Hey everyone, my name is CJ Baker and I.... Am a Mariners fan.
I've thought for quite some time about my first post on here and what it might look like, I've even written it close to a hundred times, the heavy hitting ideas mixed with cleaver jokes using our beloved M's punchlines. In the end, my ability to overthink lead me to put this off for months. However, the other day a phone call inspired me to finally write this piece.
I had just finished another day of baseball practice and was headed home to try and make a dent on the mountain of homework that awaited me; its tough this time of year, as two months stand between me and being a college graduate. On the other line was my very excited father who was watching a game between the Athletics of Oakland and some team that is slipping my mind at this time. We'll call them the Los Angeles Angels of Albert Pujols and a bunch of other guys I'll probably never hear of again. My dad gave me an extensive play-by-play excitedly; not realizing that I'll have better seats to major league games next year than most of the guys on the field.
This is when it hit me, there was something special here.
Just this last August before I headed to California to finish my senior year of school and baseball, my dad had a major surgery and was stuck in the hospital for three weeks. I made the drive from Whidbey Island to Seattle three times a week to just go and hang out with my dad. We managed to make ridiculous small-talk over the weather and traffic, only to buy time until the Mariners would come on. He and I would then proceed watch every single game and hang on every single pitch, rooting for our boys who had been out of the playoff hunt since they lost three out of four games to the Astros' farm team in late April.
These few weeks in the summer of 2013 will forever go down as some of my favorite days; when my dad got to spend focusing less on the pain from surgery and more on the pain of being a fan in Seattle. Yeah, the Seahawks won the Superbowl and that's pretty cool, but there's something special about baseball and the bond it creates.
Forget about the numbers and forget about the many moves that management could have made and the even more moves management shouldn't, but probably will make. FORGET about all of that, it's what comes with being a Mariners fan.
The odds are pretty good that I'll visit Safeco a handful of times this year to watch Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez and whoever we might watch chase butterflies in the Mariners' outfield this year as balls roll to the wall allowing Prince Fielder to walk to third base. The odds are even better that I will spend most my time at home during each game with my face in my palms wondering what the hell just happened and wishing that we had signed so-and-so when we had the chance and that we had cut what's his name way back in March.
The light at the end of the tunnel is this; in its simplest form, baseball is just a game, a game that we all love. Unless you're looking for a solid article on puppy all-stars why else would you be here reading this?
It's this love of the game that will keep me watching every inning with my dad as if it were the first one of the year, because to me, the Mariners mean so much more than wins and losses.
I'm proud to be a Mariners fan, and I hope that you all are too, because to me, you all are my extended family that nobody really talks to during reunions; and because of that, the Mariners to me, mean family.