Ibanez, Selig, and My Hopes for Hisashi Iwakuma

I have a few days off work while I show a friend from out of town around our fair city (including requisite drive past Safeco Field, as we were on our way to the Aquarium yesterday). I also have More Opinions on Things.

So Raul Ibanez did some things this summer that were pretty cool. Unfortuantely – full discloser – this was at the point in the year when I had already long stopped forcing myself to watch baseball games, and I’ll freely admit that I was off doing other things. But like always, I keep my ear to the ground, even when mired in the worst apathy (there must be another word for ‘apathy’, this is getting depressing), and I knew about it maybe an hour or so after it happened. I don’t know at this point if Ibanez is going to stick around for 2014, being a free agent and all, but I’m not sure I would mind if he was offered another one-year contract to be used in a minor utility role. Hitting 29 home runs is not too shabby for a guy his age, and while he is currently at 0.0 WAR, at least he wasn’t negative. Also – and again, I’m fine with admitting this – in my short baseball fandom, Ibanez is basically the equivalent of the good ol’ days for me. I should probably also mention that Raul recently won the Heart and Hustle award from the Fred Hutchinson Center, and that makes me happy. I know that a lot of Mariners fans make a lot of jokes at Raul’s expense, but I will always love him.

Bud Selig plans to retire in 2015. I don’t know if this is quite soon enough for me. I am not a fan of Selig’s. He may have done a lot of things for the game as an industry, but he turned a blind eye to the increasing use of steroids, and for that I don’t know that I can necessarily forgive him. The way that players are cherry picked to either be suspended a few games, or have their entire careers ruined amidst gossip and drama baffles me. The fact that we have known users – people who tested positive in the current day – who are still allowed the play the game, while players like Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco are banned for life is amazing. Baseball is not a game of equals in Bud Selig’s world, apparently. And yes, I realize that Canseco is hated for ratting out his teammates; and I am no fan of his at all, but the hypocrisy inherent in banning him while players like Alex Rodriguez are allowed to roam free is stunning.

And just because I don’t want this post to turn into the blogging equivalent of “get off my lawn”, something I am extremely happy about: Hisashi Iwakuma’s rise to the Cy Young nominations. I have this odd feeling that Yu Darvish might win (and admittedly that is because I constantly stand in awe of Darvish), but I would really really REALLY like for Kuma to get it. Really. Are you listening, BBWA? A disgruntled baseball fan in Seattle would like you to vote for her pitcher. Iwakuma has some very tough competition (and I am slowly becoming a Tigers fan and really do love Max Scherzer), but I really am keeping all of my extremities crossed that he gets it. I love the fact that he made the All Star Game this year, he has been nothing but toughness and grace in a year where his batters were not holding him up as much as they should have been. It would definitely be a bright spot in the clouds of 2013.

That is all I have to say today. Time to go to the Zoo or something.

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