I imagine today will be filled and focused on so much trade banter. The Mariners still have some ponies in the show and everybody likes getting something new. At least, it generates a lot of talk volume. And then right around the deadline, we have another baseball game to watch. It shapes up to be a nice baseball-filled day if that's your thing.
I just wanted to skirt by for a quick stop and point something out about Dustin Ackley. With yesterday's performance now reflected in the database, Ackley's wOBA* according to StatCorner hit .407. Given the low league average this season, even with just 141 plate appearances that now makes Ackley worth 10 runs above average with the bat and he qualifies for a bolded line.
There's a gigantic cornucopia that can be written about the qualifications of this measurement. FanGraphs and Baseball Reference have Ackley a little lower, both at 9.0 runs of value from his bat. I could point out that the only other Mariners this year to reach that +10-run plateau was Justin Smoak and now look where he is. Right now, I don't care about those things. I only want to enjoy Dustin Ackley.
Far too much of our time as Mariner fans is preoccupied with looking to the future. Will Francisco Martinez develop plate discipline? Will Danny Hultzen sign? Not very long ago, Dustin Ackley was in that same frame of reference. He was in the future. Some uncertain time further along than I currently pass through would include Dustin Ackley and the Mariners. Ackley still has a prominent and important role to play in those 2012, 2013, 2014 and so on teams, but just for a moment, I don't care. I don't care because Dustin Ackley is on this suddenly crummy, go-nowhere 2011 team and he's succeeding. He's succeeding beyond what any reasonable person thought; maybe even beyond what anyone dared to hope. Dustin Ackley is the future, yes, but right now he's also the present. And that's a damn fine sight.