On this Bloomsday, it’s time to marinate in Mariners hate, as the Sox slump into Seattle licking their wounds like Bloom on the beach. There is nothing Joycean about this season, no epic of the single day, even though each game seems to spread out into a stream-of-consciousness flow of frustration, lingering and unspooling unto loss after loss after loss. As the man said, the soul of the White Sox is the cracked lookingglass of the servant.
But now we’re talking about Seattle, last year’s darling, and anecdotally, one of the three favorite “second teams” for White Sox fans. The other two seem to be the Brewers and the Mets. This is enough insight into Sox fans as you need.
The Sox are 248-217 all-time against the Mariners, although 0-3 in the playoffs. God, that series was the worst.
So How Are They Doing, Anyway?
Not great! They are a game worse than .500 and 8 1⁄2 games behind the Rangers. It doesn’t seem to be a fluke, either; they have an X-W/L of 34-33. They seem to be stubbornly middling, and the thrill of last year is fading fast, with the Rangers and even the surging Angels seeming like much more interesting teams.
All glory fades, and yesterday’s promise is never tomorrow’s sure and certain thing. But will they beat the Sox? Yes I said yes I said yes yes yes they will I said yes.
(OK, that’s enough Ulysses nonsense)
Are the Hitters Fearsome? Need I Worry About Dingers?
No. Not really, anyway. They actually have fewer homers than the White Sox, who, well:
MLB players with at least 200 PA and no HR— A Broken Fan (@WriteSox) June 16, 2023
Andrew Benintendi (262)
Myles Straw (247)
Tim Anderson (214)
Josh Rojas (201)
The Mariners are just ahead of the White Sox in runs scored and OPS. Their pitching is better — they lead the league in quality starts, though what you make of that stat is up to you. They are near the top of the league in WHIP. If they could just score some damn runs, they’d be a lot better.
Obviously, Seattle plays in a better division, and are probably better overall, but right now there are a lot of similarities between the teams. I hope Mariners’ fans aren’t as bitter and broken as we are.
And the Pitching Matchups? What of Them?
Right now, pitching matchups barely seem to matter because the bullpen seems determined to hand victory to our enemies.
Friday, June 16
Sox: Michael Kopech (3-5, 4.03) is betrayed time and time again by his bullpen.
Mariners: Bryan Woo (0-1, 10.80) has given up 8 runs over 6 2⁄3 innings in his first career starts. He’ll go seven scoreless, book it.
Saturday, June 17
Sox: Lucas Giolito (5-4, 3.54) is betrayed time and time again by his bullpen.
Mariners: Logan Gilbert (4-4, 4.38) had a good start against San Diego sandwiched between getting beaten up by the Yankees and the Angels.
Sunday, June 18
Sox: Lance Lynn (4-6, 6.72) really can’t blame the bullpen.
Mariners: Bryce Miller (4-3, 4.06) is another guy in his first season. His record disguises a 0.92 WHIP, which is really good!
Why Do We Hate Seattle?
The last time I was in Seattle I went to the Museum of Pop Culture, where they had a big Nirvana exhibit. I can’t remember if it was permanent or I just lucked out to be there when the formative band from my youth, and my instinctual association with Seattle, was being honored. It was cool, but there was also the nagging and inevitable sense of packaging, of narrative-molding, of tidying up everything into a neat package, sawing the edges off what the band meant.
But then, that’s Seattle, isn’t it? They perfected the commodification of the freewheeling outdoor and hardy lifestyle and sold it at cost across the country. A genuinely beautiful area, with a long history of true iconoclasm, was bought on the cheap by early tech investors and hyper-capitalists who thought their beards could disguise their rapaciousness.
The story of modern Seattle is hedge funds seeing a bit of authenticity and snapping it up, packaging it, and turning it into profit. It is a reflection of today’s pervasive sense of the uncanny, that even the things you like were algorithmically crafted for you to like them. It’s Bloomsday, sure, but to think of today’s Seattle is to realize that Thomas Pynchon has been right all along.
Why Do We Hate the Mariners?
Man, we generally don’t. Remember those Griffey/Edge/A-Rod/Randy Johnson teams. They were awesome. It’s a shame they didn’t win. Oh, and they had Ichiro, of course. If you don’t love Ichiro I really don’t understand how you enjoy baseball. Too bad they never won. And oh man, Félix Hernández was such a joy to watch pitch. It’s frustrating that the Mariners could never build anything around that.
And that sums up the Mariners. We always want to like them and think that baseball would be better with a strong Seattle team, but they always manage to muck up generational talents. The Angels at least have only wasted incredible talent from one decade — the M’s manage to do it again and again.
Let’s Hear it From White Sox Fans!
They wasted Félix Hernández’s career.— Tyrone (@TheTyronePalmer) June 15, 2023
And Ichiro’s. And Griffey’s. And Martinez’s.— Dump On The Ump (@UmpDump2005) June 15, 2023
They didn't get Junior a ring— Mark Bussey (@Mark_Bussey) June 15, 2023
For not winning a world series in 2001— J. Quaggles, Esquire (@Quaggs00) June 15, 2023
1. That they never got Ichiro a WS. Man deserved one and I think we’ll look back on him as a Ted Williams type because of it.— Jon (@jonklemke) June 15, 2023
2. The first game I took my SO to, Ichiro hit a HR off Gavin Floyd before we even found our seats. Then hit another one in the next AB. Just killed me.
Because of 2000!
2000 ALDS— Nick Murawski (@Nick_GGTB) June 15, 2023
They were going to steal our team, what greater infraction could be committed?— Brett Ballantini (@BrettBallantini) June 15, 2023
(OK, yeah, the 2000 ALDS was egregious, the Kids Could Play but then the M's killed Kids.)
the kraken’s mascot scares the bejeebus out of me but buoy’s cute, but like scary?— delia catherine (taylor’s version) (@deestweets23) June 15, 2023
also their whole content being around really bad hockey romance novels irked me (I think the mariners did something similar?)
Randy Johnson is kind of a douche bag? ♂️— Brian S (@MagnificentStan) June 15, 2023
Stealing Jay Buhner away from Frank Costanza pic.twitter.com/xzB99VpTJd— White Sox Twitt3r (Is Baby Hippo) (@SoxTwitt3r) June 15, 2023
The stupid Mariners were out of town a few years ago the weekend I visited Seattle so I wasn’t able to see a game.— Millennial Sox Fan (@MillennialSox) June 15, 2023
Not Enjoying Seattle, Overall or in Parts!
They have an amazing Dorktown documentary and we don't— whitest sox u'know ️ ️⚧️ (@flannelGoddess) June 15, 2023
I love Seattle & I love the M’s. Griffey Jr. was my 2nd favorite player growing up. It’s hard to find any reason to hate on them. I do despise Starbucks though. And while it’s tangential, the disdain is real. Also, the famous fish market, for no other reason than I hate fish.— Ryiin (@rfoto) June 15, 2023
Just flew out of SeaTac the other day and did not like the layout or how long I waited for security— Noah Phalen (@Noahp245) June 15, 2023
The people that used to break into my building in international district to steal the common area tv’s.— joe quixotic (@southsidejoeyb) June 15, 2023
It's just a matter of time before the Cascadia Subduction Zone just buries that entire region.— baltimoreabortionfund.org/donate (@rahulastrohl) June 15, 2023
other than the “slap”— ⚾️maryjblond⚾️ (@maryJblond) June 15, 2023
episode; seattle was a super boring real world season
sorry best i could do
Actually, I Like Seattle!
I love Seattle. Was there last week. Moving up in my “places I’d move” list.— Kurt aka losinugly (@losingugly) June 15, 2023
Nope never had a problem with seattle— Justin Velasco (@JustinChVelasco) June 15, 2023
Seattle is a gorgeous, amazing city with great food and culture— Tom Foolery (@slugger__Otoole) June 15, 2023
I hate it because they lie about the rain so no one moves there https://t.co/v8ybXwl5MS