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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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June 3, 2008 10:05 AM

M's to start the 100/100 club?

Posted by Geoff Baker

Another night, another defeat for the Mariners. As I wrote, the 4-2 loss last night was quick and all-too-efficient for my taste. Seemed a little pro forma. Yeah, the score looked good. Good enough to lose. Lose enough games like that and 100 defeats is well in-reach. In fact, with the 21-37 pace the team is now on, it will lose 103 games.

And that, my friends, will place the Mariners in a category all by themselves in regards to baseball's all-time biggest flops.

Seattle will be the charter member of the 100/100 club. First team to ever spend $100 million and lose 100 times in a season.

Think about it. If nothing else, a payroll of $100 million or more is supposed to insulate you from this type of season. It buys depth. Buys pitching. Buys the kinds of hitters that are supposed to frighten opponents. Or not. Apparently, the M's aren't frightening too many opponents of late.

Please, do not bring up the Baltimore Orioles. Not even close.

The Orioles spent $93.5 million last season and lost 93 games. Nice try. Especially in the dollar-per-loss category. But this is the 100/100 club. Limited membership. Only high-rollers welcome. Sort of like the Hall of Fame, only backwards. The M's have a $117 million payroll this year and are on-pace to drop 103. Let's see the O's top that.

A couple of teams have come close to the futility the M's are putting their faithful through right now.

The 2003 New York Mets spent $117 million -- just like Seattle is now doing -- and lost 95 games. For me, that's the current gold standard for loserdom. But the M's are on-pace to obliterate that.

Other currency collpases?

Let's see, the 2007 Chicago White Sox spent $108 million and lost 92.

The Texas Rangers spent $105 million in 2002 and lost 90, then cut payroll to a thrifty $103 million the following year and dropped 91. See? You've got to spend to win. Shame on those Rangers.

For futility over a long stretch, I submit the San Francisco Giants of the past three seasons. They never hit $100 million, but did spend $90 million in 2007, 2006 and 2005, only to lose 91, 86 and 87 games respectively. But nothing close to what the M's are out to accomplish this year.

No folks, this right here is history. A flop of monumental proportions.

The only hope for Seattle? You mean, besides winning a few games in a row? That would be this year's Detroit Tigers. That juggernaut cost $137 million and is on a 94-loss pace. But don't let that seemingly high winning percentage of .421 fool you. Eliminate the M's from the equation -- since the Tigers are already 5-1 against them -- and Detroit is on-pace for a 102-loss season against everyone else.

See? There is hope. After all, what better member to lead the 100/100 club? The $137 million team, or the $117 million team?

It's a race to the finish folks. Let's see if the M's have enough in them to keep up this pace. Here's a sobering thought: other than J.J. Putz being on the DL a few weeks, the M's haven't really sustained any serious, season-altering injuries yet. If that happens, they'll likely have the Tigers whupped and 100/100 club memberships up and printed for all you season ticketholders in no time.


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