There are a plethora of reasons that being a (mildly-to-highly privileged) kid is better than being an adult. No bills to pay, no meals to cook, and much less stress in general. Every kid can’t wait to grow up, probably because of the whole lack-of-autonomy thing, but most grown-up kids would probably trade that autonomy for the whole no-bills-no-cooking-no-stress thing. One of the things that I miss most about being a kid was the low standards.
Tie your shoes? Gold star! Just show up to the game? Participation trophy (haha)! Literally any hint of basic functionality is met with praise, glory, and borderline shock.
Now? Let’s just say that things are a bit less easy. Cook a meal? You’ll just have to buy more groceries tomorrow. Pay your bills? Get ready to pay some more in just thirty days. Win 87 games in 2014? One game out of the playoffs!
Fortunately, this season is something of a throwback to the days of yesteryear. It feels a bit like the Mariners are in a pre-school classroom, where they could probably throw up on a piece of paper and still get a decent grade, just because their peers are similarly unimpressive.
A classroom where everyone is within 3.5 games of the Wild Card berth with a whole 41 games still to play. This is a team that has done pretty much all they can do to shit their pants, throw rocks at the cat, and make ungodly noises in a restaurant (WHY do they do this?), and yet they’re still somehow... up to standard in the American League?
Tonight, the Mariners were sick of getting bullied by their peers. For five straight days, the Angels gave them wedgies and the Orioles gave them a wet willy (truly hilarious pranks), and the M’s had had enough. They invoked the name of one Andrew Albers (whose existence I learned of today) and kept a straight face as those mean Orioles snickered and snorted.
Sure, it didn’t start great. The Orioles gave the Mariners a nice, hard shove in the first inning when Jonathan Schoop took Albers deep. The small ring that had begun to form around the two teams started to jeer. Shouts of “Is that your face, or did your neck throw up?” rang across the playground at the Mariners.
Andrew Albers took a deep, deep breath. He calmed his breathing, and came up with the best response he could think of.
I know you are, but what am I?
You can just see by the way Trey Mancini’s shoulders slump that he knows he’s been defeated by an unbeatable comeback to which there is no response.
The rest of the kids looked on in disbelief. “Did he really just say that?” they wondered. Feeling a change in the winds, Albers steeled himself and threw out several more insults, culminating in a sick You look really pretty... on Opposite Day!
In the middle of his childish diatribe, Albers got some sneaky help from Guillermo Heredia and Nelson Cruz. Heredia doubled (snuck up behind Wade Miley and got on his hands and knees behind him), then Cruz singled him in (pushed Miley so that he tripped over Heredia, a classic). Finally, after 5.0 innings of 1 run, 4 strikeout, 1 walk baseball, Albers was tapped out of Kindergarten fight club.
The big kids had seen just how devastating Albers’ insults could be, and came to his aid. Jean Segura stepped in and delivered a blow....
....before Robinson Cano grounded out to score Jarrod Dyson, and just like that, the Mariners were up by 2 runs. With this group of relievers, that’s all they needed. Emilio Pagan, Marc Rzepczynski, Nick Vincent, and Edwin Diaz sealed the deal. They stepped into the ring, shoved the hapless Orioles around for a few seconds, took their lunch money, and left them with a devastating If you like losing so much, why don’t you marry it?
So the Orioles slunk away, tails between their legs. They went home and nursed their wounds with bactine, or whatever it is kids use to dress wounds. Kids have a short memory, so I’m sure we’ll see them tomorrow, making a macaroni thing, or whatever it is they do in art class. And hey, if the Mariners win, they might be just half a win out of the playoffs. Somehow.