Hibernate Me Later
A ground squirrel can hibernate for up to six months, dull to the world around it, dreaming presumably of assorted nuts. Scientists are studying the rotund rodent in the hopes that its sleep habits may help us develop sci-fi-style techniques to render astronauts’ bodies dormant on long trips into deep space.
I’m neither ground squirrel nor astronaut, but boy, have I been hibernating.
Seems like the hometown nine has been, too. The lack of energy has extended to attendance, as we’ve been documenting (well, those of that have actually been posting).
As I attempt to graduate from Rip Van Winkle’s 12 Step Narcolepsy Seminar, let me break down my impressions of the last eight weeks. The benefit of a lean posting schedule is that I come at this with fresh eyes, and can personally guarantee I’m not repeating myself.
With gloom painted all over the horizon, let’s start there, moving on to the sunshine.
* Last week, I wasn’t able to watch a game against the Twins, so I followed along on my phone. When I saw the wlak-off home run hit the box score, I knew instantly what had happened.
With that, Eddie Guardado has now given up more game-ending home runs than any active pitcher.
Lew Ford’s 10th-inning home run Sunday was the 11th game-ending home run that Eddie Guardado has allowed in his career. That’s the most among active players (one more then Troy Pervical [sic] has allowed) and it’s the most against any pitcher since Randy Myers retired having allowed 12 game-ending home runs.
* Willie Bloomquist has been better than Adrian Beltre this year. This, combined with all those 6/6/06 movie commercials have me wondering about the apocalypse.
* On the topic of dismal visions, there’s always the Baseball Prospectus’ postseason odds report (PECOTA-adjusted, too), which paints a grim landscape of future failure. Sure, no one’s running away with the division, but Oakland tends to peak late, and these days the Mariners might have a hard time beating Danny Almonte, his wife, Olga Petagine and six friends.
It’s not all bad, though. And when you wake from slumbernation, you tend to feel the sun more intensely.
A summery tune that’s been stuck in my head lately is “Lesson One” by a Portland duo called Viva Voce. It’s fun, fuzzy indie pop with handclaps. The hook goes like this:
So keep your head up
Things are all right
Not exactly Judith Butler-level complex, but you get the point. Besides, most any message echoed from Tupac is all right with me.
* Jose Lopez. We’ve long been believers, and seeing him tear the cover off the ball is almost as exciting as Hargrove having him bunt is frustrating. (Oops: this is the positive section.) Remember, he’s just 22, and young, inexpensive power-hitting second basemen are as rare as yuppies in Bellingham.
* Ichiro. After a slow start, he’s reverted to the hit-machine perfectionist form we’ve come to expect. Besides, in a year where entertaining baseball has been hard to come by — unless you enjoy watching Base Path Follies, Volumes 1-100 — it’s nice to have a constant source of grace in right field.
* Underperformance by stars. If healthy, Richie Sexson is not going to slug .350 all year. His on-base percentage is also .70 points off his career averages. Sexson will rebound, and when he does, the offense will benefit.
* They called me mad at the university. The newspapers laughed at me, saying that anyone who drafted Yuniesky Betancourt was as “idiot.” Yet despite (because of?) a draft that included the M’s defensive whiz along with Carl Everett and Willie Bloomquist, my team has been in first place nearly all year. Besides feeling good, it gives a ready rebuttal to the “you guys are too hard on Willie/Carl/whoever” haters.
If this is possible for my humble roto squad, then there’s hope for the M’s to get Out of the Cellar like Stephen Pearcy was on the team.
So keep your head up. And if that doesn’t work for you, keep ya head up. Things are all right.