Honestly, when this question was brought up to me, I was pretty confident it was one of the normal suck bag franchises that just haven’t been able to get anything going over the past decade plus. First I was like it has to be the Padres. The days of the Padres murdering baseballs in the 1998 season are long gone, as they have slipped out of the spotlight and into the cellar since their last playoff appearance in the 2006 NLDS (11 years). I guessed the Marlins next, knowing that they blew up the house in typical Marlin fashion after they worked the Yankees in the 2003 World Series and haven’t done anything since. Wrong again, and their 14 seasons without a playoff berth had them sitting in 2nd place. I guessed a few more franchises but just kept getting further away from the truth.
Then it hit me, and I was almost stunned for some reason when it did; The Seattle Mariners. The fucking Seattle Mariners have not been to the playoffs in 16 years since the 2001 ALCS. I guess growing up in the age of Griffey and Ichiro and Brett Boone smashing taters at an obscene pace in the early 2000s it was hard to fathom the Mariners as the team that was 16 years removed from the playoffs. I mean do you remember the 2001 Mariners? Those dudes were un-fucking real. They went 116-46, tying the MLB record for wins, and had a rookie by the name of Ichiro just torch the league. Check out their lineup and the stats they compiled.
Broooo that team was stackkkkkkked. Brett Boone I think needs his own article on the shit he was doing, but Ichiro was just so savage as a rookie. Using Ken Griffey Jr baseball for N64 as a metric to gauge how good someone was, Edgar Martinez had a hitting circle that was the size of the screen. Oh and their pitching staff put together a wild year as well:
Freddy Garcia just straight dealinggggg. Jaime Moyer just painting at 81 on the black. It is just so hard to imagine a team that rattled off 116 wins one year, never returned to the playoffs since. Like that is a monster fall out. Honestly I am rooting for them this year. I don’t hate the moves they have made, and obviously they need to make more, but I love the kid Paxton, as he was a fantasy savior for me last year. I think Dee Gordon is another solid addition as he brings a unique dynamic that very few teams have which is the combo of batting average and pure hell on the base paths. I will review the Mariners in more depth closer to the season, but for now I am still just shocked that it has been 16 freaken years since they last smelt the playoffs.