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Tag Archives: Goodbye
So I whacked the tip of my left index finger and a bit of the nail off last week while dicing garlic. Typing short bits on Twitter and some on Facebook (and a lot at work, which is necessary) has kind of rendered me a little useless on the blogging front this week. Throw in a busy schedule outside of work, one of our monthly shindigs over the weekend, and a Sounders match against the Le Tigres that I was woefully underprepared for sleep-wise last Tuesday, and that is what I have been up to, grabbing Mariners news here and there while I can. There is so much to write about and I am so behind…
I cut my finger off and was at the Sounders game on the same day I found out about Jeff Sullivan’s departure from Lookout Landing. I got some hints over Twitter while I was at the Clink watching Seattle battle Mexico, but didn’t get the full story until I got home. I figured I’d do some thinking about it and then write the next day, but then I got into a fight with my ceramic knife, and was barely able to deal with work the next day, let alone any massive amount of typing like a blog post (fingertip bandage + data entry = hilarious). At least on Twitter I can use my thumbs and phone. But the news hit me in the same way you get hit when someone you have just started to fall for announces that they have found another person they are interested in; that sort of awkward, pit-of-the-stomach feeling of rejection that isn’t quite like being punched in the gut, but is kind of like that. There is a sense of abandonment, and while it won’t last long, it still, pardon the phrase, sucks.
I have been writing about the Mariners since late 2007, when I started on LiveJournal. I kept the blog there, sitting in my original section, where it was kind of but not really accessible to the public because LJ was gradually falling out of favor for blogging. When I was reading and found a link to my sad little LJ on the sidebar of the old SBN LL, I was ecstatic. I told Tom, I called my parents, I’m pretty sure I told a bunch of my friends, who were still in shock that I had gotten into baseball to begin with, so couldn’t really grasp the importance of a simple link. I was so happy that I had been recognized by one of the “big guns” of the Mariners blogosphere. I even emailed Jeff to thank him, a gratitude that he accepted with typical, no-big-deal Jeffness. It was a good day. I spent the next few years participating in game chats, reading the posts when I could grab a spare minute at work or school between classes, and being generally happy that I was finally a part of something that wasn’t the music scene I had been involved in previously.
I haven’t read the new SBN site much lately. Work is usually pretty busy, and the only place I can read anything online is my desk during lunch, which often results in interruptions from my time off the clock; by the time I get home, I’m usually not interested in doing anything but watching Netflix, eating dinner, and winding down. Getting up at 5AM every day is rough that way. There have been a lot of new faces and usernames there, and the site layout is…not really something I enjoy wading through. The old one was cleaner, easier, etc. So I haven’t felt much like a part of the community there over the past year, a thing I have come to be OK with out of necessity; I have my Twitter account, I have here, and the two are already far more than I can handle. Regularity with any other site is just icing on top of a very busy cake.
But regardless of the time I can allot to the surfing of other sites, I am still terribly sad that we are losing one of the best writers in our Mariners virtual space. I completely understand the reason he’s going; there is a lot out there in the world to explore, and Jeff was an extremely diligent and tireless researcher and writer of all things Mariners; and he did it all from either California or Portland, a feat I don’t know a lot of us could necessarily accomplish. I don’t think I could have; I probably would have just opted to be a Padres fan; locality is, after all, a big reason I got into this to begin with. Jeff has been the creator of so many inside jokes and phrases about and for the Mariners, I don’t know that I can count them all. He coined Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows as Felix Hernandez’s unofficial theme song, and it was embraced not only by fans of the team, but by local radio media as well. He helped organize and promote the meetings led by USS Mariner and LL, being part of the panels, and has always been around since my Mariner fandom started to help add levity to the awfulness of the Ms and some of our darkest moments as fans over the past few years. He’s always been the guy who made sure that none of us took anything too seriously, even when we really really wanted to, someone who could temper excitement or anger with a bit of humor and a lot of numbers and facts to back it up.
But most of all, he inspired me to keep writing. Even though we are from two totally different schools of blogging, his style of prose was always fun to read, and I aspired to add that same sense of humor with my own rabid fandom in order to express myself; because above all, I have always been someone who needed to do that, regardless of whether it was via writing my own music, session playing, painting, taking pictures, or writing stuff about baseball. Jeff, I wish you much luck and happiness, but you will be terribly missed.
It seems almost appropriate that I write about Jeff’s leave of absence today, in light of this post made earlier today from Matthew Carruth. I can only hope that this is something that doesn’t come in threes, because I don’t know that I would know what to do with myself if we lost anyone else this year.
The upside of all of this? There is but one; Jon Shields. And I still have the guys at USS Mariner, and of course Deanna at Marinerds, my other inspiration for being a Girl Who Writes About Baseball (even though she is far departed from the Mariners themselves). If nothing else, I am hoping that this will give me a much-needed kick in the pants to write even more, to get back into my pre-work fighting shape, when I was inspired and able to write every day, and sometimes twice. Maybe new writers will appear, people who can – if not replace Sullivan and Carruth – at least open some windows and freshen us up a bit. I’ll be watching…
In case you were not there as some fans were, couldn’t listen to it on the radio, or have just plain been living under a rock, here is the entirety of today’s press conference with Felix Hernandez. Get a tissue, you’ll need it. I was nearly sniffling at my desk, and I was listening through the tinny squeal of AM radio in my AM wave-hating building at work. I don’t know if I can deal with video. Might be too sad-happy.
Today’s 2PM event set Twitter ablaze with a fan-fueled love-fest the likes of which I don’t believe has been seen since Felix threw his perfect game. I set my afternoon break time aside specifically to sit and listen and participate in the back-slapping and rejoicing at the altar of Mariners baseball (rather than taking it earlier to go read Cracked or FaceBook like I usually do). A wonderful 15 or so minutes. From what I understand, several fans showed up with King’s Court shirts on, along with a bunch of front office employees as well, to greet Felix and his wife downstairs behind the front desk area in the massive hallway behind home plate. The Mariners Twitter account posted several photos of Felix’s arrival to Safeco, including this one of him breaking down at the greeting he was given. Following it in real time was sort of like being there, or at least listening from an adjoining room with my ear pressed up against a wall. It was the closest I was going to get. Had I known that fans were welcome, I would definitely have attempted to get a few hours away from work. It would have been worth it, and I might have had some good photos to post up here.
In the course of my life, I have watched a lot of press conferences; some for politics, some for sports, some for music. I have to say that this one might be the most moving I have ever seen; and that is really putting it lightly. Ichiro’s departure from our team definitely runs a close second or even tie, but you don’t often get quite this much emotion from athletes, especially not over a simple contract signing. A lot has been said about Felix and the fact that he has made Seattle his home away from home. Listening to Brock and Salk earlier today, a clip was played of an interview with Jack Zduriencik from yesterday. I can’t immediately find or remember the exact quote, but it was something to the effect that Z believes that the signing sends a loud message to fans that the Mariners mean business and that “he is ours.” I hope it sends not only a message to fans, but a message to our current roster of players and also to any prospective free agents that might be doubting the city, the team, or those of us who go to watch the Mariners play. Yes, it is a huge amount of money to shell out to a pitcher, and I am sure that the cash doesn’t hurt Felix’s decision. But the fact that the organization has held onto him for so long and he has made the choice to stay here rather than attempt to get more money from an organization that could give him more do speak volumes. I love that we have a player of this caliber, someone who recognizes how much the city appreciates what he does here, in spite of the bad quality of the team’s overall performance. I know one player does not make a team, but this is one player who definitely makes a difference. And I am glad to be present for all of this, to have been able to watch him develop. I am glad that, unlike Ken Griffey Jr or Ichiro, I didn’t arrive too late.
There are rarely ups without downs, though, and while today’s “up” is a pretty big one, the down is kind of a bummer. Shawn Kelley got nabbed by the New York Yankees. This is significant to me because it marks the absolute end of the gladiator bullpen of 2009. They’re all gone. I knew Kelley would get picked up; other teams would be crazy not to go after him. I just didn’t really want him to go. I don’t even care that it’s the Yankees; it just makes me sad that my favorite bullpen of my favorite version of the Mariners has been scattered to the 30 winds of MLB. I knew it was just a matter of time, but it is difficult to say goodbye so abruptly; there was no warning here, just a poof! of number 23. I don’t know who keeps the bullpen weird anymore, or even if it’s kept weird. I know that there were some funny handshakes and little rituals that were done last year, but last season was kind of an aimless one for me, so I never really paid much attention. I don’t want to foist any expectations on the kids that are left, but it would certainly be great to have some more character in our relief pool. 2009 was fun, and I will always remember it, the guys, and what they did for my fandom. In an event, I wish Kelley very well. Not against us (though I won’t be surprised), but I wish him well.
Now, the vaguely agonizing few weeks left before Spring Training starts all proper-like, and the final haul before that best day of all days, the Seattle Mariners home opener. I felt a little warm twinge to the air this afternoon while I was waiting for the bus. Spring, and baseball, are both on their way to Seattle!
So today around about 3pm or so, the Mariners and the Angels straight up swapped Jason Vargas and Kendrys Morales. My initial reaction was sadness and a swear. Vargas was a favorite, and I probably saw him start more times than any other pitcher on our team – not by choice, mind you, simply by coincidence. Vargas just happened to throw a vast majority of the games I saw both last year and the year before. The luck of the draw, I guess, but because of this I felt I had become quite acquainted and familiar with him in that way that you get super comfortable when a certain player is playing that particular day. I knew we’d be seeing some decent plays in the outfield, and Vargas was always fun to watch; he just has this cool and collected air about him that was always appealing. Even his mound celebrations were reined in and very zen. He isn’t a showboat, he doesn’t outwardly display whatever fire he might have, and even when under pressure you would never know he was concerned. Vargas is to pitching what Don Wakamatsu was to management, with a keel so even you can use it to hang a picture. I hate that he is going to the Angels.
But I also understand why we did it. We are neck-deep in pitching, after spending the past few seasons collecting pitchers like, well, baseball cards. The front office has acknowledged that with this trade and while I have heard some talk earlier today of a possible hunt for a possible veteran starter, I have to wonder whether or not they’re serious about that. The Ms have been “going young” for a while now, and the younger guys down in AA and AAA seem to be coming up as advertised. I admittedly don’t know a whole lot about the progress of our prospects, but I have heard enough positivity about them over the past year that leads me to believe that some of them could see major league playing time a lot sooner rather than later. I hope to be witness to as many major league debuts as possible this year. Fingers crossed.
Morales, for his part, appears to project well. It looks like just about all of his numbers should be going up in a good way, with a pretty significant boost in both his OBP and SLG numbers from last year. I think the temptation is strong with some people to start immediately comparing this situation to the mess we got into with Chone Figgins. I don’t know what Figgins was projected to do because when that deal went through, I wasn’t really actively trying to use the numbers to educate myself. But the only thing that is likely similar with this move is that both Morales and Figgins came from Anaheim. I would caution against reading anything else into the situation other than that. Jeff has some encouraging words here that I would urge you to read if you haven’t already. Is Kendrys Morales Josh Hamilton? No, but he will work, and I am a bit heartened by the projections, even though even Bill James cannot really see into the future (he can’t really…right?) Morales will be one more year farther away from his injury issues in 2011, so he should be stronger and more ready to play; indeed he is being reported as saying that his leg is much better now. I know, I know, what else is he supposed to say, but it’s still nice that he sounds upbeat and ready to go.
I have tried to find the Tweet from local journalism regarding speculation that this deal might make Seattle a little more attractive to other remaining free agents. The names I have heard tossed around are of course Nick Swisher (who is no longer viewed as much of a target via the grapevine), Billy Butler, and this fellow Michael Bourn, who just last year was a 6.4 WAR player for Atlanta. I don’t know much about anyone but Swisher, and that is only because I have seen him play so frequently. I would take any of the three of them. I guess only time will tell what happens, but the Mariners are not done. Not yet. We may not get any other Christmas presents this year, but we still have a few months to go, and Jack Zduriencik knows his decisions must be made carefully this offseason. I am excited to see what happens next.
As for Vargas, I will miss him a lot, but acceptance of the way things are is the first step towards lessening our suffering. Like Vargas, I’m going to try and be as zen about this as possible. Goodbye, 38. I will always remember your victory against Randy Johnson and the Giants, and wish you tons of good luck in the future and a long career. You will be missed.
The big news for everyone lately of course is that Chone Figgins is finally off the Mariners’ payroll and off somewhere he cannot do us any more damage in Seattle. I have attempted to be pr0-Figgins in private while being anti-Figgins in public, and it never worked out for me. I will still never ever forgive him for his fight with Don Wakamatsu, and I will forgive him even less for coming here and completely tanking, not giving us even one decent year. Between 2009 and 2010, Figgins batting average crashed .039%. We should have known something was up, but between 2010 and 2011 it crashed another .071%, and his totals from last year did not improve. He went from being a 6.9 WAR player for Anaheim, to being a 1.3 WAR player in Seattle. Last year, he was -1.0. Yuck. I don’t have to go into anything else much further, just check the link above to see the numbers dive down abruptly between Anaheim and Seattle. We gave him the benefit of the doubt by paying him as much as we did for the number of years we did, and he repaid our good faith by abruptly tanking. I am about as sad to see him go as I was to see Milton Bradley or Ken Griffy Jr go. There may be more of a future for Figgins somewhere else, but unlike most other players who leave us, I really just don’t care where he goes, who he winds up with, or whether or not he does well. I’m just done. He has Yuniesky Betancourted his way out of what little space he ever occupied in my heart.
I am serving jury duty this week, so I don’t have much else to say, and my time is limited; but tonight I am going to a friend’s birthday before a four-day weekend, and I know there will be champagne. You’ll maybe pardon me if the thought of Figgins packing his things and leaving Seattle passes my mind – ever so slightly – as I have a drink and celebrate my upcoming tiny vacation.
Now that I’ve had 24 hours to think about this…
I’m not a great sleeper. In general, I can get a decent solid 6 hours in before I just can’t sleep anymore, and my brain wakes me up; especially on work days, when I know I have to be somewhere and the loud, blaring alarm is in my soon-to-be-immediate future. I know it’s coming. I know work is coming, that I will have to get up and take care of my morning exercise, watering my garden, starting my day off with a quart of water and a nice shower…I wake up after six hours of sleep, and my brain goes on, and that’s all she wrote. I try to not look at the clock, and I try to maybe get some more sleep – just a few minutes, just an hour more. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This morning, it didn’t. I woke up about an hour and a half before my alarm clock went off, and the thought came running into my head like a 4 year old in their pajamas who desperately wants to open Christmas presents…
Ichiro Suzuki is gone.
The thought scampered into the bedroom, jumped up onto the bed, and started shaking me by the shoulders.
Ichiro Suzuki is gone.
I tried to shut it out. I pretended to sleep. I put the pillow over my head and tried to think about something peaceful. But the thought would not go play in the living room. It got up very, very close to my face, and in a loud, spittle-y child whisper said…
Ichiro Suzuki is gone!
So I got up, put on my workout clothes, set the radio to ESPN, and headed out of the house. I thought maybe I could come to terms with this by listening to the opinions of others. Maybe it was a good thing. Maybe it was a bad thing. Maybe the non-local hosts of Mike & Mike in the Morning would present me with a way of thinking about it that I hadn’t had before because I’m so close to it. Maybe, if I had some time to ease into the thought, to really think about it and make myself OK with it before I had to come to work this morning, maybe it would make coming to work and dealing with the reality of my day a little easier. But all they talked about was Penn State. I don’t care about Penn State. I care about the Seattle Mariners.
When I got back from my workout, the thought was watching cartoons and had spread its Legos all over the floor. I stepped on one of them. Pesky, irresponsible little thought.
I checked my email and discovered that, like I figured when I went to bed around the 7th inning last night, the Yankees had indeed won yesterday’s game. I had debated staying up to watch the whole game, but things were just too weird, and I had needed to get to sleep as fast as possible. I mean, there was always the possibility that Ichiro was just wearing that Yankees uniform as an elaborate prank. When I got up this morning, I would realize that the whole thing had just been a joke; a Hooter’s outfit in his younger years, some pink tiger-striped bike shorts for Spring Training just a few years ago, and now, a Yankees uniform. Haha, very funny, Ichiro. Always the joker. Time to stop kidding around and get back in your Mariners blues…right? Ichiro Suzuki is gone; the thought threw a toy train at me, then ran into the kitchen to get some cereal.
When I walked into my office, one of the women who works across the cubicle wall from me just said “Ichirooooooo…” in a kind of sad, drawn out tone that told me that she, too, could feel a little bit of the sting. Maybe not like me, but she knew what happened and it was obvious that she also knew I probably wasn’t all that happy about it. She pointed up to where my Ichiro bobblehead sits, on top of our shared cubicle wall. Next to it now sits a Felix Hernandez bobble. She said she found it at a thrift store. The Ichiro centerfold poster from last year’s Mariners calender is still attached to my cubicle wall; a Mariners uniform, the arm outstretched, the left hand forever frozen in just about ready to pull at the sleeve. The bat bolt upright. Like always. Scruff face, pointy, Mr Spock-like sideburns. Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariner.
I’m still not sure whether or not it has hit me. I mean, he’s still here in Seattle, even if he’s now wearing Yankees gray/pinstripes/whatever they’re going to wear over the next two games. Will it hit me after tomorrow’s matinee, when I know that the Yankees are gone? Will it hit me this Friday at the Royals game when Ichiro is not in right field, not DH’ing, not announced by Tom Hutyler. Will it hit me the first time I catch something in the news about his success or lack thereof in New York? Will it ever hit me?
I know, even in spite of my short tenure being a Mariners fan, that Ichiro has not always been universally liked by everyone. People called him aloof. They said he was selfish. A lot of people thought he was only trying to pad his stats by doing things like stealing second at the end of what was often a lost game. Some pointed to his occasional cross-country flights on his own plane, away from the team. And then there was the Ichiro that made everyone scratch their heads or laugh. The Ichiro who gave profanity-laced motivational speeches to his American League teammates before All-Star games. The Ichiro who said that his favorite American phrase had something to do with the state of Kansas and rats having sexual relations in a sock. The Ichiro who was the only player to get thrown out of a game on Don Wakamatsu’s 2009 Mariners roster for drawing a line in the dirt at the umpire. The Ichiro whose off-the-field wardrobe sometimes looked like he was an extra on the set of Kids Inc., or Saved By The Bell. The Ichiro who told us that his dog gave him specific instructions to extend his contract with the Mariners.
Ichiro Suzuki is gone.
Regardless of what you may or may not think about his on or off-field antics, there is one thing that I don’t think anyone can deny; Ichiro Suzuki is a hell of a baseball player. The Orix Blue Wave may have gotten him at his youngest, but I think we got him at his best. He was part of the 2001 AL West winning team. He has broken records, brought in fans, and played the game of baseball like it was meant to be played – pure and straightforward. No off-the-field drama, no drugs, no temper tantrums on the dirt. Just hard work, strict routine, honing a skill that few people have or could ever hope to have. Ichiro plays baseball like I would imagine scientists look for a cure for cancer. Calculated. Studying. Ichiro could be quiet because his actions spoke so loudly. I never needed to know why he made the play he did or why he stole a base, or hit a single, or hit a walk-off home run off Mariano Rivera. That is just Ichiro’s way, and I never wanted to know anything about it. It is what it is, and it requires no explanation. It almost defies it.
There are more number 51 jerseys in Safeco than any other player number. Mr Suzuki is beloved by children and adults alike; serious and casual fans both. At a Boston Sox game last year, Tom and I sat in front of a group of about 40 Asian men and women, all in their late teens and early 20s. When Ichiro came out to his position in right at the top of the first inning, the sound that came out of these fans was one of the loudest cheers I had ever heard in Safeco. Ichiro turned around, and just lightly touched the brim of his cap. More screaming. It was like the Beatles were there. Or Elvis. Or the Stones. And it went on for the entire game. Children come to the lower decks before games in droves, clutching their parents in one hand, and a baseball and Sharpie in the other, their little Ichiro jerseys and shirseys reflecting their adoration for their hero. They crane their necks over the railings to see him at the plate. They start up chants devoted to him with their schoolmates in the upper decks. And I know from more than a few little league coaches that they pull their bats out, stick-straight, and size up the opposing pitcher, even if it doesn’t help them actually hit the ball. Ichiro has inspired books, songs, and careers – and that’s just here in the US! As we saw this last spring in Japan during the Mariners opening games with Oakland, his influence in Japan is even more jaw-dropping.
Ichiro Suzuki is gone. I think I’m going to be stuck taking care of that thought for a really long time. I can only hope it eventually leaves the house and gets out into traffic, because keeping it here and nurturing it is almost more than I can bear, as a baseball fan. I feel like I got to see something truly special in Ichiro, something I may never see again. There will be other players over the years, and my relationship with baseball and writing about baseball will probably fade and brighten, brighten and fade. But I will never forget that I was privileged enough to sit in Safeco Field, and watch the player known only by one name, a player the likes of which we may never ever see again.
Good luck Ichiro, I do hope that you will forgive me, that I don’t have words in my vocabulary to express how much I will miss you. Thank you so very much for helping me become the baseball fan I am today, and for teaching me so much about the game and how it is played. Tonight may be the last time I see you play baseball. I don’t want it to be, but if it is, thank you so much for everything.
Ichiro Suzuki is gone, and I am sending my thought to bed without its dinner. It’ll still be here tomorrow.
I debated waiting a bit, but I figure if I don’t write about it now, I will probably not write about it later, either. But this is big news. Really big. I think it may take a while to sink in, but until that happens, there are a lot of random thoughts and reactions floating around my head, and not all of them make sense in conjunction with each other. This is not going to be cohesive and may not be coherent. You’ve been warned…
You may be upset about this, you may even have ventured beyond “upsest” into angry, as a Mariners fan, at the fact that Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees, a team that we’re all supposed to hate (and for the most part, do). But keep this in mind while you’re busy pulling your hair and gnashing your teeth; Ichiro had to give the thumbs up on this one. He didn’t want to be here anymore. That in and of itself is telling on how far the Mariners have slid down the rabbit hole. When even your star player has no further desire to be on your team and in your city, there’s something wrong. We have not done well as a team lately, and we have not done right by a guy who should have won a World Series a long time ago. Whether or not Ichiro specifically asked to be traded or he merely said ‘yes’ is news that may be coming shortly, but what’s done is done, and either you will weather this change or you won’t. For my part, I will continue on with my Seattle Mariner fandom, but it’s going to be weird and awkward for a while, and may be on a level slightly veering towards ‘This is a baseball game with players I know‘, rather than ‘This is a Seattle Mariners baseball game‘. It’s gonna scar me, at least for a little while.
All the anti-Ichiro people have finally got their wish. Not for nothing, but congratulations. If it means I’ll be able to read less negativity about the future of this team, then great. Open a bottle of champagne, light a cigar, do whatever it takes. I’m not being glib, I really do think that there are a lot of reasons that this is a good move for the Mariners. I don’t know if I like it, I don’t know if I hate it. But we needed a change. We needed a shake up. This is a both of those things.
I always said that if this ever happened, I would be sad. But I have watched Ichiro decline a little over the past few years, and that makes me more sad. Watching the guy who is always supposed to make a catch, make a play, hit an infield single, steal all the bases – seeing that he can’t and doesn’t do all those things anymore, 100% of the time is depressing. Hearing negative things said about a player you like is depressing; especially when you know that it’s true. It’s depressing even when you think it’s not. I had my on days and my off days; but I always liked and will always like Ichiro Suzuki.
Jack Zduriencik maintains his status as Baseball Ninja. Seriously; did ANY of you see this coming? Ever? Even a little bit? I could ask every single Mariners fan, and I am willing to bet good money that none of them would say they had even one inkling that this was going to happen. THAT is how baseball deals should be done. None of this on-again off-again nonsense like what happened earlier today with Ryan Dempster and the Braves. You can say what you want about this trade, but none of you knew it was going to happen. And that is how you make a baseball trade. Other teams? Schooled. When even your local reporters can’t see it coming, you’re doing it right. I don’t know if I will be able to watch tonight’s game because Tom is coming home and we’re going to relax with some take out (his flight was delayed yesterday), but I would imagine that the ROOT Sports NW team is scrambling to figure out how they’re going to present this one.
I can’t even say how I will feel when all of this sinks in. It’s going to be strange, for sure, not hearing that name over the PA system at Safeco. It’s going to be strange to see Ichiro in pinstripes (my assumption is that they will activate him as soon as possible). I am sort of comforted by the fact that he is going to a team that has a chance at the World Series, and God help me, if they make it, I may possibly give some thought to rooting for the Yankees – they certainly have enough ex-Mariners in New York now as it is, and they have all been favorites at some point in time. I wish Ichiro all the luck and success in the world. I hope the Yankees get what they need from him, and I hope that he finds some sort of rejuvenation over there. And I hate myself for saying that, or even thinking it, because hey, Yankees…the funny thing is, I remember a very heartfelt post about Mark Lowe a few years back when he was traded to the Rangers. And I can’t seem to get that sort of emotion behind anything right now. I think I may actually be in shock. Maybe I will write more later, when things sink in. Maybe I won’t. I have been getting texts and emails and FaceBook alerts about this for about a good 30 minutes now.
Good luck, Ichiro Suzuki. We are going to miss you, and it is really hard for me right now to picture the Mariners starting lineup without you. This is just weird. That is all I keep thinking, is how weird it is that this is happening…I’m gonna miss you so much, little guy.
And that is all I have to say about this right now.
Maybe I will settle down later, but right now, on two hours of sleep and an entire night of being interrupted while trying to obtain said sleep, and after a full day of work, I am absolutely in no way, shape, or form pleased with this decision, nor am I ready to deal with it. At all. Ever. This has actually made me angry at the internet, so I’m going to have some dinner, knock back a few cans of Guiness, and hopefully when I wake up, this will have been a really nasty dream, and this blog post won’t even be here. And to the Yankees?!!? Unreal, Mariners, un-freaking-real. Feel free to squeeze out some lemon juice into the gaping wound you’ve just left by cutting out my heart with this one. Not cool.
*Please note that I would put the Mariners on notice if the stupid online generator wasn’t busted. Ooooo! I want to kick a puppy! And I LOVE puppies!
Well, here’s some news. If I had gotten around to uploading all my photos off the old PC, this is where I would probably post a picture of Chris Seddon hanging out with Randy Messenger, a picture I took back in 2009.
But I haven’t, so I can’t. Good luck, Mr Seddon. Try not to punch yourself in the face. Ichiro would want it that way.
Now, back to trying to get through the entirety of Ken Burns’ Baseball. I just managed to finish Inning Three.
…and hello John Jaso. Dave was quick on the draw here.
I am sad about the loss of Lueke. After all we dealt with regarding Lueke’s past after the Cliff Lee trade, I really wanted him to get the chance to prove himself more on the field. I never wrote anything about Lueke’s previous legal issues because my opinion on such matters is rooted in personal experience, and while that may sound as if I have a certain view on the matter, I think it would surprise most people that that is simply not the case. Plus, I would have been spitting into a very large wind, and I simply didn’t feel like adding to that particular mess. Anyone who wants to know my opinion can simply ask me. I have no problem being honest about it, but I am not going to deal with it here. Suffice to say, while the initial shock was just that, the more I read about the situation, the more I was not quite sure that ‘outrage’ was the proper response. I have since been on Lueke’s side, and wanted him to do well here, even if to only lightly gain the trust of the fans. I think he accomplished that, but would have liked to see him here longer to grow and perform as a pitcher and human being. He had some good outings, and some really bad ones, but that pretty much summed up the 2011 Mariners, now, didn’t it? Unfortunately, I have the feeling that fans of other teams may not afford him the same attitude. I wish him a lot of luck, wherever he goes. Over 32.2 innings pitched in the majors, he had a WAR of 0.3 last season, so there’s that.
Of John Jaso I know only what I just read at USS Mariner at the link above. The other thing I know about Jaso is that you will likely see his name spelled “John Jason” here multiple times. I will do my best to not commit that error, but let’s just say you’ve been warned.
EDIT: Arrgh! please forgive me. I just drove for six hours from Oregon, and I guess I’m a little more foggy than I thought I was…
The acquisition of Jaso likely means that Miguel Olivo is not long for Seattle. Adam Moore should be nicely healed soon, and he and Jaso can duke it out for supremacy next spring. Based on what Dave says and what I saw of Adam Moore before he broke himself, I’m totally OK with this. I miss Adam Moore, and want him to stay here. If we could get a catcher that could hit well with any regularity and take care of business behind the plate? I may be rendered speechless. I like Olivo, and I’m glad that I got to see him play firsthand, rather than just hearing the rumors or secondhand accounts of his abilities. If the organization decides or he opts to stay in Tacoma (seriously, I need to get more of a grasp on the understanding of major and minor league contracts, I’m terrible at it), that’d be fine too. A little depth at backstop is never a bad idea.
I’m absolutely certain I’m forgetting to talk about something else, but I’m not going to force it. I need to sleep in my own bed and have a recovery day before I can think clearly.
Just a quick update and some griping, both of which I’m really good at…
My laptop power cord is, as the Germans say, kaput. I’m not sure what happened to it, but it’s apparently decided that death is a far more desirable option than keeping my computer afloat. I’m unsure when I will get a new one, so things may be a bit slower around here than normal, as I will have to rely on either Tom’s laptop (like right now), or the computer at work, a machine that cannot process words as fast as I can type them. So bear with me, I’ll get it straightened as soon as I can. That’s my quick update.
Now, for the griping…
I fully admit that there is no “real” reason for me to like Garrett Olson. He’s a mediocre reliever, was never very good at starting when he was faced with it, and gave up hits like they were candy and he was riding a parade float. But I liked him. He just seems like a likable guy – takes cooking classes in the offseason, practicing photography whenever he can (and actually takes some pretty good shots – if memory serves, I think Shannon Drayer had some of his photos up on her blog at some point pre-season last year), smiles a lot, and seems to really put his entire being into the art of throwing a baseball. He’s not a guy who blames others for his short-comings, or complains about his failures or the other guys on the team. He just keeps his head down and…works.
When I heard he had been waived the other day, I was a little sad, but thought maybe – just maybe – he could go back to Triple A. I figured that by now, all the other teams would have the guys they needed to take care of business. I mean, we only have like a week and a half before the season starts, right? But baseball doesn’t work that way. Just when you think that maybe it’s possible that your guy will be overlooked by everyone else and just go chill in Tacoma where you might be able to see him throw a few times a season, he gets claimed off waivers by the Pirates. THE FREAKING PIRATES! If it weren’t for Ian Snell, who not only isn’t with us anymore, but isn’t even a baseball player now, I would completely forget that the Pirates exist. The only baseball team in Pennsylvania I care about is the Phillies, and even that is a tenuous bond, based specifically on the amount of elderly Mariners they establish in their collection. The Pirates? Come on! Pittsburgh is a beautiful city, but I literally do not care anything for their sports teams. I just can’t bring myself to bother. So the fact that one of my favorite pitchers is going to be shipped off over there just kills me. I would rather have lemon juice squirted into my eye than have Garrett Olson be a Pittsburgh Pirate.
I guess the only consolation I can take from this is that Olson will have some great scenery to take pictures of, but I will have a little blonde, bearded hole in my heart for a while. First Hyphen and now this. This offseason has been a bummer.
Bye, Tex. It was nice knowing you for the short time you were here. I don’t really know what to say. It seems unjust that Texeira should have been put through waivers while Sean White continues to terrorize Seattle soil. I would have liked to see what else he could develop into with this club. I’m starting to wonder whether or not my other AL team should be the Royals, given the contingent of ex-Mariners…but I just don’t like Kansas, so no. I suppose I can at least take some degree of comfort in knowing that he didn’t go back to New York.
In other news, I like this idea. I like it a lot. The Orioles aren’t going anywhere, and I vaguely remember hearing something about Scott being disgruntled over his DH situation there. It might not improve here, but at least he might be lending his talents to a team that is still, against some pretty hefty odds, at least standing on their tip-toes to see contention.
Multiple local blog-folk seem to feel that Chad Cordero will be movin’ on up pretty soon. Should be interesting to see if the Ms decide to really go for the gold here or just sit down and deal with the hand they’ve been dealt.
For my part, I have about 3 more hours left of class today, and then it’s Happy Felix Day, boys and girls.