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Mariners fan keeps hope alive

By Sunny Cadwallader - May 27, 2018

Twelve days.

Twelve days is enough time. Or, so I think.

It’s been 12 days since the announcement that Seattle Mariners star second-baseman Robinson Canó was suspended for 80 games. Major League Baseball made the announcement after Canó dropped his appeal which began before the 2018 season.

MLB was able to prove that the substance Canó used - the diuretic furosemide - was used as a masking agent. Masking agents tend to be used to dilute one’s urine, you know, just in case a surprise drug test springs up. Like it did for Canó.

Mariners fans were already prepared for a long period without Canó due to being placed on the disabled list the day before with a broken right hand. But this? This...80 games...is something M’s fans were unprepared for.

At the time, the Mariners were 24-17 (.585) and 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West. They were only 0.5 games back in the Wild Card. Around the same time in 2017, they were already nine games behind the Houston Astros in the West at 18-21.

It’s the ever-present “hope springs eternal” when spring training rolls around. Eternal optimism meets reality once games count in the regular season, of course.


The M's weren’t blowing people away with their play, but they hadn’t played themselves out of contention either by April’s end, so that was a positive.

Such is life as a Mariners fan, of which I am one.

This year’s version of the Mariners felt resilient. Even with the odd, but not surprising, signing of former star Ichiro (now a “special assistant”) and seemingly pitcher after pitcher, player after player ending up on the DL in April, it still didn’t feel like a season where we said, Same old Mariners.  

I came across a tweet thread by user @JohnTrupin that summed up the season so far for M’s fans:


Few fans better grasp the probability this all falls apart than Mariners fans. But the *worst* outcome is that this team doesn't win enough baseball games, which isn't a crushing tragedy folks need sheltering from, especially vs. literally everything else happening in the world.

 

That doesn't mean analysis should be rose-tinted. I didn't pick this team to make the playoffs before the season & I'm still pretty skeptical now. But there's not a single Mariners fan over the age of 10 who doesn't understand the implied qualifiers that come with M's enthusiasm.

 

Maybe our glasses shouldn’t be fully rose-tinted, but perhaps one lens is rosy and the other is not-quite-gloom-and-doom dark grey.


Today, 12 days later, Seattle is 31-20 and two games behind Houston. The rosy lens would say “If the playoffs ended today”, the M’s are in the playoffs with a Wild Card spot. Alternatively, the not-quite-gloom-and-doom dark grey lens says, “There’s over FOUR FREAKIN’ MONTHS of the season left! We can’t think playoffs now!!! In May!!!

OK, maybe not quite like that. But, there’s a lot of season left to play. Too much to be overly optimistic. Call it cautiously optimistic. The disabled list has been the Mariners' mistress this season and in those types of relationships, someone always gets...hurt. (Yeah, I said it.)

Starting center fielder (and Canó’s second-base replacement) Dee Gordon went on the DL after Canó. Sadly, former ace, Felix Hernandez, isn’t quite King Felix-like anymore. James Paxton is the man now in the starting rotation.


Designated hitter Nelson Cruz leads the American League in hit-by-pitches this season with 7. According to Baseball Reference on May 25, 2018, Seattle leads the majors in hit-by-pitches with 29.


The Minnesota Twins, as a team, have seven.

With four-plus months left in the season, there is no room for excessive optimism or cynicism. It’s baseball. The sport offers both at varying levels throughout the season. There’s crying in baseball with tears of joy and frustration.

Twelve days is enough time to process life without Canó for the rest of the season. Yes, he’ll be able to return in August. But, should Seattle make the playoffs, Canó won’t be eligible for their postseason run to the World Series.


Yeah, I said.it.

Playoffs baby!

12 days is enough time to keep those rose-colored glasses on.




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