Cactus League Game 9, Dodgers at Mariners

marc w · March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Chris Capuano, 12:05pm

“They said it wouldn’t count, and then they count it anyway. Bush league stuff. What have you got when your word means nothing?” asked the old man to his distracted grandson. The young boy continued playing with a smartphone, but mouthed the word “nothing” as his grandfather repeated the word emphatically. “Nothing! That’s right! They said it was a charity game!”

The boy loved coming to his grandparents to play to but didn’t know what to make of his grandfather’s old-fashioned obsession with Cactus League baseball. “None of it counts, grandpa. Can we make sandwiches?” “I know none of it counts, but you can still learn if you pay attention. That’s why we always pay extra attention when they play in Peoria or Surprise.”
“Pappy, was that a change-up?”
“Let’s see…NO, no it wasn’t! Ha! The algorithm’s messed it up again.” The old man’s voice was excited, as he opened another browser window.
“What now, pappy?” “I’ve got to tell people.” “Who, pappy?” “Everyone! I mean, people are going to think…that….they’re going to.. make…judgments..they’re…and they’re…I’ve got to type this.”
“It’s March 2nd, pappy. Don’t you think people are doing other things?”
“Some of them aren’t. The fans aren’t . The people who *know* what they’re doing. I mean, this rotation is taking shape here, and we’ve got data to compare now for Iwakuma. This is big stuff, here.”
“Look, Sam, you may not appreciate it right now, but there’s a long tradition involved. For decades moms and dads have hunched over gameday, or way back when they’d just look at the raw XML. Fathers joking with sons about the best horizontal movement on a change-up he’d ever seen. Moms piping in about the time Felix through a 93mph change against Texas, kids learning to differentiate sliders and curves from the data alone. And then the community beyond that – integrating these conversations with hundreds of others through sports radio, blogs, twitter. It’s a way of engaging with the baseballing world! And it’s just about the same today as it was when my grandpa first showed me a reverse-slider of Trevor Bauer’s in a Spring Training game years and years ago. And then we went on a blog together and called some other fans rubes and morons…it’s…I still hear his laugh when I look at these data.”
“Can I have a sandwich now, pappy?”
“Just…a…hold on.” He read over his comment quickly, occasionally quietly saying the words out loud. He gave the word “narrative” a mocking, sing-song cadence, and a big grin spread over his wrinkled face. “Heh. Yeah, let’s go make a sandwich. Who makes the best grilled cheese in the entire world?”

1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Ibanez, LF
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Wells, RF
6: Paulino, DH
7: Zunino, C
8: Andino, SS
9: Triunfel, 2B
SP: Hisashi Iwakuma

“Paulino DHing? What’s the point? He’s not there to hit, the whole point was to be a back-up who handled the staff! You’ve only got so much time to figure out some of the key battles, and that means getting at-bats for the guys on the bubble! You can’t…he’s a…slow…I mean, what does it tell you? Nothing! There’s no…why not DH Thames or Liddi or literally anyone, I just”
“I think the sandwich is burning, pappy.”


17 Responses to “Cactus League Game 9, Dodgers at Mariners”

  1. Paul B on March 2nd, 2013 12:14 pm

    I got up early enough today to see Netherlands upset Korea. And it was 50 degrees out already!

  2. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2013 12:29 pm

    I thought it was weird the first time they had Paulino DH. What could they possibly be looking for?

  3. HighBrie on March 2nd, 2013 12:36 pm

    PauINO-ZunINO-AndINO. I think this can be the only explanation for Paulino at DH. A sense of humor and internal rhyme.

  4. csiems on March 2nd, 2013 12:37 pm

    Wait. So are the old man and his son time travelers?

  5. bookbook on March 2nd, 2013 12:58 pm

    Snelling left his WBC game with a leg injury, apparently.

  6. Westside guy on March 2nd, 2013 1:05 pm

    “Paulino DHing? What’s the point?”

    “Wedge is playing his hunches, Grandpa. Wedge is playing a hunch.”

    BTW that was one of the best game thread lead-in posts ever, Marc.

  7. Westside guy on March 2nd, 2013 1:07 pm

    Bookbook: Seriously? It’s like deja vu all over again.

    On a related note: Guti has been looking darn good so far… does the team have him encased in protective bubble wrap?

  8. Kazinski on March 2nd, 2013 1:11 pm

    Last night I was kind of watching Taipei and Australia. I looked up just in time to see Chris Snelling hit a single.

    Then watched in dismay as Snelling hurt himself running to first and had to be taken out of the game:
    Strike (looking), Ball, Ball, Strike (swinging), Ball, Foul, C Snelling singled to right.
    C Adamson ran for C Snelling.

    There was also a Ryan Roland-Smith sighting, he struck out a batter on 3 pitches (all swinging) in the bottom of the 7th, a man on second and 2 outs:
    Szu-Chi Chou R Rowland-Smith relieved B Wise, Strike (swinging), Strike (swinging), Strike (swinging), S Chou struck out swinging

  9. Paul B on March 2nd, 2013 1:13 pm


  10. kellykoof15 on March 2nd, 2013 1:14 pm

    20 HR’s in 9 games. I think the Mariners should bring the term Funk Blast back into full effect. I know its just Spring Training but its nice to see.

  11. Paul B on March 2nd, 2013 1:18 pm

    Guti, Guti!

  12. okinawadave on March 2nd, 2013 1:29 pm

    This was very entertaining, Marc. Thank you.

  13. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2013 2:05 pm

    It’s especially nice to see the big hits (well, any hits) off the better known pitchers. Even better if they work a count, or nail a breaking ball . I try not to read into things too much in spring, but at the same time, I don’t want to ignore things that are worth taking note of.

    Here’s an opportunity for Liddi.

  14. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2013 2:08 pm

    Is pitch fx burping today, or is Belisario only throwing sinkers?

  15. stevemotivateir on March 2nd, 2013 2:24 pm

    Nice to see League hang one for Hicks.

  16. nvn8vbryce on March 2nd, 2013 7:02 pm

    I know this is only ST, but it’s nice to have a sense of optimism in the air. One of my friends that is a Dodgers fan is already hitting the panic switch…

  17. The_Waco_Kid on March 3rd, 2013 3:35 pm

    Hopefully they start the season with a lot of confidence. I can’t imagine being overconfident is a concern for them…

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