A virtual gabfest The Fan: Striking up e-mail conversations to share highs and lows.

October 03, 1997

Good thing The Fan didn't have to rely on snail mail.

The Fan couldn't make it to Seattle in person, but she was virtually there. A recent convert to the joys, the efficiency, the workday-wasting possibilities of e-mail, The Fan has been exchanging missives for the past week with Mariners fans on the far side of the country.

Whew. Someone call Richie Bancells. You need strong carpal tunnels to keep up with those totally wired Seattlites. Check out the baseball newsgroups on the Internet. The Mariners often have the most postings, with only the equally cybersavvy in San Francisco coming close.

The Fan picked several fans from the numerous Websites and Usenet groups devoted to the M's. Some ignored her -- The Fan loves having one more medium in which to be rejected -- but some wrote back. And not just "MARINERS RULE" repeated over and over on an entire screen. They were literate. They were funny. They deserve a longer run!

So here, with the division series perhaps two-thirds over, The Fan offers excerpts from a tale told in e-mail, allowing you to experience it all -- the highs, the lows, the further lows -- from their side of the box score. Try not to gloat -- it's not a pretty sight. Her virtual pen pals are Rhonda Conley, a regular on the Fan Forum on the Mariners Website; and Toby Hanson, an accordionist who now can fit in all those Oktoberfest gigs as the M's seem to be heading for the off-season sooner than expected.

Author: "Conley, Rhonda" at Internet

Date: 9/29/97 5: 49 PM

To: The Fan at BSUN PO

Hi Fan!

Thanks for dropping me a line . . . sure I'm interested in telling you a little about my perceptions of Mariners fandom. I tend to take a more Zen approach to the playoffs . . . the whole karma thing. I'm a firm believer in what goes around comes around and if a team has been, in general, a bunch of good guys in their own private lives they may have built up enough good karmic energy to swing the thing.

This all may seem a little too oooo-eeee-oooo for most fans but I truly feel that when you match up two teams as good as ours, you can pretty much chuck the stat book out the window and watch the chips fall where they may.

Seattle fans have waited a long time for this it seems; my own feeling is that the time is right, the players are ready and -- dare I say it? oh what the hell! -- the planets are aligned correctly for success. (gads I really discredited myself with that last little blurb!)

I did get playoff tix, yes . . . just for Thursday's game. You can be sure myself and all my co-workers will be spending many an hour in local sports bars this week (hopefully more)! I work as a children's software game designer and artist, and my fellow artists are pretty much all M's fans. If I had to sum up the mood here, I'd say Cautiously Optimistic.

Author: (Toby Hanson) at Internet

Date: 9/29/97 10: 56 PM

To: The Fan at BSUN PO

At first I thought this was spam (stuff only five envelopes with 20 names and soon you too can afford Geronimo Berroa!) : ). You'll definitely use your Game 4 tix. Game 5 is a little less clear, but I wouldn't go scalping them quite yet. The M's shouldn't have too much trouble at the Dome. With 57,000 26th men in the stands it can get a little hairy in there. Seattle will most likely take the first two games. Baltimore will almost certainly win #3. Four is where I'd expect the M's to clinch. If they didn't, however, it's a toss-up for game 5.

It will be one of the better playoff series, in my humble opinion. We've got the two most glamorous teams of the AL together in the first round. Here's to a Yankee victory against Cleveland. I'm sure we both want a piece of the Yanks this year. : )

Author: Conley, Rhonda

Date: 9/30/97 5: 36 PM

To: The Fan at BSUN PO

I'm NEVER going to get any real work done until this thing is settled. Tomorrow I'm having a big playoff party at my place, wine and good eats . . . normally I and my friends get drunk and make lustful comments about Edgar Martinez but I think I'll be too nervous even for THAT.

good . . .(gulp) luck . . .

Author: The Fan at bsun po

Date: 10/1/97 11: 49 AM

To: Conley, Rhonda

Subject: it's getting scary ...

Did you stay up to see the Yankees game last night? Mommy, don't make me play them!

Author: Rhonda Conley at Internet

Date: 10/1/97 10: 20 AM

To: The Fan at BSUN PO

Subject: RE: it's getting scary...

Did watch it, yes! Yanks, pshaw ... I'm not afraid of THEM!

much... ok a little ...

Author: (Toby Hanson) at Internet

Date: 10/1/97 3: 42 PM

To: The Fan at BSUN PO

I'll be there Thursday to watch Baltimore kick itself for ever letting Moyer go! : ) It will be a darn good series. All of the Pacific Northwest is excited. People are flying in from Alaska for this. Seriously. The Mariner radio network extends from Alaska to Nevada. Everyone is excited about this. The O's will win at least one game. I feel a game winning home run coming on for Harold Baines, possibly off Timlin.

Author: The Fan at bsun po

Date: 10/1/97 3: 53 PM

To: (Toby Hanson) at Internet

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