Mariners vs. Oakland A's

Typically, hope springs eternal at a baseball team's home opener. Last season is a distant memory, the wins and losses aren't yet piled high in either column, and even the most mundane match-ups feel fresh and exciting. The Mariners, however, aren't your typical team. These are the guys that routinely lose 90 games and haven't made the playoffs since 2001. (As the ads used to say, "You gotta love these guys!") It might be spring, but hope is getting hard to come by. Nevertheless, this weekend's three-game stand against the Oakland A's marks the return of baseball season in Seattle. Neither team is likely to hoist the World Series trophy in October, but it's still a special occasion, because the outcome is irrelevant. What matters is the chance to visit the ballpark, watch Ichiro hit, and Felix pitch for one more year. KEEGAN HAMILTON

Fri., April 13, 7:10 p.m., 2012

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