Asking the baseball gods to help the last-place Mariners
By Jim Moore
Ever watch the Mariners and wonder why you’re watching the Mariners? I do that a lot. And I’ll keep doing it.
I’m a baseball fan and a Seattle Mariners fan in particular. I’ve been watching them since their first year in 1977 and I’ll keep watching them until the day I die.
In other words, I need professional help.
Between the Cougs and the Mariners, I have seen a whole lot of losing. At least with the Cougs, I finally have hope with Mike Leach. But with the Mariners, who’s your biggest source of hope? Felix Hernandez? Kyle Seager? Jesus Montero? Someone in the minors such as Danny Hultzen or Taijuan Walker?
My biggest source of hope is Jack Zduriencik. I admit to personally liking the man and wanting him to hit it out of the park as a general manager. I’m kind of willing to play along because Jackie Z has asked for patience.
But as is the case with Cougar football, the losing wears on me and wears on every Mariners fan. You can only take so much. And it’s not just the losses, it’s how they happen. Like Monday night’s game.
The Mariners are hitting .203 at Safeco Field, by far the worst home batting average in the major leagues. (AP)
Erasmo Ramirez strikes out 10 batters, allows three hits and one solo home run and loses 1-0. Felix must have commiserated with him in the clubhouse because he knows the feeling.
How could the Mariners waste a pitching performance like that? And then I remembered, that’s right, they’re the Mariners and they do that all the time.
I asked the baseball gods for help via Twitter last night. Asked them for Justin Smoak to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning and thanked them when they allowed the Mariners’ first baseman to reach first base with a walk.
Then I asked the baseball gods to allow Michael Saunders to hit a two-run, two-out game-winning home run. But they either weren’t listening or aren’t following me on Twitter because Saunders hit a weak grounder to second to end the game.
I get the feeling that the baseball gods, if they exist, don’t pay attention to the Mariners. They probably have access to the ROOT Sports broadcasts on their Heavenly Cable Network baseball package but watch other teams’ games instead.
I don’t want to feel this way, but I watch the games wondering how they’ll lose tonight. There’ve been some exciting glimpses at times, but those are overshadowed by bigger-picture stuff like losing five of six to San Diego, the second-worst team in the major leagues.
And how is it that the Mariners are 5.5 games behind the A’s? You can’t tell me that the A’s are that much better, are they? With three rookies in their starting rotation? And a lineup that’s more punchless than the Mariners’? The A’s are hitting a major-league worst .225 to the Mariners’ .237.
But there they are at 36-38 while the Mariners are 31-44, with the worst record in the American League. If you want to say the Twins are worse at 30-42 because they have a lower winning percentage, fine, but they’re similarly bad, I think we can agree on that.
Although it probably sounds like I’m a born cynic and skeptic on “The Kevin Calabro Show,” I don’t want to feel that way. I’d rather be talking about a three-way AL West race with the Rangers and the Angels, but the M’s are 14.5 games behind, on a pace to be 30 or more out when the season ends.
But I guess we knew we were in for a season like this. It’s just that I’d like to see more than those damn glimpses of promise. I want to see longer stretches of good hitting and good pitching if that’s all right.
If nothing else, weren’t the Mariners supposed to have better bats this season? I kept hearing that at spring training from Zduriencik, from Eric Wedge, from the Mariners themselves.
And you can say that on the road they do have better bats, showing potential for the future. But at home? Good God, what is their problem at Safeco Field? They are now hitting .203 at home, the worst average in the major leagues by 17 points. Oakland, of course, is next at .220. The M’s have scored 96 runs in 32 home games, an average of 3 a game.
I’m going to the game tonight with my wife and kids and my very cool Uncle Rick, who is staying with us this summer. I would really like to walk out of Safeco Field after watching Montero hit a walk-off homer in a 6-5 Mariners win. I’d like to see smiles on the Mariners’ and my kids’ faces.
I don’t want to see Travis Blackley, a former Mariner, handcuff the current Mariners. I don’t want to see the A’s win and take a 6.5-game lead over the M’s. I don’t want to see the Mariners extend their scoreless-inning streak to 32 with a third straight shutout.
Baseball gods, are you listening?
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com, and the Kitsap Sun. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo. Jim appears weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on “The Kevin Calabro Show” and can also be heard via the 710Sports.com podcast page on “The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe.”