I’m sorry, friends. There was some optimism to be found in this game for sure - the M’s leave Oakland with a series split, Félix Hernández looked like his old self through five (we’re talking aged scotch old, not his more recent takeout-container-oozing-brown-goo-at-the-back-of-the-fridge old), the Sad Clown Tour arrives for a three game series at Safeco tomorrow - but I just can’t muster it today.
I boarded a ferry during the top of the fourth inning, as Denard Span, Kyle Seager, and Mike Zunino flailed benignly against Edwin Jackson, who is contributing positively (by fWAR) to his team for the first time since 2014. Tourists took selfies with the Seattle skyline, seagulls bobbed in the wake of a far-off cruise ship, and a Corgi puppy befriended two large goldendoodles as Stephen Piscotty homered with two outs in the fifth. As the boat made its way across the Puget Sound, Chad Pinder singled to lead off the sixth, Matt Joyce walked, Félix threw his second wild pitch, Marcus Semien singled in two runs, and Nick Vincent came in. Vincent gave up back-to-back singles to Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie.
Today is one of those idyllic PNW days, when you look around and feel indescribably fortunate to call this haven home. The only thing disrupting this peace was the carnage in my ears so, as the sun warmed my legs and the Coliseum crowd roared, I shut the game off.
My core philosophy, when it comes to writing game recaps, is that you write the recap the game deserves. Sometimes that means a soaring tale of triumph, or a treatise on despair, or the anthropomorphization of household objects as baseball players; other times it just means this (whatever this is).
Baseball will never love us back as much as we love it. To become a sports fan is to willfully enter into a wildly unjust, unequal relationship, the likes of which would never be tolerated if said sport/team was a friend or partner. This is particularly true of Mariners fandom.
Today’s game was not my breaking point for the season, but it was the first time that watching baseball, writing about baseball, felt like a chore. There was no anger in listening to this game, nor was there frustration. The hot and cold streaks of this team seem to have sapped all manner of strong feelings, and today all that remained was a small hollowness, and a niggling sense of uneasy discontent that I shoved next to “Tuesday Morning” in the back of my mind.