Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims ‘woke up excited’ ahead of big weekend for Seattle baseball

Oct 1, 2021, 11:25 AM
Jarred Kelenic of the Seattle Mariners holds up a "Believe" sign after the game against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park on Wednesday night. The Mariners won 4-2. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Friday marks the start of the biggest weekend for the Seattle Mariners in a generation.

“I am feeling like it is Christmas in October,” said KIRO Radio’s Ursula Reutin, who says she just bought tickets to attend a game this weekend.

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Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims says he’s thrilled about where the team is now as they’re set to fight for a wild card spot.

“It has been a generation, and I’m hearing from people who said, ‘hey, I wasn’t even born in ’95.’ And then you hear from people who were around,” he said. “But I look at this as a totally different situation — new team, new players, new legends, new highlights — and it’s very exciting. Heck, I woke up excited. I haven’t even had my coffee.”

What’s so different about this Mariners team?

“This crew, FanGraphs has it as the number one clutch team,” Sims said. “Late game situations, scoring runs and winning games, it’s [the] best in the majors. Bullpen has been spectacular for pretty much the entire season with just a few hiccups. Starting pitching has picked up, giving the team some life, shortening up, reducing the outs that the bullpen has to get.”

“And every night it’s a different guy. Somebody makes a great catch, somebody makes a big hit late, somebody hits a home run to put them up,” he added. “… There’s no quit in this team, and that’s a great characteristic.”

It’s been a long time since Seattle fans have been able to talk about meaningful baseball in October. To make it to the playoffs, Sims explains that the best thing the team can do is win all three games this weekend. The Mariners play the already-eliminated Los Angeles Angels at T-Mobile Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“Psychologically, they got sort of a boost in that Shohei Ohtani, they scratched him from the starting assignment for Sunday, which is good because the last time we saw him, he went 10 strikeouts over seven innings and left with the game tied at one,” Sims said. “He’s a dominant pitcher having a spectacular year.”

The Achilles’ heel for the Angels, Sims explains, is their pitching, particularly their bullpen.

“The Mariners have got to jump on them and they can’t afford to suffer a 14-1 loss like they did last week down there,” he said.

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As far as the future, Sims says he’s just happy to live in the moment.

“I’m proud to be a prisoner of the moment,” he said. “This is what’s happening now. As Flip Wilson used to say, the church of what’s happening now, that’s what’s important. We have a lot of young guys coming along who are highly regarded. They’re untested. We have something in front of us right now that has not happened in 20 years. And what it’s all about is getting these cats over the finish line, get them into the playoffs.”

A lot of people say it’s only a one game playoff if the Mariners make the wild card, but as Sims points out, that’s still a chance to beat a good team and move to the next round.

“That is the key thing right now,” he said. “We could use some help for Toronto, Baltimore’s playing Toronto. We could use some help from Tampa Bay playing the Yankees. Tampa Bay’s clinched home field advantage, but they hate the Yankees so they’ll be playing like their life is on the line. So the Mariners just have to win out.”

To help the Mariners win, they’re hoping to have a packed stadium for all three games, and that just might happen. Sims shared that he’s heard anywhere from 35,000 to 40,000 tickets to each game have been spoken for, which he says would be “phenomenal.” T-Mobile Park’s capacity is just over 47,000.

“The announced crowd a couple nights ago was 17, 633, and it was as loud a crowd as I’ve heard,” he said.

The impact of the fans is huge, Sims said.

“Jarred Kelenic in his postgame interview with Jen Mueller, ROOT Sports, was talking about, ‘Hey, we need you fans. You’ve been a big part of what we do and who we are, we love you,’ and all that kind of stuff, and it’s true, and it has been a big impact,” Sims said. “… When those gates open today at about five o’clock and as people start pouring in, I’m sure they’re going to be ready to rock from five o’clock, let alone at 7:10, so it’s going to be — it’s vital.”

You can hear the Seattle Mariners on 710 ESPN Seattle. They play the Angels at T-Mobile Park in Seattle at 7:10 p.m. Friday, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, and 12:10 p.m. Sunday.

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims ‘woke up excited’ ahead of big weekend for Seattle baseball