Kyle Lewis Is The Reason, Right Now, To Keep Watching The Seattle Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 15: Kyle Lewis #30 of the Seattle Mariners waits for a pitch during an at-bat in a game against the Chicago White Sox at T-Mobile Park on September 15, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won 11-10. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

I am biased and subjective when I’m downright True to the Blue. Yet even I know Seattle Mariners baseball in 2020 is not strictly elegant. It’s ugly, actually. And somehow I know, I can feel it, I sense this baby M’s squad’s ceiling will elude the realms of language indefinitely; it’s in fact, utterly undefined, and therefore potentially something of the otherworldly, and phenomenal.

Let us jump through some hoops to feel better about a team that’s gone 4-8 out of the gate. Fair warning: yet again, I’ve deployed an outsized dose of magical thinking to explain to my astonishingly patient girlfriend, and sound-sensitive dog, Titus, why I’ve zealously watched – and screamed during every M’s game so far, and been rewarded with far less than say, any number of San Diego Padres or Colorado Rockies fanatics. 

We know GM Jerry Dipoto committed to the full rebuild. And now, watching, this feels like evaluating the paw size of a rapacious puppy specifically bred for its competitive sleigh pulling prowess six or seven months later. Even young, ebullient, skilled, the vast majority of the Iditarod’s best sled dogs must train relentlessly before they even begin adjusting to the hefty task work at full speed. 

The universally clumsy gaffes of this 9-headed dog in the field, at the plate, and implied by the consistent bullpen implosions – and all other warning signs and flashbacks consistent with the strife of the abysmally uncomfortable, and uncompetitive M’s teams of the past – are punctuated by silver linings and potent shocks of flash-bang brilliance on the road at T-Mobile Park too.

Professional baseball’s learning curves, unless a player or prospect is Mike Trout-preternaturally superhuman and gifted, are like dog fights. They are unglamorous, brutal, devastating. As of this paragraph’s composition, however, Kyle Lewis, a ripe, 25 year old, currently leads the MLB in hits, having reached base safely in eleven of the team’s first dozen games. 

And that’s astonishing. 

Kyle Lewis looks like – I can hardly write this, knowing what I do about the everlasting, and with malice aforethought, sick, sinister and twisted curses levied by the Baseball Gods against M’s fans the world over – Ken Griffey Jr. in center field. 

Wednesday evening, Lewis robbed a home run, and in the next inning, slugged an opposite field double and scored shortly thereafter. All of this after a bombastic ten game hitting streak to start the season, one of the best in franchise history.

All things considered, The Baseball Gods are an unpredictable and subversive faction of quirky rebels. They despise exuberant writers, and unreasonably optimistic fans, I know. And truth be told, the week I received a James Paxton jersey as a birthday gift, he was traded to the Yankees.

So if Kyle Lewis has big shoes to fill in center field, Ken Griffey Jr’s eternally super fresh teal high top cleats to be specific – and the M’s have already shared his taste in AirJordans on social media – then he’ll need exorbitantly over large paws to fill the foam void behind the swooshes. 

So far, though, judging by the size of the dog without a ceiling, Lewis is more than just a new kid with flashy leather and pop at the plate. He seems good for a half decade or more’s worth of All-Star Game appearances. He’s earned a juxtaposition with The Kid, and that’s being incisive, balanced and fair. 

Believe me when I say, The odds of Kyle Lewis winning the American League MVP after the M’s reach the World Series in 2020 are something like 10,000 to 1, I know. But to conclude with a quote from the savvy and seasoned, and compulsive and gambling addicted Kevin Malone from The Office, “If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 odds on anything, you take that bet.”

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About Jackson Pappin 51 Articles
Jackson Pappin is a freelance writer. A 2018 WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication alumni, he writes fiction, journalism, columns, essays and poetry. His work has been published in Anastamos, The Oregonian, The Spokesman Review, The Seattle P.I. Reader Blogs, The Daily Evergreen, The Central Circuit, LandEscapes and at the Spectra Art Gallery. His writing is available at