Hello and welcome back to FanPost Friday! Summer is (somehow) already here and it’s officially baseball weather in the Northwest. When the Mariners return home next week, you can probably go to games without bringing two coats and a blanket! We’ve made it!
Today, instead of talking more about how badly Kolten Wong is playing or why the Mariners should have spent more in the offseason again, I’m opting to piggyback off of this excellent and thoughtful article from our fellow SB nation site Over the Monster. Writer Maura McGurk, a Massachusetts native who has lived in Seattle the past 10 years (so practically a local now), wanted to analyze the reasons why she has felt a surprisingly amount of open hostility from Seattle sports fans toward her Red Sox fandom. She reached out to us at LL for our collective takes on the matter, but she also interviewed a few random sports fans at Teddy’s Off Roosevelt, a lovely dive/sports bar in north Seattle, and also assembled some very thoughtful quotes and anecdotes from other lifelong Mariners fans. So, go read that first and then come back to launch into today’s prompt.
Pretty insightful, right? I enjoyed it quite a bit as the subject of opposing fanbases is something I’ve also been fascinated with over the years. I remember in my mid-20s when I had the flexibility to attend a lot more games in person, I often felt an odd obligation to attend games versus the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays out of some sense of local pride and feeling the need to shout down the opposing fanbases. You know, make the Mariners players feel like they’re playing an actual home game, right? That feeling of obligation faded over the years as I got older and the Mariners org fielded mostly horrid teams during that stretch of time when I could actually attend more games in person. I dunno. Two kids, a pandemic, actual real life losses, and a stretch of competetive play by the Mariners later, I’m decidedly less salty about opposing fanbases. My sports ire is mainly reserved for hating the Astros and Angels and not much else registers.
However, most of the fights and near-fights I’ve witnessed at Mariners games have involved Red Sox fans. I’ll never forget sitting in the bleachers at this extremely cursed game in 2010 (derogatory) and watching three Sox fans relentlessly taunt this Mariners fan begrudgingly sitting next to them as the Red Sox took the lead. This dude was just taking it and taking it, not really firing anything back because...I mean, what could he say? The Mariners were over halfway through an eventual 101-loss season. Shit was grim. But guess what happened? The Mariners, down 6-1 in the bottom of the ninth, decided it was a fine time to rally and scored five whole runs thanks to a Guti 2-run dinger, a 2-RBI double by Casey Kotchman (derogatory), and none other than Jack Wilson scored the tying run on a groundout. You’ll never guess how the rally ended! (Spoiler alert: Chone Figgins struck out looking.)
Now that I’ve given every Mariners fan of a certain age Vietnam-like flashbacks to the horrors of 2010, which I’m truly sorry for, I’ll go ahead and finish my story. When the Mariners tied the game, the fan in front of me who had been getting shellacked by the taunting Red Sox fans all game came completely unglued in a way that only the most put-upon, beaten-down sad Mariners fan could. It got ugly. Fast. Screaming in each other’s faces led to a shove from one of the Red Sox fans, then poorly thrown punches, then security and ushers quickly descending and ejecting only the Mariners fan somehow. Justice was not served that day, but that lad sure gave those Red Sox fans a serving of pent-up Mariners trauma. Oh, and of course, the Mariners lost the game in 13 innings.
(/does thousand yard stare for an undetermined amount of time) Anyways, let’s get to the prompt!
PROMPT: Rank your top three least favorite MLB fanbases
Give us your reasons in the comments, tell us some stories, or just talk about run-ins with blackout drunk Alberta residents at Blue Jays games in Seattle (FYI, the Blue Jays swarm will come to down July 21, gird your loins as you see fit).
Have a great weekend, folks! If you’re attending any of the games in Atlanta this weekend, be nice! Enjoy all the wacky sports bars at the Battery and frown disapprovingly when Braves fans do “the chop.” Go Mariners.