=== 20,000-Foot View Dept. ===
Tuesday night's game was a great baseball game to watch ... if you lived in North Dakota, were checking it out via MLB Extra Innings, and didn't care who won.
Watching this baseball game was just like watching my son play Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
It had the same little colorful whirling characters --- > battling back and forth, back and forth across the platform. First, Link is on the verge of falling to his doom, then Pit has his back heel to the edge, and hit-the-Z-button-attack they're back again to the other side.
He can watch that incoherent see-saw'ing motion for three hours at a time. What a moronic waste of three hours ........
=== 30,000-Foot View Dept. ===
The Mariners fell to -3 games behind. That's not much.
And, they had 10 base hits, 4 walks, and several long balls. Against Hanson. ... Sunday, they had 8 hits and 6 walks, with several XBH. Against Sanchez.
Smoak's OPS+ is still 140, and with Ackley here, I kinda get the sense that the M's are on the verge of busting out offensively. Granted, "busting out" is here used interchangeably "not getting locked down as much."
No excuses, but the last week-plus, the M's have drawn an unfair string of unfamiliar NL pitching stars. It says here that this may have camoflaged some technical improvement on the M's part.
If, ten days from now, the M's are 8-2 and scoring runs, we'll have forgotten they ever had such a miserable week in the first place, so...
=== 40,000-Foot View Dept. ===
As Geoff Baker points out, the M's have been 2-3 games back forever ... which also means they are (realistically!) less than a week away from being 7 games back.
Is it just me, or does it seem to you like the Mariners have tight little smiles when they tell you that there will be no budgetary help for a surprise contender?
The announcement is early, it's preemptive, and there is no tone of sympathy whatever. "Hey, you did your part, paid $500,000,000 for our stadium, and we did our part, kept it genteel in there, made sure nobody brought stupid signs into the stadium.
"We're not about to get carried away with your division standings. We've got PowerPoint presentations to make at the end of the year. Have a nice evening at the park. You're watching real MLB(TM) baseball."
At D-O-V and at SSI, Russ and I have written our 100,000 words on that. For now, check Baker's op-ed: that'll do for us too. We been saying it for ten years, Geoffy. Rock on. Write another six articles just like that one and we'll put your picture on top of the e-zine.
Will say this, though. In 1995, the big stretch run began with a trade-deadline acquisition of Andy Benes and Vince Coleman.
Chris Larson was here. He remembers. The Mariners were as good as in Tampa Bay, as good as moved out of the city ... but the historic 1995 excitement saved baseball here. And all that offseason, the owners proudly talked about "in the dreary meetings that year, somebody would always break in and ask, Well, what can we do to improve the club?"
Baseball is in Seattle, Safeco and its luxury boxes and its glam MLB-exec jobs are here because, that one time, management considered emergent circumstances and made the team better midsummer. And the ensuing playoff excitement of that season created, so far, 16 years' worth of financial resonance.
=== Jack Cust ===
What's that line in Van Helsing? "He's the first man to kill a vampire in 100 years. I'd say that's earned him a drink."
Yeah, I'd say Jack Cust's night earned him four more games' worth of AB's. Fair is fair, even to Jack's most obnoxious critic.