It’s tough being a sports columnist for a weekly newspaper, deciding which events to report or comment on, which events to skip, etc.
There’s a bit of a schedule problem coming up the weekend of April 13-14 with two opening “days” to report on, the Mariners with their home opener on the 13th against Oakland and the opening of the 17th season at Emerald Downs in Auburn.
Being a staunch supporter of the thoroughbred horse racing track and an ardent Mariner reporter and fan, choosing was tough, but I weighed the pros and cons and decided to help open the horse-racing season on the 13th, hoping Friday the 13th will be a good instead of a bad omen, and watch the Mariners and the A’s on Saturday night to avoid the first-night crush.
The Washington Horse Racing Commission approved an 81-day race meeting for this year, similar to last year with an April 13 open, a Sept. 23 ending.
The track will be busy Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with Thursday racing added for six straight weeks beginning July 19, with holiday racing Memorial Day, July 3 and Labor Day.
Post times (that’s the start of race 1) remain at 6 p.m. weeknights and 2 p.m. weekends and holidays.
The stakes schedule includes the 77th running of the Longacres Mile on Aug. 19.The Chapmans have been attending the races since the first one in 1996, staying, by the way, at the same motel near the track for 16 years. The Comfort Inn, by the way, has had the same resident manager the entire time, which is unusual. Opening night is always fun, with the rich and famous crowding the Emerald Down grandstands and Turf Club. Even the members of the covering media will be wined and dined on a smaller scale on the top floor. Hopefully I can pick a few winners on the opening.
The Mariners split their two games in Japan with Oakland and now resume the series this weekend in Oakland. Based on two games, the Seattle bullpen looks very shaky and the situational hitting continues to be a problem. They have to get a couple of wins at home before they go to Texas next week.
I‘ve been to quite a number of opening nights and days at Safeco Field and will pass on the opening this year. The press box always is overflowing on the first night, but the “real” reporters and broadcasters have plenty of room on the second night of the first series of the year. It’s not easy “covering“ the Mariners. Preferred parking in the garage, media passes, access to the clubhouse and the field, great view of the game from the three-tiered media area, $8 for a full dinner in the media dining room, with hot dogs, popcorn, cookies, soft drinks provided during the game, as well as yummy ice cream bars. I am going to have to watch my wardrobe, however, as Major League Baseball has requested members of the media covering games dress in an appropriate and professional manner that reflects their respect for their colleagues, the teams and players they are covering. The dress code: business casual dress.
Flip-flops are not permitted in clubhouses.
Jeans should be clean, neat and presentable. Ripped jeans should be avoided.
T-shirts bearing offensive, disrespectful or inappropriate messages are not permitted. Clothing bearing MLB club logos should not be worn in press areas.
The following should be avoided:
So, you see, it’s not easy being a member of the media.Reach Scooter Chapman at
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