Good morning all! This is my first Moose Tracks post since the Mariners clinched a playoff spot last Friday (for the first time in my life!), and I still can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Before we get into today’s links, I wanted to briefly share my experience with that game as one of the many ways baseball brings people together.
I watched the entire game on my phone at a house show in my college town, and although I couldn’t tell you anything about the bands that played that night, I can easily say it was one of the most special nights of my life.
I logically assumed I’d be the only one there following the game, but by the third inning, I found a Julio jersey in the crowd watching on his phone too. “See? I’m not crazy!” he said to his friends as I showed off the 2023 Seattle All-Star Game t-shirt I was wearing and held up my phone next to his. We consumed a few stressful innings together before I returned to my friends during a break in the music.
By the seventh inning, a small group had begun to circle around me as the game got down to the wire. When Cal’s home run left the yard, the tears started immediately. I was hugged and congratulated by the growing group of friends and strangers that had joined me in the back of the crowd to watch the end of the game. It felt like something out of a movie, and I stood speechless for quite some time. For just a moment, nothing else existed apart from me and the playoff bound 2022 Seattle Mariners.
On a Friday night in Eugene, Oregon, in the most unexpected ways, I finally felt the sense of belonging that I’d been striving for.
Thank you for indulging me, and for sharing your stories with all of us too. I can’t wait to begin my first postseason ride and I’m so grateful that I get to share it with new and old friends alike. With that, let’s jump into today’s baseball news, and hope for an exciting win tonight.
In Mariners news...
- Finishing up his time on the 10-day IL, Julio Rodriguez is expected to be back in the lineup for today’s game, reports manager Scott Servais.
- The Mariners announced yesterday morning that Justin Hollander has been promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Baseball Operations. He will be responsible for all Mariners baseball operational aspects while continuing to report to Jerry Dipoto.
- Brandon Gustafson at 710 Seattle Sports highlights Cal Raleigh’s importance to the Mariners following his playoff-clinching walk-off homer.
Around the league...
- Tony La Russa is expected to announce his retirement as the Chicago White Sox manager this afternoon, after battling health issues that forced him to step down from his managerial duties at the end of August.
- ICYMI: Shohei Ohtani has agreed to a one-year/$30 million contract for 2023 to avoid arbitration with the Los Angeles Angels, the largest salary ever for an arbitration-eligible player. He remains set to enter free agency in 2024 after his contract expires.
- The San Diego Padres become the latest team to clinch a playoff berth, their first since 2006 and seventh time in franchise history.
- Yadier Molina’s contributions to the St. Louis Cardinals and the game of baseball as a whole go way past the analytics, writes Derrick Goold at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- In front of the largest crowd in club history, OL Reign claimed the 2022 NWSL Shield last night with their 3-0 win against Orlando Pride. The shield is presented to the team with the best regular season record, and earns them the number one overall seed in the playoffs, which begin on October 16. Massive congrats to the team and everyone involved in this exciting season!