Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Damn Yankees

I guess you might say I've really become a west coaster. Although I will always cast an eye in an easterly direction to learn how those Blue Jays are doing, the team out here is of course, the Seattle Mariners. Perhaps if the Blue Jays contracted a radio or television station on the "left coast" to join the Blue Jay Network, it might be a little easier to follow their fortunes, or misfortunes on a more or less daily basis. But sadly, that's not the case.

The home of the Seattle Mariners is "Safeco Field". A wonderful place to watch a game and easy to get to from Canada. For us on the Saanich Peninsula, we have a number of choices to get to Seattle quickly and easily. There are four ferries available, one of which takes you within walking distance of Safeco Field. In fact, once your in downtown Seattle, everything is within walking distance!

Safeco Field has a roof. No, it's not quite as fancy as the dome on The Rogers Centre which turns outdoors to indoors. This is just a roof! It rests over those noisy rail lines you hear when you watch or listen to a game from Seattle and it couldn't be simpler in its movement back and forth over the stadium but it works so you always know you're going to see a game!

The sight lines at Safeco are superb! There really isn't a bad seat in the house! Access to all seating levels is easy and quick. Interestingly, there is no parking lot per se. You take public transit or use the many commercial lots which surround Safeco Field. Century Link Field, Safeco's next door neighbour, home to the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League does have parking when the Sounders or Seahawks aren't playing.

Seattle joined the American League in the same year as the Blue Jays and one year put 116 games into the win column but alas, the franchise is World Seriesless while Toronto has two World Series banners hanging in the Rogers Centre.

There have been great players who have played in Seattle but none the equal of Ichiro Suzuki! Of his many accomplishments is ten straight seasons of 200+ hits. That statistic alone will see him enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in  Cooperstown, NY when his playing days come to an end. He's a unanimous first ballot selection!

But yesterday in mid-afternoon, a trade was consummated between the Yankees of New York and the Seattle Mariners which saw Ichiro (the only player in major league baseball allowed to wear his first name on his jersey) don the pin stripes of the Bronx Bombers. To make matters worse for long suffering Mariner fans, Seattle started a three game home series with those carpet baggers from NY so many learned of the trade when they walked into Safeco Field to see their beloved Ichiro in the visitors' dugout. What a shock that was!

Look, if you're a Yankee fan, let me make myself clear on this matter. Unless you were born in the shadows of Yankee Stadium (old or new) you can respect them, admire them, be in awe of them, be enthralled by them but to "cheer" for them makes absolutely no sense. How on earth can you "cheer" for a franchise that's so wealthy it just goes out and buys whatever it needs? In this case it needed a right fielder due to injuries to its regulars so what does it do, it "buys" Ichiro who quite happily will now play for a team that's 10+ games ahead in the American League Eastern Division. Oh yes, wasn't it great for the Mariners in the twilight of Ichiro's career to trade him to a team with a chance to win.

And what did the Mariners get in return? Two minor league pitchers and a draft pick (I'm not certain about the draft pick but I'll check on that) and cash. Oh, but hold the phone. It wasn't cash FROM the Yankees TO Seattle. It was the other way around!!! Seattle actually paid NY for the privilege of giving away its franchise player.

Ladies and gentleman, the apocalypse is upon us!

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