We made it guys. Things didn’t look so hot in the beginning, but hey—look at us now. Baseball is back! – just about. Thank you Bundesliga, you did a fabulous job tiding us over, and now the Premier League is back to aid our smooth transition from watching midday soccer matches while working from home to watching midday baseball games while working from home. It’s a big change, and we’ll all have to make sacrifices, but I believe in us.
So, 60 games, huh? Almost makes you feel like anyone could win it all. To some, even making the playoffs is like trying to catch a greased hog. Then you have the Seattle Mariners, who might as well be blind-folded while trying to catch said greased hog. We all know the story; no playoffs since 2001, longest active playoff drought in all four major sports, yada, yada, yada…but even a kid standing blind-folded in the corner of a pig pen can catch a greased pig if he stands there long enough. He just has to be ready to reach out and hold on tight. The Mariners could do it, theoretically, feasibly, scientifically, logically, hopefully. I’ve obviously thought about this quite a bit. I keep coming back to one question – will it feel the same?
During the Mariners’ playoff drought they were in position to make the postseason five times after 60 games (2014 was a three way tie for the final wildcard and I didn’t work through the tiebreakers, sue me). Five times in 18 years isn’t anything to tell mommy about, but it’s something. So hypothetically, the Mariners make the playoffs. Then they hypothetically lose in the Wild Card game. Yay? Does this please Mariners fans? Are you not entertained? What if they then go five more years without a postseason game?
This season will stand alone in the history of baseball. Or we could just tack it on to the ’94 season and see what happens. It’s not going to be like any season we’ve seen before and it shouldn’t be compared to any, nor should these teams be compared to teams from past years. So if the Mariners make the playoffs, yeah, I’ll be ecstatic, slap my tush and call me Sally. But the drought won’t be over for me because guess what, the Mariners have done 60 games pretty well before and where did that get them but on their couch curled up under a blanket with the heat cranked up watching scary movies.
The Mariners don’t need a Wild Card loss after a 60-game season. Now if they win, (yes we’re diving deep into the ancient “if well”) the fans will go nuts, new fans will latch on and old ones will come out of hibernation. But as I sit here before anyone has taken the field, when I can still think logically, a 60-game season playoff berth is just as good as a high draft pick. There, I said it. A weight has been lifted off of me and thrown onto you. The promise of the Mariners isn’t in next season, probably not even the season after that. And while I will one-hundred-percent backtrack on this position once the season actually starts, for now I can’t be disappointed with stacking more talent. The goal is a World Series. Everyone is up in arms about the playoffs, rightfully so, but the Mariners’ World Series drought is almost twice as long as its playoff drought. The dream is to win it all, and while they’re young, let us dream.