Stages. It's all about stages. You don't just go from the winter to the regular season. You go from the winter to workouts, from workouts to intrasquad games, from intrasquad games to intersquad preseason games, and from intersquad preseason games to intersquad regular season games (more commonly known as "games"). And on Friday, the Mariners will transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3, as they're scheduled to play against themselves at 12pm Pacific.
It won't be much. It's only going to last between four to five innings, depending on a number of factors. Some of the best players on the roster won't participate. And those who do participate won't be going at 100%, since it's still so early and no one wants to get hurt in a game that counts for nothing. So you can think of it kind of like the Pro Bowl, only with way less talent. But this year's Pro Bowl drew 13 million viewers. When people are desperate for sports, they'll settle for anything, and you'll be amazed by how much attention you'll pay in a couple days to what amounts to two hours of organized stretching.
Michael Pineda will start for the Mariners, while the Mariners will counter with Blake Beavan. Behind them, a handful of relievers are slated to throw an inning apiece. I can't imagine that it'll be broadcast anywhere, since that'd be pretty low for any company to sink, but I'm sure Twitter'll be buzzing with live breaking updates if that's your bag. And if ever you start to feel ashamed that you're following along intently with a Twitter stream of a team's practice, remember that this is all in preparation for Sunday's pivotal charity game against the Padres. The annual Mariners/Padres charity game: where the real winner is whichever team scores more runs.