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  • Writer's pictureJack Vita

Mario Lanza on the first-place Seattle Mariners, Shohei Ohtani's injury, Texas Rangers' collapse

Writer, published author, creator of The Funny 115 and lifelong Seattle sports fan Mario Lanza returns to the Jack Vita Show at the perfect time: the Seattle Mariners are in sole possession of first place in the American League West!

Entering July 20, the Mariners were 47-48, 10 games back of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West. In a little over a month, the M's have not only caught up with the Rangers, but surpassed them in the division race. The race is far from, over though. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, the AL West is shaping up to be a three-team race, with the Houston Astros also in the mix. The Astros have won the division five of the last six years, and eliminated the Mariners from contention in the American League Division Series last October. Will the Mariners finally top the Astros, and win their first division title since 2001? Mario weighs in.

Mario and Jack also discuss the total collapse of the Rangers, who are now 33-37 since June 6. The Rangers entered June 7 with a 40-20 record. Shohei Ohtani suffered a torn UCL recently, which will likely require Tommy John surgery, and could spell the end of his pitching days. Mario and Jack react. Last week, Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf did the unthinkable: he fired somebody! Vice president Kenny Williams and general manager Rick Hahn were relieved of their duties, in the middle of an abysmal White Sox season. Jack shares why he was surprised by the move, and what it means for the organization going forward. In other news, the New York Yankees continue to struggle, Mario and Jack share their thoughts on the new rules and recent changes that have come to Major League Baseball, and Mario discusses his new project, "Mario Stories", in addition to his other work, covering Survivor, movies and Saturday Night Live.

Mario has written about CBS' hit reality competition show, Survivor, for over 20 years now. He has a website, The Funny 115, where he counts down the funniest moments in the show's history. He cohosts a Survivor podcast, The Survivor Historians, where he provides historical context to the show's early seasons. He has a book, When It Was Worth Playing For: My Experiences Writing About the TV Show "Survivor", available for purchase on Amazon.

In addition to covering Survivor, Mario has a movie podcast called Staff Picks, which Jack was a guest on earlier this year, discussing one of his favorite films, Moneyball.

Most recently, Mario has been working on a writing project called "Mario Stories", where he tells unforgettable stories from his childhood, including one in which his father put a bounty on an opposing player in a youth football game.

You can follow Mario on Twitter (@MarioJLanza).

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | Pandora | TuneIn | Listen Notes | Podtail | Podchaser | Hubhopper | Audio junkie | Himalaya | Podcast Addict | Available wherever podcasts are found.

Catch Mario's other appearances on the Jack Vita Show:

1) The Funny 115's Mario Lanza on Survivor, baseball, Edgar Martinez's Hall of Fame induction (July 26, 2019)

2) Mario Lanza on the state of MLB baseball, SNL and Survivor (September 26, 2020)

3) Mario Lanza talks magical Mariners' season, Seattle Kraken, 2021 MLB season (September 29, 2021)

4) Mario Lanza talks Mariners' playoff drought, Julio Rodriguez, Aaron Judge's home run chase (September 26, 2022)

5) MLB Hot Stove: Will Trevor Bauer pitch in 2023? Correa’s medical concerns, Nathan Eovaldi contract (December 28, 2022)

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For more sports and entertainment analysis, follow me on Twitter @JackVitaShow, and subscribe to the Jack Vita Show on iTunes or wherever podcasts are found.

(Photo via Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)

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