Safeco Field feels a lot like the Kingdome felt in the '80s, only less fun. Sure, the Safe is a modern marvel of (cookie-cutter) stadium design, the food and drink are swankier, and fans are afforded the benefit of taking in a game in the great outdoors--not that the outdoors are frequently all that great in Seattle. But the team is just as bad as when Jack Perconte sported the best 'stache on the squad, and the crowds are equally anemic. The difference? Back then, Kingdome ushers didn't give a shit about irate fans who worked blue. The Safeco ushers, however, really care about the cussing, which presents passionately pissed fans with a quandary.
But swear audibly at the Safe, and you will receive a warning that such lewd conduct will not be tolerated. The solution? Get more creative with the language you use, and focus on clever nicknames versus generic "You fucking suck!" rants. Here are several heckle-worthy Mariners, along with handy tips on how to heckle them without losing your seat.
Chode Figgins. This huge free-agent acquisition's bat didn't come alive last year until the M's were 30 games under .500, and this year's sub-.200 start shows that the M's third baseman is as committed as ever to shitty starts on a team that has zero offensive margin for error. If he were a really neat guy, we'd be inclined to cut him more slack, but he's not a really neat guy--he's a surly Lilliputian who helped get a competent and pleasant manager, Don Wakamatsu, prematurely sacked last year. Judging from the nasty response Figgins got every time he strode to the plate in last night's blowout loss to the Tigers, fan patience with Chone is fraying fast. His name's sufficiently weird enough already that you can easily get away with calling him "Chode," an obscure, not-quite-cuss word that is often cited as a synonym for "taint," but definitely can be translated to mean "underachieving douche."
Ryan Lamerhans. Taking a dig at how lame Langerhans is isn't so much a dig at Langerhans himself as at Mariner general manager Jack Zduriencik's obsession with acquiring AAA-level talent at major-league prices. Lamerhans might be the M's home-run leader so far this year, but that's as hollow (and sure to be temporary) an achievement as has ever been achieved. Lamerhans simply has no business holding a big-league job, and his continued ability to make the opening-day roster should scare the bejeezus out of any Mariner fan who thinks brighter days are just around the corner.
Josh Necrophilueke. Lueke is a talented-yet-unvarnished reliever who was part of the Cliff Lee haul. What the club apparently didn't realize when they acquired Lueke was he once pleaded a rape charge down to a false imprisonment with violence conviction. The woman was reportedly unconscious when Lueke did whatever he did. Hence, should he fail to hold a lead, it's "Necrophilueke" to you.
Miguel Olivoforfour.The M's new starting catcher is what passes for a huge off-season acquisition in Zduriencikland. Olivo was supposed to give the M's the sort of pop they haven't had behind the plate since Kenji Johjima (nee Johgina) moved back to Japan. Instead, he's been abysmal with or without his mask on, another Mariner for whom the Mendoza line looks increasingly more elusive.
Doug Fister. Despite his won-loss record, Fister's actually played pretty well so far this year. But when his stats go south, his name is Doug Fister. Just remind him of that.
Milton Bradley. See: Fister, Doug.
Erik Betard. Even though acquiring this injury-prone lefty in exchange for Adam Jones and a gaggle of young talent wasn't Zduriencik's doing, Jack Z can't seem to quit Bedard, tendering him a one-year deal after every lost season. Spring training buzz was that Bedard looked as though he'd regained his form of five years ago, but his regular-season performance to date has been positively Betarded.
David Taardsma. Aardsma has yet to play due to injury, but keep this club in your bag for that first set of back-to-back blown saves, whenever it should come.
Simple Jack Wilson. Unfortunately, there's already been a Hack Wilson. And, unlike Jack Wilson, he was a phenomenal baseball player. So we turn instead to Ben Stiller, who caught a heap of flack from PC-minded groups for creating a movie within a movie (Tropic Thunder) about a bucktoothed, mentally retarded farmhand named Simple Jack. Just look at Jack Wilson, the underachieving middle infielder who was hailed as a rock-solid "character guy" when the M's traded for him, yet now prefers to remove himself from games when he fares poorly. The stirrups sure fit, don't they?
Jack Bust (alt. Jack Rust, Hack Rust, Hack Bust). Despite a middling career as a semi-power hitter, the newly acquired Cust was supposed to signify a major upgrade over Ken Griffey and whomever the M's have trotted out to the on-deck circle as their designated non-hitter the past couple years. Instead, Cust has been such a Bust that it's not uncommon to find squib-hitting journeyman Adam Kennedy in the middle of the Mariner order.