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Still 73-56

As I stood in front of my seat near the top of the Honda Center not even three months ago, watching my team dejectedly skate off the ice while Chris Pronger's filthy hands raised the Stanley Cup through a sea of orange confetti, I thought to myself, this has to be it. This has to be rock bottom. A not insignificant portion of my existence as a sports fan has been fueled by a hatred of everything Anaheim, and it just doesn't get any worse than seeing them claim another championship over a team you've followed since your youth (at the low low cost of $500). I've always believed that this is a city that doesn't deserve much of the success that it's had, and losing the Cup to a community that can't even locate Ottawa on a map just made my blood boil like it's never boiled before.

Well, guess what? That may have been as bad as it gets, but things sure as hell haven't gotten any better. Opening up the biggest series that Safeco's seen in years, in a highly-anticipated rival showdown that even got the Mariners' PR department working overtime to come up with the humiliating 'Lollablueza' slogan, we got spanked. Thoroughly spanked. The lone highlights for the home team were a double play, McLaren flipping a tizzy, and some nifty mop-up work, while the visitors saw one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball absolutely mow through a torpid batting order. The only consolation we have tonight is that the Yankees' loss was 267% worse, but somehow, that just doesn't do it for me. Not today.

The teams, the fans, the players, the attitude, the culture - I hate Anaheim.

And Anaheim hates me back.

Biggest Contribution: Ichiro, +6.4%
Biggest Suckfest: Miguel Batista, -23.1%
Most Important At Bat: Ichiro single, +6.3%
Most Important Pitch: Anderson double, -16.9%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -22.5%
Total Contribution by Position Players: -27.5%
Total Contribution by Opposition: 0.0%

(What is this chart?)

I don't have anything to say about this game, other than another preemptive defense against the charge that the Mariners "didn't want it enough." Which seems more likely - that an entire group of experienced professionals got blown out because their knees buckled at the thought of playing an important game, or that Miguel Batista chose a bad day to have mediocre stuff while his lineup ran into a rock star? Psychological explanations are simply excuses thrown around by people who're unwilling to concede that the Angels are just more talented than us. If the Mariners go on to win this division, it won't be due to superior physical ability. This loss was depressing, but it's not like it came as much of a shock.

Oh, and I'll also say that this chair is indestructible:

Just $19.99 at your friendly neighborhood Ikea. For the man who has everything but a durable, dependable victim of Game Thread Emotion.

Weaver/Santana tomorrow. Boy, I hope we don't sit Sexson. I just don't know where we'd be standing right now were it not for the stalwart majesty of his thunderous bat.