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Mariners All-Star Ichiro has been traded to the Yankees

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It's a sad day for Mariners fans everywhere. Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has been with the Mariners since 2001, was traded to the Yankees last night. And to add insult to injury, his first game as a Yankee was also last night...at Safeco Field...against the Mariners.

While I'm now a Mets fan, there has always been a hometeam spot in my heart for the Mariners, since I grew up just a few hours from them. The one season I remember most clearly was actually Ichiro's first, in 2001, when the M's set an American League record for single-season wins, ending with a record of 116-46. Ichiro won AL MVP that year, and he's also managed to be a 10-time All-Star during his time with the team. I've always inherently rooted for the Mariners as a Washingtonian...but with the loss of Ichiro that's much harder to do, since he was the last team member I still remembered.

This morning I came across a song called "Ichiro's Theme" by Ben Gibbard. Take a listen:

We'll miss you, Ichiro. And while I love you, I now dislike the Yankees a little bit more.

Texas Rangers tickets tops in MLB at All-Star break

The Texas Rangers have been among the top teams in Major League Baseball in 2012, and on TicketNetwork.com, they have also been the most sought-after tickets in the league.

Games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington have accounted for nearly 12% of all MLB tickets sold through the TicketNetwork.com marketplace, nearly 3% more than their closest competitor, the New York Yankees. Even more impressively, the Rangers have sold more than two times the number of tickets than any of their American League West rivals combined. The team has had an electrifying first half (see video below to see Mother Nature's proof) and currently boasts the second-best record in baseball, having out-slugged their opponents all season long, scoring a league-leading 443 runs.

Having the Rangers and Yankees atop the rankings is not really a surprise as they are the two best teams in baseball, but one surprise is the disappointing Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have been a fixture as one of the top selling teams in previous years, but they have not lived up to those standards in 2012. The team currently ranks No. 11, behind teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and even the typically attendance-challenged Tampa Bay Rays.

Top Selling MLB Teams on TicketNetwork.com

#1. Texas Rangers #16. Minnesota Twins
#2. New York Yankees #17. Kansas City Royals
#3. Milwaukee Brewers #18. New York Mets
#4. Detroit Tigers #19. Houston Astros
#5. Atlanta Braves #20. Philadelphia Phillies
#6. Pittsburgh Pirates #21. Cincinnati Reds
#7. San Francisco Giants #22. Cleveland Indians
#8. Colorado Rockies #23. Los Angeles Angels
#9. Tampa Bay Rays #24. Baltimore Orioles
#10. Los Angeles Dodgers #25. Toronto Blue Jays
#11. Boston Red Sox #26. Miami Marlins
#12. St. Louis Cardinals #27. Arizona Diamondbacks
#13. Washington Nationals #28. Chicago White Sox
#14. Seattle Mariners #29. San Diego Padres
#15. Chicago Cubs #30. Oakland Athletics

The pros and cons of being a Mets fan

Liz and the Home Run Apple

As a Mets fan, I was thrilled when Johan Santana threw the very first no-hitter in franchise history last Friday, after a mere 8,020 games played by the team. It seemed an opportune time to speak for all of us who root for the Amazin's. Since a sense of humor is pretty much a requirement for being a Mets fan, here's a list of pros and cons for becoming a fan of New York's "other team":

Pros Cons
The Mets did not end up being the last team standing without a no-hitter. Sadly, that award goes to the Padres. Since the Padres are four years younger than the Mets, we might still end up being the team that went the longest before getting their first no-hitter.
The Mets have the best mascot in baseball. I've got nothing. I mean, come on...it's Mr. Met.
The Mets have an awesome theme song, which has been around in some version since 1961.("Meet the Mets") From 2007-2011, the Mets have the lowest winning percentage of any team in the majors who regularly uses a theme song written before 1963.
The Mets have the home run apple (see pic above), which is raised every time a Met hits a home run at Citi Field. Until this year, Citi Field was so huge that we didn't see the home run apple all that often.
David Wright/Johan Santana Jason Bay/Fred Wilpon
The Mets are the only expansion team to win more than one World Series. We play just across town from some other team that claims to have won 27 World Series.
Celebrity Mets fans include Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and a myriad of others. Celebrity fans also include Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. That one hurts.

All kidding aside, I think the Mets are one of the most fun-loving teams in baseball; they genuinely enjoy playing the game and supporting each other along the way, through thick and thin.

What team do you root for? And why?

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Happy 100th Birthday Fenway Park!

Fenway Park

Growing up in New England as a Red Sox fan, Fenway Park quickly became one of those places that I had to see when I was a kid. When I was 10 years old I got that chance and I can still remember the feeling of seeing the ballpark for the first time because I still get it every time I go back. On television, Fenway seems huge with the "Green Monster" overlooking the entire stadium. Then when you walk in you realize that the park is small, intimate, and a great place to watch a game.

Today is Fenway's 100th birthday and for a century now it has been America's greatest ballpark. It is on almost any sports fan's bucket list of "places to visit before you die" and with good reason. No ballpark has ever been open for 100 years, no ballpark still standing has seen as much history, and no ballpark is as connected and important to a sports franchise and its fans.

It's crazy to think just five days before Fenway opened the Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, and it's crazy to think of everything that has happened since 1912. There have been 18 presidents, two world wars, the invention of the television, and something named "Snooki" became a pop-culture star.

Needless to say, people in 1912 never thought that Fenway would still be standing in 2012, but it is and by the looks of things it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

No team went through as many changes as the Miami Marlins did this past offseason, and their fans have taken notice. Changes included getting a new name (the Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins), hiring outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen, moving into a brand-new 37,000-seat stadium (that features an over-the-top structure in center field, see left) and signing prized free agents Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle.

If those moves alone didn't add to excitement among baseball fans, the team has become a sleeper pick to win the National League East Division and possibly the World Series. The team's first test will be the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals on opening night, April 4. The game has created a buzz around the city and has caused Miami Marlins tickets for this game to have a higher average on TicketNetwork.com than any other opening day game this week.

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