Same old M’s? Hopefully not l Editor's Note

By Brandon Gustafson | Apr 04, 2018

I try to be a fairly positive person for the most part.

My friends and family reading this are probably laughing and saying, “You’re kidding, right?” But it’s honestly the truth.

One area where I am an eternal pessimist is with the Seattle Mariners.

As a die-hard baseball fan and a huge Mariners fan, I’ve been spurned too many times by them for me to have any inkling of optimism heading into a season anymore.

The Mariners currently have the longest active streak among major US sports teams for seasons without a postseason appearance.

That’s covering the MLB, NFL, NBA, and the NHL.

I’ve been hearing, “This is our (Mariners) year” since I was in elementary school.

I mean, I was 6 years old the last time the Mariners made the playoffs. I could barely tie my own shoes or even spell “Mariners” or “playoffs!”

Need more proof of my pessimism? My roommates and I cut cable from our Xfinity bill in order to save some money each month. A large part of that is the Mariners have continually broke my heart since I was a wee lad, sitting in the right field bleachers with my parents watching Ichiro play.

But this opening series was a pretty good one for the team, not going to lie.

It’s funny, because if you had told me that the Mariners would win two of three against the Cleveland Indians, a team that won more than 100 games last season, I would have guessed they had lost the first game started by Felix Hernandez and then won the next two games started by James Paxton and Mike Leake, respectively.

Alas, Hernandez showed he was worthy of being declared the team’s “ace” for the 2018 campaign and that he is in fact still “King Felix.”

Hopefully he can continue to wear that crown for the remainder of 2018.

Paxton’s opening was a little disappointing as I personally had high expectations for him. But control issues and home runs limited him to less than 5 innings of work.

Leake is a bulldog, but 7 innings of 2-run ball? I’ll take that from any pitcher.

I was pretty busy covering events this past Saturday and when I finally got a chance to check my phone, I had an alert saying “Ichiro’s still got it” and I assumed he had gotten another infield hit or something like that, but that wasn’t the case.

The 44-year-old scaled the wall in left field and robbed a home run like it was nothing. It was awesome! Look it up online if you haven’t had the opportunity to see it.

Not only that, but he had two hits that game!

It’s been fun seeing a team win three really close, one-run games, but alas, things have also occurred that makes me throw my hands up and say, “same old M’s!”

Nelson Cruz hit a huge home run in the first game that essentially won them the game from the get-go.

Cruz followed that up with a home run in the second game that helped cut the Indians’ lead. Then he went into the clubhouse and rolled his ankle on a set of stairs!

This is after injuries piled up last year to the point where they tied the record for using the most pitchers in MLB history as well as Spring Training where multiple key players got hurt, including a starting pitcher in Erasmo Ramirez, a key cog in the bullpen in David Phelps, and projected starting left fielder Ben Gamel.

As much fun as watching the Seahawks dominate the NFL has been over the last few years (thank you Pete Carroll and John Schneider), I am still in the belief that Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general is a baseball area, despite the continual rain during the springtime.

I honestly think the Mariners winning the World Series would be bigger than when the Seahawks won Super Bowl 48.

At the end of the day, they’ve been losers essentially since their inception in 1977.

Aside from one decent stretch between 1995 and 2001, they’ve been really bad.

But they’re lovable losers that I keep coming back to despite my best judgment.
Even though I don’t have access to their games via television, I’ll follow games online and listen to Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith on 710 ESPN.

So fingers crossed that they end the playoff drought this year.

Do I think it’s likely? Not really.

But at least after winning their first series against a team that won over 100 games last year, they’ve given us a little glimmer of hope. But then again, there’s still over 150 games to go.

 

 

 

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