I know a man who spends his entire existence worrying about a future he can never be sure will arrive. He is paralyzed by the infinite potential realities of tomorrow and the day beyond it. In this way, he rarely has time to enjoy the tangible, present reality he exists in. An entire party would go by where he would simply worry about his work for the next day. He never realizes just how amazing he is, how phenomenal the world around him has aligned itself, simply because in looking forward he only saw the darkness of the unknown. I stood by him then and now and will until I or him have gone in the constant hope that I could show him the beauty of this moment.
The Seattle Mariners lost 7-6 to the Houston Astros. The game ended with James Jones making a fool of himself on the base paths, the Mariners threw eight pitchers, of which two were on the opening day 25-man roster, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz both went yard (back-to-back in the 5th), Robinson Cano had a four-hit evening, Jesus Sucre had a three-hit night, and Ketel Marte also had two hits. Is that what you were here for? The Seattle Mariners lost a meaningless game on the last night of September. The only thing hinging on the final three-game series at home is whether or not the M's will have a protected draft pick or not for Jerry Dipoto.
There are three games left in the 2015 Seattle Mariners season. Three games out of one-hundred and sixty two and none of the last three will have any bearing beyond Sunday. There is beauty in that. Everywhere around us there are symbols that scream at us of our smallness. A few nights ago we saw a celestial event that would have made our ancestors call for the end-times. The oceans swell in the Caribbean and a hurricane makes itself, almost as if from thin air. Try hitting the curve when you're sitting fastball. Our mortality and meaningless are dangled before us constantly, and we, as the Human Race, have elected almost exclusively to ignore that. We build things to touch the sky, we travel to the Moon, we ride the waves. Life is hard and complex and the future is terrifying. After Sunday, Mariners' baseball is over for quite some time.
I know a woman who finds the entire world and the people in it so amazing that she leaves herself vulnerable to those with selfish motives. To her, the world is such a fantastic and beautiful place that ill will would never cross her mind. It is, however, a fickle and monstrous place some times. The world will swallow you whole if you allow it but it has yet to touch her. Perhaps she has found the means to achieving immortality within the context of her mortality. Treating everything as wonderment maybe blurs the lines between the mundane and the fantastic, but who am I to say that it is impossible for everything to surprise you with joy? Light, if it truly is the absence of darkness, has touched her and her life in such a way that no shade may cloud her disposition. I have so much to learn from her.
The Seattle Mariners were not supposed to be where they are today. I, and others here, wrote so many preseason articles, asserting this was the season that the playoff curse would finally be broken, already tasting the anticipation of October baseball. I could smell the crisp, autumn air of Safeco as the Court chanted "K" as the too-cold breeze swept in from the Sound and Felix skipped back to the dugout over the foul line. Robinson Cano went deep to right field. Kyle Seager made a barehanded play down the line. Fernando Rodney would close. Willie Bloomquist would pinch run for the walk-off win. I think I would have cried. I really do.
There is no explaining how we came to this place together. There is no singular event that has taken us to this place alone. There is a team that has never had all wheels spinning in the same direction. There is a game that we all have either chosen, been gifted, or been made to love that doesn't care about our feelings. Baseball, among all the sports, is the one that most commonly brings those who play and watch it closest to the feeling of loss. The odds of achieving the positive outcome are, in almost all cases, stacked incredibly heavy against you. Ill will is dealt in the form of sliders and change ups and stolen home runs. That same too-cold autumn breeze of my fantasy may be the one that knocks down Kyle's late game, deep fly ball to put us ahead. The future is frightening. The world is beautiful in its indifference to our emotion.
I know a man who has worked tirelessly all season to cover this team and make this space one that we all can love. I know another whose love for this team is a family affair. One who has both a baritone and a heart of gold. I know another who is tall and bearded and full of bird-song. Another who is tall and wise and knows this game better than anyone else I've met. I know a woman who bleeds for this team pitch by pitch. I know a man who moved himself back to this city because he could not be away. I met a man who flew here for one day and our collective worlds all stopped to simply hear his voice. I know one who thought he could leave but never really could. I know others who give so much to this, and maybe don't realize how much we see of their gift. I know them because of you all. I know them because of this team.
The Seattle Mariners' season is ending. Our world's shall one day too. Come, know these people. See the final game. We will look to the future with our eyes alight, we will see the game for the splendor of all its things, and our worlds shall overlap in their magnificence. Celebrate the shortcomings of our situation. Celebrate the eternal strength of the unknown and those who seek to conquer it. Celebrate the game.
There is nothing between birth and death but life, and it is the most frail of things.
Munenori Kawasaki asking for questions in Japanese because he was too drunk to answer in English wins September. https://t.co/SzMw3ZR1F4
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 1, 2015
Oh, and there is baseball in the middle part, too.