Game 90, Mariners at Blue Jays
RHP Meche v RHP Janssen. 4:05, KSTW-11.
Every year, I ride the Seattle-to-Portland. I do it in one day, which requires a particular kind of conditioning and also a lot of stubbornness. When I’m riding during the summer, I’ll knock off a good century once a week, usually much harder per mile than the ride I’ll be doing in (oh man, is it really only) twelve hours. But there’s a big difference in doing that and spending the day on the bike, in finding the strength to charge up some monster hill at mile 150, when you’ve been out in the sun riding all day.
During the ride, there are parts of it that are beautiful and enjoyable, rolling hills and winding roads, and there are long stretches on the shoulders of highways with nothing to look at, along strip malls with no shade or respite, and the only way to keep going is to think about getting out of there.
It reminds me of being a baseball fan. I start out every season guardedly hopeful, knowing the worst-case scenario, and then for 162 games, more if you’re lucky, you keep at it. There are almost always painful stretches, like May, and there are pleasant surprises, like June.
But moreover, one of the reasons I go on the big rides is because once in a while, it’s good to be with ten thousand other bikers. Most of the time, we’re scattered across the region, maybe in small packs if we’re lucky. But for one day, particularly on this, the biggest ride of the northwest, to know that for all the solo time in the saddle, there are many, many more people of the same stripe, and they’re generally cool people, pleasant to hang out with even on an all-day ride.
I feel the same way about Mariner fandom. And even if our readership mirrors our author group and a quarter goes riding tomorrow, far more people will stop by USSM than ride the Seattle to Portland. Now that is cool.
So what’s up, folks? Gil Meche is our new ace. Adam Jones is our new centerfielder, for better or worse. Pineiro is the new Meche. We’re in contention for the AL West title. Our DH is the worst hitter on the team. The two highest-paid players are two of the worst-performing, while a set of guys under a million each are on fire.
This has been a fun trip so far. To a fine second half. Lineup when it’s available.