For some reason whenever I think of the Seattle Mariners, I think of that clip of the Mariner Moose rollerblading behind a four-wheeler, losing control, crashing into the wall, and ultimately breaking his leg. (I would have included a clip of this, but Major League Baseball makes it impossible to find random clips of anything MLB related.) If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically just the Mariner Moose crashing into the wall on rollerblades. That part isn’t really that funny. What gets me is when the Moose is on the ground, writhing in pain, all the while with that big, dumb, moosey smile on his face.
Come to think of it, I’m not really sure why they decided on the Mariner Moose as their mascot. As the Mariners, they have so many options! They should have easily been able to come up with some sort of “Captain” caricature not unlike The Simpsons “Sea Captain.” Sometimes I feel like we should change the name of this blog to “Quality Mascots.” Think about it Wevers.
Anyways, the Mariners have a very interesting history and, much like their choice of mascot, not much of it makes sense. This is a franchise that once had Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., and Alex Rodriguez playing on the same team. Between the 1998 trade deadline and the year after the 2000 they had lost all three of them one way or another. You would think that after losing three hall of fame level players they would go into rebuilding mode, but not this franchise. The very next season after losing A-Rod, they proceeded to set a record by winning 116 games!! This is like if AMC got rid of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and the Walking Dead and their ratings skyrocketed. It just defies logic and I’m not going to give myself a headache trying to figure out what it might mean.
The Mariners aren’t very good this year, but have remained interesting because of a couple of special players.
Ichiro has been of the best pure hitters of my generation, but this year he just wasn’t getting it done, so they traded him to the Yankees. This made perfect baseball sense. He’s a player that’s past his prime on a team that’s playing for the future. However, I do have to wonder how this may have affected the team from a marketing standpoint. I have to think that a lot of Seattle area fathers brought their sons to the game just to see Ichiro play, not to mention the large Asian demographic in the Seattle area. I suppose they had to cut ties with him sooner or later, and giving him a chance to win before his career is over was a classy move, so ultimately I give this trade the thumbs up.
The Mariners didn’t lose all their fans by trading Ichiro. They still come out every five days to see another generational talent in Felix Hernandez. You could make a very valid argument that he is the best pitcher in baseball right now. In fact, he recently made history by throwing a perfect game. Now with all the perfect games being thrown these days, his performance doesn’t jump out like some have in the past, but it does have one quality that at least seems to be unique. In watching the highlights for his perfect game I noticed that they were mostly strikeouts until the last few outs, which were pretty much routine plays. Usually there is at least one, and many times more, crazy defensive plays that keep the perfect game alive, but Felix made it look easy. It was probably the least stressful no hitter ever thrown. I wouldn’t be surprised if he threw another one or two in his career. He’s just that consistently dominant.
The Mariners are going to trade Felix Hernandez. He’s a free agent after next season and the Mariners simply cannot afford him. They most likely won’t be contending, so they’ll be looking to restock they’re farm system. It’s a problem not unlike the Greinke Problem. This is interesting, but not the most interesting thing about the Mariners.
The Mariners are owned by Nintendo!! It’s only a matter of time before they figure out how to turn their video games into real life. Can you imagine facing Donkey Kong at the plate? Or facing Luigi’s green fireball? I could speculate about this all day, but I think Wevers and I need to do a Nintendo characters baseball draft. Yup, we are doing this.
So basically, Nintendo characters are the next market inefficiency. This will allow the Mariners to dominate for a while until the rest of the league catches on and Bowser figures out that the Yankees can pay him a lot more. Things are about to get interesting folks, so watch out. You heard it here first.