‘Our team’s really good’ — Scott Servais makes a call to arms to Mariners fans
Fresh off a win that completed a sweep of a key division rival and put his first-place team a full 20 games over .500, Mariners manager Scott Servais got something off his chest on Wednesday.
“I said when this homestand started, we were looking forward to this stretch of games,” Servais said in his postgame comments to the media following an 8-6 victory over the Angels. “A lot of people, a lot of our fans and people said, ‘Oh, we’ll just wait and see. We’ll wait and see.’ Our team’s really good and if you don’t enjoy and connect with our club right here, you just don’t like baseball. This is what we’ve talked about bringing to the Pacific Northwest. We have a chance to do something special here this summer. Our guys feel it and the people in the ballpark are starting to feel it, as well.”
Consider it a call to arms.
No, the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs in 17 years. Yes, Servais is aware of why there is still rampant skepticism in the fan base even though the M’s have the third-best record in baseball and have proven to be flat-out fun to watch.
Servais hears the naysayers. They’re not changing the fact that his team is on the rise, and they shouldn’t get in the way fans rallying behind a squad that may finally end that long postseason drought.
Something special is happening with the Mariners right now. They can pitch, they can hit, they can run, they can play defense – and they’ve got grit, too. They don’t finish on the wrong end of one-run games. If opposing teams leave open even the slightest possibility of a comeback, the Mariners have shown they have no problem kicking down the door.
Robinson Canó is out until August. Kyle Seager doesn’t hit like he used to. Félix Hernandez isn’t really The King anymore. But those aren’t the players that this version of the Mariners are built around. General manager Jerry Dipoto has orchestrated a youth movement, and those younger players are behind the run that has made them the hottest team in the league.
It’s Jean Segura’s otherworldly ability to hit a baseball. Dee Gordon’s game-changing energy. Mitch Haniger’s five tools. Ryon Healy’s raw power. James Paxton’s emergence as an ace. Marco Gonzales putting it all together. Edwin Díaz’s dominance that has him on his way to the best season ever by a Mariners closer.
That’s not even a complete list, but it does make for a pretty fun group.
Be skeptical all you want. It is only June. But know that the tired phrase of “Same old Mariners” simply doesn’t apply anymore. Not by a long shot.
With these Mariners, there’s no reason to be afraid to buy in. After all, that’s what the Mariners themselves have done, and they seem to be doing alright.