Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Seattle

March
31st

Young enough to believe the M’s can win the division

Even little kids know why teams head south for spring training.


"It’s cold here!" said 9-year-old Breanna Wagner of Bellevue. But even though the temperature at first pitch was 50 degrees (and it dropped from there), she was more than willing to unzip her jacket to show off her pink Mariners jersey.


She and her brother, 8-year-old Colton, attended a few spring training games at the Mariners’ complex in Arizona last month with their father, Robert. Breanna’s favorite player is Ichiro Suzuki; Colton’s is Kenji Johjima.


"I’ve been a fan of them ever since I first

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March
31st

Not a bad way to earn a day’s pay

Lynn Vena gets a chance to watch every Mariners home game from a spot in behind home plate in the lower bowl.


Oh, and she gets paid for it.


Vena works for the Mariners as a seating host – she’s the one that helps you find your spot and tells others not to walk around during at-bats – and she works most Seattle home games. She’s in her third year at Safeco.


"I couldn’t not be here – to be a part of baseball is just great."

Vena also occasionally

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March
31st

But Ichiro isn’t at Harborview…

Connor Reilly was almost born at Safeco Field last year, so his parents thought an Opening Day ticket for the munchkin was fitting.


His parents, Tyler and Nicola Reilly of Seattle, held the 7-month-old child in the concourse between innings as he napped. On Aug. 28 last year, the couple was watching the Mariners play the Los Angeles Angels when Nicola went into labor.


"It was the first game of that series where, had they won, they would’ve tied up the division. But they went in the tank," Tyler said.


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March
31st

The worst seat in the house? Think again

Most fans crave a chance to sit right behind home plate. Dimarco Grant sat in the seat furthest away – above the top row of the back bleachers behind center field – from the action.


And that’s just fine for him.


"It’s relaxed back here," he said. "And I probably will only stay a few innings."


Grant, a 23-year-old Seattle resident, is a cook for Centerplate. He spent the earlier part of the afternoon on shift at Safeco, so he was just relaxing for a while before returning home. He doesn’t

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March
31st

The rookie and the veteran

It was Lee Person’s 10th Opening Day. It was Jon Barnett’s first.


Judging their reaction, it was tough to tell who the rookie was.


"There’s a ton of people," said Barnett, a 30-year-old Monroe resident. "It’s got a playoff atmosphere to it."


The two chowed down on garlic fries in the concourse outside their seats on the third-base line. Barnett wore a Seahawks hat. Person sported a Mariners jacket.


"I love it," Person said. "I never miss it."

March
31st

Predictions before pitches

It’s the national pastime of the national pastime. Before the first pitch of the regular season is thrown, fans predict what their team must do to win their division.


That’s what best friends Kenneth Elliott and Jack Haines were debating while sitting in their seats directly behind home plate, 18 rows back. The two Boeing employees have bought ticket packages since the 1986 season. They’re season-ticket holders now.


"I come out thinking every year that they could win the division," said Elliott, a 48-year-old Federal Way resident. "But there’s an injury here,

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March
31st

Your correspondents hard at work

The sun’s out – but they’re closing the roof at Safeco Field – and the TNT’s writers are hard at work. I’ve got the pictures to prove it.


Here’s Ryan Divish, who apparently soaked up tons of sun the past six weeks in Arizona:



Here’s columnist John McGrath, who graduated from the finest school of journalism in the country:



And here’s preps guru Doug Pacey, who is writing about the Rangers today (and who graduated from some diploma mill with a good basketball

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