Mark Lane- Flawed Hero

I saw a small announcement in the paper the other day that Mark Lane had died. Lane, a social activist, lawyer and fly in the ointment of the powers that be wrote the book Rush to Judgement a brutal autopsy on the conclusions of the Warren Commission. Lane argued that the Commission had begun with the assumption of Lee Harvey Oswald’s guilt in the assassination of John F Kennedy. With Oswald dead and unable to speak for himself, Lane volunteered his services as Oswald’s attorney before what amounted to Oswald’s trial and conviction. At the end of the hearings and with the production of 26 volumes of material the Commission did indeed conclude that Oswald was the gunman and that he had acted alone. For Lane the sheer volume of material was nothing more than an attempt to mask the truth.

                I went to a lecture given by Lane at Shoreline Community College in the spring of 1976. The Kennedy murder had fascinated me from the moment it happened even though I was only 8 years old in 1963. I had devoured Jim Bishop’s The Day Kennedy Died and William Manchester’s The Death of a President. Kennedy had been a hero in our household and I suppose I was trying to understand why and how an insignificant warehouse worker could cut down the author of the New Frontier. In 1976, I had heard the conspiracy theories but still harbored a belief that Oswald had acted alone and that the Commission had done a thorough job. Viewing the recent Watergate Scandal as an anomaly, I never had reason to doubt the Commission’s version of events, believing that the honorable men we placed in positions of power would never lie to us about such momentous matters. Then I went to Lane’s lecture. I read Lane’s book. It proved to be a seminal moment for me. I began to wonder if the basic integrity that I assigned to our public servants was an illusion. Watergate was not an anomaly but business as usual in DC. Lane cracked the door open to the idea that the men in power, and at that time it was still mostly men at the controls, were less interested in serving the highest ideals and more interested in serving themselves. In the fall I would enter the UW, a bastion of radical thought and healthy pessimism. I would learn of our dealings in Guatemala and Iran in the 50’s and wrote a paper on the way the media was played during the Gulf of Tonkin crisis. Yet despite all that, I’ve never lost my faith in the principles ensconced in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  

                Over time of course, even Mark Lane began to lose his luster. Lane suffered from the liberal tendency to make excuses when faced with facts. In 1978 Lane represented the leader of the People’s Temple in San Francisco, Jim Jones. When Jones led his followers into mass suicide, Lane continued to defend the group, claiming Jones was harried by a vast conspiracy of CIA and other government officials. It was a lesson to me that men on either side of the spectrum were capable of twisting truth.

                Over the years since reading Rush to Judgment I’ve immersed myself in the Kennedy conspiracy literature. The sheer magnitude and paranoia surrounding all the theories eventually convinced me that it was an unhealthy place to go. I don’t know that I’ve ever come back to acceptance of the Warren Commission’s conclusions; to his credit Lane exposed a hurried and preconceived verdict. Enough questions remain unanswered and at this point may never be answered. We’re just not going to know. In the end, Lane, and others, have taught me that citizenship is not so much pledging allegiance than living allegiance by maintaining a constant tension between distrust and commitment to the higher ideals we avow. Even if it means you have to call the assholes out.

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Tangled Vines

Unless and until you understand the biblical concept of God’s unmerited favor, God’s unaccountable love, most of the biblical text cannot be interpreted or tied together in any positive way. It is, without doubt, the key and the code to everything transformative in the Bible. People who have not experienced the radical character of grace will always misinterpret the meanings and major direction of the Bible. The Bible will become a burden, obligation, and weapon more than a gift.

Richard Rohr- Daily Meditation January 25, 2016 “God is Eternally Giving Away God.”

Grace unearned, Grace Unlimited, Grace that is Relentless.

How I deal with my measure of Grace, well, that is between God and I.

I have No claim on arbitrating Grace between God and anyone else. Not by my baptismal privilege nor any sense of God’s mark on me (be wary of the self-proclaimed anointed ones)

It isn’t really up for discussion but….

Whether we have our own salvation fearfully worked out,

or not…

Toward others we are un-occluded vessels for God’s Grace

If our occlusions get in the way of God’s unrelenting pursuit of the Other, then we need stand down lest we delay God’s work in them and by that delay The Kingdom.

Because in the end…. Mercy and Grace are inextricably twinned in God’s heart and we should be cautious when we take pruning shears to that wild tangle.

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Imagine: 35 Years After the Death of John Lennon

I was in a classroom at the University of Washington the night that John Lennon was killed. We were preparing for final exams, and this would be the last lecture before the quarter ended. I had already earned a Bachelor’s in History but I was unable to quite let go of the world of academia. One because as anyone who has a history degree knows, the only thing you are prepared for is either further study, or working in a copy shop. I was doing the latter as I continued to explore my options. Number two was that I honestly loved the process of learning in a college setting. Given my high school track record and my GPA, no one might have guessed that I would ever find myself in the rigors of college level work. I did and during that time in 1980 I was weighing options as varied as getting a second degree in Communications with an eye toward newspaper writing, getting a teaching certificate, or going on to graduate school, maybe even eventually winding up at the University of Virginia to study and write on Thomas Jefferson and earning a PHD. That way I could stay in the safe world of the university until I died or failed to earn tenure. The world was still my oyster.


The class was some introductory level course in newswriting though I can’t recall the name or the number. It was taught by a woman professor who wasn’t too far removed from the very seats we were in that night. She came into the room on the third floor of Thompson Hall with a stricken look on her face. She set her briefcase down on the floor beside her rather than on the lectern as was her usual manner. She spoke a single sentence, “John Lennon has just been shot and killed in New York. Class is cancelled.” She picked up her briefcase and headed back out the door. We all sat for a moment and then in stunned silence put our notebooks back into our backpacks, capped our pens and filed out of the hall, many of us following the professor down to the Hub where we watched the news unfold. An obsessed fan was all we knew about the assassin, Yoko had been with him and some wondered if she had been the target due to her perceived influence of the Beatles breakup ten years before. I had many thoughts swimming in my head at the time but for some weird reason I kept thinking that Lorne Michaels’ offer of a thousand dollar payout for a Beatles reunion on Saturday Night Live was never going to happen now.


In the days that followed more information emerged about the killer Mark David Chapman. In the end the verdict is still murky due to Chapman’s self-serving statements and for many ears a less than sincere expression of remorse. The catalyst seemed to be that Lennon had offended Chapman’s “born again” Christian sensibilities with the song Imagine.


“Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people living for today


Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people living life in peace,…”


The irony was that it wasn’t so hard to imagine those words setting a fevered mind on a path of violent reaction. This is not to say religion caused Lennon’s death, but like a gun in the wrong hands it isn’t too hard a leap to make a connection; to say nothing of combining the two. So now less than two weeks after the events in Colorado and San Bernardino, where fanatics with weapons decided to impose the “wrath of God” on innocents we can only “Imagine.” And then we have to get to work.

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Politics as (Un)Usual

When someone wants to stir the political pot there are a number of ways to get the media’s attention. One is to reel off bombastic one liners ala Donald Trump. The media loves controversy and Trump provides controversy at a level unseen since the days of the penny press. I read recently that one of the ways that the civil rights movement gathered attention to their non-violent demonstrations was to specifically target locations where they knew law enforcement would react violently. Their rational was that the media would pay little attention to a protest if all they could report on or take pictures of was folks sitting peacefully at a lunch counter or on courthouse steps. I was reminded of this over the weekend when I watched the takeover of the Bernie Sanders rally in Westlake Park last Saturday by two members of Black Lives Matter Seattle.

I didn’t make the connection that this was an act of political theatre right away. I thought it was a little appalling and counterproductive to be honest. My reaction was a conditioned response to disruption for the sake of disruption. What does it accomplish? I also asked, why Bernie? If anyone was going to be sensitive to the cause of BLMS, it would be Bernie Sanders. What I didn’t understand was the depth of dissatisfaction with the political process that lay behind the protest. My perspective began to change when quite by accident I happened upon an interview on MSNBC with one of the Saturday agitators, and let us be careful how we interpret the word agitation. It is not always a bad thing to stir the pot.

As I listened to Marissa Johnson speak I was deeply impressed by the depth of her conviction and her articulate defense of the Saturday action, and actions she has engaged in before. This was not her first interaction with a politician or with authority. But this time she garnered national attention and was given an opportunity to speak to a national audience on matters relating to the racism that still grips this country. A racism that unfortunately crept into my own silent thoughts when on Saturday I dismissed Johnson and her colleague as just being “angry black women.” Though in my defense I’ve also dismissed black hooded anarchists as “over-privileged dilettantes” and even too strident (my opinion) environmentalists as “crazy tree huggers.” But that is what often happens to the worst and the best of us when we allow the media to create the narrative. Instead of motivations that go behind the act, the act becomes the story. Or the actors are hauled before the court of public opinion with accusations that they are a Sarah Palin dirty tricks plant. This happened to Johnson as her upbringing in what she called a “Tea Party” home was used to tie her to a Tea Party agenda and dismiss out of hand her motives before she had a chance to explain them.

I watched the rest of the interview then looked for it on-line and watched it from the beginning. Johnson did not take the bait when asked about her youthful support for Sarah Palin and her evangelical upbringing. Quite simply she was radicalized by what happened in Ferguson and what keeps happening around the country with police and black men, armed and unarmed. Her views changed; in religious terms you might even say she “repented.” She went on to argue that the media and politicians, even Sanders, dance around the issue of racism that is embedded in our politics, in law enforcement, in our religious institutions, in our social structure as a whole. It may be latent, undetectable to those who don’t consider themselves racist until they are confronted with their own limitations as I was on Saturday. It is also quite clear, that when a white supremacist filled with hatred guns down a bible study group, or a candidate for the Presidency dismisses illegal immigrants as “rapists” and worse, and goes unchallenged by those of us who should know better, that it is blatant.

When I was an undergraduate and becoming aware that a degree in History was not going to get me very far in the world, I began to think about pursuing a second degree in journalism. I was still naïve enough to believe that journalists were dedicated to truth and objectivity and that this was a spot that my idealism might find expression. Of course I wasn’t so naïve that I didn’t already understand that objectivity is a difficult ideal to obtain. But in the quest there had to be some nobility. Those plans got put on a railroad siding as life intervened of course and the years have created in me a certain disillusionment with journalism overall. To be sure there are those dedicated to unearthing truth and holding the three branches of government to the standards expressed in the Constitution. But more often than not media likes to play the gotcha game and then stand back and report on the fireworks. It’s a pretty show but in the end we’ve accomplished nothing. How can we not respect those who understand the dynamic and are willing to challenge it by exploiting it?

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Prayer for Holden


Tucked away in a remote valley in Washington’s North Cascades lies a community hell-bent on living and establishing the Kingdom of God in the world. Holden Village, a Lutheran church retreat center that opens their doors to everyone, is a place that holds deep meaning for me. Though I’ve only visited there three times, the last more than twenty years ago, Holden continues to keep a hold on my imagination and give me hope of possibility in the midst of impossibility.

As of early this morning, the Wolverine complex fire was two miles east of the village which was evacuated of all but essential personnel last week.Firefighters and village residents and staff remain confident that efforts to contain the fire and protocols already in place, including the metal roofs on most of the buildings, that Holden will escape the flames. Of course this is fire, a natural occurrence that has no mind of its own and no objective other than to consume everything in its path. This fire was caused by lightning strikes and it is difficult not to pay proper respect to Mother Nature and her natural cycles. If anything provides a clue to how miniscule our efforts to subdue her can be this fire does. And while we pray the hand of God would stay the flames and preserve this special place, I don’t know of any villager who believes that God operates in such a way as to preserve or destroy a church retreat. But in the case of Holden, whatever the eventual outcome, the Spirit that informs and guides Holden will not let fire be the last word.

Holden was the dream of one Wes Prieb who heard that the mining company that owned the property was ready to shut down and sell it off, including the structures. From the Village’s website; “A newspaper report about the closing caught the attention of a fellow named Wes Prieb, who was living in Anchorage, Alaska, at the time. Wes did not know quite where Holden Village was, but that didn’t stop him from writing to the company, inquiring as to price. Howe Sound promptly replied that the asking price was $100,000. On April Fool’s Day, 1958, Wes—by now a student at the Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) in Seattle—wrote a second time. Again a prompt reply: still $100,000. Two years later, again on April 1, Wes wrote suggesting that the property would be “desirable” for use by the church or Lutheran Bible Institute. He received a telegram instructing him to call the company’s office – collect. The company wanted to give the village to LBI.

Wes realized that it might be time to let LBI know what he’d been up to. College officials were stunned and skeptical. With Wes, they made a trip to Holden and were awestruck by the facility, the size and potential. They also recognized restoring and maintaining the village was beyond the tiny college’s financial capacity. With start-up funding from several national Lutheran youth groups and efforts from many volunteers, the non-profit Holden Village, Inc., was formed.”

I don’t know about you but Wes either had been touched by the sun, or he had been touched by the Son. From those audacious beginnings Holden has grown into an internationally recognized place for retreat and renewal. On my last visit, members of the Seattle City Council were citizens of the village at the same time our church hike group was there with others from our congregation. It isn’t just for Lutheran’s and it isn’t just for those bearing the Christian appellation. But make no mistake, it is a vision and working model of God’s Kingdom. I called the folks with us at the time as citizens for that is who we became. Residents and citizens of Holden.

My first visit to Holden was as a chaperone for three members Luther Memorial’s youth group. I was still pretty young myself, married less than three years and a father not yet a year. But I leapt at the opportunity to go with the three young men as “adult-supervision” and we set out to drive across Stevens Pass, and up to a place where the Lady of the Lake waited to carry us up Lake Chelan to a place called Lucerne, not much more than a dock and a couple of outbuildings. The boat mostly serves as transportation for tourists headed to Stehekin but carries pilgrims from North Seattle and Minnesota and even Luther’s Germany to the dock at Lucerne. Holden lies a twelve mile bus ride up a winding gravel road. That is one way to get there and by a wide margin the most likely way.

But you can walk into Holden as well; if you have about a week and a ride to the trailhead an another ride at the dock down lake. I’ve done that twice in my lifetime, again with a contingent from Luther Memorial. Heading up the Suiattle River drainage one passes a spectacular campsite with an open air lavatory view of Glacier Peak that is hard to beat. Continuing east one passes a remote cabin before heading up to intersect the Pacific Coast Trail, a short descent to glacier fed Lower and Upper Lyman Lakes, Crown Point Falls and down to Hart Lake before hiking into the outer reaches of the village, past an old ball field and abandoned foundations of houses for married miners. The village itself is a collection of buildings one would expect to find in a mining operation, including dormitories, recreation hall, and a kitchen and dining hall. I’m not sure how we timed it both years but we managed to coordinate our arrival with the village’s observation of world hunger solidarity day. After five days on freeze dried spaghetti and “meatballs” and iodine treated water, rice and beans were not what we were craving. But portions are generous and by Friday the village barbeque more than makes up for the delayed gratification. The village even then was very “green” and very attentive to the danger of fire. Smoking was allowed but make sure the butts go into the sand filled cans.

But Holden was about more than healthy eating, Smoky the Bear, and a warm bed and soft mattress after a few days on rocks and Top Ramen. Holden Village is a cooperative community that asks a little of the residents but gives back much more. Sounds like what Jesus was talking about to me. One can enjoy informal classes or discussion groups ranging from how best to deal with frostbite to practicing non-violence and everything in between. A substantial library, a worship space for evening vespers, bowling on a hand operated lane, and ice cream sundaes between 7 and 8:30. If that doesn’t suit you, there are opportunities for service ranging from helping in the kitchen to running the printing equipment or working in the bookstore. Or you can wander back out onto multiple trails that take you back up to Hart, or off to Holden Lake or down to a quiet spot on Railroad Creek where you can take in the spectacular peak named Bonanza. The kitchen will even cook the trout you pulled from the creek that morning. Or you can wander up to the old mine which is currently in the midst of a major remediation project that will see the removal of the giant tailings piles which have been poisoning the lower part of the creek.

Personally I didn’t really appreciate Holden at the time for what was going on. In the midst of the Reagan Era, it was easy to dismiss the villagers as throwbacks to the 60’s. Idealists that refused to come into the real world. What I didn’t realize at the time but what Holden was teaching me nevertheless was that these were not hippie rejects singing Kumbaya and living in a dream world but a people with eyes directed faithfully to a future Kingdom. Holden doesn’t hit you over your head with it, but using a bad metaphor, it leeches into your soul like the poisonous tailings. One is certain death, the other though is the promise of a different life.

I am watching the Wolverine fire with more than passing interest. Holden is a place that crept into my system a long time ago and stayed there. As I continue to grow and try and understand what God wants to do with me I realize that the Holden I experienced will have a lot to do with whatever the outcome is. I pray the fire misses this special place, not only mine, but for many. But I am CERTAIN that if the worst should befall this place, that it will not be the final say. Holden will almost certainly rise from ashes. I include myself among a people that believe in resurrection, not just at the Tomb but even for someone like myself and most certainly for a place called Holden Village.

I was moved to write this from a post a friend of mine made this morning on Facebook. Another member of our rag tag youth group and resident of Holden. I share Aimee’s words because they not only made tears flow, but words as well.

“I dreamt of Holden Village last night. I awoke with the Holden Prayer in my mouth; Holden is more than just a place, it is a state of mind. May the Village be safe from the fire…

‘O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’”

Picture 1 Fire Hoses protecting the village

Picture 2 Pastel I did based on a small creek that feeds into Railroad Creek just outside the village.

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Proof of Something: Maybe it’s God


This is a follow-up to my Friday evening post about the sunset end to a perfect evening and pretty decent day, and God and drinks and being in the moment, which if you look hard enough is in the Bible even though we try to hide it behind a lot of Judaic moral code and judgment, but I digress.

I can’t prove God to you, not in the laboratory and test tube sense, though if you know HOW to look God is in those places too . So theoretically I get the parts about moisture in the air and light refraction and all that. I know science has an explanation for that, and maybe can even tell us how our rods and cones feed a particular part of our brain so that we “appreciate” such sights, but honestly when you get down to it, H2O and light rays, and rods and cones and the incredibly complex folds of our brain are as much a testament to Divine presenceas they are to random happenstance. So when the complexities of both theology and science seem to muddy the waters I often find it’s just easier to imagine a God sitting on my deck with some sort of cool drink in Her hand and telling me, “I made that for you.”

I am not a science denier either. Honestly I know about as much about science as I do about theological considerations. But science is doing a great job of explaining how we got off track on care and stewardship of our planet. That was something God put down in the first chapters of the Holy Bible. Care for Creation, we had that bungled almost as soon as we hit the ground. Paradoxically enough I find a lot of comfort in the words of a deeply atheistic man, but one I nevertheless admired. Carl Sagan in the original Cosmos series said, “We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” Dude, you just described God.

“Be still and know that I am God.” As I get older I’m finding this to hold a lot of water and whether I’m watching the new Cosmos or just sitting in a quiet sanctuary of my own mental devising, I find that proof of God comes along like simple drops of rain. To wit my follow up to my Friday evening post.

My Pastor commented late Friday on my post that coming Sunday there would be a sermon and snippet in our bulletin for the day’s worship that I might find intriguing. To set the stage just know that neither Pastor Julie nor I had been in conversation and that the sermon had already been written at that point and the bulletins printed. But you see, The Spirit is a playful muse and She teases with these seemingly random “coincidences” and if you have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is difficult to not say that there is a God that delights in blowing our minds.

So here is page 12 from our Sunday bulletin, my pictures and comment reposted and if you don’t think there is some Divine Presence behind our wonderfully complex yet bewilderingly simple world… then I can’t help you, but that doesn’t matter, God also delights in our skepticism and unbelief as easily as our single minded devotion.

God’s Bathrobe- By Michael Coffey

God sat Sunday in her Adirondack deck chair, reading the New York Times and sipping strawberry lemonade. Her pink robe flowering down to the ground.

The garment was fluff and frill and it spilled holiness down into the sanctuary into the cup and the nostrils of the singing people.

One thread trickled loveliness into a funeral rite as the mourners looked in the face of death and heard the story of life truer than goodness.

A torn piece of the robe’s edge flopped onto a war in southern Sudan and caused heartbeats to skip and soldiers to look into themselves deeply.

One threadbare strand of the divine belt almost knocked over a polar bear floating on a loose berg in the warming sea.

One silky string wove its way through Jesus’ cross and tied itself to desert-parched immigrants with swollen tongues, and a woman with ovarian cancer and two young sons

You won’t believe this but a single hair thin fiber floated onto the yacht of a rich man and he gasped when he saw everything as it really was

The hem fell to and fro across the universe filling in space and time and gaps between the sub-atomic world with the effervescent presence of the one who is the is

And even in the slight space between lovers in bed the holiness flows and wakes up the body to feel beyond the feeling and know beyond knowing

And even as we monotheize and trinitize and speculate and doubt even our doubting the threads of holiness trickle into our lives

And the seraphim keep singing “holy, holy, holy” and flapping their wings like baby birds and God says: give it a rest a while

And God takes another sip of her summertime drink and smiles at the way you are reading this filament now and hums: It’s a good day to be God.


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A Special Season

2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Mariners’ first trip to the post season. 1995 was a mystic season that no one saw coming, even the most devoted Mariners fan. I sure didn’t, even though that team boasted the likes of Ken Griffey Junior, Edgar Martinez and his “brother” Tino, Jay Buhner and Randy Johnson who was just beginning to plumb the depths of how good he could be. They also had a solid group of role players and a hot prospect in a kid out of Miami named Alex Rodriguez, who had, as they say, a cup of coffee in the majors. Last I heard he was trying to catch on with the Yankees after a year out of baseball. I digress. Back in 95 with Sweet Lou Piniella at the helm, it seemed like Seattle was going to be a perennial powerhouse and maybe even get to the World Series. Bad front office decisions, big egos and the misunderstandings that come from mixing the two and we’re still waiting two decades later.

In 2015, the Mariners are flying under no one’s radar. They are the odds on favorite to win the American League West, arguably the best division in baseball. Then, riding on the strength of their pitching they could make a deep run into October. Maybe ending with a parade down Fourth Avenue around Halloween. Can you imagine the iconic pennant trophy gripped tightly in the hands of The King or Robbie Cano? Expectations are high with good reason, the Mariners spent the offseason making acquisition after acquisition to bolster a club that finished a game short of the post-season last year.

Of course every spring comes with a disclaimer or two. If they stay healthy, if the hitters live up to their reputations, Jeff Cirillo anybody? If the pitching staff continues to be dominant and if Fernando Rodney has a few more invisible arrows in his quill.

Last year despite a 4-11 record down the stretch the M’s finished one game short. It shows what a crazy game baseball can be, because the teams they were jockeying with were also failing to set the world on fire. Case in point the Oakland A’s led by GM Billy Beane, the “boy” genius who out=thought himself and went all in on pitching. The quick exit from the one game playoff blew Beane’s plan apart and as Crash Davis told Nuke, “don’t think, just throw.”

It’s a long season, but every single one of the 162 games counts. You don’t notice it so much when you are perennial cellar dwellers. When you come up a game short though it stings the same way that throwing an interception on the game winning drive, at the one yard line in the Super Bowl might. So despite the not thinking caution, every fan had to think about those two losing streaks in the early part of the season or that 4-11 finish when all they had to do was break even to run away with it or win two more.

For the first time in many seasons last year I made the effort to attend a game a month minimum. All I asked was that the Mariners remain relevant through August. They one upped me by taking it to the end of the season, so this year I’m going the distance. My youngest and I are taking a long road trip in early April to Chavez Ravine to watch the M’s take on the Dodgers in what remarkably is now of the last remaining iconic ballparks of my childhood. I’ve never seen an M’s road game in person, never been in any ballpark except Safeco, the Kingdome, and long long ago Sick’s down on Rainier Ave South.

Even with the acquisition of talented bats, though I am trying not to get too far ahead of myself. The heavy marine air of Safeco has dulled way too many bats carried by players who have come here with headlines and potential. Adrian Beltre comes to mind. Inevitably bats warm up in June, July, and August, only to turn tepid again in September. While Robinson Cano seemed to avoid the Safeco doldrums, which may have had more to do with his having a consummate baseball mind and his adjusting his plate approach to respond to the conditions. Given his declining power numbers, many fans felt a little disappointment. Not me, I’ll gladly watch number 22 spray line drives over the outfield like a man watering his garden. Line drives generally produce runs and runs mean wins.

Cano also proved to be a role model for the young players and provided some light hearted leadership that the team has sorely lacked in previous seasons. I think that Cano gains credibility with each swing of the bat and deceptively efficient play in the field. If the youngster’s, role players, and Nelson Cruz follow Cano’s example, Seattle baseball fans are in for a special season. Maybe not like 95, after all the first one is always going to be the first. But a World Series? Come on, and unlike the NFL, some of those games will be at home.

So here is my prediction. Seattle slugs it out with California all year, clinching with a week to go. A short ALDS and a seven game nail biter with the White Sox in the ALCS. We play in the Series but fall short to the Pittsburgh Pirates who have more ghosts to exorcise. But it will be a fun ride all the way and hopefully it won’t come down to Lloyd McLendon taking the ball out of Felix’s hand in the ninth inning of game seven with two outs and the M’s sitting on a one run lead.

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