Safeco Field was really well done back 17 years ago, and the place now doesn’t look more than a couple years old.
The in-game production at a Seattle Mariners game rates as some of the best in baseball, and the variety at the concession stands is also among the best in the game.
Another plus: No game will be rained out, thanks to the retractable roof that the Texas Rangers wish they had at Globe Life Park.
Honestly, the only negative, aside from the Mariners teams the past several seasons, is that it’s always cold. That makes sense in mid-April, but it’s true of mid-August.
That observation comes from the press box, so I can only imagine sitting in the stands.
I’ll pass, though, Brett Nicholas’ family sure didn’t seem to mind the temperatures Monday night.
“And I’m the quiet one in the group,” he said of his enthusiastic cheering section.
Here is some Rangers Reaction from a 7-3 win.
1. It’s time to play Who Had the Better MLB Debut?
Nomar Mazara went 3 for 4 with home run Sunday, becoming the youngest player since 1913 to have a three-hit, one-homer debut. It came in a 3-1 loss.
Nicholas went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs Monday, throwing out a runner trying to steal second base and catching all nine innings of a 7-3 win.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock ... the answer, from former NFL coach Herm Edwards:
“You play to win the game.”
Mazara enjoyed a terrific personal performance, and it actually matched the hype that came with him from Triple A Round Rock. But the one thing even he admitted afterward was that he wished that it had come in a win.
Nicholas’ game was pretty darn good. He struck out in his first career at-bat and hit a popup about 45 feet in his second at-bat, but the third resulted a double that eventually led to a run in the seventh and his one-out single in the eighth loaded the bases in a three-run inning that put the game of reach.
Afterward, he met on the field with his family, including the 92-year-old grandfather he credits for introducing him to baseball. Nicholas called that moment, on top of his first game, the best of his career.
2. Manager Jeff Banister was asked before the game if Nomar Mazara is better equipped to extend his success in his first big league stint than Joey Gallo was for his last year.
That question came based on one game for Mazara vs. a larger sampling for Gallo, who struggled after a wildly successful debut and the two good weeks that followed. Who has the better first stint still can’t be answered.
Banister said that Gallo came up as a true power hitter who was going to strike out a lot. Mazara, though, is a better all-around hitter who will have a better chance at avoiding slumps like the one that swallowed up Gallo.
Neither Banister nor anyone who wrote what he said was being critical of Gallo. Anyone who interprets it as criticism is completely off base and needs to take some deep breaths and go wander off to their happy place for a few minutes.
Both players will eventually be in the majors together, probably for good next season in some capacity. Both will hit bumps, as all hitters do.
Gallo already hit his and has learned from it. Mazara’s is coming, but, as the manager said, he is better equipped to survive it than Gallo was a year ago.
3. Colby Lewis is a big believer in the quality start, even if some find the statistic to be flawed. If a pitcher lasts six innings and gives up six runs on eight hits and three walks but only three of the runs were earned, is that really a quality start?
The definition of the stat — no more than three earned runs in at least six innings — appeals to Lewis. If he does that, then he has given the Rangers a good chance to win the game.
He has two of them in two starts this season. The best was Monday, when allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the first inning only to hold the Mariners to only two hits the next five innings.
Had it been May 11 or June 11, he almost certainly would have gone back out for the seventh inning. But it was April 11 and chilly and Lewis’ 90 pitches were deemed to be enough.
They were mostly quality pitches in another quality start for Lewis.
4. Amid all the angst from the opening series and the third straight loss Thursday and the offense’s inability against Weaver and the bullpen’s inability for three straight games and the injuries to Robinson Chirinos and Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers are 4-4 and have 154 games to go.
It’s early, another words, too early to declare the bullpen a waste or the offense declawed or the season lost.
Still up in arms and need something positive to grasp? The rotation has been the team’s No. 1 strength. No starter has allowed more than three runs in any of the eight games. Seven of them have been quality starts, with Derek Holland coming up an inning short Thursday, and that leads the majors.
The rotation’s ERA is 3.35.
Just like anyone who believes that the manager and writers were being critical of Gallo, anyone who is upset with the rotation needs to take some deep breaths and go wander off to their happy place for a few minutes.