Mariners canceling Fan Fest indicative of larger lack of concern

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 01: Felix Hernadez #34 of the Seattle Mariners walks off the field after his first non-Opening Day start in 10 years during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at T-Mobile Park on April 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 01: Felix Hernadez #34 of the Seattle Mariners walks off the field after his first non-Opening Day start in 10 years during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at T-Mobile Park on April 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /
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For the second time in three years, the Seattle Mariners announced they would not be holding their previously annual Fan Fest due to poor field conditions caused by the “Enchanted” Light Show.

Look, on this site, we focus primarily on players, team building, rumors, news, and the games themselves and rarely talk about the Mariners PR stunts that don’t impact the team on the field. But in this particular topic, we will be saying that the fans deserve better.

The Seattle Mariners haven’t made the playoffs in 18 years and we can all safely assume the 19th season without a playoff appearance is on its way. The fan base is tired of waiting and tired of being told to be patient, which is their right.

One act of goodwill to engender trust and excitement for the upcoming season has been the annual Fan Fest event that typically takes place a few weeks before Spring Training. In the past, current and former Mariners players and front office members would spend a weekend at T-Mobile Field, signing autographs and answering fans questions in “Dugout Dialogue” forums.

Fans could also walk the concourse, play catch on the field, take clubhouse tours, sample new stadium food, and many other fun activities. But this won’t be the case in 2020, as the Mariners are using the condition of the playing surface as an excuse to cancel the whole event instead of simply moving it to a new location. This is a horrific look for a team that is screaming at their fans to “have faith in our plan”.

To be perfectly blunt, you haven’t done enough to have the average fan put any amount of faith in you. And if you’re going to trumpet how great your kids are, you should probably be anxious to put that on display with an open invitation for all to see.

The apathy surrounding the Mariners is at an all-time high. Canceling events that allow fans to meet players and talk to management level positions in the baseball ops departments is a bad look.

The simple truth is, the Mariners don’t care about the playing surface of T-Mobile Field. If they did, they wouldn’t tear it up every winter by hosting some Holiday light show on it. The Mariners don’t care about the field, they just don’t want to hold the event.

If it was just about the field, why not eliminate the events on the field? Or move the event to a new location? MLB teams around the game have no issue planning such events away from their home ballpark, why can’t the Mariners? Because they don’t want to.

I’m a fan of the direction the baseball team is headed. I can look ahead and seek out what I need to know about the young players and can see where the ship is headed. But a lot of fans cannot. And by canceling events like Fan Fest, the Mariners are driving an even bigger wedge between the very people they need to convince.

When people can’t understand your message or plan, it’s because you yourself have not done a good enough job of explaining it. The Mariners need to ramp up their plan, not shy away from it. Dialing it up by giving fans a direct line of communication and access to these players, even if it is for just 2 hours a day over a weekend in January, is valuable.

Next. Mitch Haniger market heating up. dark

But please, tell me again how much you care about the field conditions?

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