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As you read this the Mariners are probably flying across the Pacific Ocean to the their temporary Home Port of Peoria after splitting a two-game series with division rival Oakland. Unlike my early voyages across the Pacific which on average lasted nine-12 days depending on the season, our boys will be in the air 12-13 hours. Long enough to relish the moments and experiences they had in Japan for the past week.
There will be good and not so good memories for and his crew to mull over during the long plane trip before resuming Spring Training for five more games down in the lonely desert. I stayed up and watched part of both games and was struck with the impression that the 2012 team looked eerily similar to the clubs from the past two seasons. Once again we had great starting pitching first from then coupled with a pretty anemic offense. Somehow our guys seem to be set on sabotaging themselves at key junctures of the game either with some dumb base running mistake, chokes by relievers or just not having the killer-instinct and collecting the “Clutch” hits when the game is on the line.
In some ways they remind me of a lot of the current general population here in Seattle ie brainy, self obsessed and lacking the true NW “go for broke spirit”. Rarely have I seen any emotion on the field from the Mariners players in the past couple years but rather just a sort of cool nonchalant approach to the game. I know Eric Wedge must be frustrated with this as he exudes a real passion for the game that so far has not been contagious here in the rainy city.
But of course it is early and it was nice to see poke that solo dinger last night into the crowd at Tokyo stadium. I will also take away from this series a good feeling knowing the fans in Japan got to finally see their hero who gave them something to cheer about in the first game when he went 4-5.
I have read some odd comments online from fans across the Nation who wondered why this MLB Season Opener was being played while Spring Training was still in progress and why there was no National TV coverage. Heck even here in Seattle we had to settle for a relayed broadcast from Bellevue by Dave Sims and from a studio as ROOT Sports tried to do this thing on the cheap. But in another week or so all will be forgotten and this voyage as unique as it was will fade into the memories of our sailors and their water-logged fans in the NW. Go M”s!http://jeffsmariners.com