April is the cruelest month, T.S. Elliott said. But he never had to suffer through September on a baseball club eliminated from playoff contention in August. That’s the plight of the Seattle Mariners, who’ve been left in the dusty cellar of the American League West. As I write this post, the M’s are 30.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Angels.
It reminds me of one terrible season when the Cleveland Indians were eliminated very early from the American League race — probably when they finished eighth in 1967 — and the Cleveland Press ran a sarcastic banner headline: “INDIANS LOSE PENNANT.”
So I feel for the Mariners, the San Diego Padres and the other sad sack franchises whose only taste of playoff excitement will be as a spoiler in late September games against the few lucky teams scratching and clawing for the playoffs.
I should note that I picked up my Mariners cap not when I lived in Seattle but while coaching one of my boys’ Little League teams in the San Francisco Bay area. The hat is a basic snap-plastic adjustable model.
I always chuckle a little when looking at the Mariners color scheme. When the caps were redesigned in the early 90s, the team insisted that the colors were navy blue and, absurdly, Northwest green.
If that bill is green and not teal, then my name is Ken Griffey Jr.