The Seattle Mariners’ 2019 season ended in all-too-familiar fashion Sunday.
Though the Mariners prevailed 3-1 over the Oakland A’s in their season finale Sunday at T-Mobile Park, all it did was put a cap on yet another season without playoff baseball. Seattle finished the season 68-94, which put the Mariners in last place in the American League West. It was also 21 games worse than 2018, when the M’s finished 89-73. And by missing the postseason Seattle stretched its playoff drought to 18 years, which remains the longest of any team among America’s major professional sports leagues.
It truth, it was a pretty bleak season. Seattle began the season 13-2, yet somehow found itself out of playoff contention before June rolled around. Veterans were traded away, and a seemingly endless stream of journeymen and minor-league veterans were trotted out on a regular basis. According to Fangraphs.com, Seattle’s best position based on WAR was Tom Murphy, a 28-year-old career back-up catcher acquired at the start of the season for an anonymous minor-league pitcher. The team’s All-Star, designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, finished the season with a .208 batting average. The team ERA was a dismal 4.99, and Marco Gonzales was the only pitcher on the roster Sunday who had anything close to what could be described as a decent full season.
And there there was the poignant farewell to Felix Hernandez. Hernandez is, unfortunately, the face of this long stretch of futility. Hernandez, Seattle’s longtime ace pitcher, was so often the Mariners lone bright spot as he fought furiously against the tide of losing. But in recent years he’s diminished, and with his contract expiring he seemingly said his goodbyes to the Seattle fans following his start Thursday — the last appearance in a season in which he went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA.
In all, it felt pretty dismal. The fans seemed to agree as Seattle drew just 1,791,720 fans this season, which was down more than 22 percent from 2018, as well as the Mariners’ lowest total since 2013, when Seattle won just 71 games in its fourth consecutive losing season.
And yet, I wrote a column in which I argued the Mariners had a fantastic season when looking at the big picture. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto acknowledged before the season that this would be a rebuilding year, with the emphasis being on what the team could do to get better in the future. The developments in the minors this season were extremely positive, and the trading of veterans created payroll flexibility.
If you read the column, you know what kind of grade I gave the Mariners for 2019. However, I’m just one individual, and my opinion is no more valid than anyone else’s. So what grade would you give the Mariners for 2019? Let us know here: