Since the last time they made the playoffs the Mariners have started a season 2-0 four times, counting this year. Those Mariner teams were very quick to remind you of their mediocre destinies. None of the them went 3-0, in fact none of the them even went 3-1. Every year the same, every team sufficiently flawed to summon disappointment.
But this year is different! Well yes and (quite obviously) no. None of those 2-0 Mariner team scored more than 12 runs in amassing that record. This year's is at 18. The most extra base hits any of those teams amassed in 2 games was six. The 2014 Mariners have twelve. The offense! The sweet, blessed, oh my god 1-9 this lineup might actually be kind of good offense. Watching Mike Zunino, Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Brad Miller smack the baseball all over the field almost makes it seem like this roster was amassed on purpose and not merely the unfortunate drawers of short straws left to shiver in the damp, top left corner of the country, at the beck and call of a tyrannical, brain-spider infested overlord.
I know all about small sample size. On Monday morning I thought this was ~.500 team. I still think that. Two games changes nothing as the 2007, 2011 and 2013 Mariners were cruel enough to demonstrate. But in my gut? It's hard to not feel like I've already altered my expectations for this team. Part of that is, as our dear emeritus writes, until a team loses its first game they feel quite literally unbeatable.
The Mariner will lose. Soon and often. Dozens and dozens of expectation correcting losses are in our future. But right now? Today? I'm doing a constant cycle of excitement followed by immediate mental self-correction. "Nathan you are an idiot. This team is deeply flawed. You get gruel. That's what you always get. Who are you to dream of steak?"
The poll today is a simple yes/no. The Mariners are testing the strength of your conviction and your resolve on holding to what you deem true. On Monday we had a poll on your expectations for the team. It has been two days. 1.23% of the season has been played. But it's hard to imagine another 1.23% of the season going too much better than the first one has.