Bits and Pieces

I find it both ironic and lightly annoying that now that I have constant internet access and a new computer, the Mariners have done nothing of major significance since the end of their season. Not that re-hiring the whole coaching staff and making some minor-league staffing moves isn’t significant, and I don’t want to gloss over that, butI’m waiting for something to hit a fan somewhere. Even my daily Seattle Times emails are looking a little hollow, and most of the news is about other teams. So I’m going to scrape around in the barrel and see if there is anything remotely worth writing about…

I enjoyed this post from Jeff Sullivan today not only because it is witty and well-written, but because it sums up so much of what I’ve been thinking about Mike Carp, just in a way that is concise and easy to understand, rather than what goes on in my head, which is something to the effect of ‘I like Mike Carp a lot, but I am aware that there are reasons to be a little wary of his most recent season‘. By “wary” I don’t mean to give the impression that I don’t believe that Carp can repeat his 2011 performance in 2012, but I am unwilling to jump on the the first plane to Carp Island and stay there for any lengthy period of time. I like Carp as a really really good utility player. His IF/OF interchangeability and ability to swat are neat. I would like to keep him here in Seattle, because I think his value as a bench guy is high enough that it’s worth it to the team going forward, and we haven’t had that for as long as I’ve been a Mariners fan, so it’s a bit of a revelation for me. But I am not in the camp that thinks that he is anything other than, well, what he is. Mike Carp’s not a miracle guy, but he is a heck of a bench player as things stand, and I would have no problem with the organization tossing him a few bucks to keep him around for a year or two (or three) if necessary. With his age, maybe his best years are still ahead of him. I’d like to see him make the roster out of Spring Training next year. Dave Cameron has a Joey-Votto-free idea for next year’s roster that even features Carp as the DH, which would make a lot of people happy, I’m sure.

I am trying to keep my excitement for large moves this offseason to a minimum, but I’ve come to realize that my fandom – due to its brevity – has a fatal flaw; thinking things are good vs. thinking things are good enough. Regarding individual players in much the same way is also a problem. If you’ve started with two 101-loss seasons in the four years that you’ve been a fan, the 65-97 record doesn’t seem so terrible. The over .500 record from 2009 seems better still, in spite of our third place standing that year. I need to get out of this rut. A lot. I tend to glom on to players because they did something a few times that seemed like the right thing to do at the time, and never made any glaring errors. I mean, Matt Tuiasosopo never had the highlight reel that Raul Ibanez does, but when he was here, I felt he was good enough, even though deep down I knew I was wrong. I am well aware that certain other teams are generally better than any Mariners team I’ve been a fan of thus far have been, but I find that I have grown complacent about what I’m happy with, because I have never seen truly amazing baseball on Seattle soil. Flashes of brilliance, yes, but never the long-burning intensity of a really great season, or a really great team. So far, the 2009 Mariners are the closest thing I have to the 2001 Mariners. I need to start thinking differently.

Further adding to one of my peripheral teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks have grabbed a certain Mr Chris Jakubauskas! So he goes from my number two team to my number three team. He does so at a minor league level, but I always like it when I see ex-Mariners crop up on teams I claim as “mine”. I find it somewhat amusing that he wound up with a minor league deal with the DBacks while refusing an assignment to Baltimore’s Triple A team, but I guess that’s the way things work sometimes. JJ Putz remains active there for another year at least, and Willie Bloomquist is a free agent now, so who knows where he will wind up.

I finally saw Moneyball yesterday. It was not what I was expecting, but everything I’d hoped it would be. I even managed to forget that Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt, and that is saying something. Pitt’s abilities as an actor have been long overshadowed by his fame for me, so I find it difficult to watch his movies, because he’s never anyone else but himself. But he did an excellent turn as Billy Beane, the game segments were very enjoyable, and Casey Bond as Chad Bradford was absolutely perfect. Bond even got to mimic Bradford’s pitching in a few scenes in the movie, which pretty much made it for me. Also, the guy who plays Andy on Parks and Recreation was Scott Hatteberg, so that was cool too. If you’re a baseball fan and haven’t seen it yet, just go see it. I’ve seen a few negative reviews, but I genuinely enjoyed it, and it may replace Eight Men Out as my favorite baseball movie. Speaking of which, I may watch that tonight. Or Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary series, because I’m starting to miss baseball. I caught a bit of a rerun the Rising Stars game in Arizona the other night, but I just missed Danny Hultzen, and  I have this weird thing about watching re-run sports…

Anyway, I have tried to force enough out of myself for one day. Sorry for the sloppy post, but thanks for sticking with me.

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