Some people choose to go back to their toxic ex. Some choose to slog away at a job they hate. Some drink the night away, knowing that they’ll wake up at six in the morning feeling half-dead and wishing they were full-dead. And some people are Mariners fans.
It almost would have been easier if the Mariners had lost their game on Wednesday, and been swept by the A’s. It would have felt bad, but it also might have been a way for the Mariners to give their fans permission to let go.
No. Like the 2017 iteration of the Mariners before them, these Mariners seem determined to do everything they can to stay just close enough to maintain a glimmer of hope. Just close enough to keep people engaged.
Objectively speaking, I know that it’s still too early to declare the season over. It’s not. The numbers say it’s not. But when you take a stretch like this and cap it with a night like this, it feels bad. And then when you take a stretch like the A’s are having and cap it with the night they had tonight, you can’t really see them faltering. They could. But it doesn’t feel like they could.
When you spend decades wanting something and coming so close without actually getting it, it starts to wear on you. We use humor and rationalization to ease the pain without having to actually detach. But there are a lot of us that have detached already. A lot of people don’t want to deal with the Mariners, because it sucks to follow. It’s not fun for anyone.
But if you detach, you won’t get that sweet catharsis when they finally do win. For some, it’s the fear of missing out on that catharsis that keeps them from stepping away. For some, it’s a weird loyalty that they can’t really explain. For others, it’s an escape, even if it’s an escape from shit into different shit.
Nights like this, I wonder whether it’s worth it. Nights like this, it probably would have been better to turn the TV off after the third Dodger home run off of Wade LeBlanc.
But what if they come back in this game?
And what if they come back in this season?
As it becomes incrementally less likely by the day, it gets incrementally more painful to care.