Earlier today, I was on my way back up to the Greenwood area to go pet-sit for a few hours (y’know, until they’re flat), and happened to catch the last few minutes of Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN. They were talking about the possibility of making a game-ready-for-prospects trade of Erik Bedard and Brandon League to the Yankees, who Mike Salk referred to as “desperate”. So I was just reading around the internet, and came up with two sides of the same point. First of all, why is it always the Yankees? We owe the Yankees nothing, and as far as I’m concerned, let them be “desperate”. Being “desperate” builds character, and hammers home a little humility, and frankly I think that a team that’s won so many World Series could use a little humility.* Second of all, I think that the Mariners organization, after the past three years, owes its fans a little winning right now. I certainly do not think that we’re fielding a World Series-worthy team; nobody wins a World Series with Chone Figgins playing like he has been. But more and more, it’s looking like maybe an AL West win isn’t so out of the question. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing something like that, would you? And in order to get it, we need Erik Bedard and Brandon League, because the Texas Rangers wait for no man. Moreover, I might even go so far as to say that Bedard doesn’t want to go anywhere – he said at the beginning of the season that he was offered more money to go elsewhere, and decided that he owed us to stay healthy and play well, and he’s holding up his end of that bargain. Pushing him out of Seattle is only going to make fans think that the Mariners only care about winning later. And who will close out our games if not Brandon League? What if David Aardsma’s not ready by the trade deadline? What if he’s not ready at all this year? I don’t want to think like that, but it’s a possibility, just like with any athletic injury; nothing is guaranteed. I really wish that people would think these things over a little bit – I know that stuff like this said on-air is a total ratings grab, and sensationalism sells, but the Seattle Mariners owe their fans a winning season, and we need all our current guys to do that. And maybe Dustin Ackley. Our farm system will live if we lay off stuffing it full of players for a little while. Let’s just let the big club play and win some more ball games. I’d like to see another banner added over the upper deck if at all possible this year. I think you would, too.
I debated going to tonight’s game to see Dan Haren pitch, but my bank account sternly said “No. Sit. Stay.” so I wound up setting up camp on the couch in front of the TV. As it was, it looked like a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Safe tonight, and the game was tied by the third inning at 2-2. It stayed that way until the 5th inning when Chone Figgins hit a double and Ichiro bunted to move him over. With men at the corners, Brendan Ryan took an 86MPH cutter as far as he could to center, sacrificing himself to get Figgins in. That score lasted until the 7th, when Figgins fielded a Torii Hunter infield hit perfectly well, but Miguel Olivo couldn’t keep hold of it as Jeff Mathis slid into the plate. Game tied. Things just got worse when Vernon Wells hit a ball into the Mariners bullpen, driving both himself and Torii Hunter in to score. The more things change…
Angels reliever Scott Downs had a little trouble with us in the bottom of the 8th. He allowed men on, throwing sinkers and giving up hits like a boss. With men at the corners, Downs threw a total of 19 pitches before he managed to get Olivo out swinging. David Pauley’s 8th inning was pretty uneventful, but Chris Ray’s 9th was not; he allowed another run to come in to give the Angels a 6-3 lead.
And we lost. And that’s that.
Fortunately, these two teams were the only ones in the AL West that were playing today, so we are still ahead of the Angels and A’s by a fairly significant margin, and only fell back 0.5 games. Still above precious precious .500. Still treading water. Tomorrow is another day.
I have a bit of news that is exciting maybe to nobody else but me, but I will be in the press box next Wednesday the 22nd when the Everett AquaSox have their home opener at Everett Memorial Stadium up north. It will be my first glimpse of some of the newest guys we’ve got in the organization, and see what some of the veteran Sox have to offer up this year. I’m just glad to be going up there again as I miss it, and will quite enjoy the fireworks celebration post-game, even though it will likely mean that I don’t get to bed until probably midnight. I love a good explosion.
Over the next few days, we toss Doug Fister and Erik Bedard at Anaheim and see what happens. Good things, I hope.
*That’s what I like to call a sarcastic joke, kids. Don’t freak out.