It’s that sense of panic and dread. Like, you can read the writing on the wall and you know something intensely bad is going to go down, it’s just a matter of when.
Right now, things are fine. We’re happy, we’re in the playoffs (if the season ended today), we’ve got a small lead for that second Wild Card. Yes, the teams ahead of us in the division have made moves to better themselves, but our other Wild Card rivals haven’t really done much. If the status remains quo, it’s not hard to see this team making the playoffs and finally giving Felix a taste of that post-season he’s craved for so long.
Today is July 24th. Next Thursday is July 31st. At around 1pm on the 31st, the trade deadline is going to arrive. We’ve got a week. We have holes on this team that need to be filled. Failure to do so effectively flushes this season down the toilet.
The Mariners enjoyed a great month of June. 18-10, beating up on most of the small fries, everything was all right. In July, there was REALLY more of the same. Outside of six games against the A’s & Angels, we’ve continued to face the dregs. Houston, Chicago, Minnesota, and most recently the Mets. We should have won each of those series handily! Instead, we got cut down by the starting pitching buzzsaw of the White Sox, we punted away 3 of 4 against the Twins, and by all rights we should have SWEPT the fucking Mets (but instead we lost two of three, because of course we did).
We’re five games over .500. We need to end up around 18 games over .500 to have a realistic guarantee of making the playoffs. We have two months and one week in which to do this. We’re going to need some help.
At this point, just forget about going for the World Series. That isn’t likely anymore. Not without a David Price & Ben Zobrist combo. Right now, it’s about keeping this season a success by making the playoffs. Which means, we have to shift our priorities. The Rays have gone on a crazy run and are now 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card. They may indeed opt to trade Price & Zobrist, but it would take one whale of a deal. Because, they have the talent to kick it into a higher gear; they’re essentially the same team that made the playoffs last year, after all. For Price & Zobrist, I would have traded away the farm. With that currently off the table, I’m less inclined to trade anyone of importance.
But, that doesn’t mean I don’t expect a move to be made. Nick Franklin has to go. There is zero point in keeping him around; he’s never going to make it as a Seattle Mariner. He won’t fetch the biggest prize on the market, but as I’ve said all along, this team doesn’t need the best bat out there. It just needs an excuse to DFA the fuck out of Corey Hart, because he’s a worthless waste of space.
If they can just do that one thing, I won’t completely abandon the bandwagon. But, really, they need to replace their DH as well as their entire outfield. The more pieces of that outfield they can improve, the better their chances of making the playoffs. But, SOMETHING has to happen.
Really, something needed to happen about a month ago. Since the start of that White Sox series on the 4th, the Mariners have gone 6-10. With any kind of consistent hitting out of the black holes in our lineup, we easily could’ve gone 10-6. EASILY. Go 10-6 instead of 6-10 and we’ve got a 4.5 game lead in the Wild Card and things are a little more comfortable. Instead, we’ve got a half-game lead and our castle is crumbling down around us.
There may still be time to salvage a playoff run, but the last three weeks have done A LOT of damage. I know this is a lot of doom and gloom about a team that’s currently in the lead for the second Wild Card, but the writing is on the wall. Hart and Ackley and Chavez all have to go. This is no small task, but if the Mariners do nothing (or believe that Jesus Montero is the answer), you can kiss the playoffs goodbye.
Believe you me, no one is going to flip out more than me if the Mariners let next week go by without a move being made. I don’t care what bullshit excuses Jackie Z comes up with; I’ll be calling for his head immediately.