Pushing a Giant Baseball Up a Hill and Watching It Roll Back Down Since 2008
Well now I feel like a complete jackass.
Hopefully anyone who is a regular here knows that I would never ever wish injury on anyone, not even my most hated player, not even my most hated player on my most hated team. I have joked about such things before, but find me a sports fan who hasn’t, and I will find you some beachfront property in South Bend, Indiana. It’s just in passing, it’s all in complete jest in the heat of the game, and if anything ever happened to that player I would feel just awful, even though injuries are obviously the luck of the draw, and my control over them has no grounds in reality. So after taking time out of my day of doing laundry and cleaning the house to sit and write about how Miguel Olivo should ride some pine, I was not too very happy to see him pull a groin muscle and pull it hard in the bottom of the bottom of the 9th inning during tonight’s game. And Olivo was doing his job. He was attempting to throw BJ Upton out at first. Slow motion replay showed Olivo grabbing his groin mid-air, so I’d have to assume it happened when he jumped upwards, as opposed to coming down on his leg poorly. Whatever the case, he had to be aided off the field, and no, I don’t feel happy about it. Ideally, benching should drive home a point and give the player time to work on what is ailing them – accountability, right? But this does nothing, and I know that there are people out there snickering about this or glad that Olivo won’t be seeing any game time for a while due to this situation, and that is wrong.
The game went into extras this evening, and if you were watching you know that Olivo also hit a solo homer. His post-injury replacement, Jesus Montero, did the same thing; they were our only two runs of the game. One might feel that there is some sort of leveling out of the universe here, but all I feel is awful. Olivo is squeaking up there, is at .195 now (or .210, if you’re looking at FanGraphs’ new live settings, which I sort of am), and any progress that might be made offensively is going to be delayed due to what is now being announced as a right groin strain. I don’t have any hope for his defense, but there was a point in time last season – before the 17-game slide into oblivion – that Olivo was not doing all that poorly with a bat. Again, that might be in the context of the 2011 Mariners, but I do distinctly remember Olivo hitting his fair share of doubles and home runs.
And Felix Hernandez deserved better than this game. Felix deserving better may become the rally cry of the Mariners fan. I hope it doesn’t, but for the month of April things aren’t looking all that great. Felix pitched 8 full innings of 5-hit, 1-run ball, with a cool 9 strikeouts. Felix did his job, and his batters failed him. Such a shame.
I don’t have a whole lot more to say. I just watched Olivo’s post-game interview, and he looked like he was trying not to break down. I’m going to go bury my head in the sand for the next 24 hours.