Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres
At no time was this ever a good idea. Ever.
These teams are more than 1,200 miles away from each other. They've never played in a World Series together -- or, in the Mariners' case, ever. They're rarely good at the same time and, lately, have been mediocre at best.
The Mariners haven't made the playoffs since winning a record 116 games in 2001 and losing to the Yankees in the American League Championship series. Since then, they've had seven losing seasons and have seen every star player not named Felix Hernandez take off for literally and figuratively sunnier climates.
The Padres, meanwhile, last made the World Series in 1998 -- when they were swept by the Yankees -- and have won exactly one playoff game since, in 2006. They've spent the past two seasons mired under .500 and have also watched stars such as Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzalez scuttle out of town.
Is this a rivalry worth driving 19 hours to watch? Worth a flight? Worth a decent May weekend? No, it's a geographical anomaly for Major League Baseball and a conundrum for two teams that, all things considered, would probably prefer their own four-game series with the Yanks this year instead.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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