After Felix Hernandez struck out Nolan Reimold to end the game, he hugged Rob Johnson, turned around, and kissed both his arms. My girlfriend, looking on, said it was one of the douchiest things she'd ever seen. I disagreed.
What we didn't know at the time was that Felix has tattoos of his kids' names and birthdates on each of his wrists. That fact completely mitigates any douche factor and, if anything, makes Felix out to be kind of wholesome and humble.
But I disagreed anyway before I knew this, because I thought it made sense. Tons of players point skyward out of gratitude after they accomplish something on the field, an acknowledgment of the place or entity from which they believe they got their talent. Felix is one of them. And to me, at the time, kissing his arms was no different. If you're Felix's brain, you're thankful that God gave you talent, and that your arms know how to use it. You're thankful that your left arm can field, and you're thankful that your right arm can pitch.
So it seemed perfectly sensible to me that Felix would kiss his own arms in appreciation after a complete-game victory. "Thank you, arms, for making me a superstar." Absurd? Sure. But douchey? Nah. A douche doesn't know how to say thanks. Felix wasn't being boastful, I thought. He was just doling out credit.
The tattoos, of course, make this a non-issue. However, I maintain that, even without them, Felix could totally get away with kissing himself after wins. His body's that good, and there's nothing wrong with being grateful.
I don't have a normal list of game notes tonight. I was getting caught up on some work during the first few innings, and by the time I was done all I wanted to do was sit back and watch Felix without a pen in my hand. So these are the five quick things I will say, pretty much from memory, and my memory blows:
- Felix is already a good enough pitcher that you don't necessarily need him to go out and throw 66% first-pitch strikes. That's what he did, though, and the result was that he didn't issue a walk over a 35-batter complete game. Anyone who watched would know that this was not King Felix at his best, and that's precisely what makes him so terrifying, because when King Felix wasn't at his best, he allowed one run and nine singles in nine innings. There's no doubt anymore. No uneasiness that this is all just a hot streak and that he'll revert back to being the old frustrating Felix next week. This is the pitcher Felix has turned into, and this pitcher turns bats away like some sort of high-tech bat repellent device.
- Rob Johnson already couldn't hit and couldn't catch. Then he and Felix converged on a ball in front of the mound and Rob Johnson literally kicked Felix in the head. Rob Johnson is going to want to install a security system at his house.
- Jack Wilson's double that cleared the bases was a legitimate, deep outfield gapper for once. He is now rather alarmingly tied for second on the team in extra-base hits. You can tell how good of a hitter a guy is by the fan reaction when he does something productive. Jack Wilson might want to stay away from game threads and Twitter.
- No guarantees, but the last managerial move of Dave Trembley's Major League career may turn out to be pinch-hitting Nolan Reimold for Justin Turner with two outs in the ninth. Reimold struck out.
- It's not fair for people to joke that Mike Sweeney used up all his hits in spring training, because he very clearly did not. He saved one for April.