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Lookout Landing Week: Humor and Humanity

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Why stare into the void alone when we could stare into the void together?

Seattle Mariners v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

[Ed. note: “Lookout Landing Night” is Saturday, September 2 at Safeco Field, so hurry up already and get your tickets here . If you do not, we will know. Leading up to the event, we are taking a look at our favorite pieces published on the site over the years—check out previous selections from Kate, Isabelle, and Eric, and continue this walk down memory lane today with Zach.]

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“Lookout Landing roots for failure”

Nathan Bishop, Zach Sanders, Michael Barr, Patrick Dubuque, David Skiba, Kate Preusser

“No this is a world full of the seven deadly sins, at least four of which we as Mariner fans experience viscerally with great regularity: Pride, envy, lust, and wrath. These sit in the top drawer of the Mariner fan toolbox, and we reach for them often. As such we have learned to not only root for the Mariners to win but, to our shame, to root for the failure of others.”

I was somewhat of a latecomer to the Lookout Landing scene, but it was the singular #brand of abject nihilism laced with comedic absurdity present in pieces like this that made me realize I had finally found my Mariners home.

As former managing editor Nathan Bishop points out in his introduction, Mariners fandom is hardly a rational endeavor. Thankfully, rational is not what we signed up for. I’m honored to have the chance to participate in this long and storied tradition of vocalizing (and occasionally gif-ifying) Mariner Malaise, helping to provide an outlet for the weary consciousness of a tortured fan base—always with enough pathos to share with the whole class.

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“Your City Sucks, By Jonathan Papelbon”

Kate Preusser

“The Pap is American, Baseball is American, and the Toronto Blue Jays are an abomination on par with Crystal Pepsi.”

Lookout Landing is home to some of the funniest writing on the whole goddamn internet—provided of course you’re the sort who finds fictional monologues by petulant ballplayers funny, which admittedly is somewhat of a niche genre. Either way, this is an absolute masterclass from our own fearless leader Kate Preusser.

In all its unrepentant surrealist glory, I still find it hard to believe that this was Kate’s debut piece as a member of the LL staff. But to disregard her first contribution here in this most hallowed of shrines would be an oversight even the Pap himself would find offensive.

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“What life is like on the internet after your article lands on the front page of Yahoo!”

Peter Woodburn

“I had tweets of people calling me an idiot—more than normal. I had emails with subject headings such as ‘you piece of shit’ and ‘fuck you.’ My personal favorite: ‘youre garbage piece.’”

Occasionally at Lookout Landing, through no fault of our own, a stray story will find its way into one of the several great aggregating hoppers of the modern internet and weird things will happen. These stories, when exposed to the eyes of the general public, are met with incredulity, confusion, and sometimes even horror. (We certainly have cultivated a unique palate here on our little site, one that is undeniably an acquired taste for many).

This is one of those unlucky instances in which an otherwise benign recap from Peter Woodburn was sucked up through some obscure portal in a neglected corner of the interwebs that just happened to spit out directly onto the front page of Yahoo Sports.

We don’t usually make a point of seeking out the public eye, but sometimes the public eye finds us. And this time around it really didn’t like what it saw. Handled with an admirable level of humor and humility that only one of SBN’s most prolific contributors could muster, the result is a treat.

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“Pirates of the Maribbean”

Kate Preusser

“MILEY: It is true that I carry a curse. My skeleton walks Safeco Field at night until I can get my ground ball/fly ball ratio back to my career levels.

FREESE hits a home run that barely sneaks out on a first-pitch 88 mph fastball.

MILEY: Well shit”

For Kate, this is the equivalent of phoning in a recap.

For the rest of us mortals, bleary-eyed and battered from another Mariners loss and staggering through our post-game duties at 12am like we’re trying to find the light switch in a motel bathroom, this is Citizen Fucking Kane.

Kate’s creativity never ceases to amaze, and this otherwise throwaway recap of an otherwise throwaway game is buried treasure. Still a better screenplay than Pirates 5.

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“A Wednesday night at the zoo with the Mariners”

Isabelle Minasian and John Trupin

“Dogs are not allowed inside zoos, particularly not Basset Hounds who are trying their best but went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and slobbered all over your pants before an interview.”

Terrible baseball games can sometimes be funny. But rarely, if ever, are they adorable. Here Isabelle and John were able to do the impossible: make a terrible baseball game both funny AND adorable.

Recaps like this may feel frivolous, but I assure you, dear reader, they are not.

I can attest that as the recapper de jour of many a garbage game, dying slowly on the Vox (CMS) for the Mariners’ sins, I have successfully reclaimed some semblance of sanity from the crushing mandibles of defeat through a goofy recap.

Cheers to Isabelle and John for this particular gem, and to everyone on staff for continually finding new and inventive ways to manifest a little fun onto this Dostoevskian nightmarescape of a baseball team.

Your humor, insight, and soulfulness and make it all worthwhile.

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“40 in 40: Jarrod Dyson”

Kate Preusser (who else)

“Tough places make tough people. Dyson says every time he doesn’t feel motivated to work out, he thinks about where he’d be without baseball, back in McComb, the town where he says he’s like ‘a nut in a shell’...It feels like Seattle is always a long shot to play meaningful October baseball, but Jarrod Dyson has outplayed the odds his whole life.”

My single greatest regret of 2017 is not joining the Lookout Landing staff in time to contribute to this year’s 40 in 40 series. It’s a clever and creative way to unpack the ins and outs of each roster spot heading into the season, discuss potential contributions from players old and new, and, perhaps most importantly, it serves as a unique opportunity to share a little of each Seattle Mariner’s personal story.

In this regard, Kate’s profile on the one and only Jarrod Dyson is exemplary.

Enlightening as it is humanizing, equal parts analysis and narrative, Kate’s piece is an elegant introduction to a compelling player with a poignant story. This is a writer at the top of her game unpretentiously showcasing a special ballplayer at the height of his, honoring his struggles and appreciating his humanity.

To me, this is Lookout Landing at its best—a one-of-a-kind space where we can come together to lean wholeheartedly into the poetry of this absurd and beautiful game.

Thanks for being part of it.

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images