There’s been little to cheer in the Seattle Mariners’ 35 years of existence. There’s the “Mendoza Line,” named for the sub-.200 hitting Mariners shortstop. Former Mariner Ken Phelps broke up a perfect game bid by Brian Holman with a home run with two outs in the ninth 22 years ago. They are, along with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, the only franchise never to have even made it to the World Series. It took them until 1991, their 15th season, to even get to a winning record. That was promptly followed by a string of two world championships by the Toronto Blue Jays, who joined the league the same season as the Mariners. Despite racking up the sixth-best single season winning percentage ever, in that glorious 2001 when the team won 116 games, the Mariners missed the big show by losing in 5 games to the Yankees in the ALCS. And in 2008, the Mariners were the first $100 million payroll team to lose 100 games (101 to be exact).
And so it’s come to this: the Mariners are the victims of the 21st perfect game. So accustomed to failure are the Mariners fans that they were actually cheering for Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber in the ninth inning.
So what ignominy comes next? One shudders to think.