We had a bit of a gathering last night for a friend of mine who is moving to Africa next Friday. This has nothing to do with baseball (aside from his being a Yankees fan), but it means that we had company still this morning, and due to an issue with AdBlocker (it does indeed block GameDay for some ridiculous reason) and the fact that I didn’t want to be rude to our friends, I didn’t manage to tune into ESPN until about the 6th inning or so. You’d think I’d be more excited, but my plan had been to watch the Angels/Dodgers game on MLBN while listening to the game online with GameDay, but circumstances conspired against me. I also have tomorrow off, so I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow at noon.
Erik Bedard was being interviewed on air when I tuned in, and though I just caught the tail end of the segment, he seemed upbeat, was laughing, and sounded in general very un-Erik-Bedard-like. Hearing him sound that happy is different, and I like it. I can say nothing more about this than that my fingers are crossed for his continued buoyancy and well-being. Bedard’s inning consisted of a few different pitch selections mixed in with a lower-90s fastball, striking out his first two batters, and getting his third to ground out. Not too shabby, for one inning. I’m going to be positive, because hey, baseball!
The line I had originally written here was “The Mariners didn’t win today’s charity game, but…” With the game at 10-12 in the Padres’ favor, I decided to leave that sentence for a bit, to just sit there and marinate. I often write things like that because I attempt to get a head start on ending the post, then realize that maybe, possibly, the game can still be won. I rarely write it the other way around – there is never a lead-off sentence talking about a win. But then Carlos Peguero hit the tying home run off Brad Brach, and as Rick Rizzs called the play, I realized that I was listening to baseball…but not, really. As I’ve been listening today, there is something off, something Not Quite Right. I’m hearing a baseball game, the first baseball game of 2011, and I should be really happy about it, right? But I can’t get into gear, I can’t get my head in the game today, because there is no Dave Niehaus. I am not finding the right words to sufficiently describe the sensation, so I’ll just use audio terms – there’s no bass today. There are a lot of high- and mid-ranges, but no bass, no bottom, nothing to ground the broadcast, and that is because Dave is gone. I didn’t think it would affect me quite that much, but it apparently really has. How strange. This may be more difficult to get used to than I originally thought…
The fact of the matter is, the Mariners won today’s charity game, at the very last minute. The team managed to load the bases on a Dustin Ackley walk, and Josh Bard drove the winning run home in the bottom of the 10th inning. And even though it’s just Spring Training and it doesn’t count, it still makes me happy. And tomorrow we go again! Baseball is slowly making its awkward comeback, and it will be soon be time for nice weather, green grass, watching games with our front windows open to let in the breeze, grilling outside on our driveway before things get started on FSN, or ROOT, or whatever it’s calling itself these days…I can barely wait.