Good company, bad baseball
We are nearing the close of the 2022 baseball season, and as the weather has been unseasonably warm—climate change is catastrophic, but for the here and now it does give us warm sunny October afternoons when by all rights it should be damp and cool enough to be uncomfortable—I've stocked up on games for the last few days of the campaign. Today I went with a number of my softball teammates from the Smiling Potatoes of Death, sitting out in the left field bleachers to witness what was, for most of the game, a contender for Worst Mariner Game Attended This Year.
I can't quite believe this is a playoff team. And yet, Your Seattle Mariners are officially in the postseason, having clinched no worse a finish than the final Wild Card berth in the standings on Friday night in dramatic fashion. Erik can tell you about it.
Of course, it remains to be seen if the M's would have made the playoffs under the system that existed through last year. Or the system that existed from 1994-2012. We can be reasonably sure they would not have qualified under the pre-1994 system, though it's possible; they do have a better 2022 record than any of the other teams that were in their division pre-1994, but the scheduling was a lot different then, it figures things would have played out differently (on the other hand, the Twins won the World Series in 1987 after topping the American League West with just 85 wins, sometimes weird things happen). No, all the Mariners of ’22 have done so far is qualify for what would properly be called the Commissioner Rob Manfred Cash Grab Wild Card Playoff Round That Cheapens the Regular Season and Unfairly Screws a Division Champion.
While it's still technically possible for the M's to play the CRMCGWCPRTCRSUSDC games at home, that scenario will likely vanish tomorrow, and since I have… well, not zero hope, but let's call them realistic/jaded expectations that whomever the M's play in the CRMCGWCPRTCRSUSDC (either Cleveland or Toronto) will beat them relatively easily. Meaning the next three days will be the last games played in Seattle this year. So I went today. I'm going Wednesday for the last game of the season as well. Thought about going tomorrow, but this afternoon's lameness put me off the idea.
The Mariners were hosting the Oakland A's, otherwise known as The Worst Team in the American League. A playoff club versus a team that lost over 100 games. Much like last Tuesday's experience vs. the not-quite-as-bad-but-still-bad Texas Rangers, the Mariners stunk up the joint, not even getting a hit until there were two out in the 6th. They finally made some noise in the 9th, but by then they were down 10-0 and it hardly mattered. Yep, 10-0. To the A's. And Tony Kemp wasn't even in the lineup.
This, along with last Tuesday and even Friday night's clinching game, illustrated in bold strokes why I don't see the M's surviving the CRMCGWCPRTCRSUSDC. They just don't have the depth. Someone gets hurt, someone makes a costly error, one bad pitch is grooved to the wrong batter, and that's it, the M's have no margin for error. Everything has to go right. Twice. The bench stinks except for Haggerty (who probably should start), the starting lineup has too many all-or-nothing hitters, and the manager is strategically-challenged.
Anyway, so this is likely last chance for in-person baseball before the long winter. The M's reeked of ineptitude this afternoon, but my friends and I still enjoyed the day. I don't see my "Spuddie" teammates much outside of the early-summer softball season, so it's good to have an excuse to hang out and catch up. So I got to hear about D¹ & P's trip to Ireland, discussed the nuance of regional UK accents with C, co-heckled with M, covered a little baseball history with D², and, of course, debated with J and several others who the best-looking Mariners are.
There was no consensus on the latter point, largely because J has an aversion to facial hair. Just not her jam. She went with Adam Frazier and Ty France, who strike me as unremarkable-looking bland generic dudes. (I mean, as pro athletes go.) Aside from J, though, both male and female debaters named J.P. Crawford as a hot number. B chose Abraham Toro, and, sure, he's good-looking guy (and speaks three languages); he's just a crap Major League hitter. But that wasn't the metric of the moment.
Such was the focus of several innings since the M's were doing jack squat on the field, but it was still a good time.
Even though some of my favorite Spuddies did not attend. Where were my gay gals at? S & A¹? L & A²? We missed you. Well, I did, anyway. Next time.