The Mariners put up an excellent outing tonight against the Cleveland Indians, besting them 4-1.
Chone Figgins and Ichiro both went a yard on the visitors in the first inning, summing up the rest of the day for the AL west team.
Brendan Ryan had reached first base safely, then moved to third during a line drive from Dustin Ackley in the second, Cleveland pitcher Derek Lowe walked both Ichiro and Jesus Montero, allowing Ryan to score.
The only run that Cleveland scored was during the 3rd inning when Aaron Cunningham shot a rocket to left field, resulting in a double. Two sac flys later, he reached home plate.
Ryan struck again in the bottom of the fourth, knotting up the last of the overall scoring in tonight’s match-up.
Though the Mariners winning is a high point of the evening and both Ichiro’ s and Figgins’ first at bats were long balls, these were not important stories of tonight.
Safeco’s attendance was at an all time low, holding only 11,343 fans in its 47,116 capacity stadium.
Could the Mariner’s chairman Howard Lincoln’s recent actions be the cause for the turnout of tonight’s game?
Earlier this month, Lincoln had sent a letter to the city of Seattle and King county stating that the Mariners “support the idea of an NBA team returning to Seattle, but they do not support the SODO location” citing that traffic would play a major issue in the area that already supported two lofty sports teams, the Mariners and Seattle’s pro football team, the Seahawks.
Their has been speculation that the Mariners concerns are not purely about the traffic alone, but the amount of traffic between the stadium in the form of fans.
The Seahawks are beginning to create a lot of pull, with their team making huge improvements and bringing more fans to their doorstep. Basketball and hockey will roughly run around the same time of year that baseball will be starting up, which raises the question, ‘are the Mariners going to lose out the most on this deal?’
It looks as though the problem may have already begun for Lincoln and his team. Opposing the new stadium has surely upset the natives of Seattle, many who were already upset about the fly by night trade that took the Sonics to Oklahoma in the first place. Lincoln’s letter has clearly shot himself in the foot, starting the very decline of attendance he has been striving so hard to avoid.