MLB team now has the title for 'longest playoff drought' in America
When it comes to tortured sports cities, there are some obvious candidates.
Cleveland, despite an NBA title in 2016, is one candidate. The Browns just became the second NFL team to ever go 0-16 in a season, while the Indians capped a season in which the team won 22 straight games with a painfully early playoff exit.
The fans of Minnesota sports teams are certainly familiar with anguish, with the Vikings having lost four Super Bowls and the NBA’s Timberwolves missing the playoffs in 13 straight seasons, the longest such active streak in the NBA.
Certain sects of the New York sports scene are annually tortured as well. Fans of the Mets, Knicks, Nets and Jets are all experiencing prolonged periods of ineptitude.
One such city that is not often brought up when it comes to ailing fan bases, however, is Seattle.
Despite a Super Bowl win in 2014 for the Seahawks, Seattle sports finds itself in a definite down period today.
Those same Super Bowl-winning Seahawks are on their last legs. Richard Sherman is recovering from a devastating Achilles injury. Kam Chancellor is having issues with his neck, which is always cause for concern. Earl Thomas is openly campaigning to join a conference rival.
Seattle has also experienced the pain and misery of having a professional team hijacked, when its beloved Seattle Supersonics left the Emerald City and relocated as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And the Mariners?
The Mariners have officially taken the mantle of “longest playoff drought” in major North American sports with the Buffalo Bills squeaking into the NFL Wild Card round on Sunday.
The Mariners first began playing in 1977, and have enjoyed some modicum of success.
The 2001 Mariners are tied with the 1906 Chicago Cubs for most wins in an MLB season with 116.
And the current Mariners have usually remained in playoff contention deep into the season.
But the reality is the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since that 116-win season, which is a drought of 16 seasons. That year ended with an unceremonious 4-1 series loss to the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
On top of the playoff drought, the Mariners are also one of only two MLB teams to have never played in the World Series. The Washington Nationals, who began as the Montreal Expos, are the other franchise.
This year is unlikely to bring much hope of the Mariners ending that playoff drought. The way the MLB postseason is set up, the baseball playoffs are typically the hardest to contend for, with only 10 of the league’s 30 teams able to qualify.
On top of that, the Mariners find themselves in the same division as the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros in the AL West. That division also features the Los Angeles Angels who have acquired Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani to play alongside all-around superstar Mike Trout.
The Mariners finished last season with a 78-84 record, 23 games behind the first-place Astros and seven games out of the American League wild card.
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