Turns out you can love the Mariners whichever way you want

click to enlarge DEREK HARRISON PHOTO
Derek Harrison photo

Mariners fans are hard to categorize. They can be tortured or proud, resilient or angry, or any combination thereof. Few have pondered Mariners fans' relationship to their team, their front office and the sport of baseball more than Nathan Bishop, a prominent Seattle-area sports commentator, blogger and a rare voice of reason on Mariners Twitter.

Here's what he has to say about being a Mariners fan and baseball in 2022:

...ON WHY MARINERS FANS ARE DIFFERENT

"The Mariners are an incredible narrative. They make it so easy to love the sport of baseball if you can detach the wins and losses, which is obviously not the way the sport is sold because the system is built to create fans out of a love of winning. As an M's fan you're either bitter and angry, or you've found another way to live, if you've been around this whole time. So really, you can do whatever you want. If you want to get really into relief pitchers, that's cool, do it. The Mariners are a blank slate where you can create what sports fandom is to you."

...ON THE NEW 12-TEAM PLAYOFF

"It's hard to look at this and not see [the 12-team structure] as diluting the value of playoffs. I'm going to be here no matter what, but I don't want them shooting for this 12th playoff spot. They should aim to be the best baseball team in baseball year after year."

...ON FANS' RELATIONSHIP TO MARINERS OWNERSHIP AND GM

"The offseason wasn't what was promised. We were told they were going to open the pocketbooks and build a team. I don't have to care if [the front office] doesn't have the money for X, Y or Z. That's not my job as a fan. If you can't figure out how to budget your billions, that's on you. But you do owe us an honest effort at a quality product. With all that said, this is probably still the most enjoyable lineup they've rolled since 2016."

...ON THE MARINERS ROSTER AND WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SEASON

"If things go right and people stay healthy, there's a lot of possibility here. You've got some fun guys like Jesse Winker who've come aboard. Then, there's Julio Rodriguez, who could come up and be the best position player on the Mariners since A-Rod, like a lot of people think he could be. But at the end of the day, the smart guys with the computers think they're third in the division. So who the hell knows."

...ON HOW NEW (OR RETURNING) MARINER FANS SHOULD HANDLE THIS SEASON

"Find a player that does something cool and makes you happy. Nobody expects you to watch 162 games or know what WAR is or understand the shift. No one gets to tell you what you should enjoy about the 2022 Seattle Mariners. Engage the sport as your time and energy allows."

Follow Nathan Bishop on Twitter (@nathan_h_b), check out his blogging and podcasting at domeandbedlam.com, and catch him Mondays at 1:30 pm on KJR sports radio (sportsradiokjr.iheart.com).

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About The Author

Mike Bookey

Mike Bookey was the culture editor for The Inlander from 2012-2016. He previously held the same position at The Source Weekly in Bend, Ore.