I swear to Christ, that should be the headline for any article ever written about the Seattle Mariners.
I mean, how far back do you want to go? They refuse to trade any of their farm pitchers back in 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2003 to get one more impact bat to put us over the top (said farm pitchers go on to mediocrity). They try to cling to one more year of aging veterans with disasterous results in 2004. They hire Bill Bavasi, they draft Jeff Clement, they trade for Erik Bedard. They become the first team with a $100 million payroll to lose over 100 games in a season in 2008. They win just enough games to NOT draft Stephen Strasburg. They pick up the bloated corpses of Silva and Figgins. They re-sign Griffey and then re-sign him AGAIN. They trade for Justin Smoak. They cut payroll every year for four straight years. Their attendance has dwindled to an all-time low for Safeco Field. They’ve suffered three straight last place seasons. Their centerfielder can’t stay on the field. Their offense has had to improve drastically just to still suck hard. Their leadership has publicly come out against the Arena Deal which has since passed in both the county and the city. And now this.
I’m not a season ticket holder for any sport. I would hate to be locked into something so permanent, because with my luck I’d be locked into a perennial loser for decades to come. But, if I were going to be a season ticket holder, the LAST organization I would buy from would be the Seattle Mariners! And that’s BEFORE they had the nerve to jack up ticket prices without telling anyone, after everything in the previous paragraph that has happened in the last decade.
The Seattle Mariners have to be the most ineptly run organization in professional sports. I say that knowing full well there are other franchises – the Pirates, the Clippers, the Browns, the Royals – with more seasons of frustration, but I would argue by now you know what you’re getting with those organizations. It’s not that they don’t WANT to win, it’s that they have no incentive. I have a feeling the Mariners (in spite of what I’ve been saying about them for years) really DO want to win … I just think they’re fucking TERRIBLE at it! Their plans have all sucked, their execution has been even worse, and any winning records they’ve had in recent years (if you call 2007 and 2009 “recent”) have been in spite of their efforts, not because of them.
If an organization has EVER needed new ownership more than the Seattle Mariners, I’d gladly ask to borrow whatever piece of fiction you got that from, because that organization doesn’t exist in real life. And I understand the economics of the situation (as much as a guy who doesn’t give a shit can understand the economics), but how retarded can you be? If you just sent out a letter in advance saying, “Hey, thanks for your patronage over the years, but we’ve got to raise some prices to stay competitive in an increasingly turbulent market, blah blah blah,” we all would’ve understood. We all still would’ve given you shit for it, because Jesus Christ, you’re REALLY going to charge MORE money to see this bogus product you’ve put out on the field for the past decade? But, in the end, whatever. It’s economics. It’s the way the world works. Things get more expensive over time and you either adapt or you die.
But to be all sneaky about it, I mean, who were you trying to fool? I know your base – the people who can most afford and are most willing to buy full season tickets – is the elderly (because they just don’t know any better), but come on. They’re not ALL saps! You didn’t think the media would catch wind and make a huge stink about it? A bigger stink than it really needed to be?
Who is RUNNING this organization? Is what I’m trying to say. I had more confidence in Clay Bennett keeping the Sonics in Seattle than I do this organization bringing home a World Series Championship. If it were possible to impeach an ownership group, Seattle fans would have successfully ended their frustration YEARS ago. It’s time, Mariners. Do the right thing. Free us of your incompetence!