I am extremely excited, y’all!
This isn’t so much a season preview, as I’ve done plenty of that in my Mariners writing over the LONG offseason. We know what we’re getting: a baseball team that’s going to lose more than it wins. Under normal circumstances, on July 24th, I’d be writing about what a fucking SLOG it’s been so far. Instead, a refreshing change of pace!
60 games, that’s nothing (in the grand scheme of baseball things)! But, it’s both perfect and far-from-ideal. It’s perfect because if the Mariners are as bad as I think they are, we’re going to witness a lot of on-field ineptitude, so keeping that torture to just a couple months is better than playing three times that amount. It’s far-from-ideal because, obviously, you want the younger players to get as much experience as possible. Between the drastically shortened season, and the near-complete lack of a minor league summer program, it truly feels like a lost year in all respects.
Sickeningly, Major League Baseball has announced that the playoffs are expanding from ten teams (five per league) up to 16 (eight per league). So, for the American League – for instance – the top two teams in each 5-team division will qualify for the postseason (with the last two teams being Wild Cards based on best overall record). That’s … honestly pretty great! What dreadful luck that the Mariners figure to be among the worst teams in baseball, because if there was ANY year where a mediocre M’s team might break the playoff drought, this COVID-affected season might’ve been one of them!
I know you’re going to read some things and hear from some people who will tell you that “anything can happen in a 60-game season,” and that the Mariners have just as good of a chance as anyone to shock the world and sneak into the asterisk convention – hell, you might hear that from ME if things get off to a hot start! – but on this overcast, 60-degree day in late July in Tacoma, Washington, let our cooler heads prevail on this one: the Mariners are going nowhere and they’ll be doing nothing come October, except sitting around still probably trying to avoid catching this damn virus.
All of this downer talk can’t stop me from being excited about tonight! Of course, when the Cheating Astros start teeing off on our guys and pummel us over the long weekend, I’m sure that excitement will wane dramatically. But, this is one of the few things I’ve had to look forward to over the summer, so I’m not going to let a little thing like the Mariners ruin my enthusiasm for the