Seems like a lot of stuff is going on, yet nothing is truly going on. In spite of outhitting the Rockies today by a significant margin, the Mariners still lost today’s exhibition game. I would marvel at Chone Figgins’ contribution to all that hitting, but he wasn’t on today’s roster. This only makes things easier for me. Casper Wells went 2 for 4, which is neat, and Carlos Peguero was a multi-hitter as well, including a home run. That is also neat.
Less neat and with the added benefit of being confusing is Shawn Kelley’s departure from the big club to Tacoma. I heard about this earlier today, but hadn’t really formulated an opinion on it. I still don’t really have one, other than to be perplexed at what exactly it is that Kelly “knows he needs to work on” (outside of his slower fastball), but this is mainly because I simply haven’t been able to pay attention to everything lately. I thought that getting up at 5.30 every morning would not have an impact on my ability to keep up, but it seems like even with a job that releases me at 4pm every day, a New and Improved(TM) smart phone, and endless internet access, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m going to continue on my path, believing that Shawn Kelley, a player I genuinely like, will be back in Seattle sooner rather than later. I’m optimistic like that.
I literally just discovered this article about Wladimir Balentien in my inbox. I keep Seattle Times emails, sometimes for weeks, in the hope that I will have the time to sit and read them. Sometimes I do, but more often I don’t. There have been numerous times this spring where I wanted to voice an opinion over this or that, but I’m just not fast enough. That article is from the 31st, though, so maybe I’m getting better. I remember Balentien going to Cincinnati, barely, but not what might have happened to him after that. At least I don’t think I did. But I used to like him (one of those irrational player affections), and I’m glad to see he is doing well in Japan, in exactly the same way that I’m glad to see Randy Messenger is doing well in Japan. He was once a Mariner, so he has my support. Sounds like he’s doing better than well. Wish he was doing it here, but those are the breaks.
This is old news by now, and I’m guessing that there are people who are keen to gloat about it. I have not yet quite recovered from the Pineda trade, regardless of how many times I am reminded – both by myself and others – that it had to happen. My predilection is to be glad that it was New York and not us; he could have just as easily shown up overweight (so I heard) and lacking in arm to Surprise. Unless the Mariners have some sort of offseason program or a degree of contractual control over what the players do and eat, it could have been us getting non-power, shoulder-injury Michael Pineda. Or maybe Pineda would have maintained himself in Seattle. There is no way of knowing, and playing that game is a fool’s errand. I’m not convinced yet that we got the “better” end of the deal; only time will really tell me that. But for now, there is a distinct possibility that depending on Pineda’s condition and how it’s treated, we can take a degree of comfort in the possibility – no matter how slight – that the Mariners won’t have to face Pineda this year. Then again, with three series against the Yanks this season, that might not be so feasible, you never know. Isn’t baseball great?
Also cut from the roster was Aaron Heilman. Poor Aaron Heilman. If I thought I had forgotten what he looked like a few weeks ago, this really seals it. I am now of the conclusion that the Mariners have been toying with Heilman, and will wait for his inevitable return to Spring Training camp in 2014 or possibly 2015. At least they don’t have to remove his giant face from a giant wall on the outside of our giant stadium. Perhaps this whole thing is just going to taper further from here – no photo this time, so next time we won’t even be told he’s here. Terribly unfair, Mariners. Good luck to you, Aaron Heilman, wherever you may land. I hear Japan is nice!