I haven’t been writing but I have been watching and listening. And this weekend has been a soul crusher. Had I been in less of a hurry to get to sleep on Friday after the game to post, I would have posted the shot of Albert Pujols hitting a home run and left it at that. Ah, here it is:
It’s been difficult to watch the past few days, as the Mariners have had and wasted opportunities, as lineups with Chone Figgins and Miguel Olivo have been announced, as Brandon League has been allowed to load the bases, allowed to give up runs, and then finally, sadly, has been booed off the field after the top of the 9th inning. I understand that Eric Wedge had some harsh words for anyone who might criticize his lineups, and that’s fair, I get that. It has to be difficult to be the ones losing every day, more difficult than it is to watch the ones losing. But he has to know. He has to; and that bit about knowing “what you have” lineup-wise. Really? We’ve been at this all last year, and for two months already this year, and you can sit there and tell me that Figgins is just going to stay on this team for an as-yet-to-be-determined amount of time, and that it’s OK? I may be wrong, but I don’t know if I am buying the mystery that Wedge is trying to sell. He and his coaching staff have more contact with these guys than anyone else, and they still can’t tell us what they “have”? I don’t have any choice other than to take Wedge at his word, but he’ll have to pardon my “yahoo” skepticism. I can appreciate the fact that he is defending his players, and I respect that – but I can only respect it so far. If you have watched Brandon League all year long so far and are still cool with putting him out there in a one-run game even when you know he’s having location issues, then I as a fan who pays to go see you do that has a problem with your assessment. And as a fan, it kills me to see League – a player I genuinely like – booed off of his home grass: and that might be the part that angers me the most.
But I digress. I think I really just needed to vent. I love the victories that we have had, but the losses have been really difficult to take this year for some reason. I just hate watching the guys play a new team only to become that team’s punching bag. As things are right now, there are only 6 other teams with a worse record than we have. And we’re going back to Texas tonight, so things could get a whole lot worse. As a side note, is it me, or has it seemed like we’ve spent an abnormal amount of time playing the Rangers this year?
I think I’m done griping. It takes a lot out of me to be upset with the team, so I have chosen a light indifference mixed with my normal pro-Mariners enthusiasm. But I’m still watching, so that says something about my tolerance levels, and yeah, my love for the team.
Had it not been for the loss, Friday’s game would have been a lovely game to be at. It was warm – I didn’t need to don my third layer of clothing brought in preparation for bad weather – and we got a sweet Justin Smoak home run out of the deal.
I can’t place all the blame on League or Wedge for the one-run fiasco. It was only a one run game because of a bad 6th inning for Blake Beavan and that Pujols homer. Tom Wilhelmsen threw a nice solid 8th inning, and I was really hoping that League could get himself a little redemption for his recent performances.
I would have loved to be at Saturday’s game, regardless of Felix’s struggles. The King’s Court was four sections instead of the usual one, and the atmosphere looked far more electric than the unfortunate FOX Sports broadcast would have had those of us viewing from home believe. It also seemed like everyone I know from Twitter and elsewhere was there, so I truly felt like I missed out. It was a bad game for a Felix, but a great day for a game. It also looks like Franklin Gutierrez will be taking in some rehab with the Rainiers, and if there is any greater reason to take a drive to Tacoma, I can’t think of one. With the Everett Aquasox season nearing its beginning, it looks like there will be many other baseball-viewing opportunities presenting themselves if I find myself at the point where the Mariners become too depressing or downright unwatchable. I am hoping that never happens, and that I will merely be inundated with baseball. Insert smiley face here.
I think I feel a little better now. I have complained, I posted some pictures, and later today after making a sushi lunch and watching a movie with a friend, I will come back home, make some dinner, and watch the Mariners go after the Rangers in Arlington. My hopes are not high, but that’s really for my own protection, more than it is any negative feelings against the team. Kevin Millwood gets the start, and with the way he’s been pitching lately, maybe we have a chance. Maybe. With baseball, hope always springs eternal.