"Stop wallowing. Several years after 9/11, ballparks still insist on a giant seventh inning buzzkill with a somber rendition of "God Bless America." There's a thin line between loving America and stalking it. Please, we've already sung the national anthem. Now let me honor America the right way: by getting drunk on overpriced beer and yelling obscenities at millionaires on steroids."
--Bill Maher's The New Rules
They said Seattle wasn't a "baseball town." They were wrong. Safeco Field wasn't at capacity this past Saturday, but there were still over 30,000 baseball lovers in attendance. We don't need no stinkin' World Series here to enjoy baseball in the Northwest and although the Mariners have struggled aimlessly these past few years, we love them. Sure, once upon a time we were all that and a bag of chips: Randy, Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar & Buehner with Sweet Lou (Pinella) shit-kicking and guiding them all the way. Those days are long gone. Our lone shining star isn't even of the America ilk, he's a tiny right fielder who plays ball in a Zen like way named Ichiro and on Saturday he won the game for our beleaguered team, hitting his longest homerun ever and it was amazing. At a baseball field in Seattle where depending on where you sit you can see the Emerald City, the majesty of Mt. Rainier or the serenity of Puget Sound, we didn't, for the first time since 9-11, sing God Bless America at the seventh inning stretch, and we won the damn game! God Bless America and its favorite pastime -- baseball.