A shattered, distant, occasionally twitching Seattle Mariners team continues its war against the Minnesota Twins tonight. Inside the locker room, the environment is bleak. The clubhouse radio is intentionally set between stations, allowing white noise to fill the emptiness. The cards from last night's game of euchre, unfinished, remain on a nearby table. Willie Bloomquist turns to ask for help to tie his shoelace - but no one is there. Jesus Sucre arrives already dressed, knowing that there is no locker for him, knowing why he is there. The others do not hate him, do not blame him... but they also do not speak to him. They have all been Jesus Sucre, at some point, but they will also all be John Buck.
"We will use these feelings against the others," Dustin Ackley whispers to the rest of them, as they huddle before the game. A few of the rookies glance at Endy Chavez, unable to help themselves, but quickly look away in shame. They know he is next. Ackley's words echo from a motionless beard. "It is not their fault. It is no one's fault. But we must use these feelings or they will consume us. Also, Phil Hughes is a regression candidate." With that, they go to do what they must.
Though crass to even mention, here are tonight's lineups:
|1||Brian Dozier||2B||Michael Saunders||RF|
|2||Eduardo Nunez||3B||James Jones||CF|
|3||Kurt Suzuki||C||Robinson Cano||2B|
|4||Kendrys Morales||DH||Kyle Seager||3B|
|5||John Willingham||LF||Logan Morrison||1B|
|6||Oswaldo Arcia||RF||Corey Hart||DH|
|7||Chris Colabello||1B||Dustin Ackley||LF|
|8||Eduardo Escobar||SS||Mike Zunino||C|
|9||Sam Fuld||CF||Brad Miller||SS|
|Philip Hughes||SP||Chris Young||SP|
Godspeed, you crumbling veteran. This game, win or lose, is for you.