I told myself I would write more here this year, and I think I have been trying my best to balance what I have time for with how badly I want to put content on this site. And I’ve done a pretty decent job of that, for the most part. Not as great or as much as when I was going to school and unemployed, but a pretty acceptable amount, all things considered. But now I seem to have developed a new problem, and I don’t see that problem going away any time soon. The problem this time is the team itself.
It’s a nice sunny day in Seattle today, and I figured I would supplement the sunshine outside with a little baseball over the static-filled tinny radio broadcast I can get in my building if I sit at my desk and angle the portable runner’s radio just so on a stack of papers. This started out as an excellent idea until I turned it on and heard Matt Pitman and Shannon Drayer discussing the fresh new decision of having Robert Andino and Brendan Ryan sharing shortstop duties.You see, as a punishment for not hitting, the team has decided to put our infield defense in jeopardy, because that makes far more sense than just settling for Ryan in the 9-hole all year long. In the event it is unclear, I am being sarcastic. I don’t know much about Andino, but I would not describe myself as a fan of his so far this year. Andino’s offensive numbers (.161/.188/.226) are only slightly better than Ryan’s (.143/.210/.143), and while my defensive stats still need work, what I have seen with my own eyes does not leave me very impressed by his performances at second. We have had a fairly airtight midfield with Ryan; I do not anticipate that will be the case with Andino…and it will be even worse if they decide to run Raul Ibanez out to left at the same time.
I am starting to remember what was so horrifying about left field back in 2008. This might not even be such an issue for me if Ibanez was making up for his lack of defensive skills with an offensive onslaught the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while; but that’s not happening. In fact, very little of what we saw in Spring Training actually appears to be making an appearance now, when things count.
The Mariners already have my money. I will likely go to quite a few games this year outside of my regular ticket plan, just like I do every year. But I discovered today that there is something I want from the Mariners that I don’t think they can give me this year, and I can explain it thusly…earlier today at work I was listening to a Kevin Smith podcast. Smith, in the event anyone is unaware is a really big hockey fan, and was turned into an even bigger fan after watching a documentary on the Edmonton Oilers. He said he became a fan because watching these kids play this game, he saw a team that was playing as if it was “trying to save the world”.
That’s what I want to see from the Mariners. I want to see them play for Seattle like the end result of their games will prevent some kind of evil super power from taking over and blowing up the city. I want to see these guys hit a baseball like it’s a nuclear bomb and they are trying to send it to space. I don’t think this team is phoning it in; I can’t point to anyone on this current team and truly say or believe that they are being lazy or not trying to win games. I believe they want to win; I just don’t know if they can. We get flashes of offense and little peeks into plate patience (you might want to have a seat before I tell you that Justin Smoak walked today! ), but it doesn’t feel like they’re serious about it, and it really doesn’t seem like the coaches are making any strides to correct the problem. And don’t even get me started on the injuries; we don’t have room for injuries with this roster, and yet what do we have? Obviously that isn’t the players’ fault, but having both Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez out of the lineup and off the field is really noticeable.
I don’t know what else to say, really. It has been a bitter month. We are currently getting beaten by the other worst team in the AL West after Joe Saunders gave a homer to Ronny Cedeno with two men on. I think my focus may have to lean heavily on having as good a time as possible at the games, without making myself worry too much about games I’m not at. I venture that it’s possible that the little league game I will be going to this evening might be more fun than listening to this mess on the radio. I’ll keep writing as much as I can and posting pictures, but there are only so many ways to say “Damn, this sucks“.
Well, back to work. Brandon Laird just hit a dinger, which means the score is now 10-1 Astros. Stellar.