So before I clocked out for lunch, I was listening to Michael Gray talk about a recent very insufficient decision regarding the Ray Rice case, wherein Rice was fined money in five digits and suspended for two games for domestic violence, and then had his wife apologize for her “role” in the beating (you do not want to get me started on this). I left the radio for a bit to attend to another part of my job and when I sat back down to clock out and check Twitter, the Mariners had suddenly acquired Kendrys Morales. Again. So that’s interesting.
I never was madly in love with Morales, but I didn’t hate him either. I knew going into last season he wasn’t going to be here for long, and my automatic reaction to something like that is to not get too attached. If the player turns out to do well, I want the team to resign them; if not, I’d prefer they be let go or traded elsewhere, but that’s really the extent of any stress I have over so-called one-and-done contracts. He was exchanged for Stephen Pryor with the Minnesota Twins. Pryor has floated between here and Tacoma a little too much for me to get attached to him as a Mariner either, but I do wish him sincere success with the Twins. Many are guessing that the move that is planned for tomorrow’s Morales return in an Ms uniform will involve shuffling Corey Hart away from Seattle, in whatever capacity that needs to be done. Morales is currently sporting a line of .234/.259/.325 with a .584 OPS in 39 games. Corey Hart is sporting a .212/.295/.332 line with an OPS of .626 in 51 games. Right now, this looks like a lateral move with those numbers. Before I can read something else from someone with more statistics knowledge, I feel like I don’t have the full story; but it also feels like another shoe needs to drop, and soon. We have seven more days before the July 31st trade deadline, and I don’t know that this deal really pushes us any farther ahead. Plus, we’ve lost a bullpen arm from a group currently being touted as the best in baseball (if I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard that phrase, relating to anything, I’d have a lot of quarters). I now feel like the fanbase is maybe holding its breath for the next move, because whatever the Ms do next will either prove to us that they are looking to make a run this year, or…it won’t. Time will tell.
As for me, I was doing some thinking about my relationship with game attendance, and how certain aspects of my health have been doing recently…
I spent the month of June doing an elimination diet, just out of curiosity, to see if it made me feel any better or changed anything for me. I’m not really big on going to the doctor unless I’m hemorrhaging out of my eyes, so I’ve never seen a dietician or anything; but cutting out wheat products, refined sugar and white carbs for one month did actually make me feel better. This is going somewhere, give me a second…
My game routine (and I do have one) generally involves getting to the stadium a while prior to gates open, either to get parking or because I get out of work daily around 3.30, so I just walk down to the stadium. I go to one of the pubs around and grab a pint or two, wait for anyone coming down to the field with me, chill out after work, that sort of thing. Then we hit up The Pen for their $5 happy hour beers, get some food, take some pictures, hang out around the drunks for a bit, etc. before going to get our seats.
In the past now 7 years that I have been going to Safeco Field regularly, they have always had excellent food choices. After partnering with the Center Plate company to kick up their food options and increasing the selection of alcoholic drinks available to fans (I believe the beer count alone is at some 75+ kinds of bottled and draft beer at various areas around the field), Safeco is a veritable party of choices, and I think it makes people want to come to the park. Even my Sounders-loving friend Cynthia loves coming to Safeco because they have far better options than most of Century Link, and the food is almost all higher quality than that field as well. All great, right?
Well, I have a proposal I’d like to make to the Mariners; happy hour in The Pen needs to include more than just beer. There are fewer things more delightful to me on a hot day than a nice pint of Mac and Jack’s or Manny’s, but it would be nice if there was also a cider option down there. I have to think that people would enjoy a $5 draft Crispin or Fox Barrel when the temperatures climb into the 80s. I also think that perhaps happy hour could include some drink specials with the places that serve hard liquor as well. My favorite mixed drink is the humble margarita. Edgar’s charges $12 for this drink. The hard liquor bar nearer to the open area of The Pen charges anywhere from $8 to $12 depending on the bar tender, the time of day, the weather, how cute you are, etc. Honestly, I went there three times in one night and got three different prices for my drink; when I asked them what their happy hour price was, I was told they didn’t do happy hour. I realize that this one is a Center Plate area, so maybe the Ms as an organization don’t have a lot of control over that, but it would be nice to have some discounted prices on things other than just beer. Not all of us can afford to take a mortgage out on our rental house every time we want to unwind on a Friday, and it doesn’t seem like prices for alcohol at the stadium have improved at all over the past 7 years. In fact, they seem to have gotten worse.
So I submit to the Mariners that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have a beer-only happy hour. I get the impression that they are attempting to create a kind of sports bar atmosphere in that area, so it would be nice to have a sports-bar price listing. But don’t touch the food; the food is 100% fine, and $9 for those three tacos, or $5 for a giant slice of (good) pizza or Caesar salad is just perfect. Don’t change a thing there. But cut us some slack on the booze maybe? Paying the same amount of money for one drink that it would cost for me to buy a bottle of the booze on its own is a bit obscene. Not asking for a miracle, just a few bucks off maybe. Throw us a bone!
That said, I’ll be headed to the stadium after work today to go see my Mariners play my Orioles. I’ve got my O’s t-shirt on just like when I was in Baltimore, and will toss my Mariners jersey on over it before leaving work and heading down to Safeco. I have been waiting for this weekend for years, and I am so ready to overdose on Mariners/Orioles baseball! Really hoping to see a good Wild Card battle this weekend rather than a slaughter. Play ball!