Really, this post could have just been entitled "Your 2010 Seattle Mariners!" But that's lazy. And fails to account for the Seahawks' stupidest moment of the past year. And who would want to pass up a chance to make fun of Pete Carroll? (Answer: no one.) Let's talk trash about local sports, shall we?
1) Dave Niehaus dies, November 10
It would be weird (no, sacrilegious) to start this list any other way. Bitch about some idiot GM trading your favorite player all you want. That's the beauty of sports: it's your right as a fan to bitch about anything. But the pathos of that fleeting heartbreak is no match for the permanence of losing an icon.
My, oh, my, what a shitty day that was.
2) Cliff Lee is traded, July 9
How it should have ended.
This isn't a reflection of the trade itself. By all accounts, GM Jack Zduriencik got a good deal when he flipped the recently acquired Cy Young winner to the Texas Rangers in exchange for switch-hitting first baseman Justin Smoak and a grab-bag of could-be-goods. It's hard to argue against a trade that nets you four young prospects under team control for decades in exchange for a two-month rental. (Hard, but not impossible.)
No, the reason this trade ends up so high on the list is that it was the symbolic end of the Mariners' 2010 season. Stealing Lee from Philadelphia last December was an acknowledgement that the team was going all-out in its quest to play deep into autumn. Trading him away was a similar tipoff that, like the nine years before it, this year's clubhouse would be just as empty come October.
3) Ken Griffey Jr. retires, June 3
Every Mariners fan knows how Griffey's career should have ended: riding high on his teammates' shoulders after singling in the final at-bat of the final game last season. That's the kind of scene that plays at the end of an inspirational Disney movie, which is exactly what Griffey (or us, as fans) deserved. Not some faxed press release from a sullen wash-out.
Rather than ending on that high note, Griffey came back and proved to everyone but himself that the Kid just didn't have it anymore. Had he been slugging .500, no one would have cared when he fell asleep in the clubhouse during the seventh inning of a snoozer in mid-May. It would have just been a funny side note to an improbable year, instead of a sad reminder that Griffey was just really old, and really old guys have a hard time staying awake during crappy baseball games.
4) Eric Byrnes goes from big leagues to softball league, May 6
With all due respect to the law firm of terrible free agent signings--Kotchman, Bradley, Figgins & Lopez, the ambulance chasers of professional baseball--no one player typifies the Mariners' poor off-season like Eric Byrnes.
Picked up off of Arizona's scrap heap, Byrnes played like a man who had been left for dead. He hit the equivalent of a warm summer's day in Tempe during his 15-game stretch with Seattle. And then, only three days after the Mariners released him, Byrnes jumped rosters to a recreational softball team sponsored by a beer-and-burger pub in Menlo Park, California, where, presumably, his new teammates were nearly as capable as his old ones.
5) The Seahawks trade for Charlie Whitehurst, March 17
I would say "God, that hair is magnificent", but what's the point of telling God something about his son? It's not like He doesn't already know.
Maybe in five years we'll all say, "Man, Pete Carroll sure fleeced those Chargers." Maybe. But when you give up a third-round pick, 20 spots in the draft and $5 million in guaranteed money to a man who's never thrown a regular-season pass, you deserve no benefit, and lots of doubt.
(Note: The Whitehurst trade would have registered far higher if bringing him to Seattle didn't mean bringing with him the best nickname in pro sports. All hail, Clipboard Jesus.)
6) Sounders issue refund, May 9
After a sleepless night following a 4-0 home thumping at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Sounders co-owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer announced a refund in the form of a 2011 game credit to the team's 32,000 season-ticket holders.
Technically, this could be also considered one of the best moments of the Seattle sports year. Who isn't in favor of responsive and accountable management? But seeing as how the L.A. game marked Seattle's low point of the season, and the first time the Sounders had fallen to last place in their division, let's all agree to continue to focus on the negative.
7) Terrence Jones signs with Kentucky, May 19
By all accounts, Terrence Jones is a sweet kid who has trouble telling people no. To University of Washington fans, this means he's also a heartbreaker.
The 6'9'', eighth-ranked recruit in the nation out of Portland was all set to be a Husky. Hell, he had even said as much during a televised press conference. But then the University of Kentucky's John Calipari, memorably portrayed by Al Pacino in 1997's "The Devil's Advocate," started whispering some snake-oil charm into the kid's ear and boom, his favorite color was no longer purple.
You could say it was Seattle's LeBron moment. But then, if you said that, you'd have to serve 30 years in an Akron steel mill for making such an overdramatic comparison. So let's just say it was like Houston's Amare Stoudemire moment and leave it at that.
Final note: May kinda sucked, amirite?