Ernest Hemingway was what you would call a pretty great writer. Well, decent anyway. In addition to his landmark novels and Nobel prize in fiction, he developed what he called the Iceberg Theory, colloquially known as the "theory of omission."
Hemingway believed that the best writing was that which could transmute complex ideas without explicitly stating them--that is, by omitting the actual description of events, and referring to their abstract conception instead, the astute reader should be able to comprehend what the writer is doing. Let's take his word for it:
If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. - Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
So it stands to reason that we could effectively recap tonight's entire Mariners game without actually talking about it. I think this is what I want to do tonight. Did you see that game? I don't want to talk about that game. There are a lot of things that happened between the hours of 7-10:40 PST that I don't want to think about, analyze, or relive in an attempt to illustrate to you, dear reader. I have sanity to uphold as well.
So with this said, let us recap at tonight's game between the Mariners and the Astros, which Houston won 13-2. Let's talk about the game while not talking about the game, because sometimes coping can be a drug--but sometimes a prescribed drug is the only thing that can stop your body from crumpling up into a pile of white blood cells into a puddle on your floor.
- On January 8th, 1815, invading British troops were defeated by Major General and future U.S. President Andrew Jackson just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, in a famous battle of the War of 1812. The American troops under his command valiantly fought for their lives and country across the Mississippi, losing only the 85th Regiment across the west bank of the river, and needing only 2,000 soldiers to hold the position, keeping the city safe. One day later, Fort St. Philip was attacked by the British forces invading up through the Gulf of Mexico, which was held for days until the British troops eventually withdrew on February 4th. Little did anyone realize that the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24th of 1814, effectively rendering the entire conflict null and void. The battle was pointless--both sides agreed to withdraw, there was no formal victor, and the British agreed to leave while the Americans held their ground...which effectively was pointless. You could almost say they didn't even need to fight each other at all--that the entire war was decided on a much earlier date, and all the hubbub and tomfoolery the two sides were entangled with on that date was nothing more than a distraction, needless, effortless. Pointless. Hm.
- About once a month, I try to make a breakfast/brunch date with my wife and friends on Sunday mornings. Having tried quite a few places within walking distance from my home, I've taken to word of mouth for recommendations on where to try next. I found this French Creperie just up the street that I was hoping to check out, and when I approached one of my friends about it, he quickly warned me that it was terribly overpriced, assuring me that I would have a miserable time. I'm going to France this week, and I've always been interested in French culture, so I decided to just go anyway, sails to the wind. Guess what? He was totally wrong. I had a great time--incredible food, a bit spendy but absolutely affordable. Sometimes entering a situation with completely lowered expectations is a gift, and it allows you to truly comprehend and enjoy the detail that goes into something that you might have thought was mere trash with a moment of prejudice before. You know what? That restaurant had always been good. Always.
Pitcher IP H R BB K FIP xFIP Strikes/Balls Tom Wilhelmsen 2.0 0 0 0 1 2.04 3.42 14/1 !!!!!!!
- Carter Capps: Entered a 6-1 game in the sixth inning, watched Jose Altuve steal second and third on consecutive pitches, gave up a home run to Brandon Laird and a double to Matt Dominguez.
- Chance Ruffin: Escaped the seventh after loading the bases, then gave up a leadoff double to Brandon Barnes in the eighth, and loaded the bases by hitting Brandon Laird in the elbow. The same Brandon Laird that hit a dinger an inning earlier. Then he walked in a run before being pulled for Lucas Luetge. 9-2 Astros.
- Lucas Luetge: Luetge entered the game and walked in another run. 10-2 Astros. Then, in the ninth, he gives up back-to-back singles and a double, scoring a run. Before the inning ended, he hemorrhaged another ground rule double and RBI single before striking out Chris Carter to send it to the bottom of the ninth. It was now 13-2 Astros. With 17 hits. The Astros ended the game with their utility infielder playing centerfield.
- There's probably an effective metaphor for how many people left tonight's game, but the reported paid crowd of 10,245 was easily down to 1,000 by the eighth inning. I honestly don't think that's exaggerating. It might have even been less. Hm...metaphor...lets see...tv shows, viewers...newspapers, readers...movies, tickets...just go ahead and insert your own here: ________________.
- The hardest death scenes to watch in movies are the ones when you know its coming. Obi Wan Kenobi is old as crap and gives a lightsaber to Luke, ensuring that he's going to take over as the resident Force-wielder in the franchise. But when he's struck down....man. You knew it was coming, but it hurts all the more. The end of Toy Story 3. The end of Forrest Gump. Grave of the Fireflies. You knew all these things were behind the corner...and then they happen, and you feel all the worse. Not only do you have to accept the loss, but you have to acknowledge the realization that all things must come to an end, and that your realization often makes the process that much harder. Saying goodbye to someone you knew you were going to have to say goodbye to is hard. Even if it was his time. Now excuse me if I never turn on a Yankees game for the rest of the season, or ever again. It's not true if we shut our eyes.
- Joe Saunders: a man with a plan. A man with an arm. A man with a....wait, no, I don't actually know what to say. The fascinating thing about qualitative analysis is that it allows us to predict events within sports before they happen--using data and statistics available to us based on past performance. Even better--sometimes these statistics can tell us more about what a player isn't than what he is. Thanks to the ever vigilant keyboard of our very own Patrick Dubuque, I present to you: The Complete List of Things That Are Better Than Joe Saunders, based upon difficult, comprehensive research from February 2013 through today's date:
- Vern Fonk playing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
- DVR'ing an important sporting event and getting told the score right before you get home.
- Any cat food commercial.
- My Little Pony fan fiction.
- When the music swells in an Aaron Sorkin show.
- The hoverbike stage of Battletoads.
- Every other stage of Battletoads.
- Ednison Volquez (in terms of fWAR).
- Rust as a concept.
- The Electoral College.
- That co-worker who wants to talk to you in the break room every day even though you. ..obviously have a book open in front of you.
- Your dentist nagging on your flossing habits.
- Flossing for the first time in months after your dentist nagged you.
So tonight was a lot of things. The Mariners scored two runs, but honestly it's not even worth talking about (fine, Raul doubled and was sent in by Guti in the second, and Guti also sent Almonte home from second in the sixth. That's it. Happy?). One thing it wasn't was a winning baseball game. One thing it was was arguably, emotionally, one of the worst games of the entire season.
This beat the Felix shelling in Anaheim. This beat the Boston bullpen meltdown. The Mariners were struck by a 1976 Chevy Caprice, which backed up and rolled over their dead corpse about nine hundred times afterward. The cops came to the scene, looked at the body, back up at the Astros driving their car, then to their watch. They laughed for a minute, slapped the Astros on the shoulder, and let them go on their way, stepping on the stomach of the bloated Mariners' body on their way back to the patrol car.
I'm leaving on a trip on Thursday, through the rest of the season. I really hope this isn't how the Mariners' 2013 season ends for me. I love this team. So much. Someday soon they are going to be in the playoffs, and it will make living through this year all the better.
Yeah, that's it. Sometimes we need a healthy dose of optimism. But to tell you the truth, I don't know where to find it tonight.
Screw this game.