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What is the least successful major North American sports franchise of all time? Show more Show less
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Many look to the great sports franchises that have defined generation after generation in all four major leagues; the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New England Patriots. But there is another, rather ugly side to sports that explores just how unlucky, incompetent, and stagnant a major team organization can truly be. There are multiple teams that fit the bill for least successful of all time.

The Seattle Mariners are the least successful franchise of all time Show more Show less

There have been a plethora of issues with the Seattle Mariners over their franchise history, especially within the context of the wider MLB. Seattle is a strong candidate for the worst of the worst.
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The Mariners have remarkably little post-season success

The Mariners have markedly less playoff experience and subsequent success than the rest of the entire MLB, which shows just how bad the franchise has been throughout its history.
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The Argument

The Seattle Mariners, throughout their 44 seasons of existence, have had little to no success at achieving the ultimate crown of the MLB: the World Series championship title. There are currently six teams that have never won a World Series in their history, and though the Texas Rangers are the oldest team without a title, the Seattle Mariners are the only team in baseball who have never even made it to the World Series. Throughout Mariners history, they have only made the postseason four times; that is an average of no playoff appearances for every ten years of existence. They have made the ALCS on three separate occasions (1995, 2000, and 2001), but lost each series 4-2. They are also currently the team with the longest postseason appearance drought at 18 seasons, their previous lengthy drought also spanning their first 18 seasons, extending from 1977 to 1994.[1] The current drought is also the longest postseason drought in all major North American sports.

Counter arguments

Though the Mariners' history is not the most successful in terms of postseason play, there are several older franchises (like the Rangers, Padres, and Brewers) that have never won a World Series as well. Should they be penalized more for existing longer without a title to show for it? When the Mariners did make the playoffs those four times, they made the ALCS on three separate occasions, which is still respectable for a franchise that barely makes the postseason at all. One incredible feat for the Mariners is their seemingly unbeatable record of 116-46 in 2001; the most regular season wins in all of MLB history.[1] For a purportedly bad franchise, that is an amazing record to have and one that will certainly hold for a long time.

Premises

[P1] The Seattle Mariners have four postseason appearances in their 44 seasons of existence. They are the only MLB team to never clinch a spot in the World Series. [P2] Franchise success should largely be based upon playoff experience and subsequent depth into the postseason, and the Mariners have been the worst team throughout their long, 44 season history. [P3] The Seattle Mariners are the worst franchise in all of major North American sports.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Franchise success should not be solely based upon reaching the World Series or how far into the playoffs a team gets. [Rejecting P2] There are teams arguably worse than the Mariners in both of these categories, and the Mariners had the most regular season success in the history of baseball. [Rejecting P3] The Mariners should not be discounted for these reasons.

References

  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 26 Aug 2020 at 08:47 UTC

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