Pushing a Giant Baseball Up a Hill and Watching It Roll Back Down Since 2008
It’s Not You, Mariners, It’s Me…OK, It’s You
So Mike Morse – a player I have long liked for no reason – has just been traded to the Baltimore Orioles for a prospect named Xavier Avery. Morse is a free agent at the end of this year, has not done terribly well in Seattle this year, and the Orioles are in 3rd place at 6.5 games back as of this writing, so I don’t know what the O’s hope to accomplish with this situation exactly, but I am alright with this move, as it means that Morse still stays in my personal “family” for a while longer. Morse is just one of those guys who probably won’t land anywhere for all that long enough to define his career as an ‘x’ or ‘y’ team member, but I like him and wish him well. It will be interesting to see if he stays in Baltimore for longer than the next month. More about that in a bit, I have some things to address first…
I had hoped that it wouldn’t come to this, but it sort of has. I tried initially to chalk up my lack of activity here to my own personal time constraints, and to an extent that is indeed true. Work kind of takes it out of me; being up at 5AM on the daily creates a bit of a ragged schedule and it is difficult for me to want to do anything else other than watch a game or just tune out the minute I clock out. I can’t regularly stay up much past 9-10-ish (10 being on the bad side of that hour), so full games are right out unless I’m actually at the park, and of course that happens maybe 16-25 times a year, in a 162-game season with some day games tossed in, so that much I can handle. I hate even having to think about what I’m about to type, but I have never been anything less than honest here, so here goes nothing.
In this 2013 Seattle Mariners season, with some very few exceptions, this baseball team has been absolutely uninspiring. We have had what, seven catchers or something crazy at this point in the year? The roster changes its ranks more frequently than I change my mind about what to wear to go out on a Friday night. The bullpen seems fractured and broken. Even Felix Days don’t hold much anymore, since the offense is deader than the deadest horse one could beat with a stick, and our prize, our great treasure Felix Hernandez, has been charged with more losses than he deserves to be because our lineup can’t hit the wide side of a barn. We have had some good games, some amazing extra-inning craziness and the team has occasionally fought very hard only to lose by one run or a walk off or some other ridiculousness that leaves me wondering why I bothered to pay any attention. I stayed up for that 15-inning Boston game. i was at the park for another in extras, and my friend Daniel and I were steadfast in our devotion to sticking it out on a weekday when both of us had to get up early the next day. I still stay until the end when I’m there. I still have fun at the park. But not like I used to, not this year. The Mariners are getting more and more difficult to watch.
Something has to change.
I could do game recaps, sure. I could sit on the couch and go over the game like I used to. I could upload a bunch of pictures and talk about them…but I am simply not motivated to do so. If this organization doesn’t care about making the players that I love into a winning team, why should I care enough to write about it? I’m not getting paid; this site is a labor of love and $20 every year. It is quickly becoming a labor of $20 a year only. I hate thinking this, I hate saying it in public, and I really hate the amount of energy I spend wondering how and when things will change. Because they have to, they really do. My first season was, as many know, 2008. I also survived 2010. At least there was horribleness to write about; those Mariners teams knew how to fail spectacularly, and that was at least something that was worth writing about, even if the writing was merely done to acknowledge my drive to stick with a team that was so very very awful.
The Mariners would have to literally murder puppies to get me to stop being a Mariners fan; and so far that I know of, puppies are still safe. I’m still here, I’m going to be here next year, I’m still going to continue with my struggle to keep up this blog as best I can. I still love my jerseys and wear them when the occasion calls for it. But I’m going to say something I have never said before in any seriousness; I am actually looking forward to football and hockey season. Because what’s been happening in Seattle baseball is simply not acceptable, and I am glad that it is almost over. I’m finally frustrated and angry enough at this team. I know I’m late to the party, but better late than never, right? I just want the playoffs to happen so I can finally see some ball played by teams whose organizations care about making them great. I don’t believe that the Mariners office actively wants to lose games; but I am no longer convinced that they are capable of making that happen.
Taijuan Walker gets his first major league start tonight, which makes me feel like kind of an ass writing this in the face of the possibility of a ripple of change. I won’t be able to watch the game tonight, as I have promised to watch a Miami Hurricanes game with a friend. Yes, I am violating one of my own rules by getting involved in college football; but I need a bit of a break tonight, even with the Mariners’ future on the hill. I’ll keep track via Twitter and such, and I have a few more games left to attend in person this year, so I still plan to do that. I still love the Seattle Mariners. I just also love my sanity, and I need it back.
As for the Orioles’ acquisition of Michael Morse, it is my hope that he does well so perhaps I can maybe see him, Matt Wieters, and Adam Jones next year in – yes indeedy – Baltimore. I am taking a trip to the east coast to go to Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park to see an Orioles game and a Phillies game. I will be documenting that trip both here and on Twitter, and I will be flying by myself. This is a pretty big deal to me, so my documentation will hopefully be thorough. I have a lot of research to do.
For now, I finish my work day and meet my friend Jennifer to watch her alma mater after work. I hope the Mariners can give Taijuan Walker the support that he deserves, and I will be casually paying attention from the periphery, because that is all the desire I can muster lately.
I just want the Mariners to play better ball. I hope that is not too much to ask.