Monday, September 29, 2014

Upset the Ms Missed the MLB Playoff? Here is Some Advice

Life is what happens while you wait for the Seattle Mariners to make the MLB playoffs.

Seriously, they've been in existence since 1977 - 37 seasons of baseball. So much can and does happen over a 37 year span - for individuals, society, in sports, entertainment and on and on - life in other words.  And how many times have the Ms made the playoffs over that time frame? Four. That's right. Thirty-three seasons of no playoff and usually losing baseball. And, of course, no World Series appearances or titles.

Indeed, the intervals between playoff appearances for the Ms are long. It took 19 seasons for their first post-season appearance. Two years later, they were back in the playoffs and it looked like the entire franchise had turned things around. But, after two more appearances over a four year period, it's been another 13 seasons of not making the playoffs.

So, while I'm glad the Seattle Mariners had a winning season in 2014 and made it a more interesting fall than normal for baseball in the northwest, I am not surprised they failed to advance. History is clear.

That, and the team had far too many uninspired, uninterested losses to bottom feeder teams for me to feel sorry for or upset that the Ms failed to qualify on the last game of the season. Too much was left out on the diamond all season long.  I personally attended two losses to a horrid Houston team - losses in which you could tell the guys just didn't give a crap about being out there. No hustle, no spark, no sense of urgency. Hell, win just ONE of those and, as it turns out, they would be in the playoffs.

So what does all that mean to Seattle sports fans feeling upset today that the Mariners are done? I have three pieces of advice that I think will help you feel better about your local sports scene:

First, appreciate the Seahawks. Those guys - regardless of talent - care. This current roster plays with passion and leaves all effort out on the field each game. Sure, they're good and that helps a lot. But what I'm saying is...appreciate the effort and the passion. And of course, they're the reigning Super Bowl champs. So, there's that for you too.

Second, think about supporting a consistent local winner. Who am I talking about? How about the Seattle Sounders soccer team. They've made the playoff each of their five years in the MLS, consistently have one of the best records in the league year-in and year-out, their home field/game day experience is wonderful, they have a GREAT rivalry with Portland and another with Vancouver, and they've won the annual US Open tournament four times in six years. That's a winner folks. Oh, you say you don't like soccer because it's "boring" or something? If you're a baseball have no leg to stand on there. Baseball is the most tedious pro sport in existence. Get over yourself and get on the Sounders bandwagon. If you can enjoy baseball, believe me you can get into soccer.

Third, hey...if you like baseball and the Ms, fine. Be a great supporter. But, also embrace the history and keep your expectations in check. After all, your team is almost never going to be in the post season. You could have a child today and that child could very well grow up, graduate high school and be of voting age before the Ms make the post season again. If you go into each season with that as your expectation, then perhaps you can enjoy it more when they don't make it. And then, on the super rare occasion they time!

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