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You know things are rough when you can't even dredge up your usual hatred and contempt. Most of the time I wouldn't be able to stand losing to a team like the Sox or the Angels, but these days it just really doesn't make a difference. And why should it? As I've written about before, I'm no longer emotionally invested in this team's day-to-day existence, and when you're not emotionally invested in a team, you can't be emotionally invested in its opponents. That's not how it works. Yeah, it would've been nice to help the Rays a little bit, but that's the only reason I feel even the slightest bit bad about this weekend. I don't feel bad because the Mariners lost. I don't feel bad because in so doing they made Boston happy. I feel a little bad because we couldn't help Tampa Bay. This is the weirdest season I've ever experienced.

More than anything else, I've learned to respond to this season by reducing my level of emotional intensity and just becoming a fan of the game. Not for any one team in particular (although I'm definitely pulling for the Rays), but rather for all of them. There are a lot of teams out there, and if the Mariners aren't providing you with enough satisfaction and happiness, there's plenty to be found in other places. I mean, I don't really care about the Padres, but being at Petco for Scott Hairston's walk-off last night was electric. So was watching Tony Clark put them ahead in the eighth inning this afternoon. But it's not necessarily about watching other teams; even just paying attention and analyzing the numbers can give you an enjoyable alternative when the Mariners are irrelevant. The Rays. Roy Halladay. Joba's transition. Tim Lincecum. Josh Hamilton. Zack Greinke. The Tigers' pitching staff. Chipper Jones. Chase Utley. And so on and so forth. There are a million fascinating things taking place right now, and they're all right there for you to observe. If you're like me, and you need baseball to capture and keep your interest for the duration of the summer, go seek some of these things out. You'll be glad you did. Just because the Mariners are a total waste doesn't mean the season has to be.

6_8_08_medium

Biggest Contribution: Erik Bedard, +18.9%
Biggest Suckfest: Ichiro, -14.5%
Most Important AB: Beltre fly out, -8.0%
Most Important Pitch: Drew homer, -15.0%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +18.1%
Total Contribution by Position Players: -68.1%
Total Contribution by Opposition: 0.0%
(What is this chart?)

In the bottom of the eighth, JJ froze Manny Ramirez with a 99mph fastball on the outer black.

Somewhat game-related post on the way.