MLB Postseason, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals

The Nationals are going to the World Series, something only the Mariners still haven’t done

By completing the sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals are going to the World Series. Only the Seattle Mariners have never been…

It took an absurdly long time, but it finally happened on Tuesday night. What we’re talking about is this: An entire league of professional baseball teams has finally reached the championship game. The Washington Nationals became the 15th team in the National League to reach the World Series after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2019 NLCS, winning Game 4 7-4 at home.

Congratulations, Washington. It’s been an amazing sports week for y’all. The Washington Mystics have won the WNBA Championship for the first time because Elena Delle Donne is amazing. Your Washington Redskins fired their head coach Jay Gruden and you guys won your first game of the season by drowning the sorrowful Miami Dolphins down in South Beach. Also, the Nationals won.

In your first chance to win your first Commissioner’s Trophy, you will face either the best team in baseball in the Houston Astros or the Evil Empire New York Yankees, who have won 27 World Series in their amazing history. Regardless of how it goes against your Junior Circuit competitor, you’ll be getting a sweet pennant to show off to everybody at Nationals Park for the rest of time.

However, upon joining the big boys club, you will have left your poor baseball friend from the Pacific Northwest all by his lonesome. As of this day in the history of the world, only the sad, sad, sad Seattle Mariners will have never been to a World Series. Seattle might be an awesome city with two kinds of amazing football teams, but their middling Mariners have finished last yet again.

So how bad has it been for Seattle baseball? Well, after winning more games than anybody ever, the 2001 Mariners lost in the ALCS to the Yankees in a year that saw the M’s go 116-46 during the regular season. That was Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki’s rookie year. Edgar Martinez was the designated hitter and Lou Piniella was the Seattle skipper. Sweet Lou is kicking his hat now.

The reason that season is still so relevant is that was the last time the Mariners had reached the AL postseason, shamefully owning the longest active playoff drought in the MLB. Since falling to the Yankees in the ALCS, six different MLB franchises have punched their ticket to the Fall Classic for the first time.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were an expansion team in 1998, won the 2001 World Series over those same damn Yankees who eliminated the Mariners from the postseason. The next year, the then-Anaheim Angels and their persistent as all hell Rally Monkey won the 2002 Fall Classic over Barry Bonds’ San Francisco Giants.

Even though they’re winning a ton now, the Astros made the World Series for the first time in franchise history back in 2005 when they were still playing in the National League. They didn’t win that year because Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko and Ozzie Guillen’s Chicago White Sox were incredible. Houston tanked, switched leagues in 2013 and still won it all four years later in 2017.

In back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, two 90s babies expansion teams won their first pennants ever. Despite playing a mile above sea level, the Colorado Rockies faced the Boston Red Sox and got swept, but they still made it. It took a slight name change, but the Tampa Bay (not Devil) Rays hosted World Series games at The Trop in 2008. Who cares if they lost? They made it!

Not to be outdone, the most recent club in the nation’s capital before the Nationals didn’t mess around in Texas, as the Texas Rangers went to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011. It doesn’t matter that the Giants and Cardinals got the best of them because they were back-to-back champions of the American League, the early 2010s Buffalo Bills of Major League Baseball.

And for awhile there, it was just the Nationals and the Mariners sitting at the kids’ table, dreaming about what it’s like to be a champion. These Nationals were originally Canadian by birth. After a couple of years of doing Puerto Rico things in the early 2000s, the then-Expos were no longer of Montreal, but of America! It was only a matter of time before they achieved supreme excellence.

After 15 years in the states, these fine young Washingtonian lads have gotten their learner’s permits and are driving all the way to the World Series with mom in the passenger seat. As for the Mariners, they’re those 42-year-old guys still living at home with mom, blaming society for the unjust wrong that happened back when they were 24 years old and almost on top of the world.

So while the ex-Expos shower themselves with champagne and party harder than Alexander Ovechkin did when the Washington Capitals won the 2017-18 Stanley Cup, just remember folks, it’ll be another sleepless night in Seattle for their baseball enthusiasts. American football might be the most popular sport in the nation, but baseball is America’s pastime. People don’t forget that.

One day, there will be a day when the AL West is yours again and the Mariner Moose will be able to strut his stuff proudly and without shame like he’s the Philly Phanatic or Gritty or something because his team will be the Champion of America, as in the American League. If a team that’s not even in America like the Toronto Blue Jays can do it, there might be hope for you guys after all.

So once again, congratulations, Washingtonians. You’ve won a lot lately. We’ve noticed. Your professional football team may be a hopeless grease fire of deplorable dysfunction, and your men’s professional basketball team looks only slightly better by comparison, but your baseball team and your women’s professional basketball team are champions and that’s all that matters.

Just be kind when you break up with the Mariners tonight over the phone or text or whatever. It’s not their fault, even though it’s 100 percent their fault. You guys are moving up in the world because you’re going to the World Series! Party your damn asses off, but be sure to pour one out for Ichiro, Edgar, Sweet Lou and the Mariner Moose. They’re good people and a damn good moose.

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