Wednesday, August 18, 2004
One year ago on August 17th is when we started this thing. One of my first posts was on one of Freddy's good starts from the second half of last season. Part of the impetus for the weblog was last year's trade deadline. Even though there really weren't too many high-end guys available at the deadline, I was soooo ready this time (you think I'd learn from the past three years) for the Mariners to make a move. I had Anthro 314 class that day, and I was going to sprint back to my apartment on my bike (class got off just before 1pm) so I could turn on the special episode of Baseball Tonight and chat with Jeremy about whatever would end up happening. I was sitting there in the Anthro class -- boring as hell, lame-duck drunk teacher, not sure how I got an A in it -- drawing up how my prospective Mariner lineups would look like. One had Tony Batista (let's face it, anyone was an upgrade to Jeff Cirillo at that point), and the other had Ryan Klesko (I forgot who I was sending in a Klesko trade though). I had the lineups drawn up, the defensive alignment; I was juiced up.
The Mariners won their afternoon game that day, with Joel Pineiro throwing three-hit ball over seven shutout innings against the Tigers, with a weird 6/6 K/BB ratio. The next day, the White Sox came to town. In case you forgot, Freddy Garcia was absolutely torched that day. He was viciously booed off the mound after failing to get out of the 2nd inning. He was tagged for seven runs, and gave up two homers and two bombs. If there was any one time where Freddy decided he wanted out of Seattle, it had to be that day. That day also brought rampant "they should have traded him when they could have gotten something for him" talk. It wasn't just that, though. This was Pat Gillick helping his wife move on the one day when he's supposed to earn his money. Again. And this team needed some help to jumpstart it. Again. Alas, nothing happened. No, I'm not counting Rey Sanchez (the need is blatantly obvious if someone gets injured, but mysteriously wasn't obvious when everyone was sucking).
The Mariners would spend the next two weeks pre-Sports and B's getting beat by the likes of Jake Westbrook, Billy Traber, and Mark Hendrickson.
Then Sports and B's was born as an outlet to all our rage, though we knew we'd eventually talk other sports.
As Jeremy mentioned earlier, the August 17th game featured the Rafael Soriano mow-down of Nomar Garciaparra, the last marquee point of the 2003 season. The Mariners took the first game of the road trip in Toronto, then lost the two remaining games of the series and got swept in a four-game series in Boston. Cameron's non-catch of the Kevin Millar fly ball at the wall in centerfield in the 10th was pretty much the death of the season. The next two games were the nails in the coffin, 6-1 and 8-1 losses to Derek Lowe and Pedro (who "wasn't going to pitch").
I still can't believe to this day that the 2003 Mariners started out 42-19. Just can't. Their record the rest of the way (quick math): 51-50. Like the Van Halen album and the police code it represents, 101 games of .500 ball after 61 games of .689 ball just about made me go insane. The team weathered Giovanni Carrara and Jeff Cirillo sucking, but it couldn't weather Kazu Sasaki's "rib injury," Arthur Rhodes' injury that he never went on the DL for, Freddy losing his mind, and Ichiro's golden second half. I didn't even mention Rondell White.
Then Gillick pissed off Edgar on September 24th. For me, Gillick was dead to me as the GM at that point, until they hired Bill Bavasi. Ugh.
So yeah, since I think I have to end it somewhere, that's a big part of what happened in the infancy of this here humble weblog. I think Peter of Mariner Musings was one of the first to link us (for which we're perpetually grateful), and eventually the Mariner blogosphere spread bigtime (and we were linked in more places) around November and December of 2003.
What's happened since? Well, the Sonics ticked me off to the point where I didn't cover them game to game (I'll try my hardest not to end up doing that this year), the Canucks had a weird year (but one that I obviously was interested in), and Al Harris ripped out the hearts of Seahawk fans across the northwest. The Mariners made boneheaded moves in the offseason, ticking us off as well as most of our blogosphere compadres. The Husky men's basketball team had an improbable run (incidentally, with one-time Bremertonian Curtis Allen). The Mariners started out brutally, and never recovered. But the extreme (and welcome) contrast to the Mariners' woes came in the form of four Bremerton athletes making national news. Not only did it make us proud, it meant to us that for once it wasn't somebody from North Kitsap (Sele, Fenton, etc.) or South Kitsap (Bloomquist, Newell, etc.) or anywhere else in the county getting the press, it was one (make that four) of our own.
And here we stand just past the one-year mark here at Sports and Bremertonians. I don't want this ride to end.
Thanks to our readers, the Mariner blogosphere, and those that have linked us. Thanks to my partner in crime, Jeremy, without whom this weblog would be wholly monotonous and rambling.
It's been one year, y'all. Here's to many more...