After having a little time to step back from things…
The general consensus seems to be that letting Eric Byrnes go was something that needed to happen. I’m not going to disagree with this, it’s just that in general, he’s not the one I might have chosen. People seem to be pointing to this as the move that sealed his fate:
But the fact that he botched the bunt that caused Ichiro to get thrown out at home and deprive us of a run is a lot less embarrassing (for me, anyway) than the fact that we continue to send out certain bench players as our “saviors”. I know I won’t be making any friends here any time soon by mentioning this in this context, but when I overhear people around me acknowledges that they’re simply cheering for Ken Griffey Jr because he’s Ken Griffey Jr and not because he can accomplish what he’s been sent to the plate to do, then there is a problem. It just feels sometimes like the Seattle fanbase is cheering for what used to be, not what can be, and it’s aggravating, especially when what can be is something wonderful and mind-blowing. I often wonder, when Griffey is called to the plate in what would normally be a clutch situation, if the people around me are fans of baseball, or fans of nostalgia. I have to take the latter, because everyone seems so shocked when he grounds out to right field.
I like both Griffey and Mike Sweeney for what they represent, and they both seem like great people. But I don’t think I can ride this train much longer if some changes are not made. I’m not completely disillusioned, not yet – we still have a chance to make something happen, if we handle this correctly. Friends of mine who shall remain nameless and who have actually had the pleasure of seeing Griff in his prime are using words and phrases like “done” and “his swing is gone” to describe one of the greatest players in the history of the Mariners organization, and it just kills me to know that it might be true. Ken Griffey Jr has been reduced to a bobblehead for me. It’s frustrating.
Man, this was a downer, wasn’t it? Positive (and yet still negative); I’m going to miss watching Eric Byrnes play. I was able to catch a little bit of interview with him on the radio before the game on Friday, and he sounded pretty much like I thought he would. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – he was a neat character, he’s a gamer defensively, and I will miss him.
On the bright side, there is a little Rainiers baseball on FSN tonight at 7 – they’re down in Portland playing the Beavers at PGE Park. I’m not sure how excited anyone might be over that, but hey, it’s baseball being shown on an off-day, so that’s something.
EDIT: No more writing before coffee. Sheesh! I neglected to mention that if nothing else, I’m happy that Ryan Langerhans and Josh Wilson are coming back. I know Wilson doesn’t have many fans up here, but for what it’s worth, I’m one of them. Langerhans seems to have been doing well in Triple A, and is secure defensively, so I am pleased with this specific move. Hopefully it gives us a little kick in the pants going into this series with the Tampa Bay Rays this week. So goodbye Brynesie, but yay Langerhans, yay other J Wilson.