My dearest SUS readers,
Please accept my most humble apologies for the delay in this week’s edition and the utter absence of the last. I did not, in fact, get eaten by one of the rare polar bears to swim and/or drift over on an ice floe from Greenland (and did, indeed, have a spectacular time on my travels - thank you to all for the great tips!). Instead, the ‘roni came to our house (not in connection with my adventure, and I’ve got the PCRs to prove it). Not one but two housemates were felled and quarantined, which meant that for the last week I have been the primary caretaker for two ailing boys (men) and an exceptionally demanding young corgi. There’s been a lot of over-dramatically empathizing with Reba’s lyrics around here.
But you’re not here to hear my sad excuses, or seek my counsel on whether you should willfully cohabitate with three men in their 20s and a corgi in the midst of honing his howl. No, you’re here for that sweet, sweet
volcano baseball content. Let’s proceed.
*Two small housekeeping notes: 1) Huge thanks to Zach Mason and Kate Preusser, who each took up the SUS mantle while I was out of the country. 2) Technically this edition spans two weeks, but I will readily admit to a recency bias on some of the categories.
Record for the week(s):
7-8, to remain stubbornly below .500.
Player of the week(s):
We’re gonna pour one out for Ty France here. Technically speaking, Julio, dead set on bringing home some ROY hardware, probably should earn this title but France has been the Edgar to Julio’s Griffey and the loss of him to the 10-day IL is a brutal one. Particularly since it looks like the Grade 2 flexor strain in his left forearm/elbow may have him out for a while, if the recent (re)acquisition of Carlos Santana is any indication.
Play of the week(s):
Robbie Ray, with some hefty help from the home scorekeeper, ruined his own shot at a no-hitter on Friday, June 17 when a high chopper from Max Stassi caromed off his glove. That play was, obviously, not the highlight of the two weeks but Ray’s performance that day was certainly a high point for the former Cy Young winner who has appeared a frustrating shadow of himself.
At-bat of the week(s):
Okay, so technically these are at-bats, plural. But when three guys go back-to-back-to back you make room.
Nemesis of the week(s):
Usually our NoW (I’ll stop with the acronyms) is light-hearted, an opportunity to highlight an opposing player who has really excelled against the M’s. But this week the award goes to this man, who has the most begging-to-be-bedeviled visage of anyone I’ve ever seen.
Favorite Mariners content:
I have many bad traits as a human being, but am a nearly flawless baseball fan. The greatest weakness I possess in that realm is an unrelenting and unequivocal adoration for baseball brawls. In every other facet of my life I am peaceful. I detest gore and find displays of toxic masculinity abhorrent, but all of a sudden there’s a mass of humanity at home plate, the bullpen comes galloping in and I’m transfixed. 99% of the time baseball fights feature 50+ men in matching attire huddling together like jauntily-colored penguins, chests thrust out, waggling side to side in a way that seems designed to intimidate and tantalize in equal measure. Sometimes there is yelling, or hand gestures. Usually only a handful of them can actually see their opponents.
But every so often, we get a real, honest to goodness melee and Sunday’s certainly fit the bill. Grant Bronsdon churned out a biting, righteous piece mid-game about the Angels franchise, which was excellent to read and has also encouraged Angels fans to crawl out from under the fake rocks in center field and yell at him online. They do exist!
Kate followed up the next day, directing her ire at MLB and the umpiring crew, who failed to do anything to prevent the blatantly premeditated initial attacks. Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic zeroed in on a sweet story ($) to come out of this mess, and Larry Stone of the Seattle Times wrote about how the moral high ground might feel nice now, but the ramifications of the fight certainly will not.
The brawl also received plenty of national attention, which can be a blessing and a curse for our small big market team. Mixed feelings on Jomboy aside, he did put together a solid breakdown of the many moving pieces of this fracas - though he did wonder at Scott Servais being at the center of it all, to which I say...
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
Bold prediction for next week:
Kyle Lewis records an MLB at-bat.
Hopefully the Mariners can capitalize on the three games against Baltimore and four against Oakland that they have this week, because after that they’ve got a fun but brutal week against their “rival” Padres and the Toronto Blue Jays. Will they make it to .500 before the All-Star break? Only time will tell...
This week in Mariners history:
On June 24, 1997, Randy Johnson struck out nineteen batters, the most of any left-hander in a single outing. And what did his offense do? Put up a measly five hits - three of which came from Ken Griffey Jr., who scored the M’s only run off an Edgar Martinez groundout in the ninth. Time is a flat circle.