Hello Seattle Sports Fans and various Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog followers! Yes I’m back after taking a month off to relish the 2014 Seahawks season highlighted by my trip to the big game in New Jersey, and as you can see my Mariners Blog has a new fresh look for the upcoming 2014 season. This year will mark my 5th season writing about our franchise and hopefully we will finally push over the .500 mark with the help of Robinson Cano and a few other players we picked-up to go with our 2013 squad.
As you can see I have changed things around a bit this year and one of the biggest changes is the addition of my exclusive offering of some of my older Baseball Memorabilia that are part of my Grandfather Gordon Dusty Rhodes collection. All items including the Babe Ruth autographed ball come with letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA and are one of a kind historic pieces. I have other items as well that I may put up for sale later depending how this goes, but I wanted my readers to get first crack at these sentimental mementos that I want to go to a good home.
As usual I will be attending games and hope to put a meet-up or two together this year once the sun comes back to the NW so we can get together and talk Mariners baseball. From the beginning this Blog was meant to not only be a place where I could share my love of the game through my little creation here, but also to help build community for all of us long-suffering Mariners fans and I hope to accomplish more of that this season with you’re input and help.
Of course if you haven’t already done so you can get email notices every time I publish this Mariners Blog by subscribing in the right-hand column and for those of you with twitter I can be found at @jeffsmariners or on Facebook at Jeffs Mariners.
As I look outside on another cold dreary Seattle day it is hard to imagine that before you know it we will be resuming our summer ritual of listening to corny Mariners announcers, attending games on warm sunny days at Safeco Field and perhaps just maybe we will get to watch another winning Seattle team this year. Time will tell. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Halfway through what turned-out to be a miserable 13-2 drubbing by the Houston Astros I got the word along with everyone else that the Mariners had traded Brendan Ryan to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later. On one hand we all knew that the Mariners had decided on Brad Miller as the SS of the future, and Ryan had gotten a fair chance here so this was inevitable, on the other hand now that it has settled in like a lot of you I’m feeling kinda bummed to see the slick fielding/ no stick prankster go.
It seems like only yesterday when we got him in 2011 from St. Louis and I saw him for the first time down in Peoria showing off that magic glove and goofy smile. But the Yankees are in the thick of the Wild-card race and since Derek Jeter may be out for awhile they came knocking on Jack Zduriencik’s door and he let them in. Good luck Brendan, we will miss you!
As for the game tonight about the only thing good to happen was I was able to get free street parking since the crowd was so tiny, though not as small as the night before when a new record was set at 9,808. Yes tonight I was part of the giant crowd (not really) of 10,245 who watched this ugly massacre that started off on the wrong note as Joe Saunders served-up the first pitch to Jonathon Villar who promptly hit it out of the park and it was all down hill from there.
It was nice to see Tom Wilhelmsen pitch a couple of scoreless frames where he actually had his curve ball back and he looked confident on the mound for the first time in a couple of months. Franklin Gutierrez had a nice night as well with a couple of RBI singles to keep his name alive as a possible returning player in 2014. Speaking of which I am going to revamp my Mariners Blog after the playoffs and I’m open to suggestions for format, things you would like to see, layout etc. as I attempt to hang with this team one more year. Thank God the Seahawks are back in action as this team looks like they are going to lose 90 games this year, and if tonight is any indication this season could still get uglier before it’s over. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Today was a great day to be a Mariners Fan and sole proprietor of this random and independent Mariners Blog. The early news of the day was not so great as word came trickling down to us lowly bloggers via twitter that Michael Morse had been traded to the Orioles. I have to confess that I have a soft spot for Morse dating back to when he was with this club the first time. Sadly Morse started off hot this year, but then got injured a couple of times and then basically had a terrible season. I do wish him luck, and I am emotionally prepared for him to have a great run with the Orioles like all Mariners sluggers who suck here and then go on to prosper elsewhere.
But enough of the Debbie Downer stuff, tonight featured the MLB debut of pitcher Taijuan Walker who went 5 innings and got the win in his first start.Granted it was the Houston Astros who are about the only team we can count on to beat these days, but Walker had good stuff topping out at 97 mph in front of his mom and a group of relatives and friends excited to see the debut of the much heralded Taijuan Walker. He did not disappoint tonight, and though this was just a sample my gut tells me this kid is just going to get better.
Lost in the hoopla tonight was the MLB debut of the speedy Abraham Almonte who came over to the Mariners from the Yankees for Shawn Kelley earlier in the year. Almonte showed some tools tonight in all aspects of his game as he picked-up his first hit and drove-in a couple of runs one of which was the result of him beating-out a routine double play with his blinding speed. This kid took the spot on the roster vacated by Michael morse and has a chance to show off his stuff in the next month as try-out for the 2014 team are officially underway (sound familiar?)….
But perhaps the best news on the day was the game that Dustin Ackley played tonight going 4-5 with 4 RBI’s to go along with a spectacular sliding catch in the 4th inning. I have to admit unlike Morse I have never had a soft spot or Ackley and thought he was another Jack Zduriencik mistake until the last few weeks, capped-off by this huge game. Indeed with Ackley and Justin Smoak finally producing, coupled with the steady Kyle Seager we may actually have a solid young core to build around next year despite all of the other disappointments in 2013.Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
No matter where we are at in the standings I always feel like we have a chance when we play the Oakland Athletics our natural rivals here on the West Coast. And today was no exception as i pretended we were taking on a division rival in a game that counted from my perch on my coach! Of course some folks in the stands actually had that experience today as there is just something about watching games at the Oakland Coliseum that reminds me of how fun it can be to be a fan. The A’s fans are loud, rowdy and like those pictured above rather intense and zealous about their home team, unlike our pleasant and reserved (Boring) fans at Safeco Field.
Today’s day game was another scrappy affair as the flag waving and chanting A’s fans tried to will their contending boys over the third place sub-.500 Mariners on a beautiful day in the East Bay. But once again the Mariners, behind the great pitching of Hisashi Iwakuma and the hitting from Brendan Ryan who drove in three runs, managed to win the game today 5-3 and another series win against a team that unlike us will probably make the playoffs.
This was the biggest day offensively of the year for Brendan Ryan who is filling in for Nick Franklin who injured his knee last night sliding into home. Ryan is playing for his life now as a Major Leaguer and may turn some heads if he can continue to contribute with his bat as well as his glove while he fills in for a week or so. Michael Morse and Brad Miller added two more runs with solo homers today to insure that Hisashi Iawakuma would get the win after the bullpen closed things out again in stellar fashion.
I have been to the Coliseum a few times and I can attest to the fact that the old 70′s stadium has indeed seen better days, but the history and wild fans make it a unique and fun place to see a game. If the Mariners could ever get into a pennant race again I would certainly love to attend a game or two late in the year to root for our Mariners against the rival A’s in a scenario that mattered. But alas we have reached the Dog days of summer and our guys are playing mostly for pride these days and to hold onto third place in the AL West and perhaps finish around .500.
So the M’s get a day off Thursday at home after the short flight from the Bay Area before taking on another AL West team the Angels who really are flopping this year and won’t have Albert Pujols for the rest of the year due to a foot injury. Rumor is Mike Trout may be sitting out all or part of this upcoming series as well, giving us a chance to really create some separation between us and the flailing Angels.
On another note I’m looking forward to seeing Eric Wedge in the dugout this weekend as he takes the helm of his club back from Robby Thompson who has done a great job stepping up as manager, including guiding this team to a 5-4 road trip against some tough clubs while the skipper recuperated. I suppose I will be catching a game during this home stand but I’m not sure which one yet, oh those lazy days of summer…Go M’s http:jeffsmariners.com
I took a break from my sun-worshipping activities today here in Seattle to watch the Mariners take on the Texas Rangers down in Arlington. The Mariners sent Erasmo Ramirez to the mound today to go heads-up with none other than Yu Darvish who like his team has been on fire over the last 6 weeks or so. Ramirez did not get the win but he did manage go 7 innings and allowed a pair of runs against this tough club in what I thought was his best outing of the year. Darvish did not seem to have his best stuff today allowing 3 runs today as well as 3 hits to Michael Saunders as well as not fanning his usual 10+ batters.
Today’s game was definitely a seesaw battle against the first-place Rangers who are used to having their way with visiting ball clubs, but our boys manged to find a way to beat the Rangers 4-3 and win this series. Both Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager came up big with 2-out hits in the 8th and 9th respectively.
The amazing Danny Farquhar came on in the ninth to shut down the Rangers 4,5,6 batters to prevent the Mariners from going to 11 games under .500 as we head to Oakland to take on the Athletics which is always fun. After today’s win we are 3-3 on this road trip which is nice as I’m hoping we can finish strong and at least stay ahead of the Angels and maybe close in a little farther towards an 80 win season.
So I think I’m going to head down to the Fremont outdoor market and stroll around in the sun as the endless summer continues here in Seattle.Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
We share a lot of things with our Canadian neighbors to the from BC including similar weather, salmon runs, progressive politics and a passion for the American Pastime the game they call Baseball. But I gotta say I’m so happy we we’re able beat the Blue Jays today 9-7 to deny them and their loud Canadian fans the opportunity to celebrate a sweep here in Seattle at sunny Safeco Field this afternoon.
Of course I have to admit I wasn’t feeling too positive after our starter Aaron Harang squandered an early 2-run lead thanks to a flurry of walks aided by a couple homers from the visitors. But somehow the much maligned bullpen was able to shut-down the Jays the rest of the way before handing the ball over to our new closer of sorts Danny Farqhuar in the ninth who got the save.
Once again it was none other than Humberto Quintero one of our slugging relief catchers who had the big-blast of the game a 2-run homer in a 6-run fifth inning rally that took the wind out of the ”Let’s go Blue Jays” crowd. The hot-hitting Justin Smoak also had a clutch 2-run double in the big fifth frame as well as he continues to make a statement these days with his bat. The offense was impressive overall producing 11 hits and coming all the way back from a 7-2 deficit to stun the Jays, for the Mariners biggest comeback of the year.
Now the Mariners will get a day off to enjoy the beautiful Seattle weather like the rest of us before the Brewers come to town Friday. I plan on heading down to Safeco Field on Friday for the opener instead of fighting the crowds to be on hand for the Ken Griffey Jr. induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame night on Saturday. I will say this much, I plan on making another trip to Cooperstown when he gets inducted there in a few more years.
So farewell all you polite ( when sober) Canadian Fans as you battle through the traffic on the way back across the border, we will see you next year and we’ll be ready next time! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners managed to split the series with the visiting Minnesota Twins today thanks mostly to our Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Franklin. Franklin had three hits today including a three run homer in the big fourth inning, following a home run by Michael Saunders to put the Mariners ahead to stay in a game that was fun and interesting in many respects . Erasmo Ramirez went six innings and though he didn’t look overwhelming, he did manage to get his second win and secure his place in the rotation for now. Reliever Danny Farquar looked impressive when we came in to pitch the seventh and eighth today striking out five Twins. But it was Franklin and his two money bombs that made all the difference today, I have become a fan of his short compressed stroke that seems to accelerate right before the point of contact resulting in Franklin leading all AL rookies with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.
Strangely enough in the seventh inning money started floating through the air out in right field and as you can see by the above photo I managed to grab seven bucks that I found out later was some sort of promotion for a 5K tailgate event on September 14 before the Seahawks home opener against the 49ers. I will add that after taking a photo of the money I did throw 6 dollars back up into the air when Tom Wilhelmsen recorded the final out in the ninth inning. Overall it was a fun game today that I got to enjoy it with my friend Tyler who is big time baseball enthusiast himself with a lot of insights regarding the approach at the plate that guys like Franklin and Miller are using that is part of a new wave of batting styles. I am looking forward to this upcoming road series starting off with the tough Boston Red Sox , followed up by the Baltimore Orioles.With the Mariners record now at 50– 55 our general manager Jack Zdurienck must be scratching his bald head trying to figure out who gets to stay, and who gets to go, and whether we are in it to win it, or just here to have some fun and continue the infamous rebuilding project. I will say one thing, Endy Chavez had a couple of chances to rob the Twins of homers today and though one of them bounced off his glove, he did make another spectacular grab that up against the wall, certainly deserves a spot on this team. If anybody’s got to go when Michael Morse and Franklin Gutierrez are ready, it should be Jason Bay, Brendan Ryan or maybe Dustin Ackley but that’s just my two cents. So for now we’re still battling for third place in the AL West, as well as the Cy Young Award for Felix and possibly the Rookie of the Year award( there I said it) for Nick Franklin. Things could be a lot worse than this here in beautiful Seattle in the summer.Go M’s!httpjeffsmariners.com
Somewhere in the city of Seattle tonight Eric Wedge the manager of the 48 – 52 Seattle Mariners is probably being lectured about staying up late and watching TV when he should be resting after the head nurse observed the ninth inning at Safeco Field tonight where Tom Wilhelmsen almost gave everyone a cardiac arrest . But thanks to the quick thinking of Kyle Seager and his shipmates up the middle Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, the Seattle Mariners somehow wiggled off the hook in the ninth inning tonight at Safeco Field to pick up win number eight against a sloppy looking Cleveland Indians ballclub. So perf our skipper doesn’t make it down to the Safe tomorrow the nurse won’t have to put him on TV restriction after all.Either way I hope you get well soon Eric…
Tonight started off great for me as I got a free ticket from my friend Laura T that she advertised on Facebook at the last-minute, then I drove down to Safeco and got street parking and proceeded to walk in to enjoy a beautiful night with 16,308 other fans. But unlike a lot of other beautiful nights at Safeco Field where the highlight is just the Hydro races, the stupid wave, or dancing groundskeepers our Seattle Mariners came through once again in dramatic style to win one for the skipper ! Erasmo Ramirez looked a little better tonight and got the win against the tall Indians pitcher Zach McAllister who along with his manager must be a little bit miffed tonight after seeing the Indians players commit not only three actual errors, but a couple other near misses and stupid base running moves that basically cost the struggling Indians the game. But after writing this Mariners Blog for almost 4 years and facing nothing but drudgery most of the time, I’m willing to let go completely and have the Baseball Gods come in and wake up this sleepy baseball town.
Once again it was the big guys Raul Ibanez and Kendry’s Morales along Kyle Seager who got things going in the third inning when the Mariners managed to score 3 runs and overtake the visiting Indians 4-3.There was just a hint of electricity down at Safeco Field tonight, though it was a fairly small crowd considering the win streak we are in, but I have hopes that tomorrow’s game and the series with the Minnesota Twins may start to pull out some more bandwagon fans and even some old guard types like myself who witnessed this sort of miracle come back in 1995. Now of course I’m just looking to get back to 500 at this point , but with the Athletics, Rangers and Angels all losing tonight it feels great to take sole possession of third place in the AL West.
As usual the Cleveland Indians had a nice little contingency of fans who were into the game and got up every time the Indians scored, so it was extra nice to see the cocky Nick Swisher fan three times tonight. The Indians did just about everything possible to throw this game our way, and the absolute dumbest was the base running error in the ninth inning which resulted in a bang-bang double-play to allow TomWilhelmsen his 23rd save. The Mariners are looking for their third sweep in a row in tomorrow’s afternoon game and since I saved a bundle tonight I may just head down there, if not I’m for sure going to show up for a game or two of the Minnesota Twins series as we battle our way back to .500 Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Battle back to .500, Erasmo Ramirez win, Eric Wedge Hospital, Indians errors against Mariners, kyle seager, Mariners Blog, Mariners eighth Straight win, Safeco Field, Tom Wilhelmsen cardiac arrest
I have to confess I’m a bit surprised at this recent run by the Seattle Mariners culminating in back-to-back sweeps. As most of us know it wasn’t long ago that most of the media including this Mariners blog were calling for Jack Zduriencik to get his walking papers. But out of nowhere the Seattle Mariners have scored more runs and hit more home runs than anybody in Major League Baseball for the month of July. Today’s 12-1 victory over the hapless Houston Astros was just the latest of this offense barrage that seems to have come after most Mariners fans, including yours truly had already written off the 2013 season as another bummer. But suddenly guys like Dustin Ackley who had three hits today, Justin Smoak who contributed a pair of base knocks himself are augmenting the already steady bats of Kyle Seager, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez. Oh and let’s not forget Michael Saunders who I had written road off a couple years ago who is showing some real pop and extended his hitting streak to 10 today. You gotta love Nick Franklin who before the game was clowning around with a police cap on in the dugout and then proceeded to hit his first career Grand Slam early on to basically put this one out of reach despite a desperate ninth inning rally by the Houston Astros.
With today’s 12-5 win over the Houston Astros the Mariners find themselves six games under .500 in a very competitive AL West. The Cleveland Indians are coming to town tomorrow followed up with a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins. It will be important for us to win both of these series if we have any shot at all of getting back up to the .500 Mark before August starts. I certainly plan on heading down to the Safe and enjoying a game or two this week perhaps as we try to continue this little roll we’re on now. A six-game winning streak for most contending teams is nothing to get too excited about, but for our Seattle Mariners it is indeed a beautiful thing that didn’t come a minute too late for us long-suffering fans.
As promised I told you all I would write more if and when the Mariners started winning, well lo and behold here they are winning and in a big way with 12 runs 13 hits and a pitching gem by Felix Fernandez today who with his 11th win now has an outside chance of hitting that elusive 20 win mark and perhaps a second Cy Young award. This win streak makes the looming trade deadline look even more interesting for our general manager Jack Zdurienck who publicly is saying that he’s going to stand pat, and if we can win these next two series we could even become buyers of sort. Either that or package up a couple of veterans like Brendan Ryan, Endy Chavez and Jason Bay and deal them once Michael Morse and Franklin Gutierrez are back in action.
Anyway you look at it Eric Wedge and his boys are finally starting to make watching Mariners games fun again and after the past ten years of mediocrity the fans here in Seattle deserve every minute of it and I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Well now that the 2013 All-Star game is behind us, featuring a win by the American League and a final goodbye to the greatest closer in the history of the game Mariano Rivera, it’s time to start thinking about the second half. The Mariners were 8-5 in the last couple weeks of the first half and gave us long- suffering Mariners fans a delightful taste of what we really could have here. Offensively I haven’t seen anything like this in several years, and hope it wasn’t just a tease.
So far our general manager Jack Zduriencik has held off on the annual fire sale as the trade deadline approaches, but there is every indication that teams around the league are knocking at his door trying to pry away the likes of Oliver Perez, Raul Ibanez, Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse. Somehow I’d like to hang on to at least two of the sluggers and if we do deal Perez we need to get more than just our usual supply of prospects for the tough lefty. It will be interesting to see how the fans here in Seattle react to our club in the second half now that the weather has turned into the beautiful summer months that we all wait for. As you can tell it has been hard for me to get too excited about the 2013 Seattle Mariners, after 36 years of being a loyal fan. But if they were to sustain the sort of play they finished up with last week, you can bet you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more from Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog.
As far as Mariano Rivera is concerned, you can’t find a classier guy in the game today than him. I faintly remember his first appearances in 95 when we beat the Yankees and then facing him in 2000 and 2001 for the ALCS games. The guy is and was simply the best at what he does. It was nice to hear Tim McCarver who is also retiring after this year, make a reference to Edgar Martinez last night during the 2013 All-Star game. Apparently Martinez would move in on the plate on Mariano which eventually forced Rivera to changes approach when delivering his nasty cutter. And even though Felix Hernandez appeared in his fourth All-Star game, and represented our city well with a scoreless inning, it was kind of sad to know that once again the Seattle Mariners would not be referred to much during the on the air chatter about what was going on in the league in 2013. I was hoping to hear at least a mention of the wonderful story surrounding Raul Ibanez and his fantastic first half. But alas it was all Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera talk last night. America loves a winner that’s for darn sure.
The Mariners will resume play Friday in Houston for a three-game series before coming back on the 22nd to face Cleveland and then the Minnesota Twins. This looks like a stretch where we should be able to move a little closer to the infamous .500 Mark which has been my goal all year. I think the second half is going to be a lot of fun and hope to see more of you guys either down at Safeco or here on my Mariners blog. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
There is nothing like a beautiful Seattle Day in the summer, and today was perfect indeed so good in fact I decided to meet-up with some friends and head down to Safeco Field tonight to watch Felix Hernandez take on the struggling Chicago White Sox. As it turned out King Felix did not have his best stuff early on, surrendering a first inning run to the Chisox. But our Boys Of Summer answered right back in the bottom half of the frame thanks to the veterans Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez who drove-in three runs in the first, highlighted by a 2-run shot off the bat of the timeless wonder Ibanez who now has 11 dingers on the year to put himself in a tie with Michael Morse for the team lead.
Of course even though Ibanez did drive-in a couple more runs in the third to hep drive Jake Peavy out of the game, the Mariners had contributions from a few other guys tonight in what was a fun night at Safeco Field.
Kendrys Morales went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .303, while Franklin also had a pair of hits and is batting .292 after eight games in the Majors.
And Felix did manage to settle down after giving-up a Home Run to Adam Dunn in the second and from then on the Ace didn’t allow another hit until the eighth inning when the Sox added a couple more runs to make things even more interesting on a night made for baseball. Sometimes writing a Mariners Blog can be a bit tedious but tonight’s game reminded me of how lucky I am to live in a city with a Major league team and why this work is a labor of love.
The Mariners are now 26-33 with a chance at their first sweep of the year tomorrow in an afternoon affair with Hitashi Iwakuma on the mound. I may just head back down there in the morning…..Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
Rookie second baseman Nick Franklin had a big day today as part of the Mariners home run barrage in support of their ace Felix Hernandez in the 7 to 1 thumping of the San Diego Padres. Franklin hit homers in both the sixth in the eighth inning to let people know he was here to play, and that all his success in college and the minor leagues was no fluke. Franklin’s dingers were part of a five home run day for the Mariners offense, the highest output of the year so far enabling the Mariners to split the interleague series with the San Diego Padres 2-2 and get out of town in order to fly to Minnesota to take on the struggling Twins.
Unlike the much heralded Dustin Ackley, Nick Franklin has climbed the ladder since being drafted in 2009 without as much fanfare as his counterpart who finds himself down in Tacoma fielding grounders now. I like Nick Franklin, he’s got that extra edge and energy necessary to make it in the big leagues, Ackley just seemed to be to blasé whereas Franklin seems genuinely excited , focused, and intense.Time will tell if the young Nick Franklin will be capable of producing on a consistent basis here with the Mariners, but today’s bombs will go a long way to help convince Eric Wedge to keep in him in the lineup for now.
It was nice to see Felix Hernandez pitch a gem today going eight innings , fanning three and only allowing three hits and a run after a couple of rough outings for the Mariners Ace.Of course as we all know the King is not used to getting much offensive support so today’s power display came as a welcome change of pace for the King. As we all know the Mariners have not been much of a home run team over the past three seasons but today’s output of five homers by Kendrys Morales,Ende Chavez, and Brendan Ryan along with Nick Franklin gives the squad 64 homers with only one-third of the season gone. Of course home runs are only one part of the equation s there is no point in getting to excited as the Mariners find themselves still eight games under 500 before heading to Minnesota.
As this season moves along it is become apparent that Kendrys Morales is the real deal ,Morales had another great today going two for four to bring his batting average up to .298 and he now leads the team with 31 RBIs . Brendan Ryan is making a miraculous comeback at the plate himself which helps solidify the middle infield with Nick Franklin rounding out the double-play duo. After all the hoopla about Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders and Jesus Montero the Mariners are fielding a team at this point in the season that looks quite different then what was anticipated earlier on in the spring, which is fine by this Mom and Pop Mariners Blog, I’ll take a win however we can get at this point…. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
I took a trip down to Safeco Field today and was rewarded with not only a semi-sunny day and a big crowd but a decisive 6- 1 Mariners win over the visiting Oakland Athletics to win this series. Since it was Mother’s Day there are a lot of moms out with their kids enjoying the popcorn, peanuts, and baseball right here in Seattle. Of course I couldn’t help but think about my own Mom Suzanne seen in the picture above with her mother, my Grandma Leah and her sister Patsy as they too went out to the ballgame and watched their dad my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes play ball. Today’s post is for all you mothers out there who work year-round to raise families, support kids in various sporting activities, and be the rock for players to fall back on when the going gets tough.
But for today our Mariners looked like champs, as Joe Saunders continued his roll at Safeco Field to get the win even though he looked shaky at first against the Athletics. Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer in the first to set the tone, and as it turns out that was all the support Joe Saunders and the Mariners were going to need today even though they tacked on three more runs including a solo homer by Jason Bay in the seventh which was also his fourth dinger of the year. There isn’t much more of an American event than going to a baseball game on Mother’s Day and though it’s oftentimes awkward being a single guy around all the families and kids I thoroughly enjoyed myself down it Safeco Field today.
The Mariners get a day off tomorrow before heading to New York where the surprising Yankees have managed to put together a winning season despite the fact that a lot of their veterans are dinged up. In many ways New York is where it all started for baseball and my family as the Yankees was the team that brought my grandfather up in 1929, and my mother was born in New York City as well. As usual when the Mariners play the Yankees I root for the Mariners despite all the nostalgia involved.
The Mariners now stand a game and a half behind the Athletics in the AL West with an 18- 20 record, and our boys are playing the kind of ball we were hoping for this year, meaning competitive though perhaps not dominating the league type baseball. There was a good crowd of over 27,000 on hand today which was nice given that the Mariners are going to be on the road for much of the rest of the month and it was good to show our team that we are behind them.
In another interesting development I received an email yesterday from a distant relative that found me on the Internet due to this Mariners blog, here is what he had to say:
My name is Jeff Barker, and I think my grandfather’s sister (Louise) was Dusty’s mother. I am not much for researching family history, so here is what I know.
My father, William Barker was the son of William Barker (my grandfather). He (my grandfather) was the captain of the USS Pennsylvania, and attended a game where Dusty was with the Yankees. Apparently Dusty gave my grandfather a baseball signed by several of the Yankee players, including Babe Ruth. Other players’ signatures visible include Allen, Ruffing and Johnson which leads me to believe it was during the (early) 1932 season.
I did some online research to see about perhaps auctioning off the baseball, and ran across your blog page. If my information is correct, Dusty’s mother’s maiden name was Barker.
I hope you find this interesting and enlightening- I know I have!
Best regards, Jeff Barker..
As you can imagine I was quite excited to receive this message from Mr. Barker andhe just forwarded me his phone number so I will be calling him tonight hope to connect to reminisce about the good old days and perhaps make an offer for that baseball to complete my Dusty Rhodes collection. Baseball once again has proven why it is the Great American pastime today bringing families together to follow current teams, and sometimes even past eras of this beautiful sport. Go Mariners! Htpp://jeffsmariners.com
Since the weather is starting to turn, and it appears as if the Mariners luck is beginning to turn as well, I decided to head down to Safeco Field last night to watch the Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of their three-game series. As it turns out Brandon Maurer the young rookie pitcher got clobbered for four runs in the first inning by the feisty Orioles and the Mariners were never able to catch up, and went on to lose 7- 2 in front of 13,000+ fans at Safeco Field in Seattle.
By now I sort of have a system as far as procuring tickets parking, food etc. when I head to Mariners games. As usual I talked down one of the scalpers outside into giving me a box seat at a good price, in this case 25 bucks for a seat that was 12 rows back in section 125. As it turns out I was seated next to a guy who has been a season ticket holder since 1977, we chatted a bit but he was kind of a grumpy guy as one could expect from attending so many Seattle Mariners games over the years. In the box seats you generally get a little bit better of a baseball crowd or at least more dedicated than in other places in the stadium such as in the outfield drinking holes where the youngsters go to be seen, and have frat parties etc. Having said that the fans at Safeco as we all know are pretty dead. It is rare to hear our fans let out any catcalls, booing, or even talking about the game and paying strict attention to what’s going on the field versus their cell phones which doesn’t even driving crazy anymore I’ve gotten used to it. Or perhaps is the old Pink Floyd song goes I’ve just grown comfortably numb.
As you can see by the photo above the crowd really thinned out in the late innings of this one, and I swear to God that by the time the eighth inning started we were down to three or four thousand fans at Safeco Field. During the game the usual occurrences happened such as the goofy Hydro races, the casual fans insisting on doing a wave which is another one of my pet peeves along with that stupid find the ball under the hat game. For whatever reason unlike in Oakland, Boston, or New York our fans are pretty self-contained though I did hear several whistlers trying to outdo each other throughout the game last night which was somewhat amusing and different. As it turns out I kind I got a little goofy last night and started yelling stuff at the players, the umpire and even the bat boy who wouldn’t throw me a ball! It was fun and I know I was amusing some of the fans around me who were left, and some of them were also letting loose with some catcalls all in good fun and supportive of our local club. To top it off I led a cheer right before the start of the bottom of the ninth and for a minute had a couple hundred fans letting out a mighty roar that must have caught the attention of the players and media as otherwise it had gotten to the point where you could hear individual conversations around the stadium!
As you can see I haven’t been writing this Mariners Blog that often but I felt somewhat motivated after last night’s game in the comfortable feeling of being at my home ball field watching my home team after all these years whether they lose or not. In the final analysis when they say take me out to the ballgame, and I don’t care if I ever come back, I suppose they were talking about guys like me the infamous hard-core fan. You can tell the types like me to it are kind of odd and a little too focused on the Mariners when you look around the crowd, lots of times we are alone, or with a radio headset, or wearing old gaudy Mariners regalia. I suppose at this point my life I’m not going to change much and I am grateful to live in a city that still has Major League baseball, even though the ownership group knows that the Safeco experience is primarily for the casual fan not the infamous hard-core goofballs like me. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com