End of the Road for Overachieving Seattle Mariners

Seattle SportsnetCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 01:  Jarrod Washburn #56 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the New York Yankees on July 1, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It’s all but over.

But it was a damn good run.

The Mariners are prepared to become sellers in the final days before the July 31 trade deadline, and we can’t pretend we didn’t see this coming.

Although, in truth, most of us expected the M’s to be selling by May or June, not lasting until the 11th hour.

And that’s what we need to remember about the 2009 season. Not the rebuilding, not the inevitable moves that will be made in the coming days, and not even what will likely become Ken Griffey, Jr.’s swan song.

We need to remember the wins. The ride this team took us on. The unexpected success following one of the worst seasons in this franchise’s history.

This edition of the Seattle Mariners wasn’t projected to do anything. With veteran spare parts commingling with unheralded youngsters, the patchwork ballclub was deemed a loser before a game was ever played.

Fast forward three months and your ‘09 M’s are anything but losers.

Not one year removed from a 100-loss season, these new-look Mariners are 51-47 and eons better than their counterparts from 2008.

They’ve found promising talent to build around (Franklin Gutierrez, Russell Branyan) and have rekindled the careers of veterans who could become powerful trade chips in the next week (Jarrod Washburn).

And even though it’s all but over, the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet.

The 2003 Florida Marlins made mid-season callups of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis and ended up winning the World Series.

Even if the M’s dispose of a veteran or two, who knows what they could achieve in the final two months of the season. They may not win the AL West, but they might be able to keep things interesting for a little while.

But even if they can’t bring back memories of 1995, at least we can feel good about the direction this organization is moving in.

And that’s a far cry from how we felt just one year ago.