After getting swept by the Astros, the Mariners pulled a split out of their asses in Kansas City. All in a weekend’s work for the averagest team in the league.
To be honest, I don’t even know what to say about a first half like that (so get ready for the world’s most passive-aggressive subtweet of all time). Part of me agrees with the sentiment that it might have been foolish to be all over the moon about this team after 8 weeks, that it would be much more prudent to have an even keel and wait things out before picturing this team in a World Series setting, but that’s being much more rational than I think the average fan is capable of. And, believe me, I put myself firmly in that camp. I was as carried away as anyone when this team approached being 10 games over .500, and I think you’d have to be some sort of robot not to be.
I mean, how do you enjoy yourself as a fan? It’s one thing if you’ve been so spurned by this team over the years; that type of cynicism I can at least respect. I’m sure there were PLENTY of people back at the end of May who were sitting around, telling anyone who’d listen, “Just you wait, the Same Ol’ Mariners are right around the corner!” I’ve got no problem with those people crowing today about how they were right all along.
My problem is with the smug, Let’s Wait & See assholes who claim to be fans, yet never seem to raise higher than a 5 on the 10-point rage-meter when this team plays the way it’s played over the last six weeks. I mean, what’s even the point of going on Twitter and having an opinion, when your opinion is always, “It’s a long season, talk to me in September.” Okay. So, in the meantime, I’m supposed to sit here, watching this crap for 5 months, and NOT ride the rollercoaster of emotion that comes with rooting for a team that started out SO strongly, only to fritter it all away?
You can sit here now, and think you’re a genius for predicting this team to be a .500 team back when the season started, but maybe don’t be such a prick about it. I dunno. I mean, do you feel good about yourself that you were proven right about the Mariners? Does it get you off that a team with the inside track for a post-season berth on June 1st is now in the back-end of the middle of the pack, with a ton of teams to leapfrog to get back to where we once were?
You can’t tell me expectations haven’t changed. If you told me the Mariners would be playing .500 ball at the All Star Break before the season started, but you didn’t tell me HOW they got that .500 record, I’d probably be more-or-less okay with it. Because going into this season, I didn’t necessarily have the highest of hopes. But, when TWO FULL MONTHS pass – a fucking third of the season! – and you’re looking at a team that was 9 games over .500, I’m sorry, but THAT is when you have to adjust your expectations. If, before the season, you predict the Mariners will be a losing team, and they play .500 ball, that’s obviously exceeding expectations, and you can go into 2017 with some higher hopes than you had before. But, if during that season, the Mariners show you they’re capable of hanging with the best of the best, and then they suddenly fall apart, you can’t turn around and say, “Well, before the season, we thought this, so what’s the big fucking deal?”
Well, I’ll tell you what the big fucking deal is! This team has a legitimate offense for the first time in 13 years. And, what has more or less been a strength for this team in that time – its pitching – is the one costing us yet another year. With just average pitching, we’d be talking about a contender! Instead, we’ve got this dogshit staff, whose starters can’t go more than 5 innings, and whose relievers have been exposed (or, in the case of Edwin Diaz, will certainly be exposed in the coming weeks, because Mariners).
Robots look at this season and say, “Welp, another game on Friday!” Human beings look at this season and say, “Fuck, here we go again.”