I was going to continue to put off writing because laziness and self-pity rule my life right now, but what better time to write than when there is some nice juicy gossip? This is not Mariners-related gossip, however. Via Scott Weber of ProBallNW.com, comes this little nugget of internet assjackery from SBNation. Apparently, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen’s son is none-too-pleased with recent words from former closer Bobby Jenks, who now wears differently-colored Sox. While the gossip in me enjoys watching someone’s sanity unravel online, shouldn’t this be a generally-accepted no-no for Mr Guillen? Despite the fact that the junior Guillen no longer works for the ChiSox organization, it just seems to me that there are some things that should be left out of the public eye. It’s pretty obvious to anyone with a set of peepers that Jenks is overweight, and nothing makes weight fluctuate like alchohol intake (seriously, if I stop drinking beer for two weeks, I drop like 10lbs instantly), so that all kind of goes without saying. But I guess Hell hath no fury like a former-employee-of-the-White-Sox scorned. I don’t know why I’m always amazed when things like this happen – the music scene I was formerly part of provided enough entertainment on this front constantly – but it always stuns me when I see stuff like this put out online. I’d prefer to think that people have a little more grace and dignity, but I am always wrong. C’est la vie.
I finally had a minute to myself yesterday morning, and listened to the Macklemore tribute to Dave Niehaus. I have to admit, when I first heard about it, I was really skeptical – tribute songs on any level are usually iffy to me, and tribute songs about sports are even moreso (see also; Scott Stapp’s song about the Florida Marlins…or don’t, if you value your eardrums). But this Macklemore song is definitely different. In fact, the only complaint I have about it is that the vocals are a bit too high in the mix for me. The piano riff and acoustic drums are a nice touch in today’s world of over-produced glossy rap and R&B sampling, and the lyrics are not tacky – I repeat, not tacky. It’s a good song by a guy who obviously was quite touched by Niehaus’ death, and I’m not saying that as a Mariners fan, I’m saying it as a musician. It’s solid, it’s heartfelt, and it’s local. Good work, Mr Macklemore.
The Mariners have been recently linked to Brian Fuentes, the guy the Angels used as K-Rod’s successor before sending him to Minnesota. I have to sadly admit that I had a moment of confusion between Fuentes and Fransisco Rodriguez (just a moment, mind you, wherein a bit of my soul died, but since I righted myself, I think I’d be OK with taking Fuentes on in the bullpen. With the departure of Ryan Rowland-Smith, perhaps the Ms are actively looking for a lefty with a little shinier recent track record (Fuentes’ FIP was a bit lower than Hyphen’s last year, though RRS’s injuries were likely a factor). This offseason has been aggravating in its silence – very difficult for someone who doesn’t particularly deal in analysis. I feel like I’ve been in limbo for the past few months, and have a little baseball-shaped hole in my heart. My mother put on Field of Dreams the other day, and I watched it with a tinge of sadness not brought on by the film itself (although that was still a bit of a factor), but by the fact that I now long for Opening Day with the burning intensity of a thousand white-hot suns. Pitchers and catchers report soon, but not soon enough.
Lastly, for Christmas my brother gave me a book I’ve been wanting for a while, The Baseball Field Guide. In an ever-expanding attempt to improve my education, and because I still ask people far too many questions for my own personal liking about the inner and outer workings of the game, I’ve been trying to absorb as much as possible this winter. I started reading this book yesterday. The first chapter is all about the super-basic rules of the game, but I’m reading it anyway, just in case there was some fundamental that I’ve been missing. So far, all is well, but at the point where baserunning was discussed, there are two little diagrams with these words under them: 1) A batter gets a hit and runs safely to second base. 2) The following batter also gets a hit, and the first batter is able to run to home plate to score a run.* My first thought? ‘How crappy is the opposing team’s defense?!’ I’m also just finishing up this book, all about the unwritten/unspoken rules of the game, and it has proven to be quite educational. In fact, the firing of our own former Don Wakamatsu was done by the book of unwritten rules, step by step. It was amazing to read that part of the book and see that it had happened so accordingly. It has also been interesting to see how many of the unwritten rules have been broken very recently by various baseball players and personalities. A good book, if you’re just starting in your baseball fandom, or have never known or paid much attention to baseball’s behind-the-game facets.
*Baseball Field Guide: An in-depth illustrated guide to the complete rules of baseball, by Dan Formosa and Paul Hamburger