=== Train Wreck ===
I had a friend, not much of a baseball fan, and he and I would turn on the game in the 7th precisely to see at what angle the trains would collide that evening. No joke. We'd talk to each other on the phone as it happened. We would tune in, just in morbid fascination, to watch the suffering amplify and amplify and amplify. It was a bizarre sight, the way in which the June-July 1997 Mariners gutted themselves every night.
=== July 31, Trade 2===
On July 31, the Mariners did the only possible thing they could: they traded for bullpen help. What else are you going to do? Waste a Griffey-Edgar-ARod-Big Unit season because you're jealously protecting players who are in minor league stadiums?
The second trade, which happened a few minutes after the deadline IIRC, was Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb. Nobody minded this one. Cyber-Seattle was angry at the Mariners for blowing a 1st-round pick on a Scott Boras client who hadn't shown anything up to 1997. The reaction was exactly the same as the was the reaction to Jeff Clement for Jack Wilson: who really cares whether we lose Clement? First-round catcher, already 25, if he's not hitting by now he never will.
Lowe was not seen by anybody as an important loss, that I remember. If there were one thing that Dr. D could bequeath upon the good fans of the city of Seattle, it's the realization that usually the minor leaguers you trade, turn out to be something very different than what you expected them to be.
If Jack Zduriencik trade Michael Pineda or Dustin Ackley* or Carlos Triunfel, d .. o .. n .. t .. p .. a .. n .. i .. c
=== July 31, Trade 1 ===
The one that sent the city into a three-year rage was the one in which Jose Cruz Jr. was traded for two quality bullpen arms, one right and one left.
Two things angered the faithful: (1) they wanted "name" closer Ricky Bottalico if the M's were going to give up a young star. Bottalico had saved 34 in 1996, was saving another 34 in 1997, and there wasn't a thing you could write to turn around the perception that Bottalico was a Mr. Magic Closer. Certainly, pointing out his 42 walks in 74 innings wasn't going to get you anywhere. He was a closer, blast it.
Bottalico ran a 6+ ERA the very next year, 1998, and was done. M's fans never recognized this, of course, and still remember the trade as a catastrophe....