The Peoria Sports Complex- Ground Zero for Losing and Heartbreak

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Peoria Sports Complex/

There is a saying in baseball you hear every year during the first few days of spring training. “Hope springs eternal”. It describes the incredible feeling baseball fans get at the start of a new season. Feelings of hope for the new season, a feeling of relief that baseball is finally back, and an anxiousness for the incredible season to come.

Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports

As a die-hard baseball fan, I feel those emotions every single year. I also feel pain, regret, and sick to my stomach watching the Mariners every season. As we cruise into our now 18th straight season without a postseason berth, this year offers no relief. The Mariners sold off key cogs in the off season (of which I was thrilled about) and we enter what is clearly a rebuilding year in 2019. There will be some things to pay attention to with the Mariners this year, but I’ll go into greater detail on that at a later date. As the Mariners get set to begin what will probably be another notch in the “longest playoff drought in American professional sports” belt, there will be another inept franchise kicking off their season at the same exact place.

The Padres have a lot of parallels with the Mariners. Both are small market teams, both can’t seem to develop talent, and both begin each season in Peoria, Arizona. Since the facility opened in 1994, the two teams have a woeful combined record of 3875-4090. I think that’s a fairly substantial sample size and while it might not look horrific on the surface, there are outliers within those numbers.

The Mariners only successes as a going on 43 year old franchise came between 1995-2001. That six year window was really the only time the team was worth a shit. That included 4 trips to the playoffs (1995, 1997, 2000, 2001) and a 116 win season in 2001. So from the Mariners side of this, part of their sample size here is much better than the other 37 years. And the same could be said for the Padres. In their 50 year history they have a whopping 5 playoff appearances with 4 of those coming after the 1994 season. Yes, I understand you could argue that both of these franchises have had their most “success” (we are using that term pretty loosely here) after both teams moved to Peoria. But that’s just not the case. The Padres haven’t been to the postseason since 2006 (sorry but Holliday touched home) and don’t appear to be in a position to break that drought this season.

Replay would have made this play fun

To me it would seem that the birth place of this miserable fandom is down in Peoria. Two similar franchises with two similar trajectories through the years… Coincidence? I think not. Look, the Padres and Mariners have been dumpster fires for a while now. Why not just burn the place down and start over? I understand it is a nice facility, but at what cost? Something clearly needs to happen to kick start these franchises into relevancy. Hell, maybe somehow Ron Fowler can find a way to get his hands on some insurance money to help with that “debt reduction” thing he’s doing.

The reality for Padres and Mariners fans is that we are morons and submit ourselves to this abuse year in and year out. It’s our own fault for choosing to root for teams that only exist to rip our heart’s out. Being a Mariners fan sucks ass. I’ll be honest. But I could never stop rooting for those clowns. I just hope I don’t get “cubbed” and it doesn’t take the M’s 108 years to figure it out. While hope does spring eternal, all I’m hoping for is a chemical fire at 16101 N. 83rd Ave. Let’s start fresh, and start our seasons literally anywhere else.