Sorry about the constant header changes, but I have to get some color around here. As we get closer to spring, I might try and dig out some of my photos of the diamond so I can remind myself that sometimes, grass isn’t soaked through with 2-4 inches of rain, and the sky is occasionally blue and warm, at the same time. January, I think, is the hardest stretch of the offseason. February at least has the SuperBowl to look forward to (or, in my case, getting together with friends and eating), but January is just…bleah. FanFest doesn’t count, as it’s usually far closer to February than the first of the year. At least I have a bit of a job to keep me occupied, and the lure of baseball tickets, once again.
So Adrian Beltre…what do I say to this? I told Tom about the deal last night, and his response was “What’s that red-headed dude gonna do?” I said “Probably buy a Texas jersey and bring a giant Beltre head to the stadium.” I don’t know if I am looking forward to seeing the Rangers this year or not. It’s no secret that SafeCo is kryptonite to Beltre’s hitting abilities, but I think it’s the long-term deal that bums me out the most. Some guys are on once-a-Mariner-always-a-Mariner terms for me; Beltre’s one of those guys. Of course, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of people with the opposite opinion – he got booed last year with Boston, but now with a more direct rival? I don’t even want to think about it. I think that the ticket plan I’m going to shoot for has either one or no Texas games, so at least my tolerance levels won’t be tested that much.
We also got back Josh Bard. Minor league contract, but this works for me, as I very much like Josh Bard. Although anything was pretty much an improvement over Adam Moore and Rob Johnson last year, Bard hit a few doubles that were memorable if for no other reason than that he was a catcher in a Mariners uniform hitting doubles. He also brought a degree of defensive security that neither Johnson or Moore could provide. While Miguel Olivo is being looked at as our guy for the 2011 season, I now feel a bit more secure in general with the backstop area – we actually have a little depth at catcher, for the first time in a long time, and all our guys have seen time in the majors, so they’re in a position to know what to expect if we have injury issues or someone needs a rest. Also, the video at this link is fun to watch, though it caused me to miss the game even more than I did prior to watching it.
I’ve also just seen my first glimpse of our new toy at shortstop, and all I have to say is Hell. Yes. I need to do some more reading up, as I’m not sure if those sorts of plays are regular items on Brendan Ryan’s menu, but here’s to hoping arbitration is successfully avoided, and Ryan plays well here. I hate saying this because there is really no way to be sure when injuries are involved, but I really feel like the Jack Wilson experiment failed us. I also hate saying it because I genuinely enjoy watching Wilson’s defense. Rehashing the past won’t get you to the future, though, so for now I’m just happy, once more, with some depth at the position.
Gotta run – that office work won’t do itself…