My wife and I enjoy playing the card game Gloom. The game is a light, cheerful affair that involves each player being responsible for a family of 4-5. The goal of the game is simple: Through the application of cards (life events) you are to put each of your family members through as hellish a day as possible before killing them off. The game ends when a player kills off their entire family. Each player counts up their "suffering points" and the family that had the worst time of it wins the game.
It's a lot of fun. We laugh a lot. One of the reasons the game works is that the cards you play have varying degrees of positive or negative point values and there is always, unfailingly a corresponding opposite effect read aloud on the card. Thus if you have the good fortune of playing a particularly nasty incident on one of your family members ("Terrified by Topiary", for example) the game will punish you by limiting your hand size, forcing you to give cards to another player, etc.
I freely admit this mechanic limits the skill necessary to play the game. But not all games are played for skill and pointless fun has a point at times.
If life were a game of Gloom then we are the family members and the Mariners the player raining card after card of abject misery down upon us. We need a balancing mechanic. We need something to offset. Otherwise we're just getting our ass kicked out here, and that's no fun.
Here are the 50 best things about the Seattle Mariners season so far.
This list was amazingly easy to write Ok actually kind of hard fine I admit it.
1) Opening Day - Felix Hernandez: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 10 K, 1 BB, Mariners win 4-1.
2) May 27th - Nelson Cruz leaves a floater.
3) April 18th, the Mariners overcome two separate 5 run deficits, walk-off the Rangers in alternate home uniform debut.
4) May 27 - A repeat game. The Mariners do their thing and get owned by Chris Archer. Felix does his thing, shutting out the Rays over 9 for his first complete game since 2013.
5) Opening Day again - Bottom 8th, 2 outs, Mike Trout the tying run at the plate. Lloyd goes to Carson Smith:
6) This, whatever it is:
7) May 26th - Kyle Seager wins one game twice:
8) April 22nd - J.A. Happ works into the 8th inning, Mike Zunino goes into the upper deck and the Mariners beat Houston 3-2.
9) This, whatever it is:
10) The Tao of the Beimel
11) Jake Smolinski sucks and pretended to get hit by Felix to reach first. Ball, it ain't lyin'.
12) After 3 months playing baseball in a Mariner uniform and looking like he was doing it on Jupiter Austin Jackson hit his first Mariner home run. It was surreal.
13) April 24th - Felix straight up owns the Twins: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB, is a damn treasure.
Felix Hernandez: "I had the stuff to throw a perfect game (tonight) but it didn't happen."— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) April 25, 2015
14) Matt made this chart.
15) Jesus Sucre pitched.
16) Mike Zunino got mad.
17) June 6th - Felix Hernandez doesn't have his best stuff but still mows through the Rays over 7 innings, striking out 6. We have a BBQ, Carson Smith gets his first career save. I get very drunk
18) June 9th - The Mariners jump on a weakened Corey Kluber and exact a small amount of Cy Young vengeance, defeating the Indians ace 3-2
19) June 10th - Kyle Seager slaps Trevor Bauer with a slice of rye bread.
20) June 17th - Angel Pagan has alligator arms, Mike Zunino is surprisingly flexible and Meg makes me laugh.
Mariners Art pic.twitter.com/AKg7fBO1Fi— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) June 18, 2015
21) May 22nd - Felix exorcises the demons of last September, eviscerating the Blue Jays in Toronto over 7 IP, striking out 8 in a 4-3 Mariner win.
22) Logan Morrison made a really nice play.
23) Kyle Seager's swing:
24) The brief moments when life falls into place:
25) May 10th - Felix Hernandez carves up the Oakland A's like a speed run gamer going through Ocarina of Time: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 K, 2BB in a 4-3 Mariner win.
26) Lloyd McClendon attends local government meeting, discusses policy:
27) May 12th - The Mariners yes the team that's been shut out four times the last eight games tie a Safeco Field record in homering 6 times to beat the Padres 11-4. James Paxton throws 6 shut out innings.
28) Robinson Cano has been awful in almost every way but don't worry about that look at this shiny double play.
29) Brad Miller leads all qualified AL SS in ISO.
30) Brad Miller leads all MLB SS in BB%.
31) Nelson Cruz hit a ball very far.
32) Nelson Cruz hit a ball very very far.
33) Nelson stop.
34) You're my Rushmore, Nelson.
35) Willie Bloomquist faces Mark Buehrle in a 1-1 tie, tries his hardest.
36) "If that one hadn't gone out, I would have retired."
37) Matt wrote quite possibly the greatest recap in the history of post-Jeff Sullivan Lookout Landing.
38) Patrick wrote this, which is among my favorite things on the site in years
39) We were given the UnsoLLved Mysteries, Part 1 & Part 2.
40) April 29th - It wasn't his best but Felix threw 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 K, 2 BB, Nelson Cruz thwocked his 10th HR and the Mariners won 5-2.
41) Brad Miler is a star I tell you.
42) Felix roared.
43) Mark Lowe has been topping out at 98 MPH with his fastball and struck out 21 in 19.2 IP after years of ineffectiveness and injury.
44) In 20 PA Jesus Sucre has 1 hit. That hit came on May 10th, Mother's Day when Sucre asked to play in honor of his mother, who recently passed away. Felix supported it.
45) Seth Smith hit a home run and took one away in the same game.
46) June 17th (again) - Felix bounces back from his worst outing of his career, out aces Madison Bumgarner 2-0. I get very drunk.
47) Kyle Seager is among the best players in all of baseball.
48) Joe Beimel shot the arrow.
49) Taijuan Walker, last 6 starts: 38.1 IP, 33 K, 11 BB, 3.05 ERA. In a season when so much has gone wrong and the team has long term difficult choices to make Walker becoming an above average pitcher would go a looooooooooong ways.
50) After years and years of horrendous support the Mariners, the damn ridiculous, infuriating Mariners have inexplicably picked up Felix. Pitcher wins are dumb and bad but Felix cares about them and thus so do you. Felix leads
MLB the American League in wins.