Mariners fans vent on the Mariners' disastrous 2010 season in prose, poetry, song and more.
Earlier this week we asked Mariners fans to vent their anger and frustration over a disastrous 2010 season. Readers quickly responded to “Swing Away, M’s fans” by offering more than 100 responses.
Fans from as far away as Honolulu and Taiwan took their cuts in a variety of ways. Some wrote poems. One wrote a song. Others stuck to prose. Haikus were popular, and one fan pounded out eight in a few hours. Former KING-5 weatherman Bob Cram, known for sketching cartoons about the weather on air, drew up his frustration — a Mariners hitter with a branch for a bat as he tried to hit a pea-sized ball.
There were plenty of jokes with Mariners punch lines. One fan offered a Top 10 list worthy of David Letterman. A few fans offered new marketing slogans, and one even came up with an ad to slap on the side of Metro buses. Two readers suggested the Mariners change their team name.
Here are the best of the bunch.
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Why should fans pay?
If the ownership is not willing to open up its pocketbook and do whatever it can to win a championship, why should the fans open up their pocketbooks to come to see a lousy game?
— Bob Chin, Seattle
Lincoln and Armstrong failures
The common denominator for failure through the years is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong. They do the hiring and firing and impose handcuffs on those they do, assuming (correctly for the most part) that the public will continue to support the team financially while directing anger at anyone but them. Nice work if you can get it.
— Bruce Peto, Poulsbo
How about a Fans Day?
My idea to vent my frustration would be a collective boycott of an M’s game. It would be called “Fans Day.”
Frustrated fans coordinated together to boycott a game and show the collective result in ticket sales of that particular game.
Not showing up is the best way to make an impact, but doing it at one selected game would make a clear and undeniable statement as to the power of this gesture — much better than an aggregate boycott spread out over the course of a season
This could be done once a year to let both players and owners know just who are paying the ridiculous salaries.
Fans Day would require the help of the media to get the word out and coordinate such an effort, but I think it’s possible and probably the most effective way to voice the disappointment of the fans.
— Kevin D. Cowden, Seattle
Balance isn’t there
A lesson that can be learned from this failure of a Mariners season is that a team that is not evenly balanced among pitching, defense and offense probably won’t succeed. Hindsight is always better than foresight, but what has happened was predicted by some experts. If you strictly concentrate on one discipline or maybe two, and one goes sour, you will be at a distinct disadvantage because opponents can focus their attack on those weaknesses, thereby neutralizing your intentionally limited strengths. So wait till next year!
— Mike Davis, Olympia
Sticking by Jack Z.
The season is over, but two months remain, Jack. I will see it through to the end. This hurts, it stings, it sucks. However, the Seattle Mariners are the one team I will pour my heart out for. I will cry like a baby the day the Mariners win the World Series. Tears of joy that will flow like the Snake River.
I believe in you, Jack. You can turn this around. We can be heroes.
— Chris Boyd, Bellevue
Loss of confidence
The GM said he “lost confidence” in Wakamatsu. Many of us have lost confidence in the GM, Armstrong and Lincoln. Can we get rid of them?
— Dale Walter, Renton
The most consistent thread through 30 years of losses; lost players; players who come to Seattle and fail; second-rate has-been players; and the mess we had this week and this season is ownership. They’re the ones who hide behind closed doors and offer us bobbleheads, garlic fries and worn-out players. Lincoln and Armstrong owe it to Seattle to “let themselves go” and allow some new, more competent blood with a sense of integrity and accountability to take over.
Replacing manager after manager is the coward’s way out. The totally classless way Don Wakamatsu was treated; the sad, sad way Ken Griffey left Wakamatsu with a knife between his ribs; and the utter crap of Zduriencik saying “he’s the manager” six days before throwing him under the bus, have left me with no respect and no interest in what happens from here on out.
Wakamatsu’s firing capped the worst baseball I’ve ever seen — just no class. I’m more than disappointed, I’m disgusted. Acknowledge the disaster they helped create, and apologize if they ever hope I’m coming back to Safeco.
— Peter Vanderven, Seattle
Take the high road
Angry, no. Disappointed, very.
Disappointed by the fickleness of fans. By newspaper articles directed more at stirring things up (perhaps for the sake of selling papers) than at being helpfully supportive of local teams and team members. Disappointed by the immaturity of those who lash out at everyone but themselves, failing to recognize that every single one of us in his or her daily life must take personal responsibility for how things are right now.
Until every individual stands tall for his personal moral views, even under duress of losing his job for doing so, then the Mariners’ fiasco created by those who are left, who were too immature or weak to stand tall, will be a shining example of how self-centeredness and lack of personal responsibility contribute to the moral decay of the entire nation. It starts with you. Wakamatsu is mature. Ichiro is mature. Those who talk behind others’ backs, those who are disrespectful, those who put their egos first have a lot of growing up to do.
What I would like to see, instead, is fans, newspapers and all Mariners personnel beginning to treat and speak of Mariners team members and the manager as lovingly as they would speak to their own children. The point is that if you want someone to succeed, to feel good, to excel, to become a loving, caring and giving person, you do not smear them, either in public or in private, but, rather, you speak the best of them. Does this newspaper have any obligation whatsoever to refrain from publishing divisive and inflammatory stories/rumors? Whose morals are at work here?
— Norma Jenner, Seattle
I grew up in Seattle, but moved away in 1975. I’ve been an M’s fan since the very beginning. I have a co-worker who is a Rockies fan. Our monthly bet is the best record between the Rocks and the M’s. I HAVE NOT WON A SINGLE MONTH! This is hurting my pride and my pocketbook!!!
— Mary Borders, Louisville, Ky.
2010 average (57 dates): 27,274
2009 average (57 dates): 27,939
Stop going to the ballpark!
— Jerry Brown, Fife
Problem at the top
The root of the problem is the long-term failure of the minor-league system and poor draft decisions, resulting in failing to produce enough major-league talent to be a contending team. This has been the case over a long period of time. The solution is to identify who has been involved in the decision-making for the past decade and replace them with competent baseball people.
As long as Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln are involved in baseball decisions, the Mariners will never be successful. They have a proven track record. It is long past time to place the blame where it actually belongs. The fans are finally losing patience, which may produce a death spiral for baseball in Seattle.
— Russ von Hagen, Sunnyside
Mottos and slogans
Doesn’t believe it
New motto: I have seen it, I don’t believe it! Mariners baseball
— David Cullup, Bellingham
Don’t step in it
My colleague just suggested a new name: the Manures. If you say it fast enough, you can barely tell the difference. Sad.
Overheard from a listener on KJR earlier this season: “The 2010 Mariners, where every night is singles night.”
— Peter Vanderven, Seattle
Three new slogans
“Your 2010 Seattle Mariners: Our Hitting Is Offensive!”
“Your 2010 Seattle Mariners: Refuse to Score!”
“Your 2010 Seattle Mariners: You Can See the Mendoza Line from Here!”
“Your 2010 Seattle Mariners: We Leave More Men on Base than the U.S. Army!”
— Neal Starkman, Seattle
Punch lines and jokes
Another bottom feeder
Puget Sound is one of the best places in the world for crab, shrimp, halibut and other bottom feeders. It is only natural one of our teams would be a bottom feeder, never really trying to find the best combinations and pay them.
— LeRoy Spitzer, Bremerton
Going off a Cliff
If I were to dismantle the Mariners and could only keep one player, it would be Cliff Lee. Oops. Too late!
— Dennis Widman, Tucson, Ariz.
Mariners’ Top 10 list
Top 10 clubhouse comments:
10) Is that a rat tail or a mullet?
9) Did you hear Byrnes is on the cover of Surf magazine and Golf Digest?
8) Is Ichiro leading the seventh-inning stretch?
7) Hey mate, maybe I will take the hyphen out of my name to pitch better?
6) Collect call from Mr. Griffey in Montana. Will you accept the charges?
5) Can Cliff get me a discount on an RV?
4) Holy Smoak! I went from first place to last!
3) Felix pitched a no-hitter and still lost?
2) Did you get wind Silva is the spokesperson for Weight Watchers?
1) Hey, Mike, will you throw us some free rally fries for our season bonus?
— Teaessa Chism and Scott Okino
Hopes for 2011
Here’s what I hope for next season:
More players named Wilson who can field but can’t hit.
Corner the market on bad-backed DH/first basemen.
More positive influences like Bradley and Figgins.
More catchers who can’t hit.
More left-handed pitchers who can’t pitch (see Bedard, Erik and Rowland-Smith, Ryan).
Inside the mind of Jack Z., I think there is room for a sublet.
— Tim Carlson, Victoria, B.C.
Wak the walk
With all the early talk about The Mariner Way, I had very high hopes that we’d finally have a disciplined ballclub. I guess he could talk the talk, but not Wakamatsu the walk.
— Ron Jelaco, Montreal
Break out the HGH
The M’s are so bad, and their offense so anemic and punchless, it actually makes me yearn for the steroid era. Seriously. “My oh my! Break out the HGH and androgen cream!”
— Jack Stein IV, Seattle
Too many men left on base? Rename the team the Seattle Marooners.
— James Melton, Lake Stevens
M’s wake-up call
The games are so boring to watch that Griffey fell asleep off the field during a game, while others were sleepwalking through the games. It’s the coach’s job to inspire the team to play. That’s a difficult task when the snoring is louder than the words.
— Duane Petersen, Fircrest
Wanting a triple play
The one triple play the Mariners didn’t execute was getting rid of Lincoln and Armstrong along with Wakamatsu.
— Gordy Green
The follow warning should be required for all Mariners broadcasts:
This broadcast contains the 2010 Mariners offense, which may cause drowsiness. Use caution while driving or operating machinery.
— Gregg Dolin, Kennewick
Their own network
The Mariners are creating their own TV channel. It will be called the MES network.
— Steve Thomsen, Waterville
It seems the poor Mariners are getting beat up in the media for their handling of the Wakamatsu firing. As I was thinking of possible scenarios to repair this damage, I stumbled upon the perfect solution — a hydroplane!
Think about it, it can be painted with the team colors. On the right sponson, a large portrait of Howard Lincoln, and on the left, Chuck Armstrong.
The perfect name just came to me — Miss Management!
— Jeffrey Sherrill, Seattle
Men on base! But wait.
Runners stranded yet again
How to lose a fan.
— F. David Hale, Tempe, Ariz.
Lessons in futility
— Chip Martin, Seattle
Trying to play hard
But hitting is not their strength
Alas, swept again.
— Michelle Brat, Seattle
Two thousand and ten thus far
had high hopes for this season
going into it
Pitching was superb,
the team seemed to want to win.
Dark clouds and rough seas
made things much more difficult
for these Mariners
Eric Byrnes rode off.
Ken Griffey Junior dozed off.
Fans became teed off
They cried for some change.
They cried out for some relief
and better hitting
Cliff Lee was traded
for some high-touted prospects
that soon got sent down
Jack Z said to wait
that rebuilding takes some time.
“Give us two more years.”
The real blame though lies
with people like Chuck Armstrong
and Howard Lincoln.
— K.A. Erickson
When I used to have a horrendous day,
I could look forward to watching the Mariners play.
Two outs, So What!; was the battle cry,
Today three on base, no outs, but the team just dies.
Oh, the players, I knew all your names,
But now the roster seems to change each game.
Tickets to a homestand was a wonderful gift,
now I’d just as soon jump off a cliff!
— David Irving, Edmonds
The Mariners suck
No doubt about that
A terrible year
Both glove and bat
Started with good intentions
Z’s plan of attack
Get back to baseball
A positive plan that
But as often happens
Theory and reality met
With the M’s caught in the middle
Along with my go-all-the-way Vegas bet
— Chuck Snow, Las Vegas
Hopes were high at the end of O-nine
This year’s team would be so divine
But few wins and more losses
from Mariners bosses
told Wak this is the end of the line
— Charles Brondos, Spokane
Oh, woe, this season
Of angst and strife.
These M’s of ours
Have sucked our life.
We curse the players.
We hate on Wak.
We question Z
We talk and talk.
Yet here is why
It’s all so wrong:
The guy in charge
Is Chuck Armstrong!
— John Smistad, Olympia
Yearning for the past
We really haven’t asked for much
Another bat or two
Well sure, there’s always Ichiro
But singles hitters just won’t do
The days of A-Rod came and went
Raul and Moyer, too
Now two of them have Series rings
Oh, tell me this just isn’t true!
Ibanez isn’t there just yet
But he’s been to the show
Perhaps a change in management
And it could be our time to go!
With names like Branyan, Bard and Smoak
There’s never any hitting
I look the roster up and down
What the #@!$? You must be kidding!
It’s been forever since we cheered
For Edgar, Boone and Buhner
The wait takes such a toll on me
Oh, how I wish it could be sooner
Can’t we once again hooray!
With something on the line?
It’s clearly just impossible
When more than 20 games behind
The house that Griffey built?
Perhaps there’s more than meets the eye
Because he’s up and left us too
Before we had a fair goodbye
And just to salt our painful wounds
We’re now without Cliff Lee
The Rangers are a lock to win
Don’t believe it? Wait and see!
Oh, Felix, we feel bad for you
You’re angry, I can tell
We’d really love to see you win
So I suggest you leave as well.
— Eric Wexler, Redmond
The Mariners live in a big green house
With some hitters who had numbers
That wouldn’t scare a mouse
They swing at pitches high and tight
They swing and swing with all their might
Sometimes they try a little bunt,
Sometimes they stand and stare
But no matter what the pitch is
The baseball isn’t there
The Z man had a plan
Where they all had banner years
They’d move the runners one by one
And all the fans would cheer
Felix first and then Cliff Lee,
Opponents tearing out their hair
If only when M’s would swing
The baseball would be there
Guti can climb the highest wall
And Ichiro’s skills are plenty
But the Z Man’s plans are down the drain
You couldn’t get a penny
For the bats are flat, and now it’s plain
The victories aren’t many
‘Cause when they try a little bunt
Or when they stand and stare
no matter what the pitch is
The baseball isn’t there
— Grant Mitchell, Bothell
These were the saddest of possible words:
Tinker to Evers to Chance.
That’s until the 2010 Mariners,
Stinkers and Never-a-Chance
The horrible play began long ago
when Lincoln was heard to say
Build it and they’ll come,
Spend their money and some,
And we’ll trust marketing to save the day
Armstrong said OK to the ruse,
And marketing sold us Griffey past use;
Their research told them we’d buy a story,
So Jack Z arrived as the wizard of glory
And Jack Z brought in a capable chap,
To manage the team (and take all the crap).
Problem was, Wak was not a believer,
In the marketing spin that was supposed to deliver
He knew the DH’s were old and decrepit,
And the whole team too slow to make it to second,
That’s if they ever swung and made contact,
One item sure missing in everyone’s contract
So after the players ran out of excuses,
Wak took the fall to protect the 3 stooges.
Lincoln to Armstrong to Zduriencik’s still here,
While marketing spins over another bad year.
Someone PLEASE buy the Mariners!
— Jon Fritzber
There once was a team
There once was a team from Seattle
Who after each loss would prattle
“We might not have won,
and it wasn’t much fun,
but we’ll swear up and down that we battled!”
— Andy Sherrill, Bellevue
A work of pure fiction
If only Junior was 19 years old again
If only Danny Wilson was behind the plate again
If only Lou Piniella was back in the leadership role again
If only the best of Bret Boone was playing 2nd base again
If only Randy Johnson had not retired
If only Edgar’s knees were made of kryptonite
If only John Olerud was wearing his hard hat on 1st base again
If only Carlos Guillen was the shortstop
If only Jay Buhner was in left field again
If only Pat Gillick would come home again
If only Felix would grow up and decide to always throw his best without pouting
If only Lopez would get his bat back from last year
If only Chone Figgins was still an Angel
If only Ichiro would stop providing cryptic messages to the media
If only some players could hit with consistency
If only it was an errorless land
If only the lineup included players who had averages above .275
If only the fans would remain loyal one more year —
If only, if only, if only …
The truth is, If Only Land is pure fiction and the manager and GM need to find the right people for next year or they can join the ranks of the if-only people.
— Marilyn Seger, Camas
The Mariners Lament
(Sung to the chorus of “A Dying Cubs Fan … by Steve Goodman)
Oh, we now play the blues in Seattle
Now that baseball seasons winding down
With the roof tightly closed
The fan still get hosed
In their convertible burial ground
For many a years
They all heard our cheers
But now we just barely survive
I guess we’ll hope for next year
because its perfectly clear
we’re gonna lose the next four out of five
— John Elwood, Federal Way