I want to believe, but I’ve seen this before – Brandon Naff
I love baseball. It’s always been my favorite sport, because anything is possible.
That’s why the Seattle Mariners are so difficult to watch. It’s hard to be a fan of this team when you love the sport. You’re not crazy if you don’t believe, you just know math. Yet somehow the Mariners always find a way to make you think ‘maybe, just maybe…this time will be different.’
Is it possible that the Mariners will stay hot and finish this season with their first winning record since 2003? Of course. It’s possible. Is it likely? Definitely not.
Before you start yelling and screaming at me for not jumping on the bandwagon let me tell you just how bad the Mariners are at closing out a season.
Seattle finished 2003 at 93-69, good for second place in the AL West. Things might have been different had the team finished better than 13-12 in their final 25 games. In fact, games played on or after September 1st is when the Mariners play some of their worst baseball.
Since the 2003 season (starting in 2004), the M’s have finished with a combined 109-152 record in their final month of games. The last three seasons have been some of their worst, going 9-21 in ’10, then 9-18 in’ 11, and 11-18 to end 2012, for a combined total of 29-57.
Okay, so what? Say they stay hot into August and finish with a .500 mark or better in the month of September, that could happen right? Well, statistically speaking…no. The dog days of summer have not been kind to the boys in blue and teal. Over the past nine seasons dating back to ‘04, Seattle has won an average of 13 games and lost an average of 15 in the month of August, and they’ve been flirting with that mark over the last three seasons. (15-12 Aug. 2012; 13-15 Aug. 2011; 13-14 Aug. 2010) Couple that with their losing record in September and you have one big mess on your hands.
Prepare yourself fans, because baseball in the Emerald City is about to get really ugly.
The problem is that the Mariners lack consistency. There’s a saying often tossed around with baseball: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Sure we’ve seen them go through stretches where they look like future playoff contenders, but too often those runs are few and far between, and the cold streaks are devastating.
Do I want to be excited? Yes. Absolutely. Can I be? No. Not really. This team has to prove to me that they can go out and play well for nine innings every night, for 162 games. The Mariners need to learn how to limit the damage when they’re cold, and ride the momentum on the hot streaks. They haven’t learned how to do that yet.
Maybe I’m jaded, maybe I’m just realistic, or maybe I’ve just had my heart broken by this club too many times… One thing’s for sure: as much as I want to, I’m not buying yet. I have to see more.
For now, I’m an Orioles fan. You might remember Adam Jones and Chris Tillman? Instead we got Erik Bedard. Never forget that.