Real life has interfered with my ability to really sit down and think about all the lunacy that’s been going on over the past 48 hours, so this may be jumbled, but it’s what I can do while waiting for math class…
Bill Hall is no longer a Mariner. As everyone is already pretty aware, he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Casey Kotchman. This also likely means that Russell Branyan is not coming back to Seattle. I was kind of stoked about the lack of Hall, but have decided that happiness shouldn’t really be my first reaction to this situation. Hall simply didn’t have the time to impress anything upon me, necessarily. It’s not his fault, it’s just the way things are. I am neither happy nor sad about his departure. As I was driving in to class yesterday, Mike Salk was talking about the deal before it was announced as being settled, and saying that Hall would be the only trade chip that would make sense in the situation, being a right-handed hitter that the Red Sox were requiring, and being a guy who could provide for them defensively. I found it an odd assessment, since, like I said, Hall never really dazzled me, and Boston is generally thought of to be an excellent team with a smart GM; but I guess it was true. Last I heard, there was a minor leaguer in the mix, and some cash on its way to Boston in exchange for Kotchman, who, while not having terribly impressive numbers over the past few years he’s been in the majors, is younger than Hall, and must have some upside to him, or Jack Zduriencik would not have made the move. This also indicates that the front office must have been dubious about Branyan’s ability to play an entire season, with all of his back issues.
Franklin Gutierrez was also signed to a significant extension, which is a really, really good thing, and would make me do a little dance right here in the hallway if I wasn’t so tired. Four years with a fifth year option, and probably not near as much money as he’s worth. There is this article, written several hours before the deal was finalized. Can’t find something more current; I didn’t get much sleep last night due to some school stress, and I’m just flat-out being lazy. It made the awkward Kotchman rumors a little easier to take – like someone putting a pillow under you right before you hit the ground. Fluffy!
Despite my tire troubles on Monday, I managed to get home just in time for Mariners Mondays on FSN, and watched a game against the Diamondbacks. It was not the one that Jenny and I were at (with Jason Vargas in the starting slot, the following day), but it was the game where Yuniesky Betancourt and Endy Chavez collided, effectively ending Endy’s 2009, and, it’s arguable, delaying his career for at least another year. Since I had completely forgotten about it, I was unprepared, and it wasn’t until I saw them both headed for each other, that I knew what I was about to re-see. With Tom next to me on the couch, I started yelling at the TV “Nonononononono!” almost, for a moment, believing I could stop the past from happening. Alas. It was still nice to see Ken Griffey Jr swing again, into the stands and in dramatic fashion to tie the game, everyone on their feet as David Aardsma came in for the save…it’s like giving me a really, really good bowl of pho, and then telling me that I can’t have it again for another 4 months. I shake my fist at you, FSN! Still, it’s better than nothing, and I’ll gladly take it.
Randy Johnson (again, everyone knows this already) gave his notice to the MLB last night via intercom phone call. He didn’t sound particularly upset about it, and was very matter-of-fact and calm about the statement that he was really, truly, leaving the mound for good. After it was mentioned by Dave Cameron of USS Mariner via Twitter a few weeks ago, a tiny part of my brain kind of did want to see a 2010 Mariners team with KJR and RJ on it; that would have completely electrified SafeCo, that much I know for sure. Even though we beat the Giants 2-0 last year, I’m really, REALLY glad I went to that game. I won’t soon forget it.
I don’t know how to approach this bit without sounding harsh, so I’m just going to spit it out…
Edgar Martinez didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame. I can only assume from massive amounts of messages back and forth from several Twitter accounts that I am following (I have not had any time to sit down and really check links today, and I have about an hour worth of math homework I need to get to before class in an hour and change) that one of our local journalists was not among those that voted for Edgar. At the risk of alienating anyone, I have this to say; whatever issue you may or may not have with this situation, it is not appropriate to bring it here. I won’t discuss it with you, and I won’t suffer it in comments. I do agree that Edgar Martinez should get a place in the HoF, but this is based only on what I know about him, what I know about his numbers and his charity work, and what I’ve heard from fans. I have no personal experience with seeing him play, and I have absolutely ZERO stake in taking sides. This is an argument I am absolutely not willing to get into, not with anyone. I would very much appreciate if if that is respected.
I’d like to end on a pseudo up-note. I’m linking this post from Lookout Landing, an open letter of sorts from Adrian Beltre superfan “Red”. If you haven’t seen Red at a Mariners game over the past few years, you have’t been paying attention. He’s the guy with Adrian’s giant cutout head on a stick, the guy with the “I *heart* Beltre” sign back in 2008, the guy with the giant Adrian Beltre bobblehead that is occasionally seated next to him at games. We should all be lucky to be as much a fan of any player, players, or even a team, as Red is of Beltre. I’m sorry for Red’s loss, but his letter is a poignant reminder of why we follow the players and love the game of baseball.