The “Kid” who helped made baseball cool, the All-Star center fielder who helped keep baseball in Seattle, the Hall of Famer who has a statue of his oft-imitated swing in front of T-Mobile Park will now be something more than an icon and special consultant to the franchise he made recognizable.
The Seattle Mariners co-opted the Ted Lasso meme “Believe” as their slogan for the stretch drive, and rode it all the way to Game 162. The M’s really did follow the television show’s script to the letter. Remember, AFC Richmond — Lasso’s fictional team — also fell agonizingly short of its goal, losing the season’s final game to Manchester City to ensure relegation out of the Premier League.
There are two ways to view this Seattle Mariners season and what it means for the team and the city. Two ways to process the unforeseen playoff push that ultimately extended the organization’s 20-year postseason drought. One is the sentimental way. The other is the realistic way.
The frustration couldn’t be hidden from their faces. The disappointment could be felt with every tossed bat and spiked helmet in disgust. The belief that they would come back had a time limit. And with every wasted opportunity, the anxiety grew threefold in the stands packed full with fans waiting to explode for just one big hit, one game-changing moment and that memorable and much-needed victory.