I picked one hell of a weekend to not be able to write much, or to not be able to watch as much Mariners baseball as I’d have liked to. Depending on how you feel about this Mariners team that may not be true for you. This weekend may have been more Mariners baseball than you wanted to watch. This was a bad weekend of Mariners baseball.
For me the reduced viewership began on Thursday, a heartbreaking loss, and ultimately this weekend ended in a sweep against the south siders of Chicago. And Chris Sale and John Danks pitched alright, and both are pretty much perfect matchups for opposing team’s against the Mariners. Any lefty that comes in basically assures that two of John Jaso, Dustin Ackley, and Kyle Seager will be out of the lineup based on its present construction. A pretty good argument could be made that those three guys are three of the team’s top five hitters.
But the big story this weekend had nothing to do with a lefty on the mound pitching well against the Mariners. The story of this weekend is the perfect game that Philip Humber threw against the Mariners.
I spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to process my anger. I managed to process some of it while staring at the bottom of empty pint glasses in two states (Kramer and I were at a former brewery in Moscow, Idaho when the final pitch was thrown). But I was pissed off. I don’t think Brendan Ryan swung at the last pitch.
I can understand umpire Brian Runge not wanting to be 2012’s answer to Jim Joyce. I get it. It sucks, and I was mad all the way into Sunday, but I get it.
Then on my way home from Spokane I found perspective in a rest stop bathroom stall. Boy that sounds like the beginning to a horror movie. I walked into a rest stop bathroom in a very small town of Schrag, Washington to find all stations occupied, and one stall locked, but with nobody inside. A normal person may not think about this any further, all it means is a delay in their erm… schedule. But I’m a fan of a good prank, and I like seeing reactions especially.
So here is the problem with the locked stall prank: In order to leave a stall that is locked you must either climb over the stall walls, which is unlikely and would involve standing on a stall toilet, or sliding on the bathroom floor either chest or back down. Not only that, but unless you want to spend your entire afternoon in a rest stop bathroom, you’ll never get to see a reaction to your work. So no matter how you slice it, you’re doing something kind of individually disgusting to make a joke at the expense of people you’ll never see. It becomes a blurry line between the joker, and who the joke is really on.
And that’s really the issue with complaining about the Brendan Ryan strikeout to end Philip Humber’s perfect game. Let’s say I made the most compelling argument possible and by some stroke of miracle Bud Selig ordered the game be played from Brendan Ryan’s should-be walk, with the perfect game broken up. Even if that happened there is a good chance the Mariners would still lose, and that they would still be the victims of a no hitter. And we’d have to hear about the game for fucking ever.
We’re going to hear about this game for a while. And it’s going to hurt. And we’ll hear about it for a couple years each time Philip Humber pitches against the Mariners, and probably every game that the White Sox play against the Mariners.
But we shouldn’t have to see it as many times as Detroit Tigers fans had to see Armando Gallaraga’s stolen perfect game. It’s perhaps the most notable lowlight in what we hope is the end of some very tough years of Mariners baseball. But it will end. It won’t be a thing of legend.
And ultimately it was an amazing feat that all baseball fans should be able to appreciate on some level, and we all got to see it.