So we've reached the halfway point of the season, which is actually the 56.2% point of the season, which is two Cleveland rainouts away from being the 57.4% point of the season. It is around this time of year, every year, that Major League Baseball takes a vacation from being interesting and puts on both a home run derby and an All-Star Game to cover a three-day break in the action. There's also a futures game and a celebrity softball game that cater to different audiences, but one thing those audiences have in common is their size, which is little.
But while the break is kind of shitty for those who don't enjoy the Home Run Derby or the All-Star Game, which is everyone, it does provide an opportunity to step back and review everything that's happened over the course of the first three months. As the season rolls along, we tend to get sucked into the day-by-day. We can't help it. At the break, we can view the bigger picture. We can, for example, go over the Mariners' first 91 games, instead of their most recent five. Those recent five games were important, given the context, but the 91 games are the context, and now we have a chance to reflect on them.
It's with that in mind that I'm going to pass out my annual first half report card, beginning with the position players. And to accompany the report card, I will issue my annual statement that these grades are 100% subjective and 100% meaningless, and if you get mad about any of them, any of them at all, you are reading this wrong, because the grades do not matter and you take things too seriously. Not only is this just sports - this is a blog post about sports that none of the players are likely to read, and the grades will not go on any of their permanent records. I don't think their parents will even find out. These given grades have all the significance of an underfoot pine cone. Stupid pine cone.
In theory, the grades are based on individual performance vs. league performance.
This grade could probably be lower. Ichiro had an extended slump that earned him a day off, and when he came back with 18 hits in nine games, so many people just assumed that he was fine. Well, since then he's batted .233 over 77 trips to the plate. His average is actually .313 if you go all the way back to his day off, which would suggest that he's doing okay, but it hasn't been a consistent .313, and now I'm right back to being worried again. There are a number of people at fault for the Mariners' struggles to score, and Ichiro is most assuredly among them.
Mike Wilson: D-
I guess Wilson could probably get an F if I wanted to be a real meanie, but the man didn't play, and I remember him hitting a few balls really hard. He was so happy to be in the Majors. So sincerely, genuinely happy. At least he can hold his playing time over Jose Yepez's head, if he wants to be a real jerk about it.