Category Archives: Mariners

2017 Seattle Mariners Preview: Felix Forgets 30

felixIt was a year to forget for Felix Hernandez. The regression he endured in 2016 was so abrupt and so sudden that even casual onlookers couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at his performance.

The 30-year-old was far from regal, despite a nickname he’d earned years prior. As his pitching suffered, he began to look less like King Felix and more like John Goodman’s King Ralph.

The Felix Hernandez we saw in 2016 was the product of a decade of indulgence, one that any athlete or ex-athlete over the age of 30 knows all about. There’s even a saying that sage veterans of sport will pass along to naïve young bucks, full of boundless energy and equipped with perfectly adept bodies: “Wait ‘til you’re 30.”

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The Seattle Mariners All-Headshot 40th Anniversary Team

The Seattle Mariners are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and are honoring some of the greatest players in franchise history as a result.

To keep things interesting, the M’s are requesting your help in picking their 40th Anniversary team. From now until April 2nd, fans can vote on their favorite players here.

I’d certainly encourage anyone to go vote and help select the all-40th Anniversary squad. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the democratic process and witness Richie Zisk get elected Best Designated Hitter in franchise history, would you? Although I heard something about Edgar Martinez’s emails the other day, so… you know what, it doesn’t matter, just vote.

We went through and made our selections, stopping to enjoy the many photos of current and former M’s in their heyday. Some of the pictures were just too good to be ignored, so we decided to pay homage to the very best photos with the following selection of the greatest Mariners in history as selected by their ballot headshot.

If you find yourself stuck on who to vote for, always use the mugshot as a tiebreaker. That’s our theory, at least.

1B – Bruce Bochte

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Bruce Bochte is probably best remembered for becoming the first Seattle Mariner to record a hit in an All-Star Game (at the Kingdome, no less), which makes him a worthy addition to the 40th Anniversary ballot. The photo, though? That’s another story.

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Hot Mic Catches Mariners Broadcaster Speaking the Truth


aoki

It’s not often during a ballgame you hear a broadcaster say exactly what every fan happens to be thinking.

Lucky for us, a hot microphone and an abrupt return from commercial break caught Mariners announcer Dave Sims in a moment of sheer honesty.

Shortly after M’s left fielder Norichika Aoki unleashed a hideous throw to home plate that sailed all the way to the backstop, Sims had this to say on the ROOT Sports broadcast:

Aoki’s defense rivals that of only James Harden, and his throwing arm would play better at the Little League World Series, so it isn’t surprising to hear someone lament his shortcomings in the field.

And in the end, the terrible throw proved fairly inconsequential, as the Mariners were shut out by the New York Yankees 5-0.

Still, it was pretty awesome hearing a guy paid to watch the team speak the truth, if even for a split second.

Go Sims. Go M’s.

The Mariners’ Gameday Etiquette Dilemma

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It has been fifteen years since the Mariners were really, really good, so forgive us for not knowing how to act in the wake of the team’s recent success.

On Saturday night, as the M’s were on the verge of beating the Milwaukee Brewers, television cameras captured an encounter between a Safeco Field usher and one such member of the Mariners faithful who happened to be cheering on the hometown nine. Video was shared online, and inquiring minds began immediately asking questions and recapping personal accounts of similar brushes with stadium staff.

The organization quickly responded to the uproar, and on Sunday a member of the team’s front office reached out to share details of what took place before and after the recorded incident.

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Usher Silences Fans As Mariners Silence Brewers

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It’s rare for the Seattle Mariners to find themselves in a playoff race, but here we are nearing the end of August and the M’s are in the thick of the postseason hunt.

What should be cause for celebration is apparently being muted by Safeco Field’s ushers, many of whom have worked hard over the years to stifle fun in the ballpark.

One such usher went rogue on Saturday night, in the midst of the Mariners’ 8-2 win over Milwaukee.

With two outs in the top of the eighth inning, the tying run at the plate, a full count on batter Chris Carter, and Felix Hernandez on the mound, one would reasonably expect fans to come to their feet and cheer on their ace. Not in this usher’s section, though:

Okay, get past the fact that the fan in question looks like he got lost on his way to The ‘Pen, and focus on his behavior. He’s doing nothing wrong. He’s standing and cheering for his team in a close contest. Why any usher would choose to reprimand the actions of a fan doing exactly what he’s supposed to is a bit confusing.

If anything, the seemingly indifferent crowd around this side show could use a bit of a pick-me-up.

It’s a pennant chase, people. Enjoy it.

Beware the Unstoppable Force

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In beach towns the world around, towering wooden posts affixed with oversized speakers dot the coastal landscape. Blending in beneath the mercurial skies that quickly shuttle across their seaboards, these manmade edifices serve as gentle reminders of a possible storm that could arrive at any moment.

Should these speakers ever sound a siren, those who call such hamlets home know that the unstoppable force of a tsunami heads their way. With waves that enact true natural disaster, the sirens act as a warning to all who lie in the path of imminent devastation. The force cannot be stopped, of course. But those who may meet its violence head-on have one final opportunity to take cover.

Perhaps it is a unique coincidence that Seattle’s baseball team chooses to employ a nautical theme. Mariners, navigators of the open water, don’t often leave destruction in their wake, however. Mariners, 25-man compilations of ballplayers, rarely wreak havoc, themselves. In this particular season, though, that seems to be changing. So maybe it’s time we let everyone know about these guys.

The patriarch is a king, both by nickname and reputation. Armed with the nastiest of change-ups, he has sat atop a veritable throne as one of the game’s best pitchers for more than a decade. Even the most average of fans has probably heard of him.

There is a second baseman, cool as an autumn breeze, who blows pink bubbles as he deftly destroys baseballs hurled in his direction. And should a batter mistakenly hit a ball his way, it will be scooped up and used to spell one’s very demise before ninety feet have passed, don’t you know.

His partner in crime, a barrel chested behemoth they call Cruz, effortlessly pummels pitches with the confident authority of a veteran pugilist. His batting practice sessions might as well be promotional giveaways – thousands of fans have surely left the park with a souvenir on his behalf.

The first baseman wears a silver charm necklace and beams ear to ear with the cherubic grin of a toddler who just discovered his favorite toy. He is plush, like a teddy bear, beneath the billowy draping of his oversized uniform. But don’t let the look fool you. At the plate, he coils like a rattlesnake, kicks, and unleashes venom upon the most unhittable of heaters.

Across the diamond, his corner counterpart is a matter-of-fact model of consistency. From his golden glove to a swing that pounds out singles and doubles with a steadiness aligned with his everyday approach. His alias is as simple as his ever-reliable grasp on success, Simply.

The closer is devastatingly filthy, so sick he’ll make you sick, his fastball hot as habañero ipecac, his slider seemingly doused in tainted mayonnaise. The best hitters will look physically ill flailing at even his worst stuff; his best stuff will crush one’s hopes and dreams.

There’s one southpaw from up north who throws one-hundred miles per hour. Another who dazzles with more casual stuff, whose name literally translates to “Wade the White,” mystical in nature, not unlike his potential distant ancestor, Gandalf.

There is a bear with a no-no to his credit, a center fielder allowed to fire a bazooka on unsuspecting opponents, a catcher with Herculean power, and an arsenal of hard-throwing rejuvenated renovations in relief.

A backup first baseman who hits walk-off dingers, a utility man whose name an entire stadium chanted in unison, a handsome devil who spurns the advances of left-handed pitchers, and a dad who serves as a surrogate father to all the righties he’s owned.

This is it.

This is the team.

They’re scraping and clawing their way towards a postseason berth for the first time in fifteen years and it’s time the world took notice.

It’s Seattle’s time now. The Mariners are coming.

Consider this your siren.

Beware the unstoppable force.

Go For It, Jerry

Jerry DipotoSports fans are inherently selfish. If it was up to us, rebuilding years wouldn’t exist and every single season would involve a championship pursuit. Money would be no object, and like monopolizing board game tycoons we’d buy everything in sight and kick our competition’s ass all up and down St. Charles Place.

We are never satisfied, sports fans. We want it all and more. We want the rings and the trophies and the gaudy commemorative gear. We want our guys to be the best and your guys to be the worst. We actually yearn for wins with our tangible promotional giveaways, and we crave the taste of success, not sorrow, amidst the bubbles of our ten-dollar stadium beers.

This is the backdrop for our 2016 Seattle Mariners, who have pieced together the type of campaign that warrants a serious decision in the coming days: win now at the expense of later, or win later at the expense of now.

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