Mariners were 4 innings away from scoreboard mayhem

SEATTLE -- So the Seattle Mariners went 16 innings Wednesday and their manually operated scoreboard was luckily able to keep up.

But noting that the innings panels are pre-printed, we wondered -- just how far could the game have gone until they ran out of innings?

Mariners spokesman Rebecca Hale said they had a little bit of buffer left -- they have panels printed out to 19 innings.

They must have been prophetic when they built the scoreboard for Safeco Field in 1999 because that's exactly how long the longest game at Safeco Field has ever gone so far -- an Aug. 1, 2000 game against Boston that was won by Mike Cameron's home run in the bottom of the 19th.

So, what would have happened if it went to the 20th?

"If Cammie hadn't won that game against Boston back when, we would have had to get the Sharpies out," Hale joked.

Of course, the digital scoreboard could have handled a 20-inning game just fine. Whether M's catcher Kelly Shoppach or White Sox catcher Hector Giminez would have handled a game that long is another story...