Today, the Seattle Mariners play an exhibition baseball game against the Chicago White Sox. Tomorrow, the Seattle Mariners will board a bus, board a plane, and fly from Phoenix to Tokyo. There they will remain for several days. So you can kind of understand if the Mariners are less than totally focused on today's events. Tomorrow brings change, and today is inconsequential, so maybe today the Mariners will come down with a case of something like senioritis. Or maybe the Mariners will focus, play great, and win by six. I don't know. But if I were playing a baseball game the day before flying to Japan, I'd probably think less about the baseball game, and more about Japan.
So, the upside is that, after today, we're done with the Cactus League for a while. The downside is that there's nothing tomorrow or Friday or Sunday or Tuesday, and the game on Monday is at three in the morning (our time, not their time, because the Japanese are weird but not that weird). Is no baseball better than Cactus League baseball? I honestly don't have an answer to that. I guess we'll see. After today, the Mariners' next game will be against the Hanshin Tigers.
1:05pm PDT start, and here's a Gameday link. Online radio for subscribers. The Mariners are rolling out a regular-looking starting lineup:
Not any shocks. Presumably this'll be what Eric Wedge draws up for the season opener, with Justin Smoak batting cleanup. It's easy to see how this group could be good, and it's easy to see how this group could be bad. It's not easy to see how Dustin Ackley could be bad. That's basically an impossible outcome. Dustin Ackley could not be bad, because Dustin Ackley is not capable of bad.
Starting on the mound: Felix. Adam Dunn has struck out just once all spring so it's on Felix to bring things back to normal.