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

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Miguel Olivo, Recoveries, and Sriracha

It’s not a very clever title, but I’m in a rush…

Yesterday morning, I found out that former Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo had managed to get himself into a dugout altercation with teammate Alex Guerrero over a missed pickoff throw. That’s not really the interesting part, as baseball players do occasionally fight, and sometimes they fight people on their own team. No, the interesting part is that Olivo had reportedly bitten off part of Guerrero’s ear. Later yesterday afternoon, it was reported that Olivo had been suspended (at which point I figured that the ear part of that was likely no longer a rumor), and today, the Dodgers let him go.  Apparently, Olivo threw a bit of a fit early in the season, when he was reassigned to the minors, and he didn’t like that, either. Olivo may have just ended his playing career with this little stunt, but it seems to have just been a matter of time. If you’re 36 years old and won’t accept a minor league assignment and then wind up biting off someone’s ear, I figure surely your career is just about done. I don’t even want to know how angry a person has to be to take a bite out of another human being. I can’t imagine there will be too many other minor league players who will be interested in having him on a team. I pulled for him when he was here – with no real reason whatsoever, other than that he wore a Mariners uniform – but we need a little less crazy in the MLB.  Meanwhile, in Arlington, Hisashi Iwakuma spent some time besting the Rangers, with help from our offense. 6-2. Good job, boys! From what I understand, there was no biting in Texas that day.

In current-Mariners news, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are getting better and may be able to return to the rotation soon! I would love to see both of them here before the season ends, and the simulated games this week seem to have gone well. I am of course wary; I hope they are not rushing recovery out of any sort of desperation (though technically speaking, we’re still doing OK, hovering only a little bit below .500), but I would really like to see them both come back sometime in June. At least before the All-Star Break. I’m actually a little sad to admit that I keep forgetting that Logan Morrison even has a Mariners contract. It’s been about two months, and it feels like forever. I don’t know how bad I should want Morrison back though. As much as I tried, it was difficult to get a feel for how he did in spring training, and I rather like the lineup as it is now, for the most part.

Tonight is Mariners Salute to Sriracha Night, and my friend Gray decided that he needed to go, so I am meeting Tom at Henry’s pub after work, with a co-worker who is coming along with us. Gray’s girlfriend had to cancel at the last minute, sadly. The weather looks great out at the moment, and if it stays warm out, I feel I must have the milkshake that is being offered, rather than the hot dog or fries. I am just glad to have a game to go to on such a nice day. Saturday should be fun too!

Lastly, I have decided that the Ms are doing so well so early in the year, that if they come out over .500 to finish, I will get a tattoo that involves a Mariners thing. I know what it is, but I am waiting until September to design it, so no pictures until then. Mostly, it’s an excuse to get some work done, but I think it’s about time. I’ve been a fan for long enough and that doesn’t seem to be going away, so I figure it’s about time. Go Ms!


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Fridays at Safeco, Late!

Chilling out at home watching the Twins beat the pants off the Ms, but still enjoying watching Justin Smoak rob Chris Parmelee of an infield single. And the subsequent Dustin Ackley-ing of Caleb Thielbar. And now another run driven in! Mariners baseball!

Anyway, I know it’s probably pretty late in the game (pardon the pun), but the Bacon and Beer Classic is happening at Safeco tomorrow from 12PM -4PM, then again at 6PM -10PM. It’s a $60 ticket, but that gets you all you can eat/drink. Designated drivers get in for half that price. I am actually hosting a sort of baseball-themed shindig of my own here, watching the 4PM Mariners game, and then Tom and I intend to make hot dog sliders (bunned dogs cut in half, with a massive condiment bar) for some 25+ people; so basically, I shot myself in the foot here. Hot dog party (that doesn’t sound quite right) will still be pretty fun, but I am hoping the Bacon and Beer Classic is an annual thing, because I’d really like to make sure I go next year.

In any event, I decided to take a look at some of my older photos, and came up with three that I liked for today. I didn’t have a theme in mind particularly, but it turned out to be past Mariners that I miss, which turned into past FanFests. So here we go!

IMG_0297Brendan Ryan at FanFest a while ago. I miss Brendan Ryan like there is no tomorrow. His defense during his time here was, bar none, some of the best I’ve ever seen. He had a glorious personality, he fit well here. I still miss him, regardless of his batting average or whatever other faults one might find. However, as I was mentioning to a co-worker today, I find Brad Miller to be an excellent defensive replacement. I am accustomed to getting out of the frying pan only to slip back into the fire with some of our position players; but I dig a Brad Miller. If he can get his bat up to speed while maintaining that defense, and do so for a few years? Ooooo doggies!

IMG_0319Brandon League and Casper Wells. So this was FanFest 2012. Even though that team really did little for me, it’s the personalities I remember most. League didn’t last the year – if memory serves, he wound up down in LA eventually, where he still hangs out with the Dodgers, and poor Casper Wells seems to have just faded into obscurity. I wish both of them had done better for us, but there is no controlling baseball. It just does what it does, and the best you can hope for is a few wins here and there.

IMG_0280Did you know that the roof does this? Well, you do now. I cannot remember exactly what happened, but it seems that it was probably raining because FanFest happens in January, and that’s how we roll here in Seattle; rain and five layers of clothing and two mittens. If memory serves (and lately it’s spotty at best), something mechanical actually went wrong. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even aware the thing came in sections to begin with, so it was a surprise all ’round.

Tom Wilhelmsen just finished up the 8th, and I just got notice that I’m going fishing tomorrow, so I actually need to start looking at bedtime right now, at not-even-8PM on a Friday. Hopefully the Ms are able to get past Glen Perkins and either tie the game or at least get a run ahead….


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Random Thoughts On the Last Few Games

I had to sleep early yesterday due to an awful night’s sleep the night before, so I missed the game, and now I’m totally kicking myself for that. I even had a small little chance that I could have gone, but by the time the offer was made, I was already falling asleep sitting up just about, so had I gone I would have been absolutely useless today. My allergies are also starting to come in with the hot weather and plants blooming, and I am a mess in the face from the nose up right now; basically, not sure that being outside at a grassy ballpark after walking through my quickly flowering neighborhood off the bus would have been the greatest idea. But when I got up this morning and checked out the box score, I was very pleasantly surprised. We are back over .500 again, and battling for first place in the AL West. I am trying to just take every game as it comes, for I fear getting too excited about things will create horrible disappointment as soon as tomorrow. And yes, I know 3.5 games back isn’t battling per se, but it sort of feels like it. Especially with the Angels and Rangers just behind us. Also, I guess Felix got ejected last night for the first time ever?! Wow.

I watched the tail end of the Mariners Saturday game, then the beginning half later on, after getting Tom from the airport later in the evening. We both sat in awe of what happened to Michael Saunders in the third inning as he chased down a ball that flew into the right field corner. That ankle twist resulted in a hyperextended knee. It’s probably the sciatica that is causing me to be far more sensitive to “smaller” injuries like this, because I cannot imagine trying to rehab something like that to get your way back to playing professional baseball, when all I’m doing as a regular citizen is attempting to get back to walking on a more regular basis. Saunders’ sometime-replacement James Jones (when he’s not replacing Abraham Almonte – pesky utility outfielders!) seems to be doing quite well for himself, which is nice to see in a rookie. I just love seeing him being taken care of by Robinson Cano, too. Cano seems to be serving a role here that guys like Griffey in his return for the 2009 season and part of 2010, or Raul Ibanez, or Chone Figgins could never quite fulfill. We have had a long string of short-term veterans that gave or tried to give some advice, but then they were gone. Knowing Cano will be here for a while is a positive in my eyes, because he can help prop up the next several generations of guys like Jones.  He’ll be here to talk to, encourage and teach our offense, something we have needed for a while now.

I was at the game last Friday, and forgot my camera (as specified in my last post), so no photos of Jason Vargas absolutely owning us through 7 innings, but I had a lot of fun anyway, and need to give a shout once again to upper deck crew supervisor Hap, for absolutely making my friend Dee’s night by giving her two throwback KC Royals baseball cards. She couldn’t stop talking about it all night long, it really made quite an impression on her. Thanks! Brandon Maurer didn’t do terribly well in my eyes, but he threw only 73 or so pitches over 7 innings and change, and apparently Lloyd McClendon was OK with it, so whatever. I got my tacos, the weather remained decent, and I was at the ballpark, so I can’t complain too much. Late in the game, the big screen focused on the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox game, where Yu Darvish was in the process of possibly throwing a no-hitter. But it was almost like we cast some sort of curse on the situation, because no sooner had the stadium tuned in, than David Ortiz smacked a single past second base to ruin it. At least Darvish has a sense of humor about his second attempt at a no-hitter, saying through an interpreter, “Someday, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll probably have another record of almost a no-hitter.” Sometimes you just have to laugh, I suppose. Darvish still shut Boston out, so he didn’t lose out on too much.

I have been only vaguely paying attention to the Tacoma Rainiers, but it sounds like they’ve been doing well enough lately. Over .500 like their major league big brother, and only one game back in the PCL Northern.  I guess they got clobbered by the Las Vegas 51s the other night, which is kind of a bummer, but fortunately the season is still young! I need to try and get down there a few Fridays when the Ms are out of town, or if I have a Saturday Ms game I need to go to, like the 24th 1970s Turn Back the Clock Night, that I am planning on attending. My next game is actually going to be the 22nd, the M’s Salute to Sriracha Night. Say what you want, it’s still one of my favorite condiments, and has been since before it became more widely popular. Yes, that is right, I just got hipster on you about sriracha. This going to games as they come up thing has worked pretty well for me so far, though I do really miss having the season ticket plan; but getting to do the Friday night thing works far better with my sleep and work schedule. If anyone from the front office happens to stumble over this post, maybe that is a good idea for a ticket package? Every Friday? Just a thought!

Alright, back to work, and spacey allergy meds. The invisible enemy needs to go back to sleep very soon. If it doesn’t, my summer – and baseball season – is going to be quite miserable.



Fridays at Safeco, Camden, and Elsewhere

I put a bunch of stuff in my bag this morning, totally not even remotely thinking about the game tonight, but harboring a vague feeling that I was missing something. Three blocks from home, I realized that the thing I had forgotten was, in fact, my camera. With recent transit drama, the buses around my neighborhood have become less and less reliable, so I stood there for a few moments, debating whether or not to go back home and get it, while weighing how I was also going to make it to work on time. The only option was to keep walking to the bus stop so I could get to work on time, which would enable me to leave on time and not leave my friends waiting this afternoon. Sadly, this means that I will get to watch Jason Vargas pitch, but will not be able to take pictures of any of it. I should note that my bag was already full of my lunch and a package I had to mail out, which would have made things difficult space-wise, but the camera itself was sitting literally right next to the bag. Sometimes I wonder how I tie my shoes in the morning. Sigh.

Anyway, I didn’t get up early enough to post a proper Fridays at Safeco, so I mined some pics from FaceBook from over the past few years at various games. These will be possibly unique for this space, in that I am in a lot of them. Prepare yourselves, hair dye cometh!

safeco7My friend Craig and I at a Yankees game a few years ago, prior to the bullpen remodel. Craig is a Yankees fan. He’s also what I refer to as “one of the good ones” (tongue in cheek, of course). What we lack in agreement on teams, we more than make up for in agreement that baseball is awesome, and so was Mariano Rivera. Craig lives in Boston now, which seems like vague karmic retribution, but he also spends a lot of time a stone’s throw from Fenway, so I’m sort of jealous.

safeco6My friend Julie and I at a Yankees game. Julie’s husband Jesse is a Yankees fan as well, but she is with me on the Mariners. I think I might have been waiting for Erik Bedard to come out and throw, but in the interim this picture was taken.

safeco5Sometimes-writer for this space Daniel Carroll, getting ready to run from first base during a game for his league at Cal Anderson park either last year or the year before. I don’t remember who won, but it was fun to watch him play, and the atmosphere there was nice; summery and urban-y, with basketball games, bicycle polo, and people playing Frisbee all around us. I like dropping in on stuff like this; I’d probably watch a little league game at the park across the street from my house, if it wouldn’t seem weird (because I don’t have kids).

safeco4This is Kevin, obviously on Brendan Ryan t-shirt day. He’s a Mariners fan from way back, and we have been to a few games together, he is a good friend. Kevin has had a rough time of it lately, and, not to bring the room down, but almost died due to an infection in his thoracic cavity. He now has titanium ribs. Like Wolverine. He’s my hero right now, because he went through months of hospitalization and nursing home care, and almost always with his sense of humor intact. He’s awesome.

safeco3My friend Rick and I (and TravelShark!) at the Saturday night Orioles game, my first visit to Camden Yards. As you can see, I’m rocking the O’s shirt and the Ms jersey, just like I do when the O’s come here. This photo was taken on my phone by the girls who were sitting in front of us. They were quite pleasant, and I believe they were O’s fans, even though we were technically sitting in the Blue Jays “section” above the visitor’s dugout. I got those seats so I could take some photos in the O’s dugout; I don’t think I took a single one, but they were excellent seats!

safeco2Me and my friend Cynthia. I got a new scarf the other night before the Sounders game and my friend Julie (same as above) wanted to take our picture all of a sudden. This was the result. Cynthia goes to Cleveland Indians games with me every year, and she takes me to Sounders mid-week games, as her husband works in Bothell and can’t make it downtown in time for the 7PM kickoff. I think it makes a good exchange, personally.

safeco1Proof that Rick and I were on TV! Daniel found a ton of stills via MLB.TV, and posted them to FaceBook for me. This was one of the clearer ones. I guess I’m like super serious when watching baseball. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but the guy to my right in the gray shirt was possibly one of the most unpleasant baseball fans I’ve encountered. Everything about his demeanor made me wonder why he paid so much to sit at a game he was clearly not enjoying. He kept leaning almost over me and paying an uncomfortably close amount of attention every time I put anything on Twitter, or took a picture – which was a lot, so I got tired of him pretty fast. The guy in the neon green sitting a seat away from Rick had moved down to the row in front of us, and Rick and I changed seats so I could get away from the gray shirt guy. So where the neon green shirt is sitting is where Edwin Encarnacion’s bat came through and hit the guy in the row in back of us; that gives you an idea of how close I came to taking a stick in the face. Gray shirt left before he had the opportunity to see his team lose in extras. Too bad.

Well, it’s back to work for the next three hours for me. Then down to our lovely Safeco Field for Kansas City at Mariners and hopefully another win. Maybe less close than last night? We’ll see!


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Aquasox to Help Out With Disaster Relief for Oso Area

A bit of recent press from our wee baby Mariners up north…

EVERETT, WA –The Everett AquaSox announced today that they are dedicating their June 16 game towards relief efforts related to the Oso mudslide.  All walk-up ticket sales from this game will go directly towards relief and recovery efforts caused by the mudslide that occurred only 30 miles from the AquaSox on March 22.

“So many families and businesses have been impacted locally by the mudslide,” said AquaSox Executive Vice President Tom Backemeyer, “As we enter our 30th year in Snohomish County, this is the least we can do to try and help those affected by this tragedy.”
In conjunction with the AquaSox’s efforts, Minor League Baseball™ Charities, a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, has donated $10,000 to the United Way of Snohomish County’s Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief.  The AquaSox will present the check to the United Way of Snohomish County on behalf of MiLB on Friday, April 25th

“We are very appreciative of Minor League Baseball and the support they have offered to our community through this generous donation,” said Backemeyer.

“Through MiLB Charities, we are able to give back and offer support to the communities in which our clubs are a part, especially in times of need when natural disasters like the Oso mudslide occur,” said Tina Gust, MiLB™ Vice President of Business Development. 

A formal check presentation to the United Way will be made prior to an AquaSox game later this summer. To donate directly to the United Way’s Disaster Recovery Fund, and to find out how else you can help, please visit


I was able to catch the tail end of game one from yesterday’s Mariners/A’s double header, and I started the second one while sitting at Fuel and drinking some pints before taking the march to the Dallas FC/Sounders match. The first game exceeded expectations, and the second sort of met them; but I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. Double headers have to be rough on everyone; I have gone to one, and while it was great fun, sitting in the stands for upwards of 7 hours was difficult. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the guys playing. Position players have got to be pretty beat after one game, let along embarking on the second. Indeed, the Ms bats were pretty quiet as they got shut out 2-0, but Erasmo Ramirez also held the A’s to only two runs through a nice solid 6 innings. Silver linings. Plus there is that only-two-games-from-first thing, so that’s pretty neat.

Tonight is the start of a four-game series against third-ranked AL Central team the Kansas City Royals. I don’t think I will be able to watch this one tonight, but I will be there tomorrow, with my friend Dee (a former Kansas resident who grew up with the Royals), and one of my favorite baseball people, Daniel Carroll. Kansas City has won/lost right along with us, so maybe we’re evenly matched? Jason Vargas is also pitching tomorrow per the probables listing on the Ms site, so that will be fun to see him again. Hisashi Iwakuma goes out for us tonight against Danny Duffy, who appears to be a recent convert to the starting pitching role, taking over for Bruce Chen, who apparently has a bulging disc. As I am still recovering from my slipped disc issues, I wish Chen the best in recovery. Seriously; it’s not pleasant. I am guessing Chen has a battery of doctors able and willing to get him cortisone shots and PT, but for us mortal folk, it’s pain killers and rest. At least from my doctor it is. Do well, Kuma! We have a first place spot to obtain!

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Everett Aquasox Tickets On Sale Soon!

I rarely get up to Everett anymore due to time and work, but I try to go to at least one game every year, two if I can make it work with everything else I have going on (and my summer calendar is getting full). But the Sox have released their schedule a while ago, and now you can buy tickets as of next Tuesday!

Online Ticket Pre-Sale Begins at 9:00am on Tuesday, May 13

Everett, Wash. – AquaSox Opening Day is less than six weeks away, and single-game tickets will be available to the public starting next Tuesday, May 13 through the online pre-sale, exclusively at In person and over the phone ticket sales begin at 9:00am on Friday, May 16 at the AquaSox offices, located at 3802 Broadway in Everett.

The AquaSox 30 Days of Opening Day countdown starts next week, full of giveaways, prizes, Webbly appearances and more for fans as the team gears up for Opening Day on Friday, June 13. The first major event will be the AquaSox Tailgate, next Friday, May 16 from 11:00-2:00 at the AquaSox building in Everett. The AquaSox staff will be grilling up hot dogs in the parking lot from 11:00-2:00 so that fans on their lunch break can stop by and get a taste of the ballpark. Anyone who purchases $40 or more worth of tickets or merchandise on the 16th will get their hot dog, chips & soda for free.

Other events during the 30 Days of Opening Day include New Merch Mondays, where fans will get a sneak peek at brand new AquaSox gear, Twitter Tuesdays where the right hashtag or retweet could win you the chance to throw out a first pitch at the AquaSox, watch batting practice on the field or win autographed items, and What We’re Wearing Wednesdays where this season’s themed jersey designs will be revealed. Tasty Thursdays where you’ll get a voucher for a meal at the AquaSox for spending $25 in person at the AquaSox team store, Fans Decide Fridays and #SelfieSundays will round out the weekly promotions.

For a complete list of the 30 Days of Opening Day events and promotions, visit The AquaSox Home Opener is June 13 at 7:05pm versus the Hillsboro Hops. Season tickets, group outings and both 12 and 16 game packages are available now, and single game tickets will be available online starting May 13 and in person on May 16. Call (425) 258-3673 or visit the AquaSox office at 3802 Broadway in Everett for more information.

At the moment, the Mariners are doing day-long battle with Oakland in a double header to make up for the mess on the field last month with the flooding and rain. Two games vs. Oakland allows them the opportunity to take the lead in the AL West standings. I’m happy they’re now hovering at .500, but I am trying to not get too excited. It is Felix Day today, though, so anything can happen! Go Seattle baseball!

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Fridays at Safeco, Saturday Edition

I didn’t get up early enough to write yesterday unfortunately, and was out and about immediately after work, so we’re late again. I am currently watching the end of the Mariners in Houston, with Fernando Rodney pitching the bottom of the 9th. I don’t anticipate this will end well, but stranger things have happened…

IMG_0606I don’t remember when this was taken. I’m not even sure where I was sitting or standing when I took it. I miss two of these guys; fortunately, we still get to see Saunders play.

IMG_0712Yu Darvish, warming up before his first start at Safeco. I had to stand on a chair behind two rows of people to get this shot. Competition for space was fierce, as there were a lot of Japanese fans there that day – both Rangers and Mariners – who wanted to see him, and a lot of Rangers fans had lined up with me to see him. I got squeezed out because I am awful at being aggressive for space, and my friend Eric made sure one of the chairs under the staircase there was bolstered down with his own weight so that I could take photos over people’s heads. If memory serves, it was Yu and Felix starting that day. I don’t remember off the top of my head who won, but it was very likely a good game. I remember a lot of people making fun of the Rangers for spending so much on a contract for this guy, saying that since the Japan leagues and MLB were such different styles, he wouldn’t do as well as advertised. I looked Darvish up on Wikipedia, and discovered that he had 48 complete games under his belt. I was convinced at that moment that he would be exactly as advertised. I was right.

IMG_0840The end of a nice sunny day with the roof open and baseball on the grass. This may be one of my favorite views of the park; it is so definitively Safeco.

As I close, Fernando Rodney just took a bad situation and made it not-so-bad, sealing a one-run game up for the Mariners. I do like Rodney, but have been hesitant to play a lot of faith in him; though I really really want to, and he is slowly winning me over, I think. Arrows flew on the mound, and Astros fans go home unhappy. A very strange game. I missed Justin Smoak’s shot out at the windows in Minute Maid Park, but did see the replay. Very impressive. The road trip has been pretty successful so far.


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