Mariners inch closer to postseason, yet fans still absent

Mariners inch closer to postseason, yet fans still absent »Play Video
A couple dressed in formal attire have their photo taken in the upper-deck outfield seats at Safeco Field, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, during a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago White Sox in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE -- All the momentum and drama of the weekend came to a halt. In a goose egg. A big old fat donut.

The Mariners couldn't score. Again.

While the Kings of Edgar Martinez Drive lost to the woeful Texas Rangers Monday night 2-0, the team has already matched its 2013 win total. They've won 71 games and have 31 still to play. The postseason is a possibility, yet the fans aren't showing up like they should.

"So these guys are scraping and fighting and they believe they can win this," said a fired up Dan Paulin.

Paulin, like many others, is frustrated with the perception of bandwagon fans. It isn't a term that offends him. Call them whatever you want -- just get them through the turn stiles.

"You want to be a bandwagon fan, fine. Come be a bandwagon fan for the Mariners. Come on out for crying out loud," he said.

Despite the team's recent success and unprecedented sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend, the team's attendance still languishes at 23rd in the majors.

"In the past, it's just unfortunately been kind of a joke. It's like, 'oh gee, it's going to the bullpen,'" said long-time fan Ginger Docher. She comes to more than a dozen games every year and says fans are finally starting to come around.

The club admits it has to keep winning in order to get fans as passionate as the salad days of 1995 and 2001. Macklemore bobbleheads aren't going to cut it. The Mariners' Rebecca Hale said it isn't a battle of fandom between the Seahawks and the M's. "We know our season ticket holders are our best customers," Hale said.

Baseball's fans are fiercely loyal. The fans in Seattle just need a few more wins -- and more runs -- to cheer for.