All Posts Tagged “Seattle Mariners”

Race Day: Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco Field!

Today I went and ran around inside/on Safeco Field for the third annual Refuse to Abuse 5K that’s hosted by the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Stephanie and I ran in this race last year, too; it’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Stephanie has been dealing with a wonky left ankle for the past few weeks, so she didn’t run, but she still went down and walked the course.



Decked out in my finest neon. There were more than 1,300 runners/walkers and many more spectators.

Before the race, a bunch of pop music was being played (blasted) to help people get “pumped up”. Starbucks also had a booth where you could grab some water or a cup of their lukewarm Passion tea (blech). There were also a few activities for the “kids”. A station was set up with a bunch of markers and construction paper, where you could make encouraging signs to cheer people on. There was also a speed pitch booth, and the Mariner Moose was going around giving hugs and high-fives.

Mariners5k2014_pitchspeedThrowing a squishy, Nerf baseball a whopping 43 miles per hour. I’m a regular Jamie Moyer.

This year, the race was held a little later in the evening (@ 7pm) so it wasn’t as hot/sunny, which was nice. Unfortunately, it was way more humid. Blergh. Also, because there were more runners this year, they implemented a staggered start, releasing waves of ~100 people every 30 seconds, so I only got stuck behind slow pokes a few times. I hadn’t been training very well the last few weeks because I’ve been sick and it’ s been SO HOT, so I ended up running pretty slowly; my time wasn’t great, but it was still fun.

Mariners5k2014_MoosePosing with a 2-D Mariners Moose after finishing the race (image quality courtesy of Stephanie’s iPod).

After the race, we returned home, showered, changed, and went to a new wood-fired pizza restaurant just down the road. It just opened last month and we wanted to check it out. I got a small Caesar salad (which had a deliciously tangy dressing, but didn’t come with croutons??); a happy hour, personal pepperoni pizza (meat #34); and a pint of some local American amber. We were also able to catch the end of the Mariners game, and watch them beat the Angels in extra innings. Woo!

Mariners5k2014_goodiesRace day goodies.

Speaking of the Mariners… I’ve recently been given the opportunity start writing for Lookout Landing, the SBNation blog that covers the M’s. Earlier this week, they posted that they were looking to add an additional writer; I thought that that sounded really neat, so I sent them some writing samples and a resume, and they offered me a job on Wednesday. My first post went up yesterday morning and it was received pretty well. Also, Lookout Landing is currently the most popular blog among all of the baseball blogs on SBNation (I think it averages ~25,000-30,000 site views a day), so having the chance to write for them is not not a big deal. I’m excited!

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Miles run in 2014: 177.5
Books read in 2014: 48

Mariners Matinée

Earlier today, Stephanie and I went to another Mariners game. The weather has been amazing in Seattle this week (75-83 °F and super sunny), and I was able to find some very cheap seats on StubHub; we figured it’d be imprudent not to buy tickets. The game started at 12:40 pm and it was actually a little roasty-toasty sitting on the aluminum bleachers which were directly in the sun. Thankfully, there was a pretty persistent breeze coming in off the water so it wasn’t uncomfortably hot.

May152014_SafecoField_AndrewPlay ball! A sunny, breezy day at Safeco Field.

For lunch, we went to the “The Natural” concession stand where they serve a variety of vegetarian entrées. Stephanie got their veggie burger (which she rated as “meh”), and I got the veggie chilli dog. I’m not sure what kind of non-meats were used to make the hot dog, but it was nicely spiced and had a good texture. And the chilli that they dumped on top was thick and well-seasoned and had carrots and corn and chickpeas and kidney beans and lots of other veggies mixed in. On top of this, I piled a bunch of mustard and ketchup and sauerkraut. It was super messy. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of my hot dog before I snarfed it down. Or maybe that’s not really so unfortunate? I suppose a chilli dog probably isn’t the most photogenic type of dog… in any case, it was delicious! And filling. I would definitely get one again.

SeatView_May152014Our view from the left field bleachers.

Unfortunately, the baseball-related performance of the Mariners was nowhere near as good as the lunchtime-related performance of my chilli dog. Seattle managed exactly two hits. They did not score any runs, losing 2-0. If it hadn’t been so nice out this would have been a fairly miserable baseball game. Oh well. There are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon!

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Miles run in 2014: 139.1
Books read in 2014: 31

The Meat I Eat #21, #22, and #23

I had a buddy (Bryce) from out of town come and stay with me last week. As such, I ended up going out to eat a bit more often than I would’ve if I hadn’t been entertaining. This resulted in the consumption of some meats.

Monday, May 6th, 8pm:

For dinner, we went and tried Mio Sushi up by Green Lake. Stephanie and I split some veggie rolls (tons o’ avocado!) and Bryce and I split some fishy rolls. The veggie rolls were good, but the fishy rolls weren’t quite right… it’s probably because we ordered stuff that was a bit more exotic (e.g. the Banzai roll  which had shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, spicy tuna, tenkatsu, and a sweet chili sauce). They didn’t taste bad – they just didn’t really taste anything like sushi. Anyway, I didn’t love this place, but I’d be willing to go back again and try some more traditional rolls before I dismiss it entirely.

Wednesday, May 8th, 3:30pm:

After a nice afternoon spent walking around Magnuson Park (where we saw some bald eagles, quail, a naked sunbather, and three million puppies), we headed down to The Ram at University Village to watch some baseball (the Mariners were playing a doubleheader in Oakland). While we were hanging out, we ordered some buffalo waffle fries and some hot wings. Both of these make excellent sports-watchin’ snacks. They were also both spicy and salty and delicious.

Friday, May 9th, 12:30pm:

For lunch, we swung by the Ave and got some Indian food (at Shalimar). I ordered their chicken tikka sandwich (one of my favorite lunch dishes in Seattle) which is a big ol’ piece of naan covered with jasmine rice and curried veggies (peas, chickpeas, and carrots) and lettuce and tomatoes and spicy chicken all drizzled with some spicy ranchy sauce. It’s delicious. After eating, we went downtown and mosied around the market for a couple hours because Bryce wanted to get some touristy souvenirs to bring home to some loved ones. We also got a dozen of those little, freshly made donuts (if you’ve been to Pike Place, you know the ones). With cinnamon sugar! Once we finished eating/digesting, we walked down to the stadium district and hung out at the Pyramid Alehouse until the gates opened at Safeco Field.

Bryce and Andrew baseballEnjoying some pre-game sunshine.

I managed to stay away from any more meats inside the ballpark; I got a slice of wild mushroom pizza and some fried pickle spears. (Safeco has some fancy snacks.) Despite the fact that the Mariners lost 6-1, it was still a fun evening.

Mariners+Royals baseabllThe (briefly sun-kissed) view from our seats. The center field bleachers aren’t bad for catchin’ a game.

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Miles run in 2014: 132.7
Books read in 2014: 29

Mariners Game: Beard Hat Night!

Last night we went down to Safeco Field and caught a Mariners game. It was College Night, which meant we were able to get tickets for only ten bucks (hooray for student IDs without dates on them!). They were also giving away Mariners Beard Hats to the first 20,000 fans, so we were super excited. We went down about two hours before the game started to enjoy the ballpark and the (fleeting) sunshine.

pre-game beerCollege Night meant that beers were “only” $5 until first pitch. I got Elysian’s Hombre Lager – it was tasty.

Before the game started we hung out in Edgar’s Cantina, which is a small restaurant inside the stadium. It’s just beyond the left field fence underneath the manual scoreboard. Edgar’s is a neat place to take in a game because it has such a unique view; you’re very close to the field (only ~8′ above the playing field) and there’s also a window that looks right into the visitor’s bullpen (providing an up-close view of the catcher’s backside). Every once in awhile someone will even hit a home run right into the restaurant. Also, the food is tasty and relatively reasonably priced (especially for a ballpark). Four of us split a huge serving of chips and gucamole (for $4), and the carnitas torta (meat! – #20) I got was on a big ol’ hoagie and had so much avocado and only cost $9. Waaaay better than eating a hot dog and only a couple bucks more.

pre-game tortasMid-chew, pre-game tortas.

After the first inning, we wandered up to the 300 level and found our seats. We were waaay up there, only three rows down from the top. Fortunately, every seat in Safeco Field has wonderful sight lines, so we still had a lovely view. As the sun set, the clouds behind the stadium were highlighted with a mix of electric pink and deep dark purple, providing a pretty dramatic backdrop for the game. While a bit windy/chilly, it was a nice night for baseball.

view from our seats - Mariners April 25 2014The view from our seats.

Seattle was playing the Texas Rangers. The Mariners have been playing terribly so far this season, and Texas was leading the division, so the likelihood of an M’s win wasn’t particularly high. True to form, the Mariners soon found themselves down by two runs, but then they battled back by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a three run lead! Their new ($14 million) “closer” came in for what should’ve been an easy outing… and promptly gave up two hits, hit a batter, and walked in two runs. However, despite his best efforts to lose the game, the Mariners first baseman made an extraordinary diving play to snag a hard-hit line drive and execute a game ending double play. Mariners win!!!

beardhatsBeard hats!

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Miles run in 2014: 132.7
Books read in 2014: 27

Southwest Vacation: Day Eight

Today was all about baseball.

Stephanie and I bought tickets to see two spring training games: Cleveland vs. Colorado in Scottsdale at 1:05 pm and then San Diego vs. Seattle in Peoria at 7:10 pm. We got tickets to sit in the grass in the outfield because those are much less expensive (~$8) and it’s usually pretty easy to snag a seat once a few innings have passed. We left Tucson at ~10 in the morning and arrived at Salt River Field a little after noon. This is the newest stadium that’s used in the Cactus League (built in 2011) and it’s quite nice. The grandstands are large and the concourse is open to the field. The main stadium is also surrounded by a ton of practice fields/batting cages. It definitely seems like a top-notch facility.

ST RF grassLawn seats from the right field berm.

Spreading out a blanket and sitting in the grass is a lot of fun. You can lay down or sit back and relax and are treated to a pretty unique perspective for watching the game. But it was SO HOT. There were no clouds and no shade and it was easily 90 degrees in the sun. We did our best to tough it out (via liberal application of sun screen and water consumption) but we only lasted two and a half innings before we had to go looking for shade. Unfortunately, the stadium was PACKED, so we couldn’t find two empty seats together. However, we were able to find a nice spot to stand inside along the main concourse between home plate and first base. There was a raised concrete bench for standing on, which provided a pretty great view of the action, and a large column just to our right that both prevented people from standing in front of us and gave us something to lean against so we could recover from the sun. After drinking a lot of water and standing in the shade for ~15 minutes we both felt a lot better. The only veg-friendly entrée in the whole stadium was the cheese pizza (lame!), so Stephanie and I just got some snacks to share (nachos and a soft pretzel). We watched the rest of the game from our new spot. Cleveland ended up pounding the Rockies, so while the game wasn’t particularly close/tense, it was a lot of fun.

ST 1B lineShade + a breeze made for a much more pleasant vantage point.

Getting from Scottsdale to Peoria is, in theory, fairly simple. It’s a drive that should take less than half an hour, but traffic ended up being miserable, so it took significantly longer than an hour. Fortunately, there was plenty of time between the first and second games, so we didn’t miss any baseball. Stephanie’s dad met us in Peoria to watch the second game with us. We had a chance to walk around before the game started and take in some of the sights and sounds.

starting lineup MarinersvsPadresAndrew ST Ms ball

Mariners 3/21/2014 batting order (left) and standing by the GIANT Mariners baseball (right).

The second game was SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE. The sun set right around first pitch and it was ~72 F and just perfect. It was also a bit less crowded, so it was easier to walk around and find good spots from which to watch the action. During pre-game warm-ups I was standing right behind Paxton as he was doing some long-tossing out in left field. That was pretty neat.

ST left field lineWe watched the first couple of innings from the left field rail.

Although Peoria isn’t as fancy as Salt River, I actually like it a bit more. It’s a little smaller and cozier and has a much more laid back vibe. The food offerings were also a lot better (their menus included thai food and falafel/gyros and salads and burritos and veggie burgers and veggie dogs) and less expensive than Salt River. I was really excited to try a veggie dog… loading up a hot dog at the ballpark with a bunch of mustard and ketchup and sauerkraut (and relish and/or onions, if you’re gross) is such a “baseball” thing… Unfortunately, they were all out of veggie dogs. This was moderately upsetting, and because I had been so looking forward to a (veggie) hot dog, I ended up just getting a regular hot dog instead (meat #18!). It was wonderful and gross and everything that you’d expect from a stadium hot dog.

ST sunsetArizona sunset at the ballpark.

As a Mariners fan, the game wasn’t particularly exciting. Seattle fell behind early and then pulled all of their regulars after the 4th/5th innings (they were already losing pretty badly at this point). Despite this, going to the game was still a lot of fun. It was neat to see Paxton pitch for the first time and weird seeing Cano in a Mariners uniform… Also, a bunch of the Seattle starters stopped right behind where we were standing to sign autographs as they were walking back to the clubhouse. I’m not a cute little kid, so I opted not to go beg for an autograph (even though a small part of me really wanted to). Some of the players seemed to be really good with the kids (especially Brad Miller) and asked questions/told jokes/offered words of encouragement as they were signing.

The game ended up being realllllllly slow, so we left a little early (in the 8th inning) and made the ~140 mile trek back to Tucson. We arrived at Stephanie’s a little after 1 am and fell asleep hard. It was a long, good day.

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Miles run in 2014: 96.4
Books read in 2014: 22