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My Team Sucks. . .And That’s Okay

August 9, 2019

They aren’t very good. They started out red hot. They were beating everyone they played. And then reality hit.

Okay, they aren’t really my team. They are a team I follow. I’ve never played professional baseball and I certainly don’t own a part of the team.

But, like fans everywhere, I claimed them for my own. Not that fans everywhere claim the Seattle Mariners, of course. But, everyone chooses their team.

It’s not just that my team is bad this year. They’ve always been bad with a brief period of moderate success in the early 2000s. In fact, in 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games. That’s the most that any team in the American League has ever won. It ties the record for the most wins by any MLB team. they tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

Part of the reason I love baseball is that we can talk about stats that are more than 100 years old and they are still relevant today. (Yes, I understand that is exactly why some people hate baseball.)

The 1906 Cubs didn’t win the World Series. They would win it the next two years, and then go into one of the most famous droughts in the history of all sports, not just baseball. They went 108 years before they won their next championship in 2016. This is considered the longest losing streak in MLB history.

It’s not.

Every team except two have been to the World Series. The Washington Nationals and the Seattle Mariners have never been to the Fall Classic. However, the old Washington Senators went to the championship series in 1924 and beat the Minnesota Twins.

That means that Seattle is the only MLB city that has never had a team go to the World Series. A century plus eight years is a long time. You know what’s a longer time? FOREVER

The Mariners are “rebuilding” this year. That’s code for “We’re going to be really bad, but don’t be too disappointed, it’s on purpose.

They traded their established good players for other teams’ young good players. The idea if they get a bunch of young guys who are destined for greatness and in a few years it will be a good team. It’s not a bad strategy, the Houston Astros did it about 15 years ago and they are one of the elite teams in baseball right now.

But, they don’t have the history of futility that Seattle has. Up until three years ago that the Mariners had a player in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Ken Griffey Jr was elected in 2016. He was joined by Edgar Martinez this year. In five years they will be joined by Ichiro who retired this year after coming back to Seattle to close out his MLB career where it started.

Maybe by the time Ichiro is inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2024, the Mariners rebuilding will start paying off. After all, the last time the Mariners were even in the playoffs was 2001 when they won those 116 games.

It was also Ichiro’s first season. Be a nice way to bring his influence full circle.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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