I don’t have very much in common with Major League Baseball players. I don’t stand very tall in stature. I’ll never be tall and lanky enough to throw a baseball ninety-plus miles an hour. But, I’ll always love the pitching aspect of the game, and being able to play pick-up hardball and whiffle-ball games will always be a blast. The cat-and-mouse game of the pitcher-batter duel is so intriguing to me, and it’s one of the reasons I love baseball. Nothing is more satisfying than setting up a low-and-away changeup with some high-and-tight heat. And then there’s the swing-and-a-miss. The feeling of out-dueling an opponent is such a satisfying feeling, who wouldn’t want to experience it?
My legs will never be the size of tree trunks. Driving a ball deep into left field will only ever be a dream, never a reality. I’ll never be drafted, I’ll never get my name announced over the PA. I am only a spectator. However, Justin Smoak and I now share something in common. I didn’t go to the University of South Carolina. I didn’t make $416,000 this year. It’s not anything glamorous -
I’ve been hit in the face with a baseball.
It was a pick-up hardball game. Being the men we are, I decided to play catcher. No gear, no chest plate, just go. It’ll be fun!, I said. After calling a few different pitches, the batter foul-tipped one low-and-away. It hit my foot. I looked up at the pitcher, the batter. Maybe we should stop, I said. I wasn’t nervous, nor was I cautious. One more, I said. And that was the one that was foul-tipped right into my left-eye. I wasn’t in shock, but I wasn’t calm, either. I wore glasses at the time. Blood was splattered all over the dirt. Shards of glass were all over my clothes My friend took me straight to the hospital.
It actually didn’t hurt. People don’t believe me, but it’s true. On the way to the hospital, I had a little chuckle about it. Never doing that again. I like to think of myself as a tough guy, and I think I was. No whining, no crying, just patch up me and get me out of the hospital. But it wasn’t that simple. A broken cheek-bone, a fractured orbital, and the nerves in my eye could be permanently damaged, and that might lead to vision loss. To prevent that, the doctors prescribed me an eye-drop that prevents glaucoma. Eye-drops, no big deal, shouldn’t be a thing.
It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
It was more than just a sharp burning. The pain of the eye-drops sent tremors of pain throughout my body. I pounded the bed with my fists; it was hard to breathe. It felt like it was sucking the life right out of me. I tried not to whine, I tried not to cry. I sucked it up, because I knew that it would get better. The pain is just a passing moment in the story of my life. And it did get better. Interestingly enough, the doc told me I developed a cataract. But throughout the rehab process, the cataract subsided. I didn’t think much of it, but the doc said he hadn’t seen anything like this before. It’s not supposed to go away this fast, he said. We did an eye vision test. Being that I wore glasses, this isn’t anything new to me. After the test, he looked at my charts, looked up at me, and looked at the charts again. Your vision is better than before. My vision got better? How is that possible? He said he wasn’t sure how it happened. What the healing of the cataract did to my eye is that made it better, and he said my vision will return to what it is, but better than before.
It took the Seattle Mariners 14 seasons to get to a winning record. Things take time. Justin Smoak will get better in time. He’ll come back wanting more. He’ll want to contribute. He’ll be hungry to want to do well and help his team. He’ll want to become the player everyone hopes he’ll become. It takes some pain to realize things will get better.
The word on Justin Smoak is that he has a fractured nose. I hope that’s all it is. He has been really unlucky this year, and according to Larry Stone, he was happy to be back. What a bad break for a young kid.
I always feel like the Mariners are in it through the whole game. Maybe I’m a bit delusional (Maybe it’s because I got hit in the head!), but I think it makes the game more enjoyable to watch. How can you find enjoyment in something you are dreading constantly? The possibility of hope lingers, and I still watch/listen/root on.
In the bottom of the 1st, Mike Carp ripped a single into center field, scoring Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez. Things were looking good. In the top of the 2nd, David Ortiz homered to deep center. Mike Aviles then tied it up on a sacrifice fly. Things were looking eh. Then in the bottom of the inning, Ackley singled in Luis Rodriguez, and things were looking good again! It always is nice to see when a team “responds”. I don’t know how much the other team scoring has an effect on another team scoring, but it seems to have sound logic. Does Wall Street make money when other companies make money? Yes. Do bros score when other bros in the vicinity score? I guess so. Jersey Shores may be on to something. The Mariners should be more bro.
After Josh Reddick blasted a two-run homerun off of the Hit It Here Cafe windows, I started to lose that hope. I just didn’t feel like the Mariners were going to be able to scratch across anymore runs. Whenever an opposing player hits a no-doubter, you kind of know. You know that it’s going to be all uphill from there.
I like that Blake Beavan went six-and-a-third innings, throwing 96 pitches. By the looks of him, his size, demeanor and whatnot, he could turn into a workhorse in the future. For the most part, he looked pretty good. Boston is just really good, and they can mash. Oh boy, can they mash. No wonder they call that thing the Green Monster. I would expect more Monster Mashes, though.
I know the Mariners are rebuilding. I know that the Mariners are seeing what they have in their youth. It’s just too bad they can’t get wins for them. Wins would build confidence, wouldn’t it? Wins would make them want to play for their team, wouldn’t it? I don’t know. I hope these rookies want to keep playing for the Mariners. I hope they realize these are all part of the growing pains.
- These are some gameday captures of the three homeruns Beavan gave up:See, it would be nice to have some left-handed bats that can pull an inside pitch. Or just one big, lumbering oaf who can hit it to the deepest part of the park. Any combination would be nice.
- On a 1-1 count, Franklin Morales thew this curveball to Mike Carp.
- Speaking of Mike Carp, he went 3-for-5 with three of the four Mariners RBI. I want to believe that he’s “arrived”, but we’ll have to wait until the end of the season. Until then, he can continue to prolong his 12-game hit streak. A hit a game would be nice, and that would put him at a 57-game hit streak at the end of the season. That would be pretty good, right? Who’s this Joe DiMaggio again? 56, pssh!
The King’s Court is in session tomorrow. If they aren’t louder than the bandwagon Sox fans at Safeco, then I don’t know what the King’s Court is doing there in the first place!