The Seattle Mariners.
What do you think of when that team comes to mind? Ken Griffey Jr? Randy Johnson? The 2001 season when they won 116 games? Or, do you think of the last seven seasons in which the M's have been an abysmal team?
As a Mariner fan, yes, that's what I think of. The one thing those first three examples all have in common is that they are all from the same era: 1995-2001. After that, no more Big Unit, no more Junior and certainly no more winning 116 games.
The heart rip-out job the A's did to Seattle in '02 seemed to condemn the team for the next six years. Yes, the mariners won 88 games in '07, but can anything good that happened with the Mariners under Bill Bavasi be called anything but a fluke?
Anyway, all that leads me to where the team is now: in the midst of a playoff race. Or are they?
Well, according to many sources, the M's season is all but over. Yes, these same sources still say there's lots to play for (namely next season), but let's get real, Seattle's only 4.5 games back of the Red Sox for the AL Wild Card lead.
With only two teams between them and the Sox, it's not as if the Mariners have to count on six or seven different teams to choke to give them a chance of making the playoffs.
Seattle's only two games behind Tampa Bay—they play the Rays two more times this season—and they play the Rangers, who are 0.5 games behind the Bo-Sox, twice as well. It basically comes down to the Red Sox, who the M's don't face the rest of the way.
So, I'd simply like to say that the Seattle Mariners 2009 season is far from over. Will they make the playoffs? Probably not. Can they make the playoffs? Absolutely yes!
Understand that far crazier things have happened. There's still lots of baseball to be played this season (50 games for the Mariners), and it's not as though 4.5 games would set the MLB record of largest margin to overcome with 50 games to go.
I'm not just writing this to Mariners fans—I'm writing this to any fan out there who's lost hope of their team making the postseason simply because the team has an uphill battle to fight.
Please! Don't give up so easily. It's not every year that a team does what the Rockies did in '07, I know, but 4.5 games with 50 left is not unrealistic—it's the next Cinderella story.