This Mariners offseason has been soul-killing in its continued impression of Death Valley, where nothing grows and very little happens on the human timescale, unless you count a visit to Del Taco and the World’s Largest Thermometer. That thermometer, standing in a Baker, California parking lot, is a stark reminder of the torturous temperatures and whole lotta nothin‘ you’re going to encounter driving west through Death Valley. This offseason has been a lot like that thermometer. I think we were driving west. The desert is a strange disorienting place…
So for me, there has not been a lot to write about lately. I’m already well aware that we’re going to get our pants ripped off by both the Rangers and the Angels, and not thinking about it is comforting. We have our new pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who comes cheap and might have a little bit of a learning curve with MLB batting. I don’t know much about him, and even the sources I count on (ie; Those Who Are Smarter Than Me) don’t seem to be exhibiting much excitement, though those two beautiful words “no downside” are nice to hear. It’s a smart move, but not an exciting one. We have George Sherrill, which is great because hey, George Sherrill’s back. Munenori Kawasaki has been signed to a minor league contract. I don’t know if it’s because I’m looking in the wrong place or what, but I cannot find out what sort of contract/where he will be placed, just that he’s signed. Based on what I’ve read, it sounds like Tacoma, unless he takes Spring Training by storm. Whatever the case, this situation sounds like a no-lose as well, since his presence in the organization will not only provide us with some depth but also perhaps a cheerier Ichiro.
So right now, I’ve simply been setting my sights on FanFest at the end of this month, because it will provide me the opportunity to go get my season seats again. Upon handing over my credit card to the nice woman or man who will take it from me, I fully expect the sky to open up and a sunbeam to shine down on me – at least, that is what will be going on in my head. My sanity will be restored soon, and that is important. I’m starting to get to that point in the year where there is a little Mariners-shaped hole in my heart. The Superbowl’s approach is a little calming, but it’s not baseball. The lineup for FanFest is so far not what I was hoping for or expecting, but it has occurred to me that I don’t really care who is there player-wise, just so long as I am.
Looking at this has not helped either. For whatever reason (probably my knack for not paying that much attention the past few months), I was unaware that the Ms were actually going to play Japanese teams toward the end of Spring Training; I just thought that we were going to take on Oakland in a more interesting clime. But no! We have challenged both the Hanshin Tigers and the Yomiuri Giants to back-to-back duels during the last week of ST. What bothers me is that I don’t see anything listed so far as to whether or not those two games will be on TV. The thing is? Sunday and Monday are my days off – I can totally watch both of these games without having to worry about work. I am keeping my fingers crossed that ROOT Sports or MLB Network or someone makes this happen. I have never actually seen Japanese baseball played in Japan…or anywhere else, for that matter. I don’t know that I will ever actually make it to Japan, so I would love love LOVE to at least see it on TV. Keeping my fingers crossed for a televised or online miracle.
Yeah, so that’s all I have to yap about today. I felt like I should write something, even though really there is not much to write about if one does not make with the analysis. I’ll just keep hitchhiking across the Death Valley of the offseason, the Mariners will bring me some water soon enough.