Yesterday, I posted a poll of staggering consequence regarding the trade of John Jaso for Michael Morse. I asked for your responses on how you felt immediately after you heard the news. I promised to re-visit once enough responses were collected, and right now, at this writing, we're at 1,772. That seems like more than enough to me, and all subsequent votes in the poll will be utterly meaningless. No one will even notice that you made a selection. The import of your late vote mirrors the import of your life, you sad nobody.
Here are the current results:
- Liked it, reacted with emotion (77 votes) (4.3%)
- Neutral, reacted with emotion (103 votes) (5.8%)
- Disliked it, reacted with emotion (772 votes) (43.6%)
- Liked it, reacted with little/no emotion (225 votes) (12.7%)
- Neutral, reacted with little/no emotion (167 votes) (9.4%)
- Disliked it, reacted with little/no emotion (428 votes) (24.2%)
Immediately, 17 percent of responders liked the trade. Immediately, 68 percent of responders disliked the trade, while the remaining 15 percent didn't have a strong opinion either way. All right, that wasn't the purpose, but that's something.
Here's what I'm more interested in: immediately, 53.7 percent of responders reacted with emotion of some sort. Most of it, but not all of it, negative. That leaves 46.3 percent of responders who didn't react with emotion, or at least with much of it. I was actually expecting a wider split, although I wasn't imagining a particular range. This seemed like one of those deals that would get people fired up, and it happened in a hurry.
What does it mean? It means that, among responders, at least 53.7 percent of you still care about the Mariners. I don't mean "care about" like "have an awareness of". I mean you have feelings that can still get tapped into. Something involving the Mariners could still make you quite happy or quite upset. It didn't even have to be something extraordinary. It was an exchange of one roughly average baseball player for another. The long-term outlook for the franchise didn't change. Even the short-term outlook for the franchise didn't really change, meaningfully.
Maybe that seems like a silly observation -- we're all, in theory, Mariners fans. But the Mariners have finished in last place for three years in a row, and for four years out of the last five. They haven't had a positive run differential since 2003. It's hard to remember the last time they played a truly meaningful game. The Mariners have worn a lot of us down, and in each of the past few summers, we've probably all stepped back and asked ourselves "why?" I know I've asked myself on a bunch of occasions whether I'm even still a Mariners fan anymore. You'd think I'd have to be, given this website. But fanhood implies devotion, emotion, feeling, and the Mariners hadn't really made me feel. Even the Felix perfect game was more about Felix than the team that he plays for.
I had an immediate emotional response to the Jaso/Morse trade. It went beyond simply my affection for John Jaso as a baseball player. I reacted -- I probably overreacted -- and from that, I've learned that I still give a damn. So do you, if you voted accordingly. Many of us have asked ourselves whether we still care about the Mariners anymore, or if we're just doing this out of habit. Some answers have been provided.
If you didn't react with emotion, it doesn't mean you don't care. That group is going to include both kinds of people. If you did react with emotion, it means you do care. I don't think that can be argued.
Unless it means you did care, and now you don't, because of the Jaso/Morse trade. It's possible the trade brought your last day of caring. In that event, I guess there's value in being able to identify the watershed. Welcome to your new psyche!