I think I will refer to this man as Stepdad Steve - USA TODAY Sports
The hazard of waiting too long to start writing a time-sensitive post like this is that you don't have any time to think of worthwhile nuggets to include, be they factual or imaginary. The quickest writing is the bare-bones writing, and: Thursday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners play the San Francisco Giants in a spring-training game that will count in the standings. At stake is this game; at stake are no other games. At stake, also, are probably marbles, and potentially a whole lot of marbles since the Giants just won the World Series and I don't know about the postseason/regular season/spring training marble distribution policy. This marble thing is starting to confuse me and it's getting out of hand. And the Giants already lost last Sunday. Fun fact: this will be the Giants' sixth game, but their record is listed as 1-1. They have tied three consecutive games, with scores of 9-9, 8-8, and 8-8 again. They should've won yesterday, but Sergio Romo blew a save against whoever the fuck fell out of the stands and put on an Angels uniform for the bottom of the ninth. Are good baseball players only good against other good baseball players? That would be nonsensical and counter-intuitive, but remember when we first learned about BABIP and DIPS theory? Yeah, shit's weird sometimes.
- AGAINST GIANTS
- ON THE ROAD IN SCOTTSDALE
- 12:05pm Pacific
- Gameday link
- audio streamed online and broadcast on the radio on a tape delay
The Mariners' starting lineup:
Franklin Gutierrez, DH
Eric Thames, LF
Casper Wells, RF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Jesus Montero, C
Julio Morban, CF
Alex Liddi, 3B
Nick Franklin, 2B
Brad Miller, SS
The Mariners are sending out a few good players and a whole lot of less good players, while the Giants are countering with just about their regular lineup. It goes to show just how much weight the Giants are putting on this game against the beasts of the Cactus League, and it also goes to show just how little the Mariners respect their attempted competition. The Mariners are a confident bunch, which is why they're taking on the defending world champions with Julio Morban batting sixth. What do you know about Julio Morban? What did you know about him before you looked up his page on Baseball-Reference just now? The only possible interpretation here is that the Mariners know they can win and in so doing they wish to leave the Giants not only defeated, but also humiliated. This, I think, is the best way to go about being good.
Let the record show you're looking at a lineup that has Eric Thames playing defense and Franklin Gutierrez not playing defense. The Mariners might be beaten only by their own hubris.
Starting on the mound for the Mariners will be Jon Garland, opposite beloved homely ace Matt Cain. Garland is pitching in a competitive game for the first time in like a year and a half, and if he looks good, observers will be like "wow, he looks like Jon Garland again!" and Jon Garland when he was healthy was only all right. Observers can be easily wowed. Alternatively, we should all be wowed by all big-league baseball players, because almost everything they do is amazing, including Jon Garland and Jon Garland's pitches. They're not the ones who aren't good enough. We're the ones who aren't appreciative enough.
After Garland will be Blake Beavan for a while, then Erasmo Ramirez and Tom Wilhelmsen and Carter Capps and Yoervis Medina and Chance Ruffin. Three starting rotation candidates will pitch today in the same game, consecutively. Then two bullpen candidates will pitch consecutively, then two not-bullpen-candidates will pitch consecutively. Oh dear, it's almost game time, I better just publish this now! Away I go!
Oh also Felix threw a little bit today to minor leaguers and he was good by whatever standards there are for that sort of thing. So if you were worried that Felix Hernandez might not exist, that he was a figment of your imagination all along as your brain desperately scrambled to make the Mariners somewhat worthwhile, either you can rest easy, or you and the rest of us are still actively imagining.