Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Ball

I have been waiting for today ALL winter long. I have been waiting to hear the cracks of the bat as the hitter crushes the ball into left field. The sounds of the ball thudding into the catchers mitt as the pitcher fires a 98 mph fast ball past the batter for a strike. The sounds, the smells and the sights. All of it is like one really late Christmas present that I cannot wait to open.

Of course I am speaking of opening day for the Seattle Mariners. They kick off their season tonight against the Texas Rangers at home. Opening day at Safeco Field. I wish I was there to see them take the field for the first time this season. But since I am not I am happy with the next best thing, watching the game on TV and letting Dave Niehaus bring the game to life for me as if I were there myself.

I am excited to see Erik Bedard take the mound tonight for the first time as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Forget his Spring Training ERA kids, this guy has some serious skill. Hopefully he is lights out tonight. And if not, let's not get too worked up about it because he is going to be something special for us this season.

So much promise for this team going into this season and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

Little under two hours till game time. WOOOHOOOO! Let's go M's!!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Aside from my mother in law Linda probably one of the biggest things that sucked me into loving baseball and most importantly the Seattle Mariners was listening the voice of the Mariners Dave Niehaus. Such a big part of being a sports fan for me is listening to the announcers. The truly talented and amazing ones will suck you right in, they will make you feel like you are right there in the game yourself. In my opinion Niehaus is only second to the voice of the Edmonton Oilers Rod Phillips. Phillips is the hall of fame play by play guy on Oilers radio. There are nights when I would rather listen to the game on the radio than listen to the TV announcers. He is amazing. Feel free to click HERE for a little taste of Rod. No one says "HE SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORES!!" quite like Rod. But I digress...

Dave Niehaus has been the voice of the Seattle Mariners since the very first pitch back in 1977.

Little did people know back then that he would become one of the greatest of all time. It takes a special person to be able to sit there and capture every moment for you as if you were at the ball park yourself. Those of you who think baseball is boring and has no excitement you are oh so wrong. Listening to Dave Niehaus call a game is all the excitement you need sometimes. One of my favorite calls made by Niehaus is his famous grand slam call. A grand slam for you out there who are baseball virgins is when a HR is hit with men on all 3 bases. NO ONE calls it like Dave does. Click on the link below to hear for yourself.

"Get out the rye bread and mustard Grandma it is grand salami time!!"

Perhaps the greatest moment in Seattle Mariner's history was in the 1995 playoffs when Edgar Martinez hit a game winning double against the New York Yankees. It is this play alone that they say literally saved baseball in Seattle. What makes this moment even greater is listening to Dave make the call.

" I don't believe it, it just continues. MY OH MY!"

For some more audio of some of Dave's great calls click on the links below...

Why you ask am I telling you all this? Well, after being nominated year after year Dave finally was given the honor of winning the Ford C. Frick award which recognizes broadcasters who make major contributions to baseball. Niehaus will receive his award and be inducted into the broadcasters wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 27, 2008.

Congratulations Dave, we look forward to seeing you in Cooperstown this summer.

Smyth Gets Obliterated by Johnson

I have been trying to post some YouTube stuff lately but for some reason it doesn't seem to be working. So I guess I will just have to post the link and you will have to go all the way to YouTube yourself if you want to see the video.

Last week the Colorado Avalanche were playing the Los Angeles Kings. Ryan Smyth who had 2 goals on the night was totally obliterated by Kings D man Jack Johnson. Scary stuff. When Ryan hit the ice you could have heard a pin drop in that arena. How he walked away with only a mild concussion is beyond me. More proof in my opinion that the guy IS made of steel.

Get well soon Ryan!!