Even the struggling Yankees, with all their millions and a frothed-up owner, were not able to change their landscape in a significant manner. Besides, with so many teams still alive, the only teams with any “give up” in them seem to be the Royals Ã¢â‚¬â€ and maybe the Mariners.
Hey, that’s unfair!
Ryan Franklin cares so much that he’s willing to risk having his arms plucked off by Adrian Beltre. Willie Bloomquist cares so much that he stars in those helpful instructional videos you see at the stadium. There’s no “quit” in “Ichiro,” and not just because there is no “Q” in the Japanese language.
Rick the Peanut Guy cares, I am certain.
How can this team have given up? The Jumbotron still plays that “When-the-Germans-Bombed-Pearl-Harbor” clip from Animal House on the rare occasion the M’s are within striking distance late in a game. Rick Rizzs still reminds us in the seventh inning of every 10-1 shellacking that this team never quits.
Didn’t they trade Bret Boone?
The Seattle Mariners are full of young, hungry players eager to prove themselves. Yuniesky Betancourt wants to win so badly he actually tried the hidden ball trick last night. Wiki Gonzales might be the laziest man in baseball, but he’s in Tacoma, so he doesn’t count. And if Matt Thornton didn’t retire after his performance two nights ago, when even Dave Niehaus was openly mocking him, he’s not going to just up and mail in a season.
You might have thought that Mike Hargrove had given up on winning games when he kept starting Scott Spiezio, but … okay, you’ve got me there.
Doyle doesn’t quit. He just breaks. That’s different. Joel Pineiro doesn’t quit, even though I wish he would.
If the Mariners ever do give up during a game, they should do it in style. Give the grounds crew tiny white flags to wave while dancing. Have the Moose start at second instead of Bloomquist. Pencil in a starting battery of Demetrius the Batboy and the Non-Blonde Ballgirl, whom I saw make some nice stops the other night. Or even play Spiezio regularly. Things like that.
This team, though, didn’t slog through decades of grim failure to throw in the towel now. It slogged through those decades to milk countless entertainment dollars from the pockets of people like, well, me.
And that’s not over until I say it’s over. You hear me, Toronto?