In what can only be labeled blatant disregard for a young fan, The Mariners failed to win on Sunday, despite Jackson's very polite request to do so. The 11-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was a full-on stinkeroo of a ballgame. Though Safeco Field is quite clean and lovely (and offers plenty of double shots of espresso for weary fans, tired of text-messaging their friends during long, boring games such as this one), it wasn't enough to pull us out of our sports ennui.
I know it's August and The Mariners have had a terrible season, but I ask of you, Seattle fans: Where is your anger? Your bitterness? Your rage? Having grown up within a family of Giants fans, slapping their palms against their foreheads at regular intervals within the bowels of the wintery, cement-filled Candlestick Park, I can tell you that I and my fellow sufferers did not go quietly into the foggy night whenever The Giants failed to meet our expectations. Drunken fistfights, rioting and hooliganism were never distant concepts during bad seasons, especially when the hated Dodgers were in town. Oh how we despised those smug, clean-cut Dodgers and their winning ways!
Things really settled down once Pac Bell Park was built and Barry Bonds started slamming hundreds of steroid-infused hits out into the Bay in right field. The other factor in the calming of formerly rowdy Giants fans: the cost. Everyone now had to work two jobs to attend a Giants game and that left the crowd feeling spent and passive. Yuppies moved in with their increasingly complex hand-held devices, or talked throughout all nine innings about their summer homes and stock options. It was a beautiful park but it wasn't the same.
The same thing applies to Safeco. Everything is so bright, fresh, shiny and new. It leaves little room for angst, despite the sucky team. One lone voice of protest is my uncle, who finds the amounts of money spent and lost on this team, obscene. And Keith, who said, "Thanks Mariners, for making my son's first baseball game so terrible." That's why I married him. He understands my bitter baseball heart, which is only disappointment in what can be a beautiful game.
Good things: Jackson ran the bases afterwards with about two thousand other kids. That was fun until the Safeco lady along the third baseline told us to stay off the grass, which was so thick, lush and green, it was hard to comply. I didn't envy her her job.
More fun: The Seattle Tattoo Expo. We missed this because we were busy playing miniature golf and air hockey at the Seattle Center, but The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a nice gallery of photos. Click the "See more photos" link on the page to see the large, the colorful, the lovely and not-so-lovely tattoos.
Photo by Grant M. Haller.