It is a core tenet of healthy, sustainable sports fandom to recognize that your sport, however much you may love it, does not owe you anything. Perhaps if fan support or enthusiasm had a demonstrated impact on the games themselves, teams would be more inclined to do something beyond lowering the price of hot dogs. But their primary incentive is to appease or placate their fanbase with the guise of competitive effort, while maintaining a strong bottom line on their respective budgets. (This is where I take pity on our lovely moderators and do not include any quotes about capitalism.)
That said, for all the Fever Pitch-style tropes of sports fans, there is great beauty in fandom and the willful devotion to something you will never be able to control. You give yourself over to something wholly and deferentially, knowing full well that you’re now vulnerable to a whole new mess of pleasure and pain. I don’t love it when the Mariners lose and I suddenly find myself in a temporarily (usually) grumpy mood, but the next day they might win and oh is that frustration but a small price to pay for the dopamine hit of victory.
There have been many Mariners seasons far worse than this still-fledgling one, but there is a uniquely frustrating inevitability that underscores today’s 12-3 loss to cap off an 0-3 series that saw Seattle outscored 9-24. Credit to the Mariners of years past, who regularly found new and surprising ways to lose. The losses the 2023 M’s continue to tally echo dully with a dissatisfying “told you so.” And so despite what some may say about the “greediness” of the fanbase, we can carry two truths in our hands: The Mariners may not owe us anything, but we do deserve better than this.
In Seattle, it’s a comically beautiful early June day, with nary a cloud in the sky and a cooling, luscious breeze. I hope dearly that you wasted little, if any, time on this Texas drubbing and that you do not read this today - perhaps not even at all. Our time here is so precious and limited.