Ichiro Suzuki, the last remaining link to the Mariners’ magical 2001 season, has moved on. And with him to the Yankees goes the apparently dreadful stench of success, anathema to the Mariners’ front office wizards.
Left behind are a patchwork of also-rans, never-rans and coulda-rans. Soft-hitting Dustin Ackley, Carlos Peguero and Michael Saunders aren’t likely to pack the Safeco stands. And what’s to bring fans to the Mariners store once the marked down Ichiro jerseys are sold out other than Felix Hernandez memorabilia. He’ll undoubtedly start pressing for a trade of his own soon.
J.P. Patches Was 84
“I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,” Ichiro said, “so I am not able to contain my excitement in that regard.”
Not that Ichiro was pulling $90 million worth of weight anymore. Batting a mere .261, he is off-pace to crack 200 hits again and is responsible for just 28 runs batted in.
We’ll have DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to look forward to, hardly household names and hardly intimidating pitchers. Mitchell has a dominating 5.04 ERA in Scranton/Wilkes Barre, while hot potato Farquhar has eked out 2 wins in 5 decisions for Toronto, Oakland and New York this season for a respectable 3.33 ERA.
Adding in the untimely death of J.P. Patches this week, Seattle just can’t seem to get a break.
First the good news. With a mini win streak going against the Royals — read: two games — the Mariners have ascended to merely second worst in the American League. The M’s also aren’t dead last in the Major Leagues in batting average (29th) or slugging percentage (28th).
The bad news, they are still a dreadful team that IS dead last in on-base percentage. Our best everyday hitter is batting .259 and our star of the future Justin Smoak is a mere point above the Mendoza line.
Marshawn Lynch poses for a familiar camera
Oh, and Seahags running back Marshawn Lynch was just arrested for driving under the influence, after nearly plowing his Ford Econoline van into two other cars in Oakland. He’s scheduled for trial August 14, just days after the Hawks’ first preseason game. Not a good thing for Seattle football fans and definitely not a good thing for Lynch.
Way to come up small Beast Mode.
All season I’ve been singing the praises of the Twins whose futility has kept the Mariners out of the American League cellar. No more.
With a loss yesterday to the A’s, the Mariners (.413) are officially the worst team in the AL. They couldn’t muster a single run behind a stellar performance from Erasmo Ramirez who fanned 10 and allowed just three hits over eight innings.
“We’ve just got to get to the point where every area of our club is clicking at the same time,” Manager Eric Wedge said. “We couldn’t put an inning together. We had some good swings on the ball tonight, but we didn’t put an inning together.”
Make that 23, Eric. That’s how many innings it’s been since the Mariners scored their last run. Let me repeat that, not one run in 23 innings. They’ve also lost 5 of 6 to the Padres (.365), the second worst team in all of baseball.
Well, at least the Astros are worse (.411) and they’ll be joining the AL West next year.
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.