Mariners Editorial: I Crave That Feeling of Trust

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 23: Ben Gamel
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 23: Ben Gamel /

You know that feeling? The feeling that when times get tough, you know there are people you can completely and whole-heartedly rely on to have your back and help you come out the other side? I crave that feeling as a Mariners fan. I want to be able to trust my team completely and whole-heartedly to play tough when a game gets hard, and know they will come out at the end of the 9 with the win. I crave that feeling.

As a few of you know, I have been travelling around the States for the last few weeks, visiting different parks and doing a bit of sightseeing. While we (my gorgeous partner, Emily, and I) have been travelling, we have been lucky enough to see some pretty good baseball and some beautiful new stadiums that I haven’t seen before. We have also been lucky enough to see a couple of the best teams in baseball including watching the Dodgers three times, once in LA, once in Atlanta and once at Citi Field in New York. Watching this Dodgers team makes me think back to the teams of Mariners past.

I’ve realised that watching this Dodgers team is what it would have been like watching the Mariners in 2001. Going to the park every night, not just hoping for a good game of baseball, win or lose, but knowing you are going to win the game from any position.

I want this feeling back as a Mariners Fan!

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Living in Australia in 2001, it was hard to keep up with the Mariners and the teams progress because of the limited internet and lack of TV coverage. I was always checking box scores and reading articles when in hindsight, I should have been concentrating on getting better grades on my HSC (Senior year exams). For me, that confidence in my team’s ability to win from no matter what position in a game is something I’ve never witnessed. My first live game wasn’t until 2006 and it wasn’t pretty. I’ve seen glimpses of Mariners success including an 8-2 homestand only last year for the Griffey retirement homestand, but it just isn’t the same.

This Dodgers team, like the ’01 Mariners, is so fun to watch as a partial observer, and has given me a little bit of a soft spot for them. Watching Chris Taylor pull it all together is something else. Taylor wasn’t doing much as a Mariner and clearly just needed a change of scenery to succeed. I have no bad thoughts on that trade. Anyone that knows me or has seen me before knows I’m, as we call back home in Australia, a ‘Red nut’ or someone who has red/orange hair or facial hair, so naturally this makes me appreciate Justin Turner even more. Turner, for me, is one of the most underrated players in the MLB. But realistically, this whole team just clicks and makes everything look so damn easy.

Again, I want this feeling back as a Mariners fan.

Picture this, Dodger stadium filled with 50k plus people buzzing. As the first pitch is thrown, LA very quickly the team goes down against a sneaky competitive team in the Twins, but the atmosphere from the home crowd doesn’t change. People are still chatting away, watching the game with such a relaxed atmosphere. They know something that I don’t yet know.

After Brian Dozier doubles in two to take the lead to 5-0 in the top of the 4th , all of the Dodger fans around us were still so relaxed. They clearly knew good things would happen that night. Slowly, the Dodgers come back on the back of Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig home runs, and a pitch hit double by Chase Utley. The whole time the buzz in the crowd is full of expectation, like there is never any doubt for the win while still down 5-4. Sac fly by Forsythe in the eighth ties the game up and the crowd is going nuts. This feeling must have been the same feeling going around the park at the new Safeco field in 2001. Even when the Twins put the go ahead run on third with one out in the ninth and Jensen on the mound, the gentleman next to me leant over as said ‘No worries! Jensen will get these two to strike out and we will walk it off in the ninth.’

As a Mariners fan, I had my hesitations, naturally.

And just as the Dodgers fan predicted, Jensen strikes out Castro and Polanco to end the threat. The fan next to me just smirked and said, ‘Watch this.’

Up come the Dodgers offence! Barnes singles, and is quickly followed by Taylor. Corey Seager grounds out advancing the runners and the stage is set for Justin Turner, and just like that, WALKOFF! The crowd goes nuts and I asked the fan next to me ‘How were you so confident, like you predicted it down to a tee?’

All he said was ‘This team is special.’

Dang, this feeling! It’s want we want, no, what we crave as Mariners fans. That feeling of complete trust with our offence, fully backing out pitchers, and not a single worry of injury. This is the feeling every fan base wants I suppose, but damn I want this more than ever after experiencing it as an outsider.

We have a special team in Seattle this year! I know some nights it doesn’t feel like it but we are so close. So close to that reliability, so close to that trust in our boys, and so close to that winning combination of pitching depth, defence in the field, and offensive batting that takes us to the next level.

Let’s get this thing rolling as we sit near a playoff spot right now.

As I type this, I am currently sitting around 15,000ft in the air, coming from Chicago to see Edgar weekend, hoping for a weekend of baseball I will never forget. I’m just some Aussie boy with a love of my Ms but I believe that we can do this. I believe we can take the Angels, I believe we can hold onto the playoff spot.

Next: SodoMojo Podcast Episode 14: Yonder who to pitch

Jerry, let’s get us some pitching help and we will make some noise on the field. Let us have the chance to feel that complete confidence in our team again. Let’s bring this thing home.

Come on Mariners, lets do this!! I’ll see you real soon.