Game 2, Athletics at Mariners
Joe Blanton versus Jarrod “The Leader” Washburn. 7:05, KSTW.
Our first Felix Day a rousing success, this is where the season’s long slog starts: the rest of the rotation. I was listening to a spring training report where Peter Gammons talked about the Mariners and could not name a pitcher past Washburn. When Gammons can’t remember who your 3-5 guys are off the top of his head, that’s trouble.
This is why we play the games, though. The Mariners hope that they’re going to get great performances that most reasonable analyst think aren’t going to happen, but we don’t know if Horacio Ramirez will win 20 games pitching in Safeco until he does, or doesn’t. Washburn could be this season’s surprise ace — more unlikely candidates have done better in baseball’s history.
I love Opening Day in part because of that feeling, being able to pull the wool over my own eyes a little and not think at all about what the standings will be like after the last game ends. Knowing that the season is long, and winding, and even if I could nail the win total, there’s no way any prediction about how the experience will be could approach accuracy.
More than anything, I want the Mariners to get into and win in the playoffs. I want to see a championship baseball team. Right now, they’re in first place. They could go wire to wire, it’s happened before.