Monday, June 30, 2014

Mariners, Playoffs and Sorry Doubters

The 2014 Seattle Mariners are a surprise to many in baseball. A surprise to Seattle fans for sure, even more so around the league. A team that has all fans in the Pacific Northwest on an emotional roller coaster of emotions as they scratch and claw their way through series after series. On any given day one may see an electric All-Star pitching performance by Felix Hernandez and the very next see the offense trying desperately to not make a highlight reel on the opposite end of a no hitter. Sometimes these things can even happen on the same day. There is a lot to be excited about as fans, but the days when offense is obsolete it turns fans into naysayers really quick.

There are a lot of Mariners fans on Twitter these days. After all, if you want the latest updates and you're really a fan, you already know that's where you need to be. It is an interesting place to be simply for the vast array of fans and the difference of opinions that you will receive when posting anything at all about the M's. We all ride the roller coaster, we've all been a part of the Fernando Rodney Experience and we have all watched the dreadful past decade and have hoped, have screamed, have cheered and maybe even cried over this teams inability to make the postseason or even have a winning season. We all understand what it is like to lose and we all have visions of grander when it comes to the Mariners. Now that we sit at the halfway point of the season, it's time to decide: are you in, or are you out? Simply put, if you cannot buy in as a fan, what's the point?

To the countless fans that constantly bad mouth Jack Z and the job that he has done with this ball club, it's easy to understand the frustration as things have not worked out as planned. Not by our standards, not by his standards. To the numerous fans that complain about ownership and get so fired up about the belief that the ownership group only cares about money and knows nothing about baseball, your voice is heard. Nobody is blind to the problems and everyone in baseball can attest to the fact that those problems are magnified when the team is not winning. To the hundreds on Twitter that constantly curse the team in a season where we are finally winning, it's all understandable.

BUT, is it worth it?

Is it worth grumbling and complaining about all the way through September? Does it change anything when you sit in your living room and complain to the Mariner Nation on Twitter? Would it make you feel any better when September rolls around if the Mariners fall out of the Wild Card race and miss the playoffs? Would you be vindicated if the Mariners fell below .500 and never rallied out of a downward spiral? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

As of today the Mariners are 6 games over .500 and in sole possession of the second Wild Card spot. In the month of June we are 17 and 10 and continue to win series after series. No Mariners fan or player knows the outcome of the season and that is the pure beauty of the sport. That is why we love the game, that is why we hope.

Wouldn't it be far more exciting as fans to join in? When September rolls around and the Mariners are in the race all the way to the finish line as we all sit on the edges of our seats at Safeco Field hoping, praying for a shot at the postseason. Wouldn't it be a lot more magical to be a believer rather than a naysayer? The only difference is how one responds at the end. Naysayers will say their I told you so's if the Mariners don't hang on and believers will start their hope all over again through the off season. If the Mariners continue their winning and make it to the postseason, we're all going to celebrate the same. Some fans will look back and remember the journey as an exciting roller coaster ride and some will look back and just simply know they doubted the entire time and then act as if they never did at all.

It's almost July. Time to start enjoying baseball. Time to start believing. Lay aside your concerns about the front office and enjoy what happens on the diamond because as this team stands today whether it has glaring holes or not, they are a playoff team. This team has one of the best rotations in baseball and can top our division rival Athletics any day of the week. As it starts to warm up here in Seattle hitting trends at Safeco will begin to change for the better. Whether we believe or not, as our team gets healthy, we will get better. It may not always look like a playoff team, but they are in the thick of a season where there are only two or three teams that are playing like playoff teams consistently.

Wake up! Put on your 1995 Ken Griffey Jr. jersey and get out to the ballpark. There's a lot of baseball left to be played and it's been a really fun season so far. Believe today, you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow!

True To The Blue!