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Didn't see much of it

Worst Seat in the House

Normally, I would have written a story or two about the Mariners season by now, but I have only been able to watch one game thus far. Why?

Well, like many of you, we had Root Sports to follow the Emerald City nine. That is no longer the case.

The television provider that we have no longer gets Root Sports. The provider that we once had purchased Root Sports, I’m sure figuring that we were going to change providers just to see Seattle baseball. In the words of Dan Carvey when he was impersonating President George H. W. Bush on SNL, “Not gonna do it!”

There is a very good reason that we changed providers several years ago and we aren’t changing back.

I’m not thrilled with the thought of not getting Mariner baseball but for some reason it is a bit more exciting checking scores on my phone or watching the MLB network when they are showing highlights. I have also spent time listening to the radio broadcasts in the last few weeks. Baseball on the radio can sometimes be a bit more exciting than watching it on the tube. Sure, it isn’t Hi-Def but I have a pretty good imagination.

A couple of weeks ago the Mariners were on Fox for a Saturday game and I got a chance to see most of the game. And it was fun seeing these guys play. On Sunday I spent the afternoon in the shop listening to the game on the radio and because of the winning streak I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the team’s progress. If only we could go back to the beginning of the season and the team’s great start and the 14-game winning streak before the All-Star break the whole northwest would be going nuts. But there were some losses in between those happy times but those losses may have been the motivation these guys needed.

Injuries to Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger are sometimes excuses for not winning more games but with guys like Rookie Julio Rodriguez and 1B and DH Ty France the Ms are finding ways to succeed. The pitching has been formidable especially the bullpen arms aiding in some fun times for Seattle fans.

Rodriguez and France are part of the All-Star team this season. France was added to the team after Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout decided not to play because of an injury. Both of the Mariner players are deserving of the honor. France is batting over .300 and Julio has been hitting homers and stealing bases becoming a highlight reel. He is also a pretty darn good outfielder with his speed and athleticism which makes one wonder where Kyle Lewis will be playing upon his return since he too is a centerfielder. Oh well, those are good problems to try and figure out.

Haniger is good when he’s playing but he has been hurt a lot and you’ve got to wonder if he will ever be able to be counted upon to play again on a consistent basis.

The Mariner pitching staff is starting to keep the games close when the offense is struggling. Robbie Ray is pitching well now after a very slow start. Logan Gilbert has had a pretty solid first half and has been counted on to stop a losing skid earlier in the season.

Unfortunately, Marco Gonzales has had some tough luck in the first half. If he can get on a roll the Mariners should have the confidence to win series and get back to the playoffs for the first time since the last 14 game winning streak in 2001.

I think that Manger Scott Servais has been a good fit for Seattle and he has been patiently waiting for this team to rally and have fun winning. I know that a bunch of people think that firing a manager will solve a team’s problems but Servais has kept the ship afloat and the team has responded. Servais probably had more confidence in this team’s ability than the team did. And that happens more often than not. Winning is a lot more fun than the alternative for sure.

For those of you that have been able to watch Seattle play this season I’m sure you’ve enjoyed it immensely. I haven’t seen much of the Mariners this season but when I do I like what I see.

— Dale Anderson is a Ritzville-based sports columnist. Reach him by emailing [email protected].


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