Yesterday was supposed to be Opening Day for Major League Baseball. We had tickets to the Mariners hosting the Rangers, but of course that didn’t happen. Nothing’s happened in quite some time!
Here’s a great article on where things stand now. At this point, we’re looking at no baseball until June as a BEST-case scenario. Even then, we’re still talking about playing games in front of no fans; like those shitty bands in dive bars who only play for the other bands and their significant others. Then, there’s all the behind-the-scenes employees who might be looking at furloughs after April (an industry – worth billions, that will CERTAINLY bounce back after all this – that can’t bring itself to continue paying these people indefinitely is everything that’s wrong with the world); shit’s BLEAK!
As a Mariners fan, this is probably the worst non-baseball event to happen since 9/11 (I’ll never forget how that 2001 team lost so much momentum with the two weeks off that September, and how it might’ve cost us a shot at getting to the World Series). We all know this team was going nowhere this year, but 2020 was/is absolutely CRITICAL for developing the next crop of
disappointments possible stars who will just get injured and be out of the league in the next three years anyway might break the streak and get this team to within a game or two of the second wild card spot before fucking it up in the end to all of our eternal dismay back into the post-season (will someone get that Debbie Downer out of here and let me finish this blog post?!).
The point is, we NEED baseball to be played! As much of it as possible! Otherwise, a timeline that was generously set for this team to start looking competitive by 2021 (realistically, we were always looking at 2022 for this team to contend, as a legitimate best-case scenario) gets pushed back a year. And with it, a year of service time for all of these prospects we need to be looking at, working with, and teaching up!
On the other hand, we’re coming upon the 20th anniversary of the last time the Mariners made the playoffs (Why Do We Put Ourselves Through This?). Disappointment in all things baseball is like a hard, crusty callous that’s enveloped our hearts. Of course M’s fans will make it through this mostly intact! We’ve all secretly stitched the phrase Same Shit, Different Day into the folds of all our team merch. The people who are REALLY feeling this are the true contenders. If you’re in Win Now mode, you’ve got to be freaking out! Just when we thought the Astros were knocked down a peg – and thus the World Series looked wide open – now we’re looking at a likely-truncated season, with an outside shot of no season whatsoever.
It’ll be interesting to see what that truncated season might look like. I get the idea of playing into October (although, Jesus, the number of late-season rainouts will surely soar!), and I actually like the idea of more planned double-headers, but there’s just no way to come close to playing the full slate of games in 2/3 of the time! And here’s the thing: the 162-game season is the great equalizer; you rarely see a team go all the way that doesn’t REALLY deserve it. The cream ALWAYS rises to the top (same way it does in the NBA). You can argue it’s that way across all sports (except hockey), but every once in a while you’ll see an NFL team shock the world (at the very least, you frequently see NFL teams go from worst-to-first in their divisions).
But, we’ve all seen those baseball teams that play hot through 2/3 of the season, before coming down to Earth as their lack of talent/depth reveals them for the frauds that they’ve been. I mean, shit, at least a few of those have been Mariners teams the last 20 years, who tantalized us for a while, before the inevitable swoon.
In a short season, there could be real chaos! We could see an unlikely team not only make the playoffs, but manage to get hot at the right time and go all the way!
We won’t get to see any of that, though, if this thing doesn’t get under control and we don’t return to some semblance of normalcy. I’ve left my house, I think, twice in the last 2+ weeks. My poor car has sat un-driven for so long. I’m not NOT going crazy, is the point.
Come back soon, baseball! I need to be predictably crushed by the weight of the Mariners failing to live up to even the most modest of expectations! I need to feel
something nothing again!