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Game 13 Open Thread - Royals (7-5) at Mariners (6-7)

The Battle for Grass Creek Begins!!

The Royals travel to Seattle

To battle with Seattle

Hoping to rattle the Safeco rabble

Why are the Royals flying to Seattle to play the Mariners for two games? That doesn't seem like the most logical use of resources and goes against the established precedent of how long in-season match-ups usually last. Weirder still, the Royals and Mariners will not be facing off again in Washington this season, so for whatever reason, there will be only two, not three, Royals-M's games up there; however, the same two squads will battle at the K seven times. Again, seven of the nine Mariners/Royals games this season will be in Kansas City. I understand that you can't split nine games evenly, but, a 7/2 split? Just another reason to despise the unbalanced schedule on principle, because in addition to all the in-division games that end up skewing the Wild Card race, and in addition to the wildly unfair inter-league match-ups, there's just plain old illogical bits of randomness thrown in as well. In this case, like the Royals playing a two-game series in Seattle, and the Mariners returning for seven games at the K later in the year. For good measure, the Royals head south to Anaheim later this week, for another two-game series, ending their involvement at whatever the Angels Park is called now.

Nevertheless, given how heated Royals-Mariners is, all diehard K.C. fans are elated that the schedule favors our boys this season. Ownership of the baseball loyalty of Grass Creek Wyoming is at stake, Thermopolis, Wyoming too.

It divides families, college campuses, marriages and army units.Each side knows just what the other side hates most to hear, and viceversa. Every year ESPN jams the rivalry down our throats, knowing thatwe'll only beg for more. Mariners fans think the Royal cronies arebandwagonners, while Royals fans think the Mariner supporters areself-important and annoying. The Royals are sleek, corporate,professional and classy. The Mariners are swept by the tides of thesea, romantic, given over to loathing and self-doubt.

Caught in the middle of this culture war is Grass Creek, Wyoming.945 miles to the northwest, lies the hellhole of Seattle, 948 miles tothe southeast, the jewel of the plains, Kansas City. On the southeastoutskirts of town, one positively stands astraddle a fault line in theAmerican mind. There is no middle ground and no alternative.

This storied rivalry has taken many interesting turns this decade, and just when you think it can't get crazier, it does. Consider the Mariners-Royals-Mariners career of the hated/beloved/hated Raul Ibanez? Or how Mariners fans must have felt last off-season when Gil Meche turned his back on silver and green and teal and whatever, and donned the blue and white of the Royals? Or, when our precious Jose Guillen did the same? Just thinking about Tony Pena Jr. or Ross Gload becoming a Mariner someday feels me with revulsion. Let them go anywhere else, just not to Seattle.

According to one story I heard, a Royals leaning Microsoft employee/Starbucks barista/Grunge guitarist/Some other Seattle cliche, secretly lodged a picture of SLGGGGGRRRR into the beams of Safeco's retractable roof, back when it was being built. Thus cursing the building forever. Despite that curse however, the Mariners won The Battle last season, winning six of the nine contests between the two teams. This year, thanks to Trey Hillman's leadership and the Guillen revenge factor, those of us in the heartland expect something far different.

It's always special when the Royals and Mariners get together, and even if you aren't a partisan of either team, if you love baseball, you find a way to watch. Tonight's game features Zack Greinke, who looks to build on his 0.60 ERA in his third start of the season. Taking the ball for the Mariners is Jerry Jared Jaredd Ja-Rod Jarred Jarrod Washburn, who hopes to improve on the fact that he was given a hideous name by his parents, which unfortunately is pronounced just like a more commonly spelled version as well. So what was the point?