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Stepping back: Inside the Mariners’ decision to change direction in 2019 after an 89-win 2018

The self-realization of who they were and who they never could become came at different moments for the Mariners’ decision-makers.

Why pretend to be something you’re not?

For the baseball side, that recognition came in the cruel days of August and early September, when a team seemingly destined to snap a postseason drought dating to 2001 faded from relevance, stymied by a stagnant offense and the panic of being passed by the Oakland A’s, a team with equal or less talent and a significantly lower payroll.

The blemishes can’t be hidden. The coldness of analytics only verified what they’d witnessed.