that was last good in 2010, when they won the A.L. Central with 94 wins. Since then, in order, they’ve lost 99, 96, 96, 92, 79, and 103 games. Suffice it to say, the Twins have been pretty terrible the last six years.
AND YET, somehow they’re at 83 wins and counting, having secured a Wild Card spot with four games to go.
WHY CAN’T THE FUCKING MARINERS DO THAT?
I never thought I’d be jealous of the Twins, but here I am. It’s not like they’re in some huge market! They don’t spend the most money or have some genius GM. I mean, maybe all that losing translated into high draft picks that they were subsequently able to hit on, but that’s a roll of the dice as much as anything!
It’s when confronted with information like that where I start to think Seattle truly IS cursed. Or, maybe it’s just the Mariners organization, I dunno. But, here we are, 16 seasons of playoff-free baseball in a row. And counting! Because, where does this fucking thing end? Paxton can’t stay healthy, Felix is on his last legs, the rest of this rotation is full of soft-tossing knobs who give up home runs like they’re the antidote. And, oh let’s see, Nelson Cruz will be 38 years old next year; Cano will be 35 (and in his 5th season of a 10-year deal). Some of the younger hitters look promising, but they’re no guarantees, and this team’s success really depends on Cano and Cruz playing like superstars!
Even IF this team were to win the lottery and put together a magical Wild Card run in 2018, the clock is ticking on our studs. I could just as easily see this team continue to spin its tires in the mud for a few years before they have to blow everything up and start all over again. At that point, what are we talking about here? Over two decades of either mediocrity or outright filth.
THE SEATTLE MARINERS EVERYONE!!!
Erasmo Ramirez got the start yesterday and was sort of okay. The defense was shit, as usual, but the offense bailed everyone out and got him a no decision. He appears to have a rotation spot waiting for him next year, which is everything you need to know about this organization. That’s Paxton-Felix-Leake-Erasmo as your top four guys heading into the offseason, with the likes of Miranda, Marco, Albers, and Moore vying for that fifth spot.
Of course, that CAN’T happen, and it won’t happen. The team will make moves this offseason, bring in at least one guaranteed new starter, with probably a small handful of other guys to compete for a back-end starting job, but barring some trades (which you know are coming), these are the guys we have to look forward to. And Erasmo, very much, is in that conversation. Maybe not as a #4, but certainly as a #5 or as a long reliever/bullpen type. I, uhh … yeah. Neat.
Mike Marjama got his first Major League start at catcher and got 2 hits, including a double. I didn’t see how he looked, because I was working, but that’s a memory that’ll last him a lifetime. Jacob Hannemann got his second career start (both in this series) and had a hit, a run, and an error. He, of course, started in place of Guillermo Heredia, who was shut down earlier this week and will have shoulder surgery. He should be fine by Spring Training though.
Shae Simmons gave up a walk-off home run to keep the Mariners from sweeping this dopey series, so good for him. We’re still drafting 16th right now, which means I have to root for the stupid fucking Angels this weekend. There are still FIVE teams we can leapfrog, so let’s get to losing Mariners! Do something RIGHT for once!