As most people know, newspapers and publications often have pre-written, updated obituaries of famous living people on file in case they die. Particularly for older celebs who might be on the verge of death. That's why when someone dies suddenly, a paper like the Washington Post or the New York Times can unveil this monster and in-depth obit for someone the next day. They only need to call it up, update a little with some current info and quotes and then run it. I wonder how many times papers' thought they'd be using the Keith Richards' obit that particular month.
There was some recent public debate when it was leaked that the Associated Press decided to pre-write an obit for Britney Spears when she was in her full, non-underwear wearing, drug doing, depressive glory. Was it premature? Perhaps. But logical.
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What does this have to do with baseball, specifically the Seattle Mariners you ask?
Well, maybe like Britney it's time to start preparing the obituary for the passing of the Mariners' playoff dreams.
For some fans it died a slow, awful death a month ago, for others it's on life support but the pulse is fading fast with each loss. Either way, maybe it's time to come the realization that the chances of the Mariners making the playoffs have about as much chance as Britney reviving her singing career, or her winning mommy of the year in 2008.
How bad is it that you can compare all of this to a washed up performer, who really didn't have much talent to begin with? Then again, that's what some fans accuse some of the Mariners' players of being as well.
Is there any chance that Britney cleans up her act, releases another decent album and becomes relevant again?
Is there a chance that the Mariners can come back and somehow find a way to get in the postseason or at least become relevant?
The answer to both is: It's possible.
For Britney? Well, let's not kid ourselves about how celeb obsessed our society is and how many bad songs (this one in particular) that become hits.
For the Mariners? Mathematically, yes. They are 18-29 with 115 games left to play. Baseball is a strange game and perhaps the Mariners find a way to get hot and other teams completely implode it could happen.
Really for either Britney or the Mariners it comes down to the fact that nothing either is doing now seems to be helping. In fact, it seems like the current trend for both is steering them toward failure.
The Mariners are just playing so poorly right now that it's tough to imagine them turning this ship around quickly. It would be different if they were getting any combination of: scoring runs, putting up a good fight, getting decent starts, solid bullpen, late-inning rallies or a few good breaks. But they are barely getting one of the seven in each game.
It's clear they have no idea how to stop it. When they do talk, they say all the right things, and act like they believe. But it's more the idea of believing in believing that they have a chance still.
No player will ever to admit to not competing, but they know when they are competitive and not. They don't step on the field believing they will win, they step on the field hoping to win. And soon as a few things go wrong, it all falls apart. Everyday you look for signs that it might change. And you see hints, but never any one moment or situation that says, "things are going to change."
And that's the reason for the prewritten obituary. Any thoughts as to what it should include.
Here's how I've started mine so far ....
SEATTLE - The 2008 Seattle Mariners, a team with lofty goals, postseason dreams and newfound expectations, stumbled and then succumbed under the weight theirs' and their fans hopes. Seattle was mathematically eliminated from postseason play on (insert date here), but it was something that most involved saw coming for months.
This wasn't a sudden end. It was a prolonged and often painful-to-watch process as the team slowly eroded from American League West contender, to postseason possibility, to slow starting squad, to early underachiever, to massive disappointment, to complete catastrophe.
The symptoms of this struggle were few at the beginning, but many at the end, none more apparent and debilitating than questionable front-office decision-making starting in year's past that rendered the organization crippled in personnel and personality in 2008.