SEATTLE - The last time this intrepid correspondent and spouse braved the rigors of Seattle area traffic, it was to attend the opening-day game of the Seattle Mariners baseball team at Seattle's Safeco Field. Other than having to experience the high altitude seats in the third level "nose bleed" section of Safeco, it was a pleasant experience as the good-guy M's won their season opener.

Several weeks into the season, the cellar-skirting M's, now trailing the division leaders by double-digit numbers, were still attracting hopeful fans who are wishing for a mid- to-late season upsurge. Therefore, when the wife's cousin offered us his 100 level seats to see the M's play the Oakland A's, we jumped at the chance.

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