See the young boy. Ice Cream. Unaware of pain. See him. Know him. See him feel pain. See him understand what it means to be alive.
There's not a lot of sense to be made of it, really. At least, if there is sense to be made of it, I'm certainly not going to go find those numbers for you now. Because you know how I feel, and I know how you feel. I feel like that kid back there. Here's your Robinson Cano. Here's your ice-cream, kid. Oh now, here's a beach-ball too! A shiny, new season with Nelson Cruz and a team that seems actually ready to take on a division! We got so many things, at the same time. Let's play with this new ball! But wait, here's a bumbling man, he has your beach-ball! Play! Frolic! Feel your youth! Show us the meaning of joy and exuberance! Throw us the ball!
But you can't have that ball back. You let it go, silly. It's his now, the strange man's. He can do whatever he wants with the ball because a series of arbitrary events placed him here and now. And he has your ball. And he does not like it. He does not like it one bit.
See Johnny Giavotella. See him with bat in hand. See Erick Aybar, stealing second. Watch Johnny hit the ball down the line, against the outfield shift. See Erick cross home. He is happy. He has your ice cream. He has your beach-ball. It's flattened, though. He didn't need it. He has plenty of them.
The Los Angeles Angels grabbed your beach-ball, and flattened it, because, well, I can't tell you why, really.
My sophomore year of high school I read The Art of War and I don't really remember much from it except that you're supposed to employ like nine different kinds of spies. Sounds like way too many spies. I mostly used it to figure out the best way to ask girls to dances. However, the most sticking musing of Sun Tzu, for me, was his strategy for finishing off an army. It should not be done by cornering them, giving the enemy the idea that they have nothing to fight for but death. This sort of tactic results in a greater loss of life for your force than necessary. No, one must give their enemy the idea that there lies an escape from the inevitable. Traps must be laid. This is how to kill them softly.
And this stuck, truly, it stuck. I think about it all the time. It's a useful strategy. I'm amazing at Risk. And sometimes I wonder if that's sort of just what we do in-between living and dying. We just convince ourselves that we won't. Until one day we're just looking about and they're all around us. "Don't worry guys, we got this, we still can escape on the boats!" The Angels burned the Mariners boats. Not even Dustin Ackley figured that one out. We are trapped on the beach. But, hey, beaches can be beautiful.
So let's go there. Let's look at how pretty the beach is.
Roenis Elias pitched an honestly wonderful game, getting only stronger as the game wore on. Despite one pitch that he hung dead-red to one Mike Trout that was promptly sent 441 feet the other way over the centerfield wall in the 3rd, the kid is managing to hold Kuma's spot with great aplomb. He gave up three runs on six hits and struck out five. Probably the most encouraging sign was him only allowing one walk in seven full innings. All three of his pitches were effective, fastball, change, and curve. He sat around 93 mph on his fastball and used multiple arm slots for his curve. And this is good. This is all fine and good.
That's what I meant by "dead-red".
But the Seattle Mariners still lost in a walk-off. And I think it's good for that to hurt. Because this season hasn't really made any sense. Not to me, at least. You're likely a lot smarter than me, a lot more things probably make sense to you. Mike Zunino had two hits tonight! Two singles in the fourth and the ninth! The Mariners climbed out of a three-run hole to eventually tie the game in the ninth! See, good things can happen! And maybe I'm the fool. I never know what's important to focus on, my heart or my head. Because in your head I think things get sorta...dark. That's where Chone Figgins lost himself. But the heart, it seems so easily deceived. The beach is so beautiful.
That same ninth where we tied the game opened with a double from Kyle Seager and a single from the aforementioned Mikey Z. Runners on first and third with no outs, down by one. Logan Morrison would then continue the meme of not quite getting enough of a ball to score a runner from third, flying out to left. One down. Dustin Ackley steps to the plate. Stoic in the way that a somewhat-scared robot finds calm before being commanded to show its newest software upgrade. A well-struck ball down the left field line, caught in the end, Seager scores on a sac-fly. The game is tied. No more runs would be scored, but we can escape via the boats. Follow me!
But there was Erick, stealing on the pitch. There was Johnny, singling to the place where Nelson's ginger ankles could not reach in right field. There was the game. Lost, 4-3. The boats are burned kid. They popped the beach-ball.
So then why do we do this? Why manage the suffering that this team continually gives us? Why feel so damn confused by a team for a full month? I mean, this is a good baseball team, wearing the clothes of a team doing everything it can to be just below mediocre. TAKE OFF THE DAMN COSTUME. Become what you were meant to be.
Oh, hello, Kyle.
Kyle Seager uses his bat to hit a baseball over the fence (which results in 2 runs for the Mariners of Seattle) http://t.co/PVTC06Q9xo— Jose Rivera (@Jose8BS) May 7, 2015
Let's go for a walk on the beach. It's beautiful out. And look! A beach-ball!