“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn’t even matter.” – Linkin Park
How bad was the 2008 season? The Mariners couldn’t even win at losing. Clinging to a 1 1/2 game lead on the Washington Nationals going into the final series, they blew their shot at Stephen Strasbourg by sweeping the Oakland A’s. Any other season, under any other circumstances, a sweep of Oakland would have been cause for immense celebration. Alas, the Nats were swept by the NL East Division winning Philadelphia Phillies. The M’s shot at one beacon in a dismal season slipped beyond reach.
On the bright side, the season is over and our thoughts can turn to rebuilding. The offseason will be spent debating which moves should be made. Is it time to gut the entire team, or should we try reshaping the core? Do we keep Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre? Do we take another chance on Erik Bedard? What should be done to build clubhouse chemistry and leadership? Is it realistic to expect to compete in 2 years or should our focus be further down the line?
Questions with no definite answers, but with room for infinite debate. Happy Hot Stove Leaguing!
In other baseball news:
The New York Mets were eliminated from playoff contention for the second year in a row by the Florida Marlins. The only thing better than a playoff appearance is denying another team theirs.
The Detroit Tigers failed to play spoiler for the Chicago White Sox. The South Siders will face the Minnesota Twins tomorrow in game 163 to determine the NL Central Champion. The one game playoff the Mariners played against the California Angels in 1995 is the most memorable game I have ever seen. In my mind it certainly beats out the 1995 ALDS win against the Yankees. I’m jealous of Twins and White Sox fans at the moment.