Ross: Seattle Mariners did something no team has done in 20 years

Oct 4, 2021, 6:09 AM | Updated: 11:17 am
Seattle Mariners...
Fans at T-Mobile Park. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I used to make fun of the concept of sports teams “controlling their own destiny.” But Sunday’s Mariners game was a perfect example of why controlling your own destiny is so important.

Because if you don’t, the Red Sox will, and thus it was that a game that started off being relevant was suddenly rendered irrelevant by a final out thousands of miles away.

It’s not ‘Wait ’til next year’ with the Mariners, it’s ‘Now just wait ’til next year’

Yes, it was sad that the Mariners lost, but tell me, how much sadder would it have been had they won, only to find out it didn’t matter?

That would have been way worse.

I’ll confess something: I am secretly relieved. After Saturday’s game, which I am pretty sure doubled my heart rate on several plays — to go through a postseason of games like that would probably have been extremely unhealthy.

In any case, congratulations to the Mariners for putting themselves back on the map and achieving something that no baseball team has achieved in at least 20 years. I’m not talking about the number of wins, I’m talking about the number of Mariner players – besides Kyle Seager – whose names I actually know and could use in a conversation: Mitch Haniger, J.P. Crawford, Ty France, Logan Gilbert, Paul Sewald.

I can even remember some of the positions they play. Those last two guys are pitchers, right? See? Even though I should be asleep by 9 p.m., this Mariners team got me to stay up late listening to the games and learning the names, and that is a big deal.

Of course, the flip side of a season this spectacular is that expectations have now been set. We now see the potential of this team.

When they come back next April, we will not look at winning as a merely a pleasant surprise. Winning is what we will expect. By the time the All-Star Game comes to Seattle in 2023, there needs to be at least one really sparkly trophy in the T-Mobile Park display case, and with any luck – two. All you have to do is BELIEVE.

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Ross: Seattle Mariners did something no team has done in 20 years