SECTION 331

Like a Million Baseball Fans Cried Out, and Were Suddenly Silenced

“Not For the Faint of Heart; Mariners Baseball”

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This is what Ken Levine said, on air, during the 7th inning of today’s Mariners game in Cleveland.

One of my co-workers telecommutes from Texas, and is a Rangers fan, so we have occasion to talk about more than just work, depending on the day. Today was one of those days, as Lucas Luetge loaded the bases in the 7th, because I was sure that that would be the moment when we would blow our four-run lead. And the Indians got a run in that inning, but not more than one. I relaxed a little, and my coworker let me know that he was headed to lunch, and I was prepared for the hollow victory of a 3-run game, a little push in the right direction before the team heads to Colorado for tomorrow night’s early contest. Instead, the Mariners waited until the bottom of the 8th inning to blow our lead, with a Jose Lopez 3-run shot over the left field wall. Steve Delabar only sent Lopez three fastballs until Lopi got one he liked well enough to beat it out of the park.

And that was when it hit me; rather than be sad about these losses or even indifferent, I need to take the same position I did back in 2010, when even Cliff Lee couldn’t save us. I just have to wear this. I have to buck up and wear these losses, and keep going to games and do what I’ve done in past years that haven’t been very good. There’s just no alternative. I love baseball, I love the Mariners, and it’s time to put on my big girl boots again, and just see this through. We’re not the Cubs, our fans have not been waiting nearly that long.

I think the reason these games have started to annoy more fans is the advent and spread of social media. Prior to things like Twitter and FaceBook, we could complain, but that complaining only went as far as your friends or family, and perhaps the people sitting around you in the stands at the games. I was a happier fan even in 2008, because I had no way yet of connecting with other fans and hearing, talking about, or being bombarded with their opinions on the team. But that has all changed now, and I have found myself getting a lot more irritated with things that might not have necessarily really broken my heart before. It’s much easier to get angry with the way things are going, because you have a whole troop of people who see your reaction and can also instantly react themselves, and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a massive Mariners-hating tornado that is pulling up your houes by the foundations and messing up your yard.

So while the Mariners labor through the bottom of the 9th, and I have to clock back in from lunch, I’m just going to sit here and listen to a baseball game. Because I have a strong heart, and I can take it.

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