I can’t remember a time when I’ve been less interested in the Mariners’ home opener, except of course before I moved here in 2002. I didn’t pay attention to the Mariners at all before I lived here—I’m definitely a fair-weather, home-town sports fan, and Salt Lake City has no Major League baseball, but the minor-league Salt Lake Bees (then known as the Buzz and, after a legal fight with Georgia Tech over the name Buzz, the Stingers) had my attention a few times over the years.
When I was in Glendale, AZ, starting in April 2004, I thought it’d be cool the following year when the Mariners were in town for spring training. I lived a mile or so (as the crow flies) from the Peoria Sports Complex, I’d be up to my eyebrows in baseball for the month of March! Then I left Glendale six weeks later and once more the team fell off my radar.
But wait, I returned to Seattle in January 2005, and the Mariners lost more than 90 games in the 2005 season, and once more it was shrugsville.
This year there are some new faces and some returning players and overall I’m ambivalent. The lab director has four tickets to Sunday’s game vs. the Oakland Athletics, and I’ve put my name in for the drawing she’s holding for those tickets, and if my name is drawn I’ll go and very likely enjoy myself quite a bit. But it’ll be for the company of the coworkers or friends I’m with, not for the game. Too early in the season yet to know if I’ll be at all passionate about the team.
I will hereby declare that I believe, purely because I am a hometown fan, that the Mariners will win 90 games this season. It’s a rebuilding year of sorts, perhaps they’ll come out swinging and reverse their record from last year.