I mean, look. The thing is that you would be crazy to feel anything other than pure, unadulterated excitement over the state of the Seattle Mariners here in 2015. In fact, fuck it, let's extend the whole shebang to the city of Seattle: nice weather, new Death Cab for Cutie record, potentially dominant baseball team, rising minimum wage, I mean, you've got it all.
So the thing is that you really shouldn't look at this picture:
And think something along the lines of wait wait why is our number two starter having difficulty locating his pitches it's less than a week until opening day. You certainly shouldn't look at this one
and think oh my god no Felix has had an awful spring and now James Paxton can't pitch and why did we just trade Erasmo Ramirez because we may need him and I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN NOT TO TRUST THESE IDIOTS WHAT WAS I THINKING?
You shouldn't do any of those things because it's still Spring Training, and even though there certainly is a line that can be drawn between a pitcher's performance late in Spring to his first outing of the regular season, the reality is that Spring gives each of us a gimme card for casting off all worry and anxiety into a distancing mechanism, and use it--USE IT, for crying out loud, because you can't in June.
In fact, the simple fact that we can say Oh, it's just spring training today allows us to look at James Paxton's line--3.1 innings pitched with 10 hits, seven runs, and a walk--and relegate every pitch to something like "trying out his slider," or "raising his pitch count," or "it's hot in Arizona, leave the man alone."
The reality is that I don't know what to tell you. The reality is we all know spring statistics don't always correlate to regular season performance, and both Felix and Paxton are going to be fine unless they aren't, but we don't know anything at the moment that could lead us to thinking any different. This is both the gift and the curse of Spring Training. Take from it what you will.
Other than Paxton's bummer outing, there wasn't really anything substantial to take from the day. The White Sox scored 12 runs and the Mariners scored four, but in reality they only scored one because three came after the scrubs were substituted in the seventh inning. Dominic Leone gave up a two-run dinger on his first pitch of the game, but I'm not sure why we should be worried about that when our real goal this week is just to get to Monday without any injuries.
No, I mean, we could look to Austin Jackson's two hits and Charlie Furbush's three strikeouts and realize that there is a chance that results don't matter at the moment, and that the Mariners losing today doesn't actually mean anything. Besides, aren't the White Sox always obnoxious? Paxton hit 94, Rodney and Medina got some arm exercise, and hell, half of Paxton's difficulties came from some bizarre fielding mishaps anyway. You shouldn't be worried, really.
You shouldn't be worried because that first at bat I pictured up there resulted in a walk, and you may think something along the lines of why couldn't he locate the edge of the zone? when you should look at this
and realize that there is hardly any meaningful information to be gleaned from two at-bats in the same inning that produced different results off a pitcher who has been great all spring and slots to be the second starter on a team that numerous national writers have slotted to win the AL Pennant this season.
Either that or I'm just convincing myself of all this with every word I type. You take your pick, but tell me you're happy with more of the same pessimism after all these years and I'll tell you that you can just stop watching right now.