This was my first season at Lookout Landing. I've long been a Mariner fan. My parents had season tickets when I was born in '87 up until prices got crazy after '95 and our section was sold to Microsoft or Boeing, or one of the other big name Seattle companies. I still remember the Kingdome fondly. Not because it was a great venue for baseball, but because it was where I learned to love the game. I'm not sure how I never found Lookout Landing in the years prior to this one, Jeff is an amazing writer, supplemented by some fantastic work by Matthew and the occasional (insert another platitude here) article by JY. It took one game, one terrible game to lead me to Lookout Landing.
Philip Humber retired 27 straight Mariners. There was something about the game recap I found as I was madly trying to find something, anything on the check swing that was (or wasn't) a swing. Something about Jeff's recap helped to restore rational thought to my brain.
As much as that game brought me into the Lookout Landing community, one thing guaranteed I would stay... .gifs
The Humble Beginning.
And thus, I had entered the world of .gif making.
This was not special, looking back I can barely remember why I made it, but I still like it, about the same way Casper liked watching that fan catch a ball with an umbrella.
The breakout hit.
Tom Wilhelmsen decided to break Alexei Ramirez, as well as my dropbox. The original version of this .gif got tweeted about by one Dave Cameron, which was amazing, but I was at the time unaware dropbox's bandwidth limitations. I remember I posted it in a hurry then went to the laundromat... wait I don't even care about that story any more because holy shit that curveball is amazing.
The Unfortunate Mistake.
After the breakout hit of the Wilhelmsen curve I was trying to ride my new found .gif stardom. With this .gif I learned that number of colors matters, and that too few colors gives Jesus Montero white face. Matthew had to point it out, and now I cannot unsee it... thanks a lot, Matthew.
Munenori Kawasaki did a thing, then another thing, then something to Casper Wells that I'm not sure was legal.
(Sidenote: that last one went mildly viral in Japan and has generated 150,000+ views)
Casper Wells says No Deal!
There was point in the season where the Mariners started to get really exciting to watch. They were winning games, walking off, people tried to kill Justin Smoak...
I'm not a band wagon fan, but I certainly watch more games when things are going well than when they are not. I checked out last season about 12 games into the streak that went longer than 12 games. In 2010 I checked out about the All Star break. 2012 kept me around. It's hard to put a finger on why, maybe it was Lookout Landing being entertaining enough to keep me invested (something I hadn't had previously). Or maybe it's simple; this is a young team getting better. They are improving (albiet slowly, with some caveats). There is a lot of promise for the future. I'm glad I kept watching because...
...Felix did a thing.
That I posted in the game thread. This I posted when it ended.
Felix is really the best.
Odds and ends.
There was a wave of momentum that the M's rode after the All Star Break, you can write it off as just beating bad teams. But they mopped the floor with bad teams. Good teams beat bad teams consistently, and the M's went on a run that had us believing in Mariner magic again. It ended though. The Mariners met the White Sox, and mounted a 6 run top of the 9th comeback only to let it slip through their fingers in the bottom half of the inning. The magic was over, the season was not. There is something about baseball, the season, and how long it is. It's really long. There are games that have us feeling like Wei-Yin Chen...
...and some games that leave us feeling more like this guy:
It's a long season, a grueling season. Particularly when you know it's going to end with another year of more losses than wins (at least we aren't Pirate fans though...because, wow, that's awful)
Those dog days of August roll in, and everyone starts to get a bit loopy.
But the season is over, and aside from getting a face full of Trout...
...and coming to terms with the fact that Guti needs a be in a new uniform next season
It's been a season where I've generally been able to look to next year in a positive light, the Mariners are taking positive steps, they may be small steps, but they are going in the right direction. Wait.... where have I seen that before?
I never appreciated just how much this encapsulates being a Mariner fan until this very moment.
It's been a wonderful year, thank you again to Jeff, Matthew and JY (and Graham for filling in during that Yankee series). And just as big a thank you to you denizens of Lookout Landing, who make this community what it is... simply amazing.
Obviously, I'll be around during the off season, it's not as though I'm leaving Lookout Landing. But the end of the season seemed to be a fitting time to send my thank you to everyone that makes Lookout Landing great. Though, really, I just wanted to post all my .gifs* again.