So you see why I wasn't ready to call last night a turning point, then.
What with SBN having scheduled downtime coming up in a little bit, I'm just going to take this opportunity to re-post (a slightly edited version of) what I wrote on Sunday afternoon, since (A) it's still applicable, and (B) no one saw it the first time since we got hacked like 20 minutes after I put it up. You'll notice that a line or two looks pretty much identical to what I put up last night but whatever I'm allowed to go back to that well if I want. And away we go.
The season isn't over.
The season isn't over, and you shouldn't pay any attention to the people claiming otherwise, because they're overreacting. As bad as things have been, and as big as this hole has gotten, it's still the first week of May, and there's time to right the ship. Look at the standings a year ago today and the Rockies, Yankees, and Phillies were all sucking pretty hard. Not this hard, mind you, but what I'm trying to say is that we haven't reached the point at which it's time to give up.
But we're close. Closer than even the most pessimistic of Mariner fans would've thought we'd be this early. After 34 games, this team is tied with the Rangers and Tigers for the worst record in the American League. The worst. Worse than the Royals. Worse than the Orioles. Worse than the White Sox. Worse than everyone but the Rangers and Tigers, with whom we're tied. They're 7.5 back of the Angels and 6.5 back of the A's, and no matter what you thought of the M's playoff chances back in March, now they're down in the single digits. Thanks to a horrible first five weeks, the Mariners have made their season about five times more difficult. That's not really the start you're looking for when you've invested so much in winning right now.
No longer is this about simply being better than the Angels and the A's (who I definitely didn't see coming). Now this is about being significantly better than the Angels and the A's. Dave already outlined it here. Five months seems like a long time, but making up the ground the M's have lost will require that either they play really well, or their competition doesn't. And that would require that things turn around pretty much right now. The Mariners just can't afford to waste any more opportunities. They can't pull stupid stunts like getting owned by Baltimore - who blows - or getting swept in the Bronx by a mediocre team when they've got their top three starters on the mound. Things like that are inexcusable. It's stupid to say "good teams don't lose to Darrell Rasner Sidney Ponson" because shit happens and even the best teams go slumming from time to time, but when it becomes a pattern, that's a problem. This team has problems. And they need to be fixed as soon as possible, else everything the front office worked for be wasted effort by June.
For the next two weeks, the Mariners will play 11 more games against the Rangers, White Sox, and Padres, one average team and two cellar-dwellers. It's an easier stretch of schedule than those of the Angels and A's, and if the M's play well, they can jump right back into the thick of things in the division. The opportunity is there.
They just need to seize it. Because the alternative sucks.
God damn this team.
Biggest Contribution: Jose Lopez, +6.1%
Biggest Suckfest: Miguel Batista, -31.8%
Most Important AB: Lopez single, +6.2%
Most Important Pitch: Murphy homer, -8.9%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -39.5%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -10.5%
Total Contribution by Opposition: 0.0%
(What is this chart?)
Do me a favor and spare us all the bullshit about how you want this team to lose 100 games so that there will be major changes up top.
(1) no you don't
(2) it's not an original thought
(3) it's not funny
(4) it's May 6th
(5) this team isn't going to lose 100 games
(6) there's no evidence that they'd make any major changes
(7) there's no evidence that they'd replace the current guys with anyone better
(8) executives smart enough to find a better GM wouldn't need a 100-loss season to do it
Seriously, just drop it. It's tired.
You know what isn't tired? Wlad!