It seemed like such a nice idea at first. An outing with Wade Miley. It was the first time the Mariners had seen him in a while, you know. At least a few months. And before that? A year or more. It had taken the Mariners some time before they were comfortable seeing him again. After all, what with how poorly it had gone between the Mariners and Wade, you’d excuse the Mariners for looking back and thinking: what was I thinking?
Of course, the Mariners would never say something that rude to Wade. He really had been sweet in his own way. That’s why they had agreed to this get-together after all. A chance to re-connect.
The Mariners combed back their hair, slicked their eyebrows in their car mirror, and got out of the car. Walked around for a few minutes looking for Wade. Surely he couldn’t be ghosting them? No, wait. There he is. Of course he wore that stupid flannel. Doesn’t he have any other clothes?
“Hi,” said the Mariners, already dreading the next couple of hours. At least they had agreed to meet at the aquarium. It would give them something to do other than re-hash everything.
“Hi,” said Wade. Loquacious as always.
“Should we—” started the Mariners.
“Sure,” said Wade.
They walked up and got their tickets. Since when did the aquarium charge thirty-five freaking dollars? The Mariners supposed that by the time people get to the aquarium, it’s too late to change course. Hell, they could probably charge fifty.
“So you seem to be doing well,” said the Mariners. They sniffed. “With the Astros.”
“Yeah,” said Wade.
“Seems like you’ve changed a lot,” said the Mariners.
“I guess,” said Wade.
Unkempt, unassuming, and untalkative as always. It seemed like Wade hadn’t changed a bit. And as the Mariners learned over the next twenty minutes, he was still the same old Wade. No command of his pitches. Nothing that special to blow anyone away. Prone to fits of being really bad at his job.
In fact, Wade couldn’t retire a single Mariner. Not one. Consecutive hits from Dylan Moore, Dee Gordon, and Austin Nola were punctuated by a Kyle Seager dinger. A Tom Murphy single and a Daniel Vogelbach walk later, the Astros had seen enough. So had the Mariners. Head down, Wade Miley departed the aquarium in shame.
So now, thirty minutes later, seven runs ahead, and thirty-five dollars poorer, the Mariners found themselves at the aquarium. Sunk-cost fallacy be damned, they might as well look at some fish. Look at fish, they did. Exotic fish, like something called a Cy Sneedfish. Boring fish, like the Alex Bregfish and the Fish Reddick. Small fish, like the José Altufish. Big fish, like the Yordan Álvarez. Look, I don’t know how to turn that one into a fish.
As the Mariners walked through the exhibits, they found themselves truly enjoying themselves. That is, until they saw a half-open door in the back. NO ENTRY. Consumed by curiosity, the Mariners nonchalantly walked over to the door. Once the coast was clear, they poked their head in.
They saw nothing less than the biggest tank they had ever seen in their lives. What fish could live in this tank? Could they one day be the proud owners of such a tank?
Mesmerized, they decided that they could, and that they would.
They went home, purchased one, and put the biggest Anthony Bass they could find in the tank. Oh, what a tank it was.
Once Anthony Bass gave up this dinger, I think most people watching the game became approximately one hundred percent certain that the Mariners would lose and the Astros would win. The Mariners had bought their tank, set it up, and stood back to admire it.
Kyle Seager might have had some other ideas in the twelfth inning. He hit this go-ahead home run, and for just a moment, it seemed like the Mariners might win.
Of course, they didn’t. And that’s okay. This is the kind of game that the Mariners will win in a year or two, when they have a halfway-decent bullpen and a fleshed-out starting lineup. This is the exact kind of game the 2019 Mariners will lose nine times out of ten. They don’t need to win it, they aren’t going to win it. The most that we can ask is that it’s entertaining. Thankfully, this one was entertaining.