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Waking the echoes of chaos
The Seattle Mariners and a not-so-distant rumble
If you’ve played The Show, you already know the term for a home run like Cal’s. Perfect, perfect. The definition of it.
Perfect timing, perfect contact—off the windows, ballgame.
In this ballpark, with this team, is a more aesthetically-pleasing home run even possible?
Cal works the count deep, and it’s always fun when he does. I don’t know about you but I have this vision in my head of him having some For Love of the Game-type internal monologue where he draws on his catching experience to call the AB along with the opposing battery.
“Oh you’re shaking him off? You think I think you won’t go back to the slide-piece after I yanked one deep into the third deck? Sure. Spin that weak shit up here again.”
And spin it did, right into Cal Raleigh’s barrel. Down to one knee, a swing straight from that giant ass and the ball was gone the millisecond a single strand of red string in the seam touched the bat.
From the front row of 321, I leapt up and yelled “GO BALL!”
The ball did not need to go. Not in the slightest. I thought it had a chance to go fully upper tank, Vogey Country, and while I wrote “windows” above I think it careened off the dark green steel girder above the café and below the suite level.
It was one of the best home runs I’ve ever seen live.
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I was on my honeymoon, half the world away when Cal hit the clincher. This wasn’t that, obviously not even close, but I love how Jordan Shusterman put it, that it “felt like a sequel” to that historic tank.
While there’s a long way to go, a real long way to go—this feels familiar. Not only the home run, but the sense it was coming.
On the postgame show on 710, never enjoyed more than on a bike ride home after a dub, Mike Lefko labeled the vibe as “inevitability.”
When they’re rolling like this, when the building is buzzing like that, they find a way—and it’s really only a matter of time before it unveils itself.
At how many points earlier this season did I say some version of “There’s nothing new and I’m just trying to describe differently a continuation of what we’ve seen thus far?” Felt like a lot.
Now it’s similar to what I wrote before the M’s finished some mopping down in Orange County. The boys, indeed, are hot.
But what’s different now—is now it comes home. I wasn’t in the building on Tuesday but combined with last night’s contest that’s a combined 80,000-plus at the corner of Edgar and Dave on a couple of weeknights.
I’ll save my extended commentary on Value Games and why getting people in the park should be the #1 KPI for another time, but it’s so good to see—to feel—the ballpark like that on a Wednesday.
Now, it gets even bigger.
Félix Hernández Weekend. Against the best team in the American League.
Fans are quick to jump to something like “Oh no, a big weekend series, a bunch of sellouts, this is when the Mariners fall flat.”
Lollablueza, Night Court, so on and so forth.
The idea of the Mariners always stumbling on big weekends feels a bit like how the Mariners—and every single other Major League team, per their fans—are just the worst with the bases loaded.
I don’t care to do nor see the math, but it feels like it’s more a combination of saliency and confirmation bias.
The Mariners swept Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Weekend, I usually retort. And they did.
But before that weekend set was a matchup against the Red Sox. A two-game sweep is better than splitting a four-gamer—but the 2016 Red Sox won 93 games and the 2023 Padres certainly will not.
In game two of the series, one that always draws a solid crowd, the Mariners were looking for a big knock in the eighth. They got exactly that, with a shot to right from their best lefty-hitting slugger.
This is one of those seasons. This is the time of year when the Mariners go on one of those runs.
Hell, in honor of Blow being back, “When you get into theeeeese kind of games,” the Mariners can be special.
Nobody can tell you how it’ll alol unfold, but you’re going to want to see how it does.
Maybe 2023 doesn’t go everywhere we want it to. Maybe it does.
This part, though, this part is so damn fun. Warm weather, playoff chase, a ball club full of characters—and a packed ballpark. A loud ballpark.
I’ll see you there this weekend.