I remember being four or five years old and dragging my dad into our front yard to teach me how to do a leg kick like a big league pitcher. Like Mark Langston and Mike Moore, two of Seattle’s very best, whose games I had actually seen with my own eyes. I could already swing my red plastic bat like Alvin Davis and could throw and catch a little bit. But now we needed to step it up. I wanted to bring the heat.
I failed at first. Where Langston and Moore stood poised like cranes on the front of their baseball cards, the rendition I put together, in retrospect, probably looked more along the lines of a miniature Chris Farley doing a karate kick, then chucking a tee ball with all his might. But I kept practicing and eventually got the motion down. Shortly thereafter, my parents stuck a pitchback screen on the lawn and let me while away the afternoons tossing to a net, whispering the names of all the great hurlers I knew as I fired fastball after fastball into a red rectangle.
It 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.”
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
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.
Don’t take your small children to see R-rated movies. It’s a bad idea.
Also, it’s supposed to snow in Seattle this week. We’ll see about that.
The Mariners are making moves at the Winter Meetings, acquiring a pitcher who actually threw a no-hitter in the major leagues.
Will the Seahawks upgrade their offensive line this offseason, or instead bring back the likes of Kam Chancellor and Steven/Stephen Hauschka? Can they somehow find a way to do it all?
Plus, above all else, the Huskies are Pac-12 Champions and on their way to the College Football Playoff. Our entire crew is excited, even the resident Duck — who also happens to be celebrating the hiring of Oregon’s new football coach, Willie What’s-His-Name.
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.
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