Today, Safeco Field is going to sell out for an event that isn't a baseball game, and then a baseball game is going to be played immediately afterward. Lost in all of this weekend's Griffey hubub is a subtle thread of "Why?" Why does Safeco field only sell out when dig deep into our mental recesses and remember something we can never have again? Why has sepia-toned nostalgia replaced the reality of our new 4K full color 2013 video screen? Why has
Actually, screw it. I don't even know if anyone actually is thinking that. And I don't care. For one night, an entire city of baseball fans is going to come celebrate the most important figure to ever play baseball in a Mariners uniform. I feel fairly comfortable saying that's not hyperbole. Men will become children again. Children will see The Double on that video screen and produce a strange false memory as if they had actually experienced it before they were born, and with a faint glow in their chests they will understand what it means to be a baseball fan, becoming part of a story that is much bigger and older than themselves.
Griffey will take the stage and hold up some shiny trophy, and then they'll sweep all the chairs off the infield and a game of baseball will be played. In this game of baseball we will watch a bunch of athletes who were four or six years old when the Mariners first made the playoffs do their thing and if we allow ourselves to feel it, the game could be a really important one. In a way, tonight will be like finally closing the door on 1995, and looking into a new room filled with new people doing new things. In a way it will be like a funeral for the past few years of whatever the hell happened, celebrating the best memories this team has given us and transitioning into the future with our feet planted not in the Milton Bradleys or the 101-loss seasons, but in the man who got a lot of us interested in baseball in the first place. Today could be just as important for the future as it is for the past. Maybe. I don't know. Maybe I have to stop drinking this damn kool-aid.
In other news, Dustin Ackley is finally back, getting the start in left field for the night. I like this--Michael Saunders is definitely the better outfield defender of the two, and while Ackley thankfully doesn't have to make any unlikely throws to third from right, it is interesting that he is getting the start against a lefty. I don't know if that last part of the sentence is about Ackley or Robby Thompson. Also, Hisashi Iwakuma has never faced the Brewers in a regular season game, so here's to hoping his night looks nothing like what happened in Toronto on Monday.
P. Hisashi Iwakuma (R)