Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 Mariners Home Opener! My thoughts...

Spoiler Alert... We lost.

After following a horrible M's road trip and going to the home opener today, I wanted to give my first impressions.

Safeco Field: The traffic this year is BRUTAL! The Spokane St. exit off of I5 is a tangled mess of construction, as is the corner of 4th Ave and Royal Brougham. Looks like I'm going to be riding a lot of buses this M's season. The new out of town scoreboard over the bullpens is awesome! It shows the real time box score for the inning being played by every team in baseball... in color. There are also a number of new advertisements around the park. For example, the Hit It Here Cafe sign is now orange and sponsored by ING Direct. UW Medicine has also dumped a huge amount of money into the stadium this year. Thanks for keeping the Mariners in the black!

The Opening Ceremony: Death Cab for Cutie started the show off with a few rounds of 'Take me out to the Ballgame' and a great version of 'Put me in Coach'. Although the audio was a little rough, I thought that they did a great job. Then the Oakland lineup was announced to a suppressed round of booing from M's fans. I thought it could have been a little louder considering the whooping they gave us in the opening series... but alas we are all still Seattle nice. The M's lineup was announced and there were huge cheers for Felix as well as our starting lineup. Even Milton got a good ovation, but we will get to that later. The National Anthem was played by the local Navy Band and the slain officers were remembered. A few people cheered when their names were called? I'm going to assume they were just trying to show their support for the officers...

Randy Johnson's First Pitch: Randy was announced and slowly walked in from center field to a massive standing ovation. The place was rocking as he took the mound and waved to the crowd, but we all erupted when we saw that Dan Wilson was going to catch his pitch. Even with a torn rotator cuff he threw a perfect strike, and then Buhner, Edgar, and Junior walked out of the dugout to meet up with Randy and Dan. It was a meeting of the Saints who saved Seattle baseball, and trust me folks... I was reverential.

The Game: Well, we certainly had one hell of a showing on the defensive side. Jack Wilson made a great play on a ball that Lopez missed. Lopez made a good throw from deep down the third base line. Chone Figgins made a spectacular running catch in right field and with Wilson turned an amazing double play. It looks like he has been playing second base for his entire career. Oh, and Casey Kotchman made a diving stop down the first baseline and then beat the runner to the bag (because RRS failed to cover first). Then there was Milton... but he deserves his own heading. Since I was at the game I didn't get to see any instant replays, but it sure seemed like we got hosed on a few calls. Oakland had a double steal that didn't quite workout, so Rob Johnson made a perfect throw to Casey Kotchman who tagged out a diving Athletic but he was called safe. Then there was a play at the plate where Johnson got the tag down, but again he was called safe. Notice how I haven't brought up any hitting highlights? That's because there weren't any. Guti had a great double with nobody out, but was promptly left stranded on third. We are having pathetic at-bats right now. Swinging at balls well out of the strikezone. Watching the A's pitcher paint corners without even taking the lumber off of their shoulders. God help us if we don't start hitting.

Then there is Milton: Ah, Milton Bradley. On the opening road trip he flipped out on fans with words, dirty looks, and a controversial middle finger. I would be more than willing to overlook these tantrums if he wasn't batting .045. Ever hear of batting your weight? He isn't batting the weight of a 4 year old child. Then there is his defense. Today on the radio he was introduced with the caveat that 'No one was ever going to mistake him for a gold glover." Well he made a fool of himself today out in the outfield, allowing a routine groundball to roll right past him while the A's ran crazy around the bases. Through your legs is embarrassing... completely missing a ground ball in the outfield is unnacceptable. Seattle fans may be Seattle nice, but we sure as hell are not going to put up with a moody left fielder who is a dead weight in the lineup and on the field. It is early in the season, but Ryan Langerhans or Tui or Byrnes is looking much more appealing that clumsy moody Milton Bradley.

It is far too early to begin to panic, but if we can't make it to .500 by the end of April then I foresee a huge shakeup in the M's clubhouse. Prepare to say goodbye to Cliff Lee my friends! Oh, and there is no way Adrian Gonzalez would ever consider a trade to Seattle. My point? TURN IT AROUND M'S! I HAVE FAITH!!! I'll see you tomorrow for round two.


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