I know I haven’t written in awhile. And the biggest reason for me has been…what is there to write about? Yeah, Josh Wilson has still hit all right. Yay, my hunch was semi-right there. Thus far, anyway. What else has happened?
Bradley has continued to struggle, trading a few good games for a three or four game stretch of hopelessness.
Figgins has continued to slowly move his average and OPS up, and then have the occassional 0-4 that drives the casual fan crazy, making them think he hasn’t been improving.
Guti’s managed to put a few multi-hit games together to keep his overall season numbers looking average or slightly above, but his slide has gone largely unnoticed, mostly because this team is so boring, no one wants to watch.
I mean, I’ve been going to the home games and catching the road games when I can, but holy crap, there is just nothing exciting going on on the field except when Cliff Lee or Felix pitch. On those days, you know you may have a shot of seeing a complete game win, or a high strikeout performance, or no walks. On the other days you know you’re going to get decent pitching, good defense, and most likely no offense. Though, as Jeff Sullivan over at Lookout Landing points out, they’ve been playing .500 baseball since their big losing streak in May, they’re just generally a snooze fest. I mean, tomorrow is July and your team home run leader is Franklin Gutierrez with 7. Yeah, Branyan has 10, but none as a Mariner.
But that makes a fan have to grasp onto things that get that passion burning again. I don’t know how anyone else felt, but for those first two games against the Cubs, when all those bandwagon losers came in cheering for the Cubs and left the stadium feeling sad and dejected, that was an emotional high for me as a fan. Being able to yell to the masses of people in Theriot shirts “HA HA! Your team lost to the MARINERS!” is a good feeling. Also, being able to see sad Yankee fans walking out of the stadium after Cliff Lee yet again made them their bitch on a night without anything close to his best stuff is another small emotional high for a fan of a bad team.
The thing is, that’s really it. We haven’t had a team to watch that provides us with exciting, dramatic moments. Sure, there have been some dramatic situations, but it’s hard to feel the drama when you see Rob Johnson stepping into the batters box and psychologically it feels like there’s a 100% chance he’s going to bounce into an inning ending double play, and probably on one of the first two pitched of the plate appearance.
I think there’s hope for enjoyment the rest of the season, however. I really don’t believe Lopez, Bradley, and Figgins will end the year with OPSes in thelow .600s. I also think Branyan is going to provide some excitement, with long, towering home runs. We also get to watch Michael Saunders’ continued improvement. Finally, while one piece of excitement will be going away in Cliff Lee, he’s not going away for nothing. Whatever the return for Lee is, we will be able to watch that player try and develop into a star, getting his first real chance to succeed at the Major League level.
So while the first half has been boring enough to make me want to shoot myself between the legs and then in the head, I think the second half should provide M’s fans with a little bit more excitement.