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That's as good an Opening Day as you can have without hanging a World Series banner.
There are so many things in life that come back to mindfulness. Honestly, almost too many things.
Oh you’ve been super anxious lately because of some work stuff? Gotta have that mindfulness. Find yourself spending way too much time on your phone in social settings? Need some mindfulness. Not getting work done because you’re worried about all the little things that add up to fully completing a task? Get yo mindfulness up.
To do so, folks often come back to breathing. Really feeling your breathing. It’s noticing the air entering your nostrils to filling your lungs, your abdomen expanding as you take a deep breath—and then the exhale, your chest slowly contracting, the air making its way up your throat and then rushing past your teeth.
Last night was mindful. There was an energy, a state of presence as soon as you got down anywhere near the ballpark. It felt extra real, the energy between everyone there and the event going on.
Maybe it was the pitch clock, maybe it was just how Luis Castillo and Shane Bieber operate, but there was this rhythm to the whole affair—that even though it was scoreless until late, it was an immensely engaging game.
Breathe in, breathe out.
As a fan, you sat—often stood—there as the game put off this energy. From the flyover to the excitement of Julio’s first AB to confident artfulness (cool-as-hell-ness, if you will) of Castillo on the mound, you inhale it all and let if fill your soul.
And then the exhale.
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As much energy as the game put off, the sold out crowd put just as much back in. The culmination, of course, was smelling blood when James Karinchak (dude sucks) started to wobble. Counting down the pitch clock was cute and fun—though, little college hoops trick, let’s count down from five starting at ten when doing it—but the best was this immediate and sustained roar after the righty fired a pitch to the backstop.
There was counting, yeah, but it was just guttural yelling getting things going—it felt and sounded like a football game, not yelling anything in particular, just yelling to yell.
There was so much to yell at all game long, a reminder that there are Dudes up and down this roster.
You go from Castillo to this hellishness from Matt Brash.
Then there was something so aesthetically appealing to the game’s climactic moment. But it was appealing almost in its lack of perfect aesthetics. The game wasn’t a slog, but it was a grind, and that was as grindy of a rally and three-run bomb as you’ll see.
A walk, an HBP and a homer. But not some gorgeous aesthetically pleasing pull-job from Julio or a tank from Teo to announce his presence with authority.
It was a slicing, fading muscled-up shot from a dude who had been the anchor of this lineup for many stretches since arriving in Seattle. From the first row of 316, you could tell this knock from Ty France had a shot to get out, maybe more accurately described as a prayer to get out on a chilly night like that.
It was perfect then that when it did leave the yard, it did so barely. It wasn’t caught by an exuberant fan, it smacked off the wrought iron fence above the wall, rattled one quick bounce and kicked onto the field.
The exhale was an eruption. Roars, fireworks…WWE-style smoke blasts????
The game wasn’t over, but it was over.
The tying run ideally wouldn’t have come to the plate in the ninth, but the game was still over before that. All that was left was the ceremonious photos everyone takes postgame after notching one more Opening Day.
And boy was it a good one. Maybe my favorite ever.
It wasn’t some perfect drubbing of a quality opponent, the Mariners as the best version of themselves—but it was the version of the Mariners we’ll see the most if they’re going to do what we want them to do.
They hang tough, someone—or a couple dudes—find a way to be The Guy that night, and it’s enough to win a ballgame.
95 more of those, please.