oh right - USA TODAY Sports
Last spring training, I told myself I had a year to think up new charity game jokes. Then, this spring training, I scheduled a vacation that overlapped with the charity game, and I completely missed it. Which is just as well, because I didn't spend the year thinking up new charity game jokes. I didn't spend the year thinking up new charity game joke. It's also just as well because Hector Noesi was terrible and Raul Ibanez made an error on the first ball in play and I'm not quite prepared to welcome those Mariners back into my life. If you're looking for a game recap, I've written plenty in the past about Hector Noesi sucking and Raul Ibanez fielding poorly, so go read some of those posts and mix up the words. And throw in a "Jedd Gyorko" because I don't think I've written about him before. I don't think I've even written some of those letters before.
Here we are now for a second spring training game, a game that isn't for charity. These are the two things that spring training games can be for:
- marbles (all of them)
This afternoon, the Mariners play the Padres again, and it's not a charity game. Which means this game, like all the games that will come after it, is for all the marbles. Every last one of them, and if you're not prepared for those stakes, you have only yourself to blame. Said marbles will be passed around a lot over the course of Cactus League action. With luck they will not be passed around on the ground, because nobody likes an ankle sprain.
- AGAINST PADRES
- AT THE TEAMS' SHARED HOME FIELD
- 12:05pm Pacific
- Gameday link
- broadcast on the radio and audio streamed online
The Mariners' starting lineup:
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Casper Wells, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Kelly Shoppach, C
Ronny Paulino, DH
Alex Liddi, 3B
Nick Franklin, 2B
Brad Miller, SS
They say these games are meaningless -- especially these early spring games -- but why is that so? Because they don't count in the standings? They do count in some standings. Because there isn't a true sense of competition? A lot of these players are hungry for jobs, and they can't take a day off. Because a win or a loss means nothing with regard to the Mariners' chances of winning the World Series? Who's to say the World Series is meaningful? Why is any of this meaningful? This afternoon, a baseball team composed of talented professionals will square off against another, and score will be kept. Plays will not be thrown, errors will not be committed intentionally. Either all of it is meaningless, or none of it is meaningless. In today's meaningful game, Ronny Paulino will DH against a righty. Fuckin Wedge.
Starting for the Mariners will be Blake Beavan. According to an article at Mariners.com, Beavan is experimenting with something of a new delivery. The hope is that the new delivery will make Blake Beavan a better pitcher, and not a worse pitcher. We often talk about how professional baseball players have a ton of confidence. But then, at the same time, professional baseball players are constantly making tweaks. Confident baseball players are rigid, inflexible baseball players. To tweak is to admit imperfection. To admit imperfection is to admit to less than full confidence. These players aren't confident at all! They've been lying to us the whole time! They're just like we are! Frightened, nervous, lonely.
Following Beavan should be Kameron Loe, and something tells me that won't take too long to get to. Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen are also scheduled to pitch, and they should be followed by other dudes. Among the available Mariners pitchers are a Smith, an Arias, and a Nunez, and, welp, you got me. I'm sure they're nice fellows. No I'm not. I don't know why I said that.