2017 was a weird year in general, and definitely a weird year for the Seattle Mariners. The team entered the year with (perhaps) unrealistically high expectations, quickly tempered those expectations, then spent the remainder of the year keeping fans from actually being able to let go. It was a year that lent itself to frustration, anger, and maybe a touch of nihilism.
More than anything, it lent itself to the sizzling hot takes that are the bread and butter of reactionaries. We all have that one friend. You know, the one is incensed after every loss and on cloud nine after every win. For me, that one friend is my buddy Stephen.
Stephen’s been a lifelong M’s fan, and just loves the shit out of this team. He got married a couple months ago, and his wedding was Mariners-themed. Seriously, the guestbook was a baseball bat that people could sign. For his honeymoon, he and his wife followed the team around on their August roadtrip between Tampa, Atlanta, New York, and Baltimore. This dude cares. Maybe a little too much, as you’ll soon see.
For Stephen, the season started as it did for all of: full of hope and optimism.
As you might remember, the Mariners started the season 0-3. As was the case for many of us, Stephen’s good mood did not survive those first three games.
Worry not, though. Stephen still “loves” them! There’s no way another bad stretch could change that, like if they were to start 1-6... oh.
Ok, well we’re exactly seven games into the season, and things are going great so far. The rest of April, as you might recall, did not get much better. Did you remember that the Mariners went up 5-0 on the Astros on April 12, and then lost 10-5? Must have blocked that one out of my memory.
Well, Stephen figured it out relatively early - this team was bad. And it was going to take some luck to turn it around. And this season was anything but lucky.
Love it. “fuck the king we’re the jesters.” Poignant and relatable. Let it not be said, however, that he is a beacon of negativity. No, Stephen is all too willing to fall back into the trap of any hint of good play. A late-April win brought the Mariners to a whopping 11-13, and he was singing their praises.
This is what I mean by reactionary. April was all bad, so Stephen’s Facebook statuses were all bad. We had a good win, so Stephen had a good status. And then a month went by. He didn’t have a lot to say. If you don’t remember, May was just kind of meh. The M’s went approximately .500, and I for one am willing to forget about May 2017. What happened in June? Well, there’s one thing that anyone who’s ever been to a Blue Jays @ Mariners game can relate to.
Yeah, fuck Canada. Let ‘em know, Stephen. I believe that something may have happened to him around this time that caused him to quickly lose the remaining vestiges of his sanity. His diary entries go mostly downhill from here.
This one works a lot better if you forget that Dan Altavilla is, in fact, quite short. It should also be noted that the M’s did manage to win that game in 10 innings despite Altavilla’s blown save. The same cannot be said for the next game, unfortunately.
Letting go of the question of what a “crooked inning” is, you can really start to feel Stephen’s pain. Maybe you felt it. At this point in the season the team was 41-45, and was really starting to settle into the whole “jerking the fans around” pattern.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me, I don’t know, like 20 times, shame on you Stephen! This is why you suck at Fantasy Football, and this is why you’re still stupidly optimistic at the start of every season! To be fair, they’d just climbed to 48-48, but you poor fool, you.
Here’s a bonus Barry Bonds hot take.
Here’s a good time to pause. Stephen gets married around this time. Like I mentioned earlier, him and his now-wife then go on a road trip for their honeymoon, following the team to four different cities. I’m sure that they were just planning on learning to deal with adversity during their marriage, because wow, who could have seen this next shit coming?
Ok, not bad, not bad. I love the dig at Tropicana Field. Maybe this won’t go so badly?
This was a 4-0 loss in Atlanta. Stephen, you haven’t seen nothin’ yet.
This was that one game where the M’s committed like five errors in the first inning and lost 10-1. Not exactly a game you want to remember your honeymoon by.
Still on the honeymoon!
You can really see where his following starts to turn on him - the “like” and “sad” reacts have turned mostly to “haha” reacts.
Happy honeymoon, Stephen!
Finally, our protagonist is defeated. Even the wins sting - each win carries the tease of “what if this had just happened when I was on my honeymoon?” Defeated, but still vocal, (un?)fortunately.
Dumpster fire on the Ave, Pathetic pile of garbage... any more coming?
Yay, the pinnacle of the season was the Dodgers losing and the pinnacle of our franchise was 2001. The rest of the season is mural of despondency.
I would be interested to hear how the Mariners treat their fans like shit. Other than putting a losing product on the field for seemingly perpetuity. Other than that, it’s great.
Let it not be said that he ever gave up. In it ‘till the end.
This next one is the last one, and maybe we can all relate to it. It’s PG-13, by the way, so uh, stop here if you’re a child.
Seeing these pop into my feed nearly every day gave me a never-ending source of inspiration for sad Mariners posts this season. Experiencing one or two games in person with Stephen was just as entertaining as you might imagine. If anyone wonders about the life experience of a Mariners fan, and you want to show them a small written history of the pain, suffering, and frustration that this stupid team causes their biggest fans, well... here you go.
Nice way to end the season, Mariners and Stephen.