A lot has been going on this week, just not any one thing large enough to write a post about. I just got around to finally listening to (or being able to listen to, I should say) two new podcasts from Jeff and Matthew at Lookout Landing. Having converted over to Apple products late last year seems to have just about caught me up with the 21st century. I can’t beam myself into space with my phone yet like everyone else seems to be able to, but I’ll get there eventually. The podcasts are entertaining, and I even learned something about the growth of trees of Mount Kilimanjaro, so I recommend them, if you haven’t already checked them out.
Last Monday, Geoff Baker posted an article about one of our new relievers, Hong-Chih Kuo, and his struggles with possible anxiety and his place in the game. I immediately had flashbacks to Ian Snell, a player I pulled for hard when he was here. What Kuo is apparently dealing with is something called the yips, something I haven’t heard of until this year. Nobody mentioned it when Snell was here, so either Snell was truly suffering from anxiety or depression like we were told, or he was just an awful pitcher. Whatever the case, I’m pulling for Kuo, too; and I hope he finds his groove, because relievers that people are unfamiliar with don’t get much of a chance in Safeco Field with the crowd. Hell, even the ones that we are familiar with sometimes get booed off the hill. I’ll reserve any further judgement of Kuo for Spring Training games, and reserve my booing for the umpires (fun fact; I don’t often “boo” – light cursing depending on the people around me is my mode of loud public complaint at ball games).
Michael Saunders and Steve Delabar are both thinking outside the box this year. And the Mariners are letting them do so. I like it. Maybe the team’s regular training regimens don’t work for everyone, so it’s great that the staff are open to outside approach; with the proper communication and goal-setting, of course. Saunders’ plan sounds uncomfortable and awkward, but if it works, it works, and that’s good enough for me. There are also a few words on the condition that everyone’s in, but I take those with a grain of salt or two. Blake Beavan never looked to me like someone who weighed 250, but glad to see it’s coming off a little. I always marvel at the shapes of guys like CC Sabathia or Bobby Jenks, but those guys have got to be the exception to the rule.
I need to cut this a little short, because time is running out and I have to get to work through a real mess of weather this morning, but wanted to document my dismay at the retirement of Tim Wakefield. Wake is 45, which is phenomenal for any athlete, let alone a pitcher; I wish him well. But it really is sad to see a knuckleballer bow out of the game. We don’t have many left, now that the trend towards throwing fast and hard has become more popular, and the throw is so difficult to learn. I will always appreciate Wakefield for giving one of my favorites, RA Dickey, advice when Dickey was ours. I believe that advice helped make Dickey what he is today for the Mets, and for that I will always appreciate Tim Wakefield. That and the fact that Tim Wakefield was awesome.
I know that all my links were from the Times, and for that I apologize; it’s lazy writing. But I’m in a bit of a hurry, and these come to my email inbox, so there you go. Over, out.