How the 2001 Mariners went from 116 wins to a historic drought in an instant | Collapse

How the 2001 Mariners went from 116 wins to a historic drought in an instant | Collapse

– On October 6th, 2001,
the Seattle Mariners won their one hundredth and sixteenth game of the season. They tied the MLB record set by the 1906 Chicago Cubs and broke the AL record of 114 set by the ’98 Yankees, a team widely considered
one of the greatest in MLB history. And they achieved this mark in the wake of losing three franchise icons. At the 1998 trade deadline, in the midst of a down year, Seattle traded Cy Young award winner Randy Johnson to the Astros. In return the Mariners received three important pieces to that 2001 team. Shortstop Carlos Guillen
as well as pitchers, John Halama and Freddy Garcia. The latter of which would make the 2001 All-Star team. After the 1999 season, Pat Gillick was hired as GM and given the duty of handling the future of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom were on expiring contracts entering 2000. Griffey was flipped to his hometown Cincinnati Reds before
the start of the season. The returning package included centerfielder, Mike Cameron, who would go on to be an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 2001. A-Rod played the year out, a season in which he helped his team battle the Yankees in the ALCS. But they fell short and
he walked in free agency. But as one star walked
out, another walked in. Japanese phenom, Ichiro Suzuki was headed for the states. In Ichiro’s 2001 rookie season, he became the first player in Major League Baseball history to win MVP, Rookie of
the Year, Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, and start
in the All-Star game. An All-Star game hosted
by the city of Seattle. And he appeared alongside
seven other Mariners. This historic team opened the post-season against the Indians and
were tested immediately, dropping two of the first
three games in the ALDS But Freddy Garcia bounced back from a game one loss and aided by a three run seventh inning, forced a game five, a game in which Mark McLemore hit a two run single in the second inning to gain a lead the Mariners would never relinquish. – [Commentator] He’s not hit lefties well all year. (cheering on television) – [Commentator 2] How
about that? Left field. Pardova trapped it. Two runs in. – Jamie Moyer, a stones throw away from his 39th birthday, kept the Indians’ bats at bay and Kazuhiro Sasaki
closed the do or die win. – [Commentator 2] And
your winner…Seattle. – [Mike] Seattle advanced to the ALCS for the second consecutive year. Once again, they faced the Yankees. But this year the team was different. And without spoiling anything, I think everything’s gonna work out. Up against a Yankee’s team carrying the hope of a city still reeling in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the Mariners lost their
first two games at home. Manager Lou Piniella
guaranteed his Mariners would win two of the next
three games in New York to bring the series back home, but no one on this one
hundred sixteen win team ever played another post season game in Seattle again. In game four the Mariners entered the bottom of the ninth tied at one. Sasaki, the leagues runner up in saves behind Yankees frame
thrower Mariano Rivera was on the mound. But with one out and one on, Alfonso Soriano came to the plate. [Commentator] Swung
on, hit high in the air into deep right centerfield. Back goes Ichiro, on the track, at the wall, she’s gone. Alfonso Soriano wins the game with a two run home run. – [Mike] Game five wasn’t even close as the deflated Mariners tumbled into the off season. Heading into the 2002 season, the Mariners lost a handful of players. Most notably, the starting pitcher, Aaron Sele, third baseman David Bell, and Mariners legend, Jay Buhner, who called it a career after their postseason exit. Sele, who signed with the Angels was coming off a stellar year and would be a difficult piece to replace. They set their sight on Giants pitcher, Jason Schmidt, who is also coming off a solid ’01 season. But when Seattle refused to offer anything more than a three year deal, he resigned with the Giants. The Mariners settled for throwing a cheap deal at James Baldwin, a massive downgrade on the mound. Their focus on the bottom line and hesitance to offer anyone a contract longer than three years became a theme of the season. As for David Bell, an off season trade sent him to San Francisco. A move that was made once Seattle pried former All-Star third baseman Jeff Cirillo from Colorado. But the move for Cirillo wasn’t solely to upgrade the hot corner. It was in response to a contract impasse with second baseman Bret Boone who had finished the 2001 season, third in MVP voting. Seattle had offered Boone a three year, twenty-two
million dollar deal which Boone deemed insufficient. At the time the Mariners were owned by Nintendo of America and Howard Lincoln represented them as CEO of the team. He was a business man
and ran the team as such. In reference to Boone’s offer, he said, And despite revenue numbers hitting a hundred and seventy million dollars, Lincoln used A-rod as an example of where his priorities lie. Stating, As a fan, that’s not what you wanna hear. But Boone eventually resigned for an extra two million dollars after failing to find the long term deal he sought elsewhere. Time for a championship. With Boone on board,
Seattle retained their core, including all eight All-Stars from the ’01 campaign. According to their reigning AL manager of the year, Lou Piniella,
they suddenly improved When asked about following up their one hundred and sixteen win season, pitcher Paul Abbott said, “We’ll take ninety-five wins and a world championship.” And they looked primed to do just that. They put together a ten
game win streak in April and in May, Mike Cameron
made baseball history by hitting four home runs in one game. The Mariners were firing on all cylinders. – [Commentator 2] And that pitch is hit to deep center field. Back goes Lofton. To the track, to the
wall, Cameron has done it. – [Mike] But as the season went on, it started to become
clear that the Mariners needed help to make a late season push. Especially with newcomer Cirillo not living up to expectations and Baldwin being no
replacement for Sele at all. But with the budget in mind, no major deals were made at the deadline. Lincoln was quoted saying, Let’s put that on a tee shirt. Edgar Martinez voiced his frustrations with the lack of moves by ownership especially while rivals such as Oakland were making deals to set them up for a run at the postseason. But in the words of Howard Lincoln, “I’m in the baseball business, not the feel good business.” Around the deadline, Lou Piniella stopped complaining, reportedly due to a gag order. Despite line-up concerns the Mariners remained tied or in the lead of their division from mid April all the way till August 23rd. It was then that Seattle, tied for first with Oakland entered a matchup with Cleveland. A hundred and twenty consecutive games on top of their division came to an end in the bottom of the ninth. With James Baldwin on the mound, pitching out of the bullpen, Josh Bard hit a walk-off home run. – [Commentator 2] Deep to
right, back goes Suzuki at the track, at the wall, good-bye. Josh Bard with a walk-off home run. – [Mike] It was Bard’s MLB debut. One the Mariner’s wouldn’t forget because they never got back on top. Seattle was eliminated
from postseason contention a month later on September 26th, following an Angels win over the Rangers that clinched the wild card for Anaheim. Along with a lack of
meaningful deadline moves and disappointing contributions from off season acquisitions, there was a decline in production from some key members of the 2001 team. Edgar Martinez was
thirty-nine and after playing a hundred and thirty-two games in ’01, he was limited to only
ninety-seven in 2002 due to injuries. In the late season slump, saw his average plummet. Paul Abbott, who went
seventeen and four in 2001, was demoted to the bullpen in April and placed on the DL in May. He finished 2002 with
one win in five starts and an eye-poppingly large ERA. He was released at the end of the season. Freddy Garcia who led the AL in ERA the year before added more than a full
run to his ERA in 2002. He still however made the All-Star team for the second consecutive year. Because the story of the 2002 Mariners is not simply a failure to act or a failure to produce, it’s also a heavily happened stance. While battling for control of the division in August, their AL West foes in Oakland were busy reeling off MLB’s first twenty game win streak since 1935. On route to a one hundred
and three win season. Another division rival, the Angels won sixteen of seventeen games between late August and mid September finishing ninety-nine and sixty-three, good enough to win half the divisions in the majors. And blowing out the bridge to the postseason behind them, as they earned the wildcard spot, leaving Seattle at the river’s edge with no life preserver. In the off season, manager Lou Piniella requested out of the
final year of his contract and hitched a ride to Tampa Bay. Hired in his place, was former Diamondbacks bench coach and first time manager, Bob Melvin. Again, the Mariners retained their core and again they were formidable. 2003 was their year. I can feel it. Seattle had led their division for over one hundred consecutive games when on August 22nd they entered a four game series against Boston. The Red Sox at the time were a game behind Oakland for the wildcard. As the Yankees proved to be a road block in the AL East. And Oakland was knocking on Seattle’s door at the top of the AL West. Safe to say this series
was an important one. Seattle lost all four games and ended up in a three way tie with Boston and Oakland. But per tie breakers this
put Oakland in control of the AL West,Boston in
control of the wild card and Seattle in the bleachers. From that point forward, Seattle was unable to
make the late season push their rivals were making. They once again finished ninety-three and sixty-nine and once again failed
to make the postseason. It was another lost season but one mount without it’s successes. Seattle finished with
the second best team ERA in the AL behind only Oakland. They did so while becoming the first team in over thirty years to have only five starting pitchers all season. A portrait of arm health. Even with the forty year old Jamie Moyer who set a franchise
win record that season. Ichiro’s two hundred and twelve hits made him the third player in history to get at least two hundred hits in each of his first three seasons and he was once again an All-Star. But as a team they fell to tenth in the American League
in slugging percentage. And bats not in possession
of number fifty-one went cold, shattering hopes of champagne celebrations in Seattle. As an aging roster
continued it’s slow chug forward in time, the off
season proved costly. I’m starting to lose hope. Two-time All-Star and former closer, Kazuhiro Sasaki decided
to terminate his contract and remain in Japan with his family. Along with Jeff Nelson who was traded before the season’s end. Two more arms were out the door. Gold Glove center fielder Mike Cameron signed with the Mets as a free agent, and Carlos Guillen was traded to Detroit where he’d make his first All-Star game and finish in the top
twenty-five in MVP voting. Seattle opened the 2004 season on a five game losing
streak which set the tone for a season steeped in disappointment. Jamie Moyer, who was now forty-one finally started to show age. He had a string of ten straight losses on route to his first
losing season since 1994. The ace of that one hundred
and sixteen win team, Freddy Garcia had his
first losing season in 2003 and was traded in the
middle of the ’04 season. At the time he was sporting a four and seven record. Three-time Gold Glove winner and pivotal bat in 2001, John Olerud, was designated for assignment in July while the team looked for a trade partner. When none materialized,
he was was released and signed with the Yankees. The Mariners coming off back-to-back ninety-three and sixty-nine seasons, finished sixty-three and ninety-nine. In the words of second
baseman, Bret Boone, it was the mirror opposite of 2001. They finished last in the AL West without ever spending a day even tied for the top spot. Mariner all time great, Edgar Martinez who spent every one of
his eighteen seasons in Seattle, retired at the end of the year at the age of forty-one. The only bright spot in
’04 was the one constant Seattle could always depend on. On October 1st, Ichiro broke George Sisler’s eighty
four year old hit record with his two hundred fifty
eighth hit of the season. He would finish with two
hundred and sixty-two. As the walls crumbled around them, the Mariners looked to their future. But not at the expense
of the aging core players that have given the city
everything they could. Management may not have spent money when they should have but they understood the impact the team had on the community even when the end result on the field was a disappointment. The 2001 Mariners will
forever have a place in baseball award. And the memory of that
team will live on even if no trophy or ring exist to commemorate it.

100 Replies to “How the 2001 Mariners went from 116 wins to a historic drought in an instant | Collapse”

  1. I’m a lifelong mariners hopeful. I think they will be the last franchise in pro sports to win a championship.

    Maybe within 50 years they will win a World Series but it’s not likely

  2. "The goal of the Mariners is not to win a World Series…" that alone tells you everything you need to know about their management.

  3. Seattle along with Oakland have had a regular who's who of rookies, all stars and hall of famers on the roster for the past 30 years and have never got it done.

  4. The mariners lose because the whole organization has a Japanese mentality, full of humility and slow moving well mannered crap. They need to purge that mentality and get aggressive. Enough of the slow moving crap

  5. Bruh this actually makes me really sad.
    I’m 17. I was born in 2001. I literally don’t know what it’s like to have my favorite team make the playoffs.

  6. As a mariners fan it just seems right that they didn’t win a ring. At least that way they let us down a little easier.

  7. With the line-up the 2001 Mariners had… vs. Ownership focused on "Super High Profits" there was only one eventual outcome and it wasn't a World Series

  8. As a fizzling Mariners fan, I can honestly say that they give big contracts to those that know how to make excuses for why they are going to lose even more games.the Al West has real baseball teams in it and the Mariners ain't it. I am 60 years old, those in Seattle that run the show could really Care less about the fan. At least I am a Steelers fan and have something to look forward to per year. Hey we haven't cut Trey Griffey yet. Those rich jerks that own the team will continue to make Bank on some of the dumbest fan base in the pro team sports. I have been a Mariners fan since 1991 , I hate the thought of jumping ship. A coddled bunch is not a hungry bunch, they may keep dipota and servais around for the duration of their, rebuild YEARS.

  9. Nothing to be ashamed of. They ran into a Yankees juggernaut that came within 2 outs of winning 5 out of 6 World Series (had won 4 of the previous 5) and was easily the best team since MLB started expanding in 1961.

  10. Why? Who WANTS to see this. Baseball is a roulette game. You get up and try again. Yesterday has no bearing on today's results.

  11. Bring back the Seattle Pilots, rebuild Sick Stadium get Mario Mendoza back to become player/ manager of the team. At least you'll be better entertained with baseball. What team goes 116-46 that's seventy games above .500 , then doesn't make it to the World Series??? I know the New York Yankees were 103-51 in 1954 then lost the Pennant race to the Indians whom were 111-43..

  12. As a fan of football (soccer), I'm all too familiar with "business over team success" owners ruining organizations. Really a shame.

  13. i dont need a 15 minute video to understand what happened i lived it. we won 116 games because the league was wildly weak that year. i remember it like it was yesterday

  14. It's gotta be the curse of Ted Bundy. During his trials, he would wear a Seattle Mariners shirt. He also claimed to be a SuperSonics fan.

  15. That quote about the main goal of the team is not to win a world series, if that quote was said in New York, Boston, or LA, that executive would have been roasted alive by journalists and talk show hosts.

  16. When your organization says that the goal is not to win a World Series! That’s when you know run away as a fan base! That guy should’ve been fired right there on the spot because he basically destroyed the Seattle Mariners.. Can you imagine that headline in the New York post with the New York Yankees! Oh yeah we hope to win the World Series. That’s where you play as a player to win the World Series !! You just don’t want to participate and hope. Man I feel bad for the Seattle Mariners fans…

  17. if the mariners still had a combination of either griffey johnson or rodriguez they probably would have beaten the yankees and won the world series

  18. Interesting how the Mariners would usually give the Yankees a hard time during the regular season during those years but they were embarrassed by them in the 2000 and 2001 playoffs. Goes to show you that those Yankees teams were ruthless in the postseason.

  19. I think a Red Sox collapse video post 2007 would be fascinating, culminating with the collapse of 2011. The fact that rebuilt and won it all in 13 and 18 makes that even more interesting

  20. In the 2010’s we’ve come close a couple of times but then we choke in August and September

    This year would’ve been the year tbh but instead management decided to trade and gain some top prospects for the future

    The problem is GM Jerry Said he wanted to make a push for the playoffs in 2020-2021 BUT out of the pool of promising prospects we got only a few of them are going to be ready for the big leagues by that time

    Logan Gilbert, Evan White and Jarred Kelenic look like they have some serious potential but we won’t even see Evan until 2020 and Logan and Jarred aren’t going to be ready until 2022

    So management wants a young hungry team that’ll be ready in 2021 but they traded and drafted for players that won’t even be ready by then and if they are we’ll only see them in the 2021 40 man

    It’s really hard being a Seattle fan sometimes…

  21. Now we have a team who was the best in the league for close to the first two months this season, aaaand now they're near the bottom of the barrel as one of the bottom five teams…

  22. The crazy thing is that both teams to win 116 games lost the World Series that year; 1906 Cubs and 01 Mariners.

  23. I wonder how has the most wins in baseball history o wait mairners. even though the mairners havent won the world series

  24. I was born in Washington, lived there for the first 18 years of my life, the Mariners have let me down more than anything else in my life

  25. The 2000's was horrible for Seattle. The Mariners teased and choked, the Sonics left for Oklahoma City and became the Thunder and Frasier came to an end. The Seahawks also got screwed out of Super Bowl 40 to the Steelers.

  26. Damn, 90+ win season isn't good enough for the playoffs. That's like the 11 win Arizona Cardinals being left out of the playoffs because the 49ers and Seahawks had better records.

  27. if the 01 mariners had kept a combination of either griffey johnson or rodriguez they would have betten the yankees and probably won the world series

  28. The Mariners Slogan was, 2 outs so what. I have to admit I never seen anything like that since. They would score 3 runs, on a two hour at bat.
    But at 3:44 that's funny!

  29. Every time I go to T-Ball (T-Mobile) Park in Seattle, I want that 116 wins banner in the rafters to be removed. Who celebrates something like that??? It's the worst professional participation award in all of sports. Show me an athlete that wears a ring celebrating the most regular season wins. You'll find no one…

  30. This makes me so sick . I rember around this time feeling like the mariners would always be competitive. Too bad basketball and baseball are my thing and not at all football

  31. They were cursed after making so much money and not signing Miguel Tejada after 2003 season, I became a huge fan to a huge hater. I’m glad they are still bad now and hope they will never win anything!

  32. When you realize that the mariners barley missed having Ichiro, A-Rod, Griffey and Edgar Rodriguez and more on the same squad…. thats 4 HOF Level offensive Stars on 1 team if they didnt mess up

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