clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners give us relaxing audiovisual content in 2-0 win over Detroit

The 1,000th Mariner win in T-Mobile Park was the perfect Sunday afternoon game

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been in the Toks or the Reels lately, you can’t have avoided these videos where people roll containers down flights of stairs and wait for them to break. If you’re not ~online~, here’s one I like (make sure you have the sound on):

Know Your Meme traces the format back to May 2022, but they’ve exploded (pun very much intended) over the past couple months. Most of the commentary around these videos credits their popularity to ASMR. (ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a phenomenon in which certain soft sounds like scratching paper or whispering into a microphone cause a physical tingling sensation for some people, and some of those people find it enjoyable. After the concept of ASMR went mainstream, people started using the term to describe any audio or visual content that people find soothing. Which, whatever, that’s just how life is.)

And the videos are soothing. They come with a repetitive sound that lulls you into relaxation. It’s a lot like Sunday afternoon baseball. Today, for instance, Aaron Goldsmith and Dan Wilson blathered away in their familiar baritones, calling a game with very little action.

The first inning came with the anticipation you feel when one of the videos first shows up on your feed. “Oh, I like these.” Bryce Miller, back from a short IL stint to heal a blister, faced the minimum, thanks to a strikeout and a terrific play from Cal Raleigh.

J.P. Crawford followed that up with a leadoff double (part of a three-hit day) and came around to score on a Birthday Boy double from Jarred Kelenic, who’s 3 for 9 with 2 doubles to start the second half.

Miller bobbed along through the next several innings. He got 12 whiffs in 70 pitches, many of which were of the nasty variety. But it wasn’t dominant—he gave up a lot of loud contact too. And yet enough balls were caught or dropped in when there were already two outs, so nothing ever really felt like a threat. It was a balanced outing, a fine one for Miller’s first game back, nothing anybody will remember. It was a classic, sleepy Sunday afternoon start.

The thing with these videos is that they’re not just soothing. The repetitive sound is broken up by a big explosion, but one you’re expecting. That anticipation plays a big part. This part of the metaphor sets up Cal Raleigh’s 432-foot Beef Boy Bomb. It was his first in almost a month, and you knew it’d start to click for him eventually—it’s not as if he stopped making contact. But the explosion was nonetheless loud, one that would have been satisfying on its own and was made all the more so for having waited for it.

Another part of what makes the videos so oddly captivating is that the staircase is always immaculate each time something is rolled down it. There’s this unseen, fastidious cleaning going on. And here, of course, I speak of the Mariners bullpen. Matt Brash, Justin Topa, Andrés Muñoz, and Paul Sewald combined to allow just one runner to reach, striking out seven of the 13 batters they faced. Muñoz’s inning was so low stress, you wouldn’t have even noticed it was there, but it was essential to enjoying the game. And for that, he gets today’s Sun Hat Award, somehow his first ever.

There’s a liberation to these videos, a transgressive thrill in how knowingly wasteful they are. It’s like having a Sunday afternoon ritual, where you put your responsibilities aside and just while away a couple hours watching America’s pastime. Monday will come eventually, but thinking about it can wait for the Sunday Night Blues. Sunday afternoon baseball is for chilling.