Sports-hate is an amazing thing. It absolves us of a lot. As sports fans, we can say a whole lot a nasty stuff to each other. Terrible things. But it’s okay, because it’s just sports, and we don’t really mean it. We can kind of say whatever we want, and we can just pass it off as sports-hate. We don’t really mean it when we say we hate each other. Right? I hope so. No one should really mean those mean things.
But man, we love to sports-hate each other. It feeds rivalries, and makes the games more fun. It goes something like this:
Your team sucks! Our team is amazing! You guys are stupid! We have brilliant football minds! Your women are disgusting! Ours are super sexy! Wait, let’s compare pictures.
Gaw, we hate you guys!!
And on and on. Fun, right? I know. Let’s proceed. Without further ado,
Hey, 49ers fans, you guys are IDIOTS!
It’s come to my attention, via the Internet, that a faction of the Mariners fan base took umbrage with what Alex wrote the other night in the wake of the Josh Hamilton news. I feel compelled to defend him. I don’t know why. Trust me, Alex does not need my defense. I’m pretty little, after all — what could I do if there was an attack? But hey, a lot of unnecessary things are written on the Internet. So, here I go! De-fense!
I don’t agree with everything Alex writes on this web site. He can be pretty brash. I am a little more reserved and pragmatic. Alex swears in his articles on occasion, while I’m not the online-cursing type. In fact, I often censor Alex by substituting words like “poop” when I share his jokes with my Twitter followers. But when he asked me to write for the blog, I was excited. I had secretly hoped he would. I thought it was a nice match because, despite our different approaches, we have an identical, deeply-rooted love for Seattle and its sports teams.
I’m not sure the critics of his last Mariners post understood what he was doing. Do you guys read much? How is that going for you? Let me explain.
You see, Alex encapsulated a feeling. Nothing more. Nothing less. That’s pretty much all he does here at Seattle Sportsnet. He never claims to be right. He only claims to feel. And feelings, as many of us learned in kindergarten, aren’t right or wrong. A feeling just is.
The Mariners are making waves. The Mariners should make waves. For one, they are Mariners, who by definition are navigating ships through the ocean. But more importantly, the Mariners are not a very good baseball team, and should be making waves with their roster. Big ones. They have won seven games in a row. This is fantastic news, but let’s not fool ourselves. The Mariners roster is not the best. Change is welcome. These are not the big waves we were hoping for, but we’re hoping the small waves continue to wash away most of our recent memories of the Mariners experience.
Players have been sent down, called up, and traded. I’ve provided you with blurbs to help you put it all in perspective. Or to confuse you. We’ll see.
Editor’s note: Seattle Sportsnet welcomes Peter Whitmore to the writing staff. Peter is a lifelong Seattle sports fan who adds years of passion to these pages. A journalism major in college, Peter’s talent and storytelling ability raises the bar for this website, and will provide an increase in exceptional content on a regular basis. Take a glance at Peter’s first piece and be sure to follow him on Twitter @MarinerMagic.
Ichiro is a New York Yankee. That sentence seems impossible. But here we are. As real as it undeniably is, it will always feel unreal. Ichiro, Seattle Mariners right fielder and intergalactic sports icon, is gone.
Here is a piece of his legacy, as this fan tells it:
My wife loves Ichiro. She is an academic and a romantic. She moved to Seattle in 2004 for graduate school at the UW. She loves baseball. She’s no baseball addict, but she truly appreciates the magic and nuance of baseball – enough that she can tolerate living with and loving an addict. She grew to love baseball and the Mariners by watching and admiring Ichiro. She loved the discipline of his routines. Was fascinated with the respect he had for his bat – his most revered tool of the trade. She marveled at the graceful control with which he patrolled the outfield. Ichiro was the lens through which she learned to love baseball. In many ways, he was her primary connection to the game.
So when I called her yesterday afternoon, in the middle of her day, to tell her Ichiro had been traded to the Yankees, she cried. She really did, I’m not messing around. Later, at home, she said simply, “I’m not ready for this,” and wept. This was her first baseball heartbreak. I can’t say I reacted the same way. I felt shocked and weird and kind of sick. I love Ichiro, too, but he was not even my favorite current Mariner. I felt awful because I knew how bad she felt. I knew that pain. Chambers, Griffey, Payton, Allen. And all the others in between. Every time it happens, you get a little more hardened to it. You get calluses. We live in a sporting world with very few happy endings. And this was not the happy ending my wife had envisioned for herself and Ichiro.