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Non-Kyle Seager Mariners go hitless, surprise everyone

Baseball can be fun!

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

I’m sure that my understanding of reincarnation is deeply flawed, but one thing that I’ve always heard about it is that if you are bad in one life, you’ll get turned into a lesser being. Ergo, a human who is bad will get turned into a dog.

I have a number of questions about this. First of all, what is the criteria for being reincarnated from a dog back into a human? Do dogs have the capacity to be morally good or bad? Secondly, a dog really doesn’t seem like that bad a thing to turn into. Like humans, some dogs have bad lives, but a lot of dogs have really good lives! It doesn’t really make sense that a serial killer, for example, would be turned into a dog. Sure, they could be turned into a dog that has a bad life, but at that point why wouldn’t you just turn them into a human that has a bad life? Is the human capacity for suffering not greater than that of a dog?

No, it sure seems that by incarnating somebody into a human, you’d have a lot more dimensions through which to attack their psyche. Or their soul, since this being ostensibly has a different psyche, since they’re inhabiting a different body and everything. You could finetune the experience a bit more. That way, if somebody is just a bit of a jerk, but not really that bad, you can really annoy them throughout the year without giving them an actually bad life.

I’m imaging one such guy in the 1970’s. This dude drove a sportscar into drive-in restaurants and blasted his music the whole time. He cut other people in line. He didn’t tip. One day, this guy sends his sports car over the interstate guard rail and that’s the end of him. He blinks, opens his eyes, and finds a solemn face in front of him.

Hello, he hears ringing through his ears. You’re dead.

He doesn’t really know what to say, so he doesn’t say anything. The voice continues. You weren’t exactly a terrible person, but you weren’t too nice. We’re going to send you back to Earth. You’ll appear in the 1980’s. We hear there’s a passable, but not great place there called “North Carolina”. You’ll make it big there. You’ll be a star. But you’ll have to go far from home, and where you’ll end up, all of your efforts will be for naught. You’ll be dragged down for perpetuity.

He blinks again, and he wakes up in Charlotte, North Carolina as Kyle Seager.

We’re fast approaching Kyle Seager’s 10-year anniversary of being called up to the Mariners. The team looks eerily similar to the way it did back then. The future is a lot brighter, but the bottom half of tonight’s lineup was as vomit-worthy as some of 2011 lineups anchored by rookie Kyle Seager.

The Mariners recorded two hits tonight. The first came in the 1st inning, when Kyle Seager came to the plate with two outs. It was a situation that he’s found himself in countless times. He smacked a line drive straight into the shift, but the ball found the outfield grass. Kyle Lewis came up and struck out on four pitches.

Out of the dugout walked Marco Gonzales. The same Marco Gonzales that, just a month ago, gave an interview to 710 AM where he said “I’m not a fan of being told when it’s OK to win.” Unfortunately, Marco Gonzales hasn’t been given a whole lot of control of when it’s OK to win this year. Ownership has decided that, while it might be OK to win this year, it’s also definitely OK not to win.

So Marco, who has struggled to begin the year, pitched his heart out tonight. For a few innings, he looked like the Marco that has played the part of de facto ace for the past few years. He induced weak contact. He got Carlos Correa to strike out in the second inning.

Kyle Seager went the other way for his fourth-inning double, this one recorded with one out. Two batters later, Marco was walking back out to the mound.

It was then that Marco started to labor a bit. His pitch-to-contact approach led to some hard contact, and a few hard hits put the Astros up 2-0. I’m not in Marco’s head, but it’s hard to imagine a world where he looks up at the scoreboard, sees a middle of the order featuring José Marmolejos and Sam Haggerty, and is brimming with confidence.

Marco ended up laboring through six innings, gritting his teeth all the while to fight through a sixth inning double and walk. He finished with just the two runs allowed in six innings. Not good enough when you haven’t been put in a reasonable position to succeed.

Kendall Graveman and Anthony Misiewicz each turned in a solid inning of relief, their efforts for naught. Scott Servais’ lone lineup substitution, Dylan Moore (who is currently hitting .111) pinch hitting for Taylor Trammell in the eighth, turned into a strikeout. The Mariners were made to look thoroughly overmatched against a team that has consistently shown an ability to develop their young arms (Cristian Javier?).

The team keeps kicking the can down the road, all while dodging the elephant in the room: what if the Astros are just better at developing players? What if the A’s are just better at identifying talent? All of the waiting in the world won’t help if you just aren’t good enough. Adding three five-win players won’t send this team to the World Series.

In the midst of it all, Kyle Seager recorded the Mariners’ only two hits tonight. Marco Gonzales’ efforts were similarly wasted. Kendall Graveman’s outing felt more like an audition.

Why would any decent baseball player in their right mind look at what’s going on here and think “I’d like to be a part of that”?

The Mariners had better hope they find another Robinson Canó. Their fans had better hope the team is willing to pull the trigger on another Robinson Canó.