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9/19: Open Game Thread

Taijuan Walker vs. Marco Estrada

this is fine
this is fine
John Trupin

I want to say words about this game but all that's coming out is screaming?

I've been talking a big talk for a while about how I don't care about the postseason, everything after a winning record is gravy, I really just wanted to see the Generals win a championship and that would make me happy. But I really, really want to win this game. It's so scary to want something, isn't it? One of my major character flaws is a lot of times I pretend I don't want things because that's so much easier than trying, or hoping, and opening yourself up to the disappointment of not achieving that thing. I can be the queen of the Land of Measured Expectations. It's a tiny kingdom, and mostly dull, but it's very safe there.

But this isn't how big leaguers think. They're in the big leagues because they committed to a dream, and to standing up and saying I WANT THIS in big, twenty-foot high letters written on the highest hill in their personal landscape. The other day Dan Altavilla's mom told me "he's nuts with goals." That much you can tell by looking at his biceps, I guess (the goal there must be, "require bespoke suits"), but I think there's something really interesting about the mental wiring of MLB players. It's not enough to be talented, although you must be that. But you must also be unshakably brave, even more so I think than being confident, and that bravery must inform every step you take of every day. You have to wear your desire out for the world to see. You have to be nuts with goals.

A lot of times we say "at least you tried" as a joke regarding a poor athletic performance, and it strikes me now how deeply cynical that is, how much it glosses over how hard it actually is to try, how much bravery that requires. It's so much easier to snark and hide and live in the Land of Measured Expectations. But that isn't really how we ought to live, is it? So yes, I want to win tonight. I am going to own that want, and the possibility that heartbreak exists on the other side of that want as a very real possibility. I'm moving out of the castle in the Land of Measured Expectations, and I invite you all to join me in the untamed wilds of Brave Hope, where we are nuts with goals.

Today's Lineups

Devon Travis - 2B Norichika Aoki - LF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Seth Smith - RF
Edwin Encarnacion - 1B Robinson Cano - 2B
Jose Bautista - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Russell Martin - C Kyle Seager - 3B
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Adam Lind - 1B
Ezequiel Carrera - RF Leonys Martin - CF
Melvin Upton Jr. - LF Mike Zunino - C
Kevin Pillar - CF Ketel Marte - SS
Marco Estrada - RHP Taijuan Walker - RHP

Game time: 7:10 PST; 710 ESPN,, yada yada. I hope you don't need this info because you're at Safeco using your Care Bear Stare against these invaders from the north.