One thing was certain, that the Mariners on the field had had nothing to do with it: - it was the franchise’s fault entirely. For the Mariners on the field had scarcely been part of the organization for more than a few years (and many barely old enough to drink when new ownership took over); so you could see that they didn’t have any hand in the mischief.
“Oh, you wicked little thing!” cried Mariners fans, catching up on tales of ownership ineptitude and front office futility, and tweeting @Mariners to make them understand that they were in disgrace. “Really, Manfred and Selig ought to have taught you better manners! You ought, Rob, you know you ought!” the fans added, looking reproachfully at MLB headquarters, and speaking in as cross a voice as they could manage - and then the Mariners fans scrambled back to their televisions and radios, dragging open streams and tuning in to broadcasts. But they didn’t get on very fast, as ROOT had chosen not to televise any games, so they turned on the White Sox stream. Seattle’s ownership and front office personnel sat very demurely at home, or in their suites, pretending to watch the progress of the game, and now and then putting out a media statement and benignly offering promises of franchise greatness, as if they would be glad to help, if they might.
“Do you know, we were so angry, Mariners,” the fans went on as Kyle Lewis doubled off of Jonathan Stiever, and Ty France drove him in in the first. “When we saw all the mischief you had been doing, we very nearly ended our fandom and moved on from you entirely! And you’d have deserved it, you little mischievous darling! What have you got to say for yourself? Now don’t interrupt us!” they went on, watching Chris Flexen work his way through two innings, sitting 92-93 with his fastball, mixing in a brutal 77 MPH curve and showing off some pun-worthy defense.
“I’m going to tell you all your faults. Number one: you failed for years to field a good baseball team. Now you can’t deny it, Mariners: we watched you! What’s that you say? You had some good baseball players playing for you? Well, that’s not enough, you can’t just have a few to save you. If you hadn’t surrounded them with other baseball imbeciles, it wouldn’t have been so terrible. Now don’t make any more excuses, but listen! Number two: you said and did bad things on a human level! What, it was a different time, was it? How do you know that made it okay? Now for number three: you keep making it more difficult - and more expensive - for us to watch the team play.”
“That’s three faults, Mariners, and you’ve not won a World Series yet!” the fans went on, watching idly as Lewis, France and Cal Raleigh singled back-to-back-to-back to score again in the third.
“Let’s pretend that you’re the White Sox, Mariners! Do you know, I think if you had a few more years and a more consistent front office, you’d look exactly like them. No do try, there’s a dear!” And the fans turned back to the game to watch the White Sox: however the example didn’t succeed, principally, as the White Soxbatters were stymied for the last five innings by a combination of pitching - Joey Gerber (one hit, one K), Roenis Elias (one hit, two Ks), Domingo Tapia (one walk, one hit), Matt Magill (three walks), Erik Swanson (nothing at all) - and nonsense.
So, to punish the Mariners, the fans held up the Looking-glass, that they might see how bad they have been - “and if you’re not good directly,” they added, “we’ll stop cheering for your team. How would you like that?”