The Mariners finished the season by taking three-of-four from the Texas Rangers, wrapping up the season with a record of 89-73. It was the most wins by a Mariners team since 2003.
Seattle drew 2,299,489 fans to Safeco Field, averaging 28,388 per game. It was the team’s largest attendance total since 2008.
Most wins since 2003. Biggest crowds since 2008. These are things that should please the Mariners owners, management, and fans. Yet the season is looked at as a disappointment, because a second half fade saw the Mariners miss the playoffs for the 17th straight season.
Take a second and go back six months. If someone had told me on opening night that the Mariners would win 89 games and not be in contention for a playoff spot during the final two weeks of the season, I would have told them they are crazy. Eighty-nine wins and not in contention? Really? Which five teams are going to blow past 90 wins? OK, we’ve got the Red Sox, Astros, Indians, probably the Yankees… uhhhh… I’m not seeing the other one. Angels, maybe?
Not many saw it coming, but Oakland finished with 97 wins, and even Tampa reached 90.
Now the Mariners front office has to decide how to proceed this offseason – which is the subject of many of the links down below.
Several key Mariners had seasons well below their expected level of play: Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano (due to suspension), Mike Zunino, Felix Hernandez… can they improve in 2019?
Only a few players had what you might call “career best” seasons that seem unlikely to be replicated. Edwin Diaz, Wade LeBlanc, maybe Marco Gonzales (but this could be his actual level of ability).
Do you do a casual reset, hope for return to something close to normal levels by the disappointing players, and hope the A’s don’t win 97 freakin’ games again? Or do you do a major shakeup?
From the second story below, it sounds like the Mariners themselves aren’t sure which path to take. It’s going to be an interesting offseason.
- The Mariners won the final game of the season on Sunday, taking down the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Kids Appreciation Day. Seattle finished with a record of 89-73.
- For the first time since taking over as Mariners general manager, Jerry Dipoto appears to be unsure what the next steps for the franchise are.
- The News Tribune looks at what’s next for the Mariners offseason. In the story, Dipoto says the team is not committed to having a DH-only player on the roster. That explains why Nelson Cruz has not be re-signed yet.
- Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre was told he will not be retained for 2019. It sounds like the remainder of the Mariners coaching staff will remain intact.
- Kyle Seager played the entire second half of the season with a broken toe, and he answers the tough questions about his 2018 performance in this story.
- Ryan Divish has his Mariners season wrap-up.
- Ichiro is going to participate in Mariners spring training next year with the goal of being on the active roster for the March series in Japan.
- If – like me – you are a fan of the goofy writing style of Grant Brisbee, he ranks the 25 possible World Series match-ups.
We’ll be back on Friday with some sure-to-be-incorrect playoff predictions, and any ex-Tacoma players in the postseason.