It’s been a downer so far for Seattle’s two major sports teams. The Mariners got off to a hot start to the 2018 baseball season and actually held the lead in the American League West, but then the roof fell in and fans that have gotten used to the Mariners being, well, the Mariners, watched as right on cue the team fell apart and out of the race for the post-season.

Then there is the Seahawks. Coach Pete Carroll has claimed all along that they have not done a rebuilt, but just have changed things up a bit. But after two games, both losses, it’s clear that the Seahawks have gone through a large rebuilt and the result is not good. They have lost most of the Legion of Boom and have started over with a bunch of youngsters that may be talented, but lack experience to play well in such a tough league.

So it goes.

The first glance shows the Seahawks struggling with new coaches and a new philosophy, especially on offense. The offensive line has been a big problem now for several years, but it never stopped quarterback Russell Wilson from escaping pressure and making big schoolyard plays that allowed the Seahawks to compete in the NFL West.

No more, though.

It appears that new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer wants Wilson to stay in the pocket more and that has led to 11 sacks through two games and an offense that is not very potent. Under this system, Wilson is going to get killed some Sunday and then the Seahawks will really be in deep doo-doo because the backup is Brett Hundley, who produced a quarterback rating of 44.2 with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions in the nine games last season he started for the injured Aaron Rodgers at Green Bay.

Of course, you can point toward injuries as a key reason the Seahawks are winless after two games. They played without linebackers J.K. Wright and Bobby Wagner and for the second time wide receiver Doug Baldwin this past Monday in a 24-27 loss at Chicago. It looks like Wagner will play this Sunday at home against Dallas, so that should help some.

Maybe we have come to expect too much from the Seahawks, which could be a good thing. They have been good for so long that it’s tough to watch the Seahawks stumble around like Mr. Magoo.

It’s strange that seasoned footballers like Carroll and general manager John Schneider apparently have not been able to produce a productive offensive line or put together a top-flight receiving corps. And you can add this year, where are the fierce edge rushers we have come to expect from them?

They did come up with an excellent kicker in Michael Dickson, who comes from Down-Under via the University of Texas. He’s the real deal.

Even though Dallas is not America’s Team anymore, the Cowboys are good enough to send the Seahawks reeling to a third straight defeat on Sunday. Odd makers say it will be close, giving the Seahawks a one point edge.

The Mariners are like the ugly sister to Cinderella. They can’t seem to get the silver slipper no matter how hard they try. It seemed possible in early July when they were 24 games above .500 and blowing up all preseason predictions.

But we should have known. The same ol’ Mariners showed up and since July 5 when they were 56-32, they have gone 24-36 and are eliminated from the division race and the magic number for elimination for the second wild card in the American League is three (any combination of wins by Oakland and losses by the Mariners that equal three eliminates them).

Looking on the bright side, the Mariners are not the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are 44-108 and 59 games behind AL East leader Boston.

A good way to look at the Mariners is to take each position spot and look at it as you would if you were looking to put a team together. So here we go. Take first base. Ryon Healy is a major league defender, an average power hitter and a below-average hitter. He’s really a tweener. Just good enough, but not somebody you expect to do extraordinary things.

Robinson Cano at second base is a slightly above average defender, an average power hitter and above average hitter. He’s a keeper, but because of his suspension for using chemicals is questionable. His salary of $24 million per year makes him untradeable, though.

Jean Segura at shortstop is serviceable. He’s an average defender and an above average hitter with little power. He’s a free swinger who doesn’t walk often. He’s a keeper.

Kyle Seager at third base is questionable. He has had his worse year, and is trending downward. His batting average and his OPS is way down, and his strikeouts are up. Defensively, he ranks second in the AL behind Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario for third basemen.

So do you keep him for his defense and put up with a downward offensive trend? He could be a trade option.

Mike Zunino is a good defensive catcher. But how long do you stay with that when he can’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag? He’s hitting .193 with an OBP of .251. That is not even close to being good. So how do you balance his defense against his offense? You don’t. You need a catcher who can hit, even if you suffer a little with defense.

Dee Gordon, utility guy who is the team’s cheerleader. A joyful sort who pumps up those around him. So do you keep a cheerful sort and ignore his downward trend offensively? He is hitting .267 with an OBP of 287, which is not good. He is a first-pitch swinger that has walked just eight times this season. Eight times?  For a guy who started out as the leadoff hitter, eight walks is horrible. He should be gone.

Of the rest of the position players, keep Mitch Haniger, who had a good year, and Denard Span, a veteran who is a grinder that never gives away an at-bat, and toss the others in a pool and see what you get for them in trades.

Haniger is hitting .284 with an OBP of .366 with 19 home runs. He also is a good outfielder, so is a keeper.

Span has similar numbers to Haniger. His drawback is his age – 34. But he is a keeper.

There is not a lot to choose from among the pitching staff.  James Paxton, Marcus Gonzales and Edwin Diaz are obvious keepers. You can’t be a contender, though, with the mix of Felix Hernandez, Mike Leake, Wade LeBlanc and the rest. Felix is done. He’s toast, but he is owed a lot of money, almost $28 million next season, the last year of his seven-year contract, so the front office has a tough choice to make with him in the off-season.

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz will be 39 next July. He also will be a free agent at the end of his season. So what to do with one of the good guys on the team? He’s well-liked and shows little signs of trending downward offensively.

Cruz made $14 million this year and probably will be attractive on the open market despite his age. Take a chance and keep him.

So what makes the Mariners a contender next season? With a farm system that is basically empty, it will be tough for general manager Jerry Dipoto to put together a contender. The front office would have to loosen the purse strings and allow Dipoto to bring in some high-priced imports, especially pitching.

They need a good hitting catcher, and some power-hitting outfielders other than Haniger. If the Mariners could accomplish that, they would have a chance next year. Just don’t hold your breath that it will happen.

That’s about it for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.