With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on Thursday, February 18th, Seattle Sportsnet will be providing a preview of the 2010 Seattle Mariners in various stages over the next six weeks. This is our first installment in the series of previews.
With FSN analyst Nicole Zaloumis leaving the station’s Northwest affiliate for what we can only assume are greener pastures, Mariners fans will be left hanging when it comes to one behind-the-scenes interview we all were pining for: the Fister-Zaloumis exclusive.
There’s no doubt in my mind that a proper dressing-down at the hands of Ms. Zaloumis would have exposed the hard truth behind starting pitcher Doug Fister, a player that many Seattle faithful are curious to learn more about. As it is, we’ll have to discover more about the lanky right-hander on our own. And that’s fine, too.
A candidate for the Mariners’ vacant fifth-starter position, the 6’8″ Fister (or “Fisty,” as I like to call him) is a 26-year-old native of Merced, Calif., who was originally selected as a college junior by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2005 June Amateur Draft. Thankfully, the Fresno State alum returned to school for his senior season and was chosen a year later in the seventh round of the ’06 draft by your very own Seattle Mariners (in your face, you pinstriped bastards).
To be perfectly honest with you, we could talk about Fister’s tangibles all day long – his repertoire of finesse pitches, his ridiculous height, his career stat line – but I’d rather talk about his intangibles. Like, for instance, his unique surname.
Danish in origin, the term “Fister,” according to SearchForAncestors.com, means “fisherman,” which is 100% not what you’d expect it mean. For instance, I’ve never heard of a fister hauling in a large bass. Nor can I recall a fister getting a nibble on the line. Nevertheless, if it’s posted on the internet, it has to be true. Therefore, we’ll run with this.
With a name like Fister, one would hope that the Mariners’ marketing staff would have a few special events cooked up in honor of their one-of-a-kind starting pitcher.
Perhaps a Double-Fister Half-Price Beer Night is in order.
Maybe a Salute to Fister, Norway celebration could be arranged. And yes, the village of Fister does exist. It boasts the highest average temperature in all of Norway.
Or there’s my favorite: A “Fister? I hardly know her!” Singles Night. That one, I’d wager, has the most potential.
Regardless, we’d love to see this guy get his proper due with a bobblehead doll, or at the very least a team-issued jersey shirt. Let’s be honest. If the team shop was selling a shirt with “FISTER” on the back, you’d be buying.
So maybe the guy isn’t as G-rated as the team would like him to be. Whatever. To me, he’s the kind of material you can build an entire promotional campaign around. And that cannot go unnoticed.
For now, we just have to hope that the guy can stick with the team once they leave Peoria and head north. With the likes of Ian Snell, Jason Vargas, Garrett Olson, Luke French, and others competing for two spots in the team’s five-man rotation, Fister will have to put on his best showing over the next six weeks in the desert.
Along the way, we’ll be pulling for the guy with each exhibition start. Because you simply can’t sell me on a plain-jane last name.
M’s fans, consider this the home of the Doug Fister Fan Club. Where Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown is only sixty-percent the man that Fisty is.