It is super duper easy – alarmingly so, even – to forget that when you are watching a Major League Baseball game you are also watching people complete their workday. The old joke goes that if baseball players could show up to your cubicle and heckle you for messing up a spreadsheet, you’d think twice before berating them for whiffing on a 98 mile per hour fastball.
Today’s game embodied a very work-like energy. Both pitchers struggled to find the strike zone early but each fought through it for at least six innings, the baseball version of recovering from a traffic-filled commute and still finishing your to-do list at a reasonable time. The thing about correcting one mistake, though, is that sometimes it opens the door for another. Jordan Lyles can attest to this. The Rangers’ starter walked the first two hitters of the game, found enough of the plate to get a double play, but then found the absolute wrong part of the plate when attacking Kyle Seager.
Seags is now tied with Jay Buhner for 4th-most hits in Mariners history. pic.twitter.com/ljKhiXVJSt— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 6, 2020
I’ve never really been a business guy, but I believe Kyle Seager’s treatment of the Rangers is what industry leaders refer to as “100 percent owner’s equity”. The fact that Seager even lets his employees continue operating as the Texas Rangers, rather than liquidating their assets, tearing down their garish stadium, and using the land to construct a lavish estate for his many riches, is an incredible display of compassion. Because he really is such a nice guy, Kyle is even letting them come into work on Labor Day to try and make things even worse. What a thoughtful, generous boss!
Working so publicly breeds some unfortunate downsides as well. Just when Justin Dunn swam through his backlog of emails and put out little fires around the office, Joey Gallo showed up. What happened next was akin to an out-of-town coworker showing up to give a presentation about how garbage your practices are and how much stronger, better, and richer they are than you.
“Yeah Justin we’ve really been pleased with your performance lately and think you’re right on track for that promotion you’ve been eyeing. But first, we want to bring in Joey from the Arlington branch to show you how he does things.”
[Joey Gallo jet skis through the window wearing a fur coat and cowboy hat]
According to the ROOT Sports broadcast, this was the first home run Justin Dunn had ever allowed on his fastball, which I will not be fact checking because I am not a narc. They did, however, concoct some nice data visualization to show how good that fastball has been in Dunn’s budding career.
For about a month now, Dunn has shown up on his start days with a determined excellence. Today, he finished with six innings of four-hit work, allowing two of those hits to clear the fence for solo home runs. While the four walks were troubling – and indicative of the main problem Dunn needs to correct in the future – a third straight quality start is the exact workflow the Mariners were hoping he’d find. Sometimes the beauty of coming to work lies within your co-workers. When surrounded by edgeless khakis come to life, the collective apathy and absence of inspiration brings everyone to the middle. Other times your company identifies a massive talent at a small, unheralded university and takes a shot on them. After an unfortunate workplace injury, the young hot shot finds their footing and makes everyone involved in their hiring look like a genius.
That curiously pleasant “Oh, did you?” is a familiar one for anybody who’s shared a workspace with a large group.
“I brought bagels and coffee for everyone. I know we’ve all been working hard and I wanted to show my appreciation!” // “Oh, did you?”
“Hey, I was CC’d on that long, annoying email chain you got caught up in. I’ve dealt with that person before so I just went ahead and responded with all the information they’d need so you wouldn’t have to.” // “Oh, did you?”
“What’s up man? Things were threatening to get a little stale around here so I actually decided to just confront Jordan head on, take his weak, boilerplate proposal, and hit it 424 feet to dead center field.” // “Oh, did you? You DOG!”
As the afternoon dragged on and the Rangers began to taste freedom, Derek Dietrich tried to shorten his workday by taking some shortcuts. Sure, you can always coast into third base and wait for someone else to come finish the project, or you can put your head down and send it, fearing neither the consequences or the visibly poor quality of work.
Dietrich could have used a training day with our very own Dylan Moore, the permanent Employee of the Month until further notice. In the same inning as Dietrich’s overzealous attempt to please the bosses, Moore personified the “Work harder, not smarter” mantra with a deft avoidance of Jose Trevino’s tag.
This song and dance at home plate padded the Mariners lead to 4-2 and gave Shed Long Jr. five RBI in his last seven games. Kendall Graveman, quickly climbing the ladder of weird hire to everyone’s favorite temp to WE NEED THIS GUY FOREVER, handled the eighth inning beautifully. All that was left was the perfunctory clicks and phone calls so you don’t look like a jerk for leaving early. There’s always one person who likes to ruin that, though.
Ronald Guzmán’s ninth-inning home run to cut Seattle’s lead in half, the dreaded 4:45 email that “needs action”, could have undone a whole day of low-stress work. Thankfully, mercifully, Yoshihisa Hirano struck Dietrich and Anderson Tejeda out to secure the win and let everybody go home as scheduled.
This game was a real life example of why you should always do your research when looking for a new job. If one company tries to distract you with a new industrial chic building and cool swag, it might be a sign that they’re covering something up. In this case, the Texas Rangers, a company that tries desperately to project an aura of future-oriented success and new wave innovation, while in reality supplementing an already-bad talent pool with some also bad outside additions! If the manager at your new gig is always going on about the rules of the office, but those rules aren’t actually company policy or an HR credence, just something that he prefers, guess what? That guy sucks!