Mariners expect big crowd for Felix's next act

Mariners expect big crowd for Felix's next act

Mariners expect big crowd for Felix's next act
SEATTLE -- With the Mariners turning Safeco Field into the "Supreme Court" on Tuesday for Felix Hernandez's first start since his perfect game, a near-capacity crowd of yellow-shirted fans is expected to cheer on Seattle's ace.

And Hernandez, who already gets a kick out of the 800 fanatics in the normal King's Court rooting section down the left-field line, isn't quite sure how he's going to feel seeing the entire Safeco throng wearing the new "King of Perfection" T-shirts and waving "K" cards when he's pitching.

"I don't know how it's going to be," Hernandez said Monday, unable to suppress a grin. "I think I'm going to get chills. I don't know what I'm going to do. But it'll be good. I'm really looking forward to it."

Among those in attendance will be his wife, Sandra, and kids Mia and Abraham. Those are his biggest fans and they flew back to Seattle on Monday after a week in Venezuela that ironically kept them away from his biggest moment yet as a Mariner.

"They always come to my games. Always," he said. "This was the first time they didn't come and I throw a perfect game. It's the first time in five years my wife hasn't been there."

But there have been a lot of firsts for Hernandez since he kept the Rays silent for 27 straight outs last Wednesday. He won his first American League Player of the Week honor on Monday. He's been dealing with the uproar of his accomplishment in some way every day since.

And now he's coming to grips with the "Felixing" phenomena, with various fans and celebrities striking the one-foot-up, both-arms-raised-to-the-sky pose he struck after the final out Wednesday.

"That's another crazy thing," he said. "People everywhere are doing it. That's unbelievable. I don't know why I did that, for real. It had to be special, right? Sometimes I yell or do something else. I don't know.

"I always kiss my wrists [where he has the names of his kids tattooed], but that was different. [Franklin Gutierrez] was asking me, 'Why did you do that? And I said, 'I don't know. I don't know. I don't even know what I'm doing right now.'"

Sounders soccer star Freddy Montero, who struck the "Felix" pose after scoring a goal this weekend, will throw out the first pitch Tuesday.