What a week this has been. As if life and work are not both busy enough throwing things at me, it looks like baseball is trying to deal its blows, too. Bob Engle, the Vice President of International Scouting Operations (I don’t know why I capitalized all of that, it just seemed like the thing to do) has decided to leave the Mariners organization. Engle has a very impressive resume, and is considered by some to be the best in the business. So far no reason has been given for his leaving, and we probably don’t need to know, but for reasons I can only claim as selfish ones, I almost hope he is leaving baseball altogether. The thought of him spending many more years with another organization and finding more Felixes and Erasmos somewhere is terrifying. Coming on the heels of Chone Figgins comments from yesterday, though, it sort of feels like it’s something we said, even though it sounds like he may be looking into retirement altogether. It’s always sad when a baseball talent leaves your organization, but more of a bummer when that person was responsible for finding a pitcher like Felix Hernandez. I wish Mr Engle well in whatever direction he chooses to aim his future, while being thankful for what we have and have had, and hoping that the opposition isn’t going to luck out here. The only experience I have with Mr Engle is seeing the fruits of his labor, which is nothing like actually having any experience with him as a person. So I will wish him luck and hope that the Mariners find a suitable replacement, because really that is all I can do.
I had tried to make time for talking about the moving of the fences when the news first dropped a week or two ago (or a few days; time means nothing when my life has such little structure, as it does now and will for the next two months), but I neglected to do that, so here goes nothing. Literally.
At first, I was a little annoyed with the moving in of the fences; and to a degree, I still am a little upset with it. Given that I have never known anything other than a Mariners team with little to no offense, it seems kind of like putting training wheels on a bus so it won’t fall off a salt flat. It also feels a little insulting to the hitters, as if we are coddling our lineup by giving them an easier park to hit in. Then again, I realize that a lot of parks give that kind of advantage to their teams’ pitchers or batters, depending on the shape of the park, the height of the walls, etc. This will have to be my own personal hurdle to get over, as it seems like quite a few people are happy about this decision. I’m not even going to go into the argument that moving the fences in will make it easier for other teams to hit balls over them as well, because that has already been brought up by multiple people multiple times in multiple places. And also, I just sort of brought it up, so I guess I failed at my own argument or lack thereof. So I’m going to choose to not have any sort of opinion on it at all, other than wondering what the park will look like when all is said and done. Perhaps some sort of berm can be created between the fences and the bullpens so that fans can pay to sit in that space? Yes, I did come up with that idea just now with absolutely no thought to the consequences or specs of making it happen. You’re welcome.
That was rambling and somewhat incoherent, for which I apologize. I feel neither one way or the other about the fences. I have ideas and points that crop up during my day where I think “Well, maybe…” or “If they do that, then…” but nothing concrete. There is just no use in raging against the machine of Major League Baseball. They are going to do what they do without consulting any of us. Don’t believe me? MLB Fan Cave. I rest my case.
Tonight the Baltimore Orioles go up against the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card game. TBS programming confuses me most of the time – as does Central Standard Time – but I’m pretty sure I will be home by the time this starts. If Baltimore does not win, though, all is not lost; a friend of mine has recently started to be really into baseball; specifically? The Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are a peripheral team for me, but I have a foam claw, and I will use it! The fun is not over yet, folks!