On opening day in 1995, the Mariners sent Randy Johnson out to the Kingdome's mound. He threw a bunch of pitches and beat the Detroit Tigers, 3-0. There were 35,000 people watching. The next day Chris Bosio beat John Doherty and there were 19,000 in the stands and for at least a minute, it was quiet in Seattle. Everyone knows what happened that fall.
It's opening day in 2014 and I'm being an idiot by referencing 1995.
I'm so excited about this year, this team and these players and this game, but...I'm not doing this to borrow from our collective lo-fi video broadcast memory that has been obnoxiously exploited in the twenty years since, as if it's the only thing that Mariners fans have to remember.
No, I'm referencing that opening day because there have been three-thousand and fifty-nine regular season games played since that opening day in 1995. Holy shit. That's a lot of baseball games. That's not only a lot of walk-offs and stolen bases and two-hitters, it's a lot of three-hour 0-1 games, a lot of starts by crappy converted relievers, and a whole hell of a lot of standing around and waiting. Baseball can be fun but it's also, by its very nature, long and arduous and kind of boring.
We've been flush with optimism and excitement on this website, and I sincerely hope you feel the same way. But when today's 35,000 excitement dies down we have to remember that May's 19,000 excitement is going to be there, waiting for us. And in the interim, the Mariners are going to keep playing baseball, even if they lose all the time or get no-hit or someone falls asleep in the dugout. The baseball season is exciting, and everyone likes to talk about the fresh grass and awaiting pennant races on Opening Day, but in a month it's going to feel like one of those dungeons in Zelda where you have to push the big heavy bricks, and it takes forever because Link is like three feet tall.
But we've got this site, and this community, and commenters new and old. We've got Game Threads to post Ron Paul .gifs and WPA charts. Logan is going to post some crazy articles where he does math that we've never even heard of, Patrick and Nathan will write some beautiful and obnoxiously great poetry, Jesse is going to do some weird crap with dolls and break the internet, and Ashley, Seth, and Anders will write ESPN-ready pieces. Colin is going to write what we were all thinking about whatever trade is inevitably going to happen in July but couldn't articulate, and Scott will curate the ship and predict the next FA signing before the M's actually do it.
But even better, you will be here writing fan posts and commenting and talking about whoever will be struggling in June, and that's what makes this my favorite website on the internet, regardless of if I get to post words on it sometimes. We'll make stupid jokes to feel better about the bullpen and we will come up with new nicknames like QWOP or Captain Cardboard, and we'll comfort each other in our collective misery. And if the Mariners do something surprising in September, we'll be starting a new LL tradition, which is kind of insane to think about.
So here's to slow Sunday afternoons where the Mariners are getting thrashed by the Marlins. Here's to the inevitable Hector Noesi start in August. Here's to seeing wild WPA charts and Taijuan getting shelled, and injuries--because those kinds of things happen and will probably happen and you have to take them with the whole package. Because that package has Brad Miller and Robinson Cano and Happy Felix Days, of which today is our first.
This is crazy long for a game thread, but to hell with it. It's Opening Day. Let us know where you're at, where you are watching the game. Lets get excited. Tomorrow we can go back to that whole 19,000 thing.
- Mariners @ Angels, 7:05 PM PST
- TV: ROOT, ESPN2. Radio: 710 ESPN
- As everyone has noticed, Abe Almonte is leading off in a real baseball game that counts. It might not be the best idea, sure. But it's day one, everyone relax. We'll have something to whine about if he's still leading off with a .239 wOBA in July.
- Robinson Cano will be getting his first real at bat as a Mariner at about 7:12 PM, and we get to see it happen, live. Holy shit!
- The Mariners haven't lost an Opening Day for 7 years. Felix is on the mound. Take from this what you will.
- Raul gets the DH start for the Angels, and someone named David Freese will be playing in the regular season, which feels like a pretend story.
2. (L) SS
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
4. (S) 1B
5. (L) DH
6. (L) 3B
7. Michael Saunders (L) RF
8. (L) LF
9. (R) C
P. Felix Hernandez (RHP)
3. Albert Pujols (R) 1B
4. Josh Hamilton (L) LF
7. Howie Kendrick (R) 2B
P. Jered Weaver (RHP)