Sometimes I wake up in the morning, drag myself to the bathroom, stand in front of the mirror and scowl at what I see. Tired, unshaven, and grouchy, it is times like these when I truly resemble ass.
Fact is, we all have days where we look like ass. It takes an honest person to admit it, and a confident one to move on from there.
Entire baseball teams are no different. On any given day you could stick 25 guys in a room, force them to stand in front of the mirror, and ask them to describe what they see. If you were to do that to the Mariners on this particular morning, there would be but one thing revealed in that reflection: ass.
To be fair, only 20 guys really make the M’s look like ass these days. The five individuals who comprise the starting rotation — Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Doug Fister, and Jason Vargas — are exempt. In fact, they’re damn near fantastic. Which makes the rest of the team a bunch of punk bitches for failing to back up their boys.
The biggest culprit is the M’s offense, which is about as powerful as an anorexic weightlifter right now. Take, for instance, this stat from the weekend that was. In three games against the Texas Rangers, Mariner starting pitchers allowed just five total runs (all by Hernandez on Saturday) in 19 1/3 innings pitched, producing a starter’s ERA of 2.33. Unfortunately for the pitching staff, Seattle’s hitters provided just four total runs of offense across all three of those contests. That’s an absolute joke of the very worst kind.
To address their hitting woes, the team released outfielder Eric Byrnes shortly after being swept by their division rivals on Sunday afternoon. Byrnes was Public Enemy No. 1 on Friday night after botching a suicide squeeze that would have won the game for the M’s. His release was all but imminent at that point in time, and it took fewer than 48 hours for the organization to cut bait.
At the same time, the M’s sent lightly-used Matt Tuiasosopo down to Tacoma for what we can only presume is more seasoning. Though right now, Tui is about as seasoned as an oversalted T-bone. What he has left to accomplish in Triple-A is beyond me. Maybe he hasn’t quite perfected the postgame shower or something. Who knows.
In place of Byrnes and Tuiasosopo, the team recalled outfielder/first baseman Ryan Langerhans and shortstop Josh Wilson, both of whom saw time on the 25-man roster a year ago. Langerhans will provide lineup flexibility as someone who can capably play four positions — all three outfield positions, and first base — while strengthening the bench with a left-handed bat. Wilson totes a strong glove in the infield — desperately needed to provide the likes of Chone Figgins and Jack Wilson with some days off — and was tearing the cover off the ball at Tacoma, batting .333 with 11 RBI through the season’s first 20 games. And of course, just a disclaimer, “tearing the cover off the ball” is entirely relative when you’re dealing with this ballclub.
I am of the firm belief that the M’s starting pitchers need to go on strike right now. Force the ballclub to send relievers and replacement players out to the hill each day. Because lord knows the team isn’t supporting their workhorses right now. And it’s an absolute travesty.
There really is no other term for it. Until these guys can pull their heads out and start resembling a baseball team again, we can only define them by one solitary word: ass. Straight ass.