Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Woe is the Seattle fan
Man how things have changed for the Mariners since the sixth inning of the game they played on August 23, 2007.
The Mariners scored 7 runs that inning, capped by a 2 run homer by Jose Vidro and moved within 1 game of first place Los Angeles (or California… or Anaheim… or Los Angeles of Anaheim depending on who you talk to.)
They won the next night to stay within 1 game… and they went into Anaheim only 2 back for a potential division changing showdown.
Then the losing began.
They lost all three to the Angels… They lost 9 in a row… They lost 13 out of 14… They lost 15 out of 17…
When the dust settled they had fallen 8 ½ games in the standings in less than 3 weeks… doing that at any time is bad. Doing that in September is season crushing.
Since that 7 run rally in late August, the Mariners have gone 42-70… a .375 clip in 112 games.
Good bye manager John McLaren and GM Bill Bavasi… hello yard sale.
And the suffering for Seattle fans continue.
It’s funny that Seattle fans never get the press nor the sympathy they deserve for being really snakebitten.
But think about it… of all the cities that have at least 3 major sports teams, the only city that has waited longer for a title is Cleveland.
Finishing next to Cleveland in sports frustration is kind of like finishing second to Tiger Woods in The Masters. Sometimes you have to just tip your cap to the best.
But they may be soon taken out of the equation all together. The SuperSonics were the most recent title… all the way back in 1979.
To put that in perspective, back then there was a grand total of ONE Starbucks.
Three new Starbucks have opened while you have read this blog post.
And next season they might be the Oklahoma City SuperSonics (which is still not as stupid a name as the Utah Jazz.)
So if the Sonics move goes through, not only would Seattle no longer be a 3 team city… but you’d have to go to the 1917 Stanley Cup Finals to find a Seattle champion. I can’t imagine a lot of fans in the Pacific Northwest will use the 1917 Stanley Cup Champion Seattle Metropolitans as a source for bragging rights.
They didn’t even play in the NHL… they played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, which we can only assume had a better TV deal then than the Versus Network.
So that’s a lot of suffering for Seattle fans. No wonder all of those grunge musicians were so angst ridden.
But with the Mariners falling apart and looking like the Ichiro era might come and go without a World Series appearance the suffering continues.
The Mariners had the best player of the 1990s in his prime with Ken Griffey Jr… the best pitcher of this generation in Randy Johnson in his prime… and some of the best years of Alex Rodriguez who might end up being the greatest player of all time…. And a potential Hall of Fame manager (Piniella) couldn’t get them closer than 2 games of the World Series.
They put together a 116 win season and put up less of a fight in the ALCS than Apollo Creed versus Ivan Drago.
Their pre-Piniella history was 15 losing seasons out of 16… and that’s not even counting the 1969 Seattle Pilots, who left after one year and whose lone contribution to baseball was being the subject of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.
The Sonics never won again… getting crushed by Jordan’s Bulls in the 1996 Finals. And the Seahawks lone Super Bowl appearance was hampered by officiating so bad that Tim Donaghy thought “How much did THEY have on the game?”
So why doesn’t Seattle get the attention? Or the love?
People talk long about how the Cub fans have suffered… but those fans also had the Bulls and Bears win for them.
Cleveland fans may have been suffering longer, but would Major League be as lovable if they were the Mariners instead of the Indians? And the Browns did move… but a new Browns came back.
So why do YOU think Mariners fans? I'm looking at you... Nice Guys Finish Third (which would be quite an accomplishment for this Mariner team!)
How about everyone at Mariners Central? Do you think it has to do with the isolation up there in the Pacific Northwest?
Hey Lookout Landing… do you wish people spoke more about Long Suffering Seattle Fans?
Or everyone at the Seattle Times forum… do you think this apathy is from angry coffee drinking fans across the country who are angry that a cup of Joe now costs $5?
Or maybe because there is no big Buckner, Bartman, John Elway drive moment to symbolize the futility that maybe nobody really realizes how long it has been. What do you think, crew of the USS Mariner?
Let me ask you Moira, the Mariner Housewife… do you WANT this identity, or would you rather just win in anonymity… kind of like how Kurt Cobain claimed that the last thing he wanted to be was famous.
Take it from your pal Sully… being associated with loserdom gets tiring. And I bet it won’t even get an HBO appearance for any of you.
But if worse comes to worse… you can always dust off those Seattle Metropolitan jerseys!