I slept right through the rain delay that enabled me to “watch” the Home Run Derby last night. I use quotes because I was only sort of paying attention. For about ten minutes or so, I didn’t realize that they had just started hitting due to a rain delay in Minneapolis, so I thought it was almost over, and wasn’t really focused. Not that it would have mattered; this one is all fun and games, right?
In general, I think of the Home Run Derby as a mid-season mess. I will freely admit that what I know about the event’s history could fit on a Post-It. OK, maybe half a Post-It. I won’t lie, I was a little surprised to see old black and white footage on ESPN last night of players (again, not really paying attention, Mantle? Marris?) hitting in an empty stadium, where they talked to and looked directly at the camera. Turns out, the event actually started in the 1980s, if this Wikipedia article has any truth to it. Yep, I’m being lazy and using Wikipedia as a source; it’s 4.30AM; that’s the kind of quality writing you get at that hour. Since its start, it has turned into an event that is more massive, hours-long commercial than anything remotely focused on baseball. The announcers for the event don’t even seem to truly understand baseball as it actually is today (really, guys? You’ve been working in this field for most of your lives and choose to remain vocally and willfully ignorant of the science of the game??), and there are ads for maybe five things that the viewer is constantly accosted by, which is truly the best way to get me to avoid your product altogether. It should be a way to get me to avoid watching your event altogether, but I am a sucker, and Adam Jones was hitting, so what am I gonna do?
Other than those complaints? Eh, it was alright. Even though Yoenis Cespedes won both a really pretty silver batting trophy, and for some reason a WWE championship belt (I know it has something to do with Adam Jones, but it’s almost more interesting if I have no clue what’s going on), Giancarlo Stanton was the true beauty of the evening, hitting what was projected to be a 510-foot dinger almost out of the upper decks of the stadium. The reaction of the players around him was priceless. Andrew McCutchen was focused on, perhaps because he had the most animated reaction, but the one I really want to see on a loop is Felix’s giggling like a little kid at the hit. I used to be able to get stuff like that from Lookout Landing. You disappoint me a bit, boys. Instead, I found McCutchen’s disbelief captured in a loop for all eternity. I think that about sums it up.
I had to go to the airport briefly, and by the time I got back, the thing was just wrapping up and Cespedes was being announced the winner. I don’t feel like I missed much by not paying attention. I love the All Star break because after 80-whatever games we kind of need a breather; but the last series against the A’s has me really craving more baseball that counts, so I am looking forward to getting back into things with the Angels on Friday.
The Mariners are 8 games in back of first place. That seems like a lot. Not as many as some, but I am not at all convinced that we can succeed without making some moves before July 31st. You can’t field Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley and expect to keep moving in an upwards fashion. Really hoping Michael Saunders heals up quickly and comes back to us as soon as possible. I can only watch Logan Morrison being angry at himself, his bat, the pitcher, and the air for so much longer.
I check the standings maybe every week or two, specifically to check the Mariners against the A’s. I see the Rangers now, like actually see them. What happened? Yes, that is rhetorical; I know they have been suffering from injury; I have just never seen a Rangers team that was 21 games behind. I mean, I see the information, I just don’t know what to do with it. We live in some confusing times right now. I like Yu Darvish and Adrian Beltre, so this might be one of the most depressing articles ever, but I was just there for like the last 7 years or so, so I am going to enjoy what is happening here in Seattle and not feel too terribly sorry for the Rangers. Baseball is fickle and cruel and wonderful, and I have no intention of gloating at failure this year.
I am still riding pretty high on the A’s series, and the fact that we took two away from them. Tonight I plan to catch the appropriate bus after work, and head to a local pub for watching the All Star Game because I say every year that I’m not going to watch it and I get caught up in watching it, and that is my life. Let’s take in some silly exhibition baseball, have a few days off, and then get back to business. Oh! And see if the Mariners are buyers. I have some opinions on that, but it’s time to go to work.