Subtracting From 100

It hasn’t been fun. It hasn’t been pretty. And at times you’ve asked yourself “how much worse can this get?” Back in March, we bought into something special. We had two of the best pitchers on the planet and the idea that pitching, defense, and timely hitting would do the trick. Well, some of the pitching was there, and at times the defense showed signs… but the offense, well, that didn’t go according to plan.


However, with the season ending on Sunday, the Mariners still have something to play for: their pride. Is there really a difference between 99 losses and 100 losses? Yes, there is! It might not matter when it comes down to where their 1st round pick draft in 2011 lands, but it matters in the record books and it matters in their hearts. Nobody wants to be on a losing team, especially a 100-loss team. They are scrapping together to avoid the third number in that loss column. It might be meaningless to some, but in the final week of the season, this bad team has a chance at winning 4 straight. They have a chance at avoiding number 100.


The Seattle Mariners first played in 1977, waiting until 1991 to have their first .500 or better record. To put it simply, they were bad for a long time. However, they’ve only had four 100-loss teams (and it even took 25 years from their 3rd to their 4th).

(1) 1978 Seattle Mariners — (160 games) 56-104
614 runs scored – 834 runs allowed

(2) 1980 Seattle Mariners — (163 games) 59-103-1
610 runs scored – 793 runs allowed

(3) 1983 Seattle Mariners — (162 games) 60-102
558 runs scored – 740 runs allowed

(4) 2008 Seattle Mariners — (162 games) 61-101
671 runs scored – 811 runs allowed


Mariners Nation knows 2010 was a complete disaster. We’re all looking forward to 2011 being a much more enjoyable season. I got to thinking about how the Mariners never had back-to-back 100 loss seasons before (close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!) We know that the Mariners were by no means a franchise signing big free agents right and left in the late 70’s and 80’s; sadly they would more often than not grab veterans past their primes (but Gaylord Perry won his 300th game in Seattle – way cool!).

Call it coincidence, dumb luck, or the anti-Pythagorean rule, each season after 100-losses the team got better. For the sake of optimism for 2011, here’s the research I came up with!

—————————————————————-
1978 Seattle Mariners — (160 games) 56-104
614 runs scored – 834 runs allowed

The 1979 Mariners:
(162 games) 67-95 record +11 wins
711 runs scored (+97), 820 runs allowed (-14)
—————————————————————–

—————————————————————–
The 1981 Mariners:
44-65-1 record in a strike-shortened season
With 52 more games left, odds are they win 15 or more (+)
—————————————————————–

—————————————————————–
1983 Seattle Mariners — (162 games) 60-102
558 runs scored – 740 runs allowed

The 1984 Mariners:
(162 games) 74-88 record +14 wins
682 runs scored (+124), 774 runs allowed (+34 – yes, they allowed more runs!)
—————————————————————–

—————————————————————–
2008 Seattle Mariners — (162 games) 61-101
671 runs scored – 811 runs allowed

The 2009 Mariners:

(162 games) 85-77 record +24 wins!
640 runs scored (-31), 692 runs allowed (-119)
***Allowed 52 more runs than runs scored, yet finished 8 games over .500!
—————————————————————–

I hope by next Monday the Mariners somehow avoided 100 losses. If it happens, it happens. This season has been the worst in team history and we’re all glad to see it go… but I know my itch for baseball will return soon. In Jack We Trust, don’t forget.

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