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85-77, Closing Game Thoughts

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I'm going to be kind of quick about this, because, I gotta be honest, the high of pumping out your final content of the season is unlike any other and I'm eager to drink.

  • Maybe it's just because none of my teams have ever won a championship, but I honestly can't remember ever enjoying a season's end as much as I did today. I'm not going to try to summarize the gathering on the field after the game. There's no point. I couldn't. There's no way I could do justice to an impromptu celebration that actually made me tear up. You'll just have to see it for yourself, if you haven't already. But...man, for a team that didn't win anything, this one was something special. A year ago, Carlos Silva was the prime suspect when it came to an anonymous Mariner player threatening Ichiro. Today he carried him off the field on his shoulders. Mike Blowers couldn't stop talking about how he'd never seen a whole team mill around like this before. These Mariners were as close as any team that's ever shared a clubhouse, and knowing that they were all enjoying themselves was a big part of what made this season so fun.

    Thanks, guys. You've been a treat.

  • Six strikeouts, one walk, a bunch of groundballs, a bunch of strikes, a bunch of swinging strikes, and a win. Felix Hernandez showed no ill effects from his 121-pitch outing last Tuesday and looked as kingly as ever from the start to the finish. He may not win the Cy Young, but this was a Cy Young-caliber season, and when he told Angie Mentink through laughter and tears after the game that he'd like to spend his whole career in Seattle...Z should just call him up right now while he's still feeling emotional. Also, when the whole team is out there walking a victory lap and thanking the fans, maybe you should wait a few minutes before pulling one of the players away from the rest for a pointless one-minute interview.

  • You always hear about the fan who caught a home run, or the fan who caught a foul ball. You never hear about the fan who caught a ground-rule double. I wonder what happens to that fan.

  • I know a lot of Mariners fans. Not one of them has ever gone to a baseball game with a rally fries sign. Which makes me wonder if there have ever been repeats. Has anyone won rally fries twice? Griffey tried his hand today but didn't luck out, which is just as well, because one more handful of fries and I don't know if Tui and Langerhans would've been able to lift him.

  • In the top of the first, it looked like Bill Hall dove for David Murphy's double and missed by 15 feet, but replays showed that he just fell down. Bill Hall, everybody. I urge you not to get too down on him, because he's very clearly been injured, but by the same token, Christ, Wak, why did you have to subject us to so much of this guy? What was there to be gained?

  • Adrian Beltre led off the game with a sparkling diving stop on a grounder to his left, and later pulled off another one of those spectacular off-balance barehands on a swinging bunt the way only he can do. Though Beltre went hitless and struck out in his final at bat, this final homestand saw him display every part of his skillset, and my only complaint about this whole afternoon is that the crowd didn't give him any recognition for everything he's done. I'm sorry, Adrian. I am deeply sorry that so many people just don't get you. I hope you end up somewhere that you can feel loved, because few people deserve it more than you.

  • Attendance for the home opener: 48,514. Attendance today: 32,260. That's up about 5,000 from a year ago and 2,000 from 2007, but, really? Either a lot of Seattle felt they'd shown Griffey enough love, or a lot of Seattle doesn't believe that he's going to retire.

  • It's fun to end the season with a win. We've done it four years in a row. Three of those years we've directly prevented the Rangers from the same satisfaction. Suck it, Texas.

  • Mike Blowers, paraphrased, on Hank Blalock: You have to be careful, because he can still turn on a good fastball. You hear this about a lot of guys, but I don't get what it means. Of course Blalock can still turn on a good fastball. If you can't hit a fastball, you can't be a position player in the Major Leagues. That's like saying, you have to keep on your toes around this hockey player, because he knows how to skate. If Hank Blalock couldn't hit a fastball, he'd be listening to announcers talk about guys who can hit a fastball on TV.

  • The second-to-last pitch of the game was a high fastball. Rob Johnson dropped it.