Two outs. Bottom of the ninth. Full count. Twenty-one years of misery on the line. Yabo.
I don't care if Seattle sports slapped your mama at one point. It's hard not to be happy for the Seattle Mariners today. I can't imagine waiting over two decades between playoff appearances. And what's always been bizarre about the Mariners is that it's not as if they've only been incompetent throughout the entire stretch. Don't get me wrong, they've had a few awful teams, but they've also had multiple perennial All-Stars, and a Cy Young winner in Felix Hernandez. They went out and spent money to get players like Robinson Canó and Nelson Cruz. They had several seasons in which they were like 85-90 win range, but they just couldn't quite close the door. Well, that door has been officially closed.
While you don't want to make any guarantees about the future of this organization (they did just wait 21 years in between playoff appearances, after all), I would be shocked if this doesn't become commonplace for the Mariners as we advance. This is a core that is very well set up for the future. They've shown a willingness to spend money and have some young electric players. Now, of course, they're going to have to find a way to solve the Astros problem, which, based on recent history, is a damn near impossible problem to solve. But forget the future for a second. Last night was about a moment. There is nothing more miserable than bad baseball. It's not some 17-game slate where you go through 11 bad days a year. When you have a bad baseball team, it's relentless. Every day is misery. And Seattle has had a lot of misery over the lost 21 years, but I hope they enjoy this. Throw out your scrubs on Saturday. Let the party last until Monday.
Also, can we give a shoutout to Dave Sims? The dude has been calling Mariners games forever. I'm so glad he was calling that moment on the mic last night. Someone like me has the luxury of stepping out for a second every time Javier Baez makes an error. This guy has had to sit back and call games for a team that rarely rewarded his talents. Hopefully, he popped a bottle of champagne last night.
There is something different when it comes to baseball. Some people embrace it. Some people don't. But last night in Seattle, in front of a packed crowd at T-Mobile Park, Cal Raleigh provided an entire fanbase with a lifetime full of memories. The 2022 baseball season has been perhaps one of the best I've ever seen since I started watching the sport. The storylines have been unique, and you've seen individual performances that have been legendary. But baseball is a game of moments, and last night was one of this season's defining moments. As Dave Niehaus, the man who was the voice of Mariners baseball for an entire generation used to say, "My oh my." Congrats Seattle. Welcome back to the forefront of the baseball world.