Roll The Die
The Mariners are in a state right now. They’re 3-6, tied for the worst record in the American League, and they’re fresh off a road series sweep. It was a road series sweep, granted, at the hands of probably the best team in baseball, but then a sweep is a sweep, and, worse, it was a series the Mariners easily could’ve won with just a little bit better execution. The Dodgers lucked out by missing Felix Hernandez. The Mariners lucked out by missing Clayton Kershaw. One guy the Mariners didn’t miss was David Huff. Didn’t matter; Mariners lost. No one looks good after getting swept, no matter the location and no matter the opponent, and you’d like the Mariners at some point to start clicking and playing cleaner baseball. If they don’t shape up soon, they could lose control of this whole thing.
The Mariners are in a state I feel obligated to respond to. I know my role, and I’m supposed to chime in when people are getting emotional and reactionary. But I have to tell you: writing about a single team can be difficult, especially when you’ve been doing it for well more than a decade. You start to feel like you’re getting predictable, and you start to feel like everything you want to say, you’ve already said. In fairness, pretty much everything we say everywhere is something we’ve already said, because all we are are warm-blooded recycling machines, but I’m conscious of balance. What’s the sense in writing something if everyone already knows what you’re going to write? You have to stay fresh.
So I’ve developed a little tool, intended to help myself, and intended therefore to help you, the reader. The idea: I can identify times when I want to write a response to recent events. That part’s easy. It’s a feel thing. But then there’s the matter of the content. And what shapes the content is the angle of the content. The tool I’ve developed determines the reaction angle, and it’s completely out of my hands. Following, an explanatory image:
What we have here is an image of a six-sided die. Beside, smaller images of all six sides, with corresponding recommended article approaches. So, when I want to write about something, I can just roll the die, and then that guides how I’m going to follow through. Now, to be completely honest, I don’t actually have any dice in my apartment. But I do have Microsoft Excel in my apartment, so what I’ve done is just use a simple random number generator, picking from between 1 – 6. There’s something I want to address? I generate a random number, and then the tiny spreadsheet tells me how I’m going to address it. The words are entirely up to me, but the overall message is determined by electrons and circuits and whatever the hell goes on underneath my laptop keyboard.
It’s time to put this to use. The Mariners are 3-6. They were once 3-3, but they just got swept in agonizing fashion by the Dodgers. The closer looks like a wreck, the rotation looks not even a little bit better, and the offense is pretty much entirely Nelson Cruz dingers off the end of the bat. People are freaking out. This year was supposed to be different. Everything was supposed to be in place. Observers in Arizona predicted that the Mariners would be the best team in the league. Almost to a man, the team has stumbled out of the gate. What’s to be said? Let me roll the die.
Random number: 6!
COOL OWL FACT
A group of owls is called a parliament, a wisdom, a stare, or a study. As for baby owls? Baby owls are known as owlets.