A Major League Baseball team just made unwanted history. The Seattle Mariners finished with their best record since 2003, winning 90 games while losing 72. However, it wasn't enough to reach the playoffs, and the Mariners have now missed postseason play for 20 years, which is the longest drought in North American professional sports history.
One of the reasons the Mariners failed to make the playoffs is they could not catch the Houston Astros in the AL West. Houston won the division by five games and looks poised to make a run at the World Series. As for the wild card spot, the Mariners were two games behind the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees who finished the season with a 92-70 record.
"What a season for the Mariners and our group, and really taking a huge step forward organizationally," manager Scott Servais said, per MLB.com. "Our future is very, very bright here. I say all that, and you're still very disappointed today to get that close and not cross the finish line and break through into the playoffs."
The good thing about the Mariners is they have a strong fanbase. In the final homestand, the team sold out all three games which is something they haven't done since 2018. Additionally, the Mariners haven't sold out a game since Opening Day 2019, which means the club is head in the right direction.
"Getting 40,000 people in T-Mobile Park and feeling the energy that they brought is tremendous, not only for our team and organization, but I think the whole community," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Baseball is back in Seattle. We didn't get across the finish line, but I think everybody sees where we're headed."
The last time the Mariners reached the playoffs was in 2001 when they lost to New York Yankees in the ALCS. In that season, the team won 116 games which is a franchise record. Since the franchise started playing in 1977, the Mariners reached the playoffs just four times (1995, 1997, 2000, 2001) and have never played in a World Series. The second-longest playoff drought in North American pro sports is the Sacramento Kings of the NBA who haven't reached postseason play since 2006.