Monday, March 07, 2005


As most of you have found out already, Les Carpenter is leaving The Seattle Times to accept a new position at The Washington Post.

Yes, the same Washington Post that employs Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. Good writers like Carpenter deserve success. As good as the The Seattle Times is, let's just say that The Washington Post is more well-known, for obvious reasons.

Now, I don't have a personal Les Carpenter story, but I can talk about the man's work as an avid reader/fan. He's so right about Seattle being "a gentle city". Even in his final column for the Times, Carpenter was money.

Seattle is a gentle city, folks. I like to joke from time to time that I'm an East Coast sports fan who was raised on the West Coast. As a matter of fact, I still can't get the David Justice Game 6 home run out of my head to this day. Yeah, it's been almost 5 years since that happened. But then again, I'm in the category of not-so-gentle Seattle sports fans. The majority of the Mariners blogosphere falls into that category as well, but we're only talking about just a small portion of the Seattle sports fan base.

Mediocrity is never acceptable. Yes, it is only sports. But while we like to have a good time watching sports, we also want our teams to win. I'm happy that the Mariners have made an effort to improve their ballclub, with the signings of Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson. But I wish the M's could have made these type of improvements a few years ago. Does anybody realize how close this team was to the World Series? Here we are in 2005 with the M's coming off of a 99-loss season. Man, just thinking about last season hurts me.

But if you talk to a casual Seattle fan, they will tell you that they are so proud of the M's for getting as far as they did. You would never hear that in New York, Boston, or Chicago. Was the 116-win season of 2001 a good season? Sure it was. But we all know what happened. The echoes of "116 wins, so what?" still ring in my ears.

Do I want Seattle to become like Boston? Yes, I would. Love them or hate them, Boston sports fans have passion. Only a small portion of Seattle fans have that same type of passion. As you can judge by our work here at Sports and Bremertonians, David and I have that type of passion.

Seattle is a relatively young sports town, compared to cities such as New York and Chicago. But that doesn't mean that Seattle has to be a gentle sports town. As much as I love Safeco Field, it is a church-like atmosphere. Hey, it's OK to yell and scream, folks. Nobody is going to hate you for it. Wait, I think that lady who told me to shut the hell up at the White Sox-M's game back in August 2000 still hates me.

Seriously though, I'm going to miss reading Les Carpenter's work in the Times. Thanks to the Internet, I can continue to read his solid material at the Washington Post. I believe they require registration, but I can work around that. If anything, I'll have a better base of knowledge about the Washington Nationals this season, because of Carpenter. Washington Nationals baseball, sponsored by Natural Light! As light as Henry Mateo's on-base percentage!

Best of luck to Les in the District of Columbia. Say hi to Shawn Springs for us.

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