Big League Stew

Seattle showers King Felix and the Mariners with love on memorable night at Safeco

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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A king and his court (US Presswire)

Can we just take a moment to give a big BLS head nod to our baseball-loving friends in Seattle? While the slog of a six-month schedule easily drains the "big event" status from every contest past opening day, Mariners fans staged a full-on party at Safeco Field on Tuesday night. The game featured Felix Hernandez making his first start since last week's perfect game and over 39,000 fans showed up to pay their proper tribute.

The amazing atmosphere, of course, was aided by all the yellow "King of Perfection" shirts that the team handed out and the Mariners entering the game holding the AL's best record since the All-Star break and Hernandez pitching 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. But you still have to give the fans credit for taking that excitement created by Felix's perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays and creating another memorable night in their beautiful ballpark. After suffering the past few years, such a celebration was a long time coming.

Here's my friend Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times on the remarkable scene:

Tuesday's crowd was a glimpse of what could be if the Mariners truly are building a sustainable contender.

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"It was electric out there," Mariners manager Eric Wedge marveled.

Wedge allowed himself a moment to imagine how the fans would react if they had an entire team to celebrate.

"Hey, this is the way it should be," he said. "This is what we're shooting for."

Can the M's keep their momentum rolling? The current seven-game winning streak has  some fans daydreaming and one Redditer even notes the similarity between the standings on Aug. 21, 2012 and the standings on Aug. 21, 1995. Such a finish is fun to think about, but it's still a pipe dream with a gaggle of teams to leapfrog in the division and wild-card races with a lineup where OPS totals higher than .700 are barely more than a rumor.

That doesn't take away from anything that happened on Tuesday, though. While it's rare to ever remember the atmosphere from a late-summer game featuring two lower-division teams, Mariners fans rose to the occasion and did just that. Nice job.

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