Phil Caldwell

Sports Blogging With a Grin

Archive for the ‘Seattle Mariners’ Category

10 Reasons Why I Hate The New York Yankees

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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20:  Members of the New York Yankees attend the unveiling of late team owner George Steinbrenner's monument prior to playing against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (P
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
It’s that time of year again that all fans cherish!  When we can belch, drink stuff that might power a locomotive, and scream at bad calls from umpires while making pathetic excuses for why our team finished 23 games outWoe is us, the Seattle Sports fan.  We have very little to live for when it comes to our teams.  The Sonics are gone, the Mariners suck bad, the Huskies are two years removed from oh and twelve, the cross-state WSU Cougars are writing a new definition for “horrible,”  and the MLS Sounders appear to be the only playoffs this city will see in half a decade.  I can’t even remember what a bowl game looks like!

But there are plenty others out there in other cities who suffer with us, and nothing rubs salt in our wounds like watching the team with twice the money excel in the post season.

We’re fed up.  We’re angry.  But let me explain why.

Ten reasons why I would rather sit through six hours with a life insurance salesman than endure one more at-bat watching the New York Yankees!

No. 1 Mariano Rivera

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 06:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins during game one of the ALDS on October 6, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins
Elsa/Getty Images

How long has this nimrod been pitching for the Yankees anyway?

The main problem I have with Mariano Rivera, other than the fact that nobody can hit the guy,  is that it’s un-American to not sign with another team for at least half of your career!   This is how capitalism is supposed to work!

As a young man you are supposed to establish yourself  with hard work and many hours of training in warehouses.  Then later in the spring, most superstars have a “breakthrough moment” where they do something miraculous and astound the masses.  Soon thereafter your rookie contract is played out and another rival team makes you an offer you cannot refuse.

You being the highly ethical guy you claim to be, you tell the fans you’re happy where you are, and then you promptly jilt the devoted.   You make empty excuses like “well they didn’t respect me” and “I was insulted by their offer” but nobody believes you.

This is how it’s supposed to work, Mariano.  This is what all good athletes do.  This is what we fans expect from our stars.

Not so with Riviera.  This guy has been pitching for the Yankees ever since my grandfather was a small child.  He’s like those spooky people on NBC’s “The Event” that never  age.

I am not making this up.   I looked up the roster of the 1929 Yankees and you know who the closer was?  That’s right.  Mariano Rivera.   Same guy.

Quit already Riv, would ya?!?

No. 2 Alex Rodriquez

30 Sep 2000:  Alex Rodriguez #3 of the Seattle Mariners reacts to a teammates joke during their game against the Anaheim Angels at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. The Mariners defeated the Angels 21-9. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Gross/ALLSPORT
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Hating Alex Rodriguez is like hating cancer or rabid postulates growing randomly on your body.  You don’t need a reason to hate despicable things.  You just do.

As a very young player this Yankee superstar was adored by young Seattle Mariner fans.  He was on the bench when Junior scored in “the game” against the Yankees in 1995.

But then he got older and became a starter, then eventually a big stud with a huge batting average,  and then arrogant (not necessarily in that order).

There was, however, a small problem with Alex Rodriguez when he played in Seattle.   Every single time he came to bat during a big game that we simply could not lose,  he choked like strangled chicken.  And not just little choke, but BIG HUGE choke with us down by a run in bottom of the ninth one game out of first.

This is what I remember about Alex when he did NOT play for the Yankees.   His last September in Seattle, every time Alex came up to bat against the Yankess he struck out with men in scoring position.   One game at Safeco against the Yankees,  I remember this vividly.   Alex came up and struck out seven times in four at-bats.  I’ve never forgiven him for this.  On the other hand, he had an amazingly high batting average and a ton of solo shots during 10-0 routs where nothing mattered!

Little kids enjoy chucking beer bottles at him.  I too, enjoy chucking beer bottles at Alex Rodriguez.  In fact I’m chucking beer bottles at him right now as I write this.

Which reminds me of what else I hate about the Yankees…

No. 3 George Steinbrenner

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20:  Former manager of the New York Yankees Joe Torre (3rd L) walks past the monument of late owner George Steinbrenner with his wife Ali prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bron
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Ok I realize the guy is gone and perhaps I may be lightning-bolted for scoffing at his image,  but they built that statue for him at Yankee Stadium this last summer.   I hate that.

See in Seattle, we don’t like statues unless they’re Marxist statues of Vladimir Lenin.  If the statue is of Lenin, then we LOVE statues!  We have them mounted in the Fremont district where lovers of that ideology can ponder wistfully the good old days of communism.    But if the statue is not of Lenin, we see that as worshipping false gods.

Steinbrenner was everything communism was not, so for that reason alone we always hated the guy.   Plus Lou Pinella  (a moment of silence please for the Pinella years) didn’t care much for good old George either.   We like Lou.   We don’t like George.

Actually Steinbrenner did provide some humor once in these parts.   A long time ago in a stadium long since imploded, during the “glory month of October” (we don’t have “glory years” here in Seattle.  We have “glory weeks”) during the 1995 ALCS there was a hand-painted banner that said “Beavis and Steinbrenner.”   Giggle.  We liked that.

But we hated Steinbrenner, and it’s because he was a big bully who pushed people around.  The opposite of what people in Seattle are like.  We much prefer ballet and men in tights with embarrassing bulges in inappropriate places.   We adore sensitivity and little pink unicorns skipping through the forest with butterflies. Those types of things.

No. 4 Johnny Damon

BOSTON - OCTOBER 02:  Johnny Damon #18 of the Boston Red Sox runs to first base during the game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on October 2, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Johnny Damon was the original pirate.   He had the pirate “look” thing going long before Jack Sparrow  ripped it off.

Kids thought Damon was cool.  Parents thought Damon was cool.  Shoot, even Grandparents thought Damon was cool.

Then he signed with the New York Yankees and like all things they touch, they ruined him.  He became boring and lost his sparkle.  Shorn were the locks, replaced by a boring lawyer look with lots of shaving.   He could have been teaching first grade Sunday School at very conservative churches when he played for the Yankees.

This ticks me off because the guy was a rock star wearing a baseball uniform in his early years.  If Keith Richards played baseball, this was how Keith Richards would have looked!   But now look at the poor pathetic fool!   He hasn’t played for the Yankees since last season,  but he still dons that dopey corporate IBM image thing.   Another forgettable ex-Yankee who could be running any hedge fund business or corporate scandal.

Don’t blame Damon.  Blame the stupid Yankees for forcing this on him!  Blame their ridiculous policy on the military look for all formerly badass ball players.

The New York Yankees force the corporate image on their ball players because they ARE the corporate image.

The Yankees are what all of us hate about baseball in the 21st century.  They are a billion dollar cable TV contract playing games in a billion dollar television studio.   And that’s all they are.  It’s not about fun anymore, it’s about making money.

Do you think the Yankees would have ever tolerated a Al Kaline or Ty Cobb?   Not a chance for these stiffards!

Look, I suppose I’ll have to tolerate the Yankees signing players for three times what anyone else can pay again this off season, but do you have to root out the personality while you’re at it?!?  This isn’t 1953 for crying out loud!  This is baseball in the modern era!

No, 5 New Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Members of the world championship winning China Youth Baseball League team throw out the first pitch prior to the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays during their game on September 22, 2010 at Yan
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

After decades of being humiliated by the Yankees,  the rest of the league got even by building new retro parks with restaurants, kiddie amusement parks and lots of bathrooms.  We were all feeling great about this because we could finally compete with the dollars of the Yankees and sign our own pack of free agents.  And since New York owned one of three famous historic baseball stadiums this country could not live with out, we all knew you were stuck.  Surely you would never dishonor the baseball gods by tearing down this historic icon.

Unfortunately New York tore down this historic icon.

Then you built yourselves a new cooler stadium than any of us have that earns the Yankees more than our stadiums earn us.   And what’s worse, you charge half the price of a new house to sit in the seats behind home plate, which means the only ones that can afford those seats are Wall Street jerks.

Now every time the TV camera shows a close-up of a hitter,  we fans across the nation have to endure smug Wall Street jerks in very wide leather seats eating lobster and drinking 100-year-old scotch.

Look New York, if you have to put these dullards somewhere close to the field, why not hide them behind mirrored bulletproof glass that doesn’t show on TV?  Sell advertisements on those mirrored panels.   I’d much rather look at two side-by-side bathtubs of naked retirees than these smug pinhead bankers behind home plate!

Hey here’s an idea:  Since the seats are usually empty anyways, why not fill them with Playboy super models in skimpy outfits?  This I could support.  But I do not want to see middle-aged overweight guys in three piece leisure suits with flapping gowels and hot towels, every time they show Derek Jeter from the right side!

No. 6 1995 American Division Championship Seattle Mariners Vs New York Yankees

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How on earth could anyone from Seattle hate the Yankees after that wonderful blissful series in 1995 that saved baseball for Seattle and still has us all skipping merrily because for once we beat the crap out of you money-grubbing scumbags?!?

There’s still buildings here in Seattle with painted scenes from that one game.   Remember?  At the Kingdome?   Mariners, best-of-five, Game 5.  We lost the first two games in New York, then they came back to Seattle and after trailing in all three games the Mariners came in all three games to win walk-offs?  Game 5, Randy Johnson came in as a reliever and shut down the Yankees for several innings.  Then he gave up a run.  We all cried and weeped and were near suicidal. But then in bottom of the same inning beloved Seattle hero Edgar Martinez hit the double down the right field line, Junior scored!   Tears me up just thinking about it.

Well here’s the problem:  15 years later that one game is STILL the greatest moment in Seattle Mariners history.   And this after winning 116 games in 2001.  It just goes to show how absolutely pathetic Seattle Mariner history is.

Dogs have been born, trained, fetched, and died in that much time.

Yes we beat the hated Yankees and we’re all still happy about that.  But it was 15 years ago for gawds sake, and we need to be making new memories already.

I blame the Yankees.

No. 7 Tino Martinez

20 Jul 1995:  Tino Martinez of the Seattle Mariners covers his plate during their 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Milwaukee County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

See this is what I really hate about the Yankees.

Seattle’s Tino Martinez lit up the Yankees during that very same series of 1995.  So what happened three months later?   The Mariners traded him to New York for a couple of lawn chairs and a half empty bottle of Corona.

Anyone outside of New York knows what I’m talking about here, right?   If your guy does well against their guys, they’ll sign your guy in the off season or force your team to trade your player to them for nothing.

Our teams have a total payroll of several thousand dollars.  Our guys drive used Volkwagon busses.   Meanwhile the hated Yankees build aircraft carriers for fun.  This is not fair.

And it happens every single time with any opposition player that shuts them down.  They do good, and the Yankees steal that player by offering hookers and huge contracts and tv stardom.

Well except for one guy.  Ken Griffey Jr.  Remember him?  Junior absolutely hated the Yankees and God bless him for that!    Because years ago a very young Junior got tossed from the Yankee clubhouse during a Cincinnati Reds visit.   For that, Junior usually hit dozens of home runs against them to teach them a lesson.   He tormented the Yankees in the outfield too.   Leapt up and stole a couple of clear homers from them, once in New York.  We liked that.

What we don’t like is how the Yankees have signed all our good guys.  Like Luis Soho, Jeff Nelson,  Tino,  Randy Johnson, and this other short stop we used to have.

This has been going on for decades too.   Remember when the Sonics were trying to sign Bob McAdoo in 1973?   Nope,  He went to New York.  The Yankees signed him.   And he was a basketball player.  This is how bad it’s gotten.

You get my point right?  Somebody does good against these jokers and the next thing we know, the hated and detested Yankees have signed him.  They have all the cash.  We don’t.  What’s not to hate?

No. 8 Alex Rodriguez

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06:  Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees watches Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Jurgen Melzer of Austria during day eight of the 2010 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6,
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Yes I know I already mentioned Alex but I’m telling you, we really don’t like this guy.

Alex guy gave Seattle this big huge con job by saying how much he loved the Mariners and how he would never leave because “he wasn’t about the money.”

Well guess what?  He was about the money.

He convinced the Mariners to wait until after the season to negotiate his new contract by claiming he loved the team and the players.  Hall of Famers like Edgar Martinez meant so very much to him.  What a wonderful moment.

The Mariners didn’t trade him like they should have because of all this.  And the Mariner ended up getting nothing because of it, when he signed with Texas and bankrupted that team.  Now he’s on your team.

After he had left, Alex popped off about how he never liked Seattle much and wrote a nasty letter trying to convince Boeing employees in Seattle to move to y’allsville with him.   That’s fine Alex.   But you can’t mouth off about Boeing and expect anyone in Seattle to ever like you again.

Oh and there was that other thing about divorcing his wife and going for Madonna.

Actually we didn’t get too excited about that rumor here in Seattle, because when you think of it, hanging out with Madonna is punishment enough.    In fact I would wager that any Al Qaeda operative ensconced by authorities would gladly spill his guts if the alternative was a few hours in an eight-by-10 cell with Madonna.

No. 9 Seattle Has More Public Golf Courses

Chambersbay_aidanbradley2007_big_display_image

This has nothing to do with the argument other than I need something to prop me up because I’m an emotional wreck after writing this.

Think about it.  The US Open in 2015, we can play it whenever we want, and no six-hour rounds here you suckers!

Twenty bucks gets you a pretty nice golf course on the weekend, and there’s 150 public courses within an hour’s drive of me.  Except for this one, which is about $185

Plus our tap water is not flammable like it is in New York!

Just sayin…

No. 10 27 World Championships

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 3: Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees carries the World Series trophy before play against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 3, 2010 at the George M. Steinbrenner  Field in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Image
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Ok I’ll admit it.  The real reason I can’t stand the Yankees is because every year you’re in the playoffs and we are not.   The same reason all of you hate Microsoft and Real Networks.

They dominate.

The Yankees have been in the World Series several hundred times while the Seattle Mariners just rolled out their second 100-loss season in three years.  And we have lots of other 100-loss seasons before that to brag about.

In Seattle, we hang banners for every year we’ve won our division or done anything remotely impressive, and there’s only three other teams in our division.  We have five banners hanging at Safeco Field, and we awarded ourselves two banners for the same year.  Twice.

You wonder why Seattle folks are such huge fans of Lenin?   Because communism preaches equality and…well do I really have to explain this for you?!?

Written by PhilCaldwell

October 9, 2011 at 10:25 am

Seattle Mariners: Your Bonafied Postgame Traffic-Planning Commission at Work!

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Broadway_bloomberg_gridlock_crop_340x234

At a Seattle Mariners professional baseball game last night, we were parked in the garage between the football and baseball stadiums in Seattle.  This was a perk for the front-row tickets given my wife by supervisors for all her good work of the past few months.  No nose-bleeders for this group on this warm late-spring night!

And no hiking tens of miles to the car following the game.  This time we would be the snooty royalty that annoys the masses of peons, and like snooty royalty, we would be parking across the street from the baseball stadium free of charge with the BMWs, Mercedes and exotic sports cars of the world.

Walking only a few yards to the car was really cool.

But after the game, not getting out of the same parking garage for over an hour, gridlocked in non-moving vehicles just outside the stadium, sort of ruined the thrill of parking in the garage where they charge mere mortals up to $50.

More disturbing, it became apparent that the traffic planners in our city were either bumbling idiots, or they deliberately make traffic as bad as they can for some sort of jaded devious reason, following typical sporting events.  Because the friendly Seattle police officers supervising traffic flow after games were making things far worse, not better!

How do I know this?

After waiting an hour in toxic fumes that could melt steel, I finally managed to escape the confines of the concrete garage, but was immediately ushered to the east side of Safeco Field where all vehicles did not move.  Nor could they move, because helpful, friendly Seattle police traffic officers were routing all 45,000 vehicles into the same one-lane alley south of the stadium.

Ironic, because I sort of wanted to go north, and catch the freeway on-ramp that would take me north, that I could see…ever so close.  Just cross the street and away we would go on I-5 north.

But the friendly, helpful police traffic officers were having none of that!  Nope, they insisted all traffic go south, right into a big gridlocked mess where nobody could move because other helpful police traffic officers were routing everyone there too.

So there we sat.  For a very long time.  Nobody moving and everybody getting extremely agitated.

Finally, the two-hour mark after the game hit, and like magic all the police officers hopped on their little parked motorcycles and sped away into the night, suddenly leaving all the gridlocked intersections unregulated.

And once they did, within five minutes the traffic had completely cleared out.

No more helpful traffic cops equaled no more gridlock.  Who would have thought?

38100566Seattle’s Traffic Planning Board of Directors

At that point many of us, as we drove home, asked the important and profound question most citizens in Washington State have asked after sporting events:

“Hey, if traffic is better without the friendly, helpful police regulation following games, perhaps the city is wasting its money by having each and every intersection littered with these fine, uniformed folks?”

Maybe a prudent plan would be to not spend the money for all these lovely traffic heroes, and instead let things be like they are during the rest of the week?

Why not let traffic do what traffic does, without the “help”?

Once, several years ago, following another game in which this exact same thing happened, I emailed the beloved traffic commission chairperson and suggested this wonderful and intellectual idea.

And just like the friendly, helpful police traffic officers at every corner last night, he eventually emailed me back with suggestions of various physical activities that I could do to myself.

He also mentioned that people as stupid as me don’t realize that this was actually a huge traffic improvement.  “You idiot!”

See this is because the Seattle Police Department, in co-operation with the City of Seattle and various inept mayors, has carefully crafted a set of hiring guidelines for every single traffic planner.  Here’s how it goes:

Clause No. 1

If the applicant shows college education or traffic planning experience, that person will immediately be disqualified for employment consideration by the PGSTPC (Postgame Seattle Traffic Planning Commission).

Clause No. 2

If said applicant shows any natural talent for common-sense thinking, that person too, will immediately be disqualified for employment consideration by the PGSTPC.

Clause No. 3

Preferred applicants will normally be found in chimpanzee cages at the Woodland Park Zoo, or found sleeping under bridges in frigid temperatures.

Clause No. 4

Habitual inebriation for each traffic planner is a plus.  In fact, if said applicant arrives at job interview immediately after consuming a fifth of Jack Daniels straight up, that applicant will vault to the top of the stack and may be immediately hired and assigned to supervise all traffic planning for the day, before sobering up.

Overall satisfaction with post-game traffic flow

WonderfulAdequateHorrendousSubmit Vote vote to see results

Contrary to what you might think, the goal of the PGSTPC is not to clear traffic out.  Nope.  The goal is to keep traffic confined in unmoving gridlock for as long as possible.

Speculation persists that the local business community is behind this reasoning, insisting that the longer you stay in their neighborhood, the more crap you may buy.  Oh sure, most of those businesses are closed by the time the Mariners games are over, but…well, please see Clauses No. 1 through No. 4 if you are confused about this policy.

Also, within the traffic code is the north/south directional concept.  If said vehicle prefers to travel north (because your house is north of the stadium), each and every regulated traffic corridor will insist you go south.  For many miles too.  Conversely, if your house is situated to the south, then the very same traffic corridors will route you north in the opposite direction you wish to go, usually into gridlock and parked contraptions that cannot move.

Years and millions of dollars were spent on little, unknown GPS chips that police officers read from your vehicle as you approach, like they do for the toll bridges.  Particular effort is put into stringent requirements insisting the direction of your vehicle goes in the opposite direction that it should.

Why?

Because it’s fun for intoxicated traffic planners to see all the cars not moving for hours after a sporting event.

And don’t bother screaming at localized traffic cops on corners about all of this, because that will merely make them cranky.  They didn’t do the traffic plan, they merely enforce it.  In fact, when frustrated motorists yell at cops, frustrated motorists may soon find themselves charged with heinous crimes and strip-searched in public.

What frustrated motorists can do, however, is write sarcastic articles like this one when they get home several weeks later, and then send them to every public official they can find.

That’ll teach those jerks.

Written by PhilCaldwell

June 18, 2011 at 10:42 am