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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

September 12, 2007 at 9:35 AM

Flaming out in style

Good morning. Actually, it’s a lousy morning out there and the state of the Mariners isn’t exactly making folks feel any better. Losing 15 of 17 is monumentally difficult for any contender to do down the stretch. But it got me thinking. It’s been a week since I mentioned the Toronto Blue Jays, so I figured it was time to revive that dead horse.
When the Blue Jays swept the M’s two weekends ago, some of my colleagues mentioned to me that “Hey, Toronto is creeping back into the wild-card race.”
To which I smiled the knowing smile, patted my well-meaning media friends on the shoulder, and simply told them the law of Blue Jay Land. Simply put, the minute that team gets close to contending for anything, it folds up like a cheap circus tent. As if to confirm this, the standings today show the Blue Jays a full 10 games out in the wild-card race after getting thoroughly destroyed by the Yankees right in Toronto last night.
That will, no doubt, devastate all the usual media suspects on the East Coast who have touted the Jays under GM J.P. Ricciardi as a playoff darkhorse for years. Believe me, Toronto is no darkhorse. It is no threat to anybody. Hasn’t been for over a decade. Picking that team to contend has more to do with some journalists’ love for Ricciardi than any sane analysis of the club’s chances in the AL East (or AL Central or AL West for that matter). The results, year after year, prove it.
But it got me to thinking: what type of team would you as baseball fans prefer to see? A team like the Mariners that actually contends for something right up into the first week of September before crashing and burning in spectacular fashion? Or a team like the Jays, which always puts up acceptable, if not spectacular, records without managing to seriously scare anyone?
Would you rather be on the inside and get heaved out in a dazzling display of shattering glass? Or forever on the outside looking into that window of contention? Close enough to knock, but never bold enough to actually enter the place. I’m curious to know. Because obviously, there are a lot of frustrated M’s fans out there right now wishing they’d never bought into this team.
So, which is it?

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