But a lot of photos and a more casual experience to make up for it. A little.
Oh, who am I kidding?
Yeah, a win would have been great. Especially given the home runs launched off the bats of Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans late in the game. But I sometimes need to remind myself that I am a Mariners fan, and for as long as I’ve been a Mariners fan, that very fandom has come at a cost. It’s a fact I think I try and forget, but it’s a fact nonetheless. I’ve decided to take a different approach to this year, because right now things aren’t going too hot, and I need to operate differently in order to save my own sanity. I’m just going to try and have fun at games for the sake of being at a baseball game. The fact that the Ms have been nosediving into negative stats does not affect the fact that I enjoy going to baseball games, that the food is good, or that I enjoy the atmosphere – though that last part might be called into question pretty soon if things keep going downhill; I cannot stand to hear the crowd boo our team, it absolutely breaks my heart. What breaks it even more is the fact that I know they’re right. But to be without tickets for a season would be sort of like the dream you have when you’re naked at school. I wouldn’t enjoy a summer without baseball. Also, on the upside, if things keep going this way, StubHub will be a lot more fun.
So I met my friend Cynthia down at Jimmy’s for a pre-game drink and just to have somewhere to meet up that was out of any possible weather. We didn’t hang around there long, though, and got over to the stadium as quickly as possible. It was a lot less crowded than Friday. I was able to get to the bullpen, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the lack of barrier between players and fans is not really as bad as I had been thinking it might be. Everyone there was extremely respectful, and the metal shelf/table that runs the length of both bullpens is a little deeper than I thought it was, further putting a bit more distance between the two groups of people. But the openness is really nice, and I was able to get some pictures of our guys taking warmup tosses and consulting with coaches and each other. There’s no mesh or anything to blur my shots, and it’s really freeing.
We walked over to the new store and perused the merchandise from the concourse, then wandered down to the Caught Looking Lounge, which is what the area with the fireplace and the couches is being called. We sat down next to some nice grandmotherly types who were commenting on things being said on Twitter, and we chatted for a bit here and there about the team and the previous games. They left for their seats, and Cynthia and I took their seats closer to the fire, and continued talking and observing our surroundings.
It was nearing game time, so I wanted to go check out the pen and maybe see if I could find some folks to say hi to. I found out that the fence right in front of the bench is also gone, further opening things up.
The bullpen helmet gals Rhianna and Carla were hanging out down there in their usual spot, and I asked them if they’d had a chance to talk to the guys about what they thought of the remodel. Rhianna said she hadn’t gotten to talk to them, but that they spent a lot more time on the bench now, rather than freely wandering about the bullpen. That is unfortunate, but maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to things for them. Things already seem different anyway; the ‘pen walked across the field in a little clump today, rather than a line, or anything that resembles their antics from the 2009 and 2010 seasons. I think it’s starting to gradually sink in how much I miss John Wetteland.
Before we went to our seats, I took this photo from near the center field entrance:
It’s so much more open now, and it looks a lot nicer, like a place you’d actually want to go, rather than an area relegated to the frat boys and drunks. And drunk frat boys. I still haven’t had a crepe.
Cyn and I walked up the stairs to go get a hot dog so that she could use her squeeze bottle of Cleveland’s Stadium Mustard. We both got Mariners dogs, and loaded up with mustard, onions and kraut. I can safely say that I envy Indians fans, because Stadium Mustard is delightful. Another thing I’m really into is cooking, and I really like spicy sauces. Stadium Mustard is like a brown seed mustard, but the seeds are ground up, giving it a nice nutty taste that goes perfectly with dogs, onions, and kraut. It was great. If I can get my paws on a bottle ever, I’ll be bringing it to every game.
A grilled salmon sandwich was obtained, and Cynthia wanted more mustard, so she went in search of a pretzel to put it on. I went to my seat and took a few photos.
I did hear on the post-game show that things sound more smoothed-over between Jack Wilson and Eric Wedge, and it sounds like Wilson might be in the lineup soon again. After a few days of watching Adam Kennedy at second, I would very much like Jack Wilson to come back. A lot. Now. I know what he did was “unspeakable” in its violation of clubhouse and unwritten rules, but there comes a time when some of that maybe needs to be put aside in favor of not allowing other teams to stomp all over you. As a paying fan, I think we deserve to be put first, and perhaps some of this little boy clubhouse nonsense can be put aside for at least a season. It has a time and a place, but when you’re 2-7 after a season like 2010 is not, I don’t think, either. Benching Jack Wilson did nothing but show Mariners fans that maybe the club is more interested in rubbing its players’ noses in the dirt, instead of winning games for the folks who are still standing with them. That’s not meant to sound as angry as it probably does, but it has definitely been something that has been on my mind lately. I’m aware that punishment is necessary, and Wilson has a lot of work to do to show his teammates that he’s their guy; but if we had had him, maybe we could have just lost on Friday, rather than taken such a beating.
We have to face current eastern 3rd place team Toronto tomorrow, and I’ll be at that one, too. As always, I’ll have my fingers crossed, and trust that the Ms will do the job. The rotation has been switched to favor Felix Hernandez as the starter rather than Michael Pineda, so maybe we have a chance.