One of life's greatest pursuits is the desire to gain knowledge of how other people think about us. It may not apply to everyone, but generally speaking, the majority of us spend a lot of time wondering how we're perceived by outside observers. It seems silly and childish, but I think it's a perfectly natural impulse, and not something worth fighting provided it doesn't consume you.
The reason I bring this up is that, after today, I think I'm finally beginning to understand what it must've been like to face the Mariners over the past few years. I don't see the White Sox as much of a threat, and I hardly get all worked up about playing them, so the whole thing is just kind of 'blah', and you hope that in the end you've managed to come out ahead without putting the entire lifeless crowd to sleep. Just as the Mariners fought through a phase of irrelevance, so I perceived the White Sox today. It's weird, and it probably would've been different were Jim Thome in the lineup, but there you go. This is basically what it felt like to beat us - something sorta neat on the road to much more important, entertaining contests. It's actually kind of comforting to know that the Mariners were able to take some of the fun out of baseball for other people, too. The bad Mariner teams may not have obstructed anyone's success, but they damn sure made the fans enjoy it a little less.
Which isn't to say that I'm not having fun or anything, because this is a hell of a lot better than losing six in a row. I'll just be wearing a broader smile if the winning keeps up in New York.
- I can sit here and talk until I'm blue in the face about how Batista's start today wasn't repeatable, but I'm not going to do that. You know why? Chicago has a team .239 BABIP. .239. That's 50 points below the current league average. This team sucks at hitting, so why should I criticize Batista for letting a crappy lineup put the ball in play and get itself out? He's shown the ability to miss a few bats this year, so as far as I'm concerned, today he went out there with the express intent of letting the White Sox own themselves. It's not the kind of approach that you can use over a full season, but in an individual game against a weak opponent when you want to keep the bullpen fresh, why not? There's nothing wrong with a little deliberate laziness.
- Dave Sims' first guess as to how many pitches Jose Vidro sees per plate appearance: 9. His second guess: 6-7. Reality? 3.5. Sims then said that Vidro must be far and away the most patient hitter on the team. His P/PA actually ranks sixth on the roster among qualified hitters, between Betancourt and Guillen. Dave Sims, meet statistics. Statistics, Dave Sims. I still like the guy as a broadcaster, but it's painfully obvious that he hasn't been doing this too long.
- Speaking of Sims, at one point Blowers asked him for his thoughts on Matsuzaka being eligible for the Rookie of the Year. Sims stammered out the first sentence of a response when Blowers realized this wasn't going anywhere, summed up his own opinion in a few words, and changed the subject. I don't bring this up to poke fun at Sims' lack of insight, though, but rather because it reminds me of the 2000 season, when I used to debate with an A's fan by the screenname of "MrSeanJazz" practically every day about Kaz Sasaki vs. Terrence Long. That man must've been the biggest TLong fan in the world, and he'd bring up the subject all the freaking time, which got more and more hilarious as TLong revealed himself as a terrible baseball player. MrSeanJazz liked to blame the downward spiral of TLong's career on his missing out on the RoY award, and while I knew he was joking, sometimes I like to pretend he wasn't. Better times, they were.
- At one point, it was mentioned during the broadcast that Juan Uribe's #1 influence in his baseball career was Neifi Perez. This goes a long way towards explaning the gradual deterioration of his career, and makes for a terrific example of why managers should always keep a close eye over which players in the clubhouse are getting along. The worse a player is, the more he needs to be avoided, because suck is a virus, and no one's immune. With that in mind, a more progressive and forward-thinking organization probably would've built Jeff Weaver a separate dugout by now.
- Jose Lopez has hit 16 fly balls this year. Six of them haven't left the infield. That 37.5% IFFB% is the highest in the league. For a guy being coached a certain way, Lopez sure makes a lot of unproductive outs.
I'm starting to run out of steam, so I'm calling it a night. Try not to fret too much over the Snelling trade and revel in the glory that is seven wins in eight games. Ho vs. Matsuzaka tomorrow at 4:05pm PDT. Somehow I don't think this showdown'll be as interesting as the last one, but I've been wrong before.