Today the Seattle Mariners lost a baseball game.
And that sentence can stand alone for all of eternity because it is observable fact in terms of the paradigms we choose and accept as people who have, without written consent, agreed to the terms of Major League Baseball and its ensuing fandom. We just witnessed something that of the outcome, of the result, there can be no contention. This is essentially unfounded phenomena in the scientific field. There, with science, there can only be theory. Here there is certainty. This is getting more complicated than my intention. I'll try again.
Hello. You don't know me, yet, and chances are that I don't know you either. However, in a very real sense, if you've been a Mariners fan for any amount of time, hell, even if for just this one game that recently came to a close (I'm sorry); we do know some part of each other. We have shared something. That part, that Mariners part that we share, that is what we have both come here for. We have, are, and will continue to share both pain and love for one-hundred and sixty more games (let's be honest, more than that this year) in this season alone. That last clause within parenthesis should feel a little weird. You see, you're meeting me at a weird time. That ebb and flow of love and pain you've felt for this team for quite some time doesn't have the same tide schedule anymore. The love tide is risin'. I know I feel different. I feel changed.
See, baseball is a funny thing. To boil it down for you, twenty-some guys in the prime of their lives just all got together to run in circles, use modified mittens made out of tanned cow skin to catch a ball made of that same material, and hit that ball with essentially tubular tree branches. Twenty-eight thousand people attended. Do you get that? People make entire careers out of maintaining the dirt that those guys just messed up. These are crazy times in the grand swath of human existence. Yet, I, as in that classic film, can't help but feel dipped in magic waters, that I must brush away the memories so thick from my face when I watch the game. I hate cobwebs. I love baseball.
Today the Seattle Mariners lost a baseball game.
In a game that felt more like the M's vs. A's games of years past, James Paxton did his part, going six full innings while limiting the Angels to just four hits and one walk. He accumulated a solid five strikeouts, and was dusting 96 mph on the gun. Early on he was doing so while hitting the upper-outside corner of the zone to righties and all I could think of was HOLY CRAP THE MARINERS WILL NEVER LOSE. I won't spoil the ending quite yet.
C.J. Wilson had himself an even better day, looking like something you may spend a decent amount of money to "own" if you were a baseball owner. Wilson managed to allow just two hits in eight innings while retiring the final seventeen batters he faced. One of those hits was by now Mariner Rickie Weeks. His first while wearing Teal and Blue. I think, I didn't watch the kid in Little League or whatever. Wilson allowed three base runners all evening, doing so by throwing many more strikes than balls. I'm not even kidding you guys when I tell you that I think this kid has the kind of talent to do hair advertising. Full stop.
Paxton's one real mistake of the night was leaving a fastball a little too thigh-high to David Freese on the outer edge of the plate, to which this young, and likely cold by the sound of his name man said, "I will hit this over that wall, there, in right-centerfield." Albert Pujols was lucky enough to have doubled preceding this dastardly act and was rewarded for this with a nice jog home. Something a man of his age and stature is more wont to do than the full sprint variety. This would represent the only scoring of the game. It happened in a flash, in the 4th inning.
There is little else of note from the game. Willie Ballgame got himself a new baseball mitten. He was working it with due diligence. "The Marine Layer" looked especially thick. By that I mean, relatively hard-hit balls seemed to die in the air. Not that I can see the microscopic water molecules trapped in atmosphere and in relative amounts. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a wonderful seventh in which his curveball looked more deadly than that final round of tequila shots on your 21st birthday. He notched two strikeouts with his deadly use of Gaussian Curves in his one inning of service. The Mariners lost 2-0 despite his mastery. It's just one game. Life is equal parts pain and love. So far the Mariners are 1-1.
This was a relatively forgettable game, but it still rests in my mind for now. I'll remember it for a time. I remember all kinds of things about the Mariners. Sitting outside of the barber with my dad when Carlos Guillen laid down that bunt. The night that they named the street and the DH award after Edgar, before he played his final game. I remember his final at-bat. I remember he still isn't in the Hall of Fame. Baseball is about memorization and memories. And I think that is why we love baseball. If you don't love baseball why are you reading this? I don't know. I don't know what love is. Do you? Why did we turn wolves in to beagles? These are questions for my next chart. Baseball allows contemplation within the game. It was designed during a time where our national consciousness was changing. It's still changing. We still love baseball. We are a thoughtful people whose actions are characterized by abrupt action followed by lulls. We chew on things for a bit. Something funny about Justin Smoak.
Tonight we all watched a game that was defined by one swing of a bat. I guess we sort of watch that game every time we watch baseball. Yet, this game feels more forgettable than others. Maybe we exclude the melancholy and nonchalant. That's something to think about.
Thankfully, there's always a little time to chew on things between the innings.