Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Monday, October 4, 2010
Almost everything went wrong for M's


My friend Bill writes:
To which our friend Hank responds:
That's right.

Some of the expectations for this team were wildly overblown. But they should have won something like 81 games, not 61. Even without Cliff Lee for half the season, they should have won at least 75 games.

Even Ichiro ... I mean, it actually wasn't his worst season as a Mariner. His numbers were even worse just two years ago, and he did play 162 games and (not coincidentally) lead the league with 214 hits. But it wasn't a good season, by his standards.

Essentially, none of the regulars played as well as they were supposed to. The bench was a black hole where runs went to die. Russell Branyan did some things in the second half, after being acquired from the Indians after the Mariners showed little interest in retaining him after last season, when he was their only productive power hitter.

It was just one of those weird seasons. Call it a Murphy's Season. They don't happen often, but they do happen to somebody every year or two.*

* That term, which I just invented and you can use it if you want, is obviously an exaggeration. It's impossible for everything to go wrong for a baseball team, because there are too many things. Felix Hernandez did pitch brilliantly, and Cliff Lee was amazing while he was around, and ... well, that's just about it. Close enough.

The Mariners won 88 games in 2007, lost 101 in 2008, won 85 in 2009, and (again!) lost 101 in 2010. They've been particularly schizophrenic for four seasons, and I certainly don't expect them to win 86.5 games in 2011. But they will bounce back next season, because their luck simply has to turn around. Some.