Well, the Seattle Mariners are on their way home from Minneapolis, where they were publicly beaten and humiliated by the Minnesota Twins for three whole days. It was like a domestic violence case where everybody in the neighborhood knows what goes on behind closed doors (where did she get that black eye?) but nobody wants to get involved. In today’s game, Francisco Liriano had his way with them for seven innings, racking up 11 K’s. The M’s left with no dignity, no runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and FIFTEEN STRIKEOUTS!
It’s no secret that the Mariners have rewritten the definition of “suck” this season. We rank last in the majors in team batting average, home runs, RBI and hits. Our bullpen’s ERA is 4.53, good for 12th in the AL. Just for a frame of reference, last year’s bullpen ERA ranked 3rd in the league. And unless I’m mistaken, the team’s motto has been officially changed from “Believe Big” to “Only (x) Days Left Until Football Season Starts!”
Let’s recap some other highlights from this season:
- Felix got tricked into signing a five-year deal (sucker!)
- Griffey came back for another magical season, only to learn the hard way that people who wear adult diapers are too old to play baseball
- the team went through DH’s faster than Griffey went through adult diapers
- Chone Figgins began a four-year-long crime spree, during which he is expected to steal $36 million from the team. And oh, yeah, HE ATTACKED OUR MANAGER IN THE DUGOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- the M’s acquired Cliff Lee, which, combined with Felix at the top of the rotation, ensured that fans would pay attention to at least 40% of the team’s games (until they traded him away in July)
- Erik Bedard kept his pulse going at a murmur (I seriously thought he was dead for a while)
- The team went 6-22 in the month of July. That is not a misprint. We won just over 20% of our games.
With so many things going wrong this year, it seems as though choosing one single thing to pick on would be difficult. Nope, it really isn’t. The absolute worst part of this team is the hitting, or lack thereof. My brother summed it up pretty well the other day, when he said, “I’ve forgotten what a good offense looks like. Whenever the M’s score more than 2 runs in a game, I think something along the lines of, ‘Holy crap, the M’s scored 4 runs today! That’s SO MANY RUNS! How could a team ever be fortunate enough to score SO MANY RUNS?’ ”
As silly as that statement might sound, it’s a pretty accurate account of how we all feel about this anemic offense. And it’s not like the hitters don’t know they suck. They talk about it all the time, in every post-game interview. 2010 is being called the Year of the Pitcher, but if you were judging by the Mariners’ offense, you might guess that this was the Dead Ball Era.
And how do you think the pitchers feel? Those poor, accursed souls have to go out there every day and pitch with the full knowledge that if they give up as many as 2 runs over 6 innings, there’s no chance in Hell of them getting the win. So, as a result, each starting pitcher has the full weight of the team on his shoulders during every single start. You don’t think this weighs on them over the course of the season? Look at Doug Fister. This guy was a real stud at the beginning of the year. Then he got that “shoulder strain”. Now, he is but a shell of his former self, unable to look in the mirror, let alone net a quality start. And Ryan Rowland-Smith? I loved that guy before the season started! I expected him to have a Vargas-like year. Instead, the Thunder from Down Under has struggled to find the zone all season. He has zero self-confidence when he pitches. And now some “injury” has pushed him to the 15-day DL. Are we really buying that story? Come on. How much longer can this guy have? There could be any number of reasons why these two young guns have been struggling, but I find it much easier to simply blame our crappy offense.
So, Seattle Mariners fan, what does this mean for you? Should you give up on your team altogether? HELL NO! Imagine that you’re a typical parent and the Mariners are your teenage son. He’s been a good kid for most of his life, but he’s always had a little trouble fitting in. For most of his childhood, he was the kid with the really fun birthday parties! (In this analogy, birthday parties represent awesome M’s players: Edgar, Griffey, Johnson, etc.) All the other kids loved going to these birthday parties, but it wasn’t enough to make him one of the cool kids. So he became bitter and rebelled during his teenage years (2004 season-present), turning to sex, drugs and rock and roll. Subsequently, his grades quickly slipped and the people who were his friends quit hanging out with him. Now, as his parent, are you just going to cut your losses and give up on your son when he needs you most? Of course not! You’re going to help this confused young man get the help he so desperately needs. You’ll be there to protect him and tell him that you still love him, despite all the poor choices he has made over the past several years (Sexson, Beltre, Silva, Johjima, etc.). You’ll look to the future, ever hopeful that he’ll come out of this rut and that you weren’t a total screw-up as a parent.
Most importantly, know this: you are not alone!!! Although it might feel like you’ve been abandoned in a solitary pit of despair, there is an entire fan base of people just like you; good people who are sick of the state of our beloved baseball team! Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “But what can we do? We’re just weak, little, insignificant fans!” Oh, you stupid, stupid person. Believe it or not, there is one thing we can do to to help ourselves out of this soul-crushing rut. Just follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be feeling better in no time!
- Contort your face into a look of exasperation and hopelessness.
- Open your hand and extend it in front of you, palm facing toward you.
- Gently lay your hand across your face.
Congratulations, you have just completed the facepalm! With enough practice, you will be facepalming like a pro in as little as one week.*
*Please note: the facepalm will not help the Seattle Mariners attain a winning record, nor will it get them any closer to the playoffs.