Tag Archives: Seattle Mariners

28 Before 28: Visit a New Baseball Stadium

10 Sep

In my 28th year of life, I’m attempting to do 28 new things. Full list here.

Citizen's Bank Park

Citizen’s Bank Park

My, oh, my, the Mariner’s this year! I’ve been an avid fan since 2007 and have witnessed dismal seasons. But as I write this, they are in the second wild card spot for the American League and only one game behind Oakland. AHHH!! Back in February when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, I joked that the Mariner’s were also going to win the World Series. It’s still a long shot, but it’s possible! We COULD do it.

So I was browsing their schedule a couple of weeks ago to see which teams we’d be facing in this epic playoff berth. The day I checked happened to be the first day they were playing the Phillies in Philadelphia for a three game series. I had the following day off and wanting to escape some personal drama, I made a last minute decision to hop a morning bus to Philadelphia the next day to spend the day there. I convinced my friend Quincey to go with me, and we were off!

Citizens Bank Park is beautiful! The people are so nice! I’m used to going to Mariner games at Yankee stadium where I’m harassed at least a couple of times by obnoxious Yankee fans. But the city of brotherly love lived up to its name. This is how a typical conversation with a Phillie fan went:

“You’re a Seattle fan?”
“Yeah, I went to college in Seattle and have been a fan ever since,” I say with hesitation, waiting to be berated.
“That’s great! Beautiful city! You sure have a great team this year.”
“It’s about time we have a good season!”
“Yeah, I wish the Phillies were playing that well. Enjoy the game!”
“Why thank you! You too!”

How nice is that?! Sometimes spending enough time in New York makes one forget that there is the possibility for human kindness and compassion in the world. But it’s out there.

One Mariner fan and one Mariner/Met fan.

One Mariner fan and one Mariner/Met fan.

It was a fun day trip. We ate Philly cheesesteaks north of the stadium before we arrived so I didn’t get a chance to try any of the ballpark food. But I loved the game there. Best part was the Phillie Phanatic. What a great mascot! He had an ATV that he drove around the field with abandon and even got into a play-verbal argument with the Mariner dugout. The Phillies might have a disappointing lineup this year, but they’ll always have the phanatic.

April 2, 2013

4 Apr
Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners

I walk into work and it’s a hectic day already. I run around doing a couple of things before I look over and see that Dr. G needs help with a patient. I go over and hold the dog for him while he talks to Dr. S about a case. I wait until there’s a lull in the conversation.

“So the Yankees lost pretty damn bad last night,” I say.
“5 minutes,” Dr. G cuts me off. “It took you 5 minutes to bring that up. God damn it.”
“You could practically see her bursting at the seams,” Dr. S adds. “I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did.”
“I was trying to not make eye contact with you as soon as I saw that smug smile on your face. So I guess the Mariners won last night?”
“As a matter of fact, they did!” I say. “We officially have the best record in baseball.”
“Watch what you say,” Dr. S says. “It’s only April.”

But, no, I will not watch what I say. And I won’t do it BECAUSE it’s April. I’ve been burdened with falling in love with a team that has not performed well at all in recent memory. I remain faithful nonetheless, but it has brought be much heartbreak and disappointment. It’s April. Anything can happen this season. We could win the World Series! Of course, I’m realistic and don’t think that will happen. But the possibility is there. I’m going to enjoy every win, especially for this moment in time when we are at the top of the standings.

I’m writing this on a Wednesday evening, and by the time this goes onto my site, we could have two losses in contrast to the two wins we have. But we’d still be at .500! In a more optimistic world, we might have swept the Oakland A’s and remain atop the standings. It’s April! It’s baseball season!

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

25 Mar

moneyball_book_cover_01_custom-ea36630e47960157244ed4290140853c60db41a8-s6-c10 As a general rule, I try to not read books when I’ve already seen the movie version.  I’m more a fan of books than I am of movies, but once I’ve seen a movie, I have a hard time enjoying the book, as I’m comparing it to the movie, seeing specific scenes in my head. It taints the whole experience.

“Moneyball” by Michael Lewis was something I read to alleviate the constant itch I’ve had the last month for baseball season to start. 7 days. 7 DAYS!! Can you believe it? I’m actually nervous for the season to start, because I have been so overwhelmingly busy the last couple of weeks, I’m stressed about how I’m going to squeeze my requisite baseball watching time into an already tight schedule. What’s a girl to do?!

Anyways, this book , amazing. Michael Lewis is my personal nonfiction hero. The first book of his I read was “The Big Short” which was about the financial collapse. I personally have no interest in finance or the economy. But Lewis is tricky, interweaving what might seem dull information into personal human interest.

With “Moneyball,” the success of the movie was a lot about dramatizing the human interest aspect of his writing. The book, though, goes so much deeper into sabermetrics, the history of it and how it can be applied to evaluating players. For me, I’ve heard so much about sabermetrics and have a basic understanding of it, this book functioned as a good introduction into how it can be applied to the game.

Really, though, I’m just hungry for baseball. My first softball game of the season is Thursday, next Monday is opening day. I’m exhausted from a hectic couple of weeks. All I want to do is curl up with a ball game. Until then, I’ll just be listening to this song on repeat. It gives me chills every time. Does your baseball team have a rap song? On the off chance you said yes, there’s no way it as good as mine.

Welcome back Raul!

26 Dec

IbanezIt’s only today that I found out that Raul Ibanez signed a one-year contract with the Mariners. I agree that it’s a strange way to spend $2.75 million in the offseason, on a 40-year-player… with sad home/road splits…and limited defensive offerings. But let’s not focus on the negative. I’m excited! I have a soft-spot for Raul, because I believe he is semi-responsible for me getting a job with the Mariners.

In July 2007, I had just returned from a whirlwind trip across Europe. It completely changed my outlook on life, and it also left me completely broke. Back in Seattle, I was hard at work as a barista, but those meager latte tips were not cutting it. I searched CraigsList and found out that the Seattle Mariners were hiring part-time employees to sell game-day merchandise. I had been to one game back in my freshmen year of college and loved it, so I thought I had nothing to lose and applied.

I got the interview and headed down to SafeCo Field. I walked around the stadium trying to find the entrance that would lead me to the front office. I looked at the large banners hanging by the home plate entrance. There was the recognizable Ichiro and a bunch of other dudes I had never heard of. One of which was Ibanez. I liked the name, and as happens with words/names I like, I started repeating it to myself in a variety of tones and accents.

In the interview, I was asked if I was a Mariner fan.

“Oh yeah, huge Mariner fan here.” I told him, lying completely.
“They’ve had a really great run at the playoffs, everyone’s really excited around here.”
“Yep, great run.”
“So, who’s your favorite player?”

I paused to think this one through. I didn’t want to say Ichiro, because that was the obvious choice. So I blurted out that odd name that had been stuck in my head. I might have even mispronounced it.

“Ib-a-nez?”
“Oh, he’s my favorite player! Some of those hits he has gotten? Did you see that one last week?”
“Er, I must have missed it…but I’ve heard about it?”

So I got the job and consequently fell in love with baseball and the Mariners. All because of Raul. I remember working Sunday day games and seeing him and his sons play catch in the outfield before the gates opened. I remember watching him getting home runs this last play-off season and feeling like he was still my guy.

Man, I can’t wait for baseball season to start again. Less then 100 days! This year I have little hope that the Mariners will make playoffs of any kind. But I still feel like I’ve got to get back to Seattle. I’ve got to get back to SafeCo field. And I must cheer Raul’s name when they play “Werewolves in London” for him.

Thanks Mariners

27 Apr

Making a wish at SafeCo Field. 2008.

One year ago, life was horrible for me, the worst. I’d had my heart broken. I didn’t know where I was going to live. I didn’t have a job I loved or that I thought would take me anywhere. I was living in a lonely city with few people to turn to. I thought I might have breast cancer. I couldn’t eat. I was broke.

With all my problems weighing heavily on me, it made the little things so much worse. An ipod dying became a tragedy on top of it all. It might sound silly and a bit obsessive, but the fact that the Mariner’s were a horrible team last year made everything worse. I would try to sleep at night, all my troubles swarming in my head, and after I had catalogued them all for the millionth time, I would also think, “And the Mariner’s can’t win a fucking game!” I needed them, and they were just depressing me further. I even stopped following them. For the first time since leaving Seattle, I didn’t subscribe to mlbtv.com to watch the games. I just didn’t care.

I KNOW. I really lost it. I kind of kept up with the scores and news worthy updates, but I let myself not care for a season.

My life is back now. It’s not perfect, but it is probably the best it has been in years. Some days, I even feel like I have it all. So this year, when baseball season was coming back, I made the conscious decision to throw my weight back into my Mariner’s. Everyone predicted that they would be horrible this year…again. But I didn’t care. I downloaded some necessary apps to my phone, started following some key M’s blogs, and I started watching the games whenever I had a free night.

I’ve been fighting off a cold and a bad mood all week, so I stayed in on a Friday night to have some me-time and to watch the Mariners play the Blue Jays. We won. That’s the gist of it. But something more. Even at the top of the 9th when we were beginning our two-run deficit comeback with a Michael Saunders’ (not even one of our star players) homerun, I thought, “We still might lose this, but this is actually an exciting game.”

Good M’s offensive, good M’s defense, smart moves by the coaches. In the last couple of years, the M’s have been so crippled, so disappointing, the games haven’t even really been worth it. But tonight, home alone on a Friday night, I was really really enjoying this game.

Then at the top of the 10th, Michael Saunders (again, not even that great a player) got a Grand Slam that basically clinched the game at 9-5.

“SAUNDERS?” I said aloud to myself. “Saunders?!?!” My computer had been on the fritz, and it was freezing, so I thought maybe I saw it wrong. Then the ding-a-ling score alert went off on my phone, and I knew it was true. I was on cloud nine.

The M’s are playing surprisingly well this year. Granted it is April, and they still have room in the season to have a 14 game losing streak. But right now, things are fantastic. So goes baseball. So goes life.

Those that aren’t sports fans have a hard time understanding the utter devotion someone can put behind a team. It’s like everything worthwhile in life. Sometimes you are disappointed. Sometimes you don’t know if it is worth the effort. But when it’s good, it’s great.

The M’s have made me happy lately, and I’m so glad I didn’t break up with them a year ago when things were rough. While one year later, my life is back on track, I’ve had a rough week or two, and it’s like the M’s showed up at my door with soup, ice cream, and flowers.

Being a baseball fan is worth it. It’s worth the hours you spend in front of your television screaming at umpires, or your catcher, or your team’s manager. It’s worth the obsessive thinking about stats and lineups and injuries.

It’s nights like tonight that I realize just how much I love baseball.