If the 2022 MLB season begins on time, and plays out like a regular season, the Mariners have a unique opportunity not afforded to them since back in 2001. As the Mariners rise from a few years of sub-optimal baseball, the Seahawks dynasty has crumbled in front of our eyes over the course of this season.
There’s talk of Russell Wilson nearing the end of his time with the Hawks, potentially Pete Carroll as well. What this means, is that for the first time in 20 years, Seattle is a baseball city first and foremost.
Fandom has been reinvigorated in Seattle these past few months. Following an electric end to the Mariners season that saw them come up just short of a Wild Card berth, the Seattle Kraken had their first faceoff in franchise history just nine days later down in Las Vegas. The buzz regarding hockey in Seattle seems to have dulled a little on account of the results of the season so far, but the point remains all the same. This is an exciting time to be a Seattle fan but more importantly time for the Mariners to solidify themselves as the best Seattle has to offer.
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Dominance in Seattle:
In a sense they’ve already done that, producing the highest winning percentage of any Seattle based professional sports team in the "big four" leagues (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL) with a .556%, while the Kraken have won .313% and the Seahawks have regressed to a .333%. While those two may have flopped, it is important to give props to both the Sounders and the Storm for paving the way in the Seattle sports scene, with both making the playoffs in their respective leagues.
Look for a large uptick in attendance for Mariners home games this season as the city rallies behind an upstart team headlined by young talent and extremely likable personalities. Gone are the days of 100 losses, 2021 truly marked the beginning of a new era in Mariner baseball, and the fanbase needs to reflect that and believe in what GM Jerry Dipoto and the rest of the front office have spent so long building. The ingredients are there for a fairytale summer in Seattle, and maybe even a little bit of that inherent romanticism of playoff baseball as well.
Imagine if you will, the first playoff baseball game in Seattle after a two decade hiatus. Recall how loud T-Mobile Park was during the last season of the series against the Angels, whether you watched on TV or had the fortune of being there in person. That noise will be back, just as loud if not louder, reverberating around the stadium. If this is the year the Mariners finally do break their playoff-less curse, spend the year looking forward to first pitches being tossed out by two men. Think about welcoming back the two men that were the most unlucky throughout this all, and watching Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez throw out first pitches at a Mariners playoff game.
One Cycles In, One Cycles Out:
The Seahawks owned the 2010s’ in Seattle Sports relevancy. One Super Bowl win, two appearances, eight playoff appearances in the decade, and five NFC West titles is a good showing for a ten-year period, but all good things must come to an end. Fandom is cyclical, it is what makes the rooting experience worthwhile and humanizing.
Good must come with the bad for this to be fun. The Seahawks have had their fun, and need a few years of mediocrity to ground the fanbase. If you exist on the Seattle sports social media scene, whether it be Twitter or Facebook, that point proves itself to be true time and time again.
Fans are expressing their displeasure with the franchise as if they have not just witnessed a decade of absolute dominance, and some perspective is needed. While that may be the case in the NFL, the reflexive is true in baseball.
Mariners fans have sat through the depressing end of the cycle for far too long, and it is their time to be Seattle’s pride and joy, the golden child of the sports world.
So here is to the possibility of a changing of the tides many years overdue. Here is to the potential of a group of extremely likeable individuals like J.P. Crawford, Mitch Haniger, and Marco Gonzales supplemented by a bevy of upstart young stars like Jarred Kelenic and eventually Julio Rodriguez guiding us to the postseason. Here is to hoping this is the summer of Seattle baseball.
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