Hi guys. Take a seat. No, don't worry, you'll get to take your post-game shower in a second, I promise. What? Who am I? Oh, right...sorry. I don't actually know how I got in the clubhouse, but I guess now that I'm here, give me a minute to chat.
Thanks. Thanks a lot, guys. No, don't roll your eyes. I'm actually not even talking about the game of baseball you just played. You went out and did your thing and the A's walked you off to a 2-1 loss. Besides, what can I say? I'm no baseball player. Hell, I can't even graduate from the 55 MPH machine at the batting cages. I've grown accustomed to letting the derision of twelve-year old bullies in the 75 MPH cage slide off my shoulders like an old friend. No, I'm not talking about your performance tonight.
Look, guys. I'm a fan. Not just a baseball fan, but a Mariners fan. No..stop, Quintero, give me a second here. What? No, just listen. I like you guys. I've been watching you guys play baseball for a long time. I want you to win. But I'm not even upset that you lost tonight. I was surprised by literally nothing that happened in this baseball game. It felt like watching Annie Hall again and trying to get a chuckle out of the "I forgot my mantra" line even though I've seen the movie four hundred and seventy six times. No, when Dustin Ackley gave Brandon Moss' walk off home run a courtesy run in the bottom of the ninth, I didn't throw my arms in the air in disgust. I didn't. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 9:28 PM and I thought Wow, It's only 9:28 and also I wonder if I should take the trash out tonight or tomorrow morning.
Wait, no, crap...Dustin, that's not what I meant, look I--what? He always has that expression on his face? Oh, yeah, I guess you're right. Look, guys. How did you do this? How did it come to be like this? I'm not even mad, it's really kind of impressive. I mean, I'm still going to watch you until October, and not even because I have to. I'll even watch next year, and dig in during spring training, firing up my MLB At Bat app to listen to February's first exhibition game, even if Hector Noesi is starting again. Hey, stop laughing, Lucas, you're really one to speak.
Look, I get it. Jarrod Parker went nuts tonight. You gave him his first career complete game, after all. And Nick, Nick old buddy. It's been a rough month, hasn't it? You're pretty lucky Parker hung a fastball in there for that 7th inning single. I know it's always tough when pitchers figure you out and start throwing you bendy things, but maybe have a chat with Brad about making adjustments. But relax. You're not going anywhere. The Tacoma Raniers are done playing baseball in two weeks, and even if they weren't, your problem seems to be with major league pitching anyway. That and bad elbow tattoos. But thanks for scoring the M's only run today. And by the way, Kendrys? When Justin Smoak hits a sixth inning single to Josh Reddick and you are running for third--no, scratch that, any base--SLIDE, MAN. I don't know if you've seen Josh Reddick, but he can do a thing. A thing with his arm. Not quite a Puig thing, but a thing nonetheless.
And if we're talking about gameplay here, this is really only the second biggest bummer of the game. Had Kendrys not been out on Reddick's throw, the Mariners would have had runners on third and first with Michael Saunders up. Yeah, Condor, you're on our good side. I mean, there were two outs, so in all probability it would have only been postponing the inevitable. But here's the problem: You had runners on third and first an inning later WITH NO OUTS AND YOU STILL BLEW IT.
Sure enough, Saunders hit a single in his next at bat. Dustin Ackley tried to bunt him over, but reached first on a throwing error from Jarrod Parker and yep, no outs, two on. And this is why I'm here to talk to you guys. Quintero...I don't know, I'm sure you're a fun guy but you're not gonna be here next year so your strikeout is whatever. But when Brad popped up and Nick Franklin struck out it was just...well...it didn't even feel like a lost opportunity. It didn't feel like an incredible turn of events to give life to a box score at the end of the night. It was just...Mariners. See what I did there? That's a word that doesn't mean the same thing as the one written across your uniforms. English is a radiant, living language, and those of us who have been watching you guys blow it for years twisted that word to make a brand new one:
Mariners - n. adj. |mer-ə-nərs|
1. A staggering display of ineptitude met with expectancy by the experiencee- i.e. That's so Mariners.
2. An event which by design normally incites a tumultuous emotional response, but has been accepted due to frequency of occurrence- i.e. "Did you drink my last beer again?" "Oh, crap, sorry man. Yeah..." "Mariners..."
3. A professional baseball team in the city of Seattle, Washington.
So look, here's my point, and then I'll get out of your hair so you can all play the towel game and joke about Iwakuma once his translator leaves. It's not that I'm upset you lost. No. I'm not, per se, pissed that Carter Capps gave up a game-ending walk off home run to Brandon Moss. It's that I'm feeling a strange emotion that I can't understand, unrecognized, yet familiar...but misunderstood. Apathy? No, that's definitely not it. Shame? No...less shame? Well...maybe. I don't know what it is.
But guys, I know you are getting better. I know there are better days ahead, and I know that half this team might not even be here next year. I know that we have some great prospects coming up and...on second thought this reflects your job security so I won't talk about that. But I just want all of you to understand that we've seen this exact game played nine thousand times in the past ten years, and something has changed when it doesn't upset us anymore. That's a strange thing to say. You're like a car with a coolant leak. You're broke and you can't fix it, so you just put water in it and spend an extra ten minutes a week cleaning up a mess that can be fixed some other way and then when someone asks you about the car you just roll your eyes and laugh. This again!
I like you guys, I really do. And Aaron Harang, you even pitched pretty well tonight. But don't make me keep pouring water in my car. It's really bad for it.