The Seattle Mariners are good. Many of us were thinking it back when the M's pounded out 19 runs in two games to take the opening series against the Texas Rangers, and here we are today, still thinking it. Despite the newfound success, Mariners fans remain a humble bunch, the result of fifteen years of smashed dreams and overwhelming sorrows.
Because we're so humble, we understand that the Mariners didn't turn into a butt-kicking, home-run hitting, gem-tossing squad all on their own. They got here because a) Jerry Dipoto and his Pixar-esque smile waltzed into town and started trading players like they were bubblegum cards, b) Andy Van Slyke placed upon Robinson Cano's shoulder a chip larger than the rack of ribs in the Flinstone's intro, and c) the absurd generosity of other teams.
The generosity has been very real. The San Diego Padres, forever an adorable rival, gifted the Mariners Seth 'Dad' Smith, Nick Vincent, and Joaquin Benoit in a little over a year. The Tampa Bay Rays gave the Mariners Nate Karns, aka the best little fifth starter in baseball, and Mike "Poor Man's Andrew Miller" Montgomery.
The Texas Rangers handed over Leonys Martin for a relief pitcher, a one-tool outfielder, and a prospect they already DFA'd. And finally, the Boston Red Sox were kind enough to throw three years of Bible Belt Jason Vargas our way.
As you can see, the big-heartedness has not gone unnoticed over here at Lookout Landing dot com. And because we're so kind, we decided to prepare some gift baskets for all of these teams as a way to say thanks for their sponsorship of the 2016 Seattle Mariners. The only question, of course, is what exactly we'd put into these baskets. Well, after hours and hours and hours of brainstorming, our baskets are ready:
Each individual gift basket includes the following:
- A pair of sunglasses from Dae-Ho Lee
- One Dae-Ho Lee shirsey
- A copy of "101 Smile Tips" by Jerry Dipoto
- One Edgar light bat
- A free windshield replacement coupon from Nelson Cruz
- A chainsaw
- One signed Robinson Cano headshot
- A miniature 'Swelmet' replica
The Specialty Items
Hand selected by our writers:
Scott George - A Brochure for everyone
Hey guys. It's been really nice of you to give us some key pieces for what were essentially dudes that were inherited but not wanted by the front office. Because of you, we may be a little busier than normal come October, and well, there's a chance you won't be. But, don't worry, we are going to give you something to do:
Roloff Farms is COOL and FUN and autumn is when it really shines. Plus, you may recognize the farm from a little show called Little People Big World! All your favorites will be there! I just read the fine print in the link. At least one of your favorites will be there! This is also a great way to experience the Pacific Northwest in October. So while we're enjoying ourselves with playoff baseball, you can spend your time picking out the biggest pumpkin, and hearing the roars from Safeco all the way in rural Oregon. Thanks again!
Nathan Bishop - To the Padres
Thank you for the Nick Vincent. It has proven very useful in relieving pressure in tight situations, and also finally supplied the Pacific Northwest with a full and luscious beard. What a unique and joyous novelty.
As a token of our thanks, please find one copy of Baseball for Dummies, by Morgan and Lally. Due to strict and outdated shipping laws we are unable to send you a pint of a proper Northwest IPA, but you'll have to imagine it the next time you drink what passes for suds in your neck of the woods. It is our earnest hope this this settles our debt to you on the Vincent transaction, and that indeed no player will be named later.
Kate Preusser - A specific gift for all
For the Padres, The Padres are so nice about sharing the stadium at Peoria and not hogging all the wins, and they sent us Garry "Seth" Smith for Brandon Maurer and let us have Nick "No this is my natural beard color" Vincent for basically free, AND they are smart enough to downplay the fact that they're named after a movement that had as its goal to rob the Native Americans of their indigenous religious practices and give them all measles blankets, aka the worst promotional giveaway ever. (You get in your corner, Swinging Friar, and you STAY THERE.) But I still call this one a wash. You have Fernando Rodney, after all, and he is the gift that keeps on giving.
For the Rangers, two tickets to the Monster Truck rally/laser Pink Floyd show for AJ Griffin (tickets are for consecutive nights as I assume no one will go with him); a Tycho Brahe-inspired brass testicle for Adrian Beltre; a promise that Jerry Dipoto will never return to the state of Texas.
For the Red Sox, personal grooming kit for Clay Bucholtz with picture-based instructions; a copy of Pokemon Sun AND Pokemon Moon for Brock Holt and Joe Kelly to play in the clubhouse; a "treasure map" sent to Dan Shaughnessy that actually leads to an underground bunker, adequately equipped for survival but with absolutely no internet
For the Rays, Tampa Bay has actually been generous to the Mariners over the years: last year, Nelson Cruz became one of only four players to ever hit a homer into the Rays' touch tank, effectively winning the game for Seattle and inspiring my favorite Goldsmith call of 2015; and in 1998, Edgar Martinez became the first player to ever hit a home run onto the "D" ring catwalk. Between that and them delivering Karns and BOOOOOG to us, I bestow upon the Rays the best gift I can think of: one tarp-loosening/stadium sabotage kit so they can forever escape the Trop, and maybe even Tampa Bay entirely.
Zach Sanders - Business materials
Not to give away the Mariners' secret weapon in trade negotiations, but every team should be gifted The Banknotes Harper Portable Conference Table, For Pounding. It's important to be able to pull a portable conference table out of one's pocket at a moment's notice, because sometimes a point can only be made by slamming your fist into a piece of rich Brazilian mahogany hand cut by real Amazonian pygmies and bellowing "I SAID GOOD DAY."
Anders Jorstad - For the Rangers
A collaboration of every single Kyle Seager-themed Mariners commercial
Andrew Rice - A variety of goods
- 10 lb bags of everyone's favorite mediocre coffee: Starbuck's Pike Place blend. I imagine that, next time, these teams will want to make sure they are awake and have all of their faculties intact before completing baseball trades.
- Sheets of white birch from the forests of the North Cascades (responsibly harvested, of course). Handy for crafting canoes and boxes. Or making white flags to wave at the Mariners.
- Pints of freshly-picked PNW blackberries. These should be a nice break/change of pace from the raspberries their fans are undoubtedly blowing at them for completing such ill-advised, lopsided trades.
And finally, a thank you card:
(Note: thanks to @Cydniecr and @JoeVeyera, who came up with most of the 'basic' items. And to Lookout Landing's Jose Rivera, who made the funny pictures, both moving and still)