The apologist's guide to Felix Hernandez losses

It's not your fault, buddy. - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At this point I am pretty much immune to the Seattle Mariners losing. Over the years, they've managed to lose with such frequency that it's almost a surprise when they manage to emerge from a contest victorious. You know what they say about Mainers baseball: they're going to win a third of their games, and they're going to lose a third of their games, it's how they lose the bulk of the remaining third that really makes a difference. The anger, the frustration, the depression, multiplied hundreds and hundreds of times over would be too much for this frail human frame and psyche to endure. I'm not proud of it, but I've developed defense mechanisms. This is about survival, my friends.

The one chink in my expertly forged emotional armor is when Felix Hernandez pitches. I would now like you to imagine that I spent three or four subsequent sentences explaining to you all of the myriad reasons why Felix is special. This and that and the other thing. He's an exceptional and unique snowflake. He is love and all things holy. We're all on the same page when it comes to this subject.

When Felix pitches, and his results aren't favorable, and the Mariners do not win, I am incapable of placing the blame on his shoulders. I will not have it. I despair. I rage. I'm desperately clinging to what he is and what he stands for and I will not let things like "facts" or "reality" get in the way of what's important. A consequence of this healthy worldview is that others and other things must be made accountable. Things haven't gone so well for The King in his last few starts and so I've had no choice but to put these delusions to practice. This is how a Felix Hernandez apologist lives through the loses.

Blame the defense

This is what happens when you sacrifice glovework for dong jobs. This is what happens when you hastily promote unproven prospects and stick them in starting roles. The Mariners UZR is terrible. Michael Morse is a statue with a tender hamstring. Raul Ibanez is literally the worst defensive outfielder in the game. Felix deserves better than this. It's not his fault his teammates are terrible.

Blame the offense

No one could reasonably expect Felix to go out there and pitch a shutout every single game. Imagine taking the mound and knowing you had zero margin for error. He has to try and be perfect each time the ball leaves his hand. If he gives up even one run it will probably be too many. No one could pitch well under such ridiculous circumstances.

Blame the park/field/playing surface

This park is a joke, that would have been a routine fly out in any reasonable venue. Who raked the infield dirt? Bunch of fuckin' amateurs. Was the grass mowed evenly? What kind of cheap ass surface are they playing on anyway?

This rationalization is less effective during home games.

Blame Mariners

This one is equal parts hacky and self-explanatory.

Give an inordinate and excessive amount of credit to the opposing hitters

These are the greatest hitters of baseballs in the entire world. Even the worst Major League hitter is unfathomably talented and skilled. These guys have dedicated their entire lives towards one singular purpose. Occasionally, they're going to put the barrel on even the most skillfully thrown pitches, and you have to be ok with that. Have to give credit where it's due. Have to tip your cap.

Blame randomness

Contact happens. It happens to every pitcher. Even if every hitter closed his eyes super tight on every swing, sometimes, the bat is going to hit the ball, no matter who is throwing it, and that contact is going to lead to hits and sequence together to create runs. This is a reality of professional baseball and happens to every pitcher on every team from time to time. Some balls find gloves and others don't. Some balls bounce one way and others a different way. There's no accounting for this nonsense, it's random, it's arbitrary. No one is in control, there is only the illusion of control.

Blame yourself

You've watched the Mariners fail time and time again. It's been many years. The only constant that remains is you. Remember when you went to the bathroom and Dustin Ackley finally hit a home run? Remember when Felix pitched his perfect game? You don't. Because you weren't there and you didn't watch. You're cursed and you've infected your favorite baseball team with the same rotten luck that's followed you around your entire miserable life. Everything you touch turns to shit. Your mere presence is poison to success. Nothing good will ever happen to Felix or the Mariners as long as you remain a fan.

Succumb to the void

Baseball is stupid. The whole thing is pointless. It's nothing but a temporary distraction from the gnawing boredom and mundanity of the waking day. Life is unending pain and then you die. We're all going to perish and everything will be nothing. Felix Hernandez, like all of mankind, is powerless against the inevitable. Eventually the Sun will expand and swallow the Earth whole and who will care about baseball then?

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