clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FanPost Friday: “F*ck the Wild Card” edition

A wild man from Texas once said it and it still holds true

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
hey junior remember that one time i said a bad word? the 90’s, man. crazy.
Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Hello and welcome back to FanPost Friday. The Mariners continued to fly high the last week as they swept(?!?!) the Houston Astros in Houston and won the series in Chicago versus the sinking White Sox. They return home today to play the Royals again and then the hapless Athletics, so it’s time to make further hay. Why do they need that hay? Well, the horses get hungry when they’re trying to WIN THE DIVISION. Yes, that’s right, the Seattle Mariners are currently one (1) game back from tying the Rangers for the lead in the AL West. For Mariners fans who have only followed the team since 2002 or later, you’re probably feeling something like this:

It feels audacious to even consider winning the division, right? This team? Outplaying the now-good Texas Rangers and the eternally evil and perpetually good Houston Astros? In this economy??

Believe it, friends.

That’s the first time FanGraphs has given the Mariners higher odds than the Rangers to win the division all season (h/t Zach Mason). Yes, yes, the Astros are still favored because of the whole perpetually good thing, but whatever. The Mariners are in this fight. So, naturally, the conversation the past few days turned to the first time the Mariners switched their focus from winning a Wild Card spot to winning the division. Maybe you’ve heard of 1995? If not, boy, you’re in for a treat!

Kidding, of course, we all know what happened. Larry Stone decided to call up Jay Buhner in Texas and let him rant his ear off about what he said in 1995 concerning the Wild Card (which, as it is easy to forget, was the first the Wild Card even existed as an option! And Buhner was out here HATIN’ on it. The lack of hubris astounds but very much tracks for that team and his personality).

Highly recommend reading the Times article, as it’s full of gems like this:

And this:

yayas [homers]

So the narrative is practically writing itself and it’s absolutely cracking off. Winning a Wild Card spot last season and ending the postseason drought was cathartic in ways I had only dreamed for two decades. Beating the Blue Jays in a Wild Card round in two games still feels like a dream that happened to someone else. I was in sixth grade when they won the one-game playoff game versus the Angels and I remember it well, but it was still like, “Wow, cool, this will certainly happen somewhat often, right?” And to be fair, it did! They won the division in 1997 and prior to last season, that was the last time I got to attend a Mariners playoff game (they lost, thanks Mike Mussina). They snuck a Wild Card win in there in 2000 and then in 2001 they won 116 games. I was a senior in high school when that happened and since they had the division sewed up by June, I definitely didn’t appreciate it enough at the time. And then 9/11 happened and nothing has ever been the same since.

My point is, it’s been 22 years since the Mariners won the division. That’s a short lifetime for some of us, and for others that’s an entire transition from childhood to teenage years to adulthood. Let’s be honest, we’ll all be happy with a playoff appearance of any kind. But winning the division has felt like such an unattainable goal for so long that if it happens I guess I will just ascend to a higher astral plane? I don’t know, we’ll see if and when it happens.

Before we launch into some divisional race hype polls, we simply must take a look at last week’s polls because holy shit we are more back than we’ve ever been, babyyyyyy.

You cannot stop the LL hive mind, you can only hope to contain us.

This week’s polls!

Depending on how much stock you put in strength of schedule, Tankathon has the Rangers ranked as having a harder remaining schedule than the Mariners, but the Astros have it even easier than the Mariners.


Given the team’s recent surge and remaining strength of schedule, do you think the Mariners will win the AL West?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    (557 votes)
  • 21%
    (155 votes)
712 votes total Vote Now


Will the division be decided before the Mariners play their final three series of the regular season versus the Rangers, then the Astros, then the Rangers again?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (61 votes)
  • 91%
    Haha no and I am going to die a slow death for a week
    (667 votes)
728 votes total Vote Now


Bonus question, unrelated to the divisional race: Do you think the Mariners have a better chance of signing Shohei Ohtani now that he won’t be pitching again any time soon?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Yes, better chance
    (268 votes)
  • 5%
    No, worse chance
    (38 votes)
  • 23%
    (177 votes)
  • 34%
    Was never going to happen, still not gonna happen.
    (258 votes)
741 votes total Vote Now

Have a fantastic weekend, folks! If you’re in the Seattle area, don’t forget to come out to our 2nd Annual Tim Cantu MemoriaLL SoftbaLL game tomorrow at the Lower Woodland Park softball fields! And if you can’t make it, we’re also planning to watch the 1:10 PM game versus the Royals at Growler Guys on Lake City Way. Hope to see you there!