Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Post That Is Sort Of About Baseball

As some of you may already know, I'm a fan of certain spectator sports; namely golf, American football (I've tried to get into the Rest-of-the-World version, but so far, not much luck), basketball, and - probably most of all - baseball.
As I've said multiple times before, I know that sports fandom is, at its core, pretty silly - to paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, we're all basically just rooting for laundry - but it serves as a fun distraction, and I think that, when done right, it also helps to bring communities together by giving people a common experience to rally around. And like with any other performance-based form of entertainment, it's also exciting and inspiring to watch individuals with extraordinary talent doing their thing on a large stage.

But anyway, I'm writing this now because the 2018 Major League Baseball season has begun, and for fans of the Seattle Mariners, there's a bit of nostalgia in the air as Ichiro Suzuki is back! If you've read this previous post, you know that Joel Suzuki is partially named after Ichiro, who at the time had recently been traded to some East Coast team that shall remain nameless.

So far, Ichiro has added a couple of hits to his prodigious career total and has also made an incredible home run-stealing catch out in his new perch in left field. I'm not sure I'll be able to get out to Safeco Field any time soon to see him play one more time (I've seen him plenty in the past), but hopefully he'll be productive enough to stick around for at least a little while longer.

And also hopefully this will finally be the year that the Mariners break what is now the longest playoff drought among the four major professional sports leagues in North America, rather than breaking their own assorted limbs and other body parts (which is already happening at an alarming rate - I'm telling you guys, PLEASE stop with the upside-down trident logo already).

In years past, during spring training (which, for those of you who aren't familiar, is the baseball equivalent of the preseason), while the players were building up arm strength and getting their swing timing down, my preparation for the season would usually consist of practicing two things for when the inevitable meltdowns and other gut-punch losses would occur: (1) my Kif-style sighs, and - something that annoys my kids greatly - (2) saying "And that's the game!" as soon as the team falls 4+ runs behind (a phrase that I borrowed from Mario Super Sluggers).

This year, though, despite the use of the upside-down trident logos AGAIN during spring training, I've decided to try to keep a continuous positive attitude. So far it's been working to the tune of a 3-2 record, but it's a long season, so we shall see. Maybe if all of us Mariners fans wish hard enough, Felix Hernandez will continue pitching to contact and getting quick outs (whoops - I wrote that line before yesterday's game), James Paxton won't spontaneously combust and leave a little green globule on the mound, and the team will actually win enough games to sneak into the second wild card berth. One can only hope. Right?

Go M's!*

* Note for fellow grammar geeks: this is a contraction apostrophe, not a possessive

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