…when you like both teams playing. They’ll be far more fun at the end of the month, when Baltimore comes here and I can go in person.
I had to catch most of yesterday’s game on the radio. There was a death in the family, and I had some errands to take care of for Tom last night. Sounds like I missed a bench-clearer, though? And a lot of other weirdness? I was traveling and therefore in and out of the car a bit, so I couldn’t keep track of everything – I was just amazed that the game was still on every time I got back into the car. Whatever the case, the Mariners lost to the Orioles, and while generally I say that it’s a win-win situation for me, in reality I just mean that I’m a little less upset when the Ms lose to a team I like than when they lose to a team I dislike or don’t care much about. From what I could tell of the 13 innings played last night, it sounded like both teams battled pretty hard, so it maybe didn’t feel like that much of a loss, but when you’re fighting in the basement, everything is awful. And still, results are all that matter when you’re this far down on the totem pole.
This series so far has been marred by bad calls, and the Orioles just took it away from us tonight. Normally, I wouldn’t be too upset by this, but we just recently had our lineup shaken up pretty badly, and it’s kind of like an extra little knife twist, to start losing so much immediately after the front office decided that the roster needed a bit of a facelift. Baltimore does have decent hitters in the form of Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott, and Adam Jones (miss him!), but I would have expected better all around from a day on which Felix Hernandez started a game. Five innings and 105 pitches. Ugly, ugly. Baltimore just made us pay for going to Baltimore.
But wait, that’s not where the problems end! As everyone who might be reading this is already likely aware, David Aardsma is nowhere near out of the woods. He hasn’t even figured out how to build a fire to survive the night there yet. The Lookout Landing article I linked there and various things I heard on the radio last night all boil down to two words: Tommy. John. Lots of guys go through and come back from TJ surgery, and that’s all very well and good. The problem is, we need Aardsma back, and in a bad way. Shawn Kelley’s still out, Brandon League has been OK as a closer, but “OK” and “closer” are dubious words to use both in one sentence. Eric Wedge has already turned to the blatant divide between using Jamey Wright and David Pauley in situations where a win might be possible, and Chris Ray and Tom Wilhelmsen in situations that call more for that style of baseball where you’ve thrown in the towel. Obviously nobody’s expecting us to contend or anything crazy like that this year, but we were getting close to .500, and just being there again would have been nice, even for a day. I should take my search for victories elsewhere, I guess – at least for the time being.
The only positive news to report is that Ryan Langerhans has -to probably nobody’s surprise- successfully landed back in Tacoma after accepting an assignment there. I’m glad to have him remain in the organization, and really need to get to the new Cheney Stadium as soon as possible. I drove past it last night on the way back home, and it looks just wonderful from the outside – as we drove by it, I said to Tom “Oooo! It looks like a shopping mall!” When compared to what it looked like before, this is a massive upgrade, and I hope to get down there soon. They have another home stand next weekend, so maybe then.