Confessions Of A 3am Baseball Fan (And A Small Rant)

Originally published March 28th, 2012

I slept like garbage last night.  I must have woken up a half dozen times to look over at the clock last night, worried that I would oversleep my alarm and miss the game this morning.  The last dream I had, before waking up at 2:50am, was that I had missed the game.  Seriously, I had a “nightmare” that I’d missed the game.

Opening Day is a tradition.  It’s one of those days that I’ve always felt should be a national holiday.  I mean really, as the “National Pastime” is it entirely unreasonable?  The hope and promise of a new year is something to celebrate!  But this year’s Opening Day is kind of a letdown.  I don’t mean the 3am start time, I just mean the scheduling of it all.  The Mariners play today, before going back to Arizona for a few games to shake off the lag.  By the time they get back to Seattle, it will be Friday April 13th.  At 7:30pm.  Where is the afternoon in the sun?  (Or sometimes the rain.)  Think of all of those kids that will have to actually go to school that day instead of getting pulled early or getting a “sick” note from their dads.  It’s just not the same this year!

That brings me to this morning at 3am.  I’m up, are you?  I don’t think you’re any less of a fan if you’re still in bed.  My eight year old wanted to watch the game with me — No way, Megan.  You have school in the morning.  My wife rolled her eyes and told me to keep it down.  Plenty of you have work in the morning.  Waking up at 3am this morning was just something I had to do, and judging from Twitter I’m not alone!

Game 1 of 162.  I’m going to miss games, but this wasn’t going to be one of them, and I’m not alone.  I think it’s awesome how many fans are up and tweeting during the game.  Without Twitter would there be as many fans watching the game?  I mean that seriously.  Think about the impact that social medial has on our lives.  Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare.  There’s an outlet for everyone.  This morning’s game is an excellent example of a “Peer Pressure Event”.  I truly believe that as more people talked it up during the week, that more people decided to wake up and watch the game.  It’s a shame that the Seattle Mariners didn’t do more to promote it to make it an even bigger event.  They really missed an opportunity today.

I’ve been tweeting for weeks that the Seattle Mariners should hold a fan event, and this morning they did.  For season ticket holders.  I think it’s great that 150 season ticket holders cared enough to go to Safeco Field this morning to watch the game.  I have zero problem with the Mariners having an exclusive event for them.  I understand catering to fans that put the most money into the team.  But what about the rest of their fans?  I started counting fans on Twitter at 3am, and stopped after 200.  There were just too many of us up.  How many fans like me wanted to be with other fans this morning?  I wanted to do something fun this morning, but the Mariners played it safe.  They were short-sighted.  I’ll be fair, where were the two sports radio stations this morning?  Why didn’t they do anything?

Fans would have gone out this morning (or stayed out late).  Would you have paid $10 to go to a casino to watch the team at a catered event?  I would have.  Would you have paid $15 if there had been a band or pre-game?  I would have.  Would you have gone if Jay Buhner had been there to sign autographs?  What if the Mariners had the event at the Pen at Safeco Field?  Would you have been more likely to buy tickets if the box office was open before or after the game?  (They could have still had an exclusive season ticket holder event upstairs.)

The Mariners did a number of things to appeal to younger fans last year.  The addition of “The Pen” in lower LF/CF was a great call.  It’s attracting younger fans — like 20’s younger, not kids.  (Sadly, younger than I am now.  Ha-ha.)  Why didn’t they do more out of the gate?  I know I’m ranting here, it’s early, so cut me some slack.  At the end of the day though, my bitterness is because I care about the Mariners and I want them to be successful.  They could have done something fun, and different, and really “out there” this morning.  But they didn’t.  They played it safe and intimate… at the Safe.  Too bad, it would have been fun.

But I don’t need an Opening Morning party to enjoy baseball!  I’m comfortable sitting here watching the game while rocking a Mariners shirt and a pair of sweats.  Early shoutouts to Dustin Ackley for that great homerun, and Carp looks solid today in LF.  Way to lay it out in the outfield, I like the hustle this morning.  I haven’t had much to eat, just a couple of cookies and some milk.  I joked with my wife that I was going to fire up the grill and have a few hot dogs, but that’s just not happening this morning.  Ha-ha.  I’m super-impressed by a few spreads I’ve seen this morning.  The nachos looked especially good – kudos to that guy.  (Tweet me your opening day spreads, I’ll RT the best ones!)  At the end of the day, I don’t need the party, I’m just happy to be watching baseball again.

Let’s Play Ball!

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