Disaster Looms

“It can’t last.”

Any Seattle sportsball fan will know exactly what you mean.

We don’t use the sentence lightly. No, the Mariners aren’t going to win 160 games this season. They’re not even going to win 137 games, which is what their current record projects to. Obviously; not worth mentioning.

Let’s get real. Eighteen years ago today, the best Mariners team in history–by one crude measure, the best team in MLB history–was 6-2. The unspoken assumption in Seattle was that the Ms were one series away from a .500 record. That they kept winning can’t be laid solely at the feats of Ichiro, but he sure contributed mightily. Worth remembering, in this, his final season.

Nobody expects this year’s Mariners to win 116 games.

Good things come in waves, and so do bad things. That doesn’t mean they balance out. A little bad gives the good more savor. A little good gives the bad more intensity. Some clouds have a tin foil lining. Some roses smell as sweet as what comes out of the back end of a cow.

The latest predictions give the Mariners 81 wins and a 13.7% chance of making the playoffs. Before the season, they were expected to win 75, with only a 2.3% chance of playing into October.

Seattleites don’t expect a .500 season. They say “It can’t last” and “The original prediction sounds more accurate.”

Starting the season with thirteen straight games with at least one home run? “It can’t last.”

Seattle lost a major league, former champion hockey team and a major league, former champion basketball team. Lost an epically bad major league baseball team after one season. After going 116-46, the record-setting Mariners lost the ALCS to the Yankees; the next year they finished 93-69 and missed the playoffs by 6 games.

Failure isn’t a way of life. It’s the way of life.

I’m writing this post Wednesday, shortly before the Mariners take the field against the Kansas City Royals. They’re looking to win the series, go 12-2, and tie the record for games with a home run to start the season*.

* Yes, including those games in Japan. Just because they don’t feel real doesn’t mean MLB won’t count them.

I expect them to lose. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them get shut out and start a ten game losing streak.

Because it can’t last.

But it’s sure fun while it does. See you at the ballpark.

(Post-Game Update: The Mariners won the game and hit a home run. No doubt the expected shutout and losing streak will start tomorrow. Won’t stop me from watching.)