It’s with heavy hearts that tonight we lay the Mariners hopes of a divisional championship this year to rest.
It’s obviously not easy for any of us. It was with unexpected joy that we watched this team sniff chances at first place.
But the All Star Break is here. And reality has set in.
The Mariners are now 7 1/2 games back of first place. With the trade deadline upon us, it’s forcing the front office to make practical, not emotional, decisions. These choices are now clear: a sell-off to build toward the future.
But different from years past, this is not a goodbye; rather, a celebration of a franchise headed in the right direction.
We applaud a team that challenged for first place despite detrimental pieces. In one season, this organization is paying more than 20 million dollars combined for Milton Bradley and Chone Figgins. Another 17 million for Ichiro, who’s having the worst year of his career.
The Mariners have the worst combined batting average in the Major Leagues and have scored the fewest runs. That they contended for first was nothing short of a miracle, and a burden for one of the most talented pitching staffs in the league.
Tonight, we say goodbye to our playoff hopes, but we say thanks to leadership and hustle guys like Brendan Ryan, and future stars like Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda, vital pieces that *will* make this a divisional contender past the All Star Break this year.
And we say thanks to Eric Wedge’s power mustache, which hasn’t gone as white as might’ve been expected.
It’s time to prepare our goodbyes for Figgins, Jack Wilson and Erik Bedard – if there are any takers, and time to enjoy watching Ackley, Justin Smoak and even Kyle Seager – because it’s a core of guys that give this team more hope than before.
And unfortunately, it’s time to settle this summer for what the mariners are best known for – the Hydro races. The garlic fries. The Beer Garden. The Bobbleheads. And now the King’s Court. Gimmicks designed to keep us occupied until we have a reason to care.
Again, this is not a goodbye for good. Only – a just wait til next year.