A Few Sights and Sounds From The Mariners Home Opener

I have had an exceptionally busy weekend the past few days, and was not able to get anything up about the home opener until now. The warm weather needed to be taken advantage of, and our yard needed to be whipped into shape. I am also now in possession of some fantastic raised garden beds, so while I caught last night’s game, I had to sit today’s Felix Hernandez start mostly out, in order to utilize the time of a friend to get things built and set up before it rains again later this week. I can’t say I’m terribly disappointed about it; to say this home series has been disappointing is an understatement. It’s still early, and that is fine, but after the first three games in Texas, this homecoming just bums me out. But Opening Day was still a lot of fun, loss aside…

I got out of work at 1pm and met Tom at the Elysian on Occidental. Eventually, my friend Patrick joined us, and we had lunch and some beer. This will be a repeat ritual prior to home openers from now on; no lines, casually sitting around socializing, and then dealing with the lines after lunch, and not having to wait for food once inside the stadium. Seriously, a really good decision. Around 4.30, we walked (slowly, with Tom’s broken foot) to the stadium, and tried to plan a strategy that would get us in as short a line as possible. IMG_0635.JPGGetting into a short line initially proved just about impossible. We noticed at the restaurant that there were not that many people there. Apparently this was because they were all already at the stadium.

IMG_0636This was the area down by the Center Field entrance. The line that we started in was the line for wheelchairs. We were going to just get in a line that was already moving, but one of the stadium assistants appeared out of nowhere, and pointed that we should get into the wheelchair line. Eventually, the other gates opened up as the crowd started to die down, and we just slipped into one of the other gates.

Once inside, I decided to go to Edgar’s like normal, but we only lasted a few minutes there. It was crazy crowded, and we were sort of forced to stand in an area where people were passing through, so I snapped a quick picture and we headed out to the center field stairs, so Tom could sit down and we had some space. We managed to meet up with some friends and hung out until a little before 6.30, as I wanted to catch the On-Deck Show and settle in to our seats in LF 182. And what a great day for a game (I should note that I was carrying my sweater around for most of the afternoon).

IMG_0645IMG_0646The red carpet was in center field, several season ticket holders came out to line it with their flags, and the players were announced to thunderous applause.

IMG_7411IMG_7412IMG_7413Wade Miley trots out.

IMG_7414.JPGFelix too! I couldn’t get a good shot of him, he was going a little too fast.

IMG_7415.JPGHigh five greetings for everyone!

Ken Griffy Jr came out to throw the first pitch to Felix, and I tried to get video of that, but my camera is difficult to keep steady on video when something is too far away, so it came out passable, but too shaky to be of much use here. If I’m going to post video, I want it to be as high quality as possible. Unfortunately, I should have tried taking stills, as Griffey struck a Felix “perfect game pose”, pointing skyward and kicking his knee up. Felix laughed as he came out to shake hands with Junior, they had their photo taken as per usual. Then, Mariners announcer Tom Hutyler then announced a new banner that would be displayed at the stadium, and it is fantastic. If you’ll look closely, you can see some combination of Edgar Martinez/Dave Valle/Dan Wilson or some such on the lower deck. I really need to start bringing a notepad to games.IMG_7439.JPGThen, it was time.

Taijuan Walker started the game and went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs and 7 hits, and striking out only 4.

IMG_7444.JPGThe bullpen was not of much help, and with a 2-2 game on the line in the 9th, Steve Cishek came out to much fanfare to replace Joaquin Benoit, and after getting Krhis Davis to fly out, gave up the game winning homer to Oakland’s Chris Coghlan.

IMG_0656The graphics and dupstep would have been far more impressive had Cishek not given up that dinger; they did a great job with everything, it reminds me a lot of the “Thunderstruck” entry they used to do for JJ Putz.  But that’s baseball, and you don’t win every game.

I have to admit, there aren’t many photos here. I got involved in the game, and because of Tom’s foot, I was on drink and snack duty all night, so I didn’t take many pictures on Friday. The loss was a downer, but I cannot complain. I showed up for the Home Opener, the weather was fantastic, everyone around me seemed to be in a fantastic mood, and even bad baseball is OK because it’s still baseball.

It will be interesting to see what this next series with the Texas Rangers brings. We definitely need a win or two here at home, and our vendetta with the team may be settled over the next few days. I hope we can pick it up and get into a better groove. Getting swept during the starting series at home is no fun.

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