Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Oct 14, 2021, 4:53 PM | Updated: 5:06 pm

Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Mitch Haniger of the Mariners reacts after beating the Angels 6-4 at T-Mobile Park on Oct. 2. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Mitch Haniger has a message for Mariners fans. He has one for the team’s front office and ownership, too.

And it has 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps all fired up.

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Haniger penned a column for The Players’ Tribune that was published Thursday morning, and it quickly started gaining attention and praise, particularly from teammates including J.P. Crawford, Marco Gonzales and Jarred Kelenic.

Why? Because while Haniger used the column to share details of the tough road he went down missing nearly two years of action due to multiple injuries stemming from one unfortunate 2019 on-field occurrence, the prevailing message was that the Mariners weren’t satisfied with just winning 90 games. No excuses even though virtually nobody expected them to win that many games. Not when they still missed the playoffs, pushing the franchise’s long postseason drought – already the longest in North American major league sports – to an even 20 years.

“I don’t want anyone thinking for a single minute that we feel even a little bit satisfied by how our season ended,” Haniger wrote. “… It kills me that we’re not out there, right now, in the playoffs, competing for a championship. We lost when it mattered most. We fell short of our goal — period. And I need every Mariners fan to know that.”

Later, Haniger adds: “I hope the other teams in the league are all reading this, and they understand that we’re about to get after it in the offseason. And then we’re coming for one of those playoff spots — and more. I hope our front office is reading this, and they understand that it’s time to really go all-in. It’s time to make some impact moves, and put this group over the top.”

Heaps shared on Thursday’s edition of Jake and Stacy why the article resonated so much with him as a Mariners fan. Listen to Heaps’ reaction in this video, or read what he said below.

“I love the leadership from Mitch Haniger here and the tone that he is setting for this offseason. If you wonder what the Mariners are doing and what the mentality is of the players – of Ty France, J.P. Crawford, Jarred Kelenic, Mitch Haniger and everybody else – it isn’t to sit at home and to feel good about and pat yourself on the back that you were a team that was expected to win only 70 games and exceeded expectations, won 90 games, had a really fun weekend where you packed the house and you still lost… No, this drove them. This makes them hungry. This makes them upset that they weren’t able to close the thing out and it drives them further to actually end this drought.

“And I love the fact that he talked about specifically that they own this drought. … They understand the history and they’re willing to take that on and willing to use that as a motivating factor for them to overcome it. And if the players are going to have that mentality and take that on, then yeah, they want that to be matched by the front office. They want that to be matched by ownership. They want to know that they are on the same page and that they are going to be given the resources and the tools to accomplish the goal that they are set out to finally finish this drought for the city of Seattle, for the fanbase. … I love every aspect of this.”

You can hear Heaps’ conversation with Stacy Rost in the middle segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about