Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were young? Personally, I wanted to be a cheetah tamer. I’m not entirely sure what that job title would have entailed, but I loved cheetahs and wanted to spend all my time around them. Many others dreamt of becoming firefighters, astronauts, or professional athletes. For a vast majority of the population those are dreams that will never be realized.
Andrew Moore lived out his dream last night. The surprise second-round pick in the 2015 draft, the one whose fastball peaks around 93 MPH, the one whose physicality was deemed lacking, threw seven mostly clean innings, and came away with his first MLB win. I have no particularly strong affinity for Moore, most of what I know about him comes from reading and talking with Kate, but I was giddy and triumphant after the game because we had just witnessed two decades of strength and effort conspire to bring a young man to his peak.
Max Povse lived out his dream last night. The Tall Wall was drafted by the Braves in the third round of the 2014 draft, and has quietly been a well-regarded prospect both in Atlanta and Seattle. Similarly to Moore, I have no strong attachments to Povse, and the internet seems reluctant to provide much in-depth information about him. His MLB debut wasn’t quite as dreamy as Moore’s, since he ran into trouble with two outs, but he stood proudly (tall-ly) atop a Major League pitching mound and struck out Ian Kinsler decisively. Another dream achieved.
Félix Hernández has already lived out his dream, and then some. He is not simply a major league baseball player, he is a star. He is the King. That’s the funny thing about dreams though, isn’t it? If you are fortunate enough to achieve one dream, you soon find yourself wanting Moore (I’m so sorry, it was too good to resist). Some may regard that instinct as selfish- shouldn’t you just be happy with what you have? But this perpetual drive for greater achievement is healthy, necessary, even, for a life well-lived. Félix may have many new dreams now, but there is one that we all know for certain: he wants to get his team to the playoffs.
It seems silly to ascribe so much meaning to a game in late June, months removed from anything we would usually decree to be “meaningful baseball,” but here we are. The King is returning, the division leaders/AL juggernauts are in town and, thanks to a five game winning streak, the Mariners find themselves just a game out of the Wild Card race. It’s the perfect late June storm, and we (the use of a royal “we” feels appropriate here) find ourselves teetering at the edge of the precipice, staring up at the summit of a mountain, situated in the perfect position for writers to toss out innumerable acrophobia-inducing metaphors. This feeling of fearful excitement, and reluctant trepidation is familiar if you have been fortunate enough, brace enough, to have journeyed in pursuit of other dreams.
There isn't much that we, average fans, share with Félix Hernández, but we do have the same dream. We dream of playoff appearances, playoff wins, championships, and World Series dreams. For much of this season we have seen those dreams deferred; dried up, festering, stinking, and sagging in equal measure, but not so now. Despite their best efforts early in the season, the Mariners are within striking distance of contention. The last five games haven't been flukes, they've simply been the ideal manifestation of the team’s roster construction and, with a little luck, they’ll continue to play as we'd all hoped they would. We've already seen two dreams come true this season, why not Moore? (So sorry again, it's just too easy.)