I divulge things that I find interesting through this blog. Tonight, I will do it again, mostly because I find it difficult to find anything interesting about the Mariners game that happened. There is a connection, I promise. If there isn’t, then you’ve been fooled, and I win! Consider yourself warned.
Symbolism can be used to analyze and extrapolate latent meaning from texts. Texts can be defined as any medium that carries a meaning: a novel, a film, a game – anything from which meaning can be derived. Symbols are learned through culture and society, and gain a more prevalent common knowledge as the symbol is accepted. For example, if you saw an red octagon on a road while you were driving, what would you do? More than likely, hopefully – you would stop. I didn’t mention that the sign had any letters on it. What if it said “Go”? What if it said nothing? The meaning of symbols becomes integrated into our culture as their meanings are dispersed throughout society. Symbols represent an idea.
To analyze another text, take the scene that the Joker burns his pile of cash in The Dark Knight. What does money represent? Could it represent greed, fortune? The Joker’s character presents a chaotic personality with no inhibitions and an innate anarchistic mentality. His morals differ from the common-person found in that setting, which I assume to be the United States. The United States is capitalistic society, which, at it’s core, is governed by the economy of the dollar. The latent meaning that could be construed from the scene is that the Joker wants to end capitalism, and thus the government’s choke-hold on America, through anarchistic action.
To examine another text, the Mariners have lost five games in a row. I’ve been intrigued by numbers lately, and this spurs my interest. Numbers, as you know now, are symbols. We have given meaning to the symbol that represents a number, and thus associate that symbol with what we’ve learned to be a “number”. The number five, I’ve found, as a plethora of symbolic meanings: the magic square of five, the circle of fifths in music, the numbers five and six being a Ruth-Aaron pair.
Tonight, I want to figure out why the Mariners have lost five games in a row, and if it has any meaning to Seattle in the future.
The first thing that pops to mind when I think about this game is that Ichiro Suzuki misread a fly ball off of the bat of Mark Trumbo. He was going to play it off of the wall, but it hit the warning track and ricocheted away from him. Wanting to get the ball back into the infield, he made a lousy throw, taking Dustin Ackley way into foul territory, allowing Trumbo to advance to third base. I have two concerns. First, Ichiro is not reading the ball off of the bat as well as he has in the past. He has been heralded as one of the best fielders in the game to do this. Although he doesn’t put his body on the line as other players do, he has an uncanny knack to get to the ball, and his 20+ UZR in ’03, ’04 and ’06 seem to coincide with that. Second, he is getting old. He rushed that throw, and that’s not a thing veterans do. It’s not a thing veterans should do, but I mean, it does happen. He was the only Mariner not to get a hit tonight, so, there’s that, too. It’s all in his head.
Anthony Vasquez has not made a smooth transition into the majors. Back in the minors, he posted a 6.3 K/9 rate. It’s not spectacular, but it’s not unspectacular, either. In his hand-full of starts with the big club, he has posted a 2.9 K/9 rate. He may not be a strikeout pitcher, but location is going to matter if he is going to have any semblance of success in the majors. Now, there is a difference between location and control, in that he had good control tonight; 60 of his 98 pitches thrown went for strikes, a 61.2% strike percentage. Out of the 41 swings that the Angels took against Vasquez, 8 of them missed, for a 19.5% swinging strike rate. This may be a little misleading, since three of those swings came in one Howie Kendrick at-bat that resulted in a strikeout. Vasquez is not major-league ready, but there are worse things.
Another thing we can look at is that the Mariners committed five errors today. Seattle Mariners who committed errors today: Kyle Seager, Ichiro Suzuki, Dustin Ackley, Anthony Vasquez and Shawn Kelley. This is the official line. However, Trayvon Robinson played in center today, and Torii Hunter smashed a ball his direction. Would Franklin Gutierrez ran it down? I’m not saying he would, but I’m not saying he wouldn’t have , either.
As the end of the season draws near, we must strive to find the good things in these games. Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley went 2-for-4. Justin Smoak is swinging the bat without pain. Shawn Kelley pitched a baseball. Cesar Jimenez‘s ERA is larger than Vasquez’s. But, reliever versus starter, so, don’t read too much into that.
- Trayvon Robinson stole his first major-league bag today. He stole it easily on a Dan Haren 86 mph cutter. See what they did in Oakland on the TV side? Juxtaposition of images is a powerful thing, I told you.
- Brendan Ryan hit a homerun today. I wonder if he smirks at Justin Smoak. The XBH will come! he laughs with a sinister snarl.
- Josh Bard got a base hit, and Ichiro didn’t. Josh Bard.
If you don’t watch the game tomorrow I won’t hold it against you. Felix Hernandez will be very disappointed, however. Oh yeah, and if they lose their sixth game in a row, all that stuff I said in the beginning gets debunked, I guess.
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