Random thoughts about the past few days

Alright, I got like a little over 8 hours of sleep last night, and I am trying to arm myself with coffee to get the Opinion Machine fired up this morning. There has been a lot going on over the last 48-60 hours that I haven’t had much time to comment on, and all of it’s still sort of swirling around in the ol’ noggin, so what’s going to come out here may or may not make much sense, but I’m still going to give it a shot…

I did indeed go to Thursday night’s game, and even though I was so exhausted that yawning was pretty much how I was breathing for the last half of it, I stayed for the whole delicious thing. Despite the fact that we took a loss and I was forced to walk back to my friend Eric’s car through a sea of smug Red Sox jersey-wearers (I have come to the conclusion that there is a difference between Red Sox fans and Red Sox Nation), I actually really enjoyed the game. John Lackey tried for a no-hitter that was broken up in the bottom of the 8th by a Josh Bard single. I and everyone around me except those wearing Red Sox gear jumped to our feet and cheered. Part of me wanted to see a no-hitter in person, but part of me wasn’t very interested in getting no-hit by John Lackey, so really I would have been happy either way. Manny Delcarmen gave up a bunch of runs in the 9th inning, and Jonathan Papelbon just had a bad night at SafeCo. Garrett Olson was responsible for giving up the final two runs to Boston that sealed our fate, and if you watched the game last night you already know all of this. For my part, I spent most of the night with the audio from this video running through my head.

I walked away disappointed, but certainly not angry. I didn’t expect to win, but I saw a very exciting game, a game that left me with a sore throat and a huge case of the tireds as we drove home. And the guys battled, they really did. Against one of the better closers in the game, even. So I can’t really complain about it. I got free baseball, Eric got me a dog with tons of grilled kraut and onions on it, and the hardcore fans that lasted the whole night in the bleachers along with us were about as entertaining as they’ve ever been.

I hate to follow up good with bad, but there was one little tiny bit of annoyance from Thursday’s game. If you follow my Twitter account, you would have seen me mention the fact that there was this annoying kid that I was sitting next to who booed and yelled the word “Traitor” at Adrian Beltre when he first came up to bat. He was doing this while I was screaming and clapping, and he gave me the sideways eyes like I was the one who was nuts. I resisted the urge to smack him upside the head. Are Seattle baseball fans really this stupid? He was only in his late teens, but he was far from the only person booing Beltre. This makes me sick and sad. Anyone who was remotely paying attention last year knows what happened with that situation – the Mariners were not going to offer Beltre any sort of extension or contract renewal, what was he supposed to do, just run around jobless? He went to a team that wanted him. If you booed Adrian Beltre at the past two games, and if you boo him over the next two, you should be ashamed to call yourself a baseball fan, and I don’t want to know you as a Mariners fan.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, it’s Incoherent Paragraph Time! In order of no importance regarding last night…

Mark Lowe was apparently at last night’s Tacoma Rainiers game at Cheney Stadium, drinking beer and watching the game. I’ll admit some curiosity as to why he was here instead of down in Texas, but I’m sure it’s nothing. His biggest fan was also at the game to see Michael Pineda and Dustin Ackley start, and got an unexpected surprise, which I’m sure just about made her Friday. I chose not to try and make it to that game due to money, and now I feel like a bit of an idiot. Pineda apparently did quite well, even though the Rainiers lost 2-1. Talk of rushing him up here to help us out has already started. I hope they don’t Morrow him, that’s all I ask.

Everyone knows by now that there was a fight in the dugout between Don Wakamatsu and Chone Figgins that escalated into what looked like a bench-clearer if it hadn’t been on actual benches. Shannon Drayer had a brief report up almost immediately following. Geoff Baker has more details in a news story this morning (not his blog) to make things more clear after the initial shock of seeing it replayed about five times on FSN last night. There are video clips of what happened here and here. I find it funny that Baker says that Russell Branyan “found himself” in the middle of the fight, when it looks pretty clear in the first video that he was making great effort to put himself between Figgins and Wakamatsu (that’s Branyan climbing over everyone in the background). But it also is obvious that tempers flared and several people were just trying to make sure nothing got started, making the whole incident look much worse than it was. Often pulling people away from a situation can look like a fight in itself, so I’m not making a huge deal out of this. I’ve been more guilty of badmouthing than I’d like in recent days, but stuff like this is one of the reasons I try and be a little sweeter in my comments on games, players, and bad situations. These guys aren’t just baseball players, they’re human beings. They have a job they do for a living, just like anyone else, a job that they are very fortunate to have, and a lot of them know it. They obviously care about this job – people don’t fight unless they care about what they’re fighting for – and I have to think that they read the internet upon occasion. Knowing that fans and journalists alike are publicly voicing their negative opinions of you constantly over the entire season probably doesn’t make you too happy.  We only do it because we care about the team, but I’m sure it doesn’t always come out that way.

I also thought that Wakamatsu handled things in absolutely the correct way during the post-game interview, deflecting questions that were of a more invasive nature. Some managers might have allowed their anger to get the best of them and retaliated against the player they fought, but Wak handled things well, and I’m proud of him.

I had some other notes written about how annoying Bill Hall hitting two homers in two consecutive games has been, and about how Papelbon struggled again last night, but all that seems to matter right now is Bill Kreuger’s comment during the post game show about how if Mike Sweeney had been around, things might have wound up differently. Sweeney’s ability to hug things out must be legendary.

Lastly, I found this weird cartoon last night. My hair isn’t that scraggly, but why is a woman with short hair in a black dress holding onto Lee’s leg? Does Cliff Lee have some sort of goth following that I am unaware of? If so, I would like to apply to be their leader.

OK. I think I’m all caught up. It’s a beautiful day in Seattle, go outside and enjoy the sun!

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