I know that there’s a lot baseball going on but just for a few seconds, I want you to rewind back to last Friday and place yourself with me in beautiful Seattle, Washington.
DG has finally taken on Safeco Field for the first time in 2010. The phrase, “a kid in a candy store” comes to mind when I think of that fluttering feeling I got when I walked up those stairs from the CF entrance at Safeco with a Ken Griffey Jr “The Kid” bobblehead held tightly against my heart. I’m sure I looked like a freak as I just stood there in awe with a dumb smile on my face. How can one place make you feel so at home and content not mattering how many times you go there? That’s Safeco Field for me.
Safeco Field, will you make a studio apartment for me in one of your suites? Thank you ♥.
This day was exciting, nerve-wrecking, bittersweet, all at once. It was exciting because I was finally going to a Mariners game. because I was able to reunite with a dear friend from my college days that I haven’t seen in a few years and because I was going to get a Griffey Jr bobblehead. It was nerve-wrecking because the drive to Safeco Field is a bee-ai-tee-see-eich on gameday, because I was scared I won’t make it in time to get a bobblehead, and because the Mariners were facing Bonderman was pitching (he had an 1.80 ERA from his last start). It was bittersweet because the visiting team was the Tigers and most of you know I used to live there and am overcoming a break up of which my former other half is still in Michigan.
After Kaylee and I got our bobbleheads, we headed to the Team Store where we purchased matching hoodies and Mariners headphones (I know, ridiculous). We strolled around the park, taking all the beauty of it in until we realized that the Mariners Moose was taking photos! We joined the lines with all the other 10 year olds because we have no shame. The moose was so furry and friendly; love him! Post Moose loving, we got our signature garlic fries and whole lemon lemonade and headed up to our seats.
The LF Bleachers is by far my favorite place to sit. Sure, when my parents are in town and they’re willing to cough up $100 per person I like to sit elsewhere, but since that wasn’t happening on Friday, we sat in the 180’s area. It’s right above the bullpen which is nice because if a great pitcher from the visiting team was practicing, I can potentially
accidentaly drop something on his head?
Ok, no. I’m not that mean.
If by any chance you (yes, you) were sitting in section 184 on Friday night, I have a message for you guys at the end of this entry.
I know this is quite the fast-forwarding but the Mariners won 11-2 against the Tigers that night. It’s kind of hard to write an entry about a game when a team scores that much. He did this, he did that, then he stole this and then that….
Let’s just say that everyone contributed one way or another to the 11, King Felix finally got his first well-deserved win and let the pictures do the talking,….
Kaylee and I rejoicing right after we got our bobbelheads!
Welcome to Safeco Field! YAY!
Felix warming up in the bullpen!
It was Jackie Robinson Day! Everyone was wearing #42 🙂
YES, this is the Griffey Jr bobblehead! Are you jealous?
Ah, the (in?)famous Garlic Fries and whole lemon lemonade.
Look how happy Kaylee looks with her Shishkaberries! 🙂
Happy to be reunited and with the bobblehead!
Yes, we scored ELEVEN on the little kittehs.
Oh, you talented person, you. Oh, and his picture was the only decent looking picture.
I LOVE it when they do their little dance routine! Do they do this at other parks too?
What’s a reunion without a goofy picture?
Must I explain?
If you can’t tell from the pictures, the game was amazing. Did it cost me a fortune to eat at Safeco? Yes. Did it cost me an arm and a leg to park anywhere near Safeco? Yes. Did it take me 1.5 hours just to get out of the vicinity of 1st Ave? Yes. Did I get home at 1:30AM just to have the alarm blast in my ear at 7:00AM? Yes.
But does any of that matter?
I’m a slave to the game of baseball, everyone! ♥
….till next time. 🙂
Dear Section 184 from 04/16/10:
A big thank you. I always tend to have the worst luck and have some d-bag (or multiple) sitting around me that makes the game a little less enjoyable but I can honestly say that last night the crowd was great. Who knows if any 184-ers are reading this? I’m just taking a shot and thanking you. The kids were well behaved and the adults surrounding us were enthusiatic yet not overboard. The four guys behind us were making the most hilarious comments and I also enjoyed that a lot. I figured it would be more than creepy to turn around and say, “Hey you guys were real funny, thanks!”. Plus, our section started the extremely successful wave at Safeco! HOLLERRRRRR! 🙂
[[Some pictures courtsey of Kaylee Engels aka my Mariners partner in crime]
I’m slowly adjusting back into the working girl life (thank you for the wishes, I got the job!) in the best coast…I mean, west coast, while I, together with my Grandpa, sulk that baseball season is practically over.
For Mariners fans anyway.
Now call me cheesy but I got teary-eyed watching the final game of the Mariners season. The boys won 4-3 against the Texas Rangers and so much happened in the game. Not one player gets honorable mention because practically everyone did. Felix got his 19th win this season while he vies for the Cy Young, David Aardsma closed the game, Ichiro had a hit and a run, Griffey had a hit, Guttierrez scored some runs, Lopez scored the winning run, Batista had a perfect 8th inning and Wakamatsu led the team for their 85th win of the season.
I cannot believe the Mariners had such a great rebound year after last year’s 101 game loss. With Bavasi gone, that should have been a good sign anyway, but when the new GM chose Wakamatsu, there were definitely some speculation as to how he was going to perform as the new skipper for a disconnected 40-man-40-cab team after the 2008 season. I hate to say it but the 2008 Mariners were plain sad to watch. No player chemistry or respect, no smiles or hugs….and of course barely any wins. I am a Mariners fan through thick and thin but no season was as tough as the ’08 season.
Hiring Jack Zduriencik (GM) and Don Wakamatsu was truly the best change the organization could have made.
Now only if they would hire me as the assistant coach, right? :]
Actually, I’ve always wanted to organize a dance team for the Mariners. I admit, one of the many things I like about baseball is that there are no cheerleaders or dancers dressed in close-to-nothing making provocative moves. However, as a former dancer (jazz/hip hop) and a Mariners fanatic, I would have so much fun making up a dance team for the M’s! It would consist of dancers of all ages, we’d wear Mariners jerseys and have dance moves that everyone in the stadium can learn! Oh I wish ♥
As the Yankees and Phillies compete for the World Series Championship, I truly wish the best for both teams! I’m going to have to jump on the Phillies band-wagon though, because I’m assuming the Yankees have enough intense supporters and I think the Phillies can use some DG oomph ♥ Good luck to both teams, though!
Also, I’d like to say a special farewell to my favorite catcher, Kenji Johjima. The news came as a surprise when the fans were informed that he was breaking his 3 year contract to return to Japan. In a nutshell, there was some controversey with the reason of breaking the contract. Joh had told the Mariners he was leaving due to the fact that he wasn’t close to his family. However, Joh told the Japanese media that he was leaving because he wasn’t going to get any playing time next year with Johnson taking most of the spot-light this season. Joh had told them he wanted to be their main catcher, not their back-up. According to a Japanese article I read, you can’t opt out of a contract just because you aren’t satisfied with your position or playing time; yet you can opt out if it’s for a family issue. Apparently Mariners management are not happy with Johjima and his communication discrepancy between the Japanese media and the U.S media. Ah well. As a fan, none of that matters. I just have to say I’ll miss him and wish him the best back home in Japan. I’m sure he’ll continue to play amazing baseball.
But jeez, now I have to buy a new Mariners t-shirt. I’m starting to accumulate ex-Mariners t-shirts in my bottom drawer. It’s kind of a dilemma for a Mariners fan to choose whose t-shirt they should buy without it becoming unwearable after a season. I’m guessing I’m good to go for a few years if I buy an Ichiro t-shirt.
As far as next season….
……will the Mariners go for 85+ wins next season? Is Griffey returning for perhaps one more season? Is Johnson’s hip surgery going to affect his performance next season? Is Moore going to be a sufficient enough catcher to fill the shoes of a departing Johjima? Will Ichiro keep breaking his own record and go for 10 years in a row to hit 200+ hits? Will Felix get 20 wins? Will Aardsma have 45+ saves once again? Is Beltre coming back to man third base? Which J.Wilson (Jack or Josh) will rise above during the off-season to dominate as SS? Will Gutierrez continue to build on his successful season? Is Branyan signing with the Mariners and will he lead in HRs again despite his back? Will Zduriencik and Wakamatsu find an efficient third-base coach?
As you can see, fans and I have a lot of questions. Yet, all I want to do now is sit back and reminisce on the fantastic season the Mariners have given us this season.
Thank you boys for giving me a reason to be passionate!
Rest up though, because spring training will be here before you know it ♥
Let this be the first “real” entry I’ve written since…oh, a month ago? Either way, too long ago! Not only do I finally feel settled back in the Pacific Northwest, but I even have internet! I haven’t been up to much, just working from home and waiting for a response from the interview I had last week (crossing my fingers!). No offense to any Michiganians but I am truly glad to be back here where I’m surrounded by friends and family and am extremely excited to see how my life pans out from here on!
First of all, congratulations to all the teams (and their dedicated bloggers) that are competing in post-season! I only wish I could say the same for my boys but it’s alright because this season has been such a huge turn-around for them; who would have thought we would go from 101 losses to 85 wins? I definitely didn’t! I believed in baby steps but apparently the Mariners are making much bigger steps than that!
Now speaking of making big steps into a successful season, I’d like to present to you the 2010 Mariners lineup DG style.
Skipper: Don Wakamatsu – No brainer here; as a first-time Major League skipper, he invented the “belief system” for the then-40-man-40-cab team of 101 losses in the ’08 season and with the help of Griffey Jr and Sweeney‘s amiable nature, Wakamatsu (aka Wak) made a family out of the team. ..and not to mention a winning season with 85 victories.
1st Base: Russell Branyan. Yes, this poses a couple problems. 1, he has been out of the active roster for the past month and a half with a herniated disk in his back. Apparently his back had been an issue for almost the whole season despite leading the team with 31 homeruns (none of the Mariners caught up to that even after he was placed on the DL) and setting career highs in RBIs and doubles…but that’s probably because Wak gave him a chance to play (also a career high) 116 games. Of course the other problem is his number of strike outs. 149 of them this season but perhaps it comes with swinging for the fences? Oh and another thing…Branyan was a gamble for the Mariners and only signed him for a year. Now he’s a free agent and although he’s expressed his intentions of returning, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
2nd Base: Jose Lopez. Another no brainer, especially after this season where Lopez reached his career high in doubles (42), homeruns (25) and RBIs (96). He’s even nominated for the Heart and Hustle Award after his performance and improvement this season. With this years’ stats, he was one of the most productive AL second baseman.
Shortstop: This one is a complete tossup. Do I want solid defense and poor quality offense, or do I want mediocre defense in such a crucial position and a matching level of offense? I’m talking about Jack Wilson (mid-season addition from the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Josh Wilson (also a mid-season addition but from the San Diego Padres). Jack Wilson’s defense is stunning but it seemed as though he was having a hard time maintaining the same average from his Pirates days. As far as Josh Wilson, his defense is not as great as Jack’s yet his batting average is a lot better. I’ve talked to a lot of Mariners fans and interestingly they all fall 50/50. Who will climb to the top and take on the daily role of SS in ’10? Only the off-season improvements will tell.
3rd Base: This will largely depend on Beltre‘s return to the team or the lack thereof. Beltre is a management and fan favorite at third base which mean if he returns, he’ll be back manning the territory. However, the base is empty if he chooses to leave. Who would be able to fill Beltre’s shoes as far as defense goes? Jack Hannahan has played third base while Beltre was on the DL and did a phenomenal job, yet his batting average of .213 is not all too impressive. Perhaps Bill Hall, one of our newest members of the family from the Brewers can attempt to take on the role. However it’s the same issue as Hannahan; batting average issues.
Right Field: I’ve got 3 syllables for you and no explanation; I-CHI-RO.
Center Field: Franklin Gutierrez. Wow what a great idea to acquire Gutierrez from the Cleveland Indians! Not only can he play center field seamlessly, but this man can hit! He’s played very well batting after Ichiro with an average of .283 and 70 RBIs which are both career highs.
Left field: Oh boy, what a tough one. The most interchanged position of the season. We’ve had Bill Hall, Ryan Langerhans, Mike Saunders. We’ve already discussed Hall so onto Langerhans hailing from the Washington Nationals. He had a couple walk-offs which was memorable, but two walk-offs and a .218 average isn’t going to get you a permanent spot on the daily lineup. Now Mike Saunders seems like another management favorite although his batting average is .221; sure a little better than Langerhans but he did play more games than he did. Actually, I’m going to go on a limb and say Saunders. This is because my Grandpa loves Saunders and thinks he’ll succeed. But mostly because I love my Grandpa.
Catcher: Putting aside my bias for favorites, I’m going to call up Rob Johnson as next season’s daily catcher. He was Felix’s personal catcher all season and obviously he was successful. His offense struggles but are there many catchers with great batting averages with the exception of Joe Mauer? Johnson is such a fan favorite and I think I’m alright with Kenji Johjima being back-up. At the end of the season, we were introduced to Adam Moore. I can’t judge much considering he played only a handful innings but as far as watching him bat, I’m not too optimistic. Perhaps he’ll be back next season and prove me wrong.
Well there we go, If I were the GM, I would have it this way. A team mostly full of newbies but just enough veterans to keep them together. After this successful season, I can’t imagine them doing anything but get better, and it’s never been more exciting!
I can’t believe I’ve been so m.i.a in the past week. I’m constantly thinking about when and what I can blog about but I haven’t been able to even get an hour to myself. My trip to Portland, Oregon has unfortunately come to an end, but I took the Amtrak yesterday….
and hauled my butt to…….
are playing the…..
…and so far, we have won the first game. Go Mariners! Johjima and Branyan both hit homeruns last night and lifted the Mariners. I feel sorry for French that he got a no decision but he’ll get more wins to come :]
See! I have to go now again, I can’t wait to have some real time to write decent blogs again. Sorry, so lame!
Oh, but I’m going to the Mariners vs White Sox game tomorrow night with my best friend so I’ll have some amazing Safeco Field pictures!
Erik Bedard’s curveball was a little weak last night……….
…but who the heck cares??
We won 3 games out of 4 against the big, bad Texas Rangers!
I really was being pessimistic yesterday when I was content with a 2-2 tied series. I’m a hard-core Mariners fan, of all people I need to have more faith in them! It’s hard to even express how ecstatic I was to see the 3-3 tie, and then a 5-3 win!
To be honest, when Shelton took the pinch-hitter position, I thought…
But apparently Wakamatsu knows what he’s doing because that was the most wonderful thing that could have happened to us! A soft single was all it took to get ahead in the game!
To put a cherry on top of this wonderful Mariners sundae, Johnson did it again!
Man, Johjima is going to have to step it up and fight for the catcher spot if Johnson keeps this up!
As always, Ichiro, Gutierrez and Aardsma along with Shelton and Johnson get bright gold stars for their performance. :]
Sweet, what a great way to go into the All-Star break!
Home Run Derby tonight 8PM EST!
I had a hair-appointment at 7PM but I changed it to 5PM so I don’t miss one bit of the Derby.
My BFF called me a “Freak!”
It’s too bad Ichiro never participates in the derby. It might sound ridiculous to those who haven’t witnessed Ichiro during BP but he is known by his fellow teammates and other players that he hits the ball out of the park more than others. Pretty sure he’d put up a good fight against others!
Nonetheless, so excited for all the festivities!
I was definitely up till 12:30am last night watching the Mariners on Game Day and I’m very, excited I did.
I got such great sleep! :]
I say PHEW, for this blog title because I’m relieved that at least we’ll tie the series even if we lose today. I know, a little pessimistic for my taste but Texas has such an amazing team that any game we win against them is an honor…
….and we won TWO! :]
……….and hopefully THREE within the next few hours :]
Crossing my fingers!
You know, I was just complaining to my Dad yesterday that Johjima doesn’t play as much as I’d like him to. We call him double-play-Johjima (if you watch him closely enough you know that’s his favorite way to put two outs on his own team) but it’s all out of love ♥ Hee hee.
Acquiring Johnson seemed a little questionable for me but wow he won the game for us last night! Can’t complain about that :]
But of course, kudos has to be given to Washburn, Branyan, Ichiro and Aardsma as well. After Washburn’s last amazing outing, I was confident he was going to do well…and he did!
I don’t like being mean (…well, kind of :] ) but I was never a huge fan of Eddie Guardado so it was somewhat pleasing to see him come out against his former teammates just to lose :]
Anyway, it’s just so nice to see the Mariners putting up a great fight against the amazing Rangers. After last season, my hope for the Mariners
diminished a little bit but hey we’re showing the world that we can truly kick some *** and it’s not completely ridiculous anymore for an M’s fan to think we just might have a chance at the pennant :]