The year was 2001. Apple released a new product called iTunes, “Shrek” and “Monsters, Inc.” were the top two animated movies, and the Seattle Mariners were making franchise history with a 116-win season.
Memories of those days with Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone, and Ichiro Suzuki cementing the lineup are as distant as the cement that held together the Kingdome in the Pacific Northwest. However, Seattle Mariners fans are ready to flash back more than two decades this week as their team erases the longest current MLB postseason drought.
Seattle Mariners fans are ready to party like it’s 2001 with a postseason berth
While this year’s version of the Mariners won’t match their 2001 counterparts in terms of wins (that Seattle 2001 squad is the only one in franchise history to top 100 victories), that matters little to a city and region that has been starved of meaningful October baseball since just after the dawn of the 2000s. With a magic number of 1, the Mariners, a team given just a 22.8 percent chance to make the postseason by FanGraphs at the start of the season will clinch a spot in the American League playoff bracket with a win or a loss by the Baltimore Orioles.
And there is more potentially to come for the Mariners than just getting into the postseason. Entering Friday’s play, Seattle sat in the fifth postseason spot, just a half-game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays and 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the fourth seed with seven games left on their schedule. Reaching that fourth seed would be big for the Mariners as they would host a best-of-three Wild Card series at T-Mobile Park, where they are 41-33 this season.
Should there be a tie for the fourth seed, Seattle does own the tie-breaker over the Blue Jays, winning five of seven meetings against Toronto this season. However, the Mariners lost five of seven games to the Rays, giving Tampa Bay the edge there.
Whatever seeding Seattle secures for the postseason, one thing is clear: Mariners fans are ready to embrace the moment and party like it’s 2001 all over again.