Trial separation

Human relationships go through many stages, and often have to endure hardships and challenges.  Personalities change over time, individual needs change, a partner’s attention gets diverted, or they can even be attracted to another potential partner.  If the partners grow too far apart, sometimes the best course of action is to step away from the situation and get a better view of the big picture to see if continuing the partnership really is in the best interests of everyone involved.  It is with this in mind that I must regretfully announce a trial separation between myself and the Seattle Mariners.

This will come as a shock to many of you who know me.  I’ve been a fan of the Mariners for as long as they’ve existed, and while I’m not as hard-core as many true fans out there (I cannot, for example, recall who they stupidly kept in the lineup too long, blocking Edgar Martinez’ move up from AAA) I have nevertheless been a loyal follower of the team.  Ironically, I’m wearing my Mariners polo shirt as I type this.  Being a Mariners fan has been part of my core identity since the late 70’s and few of my current friends can remember a time when I wasn’t a Mariners fan.  No, I never bought season tickets, but I did make a point of purchasing something Mariners related at least once a year, I subscribed to MLB audio so I could listen to the games, and I try to get tickets whenever I’m in Seattle.

There are two main reasons for the split.  First is that the relationship was becoming increasingly one-sided.  I continued to give and the Mariners gave so little in return.  Yes, I admit that signing star pitcher Felix Hernandez to a long-term contract was pleasing despite the risk.  But the rest of the signings in this off-season were just plain useless (Raul Ibanez?  Really?  AGAIN?!?) and offering the hope of one interesting ballgame every 5 days when Felix pitches just is not enough.  I’m worth more than that, and I deserve better.

The other reason for the split is that I’ve found the better that I deserve.  Yes, I know it’s tacky, but in the same post that I announce my split with the Mariners I’m also unveiling my new relationship with… the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Jays picked up Cy Young award winner R. A. Dickey (a former Mariner, of course) in the offseason, playing to my known weakness for knuckleballers, and their other deals in no way involved Raul Ibanez, indicating that the team is actually trying to win ballgames by hiring productive players instead of “veteran presence in the clubhouse”.   I’m also willing to admit that my new baseball partner is a bit of an “easy” choice; Blue Jay games are often televised here and are always free.

So there it is.  I’m abandoning my long-term relationship with the Mariners and filling the void with the slutty Toronto Blue Jays.  I’m not proud of my actions, but I really have no choice.  If the Mariners prove that they’re willing to take my affection seriously by, oh, I dunno, say, winning more games than they lose for a change, or finishing somewhere other than last place, then I’d be right back on the bandwagon in a second but until that happens I’m going to watch some baseball that’s actually interesting for a change.

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5 thoughts on “Trial separation

  1. Jeannette

    Your willingness to go right back after being treated “so badly” as you say makes me beleive you haven’t yet learned that once a relationship has gone bad it can never be resurrected again!

    Reply
    1. feingarden Post author

      While it may be true that once a relationship goes bad it generally cannot be recovered, in this particular case my allegiance and affection can be so easily bought that it’s laughable. All they have to do is spend a bit of money intelligently (though this may require a change of the organization’s president and VP) and start winning a few games. That’s all. They do that and all previous sins will be forgiven.

      I think that makes me co-dependent, but I’m okay with that.

      Reply
  2. John Rubenkonig

    Mark,
    I sympathize with your situation. You may recall that I too am a long term baseball fan and had arrived in Seattle having left a long-term relationship with the Orioles; even as they were playing in yet another World Series (the 5th in 13 years). I continued to follow the O’s for years because, lets face it, the Mariners played inside and poorly at that. The O’s won another series in 1983 but then fell upon hard times. In the meantime, the Mariners developed some remarkable talent (and some bad habits), won a lot of games, built a beautiful stadium and …….fizzeled. Bad habits came back to bite them. Ownership was either too frugal or not frugal enough. Prospects leaked from the system like a sieve only to – as you have pointed out – prosper elsewhere.

    Over the decades, I found that the heart does grow more fond if the object of desire is close to home. I will always love the O’s. But I follow the Mariners, if only because the really totally inadequate Seattle newspapers can’t / won’t / don’t provide decent national coverage.

    We are on the verge of yet another season: spring training is upon us. Yet I fear that there will be no joy in “Mudville” this year. Good luck with the Blue Jays, eh? That is a tough division.

    Reply
    1. feingarden Post author

      It is a tough division, but my loyalty can be bought without playoffs. I only want a team that strives to put the best possible team on the field, not one that values “veteran experience” over minor things like the ability to run, hit, throw, and catch. The Jays may actually be able to give me that.

      But more to your point, the real recipient of my baseball love this year may be the unaffiliated, independent league Winnipeg Goldeyes. Talk about exciting baseball. A ground ball to the 3rd baseman with a runner on first could end up in going to 2nd base, first base, on into left field, or over the 2nd baseman’s head into right field with equal probability. Anything can happen at any time. Plus, local team, intimate ballpark, good food, cheap tix, and they won the championship last year. You should come out and catch a game or two…

      Reply
  3. Tracy

    Gut reaction? “My oh my…”. Well, that… plus the fact that Ibanez’ return was/is a true “WTF?!” moment in an ever-lengthening list.

    My brain, however, is playing catch-up and will return subsequently.

    Hrmmph.

    Reply

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