It’s that time again. The midsummer classic is upon us, and so is another year where the home field advantage for the World Series isn’t going to matter to the Mariners. What is going to matter to the M’s tonight? Here’s a look at what Mariners fans should look for during tonight’s game.
1. Felix’s inning
If we’re being honest, Felix Hernandez should be starting the game tonight. He leads the AL in ERA and is third in strikeouts while boasting a 10-4 record, which has to be one of his best ever at the break. But of course, that was never going to happen, since Jim Leyland is the manager and Max Scherzer is 13-1.
That being said, Felix should pitch an inning and should pitch it early, since the better starters usually throw first and Felix is the best in the game. Whether he’ll opt out of pitching since he pitched Saturday remains to be seen, but for Mariners fans sake, I hope he pitches and shines in the spotlight yet again.
2. Hisashi Iwakuma, if he’s there
Iwakuma opted off the roster after pitching Sunday, but apparentely still gets to be at the game, since he did media availabilities at Citi Field yesterday. The question is will he be able to suit up and sit in the dugout with the players? I hope so, because it will be interesting to see how he interacts with his fellow all stars if at all. Also an interesting subplot to that: if Iwakuma is in the dugout, does Anthony Suzuki (his interpreter and Ichiro’s old one) get an invite too?
3. Cheering for the American League
The AL team is stacked this year, and any good Mariners fan, regardless of jealousy, should cheer for the junior circuit. We should even cheer for Adam Jones, who by all accounts is a great guy and had no choice when Bill Bavasi ruined the future by trading him to the Orioles. And yes, Raul Ibanez should be on the team, but if you are getting pissed about East Coast bias now, clearly you haven’t been a Seattle fan long enough. All in all, the National League are entitled, pitcher-hitting purists that need to be knocked around a little bit and shown who’s boss, regardless of which league has won three straight World Series.