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As a fairly rabid hockey fan, I find myself having to divide my attention between two teams for the first several weeks of the baseball season. Which, in and of itself, isn't really that bad - I devote an awful lot of time to sports, after all - but it's not an even split, as I find myself thinking about the Ottawa Senators far more than the Seattle Mariners through each April and May of non-lockout years. It makes sense, because by this time Ottawa's usually pretty good and looking to get deep in the playoffs while Seattle has made a recent habit of sputtering out of the gate and rolling over before June, but it makes me feel like a pretty bad baseball fan because, quite frankly, I just can't bring myself to care very much about whether the Mariners win or lose when the Sens are in the postseason. Those are way bigger games.

Without fail, though, Ottawa suffers a devastating series defeat in the second or third round and I find myself in the very position I'm in right now - a man who's at last both willing and able to offer his undivided love and attention to the Mariners. There's nothing else going on (bouncyball doesn't count), so I can finally put all the effort and emotion into watching baseball that I'd previously had to split up. It's almost like, when Ottawa loses, I get a second Opening Day. The first one's great, because it means baseball is back and all set to become the constant soundtrack to my summer. The second one means I'm ready for it.

The 2006 Seattle Mariners may be six games below .500 less than a month and a half into the season, but as far as my brain is concerned, today they were given a fresh start, and they got off on the right foot. So here's to a fun season and an exciting march to October. And why not? On Opening Day, everybody has hope.

Biggest Contribution: George Sherrill, +41.5%
Biggest Suckfest: Jose Lopez, -35.9%
Most Important Hit: Sexson homer, +37.6%
Most Important "Pitch": Salmon single, -18.4%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +108.7%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -73.1%

(What is this?)

I'm all jet-lagged and grumpy, so I can't really bring myself to stay awake long enough to write anything about the game. I'd say that recaps will be back to normal soon but for the next few weeks I'll be doing a decent amount of traveling, so we'll just have to take it one day at a time. Not unlike the Mariners! Anyway, tomorrow's an early 12:35pm Mother's Day start time, with Gil Meche going up against Jeff Weaver. Richie Sexson's going to be using a pink bat to recognize breast cancer awareness, and Carl Everett's going to be swinging one of his own to deter anyone from giving Richie too much crap about it. I don't know of any Angels planning on participating in the promotion, which can only be interpreted to mean that they support malignancy, and thusly deserve to be severely beaten both on and off the field. May the Mariners be the first to administer such a thumping.