Game report, Royals over M’s 7-3
I’m going to get real subjective and touchy feely here, so please, be prepared.
Einstein is commonly quoted as explaining the theory of relativity by comparing the length of time it seems to take for an hour to pass while talking to a beautiful girl, as opposed to the hour in the dentist’s chair. This felt like the second choice tonight: this game draaaaaagggeedddd. Final game time was only a little over three hours by my scorebook, but those first two took for-freaking-ever.
I think I should be banned from having good seats. Every time I’ve gone this year and gotten my mitts on some nice seats, the team gets shelled. Tonight? Good seats. Maybe the Mariners should comp me bad seats (they certainly have enough of them empty) in return for a promise that I won’t sneak in to better ones unless it’s a blowout.
They kept the roof open while it was raining much longer than I’d expected. I wondered if they were looking at radar images guessing that the shower would pass. In past games, though, they’ve been aggressive about closing the roof if meant any significant amount of discomfort. I’ve only been at a couple games where they left it open through a couple light, short showers. It was kind of cool sitting there in the mist, watching the players up close. It reminded me of trying to get a game in when I was a kid, and somewhat bad conditions were all you’d get for most of spring. Anyway, what a bunch of whiners we are in Seattle. You’d think we were adjusted to year-round sunshine, and never suspect we have to endure eight months of constant rain every year, from the way people were yelling for the roof to close when they felt the second drop of rain. Wimps.
It’s hard to watch Moyer struggle. I love Moyer, and watching him work his craft has been one of the greater joys of being a Mariner fan. But tonight, against the dregs of the AL, guys with sub-.300 on-base percentages, he was throwing too many pitches, wasn’t setting them up well, couldn’t close the deal when he did get them set up. It was painful.
Bloomquist really showed off today, demonstrating quick reflexes, a strong and erratic arm, along with some poor judgement and a fielding assist by Bucky. Mmm… defensive excellence.
And what the hell did Boone get hung out to dry for between first and second, five runs behind? It looked like Wilson missed a hit-and-run sign, but what the hell are they calling a hit and run for, down by five?
This is not a well-coached, well-disciplined team.
Of course, maybe Wilson ignored a sign because it was so freaking stupid.
Ichiro! I charged that error to Bloomquist, and then Ichiro! got a rare ! notation in my scorebook for that double play. That was sweet to see. Then when Ichiro! came up in the ninth, crazy random cheering — I didn’t undertand why, and there was no scoreboard prodding, only people clapping and cheering.
I’ve never bought the argument that Ichiro! could hit 40 home runs if he wanted. It’s like saying Bonds could hit 200 home runs a season if he expanded his strike zone: Bonds is so valuable because of his approach, his swing… speculating on what happens if Bonds became less selective isn’t even meaningless — it’s a complete waste of time. It’s like saying your car would be even better if it was a strawberry. Ichiro! can yank his pitch into the right-field stands, but his approach is that he’d rather hit singles for a very high average, even if that limits his home run power.
Tonight seemed like a rebuttal. Ichiro! up in the ninth, down five runs, the crowd cheering and stomping all around him, looking for his 200th hit, he put a charge in that ball that made me go “woooooaaahhh” — just turned on it and pushed it out.
And now I wonder… what if he looked for that all the time? Is it possible?
Is anything really impossible for Ichiro? What if next year he decides he really wants to win the triple crown… well, he won’t, unless this offense gets a lot better, but — could he? That I’m even sitting at home after this game turning it over is amazing to me.
Oh, and the Mariners — those stands that replaced the beer garden are there, they’re permanent. If you ever need a better summary of the team’s attitude towards their fans and the city that built them this stadium, consider the tradeoff they made:
We make a modestly higher amount in tickets for some games we normally sell out
The rest of the time, we’re just shifting people around
We destroy one of the only cool, distinctive features of Safeco Field
We destroy the fun buzz of that section
We destroy the fun and revenues we get from the whole food section behind the beer garden
It probably took them all of ten seconds to make the choice (“So you’re sure we’ll sell more seats sometimes, but this other stuff is all intangible?”)
As an added bonus, the Mariners pay to build capital improvements like this and then bill the PFD for it (like the concourse rails, for instance, or their adventures trying to solve the CF glare problem). Yayyyyy.