Happy Felix Day!


Happy Felix Day! It’s been a while – almost too long, perhaps. Last time we woke up to the sensation of “it’s Felix Day!” the Seattle Mariners were still contending for a playoff spot. It was also the last day of the regular season. Maybe there should have been another Felix Day last year, in the playoffs. We still haven’t had one of those. Maybe that changes this year.

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Felix Hernandez pitches today because it’s Opening Day and Felix always pitches on Opening Day. Opening Day, both symbolically and literally, represents the start of something new. We’ve thought a ton about the 2015 season, but not until now have we had a change to experience it. This is just the beginning. After today there’s so, so much more.

This could be read as a caution – don’t take too much from today’s game, because there are going to be no less than 161 more. For the first time in a really long time, there’s a not-entirely-unreasonable expectation that there may be more games than that. Felix Hernandez has a lot to do with that.

As we’ve seen so painfully often over the years, it takes more than Felix. He can’t do it all by himself, though we’ve certainly seen him try. He’s a monster, but now there are other monsters, too. This team has a lot of talent that it didn’t used to have. It also has Felix, as it always has.

Are you ready for a packed Safeco Field? Today might not even be the only time this year we get to witness such a spectacle, you know. Good teams sell out their games all the times. The Phillies sold out every game for years in a row. The Giants are almost always sold out. The M’s could be a hot ticket, and fast. The days of getting into the stadium for under ten bucks seem long gone.

But that’s fine with us, since winning is worth more than losing. It’s fun to watch a good team win, and significantly less fun to watch a bad team lose. The 2015 Seattle Mariners have the makings of a good team. They should be worth the cost of entry.

We’ve all got the same underlying fear, though: what if they’re not? We’ve been excited about the Mariners before, and it always seems to end the same: 101 losses. Best case scenario for the history of this franchise has always been heartbreaking postseason elimination at the hands of the Yankees. We’re jaded, but not just for the heck of it.

It’s 2015 now, and the Mariners appear to be good. The Yankees probably won’t be eliminating them from the playoffs because the Yankees appear to be bad, or middling at best. So it’s a clear path, right? The road to the World Series ought to go through Seattle, mirroring the winds of the road to the Super Bowl.

Seattle is ready to emerge as a successful sports town. The Seahawks went to the Super Bowl, won it, and then went back the next year. This city is hungry for a World Series, or at least a nice playoff gun. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s time to break through. We’ve waited a long time for Seattle to even have a shot at being a top-flight pro sports city.

Happy Felix Day, everyone. We’ve waited a long time for this day. I’ve got a feeling it’ll be worth the wait.