I was reading through the USA Today sports page this morning when I came across a brief note that just about brought tears to my eyes.
The Washington Nationals had acquired catcher Jamie Burke from the Seattle Mariners for cash considerations.
Preposterous, I thought. How could we do that to Jamie Burke? Send him to the Nationals, where players go to die?
But in fact we had. It was true, and it was horrible.
Jamie Burke did everything for the Mariners during his brief tenure with the organization.
He wore a path on I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle for all the trips he made to and from Triple-A.
He sat on the bench for days at a time before finally seeing any action, at which point he would promptly go 2-4 with an RBI.
He even pitched in a game for the team in 2008, to save the bullpen and attempt to preserve a tie ballgame. He was good — great, in fact — but unfortunately ended up taking the loss.
Burke, the former Oregon State University punter, was everything you’d like to see in a teammate and more. And the Mariners just stuck a fork in him by sending him to baseball purgatory in Washington D.C.
All this while Kenji Johjima still festers on the M’s bench thanks to a ridiculous contract that was given to him by an organization that liked his ethnicity, if not his ability to swing a bat on occasion.
Every time I get a good vibe from this team, they kill it with a bad one. Stupid.