Baseball is back on the corner by Edgar and Dave! The Mariners face the Astros with a first pitch of 6:42. Tune in early for the pre-game festivities, including the iconic magenta rug and Ichiro throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. If his off-season preparation is any indication, we are sure to get a strike.
While Marco had the ball on opening day each of the last three years when your team signs the reigning Cy Young winner, you have to settle for the home opener instead. The man loves a bunch though, so expect him to be reinforced. His fastball can even touch 80 mph with the extra adrenaline. Crawford strikes fifth place again, Murphy stands behind the dish, and Haniger is a homer from 100 in a Mariners uniform. It was only when I saw the actual lineup that it dawned on me how much fun it would be if they put Julio in this game. Can you even imagine?
As for the Astro’s lineup, I want to quote John from earlier today: “Jake does not let me just write ‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!’ here, so I want to note what I did in Houston’s season preview a few weeks ago: This is a beast of a club, and also the most vulnerable Astros list for years. ” The good news is that Yordan Alvarez is not in the line-up and will apparently be at IL all weekend in accordance with the health and safety protocols.
It’s also Jackie Robinson Day that celebrates the anniversary of Jackie taking the field for the Dodgers 75 years ago (little known fact: he actually played first base in that game). All players will wear # 42 in his honor today, an exercise by Ken Griffey Jr. was famous for in 2007.
If you want to keep busy before the game starts, I highly recommend this Baseball Prospectus piece from Shakeia Taylor on how we can make Jackie Robinson Day better; this New York Times article on the Hall of Fame’s reconsideration of Jackie’s place in the museum; or today’s episode of the Athletic Baseball Show where Dave Sims reflects on Jackie’s life and legacy.
Personally, I have read my copy of First-class citizenship, a collection of Jackie Robinson’s letters that I believe are sold out. But if you can get your fingers in a copy, it’s a good book to have on an end table so you can flip through it when a game gets boring or when someone in your household forces you to watch. Survivor (in my household that person is me). There are some real gems in there, such as this 1958 baby burner for Dwight Eisenhower:
My dear Mr President,
I was sitting in the audience at the Negro leaders’ summit yesterday when you said we need patience. When I heard you say this, I felt like getting up and saying, “Oh no! Not again.” I respectfully remind you that we have been the most patient of all people. … 17 million Negroes can not do as you suggest and wait for human hearts to change.
If you can not find that book, then I can not recommend his memoirs highly enough. IN I never got it madeyou get a lot more depth in his story than you usually hear, especially as it tells of his transition from strategically turning the other cheek to making his voice heard.
A story begins with: “‘Mr. Rickey, I asked, are you looking for a Negro who’s afraid to fight back? …’ Robinson, ‘he said,’ I’m looking for a ball player with enough courage not to strike back. ‘”We then read about his 1949 season:” Not being able to fight back is a form of severe punishment … the great victory [now] won … I could fight back whenever I wanted. ” And upon reflection in his last years, he notes:
One day, twenty years ago, they liked the way I stole home or admired my ability to be offended or hurt and turn around and walk away. For the admiration they have given me, it is meant that I shall in future and forever surrender my soul. I must not have an opinion. If I get natural, usually indignant, they describe my mood as furious. See what we did to this guy by admiring him, and here’s how he reciprocates us – by believing that he has the right to say something we do not agree with. I do not owe any living person my soul, my integrity, my freedom of thought and expression. People who believe they have the right to restrict and suppress these freedoms are mentally ill.
He lived a rich and complex life, and it’s good and important that MLB honors his legacy today, making Seattle’s home opener even bigger. Get up!
First pitch: 18:42 PT
TV: ROOT Sports, MLB.tv, etc. (Sims and Blow)
Radio: 710 KIRO (Rizzs and Goldy)
Weather: So what? We have a roof!