Mariners Attempt to Play Baseball in Japan, Fail

I learned something about myself today; I am too old to attempt to operate the internet on 3 hours of sleep. Fortunately, now that my schedule is all off-kilter, getting the proper amount of sleep and still getting the games in over the next three days might actually be easier. Getting all my work done might prove to be an adventure, but I will for sure be up and at it fore the games. I also learned something about my laptop; the screen-cap feature is stellar, when it works. I tried to get a shot of George Sherrill, but I must have hit another key unknowingly, and I am simply too tired to be able to figure out how to fix it. I like my MacBook, but I am by no means a master at it. So a few observations.

-This game was a disaster, particularly the bottom of the 6th inning. I suppose that it’s good for foreign relations to lose to both teams, but we sure didn’t put up much of a fight, and that is a little disappointing. From what I understand, the Tigers and the Giants are sort of the equivalent in Japan to the Yankees and/or Red Sox (maybe or maybe not respectively). If that is truly the case, then this doesn’t come as much of a shock. But we really got trounced both times, and, to use local parlance, that sucks.

-If one didn’t know better, one might have thought that Ichiro, Munenori Kawasaki, and Hisashi Iwakuma were the sole members of the Mariners roster. They were featured heavily during the game highlight break, and the camera spent a good amount of time on them in the dugout.This is not a condemnation, not by any stretch. The Japanese media were giving any fans watching from home what they probably wanted, and there is no way I can fault them for that. I can’t even say I find it amusing, particularly; I guess endearing might be a better word, although words and I aren’t really friends right now because I’ve only had three hours of sleep. Here’s a picture, I’m better at that, for the moment.

-Ichiro made an amazing throw from right field to the plate again, somewhat akin to this throw from several years ago. Or this one from even more several years ago. I have been hearing a lot of talk about trading Ichiro, or Ichiro as a free agent, or Ichiro being washed up at 38. I don’t think I believe it. Even if it’s the truest truth that was ever true, I have a really difficult time thinking that it’s over. I think that there is still more Ichiro left. I still believe. Even though the top of his head looks like someone dusted it with flour, and his offense and defense have both suffered, and I am probably wrong, I still believe.

-When Eric Wedge had a camera pointed at him tonight, he did not look pleased with anything that was going on on the field. Not an indictment, just an observation. He looked displeased not in a way that indicated that he was angry, but in a way that one might be inclined to roll one’s eyes out of frustration. But Wedge retained a straight-faced exterior, and I think that is what I would find terrifying about him, if I were a baseball player.

-After games, the Japanese teams line up, and doff their caps to the crowd. A similar gesture happens during Sounders games, with the team acknowledging the ECS at the Brougham end of the field. The Sounders also make an announcement about the “Man of the Match”; basically what it sounds like, a nod to the player who did the most to help the team. Tonight, there was a Japanese player (I am embarrassed about my lack of knowledge here) and former Philadelphia Philly John Bowker, a recent acquisition for the Yomiuri Giants. There was a Japanese interpreter standing next to Bowker, who handily fielded questions from the interviewer over the PA system, then relayed Bowker’s answers to the crowd. Part of me kind of wishes that MLB did something similar. If there were no fans, there would be no MLB. The Sounders are very respectful of their fans, and they don’t have to be. I don’t think it’s necessary, but I was absolutely thrilled when the Ms did their around-the-field march after the last game of 2009. It was a sweet gesture. Then again, I would also feel compelled to stay for something like that, and since I get up at 5AM for work, merely going home after the game is over is also alright.

-I am exhausted right now, and don’t have much else to add. I should have started writing this earlier, but I didn’t, so I’ve forgotten a few things I wanted to say. I’ll probably remember in about three hours, just as I’m falling asleep in line at IKEA. Also, Tom left the TV on when I fell asleep on the couch, and rather than turn it off, I just left it playing, so I had the game in Japanese on the computer, and Adult Swim on TV. I can divide my attention to an extent, but there is a level of surreality that not even I can quite process. So here are some pictures!

You know who.

Lucas Luetge pitching. That’s his name, right? Lucas Luetge? I will always remember Luetge as the guy who gave up 2 hits and a walk in 0.2 innings of a game in Japan. I hope he gives me something better to remember him by, because that is an awful gift.

Mike Carp, carpin’ it up. This post is almost over, aren’t you glad?

Shawn Kelley, getting a strike out with the bases loaded. The score could have been so much worse than 9-3 if he hadn’t.

The post is finally over! It’s 6.30. Have some coffee, wake up, and go to work! I will be making myself stay up this morning as well as I can, though I cannot be held responsible if I sack out on the couch later. I apologize for the quality of this post, but it’s all I have. Like Lucas Luetge, I’m not great at gift-giving.

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