The good ship Mariner, more tug boat than cruise ship, came chugging into home port listing leeward with 98 losses, needing a split in the final four games with Oakland to avoid losing 100 games.
The A’s used their power broom in sweeping the four game series, 8-1, 9-0, 5-3, and 4-3, marking the second time in two years the Mariners achieved the distinction of futility and bad baseball by losing 100 games. Just as in 2008 they finish 61-101.
Not even the 1969 expansion Seattle Pilots, the goofy, but lovable guys, immortalized in Jim Bouton’s book “Ball Four” were this bad. And they did not have Ichiro or Felix Hernandez.
If the losing continues the Mariners will be the Pittsburgh Pirates of the American League, those National Leaguer’s being the champion of mediocrity, not having a winning season since 1992, and this year losing 105, winning a woeful 57 games. They will get the first pick in the June draft, the Mariners drafting second.
In 2001 the Mariners won 116 games. Yes I said won 116, they lost 46. That seems a lifetime ago. Maybe it was in another dimension, an alternate universe, a bizzaro world of illusion and dreams. Did it really happen?
The Mariners have had five managers in four years indicating impatience and instability in the front office. It is not that they are hiring bad managers, but signing mediocre players. They also trade away good young players, but that is another story.
The games are done, the good ship Mariner in dry dock for repairs, scraping barnacles off the keel, patching up leaks, pumping out bilge, straightening the rudder, and repainting. But the writing will continue.
Though the year is over for the sorrowful shipmates, during the off-season I will be writing a season recap, a position by position look at what they need next year, who may be going, who should be staying, a look at minor league affiliates, and future stars.