Writing > Los Marineros

November 22, 2012: Los Marineros

After a party, you have a hangover and have to clean up. Since the decision to ditch Yankee fandom, mixed in with the far greater emotions of being pissed off and sad, there's been a part of me that has enjoyed the idea of starting over. I kind of knew that the Yankees were the hated team when I went to that first game even though I knew virtually nothing about the game. But, it was a decision I made, and that bed needed lying in, and for eight seasons, I enjoyed lying in that bed very much. Now I've had my choosing-a-new-team party, though, it's time to clean up, and get back to life: a new life as a Mariners fan.

How does it work, though? Picking a new team. It's something I've not done before. In my earlier years I was very much in the you-can't-ever-change-teams camp. And to a certain extent, I still am. I doubt I could ever not support Liverpool F.C., for example. But I wasn't born in New York. Other than enjoying the city a lot on several vacations, and having a fair few friends there, I have no actual connection to the city. And following baseball came to me later in life. While I'm in no way judging people who do root for teams with a strong News Corp connection, I can't do it. If that means switching teams, so be it. Only in Vatican City and for non-Muslims in Philippines is divorce illegal.

So, the Mariners. Once the decision had been made, it felt like the right decision. Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest in generally, is the part of the United States that I feel the strongest connection with. I have felt warmness towards the Mariners; from a love of Ichiro to having a Mariners-supporting ex-wife. But I'm starting fresh. I don't know a huge amount, the ins and outs, the highs, middles, and lows, of Marinerdom. I've got the winter to do my research and get ready for Spring Training. Aside from the Griffeys, Buhners, A-Rods, Martinezs, Ichiros, and Hernandezs, all I really know of the history is that Dan Wilson was my ex-wife's favourite player.

At the same time as gaining Mariner knowledge, I will hopefully learn to love the Seattle Mariners. Right now, it's an intellectual idea in my head. If the Mariners were to play a World Series game today, I clearly would not have a big emotional investment in the outcome. And I probably won't for a while. It might feel forced for a while, too. But, hopefully, as I get to know the players better, I will start to feel like Mariners fan. The other side of that, of course, is that I have to emotionally let go of the Yankees. You don't stop loving someone if they cheat on you, you might be angry and bitter, but you can't just turn it off. I'm hoping that, with three-ish months until Spring Training, that'll be enough time to get to grips with it. I don't want to hate the current Yankees players. I want to be able to see Cano's beautiful swing and still love it. But I don't want to care about the outcome of that swing.

I want to document all of this. To try and write about the learning process and the loving process. I could just keep a journal, but I won't: it's 2012 and I already put tons of stuff on the Internet, so I might as well document this Yankees-to-Mariners stuff, too. Lastly, I understand the urge to be suspicious of someone switching teams. I didn't want to do this, but I can't live with the News Corp connection. I wouldn't enjoy myself as a Yankee fan. I love baseball too much to have that spoiling things. And I love baseball more than any one team. Having said that, it's time for Mariners baseball.