*Editor’s note: This article starts horribly. It’s boring, not catchy, barely worthy of your attention. Most writers wouldn’t admit this to you, but I care about the time you waste reading my prose. Trust me, though, this thing really takes off about halfway through. It gets a lot more exciting and you might even laugh. If you don’t want to read the beginning, I understand and I don’t blame you. But do yourself a favor and click through to the article and check out the second half. It’s better, I promise.
Society. The thing about society is that we love to point fingers. As soon as things start going bad, we look for someone or something to blame. Calling the 2010 Seattle Mariners “bad” would be an understatement. They’re absolutely horrible. Which is why fans desperately need — nay, crave — a scapegoat for this lost season in which we were told to “Believe Big.”
Enter Seattle Sportsnet.
We’re here to help you play the blame game. We are going to list out every possible culprit you can imagine for this disaster of a year and let you be the judge on who should take the heat for all the losses. Without further ado…
If you hold everything else constant over the last 29 years, the one man who has been along for the ride on the good ship Mariner this whole time is none other than Chuck Armstrong, himself. Save for a three-year hiatus away from the team during the dreaded “Smulyan Era,” Armstrong has been a fixture in the M’s front office — which could be seen as a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.
To be fair, Armstrong did help save baseball in Seattle on two occasions (1992 and 1995), a fact that cannot possibly be stated enough. But at the same time, the product on the field during the Armstrong regime has been relatively subpar. And that, folks, is a huge problem.
The man who initially ran Ken Griffey Jr. out of town (more or less) back in the late ’90s, Lincoln has never been embraced by Seattle sports fans. With no background in sports to fall back on — unless you count TecmoBowl and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, that is — Lincoln slid right into the Mariners’ front office in the latter part of the twentieth century after heading up Nintendo America for a number of years.
The guy is a walking corpse, who I’m convinced just dances around to music like Bernie in Weekend At Bernie’s. But unfortunately for the fan base, he also happens to be team owner Hiroshi Yamauchi’s right-hand man, so he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
No one even knows this guy. He’s been the owner of the ballclub since he rescued us from the wrath of Jeff Smulyan back in ’92. He also happens to be the owner of Nintendo, which tells us he has an affinity for mustachioed Italian plumbers or something.
AltaVista translator (Remember that sh*t? Got you through high school and college, didn’t it?) may or may not reveal that “Hiroshi Yamauchi” simply translates to “Howard Lincoln” from Japanese to English, I’m not sure. But I will say this. Every time I hear Yamauchi’s name, I picture the crime lord Juntao from the movie Rush Hour. For the duration of the movie, you figure Juntao is that little Asian dude with the Sisqo hairdo. But then, at the end (spoiler alert), come to find out Juntao is the old white guy. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Yamauchi is actually Howard Lincoln when it’s all said and done.
He’s like the guy that designed the Experience Music Project. In the beginning, you thought, “Hey, this guy’s doing a great job.” But a year later, when everything came to fruition, you said to yourself, “Wow, that sh*t’s a lot uglier than I thought it was gonna be.”
Wakamatsu is a little passive and would probably be better suited as the skipper of a team full of veterans. He’ll end up being the fall guy for this mess of a season, but we all know it’s not his fault. Phil Ivey wouldn’t be able to play this bad of a hand. And don’t kid yourself. Wakamatsu’s been dealt the worst hand of all-time. That’s the front office’s fault. Not the manager’s.
Ken Griffey Jr.
I can understand why people would want to blame Junior for this mess. He came back to Seattle well past his prime, then basically held the team hostage when things took a turn for the worse. Ultimately, he quit on the ballclub and threw Wak under the bus while driving through Montana.
In spite of all that, blaming the greatest sports figure in our history for anything is essentially like smacking God across the face for giving you breasts that are too heavy or a penis that happens to be just slightly too big. Stop complaining and move on.
When he isn’t getting in fights with his manager, he’s batting somewhere around .240 and pouting over his spot in the lineup. Harden the f**k up, Chone.
When he isn’t typing on the computer or discussing social media, he’s giving up home runs or spending time on the DL with a sore backside. Harden the f**k up, Ryan.
No one really expected anything from Kotchman. I just like to blame him for things that are out of his control.
The thing I love about Mariners fans is that, like me, they too are all aware that League sucks. Sure, he leads all American League relievers in wins with eight. And yes, he can throw a baseball 100 miles per hour. And wouldn’t you know it, his ERA isn’t that horrible and yes, he does strike a lot of people out.
But guess what.
He always screws up at the most inopportune times. He’s the opposite of Larry Bird. He’s anti-clutch. We’ve been down that road before (Bobby Ayala, Heathcliff Slocumb, Joe Table, etc). We know what sucky, unreliable relievers look like. So don’t try to pull a fast one on us, Mariners. League is our nightmare.
I’m pretty sure that if Rob wasn’t wearing a cup and jockstrap, those balls would get past him, too.
He’s lazy, out of shape, not that athletically-gifted to begin with, slow, has a poor work ethic, was friends with Yuniesky Betancourt (just sayin’), and kind of looks like a turtle. He’s also having the worst year of his career and has been a black hole in the middle of the Mariners’ order. Perhaps his personal suckdom has infected the whole team.
It’s not really his fault. I just wanted to piss off all those girls that want to fellate him.
He’s kind of selfish. Eh. Blaming him just doesn’t feel right. Like wearing a turtleneck sweater. Or skinny jeans. Or mesh underpants.
He has to be blamed for something. He’s Erik Bedard. I liken him to Red Herring from A Pup Named Scooby Doo. Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, I wouldn’t even call that a generational reference. If you got that one, go ahead and pat yourself on the back.
Just as the Red Sox were once cursed by a fat guy’s departure (Babe Ruth), so too are the Mariners.
The M’s front office would like you to believe that this entire season is Cockrell’s fault. Seriously. That’s why they fired him. Because the hitting coach is always the first to go. Like the ugly chick in a horror movie.
The M’s essentially demoted the former shortstop by shifting him across the diamond. He started the year as the team’s third-base coach, but swapped places with first-base coach Lee Tinsley a couple months ago. I don’t know how you can blame the guy, but the Mariners seemed to think he was doing something wrong. Hell, how many runners have actually reached third base, anyways? Do we even need a third-base coach? This is a poor use of our resources.
LaRue made the ultimate cameo in 2010, emerging from relative journalistic obscurity to break the Griffey Napgate story. That story ultimately set off the series of events that would kill this ballclub.
The beat writer for the Tacoma News-Tribune, LaRue has settled back into his role as the quiet omniscient observer in spite of his fifteen-minute flirtation with infamy.
The beat writer for The Seattle Times, Baker is the sworn enemy of all those Mariners fans who think optimism grows on trees. It doesn’t help that Baker is from Canada and never seems to have many positive things to say about a team that doesn’t deserve to have much of anything positive said about them. But riddle me this. What would Baker be like if the M’s were winning? I don’t know if we even want to meet that guy. A perky Baker would be like a sullen Richard Simmons. The world just doesn’t function that way.
It will always and forever be his fault. Always. And forever.
Things really, really started to go downhill when he quit on the ’07 rendition of this team, right about the time they started winning ballgames. To this day, no one will ever get a straight answer out of him about his weird and awkward departure.
Lest we leave out Bo-Mel (worst nickname ever, by the way).
We’ve never made the playoffs while Brad Adam was on the M’s beat for FSN. Just throwing it out there.
Maybe if she toned it down a bit, the players could focus on the game. We can’t have you bouncing around the dugout like that, Jen.
Their form on some of those ground balls has been poor, to say the least.
The Play-Ball Kids
I mean, I don’t think I even need to say it. You banshees might be the source of all our problems.
The Rally Fries
You certainly haven’t held up your end of the bargain. Rally Killers is more like it.
Rumor has it that he gets piss drunk at ballgames now and urinates on people. He also left this disturbing comment on these pages on Monday:
Fcuk al you gys. Do u evin kno who I fucking an? Im the fkicing moose. the Mose! Im fuckung derrrnk. Fck it. fuckin Marniirs. Telllme I cant drinkk her. i’l dink wherver I wnt to! Doo yo even know?? You don evn know! you don’t! im th moose!
The Red Hydro
Like Severus Snape, we can’t vanquish this purported evildoer from the hallows of Safeco Field.
The Yellow Hydro
Passive-aggressive son of a bitch.
The Green Hydro
Sponsored by Comcast, which of course is the cable network that provides TV service in hell.
The Sponsor First Pitch Thrower-Outer
Stop f**king up the mound before our pitchers get out there.
That no-good dinosaur always did run off at the first sign of trouble. Get your goofy green ass back here and let me ride you to the goal, you bastard.
You show up in the seventh or eighth inning asking us to recycle, right around the time no one cares anymore. Your timing is impeccably God-awful.
Did you ever consider the fact that this may be your fault?
Only kidding, sports fans. I love you all. And blaming each other is no fun. We’d rather blame more important people. And then talk about it on the interwebs.