Fifteen Days Til The Circus Comes Back to Town

This week has been busy. I have been getting up at 4 and finding myself asleep by 7.30 or 8 at night, which allows me just enough time to eat dinner and relax a bit, but not as much time as I would like to write (and forget trying to do it at work, I have been swamped). So I had missed being able to be timely on one of my favorite things the Mariners do! The commercials!

They were of course released earlier this week, and while there are only four this year as opposed to the usual five or six, on at least one, the Mariners just about outdid themselves. I haven’t loved one of their commercials as much as I love the new Fernando Rodney commercial since George Sherrill and JJ Putz debated baseball as a “thinking man’s game” back in 2007. In Where Does It Go, Rodney’s arrow puncturing a bouncy house at an Oakland A’s fan’s home even made Tom laugh genuinely, and where sports are concerned, that is pretty hard to do. Nelson Cruz’s assessment of Rodney’s arrow as “not real. It’s a air arrow!” as Logan Morrison refused to believe him cracked me up. I’m hoping we’ll see more of that A’s fan reaction from other teams this year than ever before.

Hawt Corner I found funny, but only for Kyle Seager’s reaction to Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen’s fanboying over the band. “Please don’t do that” sums it up. But Furbush and Wilhelmsen have more to offer in the 2+ minute long Hawt Corner video, and even more still in some of the outtakes. Bat Control pokes fun at selfie sticks and car flyers (that poor flyer guy caught a ball in the groin during the filming), and is also a good one, and Intensely Intense also made Tom laugh, when Felix was pictured “yelling” in pictures with children and puppies. And mimes. I believe that the Ms have been working with the same production company for years now, and they always make winners and losers, but I love the humor of Where Does It Go. I think it hit a chord with a lot of other fans too; it seems to be winning in the voting poll they set up at the site. Now, we just have to hope that the Ms do well enough that all four commercials play on ROOT during the games for the length of the season.

The team’s lineup is starting to shape up now, with more cuts having been made the other day. None of the cuts are surprising, though I am a little bummed that Jesus Montero couldn’t get things done at the plate the past few weeks. As Lloyd McClendon states in the linked article, it was always going to be hard to make this team for pretty much everyone not signed to an extended major league contract. And with Mike Zunino improving with the bat and Jesus Sucre being the seeming choice for backup, not to mention solid starters at first base, there just doesn’t seem to be much room for Montero here right now. You’ll have to forgive me, I am still seeing Montero as a catcher, though I know I shouldn’t. Hopefully he can get a lot of work in Tacoma and be a good fill in, should we have any injuries with Logan Morrison or any of the new guys Lloyd McClendon might want to platoon there. His newfound dedication is wonderful, and I hope it pays off for him.

Taijuan Walker seems to be a lock for the rotation now as things stand. As of the 19th, the battle between Walker and Roenis Elias is still going on, and will be until the very end of Spring Training, but Walker seems to be the guy we need. If that turns out to be true, Elias gives us a long reliever or a really great replacement for injured starters. Walker has been far more solid than Elias so far, which is a good sign for everyone involved. Either way, the team wins and Elias keeps a job here, so as a fan I have no complaints. It also feels like maybe the Tacoma Rainiers are going to be really really good this year, given the players we will have to shed off the 25-man. Both pitchers have options still, so regardless of what happens, neither of them will be going very far away from the team. The two of them will get about three more starts each this year before Opening Day on April 6th, so there is still time for the team to evaluate its needs, while making fans wonder what the heck is going on.

Mark Lowe is also fighting for a spot in the bullpen. I read a bit of an article on the bus the other morning about how Lowe, at now 31 years old, is clearly not the guy he used to be when he started in the Ms organization, becoming a member of the 2009 bullpen, and my favorite pitching staff ever. But the former gladiator-helmet-toting reliever had a lot of positive things to say about the players the team has ammassed this year. Lowe’s outlook (which is stated in an article I can’t link to here because the Times is doing that thing where they give you a prompt to pay for services, but I can see it on my phone) is great; he wants to play here for Seattle or Tacoma, and wants to play until he’s 40 if he can. He is aware that he is a long shot for the bullpen due to the younger, harder-throwing guys we already have and who have been here already working for it, but he isn’t defeated. He just wants to play. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been a name on any list of cuts yet, so maybe there is a chance. I hope there is. He’s been sorely missed. I hope to see him at least a few times here in Seattle, if I can’t make it to Tacoma.

I am currently waiting to hear back from a friend on this evening’s activities, which will directly affect tomorrow’s activities, but if that falls through, I plan on attending the Lookout Landing viewing party down at Gastropod in SODO. It’s a potluck situation, and the owner, Cody Morris, will be making up some hot wings for the group. I am not quite sure what I will be making/bringing if I go, but if I don’t make it, everyone have fun. The Mariners just lost to the Chicago Cubs by two runs (was listening online), but tomorrow they go up against the Rangers. Game starts at 1pm.

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