Woohoo. The Mariners won on a walk last night. I can hardly contain my excitment. Eddie Guardado had the quote of the century: "More of these, and it would be a different record..". Couldn't have said it better myself. If the Mariners had won more, they would have a different win-loss record.
There are definitely some things to be excited about as a Mariner fan. Felix is making his SafeCo debut tonight. That is definitely cool and I wish I could be there to see it. If anyone goes, be sure to share your thoughts here.
There are some other bright spots too. George Sherrill has yet to give up a run since being called up. That's huge. It'd be great if he could lock down that lefty set-up role for next year. Snelling and Reed were the biggest contributors to last night's win. Let's hope to see a lot of that in the future.
But I'm having a hard time feeling anything too positive about the Seattle Mariners right now. Look at what the A's are doing. They have lost great player after great player, have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, and still have found a way to be in contention every year since 2000. The M's have lost great players, have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and are in the middle of the franchise's worst two-year stretch since the early 1980s.
How about the Braves? Written off every year but still end up in the playoffs. Some will say that it's meaningless since they've only got one World Series to show for it. But I think that makes it even more impressive. Years of playoff frustration, but they still bounce back every year. When the M's lose in the playoffs, everyone feels sorry for themselves.
My point is that there isn't a culture of winning surrounding the Mariners organization. A lot of that has to do with never winning it all. Because of that, every time something goes wrong it's "here we go again". 2002 and 2003 are great examples of that. Those teams had plenty of opportunites to make a run to the playoffs, but all we heard was bitching and whining about a lack of moves at the deadline. I would hate to see the Mariners fall into the Red Sox/Cubs category of lovable losers.
Do we really think 2006 will be that much better? I can't help but think that this year is going to be tough to bounce back from. There was a lot of optimism to start the year, and it's been just as bad as last year. The good thing is that there are a lot of new faces. Let's hope that those new faces can instill a new culture in this organization. And let's hope that new culture leads to a different record.