The Seattle Mariners almost made the playoffs. Almost. If the Texas Rangers get to Sonny Gray on Sunday, perhaps it would have been the Mariners winning a magical one-game playoff last night.
Ah, theoretical scenarios.
Before the Mariners game ended on Sunday, we knew the season was over. The M’s still finished strong, Felix Hernandez pitched a great game and the crowd at Safeco Field showed their appreciation for a good effort.
In retrospect, was this a good season? Was it a “success?”
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The 87-75 record is clearly an improvement over the 71-91 finish in 2013. From that standpoint, 2014 is a year to celebrate.
From the standpoint of individual accomplishments, there are plenty of players that had great seasons.
Felix Hernandez was a true ace. Robinson Cano looked like the superstar fans hoped he would be when he signed that huge contract. Kyle Seager and Fernando Rodney both had All-Star seasons. Mike Zunino hit a lot of home runs, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker showed signs of future success and Chris Young was a pleasant surprise. The bullpen was fantastic.
Despite all of the individual accomplishments and the growth of the team, there is the lingering disappointment. This team was so close to the postseason, but key losing streaks doomed the franchise to another season of being on the outside looking in.
When you look at the 2014 season through that lens, it is hard not to be disappointed. After all, will these performances be duplicated in 2015? Will the bullpen be as dominant? Will Paxton and Walker stay healthy?
So many questions that won’t be answered for a very, very long time. The baseball season is extremely long, and it feels even longer right after a team is ousted from the playoffs.
What do you think? If you have to keep it simple, how would you answer this poll question?
Let us know why you made your selection in the comments. Hopefully you are excited about the 2015 season.