Seattle Mariners: The franchise all-time bracket

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Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. at his Hall of Fame induction. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The 2001 Seattle Mariners might stand as the obvious choice for the best team in franchise history, but the 1995 and 1997 clubs could be plausible challengers.

For practical purposes, an all-time Seattle Mariners bracket probably only really requires one team. The 2001 club was that good.

That team won an American League record 116 games, tying the 95-year-old major league record set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs. Because the Mariners lost 10 more games, their .716 regular-season percentage isn’t as gaudy, but it’s nothing to look down on.

The only flaw in the team’s resume was a failure to advance to the World Series, a shortcoming it shares with every other team in Seattle history.

But because a one-team bracket would be dull, we do need to fill the remaining seven spots. Begin with the three other Mariners teams to actually play a post-season game, the 1995 and 1997 division champions and the 2000 wild card team.

From there we’re looking at team records with a supplemental nod to chronological placement. Although the 2002 Mariners had a .574 record, the latter criteria works against them since we’re committed to 2000 and 2001 and the 2003 team was as good or better. They become our sixth entry.

The most logical choices for the final two spots are the Mariner clubs of 2014 and 2018. Neither rose above third place in the AL West, but they were both strong thirds with win totals in the high 80s.

The Mariners may not have enjoyed lasting team success, but they have been a franchise of stars. The prominent names include Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, and Ichiro Suzuki. All except Suzuki, who is not yet eligible, are Hall of Famers.

The format is identical to previous bracket challenges. Each matchup in the tournament is decided based on seven criteria. You can think of each as a ‘game,’ the winner of four games advancing. The seven criteria are:

  1. Game 1: Regular season winning percentage.
  2. Game 2: Post-season winning percentage
  3. Game 3: Team OPS+
  4. Game 4: Team ERA+
  5. Game 5 (if necessary): Team WAR
  6. Game 6 (if necessary: Fielding percentage above the league average for the season in question.
  7. Game 7 (if necessary): Hall of Famers or likely future Hall of Famers

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