How Not To React To The Mariners Getting Mike Kickham

Jeff Sullivan · January 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hello friends. You might’ve noticed that, earlier today, the Mariners swung a trade with the Cubs, picking up left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham. So now you’ve thought to visit the incredibly popular and consistently updated USS Mariner blog to see how you’re supposed to feel about this. Which is kind of one of the main purposes of blogs, right? To tell people how to feel about things? I appreciate your visit, and I’ll do you one better, or one worse, or one lateral — I’ll tell you how not to feel about this. Here is a variety of ways not to react to the Mariners trading for Mike Kickham today.

“Oh, great, that’ll really lock up the World Series title. Nice going, Mariners. Ugh.”

Why be sarcastic? Why be sarcastic and upset about something so trivial? Is this how you reacted to the Mariners dealing Matt Brazis for Justin Ruggiano? Is this how you reacted to the Mariners bringing back Mark Lowe on a minor-league contract, which is a thing that they recently did? For one thing, not every move is made with the World Series in mind. For another thing, in the event that a team does win the World Series, you can always point to contributing moves no one really expected to be contributing moves at the time. Remember when the Mariners had Yusmeiro Petit in the system? No one cared when he went to the Giants. Turned into a popular guy.

Of all the different potential responses, this is the negative one. If this is your default, you’re probably just a negative person, and no one ought to have time for negative, overly critical people. However often you’ve been told that you’re unpleasant, countless other people have kept the same feelings quiet. And, wait a second, didn’t the Mariners sign Nelson Cruz for many years and too much money? Aren’t you exactly the sort of fan that move was supposed to placate? Bathe in the warmth of the Nelson Cruz acquisition, you unhappy son of a bitch.

“I think this means the Mariners are looking to trade Taijuan Walker, probably soon. Can’t be a coincidence.”

Mike Kickham’s major-league ERA has two numbers before the decimal. His Triple-A ERA is in the mid-4s, and he doesn’t throw enough strikes, and his fastball hovers around 89 – 90, and the Cubs just recently designated Kickham for assignment to make roster room for Chris Denorfia, who last summer looked like toast. This has no more to do with Taijuan Walker than the Mariners acquiring Sam Gaviglio had to do with Taijuan Walker. This is like saying signing Mark Lowe means the Mariners are looking to trade Fernando Rodney. You almost literally can never have enough pitching depth.

“Time to turn around and flip Kickham for Mike Napoli. Red Sox need some more starters.”

Mike Napoli, the last two years, has posted an .818 OPS. Mike Kickham, the last two years, in the major leagues, has allowed a 1.062 OPS. Kickham is with his third organization in a month. The Red Sox wouldn’t trade Mike Napoli for Mike Kickham. They would trade Mike Napoli for Mike Kickham and a player to be named later, where the player to be named later is actually named immediately and his name is Kyle Seager. That would be a bad move, IMO.

“Time to turn around and flip Kickham for Ryan Howard. Phillies need some more starters.”

I listened to the radio for about five minutes today, and during those five minutes, after Jack Zduriencik hung up from an interview, the hosts debated whether the Phillies had recently offered the Mariners Ryan Howard, because Zduriencik said he’d recently declined a trade for an expensive veteran that would’ve cost a couple young players. The hosts then praised Zduriencik for not agreeing to the deal, if it was in fact Howard, which was a complete and utter guess on their part, and not even a good one. So, in case you’ve been wondering whether you should listen to sports talk radio more, please find your answer in this paragraph. It’s not laid out explicitly, but you’re sharp enough to see it.

“I can’t believe the Mariners gave up Lars Huijer for this.”

Yes you can. The hardest part of this to believe is that the Mariners had a player in the system named Lars Huijer in the first place. Don’t even pretend like you’d ever heard of him before. Try to pronounce Huijer out loud. Like right now, wherever you’re sitting. I bet you stumbled over syllables and there’s not even anyone around you to check your work and call you out. What you can’t believe is that there’s a name that has an H and a U and an I and a J and they’re all in a row. Did you see that story about the two climbers topping out on the Dawn Wall in Yosemite earlier today? It was thought to be impossible, but they pulled it off, and you’re not literally in disbelief over it. You can believe that two climbers free climbed the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. And you can believe the Mariners gave up Lars Huijer for Mike Kickham.

“I guess if he’s no good, the Mariners can Kickham to the curb!”

I’m just kidding, this is a fine response. People get way too weird about puns. Puns are the new clowns. Everyone used to say they were afraid of clowns, but almost no one actually was. And now whenever there’s a pun someone has or someones have to stage some artificial freakout. People act like a pun is the worst thing in the world, like it’s the most horrible and offensive thing they’ve read in a month. You’re not offended, you’re just putting on a show, and here’s the deep dirty secret: we all actually think puns are fun. They are fun. Everybody is wrong about puns. No, let me amend that: everybody acts wrong about puns. They don’t act like they actually feel. People who freak out about puns are liars.

“What number is Mike Kickham going to wear?”

Are you buying a personalized jersey? Don’t buy a personalized jersey.


19 Responses to “How Not To React To The Mariners Getting Mike Kickham”

  1. Woodcutta on January 15th, 2015 1:39 am

    Gattis to the Astros. Seems like the M’s could have made a similar offer or even a little better without including Peterson/Walker/Paxton/Jackson.

  2. maqman on January 15th, 2015 1:47 am

    Those who maul
    A simple pun
    Are mostly all
    Not much fun

  3. cjones on January 15th, 2015 5:02 am

    “Wonder what Mariner commercial Mike Kickham will be in?”

  4. wtnuke on January 15th, 2015 6:08 am

    I love you Jeff Sullivan. I love who you are and what you stand for, and the words that you write. That’s one of the funniest pieces I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for the laugh!

  5. heyoka on January 15th, 2015 7:02 am

    The point of this move was

  6. groundzero55 on January 15th, 2015 7:13 am

    Already pre-ordered my Kickham jersey.

    Gattis, meh. The last thing we need is another all-or-nothing slugger on the team. The Astros may well hit the most homers in the AL West this season but that doesn’t mean they’ll be good.

    I’m personally interested in the Escobar for Clippard trade. Consensus is the Nats now have a need for a setup guy. Seems that we have some pieces to offer them for maybe a Desmond.

  7. bookbook on January 15th, 2015 7:36 am

    I was going to go on and get all offended that you’re shooting down strawmen, Mr. Sullivan–but then I remembered all the internet message boards I’ve read. So, thank you for this educational and necessary post.

  8. Edward Baker on January 15th, 2015 8:22 am

    Oops, time to sell my Huijer jersey on Ebay!
    See? I can spell it:
    I think it´s pronounced something like Hoyer, but I´m not betting the house on it.

  9. Dennisss on January 15th, 2015 8:33 am

    When your core message is “Who cares?” and you write this many words and make those words entertaining, you have real talent.

  10. Greeff on January 15th, 2015 12:01 pm

    “I think it´s pronounced something like Hoyer, but I´m not betting the house on it.”

    There’s not really a similar sound for “ui” in the american language. but hoyer is kind of in the neighborhood.

  11. baetown415 on January 15th, 2015 1:18 pm

    Oh sure, just Kickham while he’s down why don’t you?

  12. Woodcutta on January 15th, 2015 2:06 pm

    2014 OPS for current M’s hitters:

    Nelson Cruz – .859 (.769 2nd half)
    Robinson Cano – .836
    Seth Smith – .807 (.815 vs RH)
    Kyle Seager – .788
    Justin Ruggiano – .766 (.826 vs LH)
    Logan Morrison – .735 (.789 2nd half)
    Chris Taylor – .692
    Dustin Ackely – .692 (.783 2nd half)
    Mike Zunino – .658
    Austin Jackson – .655
    Brad Miller – .653 (.794 2nd half)
    Evan Gattis – .810 (.970 vs LH, SSS)

    Gattis improved over his rookie season and even if he produces at his current level he would have been no worse than the 4th or 5th best hitter on the M’s. Now that doesn’t account for regression/progression for other players but if he can be serviceable in LF or 1B he would have been worth adding. Also, he’s still on a cheap contract and isn’t arbitration eligible until after the 2016 season. Long term and short term he would have been a good addition, imo.

  13. LongDistance on January 17th, 2015 11:26 am

    I’m not only not reacting to this, but also not to how the Mariner’s sidestepped (nope, not even an ironic aside) arbitration with Ackley, Jackson, Ruggiano, LoMo and Furbush.

    Very funny post, Jeff. Reminds me of memos I used to write (mainly to myself, as it turned out) back in the days when I had a company called Silk Purse Productions.

  14. Rick Banjo on January 19th, 2015 12:25 am

    Crap. I got a personalized jersey when I was 24. I’m 37 now. I feel bad, but mostly I feel old. Mike whom, now?

  15. mrakbaseball on January 20th, 2015 5:15 pm

    Mariners will unveil new Sunday shirts on Friday. Unfortunately, the rumor that has gone on for the past few years will probably become true, cream buttoned shirts and cream belted pants will be worn on Sunday home games.

  16. Longgeorge1 on January 20th, 2015 8:30 pm

    mrakbaseball – A nod to the old Rainers. If they win they can wear plaid for all I care.

  17. LongDistance on January 23rd, 2015 6:54 am

    Could use a post on how not to react to the warm and fuzzy treatment Montero still generates in F.O.

    Otherwise, wondering if such a thing as a deflated baseball (deadball?) exists, and who it would help (A’s bullpen?).

  18. msfanmike on January 23rd, 2015 2:09 pm

    A post? That’s a pretty radical idea, man.

    Go easy.

  19. Woodcutta on January 23rd, 2015 2:54 pm

    So, McClendon said yesterday that there is one spot in the rotation up for grabs and that Happ is expected to be in the rotation. So, if this is true and plays out that way, that leaves one spot for Walker and Elias. This could be an interesting Spring Training for once.

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