Seattle Mariners 2012 opening day diary, at 3AM
Sports make people do crazy things. Whether it’s the Little League father who feels the need to beat up a Little League umpire for calling a third strike on their six year-old son, or Bud Selig deciding to start the 2012 Major League Baseball season in Tokyo, Japan in the middle of spring training, sport causes insanity. As a fan of baseball and a writer of sports, I’ve decided to up the ante on sports-induced craziness by staying up until 3:10 a.m. and writing a timeline of the Seattle Mariners opening “day” game. I’ve stayed up until 3:10 a.m. many times in my life, but the thing about baseball games is they normally last three hours or so. I hope you enjoy reading this way more than I’m going to enjoy writing it.
3:10 – First pitch of the 2012 baseball season, Chone Figgins looks at a strike. And with that, the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners have both been eliminated from playoff contention.
3:14 – After fighting his way to a full-count, Ichiro legs out an infield single to shortstop. The crowd goes nuts! It has the feel of a Safeco Field game … if fans actually showed up to Safeco Field and cared about baseball. So it feels nothing at all like a Safeco Field game.
3:30 – Jesus Montero, in his first at-bat, swings at the first pitch and grounds out to third base. Awesome. I really hope all of you Yankees fans enjoy that Micheal Pineda guy. In an unrelated note, I decide now is a perfect time to crack open my first beer. It helps … nothing.
3:33 – After a six-pitch top half of the 2nd inning, a commercial comes on for an upcoming Carlos Mencia show. I immediately regret my decision to wake up at 3:00 am to watch a baseball game. I should have just DVR’d the game, watched it later while fast forwarding through the boring parts and taking notes on the good parts and writing this concept piece, which is a concept that I stole from talented and famous sports writers, in a way that made you think I stayed up all night to watch baseball and put in the work necessary to do my job well. You know, the same way Carlos Mencia wrote his material.
3:37 – Yoenis Cespedes strikes out in his first Major League at-bat. This would make me extremely happy if not for the fact I drafted him in the 7th round of my fantasy baseball draft. If I would have spent as much time researching his athletic ability as I did researching how to pronounce his name, I probably would have drafted somebody else. Oh, well. In an unrelated note, I have finished my beer.
3:43 – After a leadoff single, Michael Saunders steals second base to put himself in scoring position with nobody out. This gives me the smallest glimmer of hope that Michael Saunders learned how to play the sport of baseball during the off season.
3:43 – On the very next pitch, Saunders gets thrown out at third trying to advance on a ground ball hit to the shortstop. That’s right, instead of waiting for the ball to get through the infield; good ol’ Michael Saunders decides to run on contact on a ground ball hit to the left side of the infield with zero outs. I immediately realize Michael Saunders did NOT learn how to play the sport of baseball during the off season.
3:46 – A failed stolen base attempt, followed by a signature ground out by Chone Figgins, abruptly ends the inning. Only 161.5 games left this season.
3:56 – HOMERUN DUSTIN ACKLEY!!! Boom! Man, I love that guy. By the 2014 season, he is going to be one of the top-2 second basemen in all of baseball. This is a fact. Also, he will be playing second base for a team other than the Seattle Mariners. This, sadly, is also a fact. Enjoy it while you can, Seattle. Score: 1-0 Mariners.
3:57 – Ichiro gets his second infield hit of the game. I know Seattle is the “road” team, but it really feels like this Ichiro guy has home-field advantage. Weird.
4:08 – After a lead-off double to start the 4th inning, Oakland finds a way to manufacture the run. The first lead the Mariners had this season is officially gone, and I enjoyed all twelve minutes of it. Now, where did I put that beer? Score: 1-1.
4:27 – CHONE FIGGINS HITS A HOMERUN!!!! I’m kidding, I just wanted to get my own attention, I felt like I was going to pass out. Figgins did hit a single, though. That’s the equivalent to a homerun for Chone Figgins. Good for him.
4:28 – Ackley steps to the plate. For the first time this year, I realize that the pain of watching Figgins at-bats this season will be numbed by Ackley at-bats immediately following. Nice.
4:30 – Ackley called out on strikes. Is it September yet?
4:32 – Single up the middle by Ichiro! He starts the season 3-3 at the plate. Is there anything this guy can’t do??? I mean, other than age and drive a car well?
4:52 – Mike Carp catches a hard liner to get Felix out of 6th inning jam. I really enjoy watching Felix Hernandez pitch. His mechanics, mannerisms, and pitch locations are absolutely fantastic. I really hope Seattle can find a way to keep this guy a Mariner for his entire career.
5:00 – After a quick 1-2-3 inning by Seattle’s offense, Felix is back on the mound. He gives up a leadoff double to that Yoenis Cespedes guy I was talking about earlier. I’m so glad I drafted him in my fantasy league. I’m going to have a beer to celebrate.
5:02 – Felix snags a line-drive up the middle to save a run-scoring single. I love everything about this guy! I wish Bud Selig would have moved the Mariners to the National League so I could watch Felix hit every five days. Other than Ackley and Ichiro, he’s probably Seattle’s best hitter.
5:13 – After another uneventful half-inning for Seattle, Felix Hernandez strolls out to the mound to pitch the 8th inning. I feel like every game I’ve seen Hernandez pitch involves him standing on the mound in the 8th inning of a tied game. How does he keep his composure?! If Seattle could score three runs every time Felix pitches, Seattle would win those games. It’s that simple.
5:18 – A fly-out to leftfield ends the inning. Felix has thrown 104 pitches, 66 of them for strikes. One earned run and six strikeouts over eight innings. Have I mentioned my Felix man-crush yet? I blame it on the beers.
5:22 – Ichiro lines out to left field. There is no justice in sports.
5:25 – After a ground out by Justin Smoak, it’s up to Jesus Montero to keep this inning alive.
5:26 – Montero flies out to center, inning over. As we head to the bottom of the ninth, I’m not sure if I’m rooting for Oakland to get a game-winning run here or not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Mariners fan, but I’m also a huge sleep fan.
5:32 – Yoenis Cespedes strikes out to send the game into extra innings. I’m hoping this game will end before I have to type “P.M.” after the times.
5:47 – Mariners shortstop Brenden Ryan gets hit in the shin and nutsack simultaneously while tagging out an attempted base-stealer. Ryan remains on the ground for a few moments, looking as though he is obviously in pain. Basically, he feels exactly the same way I do watching this game right now.
5:55 – Brenden Ryan, the same Brenden Ryan who received a blow to the groin and shin a few moments ago, leads off the 11th inning with a double. I guess Brenden Ryan is sick of this game, too. Let’s hope Seattle can score this run!
5:56 – Never mind. Chone Figgins is coming to the plate.
5:58 – BASE HIT DUSTIN ACKLEY! And with that, the Mariners take a 2-1 lead.
6:04 – After Ackley steals second base, Ichiro delivers his fourth single of the night. This single scores Ackley and gives the Mariners the ever-important insurance run. If Oakland scores two runs in the 12th to tie this game up, I’m going to bed. Hey, don’t get mad at me. If you’re reading this, that means you have internet access. And if you have internet access, you can find out how this game ends. But seriously, thanks for reading.
6:11 – After getting a fly-out and a strikeout, Brandon League is a single out away from ending this game. Let’s do this!
6:12 – A line-drive single up the middle brings the tying run to the plate. This can’t happen, can it?
6:13 – CAN IT?!?
6:14 – A swinging strikeout ends the game. And this sentence will end my night. This is a historic win for Seattle; the Mariners have the best record in baseball and are mathematically eliminated from the playoff race at the same time. Gotta love those M’s. Goodnight.
You can contact Sean Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org