Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Wide World Of Sports?
The Agony of Defeat, playing out over and over...
Remember ABC's 'Wide World Of Sports'? Maybe it's still being broadcast; I don't know; I rarely watch The Big Networks anymore. One of the most memorable bits of film ever shot whas the opening sequence for 'WWS' which featured that ski-jumper who only made it about 3/4's of the way down the ramp before he fell off the edge, falling and falling and bouncing and careening all sorts of different directions at once. I'm pretty sure the guy wasn't seriously hurt, but that doesn't make me want to go down a ski jump, or get within 5 miles of a pair of skis...nooo, thank you.
Are you ready? It's time to throw out the first pitch! Spring Training's already underway, and already, we have two big stories...first of all, there's the saga of Alex Rodriguez, one of the Best Players in History never to have Won The World Series. It's almost as if his legacy (or absence thereof) has somehow Jinxed the Yankees, who haven't won the Series since the year before Alex shifted his huge Texas Rangers salary to the New York Yankees, who ended up paying him Even More Money. Alex has been famous for not hitting in crucial World Series Game situations; in the regular season he can blast the ball out of the park at a whim, but something happens to him during the Series. It's as if he dries up somehow. He's sort-of a baseball bridesmaid...up until now, we only had A-Rod's huge salary to gripe about; how he makes something like $3,000 every minute of the year, whether he's 'in-season' or 'off-season'. Ah, but now, he's 'juiced' it up...yep, A-Rod, every kid's hero, with the Home Run Record In Sight, took Steroids while he was a Texas Ranger, in 2003, and who knows for how many years before that? So I guess joining the Yankees was incentive for him to quit taking steroids? Enquiring baseball fans want to know!
A-Rod technically doesn't fall under any kind of suspension, since he (allegedly) stopped taking Steroids in 2003, the year before the Steroids Ban took effect...you know, the Ban which sent the Baltimore Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro (you know, the slugger who did Viagra ads) packing, his memories of baseball more tarnished than Bill Clinton's Presidency (and that's a lot). Makes me wonder if Viagra is 'sort-of' a steroid? (Thankfully, I'm not going to develop that thot any further...) I've watched A-Rod (A-Roid?) quite a bit, and it seems to me that he doesn't handle pressure very well. All you have to do is watch a Yankee/Mariners game...Alex came up with Seattle, and now that he's gone, obviously following the money, he gets booed louder than a tricked-out battalion of non-mufflered Harley Davidsons. Only, that might change this year...he'll probably get booed by everyone, whether in 'home' or 'away' games. In a way, I kinda feel sorry for him; it's as if he's playing under some kind of Extra Heavy Mental Load...although my sympathy is diminished when I remind myself that he's making too much 'more' money than the too-much money that all the other baseball players make. (Apologies for the errant structure of that last sentence...)
BLOGGER UPDATE: The very day after I posted the following about Ken Griffrey, Jr., "A New Kid In Town", VOILA! Ken Griffey IS coming back to the Mariners. I guess this blog is more powerful and influential than I thought (ha ha...)...and welcome back, Junior...this season oughta be really interesting...

(And now, back to the originally-scheduled blogpost, already in progress...)

There's a New Kid In Town...no, wait, just a minute...Next Up is Ken Griffey Jr. When his Cincinnati Reds played an 'interleague' series at Seattle's Safeco Field last season, Mr. Griffey, Jr. reminisced about his playing days in Seattle as he was welcomed, even cheered by the Fans, even though he was on the opposing team. Aside: Seattle fans really needed something to cheer about last season, and they'll probably feel the same way again this year. Griffey had even 'intimated' (implied, suggested, what have you) that he'd like to Finish his career in Seattle 'cos he had such Fond Remembrances of being a Mariner. Well, this year, Junior's Contract with Cincinnati is up, but, what's that I hear in the distance? Ah, strange rumors about the Mariners maybe signing 'The Kid' for this year. Wait a minute, though...because the Mariners' new manager hesitated on signing Griffey, due to his propensity to get Injured, Griffey's considering joining the Atlanta Braves. So now, he, Ken Griffey, Jr. ("The Kid") has a choice between the two teams, or anyone else that wants him. I'm thinking tho, that if a manager doesn't want Griffey to perform a triple-axis, double-flip leaping catch in the outfield, injuring himself and short-circuiting his career once again, 'The kid' would make a HELL of a great DESIGNATED HITTER. Although, if I was Griffey, heck, now that I had a choice, I'd choose NOT to go back to the Mariners; why? It might be a case of More Money in Atlanta, but also, the M's clubhouse environment is POISON. Maybe Griffey, Jr. studied the M's abysmal season of 2008, and thot, "thanks, but no thanks", now that Atlanta beckons. One can also factor in the fact (factor the fact?) that Atlanta is just a hop, skip and a jump from where Junior now Lives, probably on a huge estate five times the size of Safeco Field.

One more interruption here: Right now, Fox Sports Northwest is featuring a "Welcome Back Ken Griffey Jr. night", and they're broadcasting a long-ago Mariners' Game in which he hit three homers. I would caution everyone that it ain't 1997, folks, it's 12 years on down the line, and it's best to adopt a 'Take What You Can Get' approach when watching Griffey this season; he, really ain't 'the kid' anymore...
And now, that Magic Wonder of the Seattle Mariners, ICHIRO SUZUKI!!! (Insert crowd roar...wait a minute, don't...) A lot of his team-mates just Can't Stand Ichiro, you know, that little guy who dinks little ground balls here and there even though he is rumored to have Amazing Hitting Power which he can Turn On And Off At Will. Except for, say, a few triples and maybe 7 or 8 home runs in a season, I have not seen that power. Some people have accused Ichiro of padding his stats by hitting those little high-percentage, teeny-weeny ground balls. Personally, Ichiro's act, in my opinion, is Wearing Thin. Ichiro has the blinding speed of a ski-jumper careening off a ski-jump, but he's also been playing baseball a very, very long time, and his on-base percentage can only slump as he gets older and slower. A couple of years ago, I was watching a Mariners' game in which Ichiro got caught trying to steal second. Rather than letting the 2nd Baseman tag him out between the bases, Ichiro veered off and went back to the dugout, conceding the out. Later, he explained: "I don't like to be touched." I'll never forget that. And supposedly, that sums up Ichiro...aloof, non-supporting, distant, reserved. Not exactly what a coherent, cohesive clubhouse environment needs.

One more rude interruption: For so long, Ichiro has been the Mariners' "big star"; how's he gonna handle all the attention directed Griffey's way? That oughta be interesting to see. Okay, that's it, no more updates, I promise...
Rumors are still floating that Ichiro had something to do with the dismissal of manager Jim McLaren a couple of years ago, when the M's were having a not-too-bad season; there were supposed to be all kinds of conflicts between Ichiro and McLaren that've never been spelt out, and well, I guess you know who won that battle. An article in the Sports Section today contained something about Ichiro's tendency to stay in a different hotel, away from his teammates; why? Well, he's just that sorta-quirky kinda guy. Now, I'm not the most gregarious person ever, and I'll admit I have a hard time with blindly following any kind of "rah-rah-ziss-boom-bah" logic, but if you're a member of your team, there should be some 'simpatico.'; so much for 'togetherness' on Ichiro's part, tho. After all, he's a big star. And he's been with Seattle for ages, theoretically all the while, alienating his team-mates. I'm still waiting for the Yankees to Buy Ichiro, but I 'spose that woulda happened by now if they'd really wanted him...

With every new season, there's always hope that the mighty ship will be brought to the surface...
Finally, how do I think the Seattle Mariners will do this year? Gosh, anything's better than last year. The M's would've lost to most slo-pitch softball teams last year. If the M's can make .500 this year (where you win exactly half of the games you play), that would qualify as a Minor Miracle, beyond my wildest expectations; I say that because supposedly, the Mariners' farm system, consisting of the Tacoma Rangers and who knows who else is rather 'thin' on raw talent. All that said, though, Welcome Back, Baseball, in spite of the fact that the sport has become forever tarnished by the Steroids scandal. Tarnished worse than, for example, Danny Bonaduce now, vs. Danny Bonaduce as a member of the squeeky-clean Partridge Family once upon several ages ago.
Finally, you must be asking yourself, "why does he keep putting that annoying little 'dash' (-) between his paragraphs? I do that because, when I put a photo or other artwork in a blog entry, the paragraphs all tend to Mash together in one long unreadable paragraph. So I use the 'dash' to instead create short unreadable paragraphs. So now you know...


Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

I put the dash thingie in my text to lol..... you copycat :)

I watched baseball when I was in Maine.... The Portland Seadogs which was the feeder team I think to Boston RedSocks.... I LOVED it, even though I didnt understand it to much lol..... I just kept shouting 'just slog the dam ball and run ya pussy'..... but I hated the really corny rubbish malarkie they had when there was a break LOL......

I wish we had got to see an american football match whilst there, but I think August was out of season....


9:34 AM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Gosh, Marmee, if you were yelling profanities at a Red Sox game, you fit right in with the rest of the crowd. I hear that Boston crowds are really passionate about their baseball. Basically, the object is to hit the ball, get runners around bases, get them to cross home plate, which scores runs, and the team with the most runs wins. I tried to play baseball when I was a kid, but was lousy at it. I was so uncoordinated, the only thing I could do was run, and I wasn't fast; I had the heart of an Olympic Athlete in the body of a Blob. Not 'Blog', 'Blob'.

And yes, the NFL (National Football League) has sent teams over to your land of yonder to play for yer yonder football fans. Oh, and they're not 'matches', they're 'games'. 'Match' is probably one of those Brit terms not used much over here. Although we do describe games as 'match-ups', so go figure...

You can probably see that I'm a Seattle Mariners baseball fan. Well, 'devotee'. Because the word 'fan' implies you like your team, and the way the team's played the last coupla years, I'm sure if I'm a fan. Although I still watch them or listen to their radio broadcasts. Every Year I Suffer the Seattle Mariners. Batter up!

9:25 PM  

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