It's that time of the year again. I dread this part of the season when the Tigers face the Mariners. As a Tacoma transplant living outside of Detroit I'm commonly asked which team am I going to root for? This is like asking me if I like like Black Flag with Henry Rollins or Henry Rollins by himself? It's not an easy decision. I grew up with that Mariners playing in the background to my childhood.
I witnessed the collective gasps of an entire city when Griffey slammed into the outfield wall and broke his wrist. I've seen the hopes of a city reach staggering heights when Edgar stepped up to bat in the 11th inning. I've seen Judas accept money worth more than an entire team, how's that feel Texas fans? Speaking off Judas I met him as kid when my elementary school got to tour Tacoma Rainiers ball park. A-Rod actually seemed like a nice guy, he signed something of mine which I have since lost. That's life when you're six.The team in the 90s is definitely not the team today. My childhood heroes have since retired. No more free admission for shaving your head on Jay Buhner day. No more Griffey wowing fans with his perfect swing. No more Edgar stepping to the plate in clutch situations.
That's life, the Mariners have gone through their ups and downs and I've sat back and watched the team wallow in their mediocrity for way too many seasons. Luckily there is hope for the future. Felix Hernandez, though losing velocity, is a pitcher every team pines for. I know many Mariners fans will disagree, but I believe we should trade or sell him while his value is high. Maybe we can actually get a someone that can hit, whose name doesn't begin with an I. This isn't the 2000s anymore Ichiro's abilities aren't what they use to be. A stellar pitching staff just need the offense to get them the wins.
Since moving to Michigan almost 5 years ago I fell in love with baseball culture out here. Even in 90s when the Tigers were godawful they still had fans coming out for games at old Tigers Stadium. Recent years they under performed with such a talented lineup. I know many fans want Leyland out and I don't blame them. The man puts Inge into the everyday lineup and then finds convoluted reasons as to why it had to be done. I understand Inge is the Tigers mascot he was with the team at their absolute worst and at their best. It's the nostalgia, which brings me to the point of this post. I'll always have an affinity for the Mariners, but the nostalgia of the my childhood wont make up for the years of watching awful baseball. Just like the nostalgia for Inge wont make up for his .056 batting average (or whatever it's at now) I hope the Mariners put up a fight against Tigers, but for the next 3 days I will taking off my Mariners cap and cheering for the Tigers.