I wonder what Tom Brady feels like. He’s got the looks, the style, the girl. He’s got the accolades: he’s a six-time Pro-Bowler, a two-time Super Bowl MVP and a two-time NFL MVP. He’s got the team: Randy Moss, Matt Light, Jerod Mayo. He’s got the skill: a 95.2 career QB rating. Tom Brady has got it all. He has the tools to get the job done, and that’s why he’s been a part of such a successful franchise. The New England Patriots have built a team around him, and because of that, they are constantly competitive. Because of that, all Tom Brady has to do is be himself, and they win. They win championships, divisions, and hearts. Aww, fandom.
Felix Hernandez wants to be the face of the Seattle Mariners – as if he isn’t already. Through all these years of horrible offense, Felix is still here. Through this rebuilding process, Felix is still here. I wonder what he and Jack Zduriencik talked about when Felix signed his contract to stay in Seattle. Did Zduriencik tell him that they were going to build a club around him? Do the Mariners bend to every beckon? Or does Felix just simply love Seattle, and does he want to give back to a city that has given to him?
I don’t know how much this city has actually given him. They haven’t given him a championship, that’s for sure. They haven’t given him a winning team, that’s for sure. The city didn’t give him $78 million over five years – the Mariners did that. So why did he want to sign here? Why did he want to stay here? I can’t imagine what’s going through his mind every start. The eighth inning was his demise, and it was partly due to a ground-ball Adam Kennedy couldn’t field well, and a bloop flare single. He must be frustrated, he must be angry – but we don’t see it. Felix goes out every start, and does his job. I wonder what he was thinking when they signed Cliff Lee. I wonder what he was thinking when they traded Cliff Lee. They must’ve told him that they’ll build a team around him, no matter what the cost. They must’ve.
Maybe Prince Fielder isn’t so farfetched.
Really the Mariners should’ve lost tonight by a score of 3-to-1. Although the box score would say they scored two runs, one of those runs came on Trayvon Robinson scoring on an error made by Sean Rodriguez. Robinson left third base on contact, and that was a rookie mistake. The ball was hit right to Rodriguez. The ball was hit to the left side – don’t move, Robinson! But, now that I’m on Robinson…
I’m starting to become a Trayvon Robinson fan. He went 1-for-4, and the double he laced into right field was a laser beam. But, more impressive than that, was this play. Really take the time to examine the video. Really, I’ll wait. Okay, did you watch it? Seriously, was that not spectacular? He made it look easy – and look how fast the ball was coming down. This displays two things. Firstly, Robinson has great speed. The ball didn’t have very much hang time, so he read the ball off the bat perfectly to get into position. Secondly, he has great instincts. The span of time between the ball leaving the barrel of the bat and ending up in his glove is less than three seconds. It takes me minutes to decide what I’m going to order at a restaurant. It takes me maybe ten seconds to come up with a witty comeback to an insult. It took Robinson three seconds to make a Gold-Glove caliber play.
Looking at Felix Hernandez’s line, it would seem he did a lot worse than he did. Earlier, I mentioned Adam Kennedy at third-base. Matt Pittman brought up on the post-game show that, when you have Felix on the mound, why wouldn’t you put your best defense out there? Eric Wedge decided to give Dustin Ackley a day off, okay, I understand that. His hand wasn’t feeling too hot, I get it. But you have to give your ace a chance. You have to put Kyle Seager at third, Ackley at second, Luis Rodriguez at shortstop. That’s the least you can do for one of the most consistent players on your team.
Speaking of consistent, Mike Carp extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Speaking of hitting, Kyle Seager hit his first major league homerun. Speaking of firsts, I ate at the Melting Pot the other day. Speaking of segues, I’m out.
Speaking of outs, Kyle Farnsworth shut the door, and he shut the door hard. He struck out Ackley, struck out Seager, and got Robinson to ground-out. He’s turned himself from New York Yankee reject to a legitimate closer. But, I still remember when he was bawling his eyes out when the Yankees traded him to the Detroit Tigers in 2008. I thought we had something going, he says. Big baby.
There is a lot to look forward to as a Mariners fan. However, there will be a lot of growing pains. I’m looking forward to it, I truly am. It’s hard to do, but we have to. Pipe dreams are just dreams, but aren’t dreams nice? Felix and Michael Pineda, a one-two punch. Ackley and Carp in the middle of the order plus __________, Murderer’s Row 2.0. There will be a lot of growing pains. We have a ways to go to get to a watchable ballclub, but for now we have to settle for just a ballclub.
The recap tomorrow will come late again tomorrow because I’ll be shooting a wedding. That’s something new. Charlie Furbush will be going for his first road win as a Mariner. That’s something new, too.
Adam H. Wong