The Seattle Mariners: What Could Have Been?

The Seattle Mariners are one of six Major League Baseball teams without a World Series title. Their best shot? 2001. Still one of the best seasons in MLB history, the Mariners won 116 games. To this day, they share the record of most wins in a season with the 1906 Cubs. 

This was Ichiro Suzuki’s first season in the MLB, and he became an immediate sensation in the world of baseball. When we think of the Mariners, we think of Ichiro. That season, Ichiro won the American League batting title, the AL Rookie of the Year Award, the AL MVP award, and a Gold Glove. 

The rest of the 2001 team followed suit in striving for greatness. The starting roster included longtime Mariners catcher Dan Wilson, standout slugger Bret Boone (who hit 37 home runs and 37 doubles this season), and powerhouse Mike Cameron, who was slated to have a huge year the following season. 

If this is arguably the best Mariners team of all time, the one that should have won a World Series, where’s Randy Johnson? A-Rod? Griffey Jr.?

The Unit, the monstrously intimidating Randy Johnson, left Seattle in 1998. Most of us think of Randy Johnson as the pitcher who sent a bird to an early death with a fastball. Johnson didn’t feel appreciated by the Mariners, and he moved on to a successful career in Arizona. As for A-Rod, the 2001 team was supposed to be his, with his prime years coming up. But he followed the money to the Texas Rangers, earning the name Pay Rod. His reputation was never spotless.  

The Kid, Ken Griffey Jr., decided he wanted to be closer to home. In addition, the Mariners new stadium was not going to play to his advantage. This was a particularly difficult loss, as Junior is still remembered in a Mariners uniform to this day. In his trade to Cincinnati, the Mariners received Mike Cameron. 

Despite Seattle’s incredible 2001 season, they won a single game of the ALCS. The Yankees went on to represent the American League, ultimately losing the World Series to Randy Johnson’s Diamondbacks. 

This is the question that remains: what if the Mariners could have kept their team together – a team with Johnson, A-Rod, Griffey Jr., and Ichiro? Sure, it would’ve been nearly impossible to pay each what they deserved at the time. But for a team with a lot of incomprehensible letdowns over the years, what would have made a difference in 2001?

We’ll never know. Of course I’d like to say they would’ve won it all that year, especially because seeing those guys on one team SHOULD have been the eighth wonder of the world. Nevertheless, their performances aren’t predictable.

It’s the risk that matters here. Should the Mariners have risked everything to fight harder to keep these guys? Again, there’s no one answer to this question, because one different move would have set off an uncertain chain of events. 

When you decide to run a promotion with SCA, that uncertainty stands. For example, a Grand Slam Inning pays big when a home team player hits a grand slam during your selected inning. You have no idea if this player will actually hit a grand slam – but you take the risk anyway. The difference? With SCA, you’re gonna win either way. No matter what happens, it’s good buzz for your business. And SCA is no stranger to risk. SCA Promotions has covered billions of dollars in risk and awarded over $227 million in prizes. 

– The SCA Team

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