So much has been going on this week, it’s difficult to pin just one thing down to talk about, so I’m just going to hit on a few things, air my Big Dumb Opinions and move on with my work day…
Late last week, Larry Stone and several others reported that Vinnie Catricala had decided to quit playing baseball and become a police officer. Apparently he did this a while ago, and is working his way up to having a partner and a uniform and the whole deal. I vaguely remember some areas of the blogosphere and media saying some positive things about Catricala, but in general I never got the impression that he was really going anywhere. His peak year in triple A was clearly back in 2011; his final line after 507 plate appearances in 2012 was .229/.292/.348, and it doesn’t look like he even made it through a full season in 2013 at a double A level. It’s always sort of sad to me when a guy never makes it all the way up, even for a little while, especially after being held in such high regard in 2011. But I also think it’s classy for someone to know their limits, and Catricala clearly had a backup plan, so good for him. Policing is, generally speaking, an honorable profession, and I wish him nothing but the best in his newly chosen career. And a lot of safety.
Of course, as everyone knows by now, Kyle Seager got a call to be in the All Star Game next week. The Twitterverse was all abuzz for about two days with this news. We haven’t had a position player come up through the ranks in the Mariners organization and be given an ASG space since 2006 with Jose Lopez (yes, I consulted on this one, it is not something I would have known). Before that, if memory serves amid multiple Tweets, it was Alex Rodriguez in 2000 (2001? It’s almost like there is no Mariners history before 2007 sometimes for me). Of course, we have Felix, but I have the tendency to mentally divide pitchers and position players into two very separate parties. And then there was Michael Pineda, but I almost don’t want to think about that. It’s so depressing, what has happened to him and what could have been.
Rose Marie Powell, a long-time Washington resident and member of the All American Girls baseball league, has passed away at the age of 88. Like many other people -baseball fans or not – I have seen A League of Their Own, and am familiar with the fact that there was a point in time in this country’s history where women played baseball and not softball. The room for women’s baseball in the Baseball Museum and HoF is smaller than it maybe should be, but it is crammed full of memorabilia and information and photos and wonderful bits of history (including this ridiculous wool dress uniform worn by players in the late 1800s that looks like you could easily drop about 20lbs just by going outside in it), and I stood in awe of these women who bucked tradition, and opened the door for even the idea that women might someday play the game in a major league context. If you ever make it to Cooperstown, I highly recommend spending as much time in the room as possible. I read everything.
John Buck was DFA’d the other day, on his birthday no less, and replaced by catcher Jesus Sucre. I understand why they made that move, but I really did like Buck. It has to be difficult for veterans as the years wear on. A lot of moving and rejection. I hope Buck can find an organization and do well with them. I feel, however, that perhaps the Mariners front office might like to do a little examination of how they release people – maybe not on their birthdays? I know the business end of this game is awful, but this just reminds me of the fact that we also let Don Wakamatsu go on Japanese Heritage Day. A little tact is maybe all I’d ask for; I know I won’t get it, but it’d be nice.
My lunch time is over, so I have to bail and get back to it. Really looking forward to seeing Tom Wilhelmsen start tonight for the Ms, though it seems like a really odd decision (I have not yet seen or read anything regarding why the decision was made, but I know they sent Taijuan Walker back to Tacoma and replaced him with Stephen Pryor, and that other roster shuffling has taken place lately (and that, if I read correctly, Walker will be back shortly). I’ve been trying, but not quite able to keep up with everything. Tomorrow, I’m going to head up to Sequim for the weekend, and plan to park myself in a sports bar somewhere and watch Felix go up against Jeff Samardzija (boy did I have to look that one up) in what is apparently going to be some massive battle royale for the season. The King’s Court has been sold out already, but apparently they’re opening up a “high court” upstairs for stragglers. This should be a good one, I don’t want to miss it!
EDIT: The reason for Wilhelmsen’s start tonight revealed! I had toyed with the idea that the reason was actually indeed to make an incredible matchup tomorrow night and try and stick it to Oakland. But I thought surely baseball doesn’t behave like that. Well, ladies and gents, it most certainly does. That’s kind of awesome. Thanks, Lloyd!