Both the Mariners and Sounders are off to their best starts in franchise history. The Mariners, 9-2. The Sounders, undefeated with four wins in five matches.
And while both are impressive, it also begs the question: Who are these Mariner impostors, and will they actually get away with impersonating a winning team?!?
In all seriousness, these first few weeks have been completely unexpected and enjoyable (aside from a few 9th innings, of course). And I’ll continue to savor every moment Seattle stays on top of the standings in the American League West, hoping they’re in the same position come September.
But can they actually keep this up? And I don’t mean this torrid pace. I just mean consistent winning baseball.
Because the fan in me doesn’t want to be blinded by the realities of the situation: Yes, they’re winning. And yes, their offense is scoring a ton more than predicted. Yes, Daniel Vogelbach is showing us what we’ve waited to see from him the past two seasons. But how long can this actually last?
After all, the Mariners have scored 85 runs in 11 games – just the sixth team in the last 58 years to do that to start a season. That’s an amazing feat!
But it’s just 11 games in a 162-game season - the equivalent of just over one Seahawks game in one year in the NFL. What the Mariners have done so far is the equivalent of the Seahawks winning their opener. Now, maybe it’s closer to the Seahawks beating the defending Super Bowl Champions, 35-3, in their opener -exceeding expectations and showing potential. Are we all excited? Of course. But we’re cautiously optimistic knowing they’ve got a long way to go.
I mean, this was not a deliberate “Rope-A-Dope” situation by Jerry Dipoto. No general manager comes out and says we’re rebuilding from scratch, expecting a team to come out like gangbusters.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t all ride this wave as long as it lasts, knowing that this plan also has the potential to create a consistent winner in the long run.
In the end, I think all of us WANT to believe. We’re all desperate to embrace a winning baseball team, and we all deserve to savor that success. And that’s what I’m happy to do tonight – reflect on an historic way to start a season.
Remember, sports are great because of the unexpected stories – the Golden Knights reaching the Stanley Cup finals in their first year – Leicester City winning the Premiere League at 5,000-to-1 odds in 2015.
If good things come to those who wait, this has potential to be the best sports story in the city’s history. And while I’m a realist, I’m also not enough of a pessimist to say it absolutely won’t.