Take Me Out to the Ball Game! *** UPDATED *** (Re-blogged)

The first game of a Mariners double-header, being played in Kansas City against the Royals, has just begun. It looks to be quite the slugfest!

I decided to re-blog this post from May of this year, showing a few pictures taken when attending a game at Safeco Field in person.

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Random Ramblings; Myriad Musings

On Friday, which also marked Mexico’s Batalla de Puebla, I had the pleasure of attending a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. It was “Beard Hat Night” so many fans (including yours truly and the Hubster) donned furry face-warmers and had a blast! Unfortunately, the Mariners lost to the AL West division rivals Texas Rangers by a score of 3 – 1 after 13 innings of a well-played, hard-fought game, which also saw two pitchers taken out for injuries. The good news is that the Mariners rallied the next day and won Saturday’s game by a score of 8 – 3, so redemption is possible for today’s game!

*** UPDATED Monday, 8 May 2017 ***
After a back-and-forth battle, the Mariners came from behind to win the game 4 – 3 and clinch the series against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers fall into last place in the AL…

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Talkin’ Sports: MLB All-Star Game…2017! * UPDATED *

It is the mid-season break for Major League Baseball! The Home Run Derby was yesterday, with New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge taking home the coveted trophy. This dynamite young athlete slammed nearly four miles worth of home runs, according to this article from MLB.com:

All rise. Again, again and again. Aaron Judge lived up to the hype of his remarkable rookie campaign by slamming nearly four miles of home runs on Monday evening at Marlins Park, including four drives of more than 500 feet, crowning the Yankees’ slugger as the newest champion of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Judge overcame 22 first-round blasts from Justin Bour of the Marlins and a dozen long balls from the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in the second. Judge slammed 11 homers in the finals to defeat Miguel Sano of the Twins, finishing with 1:53 still on the clock. “I had no pressure going into it. I’m a rookie,” Judge said. “This is my first time doing it. For me, I’ve got no expectations. I’m just going to go in there and have some fun and see what we can do tonight. It was a blast. I enjoyed every minute of it — watching the other guys swing, coming here early and talking to the media. Everything about today was fantastic.”

An anticipated matchup between Judge and hometown hero Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins never materialized, as last year’s champion was knocked out in the first round by Gary Sanchez, 17-16.

Some years I’m able to catch the home-run-hitting action; this year I wasn’t able to, and it appears that I missed one hell of a slugfest! Still, I won’t miss out on the All-Star Game, where players in the American League face off against players from the National League. Only two of my Seattle Mariners made the cut this year – Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz – and they are more than deserving of the honour! Injuries to most of the starting pitchers and at least three crucial players on the Mariners lineup hit them hard this season. I can only imagine where they’d be in the standings right now if those injuries hadn’t crippled them. As it is right now, they need to fight just to get back in the wild-card race and be spoilers for other teams, at the very least!

I’ll update this post after the game, with the final score and any highlights of note. I’m rooting for the American League, of course!

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*** UPDATED 2105 PDT ***

What a game! I’m thrilled to report that the American League won the Midsummer Classic by a score of 2 – 1 in 10 innings, with most of the game being an epic pitching battle. That’s what happens when the best of the best face off!

I’m even more thrilled to report that the game-winning home run was hit by none other than Robinson Cano, proudly representing my Seattle Mariners and the rest of the American League! Because of that epic blast of the bat, he took home the Most Valuable Player Award, opting for the 2017 Corvette when presented with the choice between a sports car or a pickup truck.

One other noteworthy play, out of many in the game, was a fantastic catch by outfielder Justin Upton of the Detroit Tigers, helping the AL hold onto the lead given by Cano.

Another excellent, well-played game is in the books – on to the second half of the season!

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Chris Singleton, Son of Charleston Church Shooting Victim Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Drafted by Chicago Cubs

This is fantastic news. Chris’s mother would be incredibly proud of him, if her life hadn’t been cut short by a hate-filled piece of filth. I’m looking forward to watching him display his talents on the field!

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GOOD BLACK NEWS

Chris Singleton and his mother Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (photo via thebiglead.com)

by Paula Rogo via essence.com

The son of one of the victim’s of the Charleston church shooting was drafted to a major league baseball team almost two years to the day of the tragedy. The Chicago Cubs nabbed Chris Singleton in the 19th round of the draft last Wednesday. He played baseball at Charleston Southern University. His mother, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and eight other people were gunned down in 2015 by Dylann Roof inside Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“We certainly understand and have deep sympathy for his backstory, but what I want to make sure doesn’t get lost is that this guy’s a really good baseball player,” said Jason McLeod, the Cubs’ senior vice president of scouting and player development. “We had him evaluated really as a top-10-round-caliber talent.”

Roof was sentenced…

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R.I.P., Cortez Kennedy

Cortez Kennedy: 23 August 1968 – 23 May 2017

Wow…I’m just shocked right now. Cortez Kennedy, who made his name with the Seattle Seahawks by playing his entire 11-year career with the team, passed away today at the age of 48. A Pro Football Hall of Fame recipient, he was a very agile and talented athlete who helped redefine the roles of a large-bodied, interior lineman. From ESPN:

Cortez Kennedy, an icon with the Seattle Seahawks who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, has died at age 48, the Orlando (Florida) Police Department said Tuesday. Orlando police confirmed to ESPN that they are investigating the former defensive tackle’s death but said “there is nothing suspicious to report” at this time. Kennedy was a force inside, both as a run-stopper and in threatening quarterbacks. The 1992 Defensive Player of the Year made eight Pro Bowls, had 58 sacks — an unusually high total for a tackle — and spent his entire 11-season career with Seattle, starting 153 out of 167 games.”

He was such an impressive player to watch! His size certainly would cause opponents to underestimate his speed. He would explode off of the line with such swiftness, easily breaching the defensive line and sacking a hapless quarterback. He was an incredible man, both on and off the field. His charity work and altruism will certainly live on. Rest easy, big man – Seattle is aching tonight after two big losses in one week. It’s a bit mind-blowing, to say the least.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game! *** UPDATED ***

On Friday, which also marked Mexico’s Batalla de Puebla, I had the pleasure of attending a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. It was “Beard Hat Night” so many fans (including yours truly and the Hubster) donned furry face-warmers and had a blast! Unfortunately, the Mariners lost to the AL West division rivals Texas Rangers by a score of 3 – 1 after 13 innings of a well-played, hard-fought game, which also saw two pitchers taken out for injuries. The good news is that the Mariners rallied the next day and won Saturday’s game by a score of 8 – 3, so redemption is possible for today’s game!

*** UPDATED Monday, 8 May 2017 ***
After a back-and-forth battle, the Mariners came from behind to win the game 4 – 3 and clinch the series against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers fall into last place in the AL West, while the Mariners move up to third.

We got a behind-the-scenes guided tour the next day, which included stepping out onto the field (but not on the grass, LOL) when it was empty of all but the ground crew. Enjoy these selected pictures that I took, as well as the song which is played during the “Seventh Inning Stretch” – that’s when the beer sales are cut off!

As for me, I’m going to sit back and do a bit of gaming for an hour or so…my fingers are itching for some major AvA action! I’m going to broadcast my gaming session, so feel free to click the link here and watch the show, starting at high noon PDT. Later, ‘gators!

The entrance we waited at…

Batting practice – I almost caught a ball!

The roof was open. Not a drop of rain after the thunderstorms the previous day!

Fans entering and filling the seats…

Another fan sits with the late, great Dave Niehaus – best announcer ever!

Some old-school memorabilia…

The Seattle Mariners turned 40 this year, along with the Toronto Blue Jays…

…happy anniversary to my Mariners!

The first ball pitched in the bygone Kingdome…

The Golden Glove…a coveted trophy!

Mariners players who have received the title…

View of the field from the owners’ suite – their outdoor seats were quite plush!

And So It Goes…Again, & Still…

A tiny bit of justice came about yesterday. I say ‘tiny’ because, while it was unexpected, it was overshadowed by the colossal injustices which have occurred in the past week. Since there’s not been a peep about these events, I figured I’d post them here.

First off, the bit of justice was for the family of Walter Scott. Remember him? Of course you don’t. Let me refresh your short, collective memories. He was the unarmed Black man, shot multiple times in the back by a hate-filled cop who claimed that he was acting in “self-defense.” The cop pleaded guilty, but only after some pathetic plea deal was reached. The plea deal dropped two other charges against the murderer, who will most likely get a slap on the wrist when he is sentenced. Those of us who know how things work in the real world will be surprised if he gets life in prison, because the likelihood of that is slim to nil.

Next up, this little tidbit out of Texas. On Saturday, 29 April, 15-year-old Jordan Edwards was shot and killed by yet another racist cop. He was shot in the head while leaving a party with his friends and one of his siblings in Balch Springs. The cop was fired, but that is probably as far as it will go. Texas isn’t known for being a bastion of good sense, that’s for sure!

Next, the travesty surrounding the cold-blooded murder of Alton Sterling in Louisiana. He was shot point-black in the chest as multiple cops held him to the ground. The excuse? He was reaching for one of the officer’s guns. Yeah, right. I believe that just like I believed the cop claiming he shot Walter Scott in the back because he “feared for his life.” At any rate, the Department of (in)Justice, now headed by that inbred, racist, white-trash sack of shit named Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, is refusing to charge the officers involved in Alton’s murder. Sad to think that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Fame doesn’t protect us from being harassed by hate-filled fucks, either. Adam Jones, a center-fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, was treated to Boston “civility” when Red Sox fans hurled peanuts and racial slurs at him during a game on Tuesday. The Orioles won the game, so Bostonians showed their true colours that night. Adam was given a standing ovation at last night’s game as a token ‘apology.’ Gee. How mighty white of you, Boston! That makes it all better, right? 70 years after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in Major League Baseball, and this is still the bullshit that Black players have to deal with.

Even here, on my humble little blog, racist assholes still try to get their silly, inane, nonsensical comments through. The overt ones are almost comical in their attempts, while the covert ones insult my intelligence, make subtly condescending remarks, and go overboard with verbose word-salad. I guess they think that if they throw enough words around, I’ll get confused. Sorry, that trick doesn’t work on me. When you know how a trick works, the magic and mystery of it vanishes. It doesn’t hurt that I grew up in a part of the USA that allowed me to encounter both overt and covert racists, so I can smell either a mile away. You’d think that they’d be too busy starching and ironing their crinoline petticoats, pointy white hats, and long white robes for their weekend “re-enactments” to bother with me! Just goes to show how little sense those people have.

Talkin’ Baseball: Jackie Robinson Day 2017!!!

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball’s colour barrier being shattered by the late, great Jackie Robinson! From MLB.com:

Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, and special activities planned for this Jackie Robinson Day will include the unveiling of the Hall of Famer’s statue at Dodger Stadium, the introduction of a “Trailblazer Series” for girls, the annual donning of No. 42 by all active players and a lot of buzz about the upcoming Jackie Robinson Museum.

In what promises to be an emotional ceremony before the Dodgers’ 9:15 p.m. ET home game against Arizona, Robinson’s 94-year-old wife Rachel and their children Sharon and David will be on hand for the unveiling of a statue depicting Jackie in his rookie season of 1947, sliding into home plate in his signature style. Dodgers owner Magic Johnson, Dodgers President Stan Kasten, and legends Frank Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe and Vin Scully will among participants in that invitation-only dedication a few hours before the game. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a replica Jackie Robinson statue, with seats available at dodgers.com/tickets.

As has been tradition each year since 2009, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing the now-retired No. 42 during all Saturday games. One jersey will be signed by each member of every club and auctioned live on Saturday at MLB.com/42jersey, with proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation.”

This man has always been an admirable individual, displaying the attributes of courage, strength, dedication, selflessness, and humility. According to his official website, he was born to a family of sharecroppers in 1919. His mother single-handedly raised him and his four other siblings. They were a close-knit family, united against the prejudice and hatred they faced from their neighbours as they were the only Black family on the block in the area in which they lived:

Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie’s army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.

In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation’s preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.”

There will be many events at baseball parks across the USA commemorating this historic day. On Thursday, 13 April, the Seattle Mariners unveiled a statue celebrating our own hometown hero, Ken Griffey Jr. A little-known fact: Ken Griffey Jr. was a prime motivator behind getting all players in the MLB to wear Jackie Robinson’s number, 42, on Jackie Robinson Day. From the Seattle Mariners website:

Ken Griffey Jr. takes immense pride in the fact his retired No. 24 hangs alongside Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in center field at Safeco Field. He relishes his role in getting every Major League player and coach to wear No. 42 now every year on Jackie Robinson Day.
So yes, as MLB celebrates another Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday, Griffey fully appreciates his latest link to baseball’s African-American pioneer as part of the intricate detail of the new statue of his likeness that was unveiled Thursday at the front gate to Safeco Field.

Sculptor Lou Cella included a Jackie Robinson patch on the right sleeve of the seven-foot bronze statue, much to Griffey’s approval. “Like I tell everybody, if it wasn’t for him, when’s the next time somebody would have played?” Griffey said. “For him to sacrifice pretty much his life and go through the trials and tribulations that he had to go through [is greatly appreciated].” Griffey’s home in Orlando is 35 minutes from Sanford, Fla., where Robinson lived during his first Spring Training in 1946 with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ Triple-A farm club, in a time of considerable racial tension…Griffey was the first player to wear Robinson’s No. 42 as a tribute on Jackie Robinson Day, having the Mariners flip-flop his normal 24 to 42 on the 50th anniversary of the day Robinson broke into the big leagues on April 15, 1997.

Ten years later, when Griffey was with the Reds, he called then-Commissioner Bud Selig to ask if he could again wear No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of Robinson’s historic day since MLB had by then retired the number throughout baseball.

Selig not only granted his approval, he liked the idea so much that the process began where now everyone wears 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.”

Here’s to Jackie Robinson on his day in history. His contributions were many, and should not be diminished.

Monday Musings: Seattle Mariners Home Opener!

It’s pouring down rain right now, with bursts of hail here and there. The weather perfectly matches my feelings over the dismal start that my Seattle Mariners have had so far this season! They trail the American League West with a 1 – 6 record, a .143 percentage rating, and four games out of first place.

I’m certain that the roof at Safeco Field will be firmly shut for the first home game, where the Mariners will face the Houston Astros for the second time in a week. The home-field advantage will be nice, but the bats definitely need to continue the momentum that exploded for a brief, shining moment in yesterday’s exciting, but depressing game against the LA Angels. Pitching went into the dirt after Hisashi Iwakuma left the game after seven innings, and the solid 9 – 3 lead vanished in puff of smoke in the ninth inning.

The promise shown during Spring Training has gone back into hibernation, at least for the time being. Hopefully the guys shake off last week’s losses and start turning things around – starting today!

The weather has me thinking about my favourite rain-related songs, so here are three to set Monday’s mood…enjoy!

Talkin’ Sports: Post-Season Football 2017

Well, post-season football is here! My Seahawks gave up the ghost against the Atlanta Falcons, which was a bit expected. Too many injuries to crucial players can be a detriment to any team, and those who carry the most weight are noticed, and missed, the most when the season ends a bit too soon. I’ve been a Seahawks fan long enough to know that you have to roll with the punches; the season started out with promise, but just seemed to fall apart by bits and pieces. I think my clue was the game in which quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked at least four times before halftime – not the most auspicious outing, to say the least! Anyway, the Seahawks are out, but the games are still ongoing.

Yes, I leave room to root for other teams besides my beloved ‘Hawks – my sports season doesn’t end when my home team’s does! I haven’t bet on a sporting event in years, so I don’t have any money invested in games like the World Series or the Super Bowl. I like watching the games enough that some teams are worthy of my attention, so I have an excuse to keep watching! With that, here is the list of who is playing against whom in the upcoming championship games, the winners of each will face each other in Super Bowl 51, and which team I’m rooting for in each game.

First off, the NFC Championship game: Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons

I’m rooting hard for the Green Bay Packers in this one, for two reasons. One, the Falcons knocked the Seahawks out, so I’m not feeling kindly towards them. Two, the Packers won a hard-fought, well-played (on both sides – and I hate the Cowboys, LOL), nail-biter of a game. I watched it, and was impressed – so I want to see the Packers take this one.

The AFC Championship game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots

No contest – I hate the Patriots with a passion. I want the Steelers to win, and am probably one of few Seahawks fans who willingly root for the Steelers! There’s supposedly some hate over another bad Seahawks loss that’s unforgivable, but I disagree. It’s only a friggin’ game!

Seeing the Steelers vs. the Packers in the Super Bowl would be fantastic! I like both teams, so wouldn’t be disappointed no matter who wins, but if it came down to the Falcons playing the Patriots, I would support a Falcons win hands-down.

Soggy Saturday!

It is sprinkling lightly outside right now, but has been raining since late afternoon. There was a brief respite from the precipitation yesterday – the sun was actually out in the morning! Shocking to see at the height of the “rainy season,” but certainly welcome. Temperatures here have only varied by five degrees between the daytime and nighttime hours since the end of October; that finally changes this week when the lows get down to all of 45F, while the highs stay in the mid-50s. Hopefully it will cool down enough to kill the algae that have stalled the crabbing season!

I’m missing out on delicious Dungeness, which I usually consume while watching football games – and having a nice dish of fresh, steamed crab would have made the Huskies win during yesterday’s Apple Cup that much sweeter! The “big Dawgs” destroyed the mangy Cougars 45 – 17, and I was pleased to see it happen. I always support my purple and gold! At least my football teams are doing well; the Huskies won handily, and the Seahawks have made a good, strong showing so far – I’m hoping that they keep up what they’re doing! Some trades made this week by the Mariners have me shaking my head in disbelief yet again, so MLB’s Spring Training will be something that I watch a little closer than usual – I want to see if those trades were well-made, or if the manager is just throwing darts at trade options and hoping for a hat-trick! So many players who have been traded out end up on teams that win the World Series, while the Ms still struggle to grab that golden ring! Now that the Cubs finally ended their drought, will it be 50 years before the Ms do anything worthwhile? Time will tell…

I’m behind on my NaNoWriMo word-count, but not feeling bad over it. Remember when I said that the local utility district did well with clearing out dead trees and branches before the storms hit? Well, that was true – there have been no power outages related to the weather, at least here…but, there was an outage yesterday that was solely caused by some moron in a pickup truck taking out a power-pole. The idiot must have been “pulling an Anthony,” since he missed a turn in the road that is easy to navigate if you’re actually paying attention to said road, and the road wasn’t wet. The accident happened around 2 p.m., but the power was taken off at 5:15 p.m. for the repairs to be made. I’d say that the power was out for a good 12 hours, so that cut into my writing time considerably! Typing by the light of a candle or kerosene-burning hurricane lantern is doable, but the smoke from the candles and lantern build up after a while. So, it was the perfect time to cuddle, snuggle, and spoon, and then catch up on sleep that has been lost since starting this NaNo challenge! My brain on overdrive causes horrible insomnia and makes me grouchy; combine that with being around family after the election and before the holidays, well…suffice to say, it isn’t a recipe for positivity! So, the blogging award that I was going to post will be deferred until I complete the NaNo challenge. I’m still prioritizing, but the likelihood of getting to that 50K word-count in four days is pretty slim. Good thing I didn’t bother buying any of the merchandise declaring myself a “NaNo Winner!” At the very least, I can give myself an “A” for effort and following the “honor system” of the challenge. I read the rules and stuck to them, and didn’t ask a soul for assistance. I think that’s pretty damned good, right there!

Time for some weekend music…enjoy!

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