Do you ever stop and think about how much money baseball players make? Baseball players make an incredible amount of money. The combined opening day payroll of major league baseball this year was $3,115,878,118. If you had that much money in one dollar bills, you could stack them end-to-end all the way to the moon, and after you were done you would have enough left over to buy you and 1497 of your closest friends a lifetime supply of Large Big Mac Combo Meals. (Yes, I actually did the math.)
So it's not unjustifiable, then, when people complain about baseball players being paid too much money. In the long game, baseball's not exactly essential to the future of human development, and yet here we are giving these guys more than the GDP of Guam every single year. I mean, it's not like a baseball player has more societal value than a factory worker, or a police officer, or a waiter, right?
Perhaps the sole defense of the sheer absurdity that is the MLB payroll situation is that we, the spectators, could absolutely not do what the players do. Tune in to watch a major league baseball game and you are almost guaranteed to see humans achieving athletic feats the likes of which you and I can never even hope to equal. Sometimes Brendan Ryan makes an impossible diving stop. Sometimes Michael Morse crushes a pitch four hundred and fifty feet. Sometimes Tom Wilhelmsen throws a curveball.
And sometimes there are games like today's. With the exception of King Felix's performance, today's game was an utterly pathetic mess played by a collection of people who were evidently trying their best to convince us that we could do their jobs. If this game had been a movie, it would've been Battlefield Earth, with Felix as the poor makeup artist who had to braid John Travolta's hair. This game was not won so much as it was lost - by the Mariners - by virtue of their being slightly more incompetent than the other team on the field.
This game had this:
and that was just the winning team.
As for the Mariners? Jason Bay led off with a single, got picked off, and struck out in every remaining at bat - including one with a runner on third and one out. Kendrys Morales grounded into a double play when literally anything but a double play would've led to extra innings. Kelly Shoppach had a defensive nightmare of a game, Charlie Furbush could barely tell where the ball was going, and for God only knows what reason Eric Wedge decided to use Yoervis Medina instead of Tom Wilhelmsen to pitch the top of the ninth. Speaking as an entirely objective and detached observer, this game was awful. Really awful. Mind-blowingly, face-meltingly, soul-crushingly awful.
For those of you who managed to make it through this entire thing, I have only one question:
Did watching this many people paid this much money perform this badly make you feel better about yourself, or did it make you feel worse about society?
- Please do not confuse my anger at the quality of this game for anger at the Mariners. I like the Mariners, even though they're mediocre at best. I think King Felix is amazing, and Kyle Seager is boss, and Hisashi Iwakuma is a terrific pitcher, and Kendrys Morales is a great DH, and the relievers are good, and Michael Saunders will be fine, and Michael Morse and Brendan Ryan are flawed but entertaining, and Nick Franklin is promising. I am generally optimistic about this franchise. It's just... being optimistic shouldn't prevent you from acknowledging and condemning atrociously godawful performances. It's OK to like Star Trek and hate Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. If this game has made you angry, and as a result you are ranting about the team's performance in this game - great! You can identify when things suck. If this game has made you angry, and as a result you have become significantly more negative and angry about the team as a whole (and I see a lot of this in the comments, from a lot of people)... that's not rational. Don't do that.
- God, I've been preachy lately.
- I left it out above because there was no real place to stick it in that would fit with the flow of my rant, but even the umpire decided to suck it up today! Number one was called a ball while number three was called a strike:
- Just after the game, new Mariners draftees D.J. Petersen and Austin Wilson spoke to each other for the first time on Twitter. May this be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship, and may they both actually sign with the Mariners so this isn't just a really awkward greeting between two people who will never actually meet in real life.
- In one hour, ROOT Sports will be airing another Mariners-Yankees game, this one of a distinctly more optimism-inducing flavor. That's right, it's the 1995 ALDS Game 4, and Lookout Landing will have a game thread for it so that you can wash away the stresses of the modern world with the sweet, sweet liquor of nostalgia. Enjoy!