No one was as big a fan of Hisashi Iwakuma as my grandmother. Every week when we got together for lunch, she would rave about the Mariners’ Japanese pitcher. Being Japanese herself, my grandma couldn’t have been more enthralled by a successful baseball player of our ethnic heritage plying his trade in Seattle.
“Why don’t they let Iwakuma play more?” she’d ask.
“Well,” I’d explain, “they only let starting pitchers play every five days. It’s just kind of how they do things in baseball. They don’t want him getting hurt. He plays as much as he’s allowed.”
“Hmm. I wish they’d let him play more.” My grandmother was not going to be appeased by the silliness of a five-man rotation.
When she passed away in September, I was upset with her favorite baseball team. She had wanted for years to see this ballclub succeed, watching every game along the way, win or lose. But following the Mariners seemed to be an exercise in futility. They hadn’t made the postseason in over a decade. They typically battled for last place. And who knows how long it would be before the thought of a championship so much as crossed anyone’s mind.
Under what conditions should one consider trading pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma?
This question arose recently, as rumors circulated that Mariners ownership planned to retain Iwakuma despite interested parties around Major League Baseball inquiring about the right-hander’s services.
Baffled as many fans were that the team would choose to hold onto the veteran starter when a) he will be a free agent at year’s end (meaning the team could sign him in the offseason regardless of where he plays the next two months) and b) he’s been kind of sucky lately, we still find ourselves asking whether dealing Kuma makes sense or not.
Below is a hand-crafted flow chart that should help sort this mess out. (Please click on the image for full resolution.)
The following guest article is written by Mariners Rants, who you can follow on Twitter @MarinersRants if so inclined. Be aware that the uncensored commentary below is not safe for work and certainly not for the faint of heart. The views and opinions expressed by Mariners Rants do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Seattle Sportsnet staff.
What in the holy fuck are you motherfuckers doing out there? I mean, seriously. What in the complete and utter shit is this mess?
Here we are 54 fucking games into this godforsaken season and you assholes have somehow only managed to scratch together 24 fucking wins. Your own goddamn manager told us to be patient until the 50-game mark. Wait for 50 games, he advised, before you judge this ball club. THAT WAS FOUR GAMES AGO! And you guys are shit! It’s not hard to see. You. Are. Shit. You haven’t won shit, you can’t hit shit, your relievers pitch like shit, and everyone watching you play feels like shit because of the backasswards bullshit you’ve put us through. It’s a fucking monsoon of pure, unadulterated shit!
Where does anyone even begin when attempting to sift through all the flaws this team has displayed in the season’s first two months?
Guess what, kids. You’re probably not going to grow to be 6’10” like Chris Young, or even 6’3” like Felix Hernandez. More than likely you’ll stand about 5’9” or so, which is both the average height of the American male and the exact listed height of reliever Danny Farquhar. We’re not here to lie to you or falsely inflate your hopes. Instead, we’ll just give you this disappointing Farquhar growth chart and watch you blossom into a really mediocre adult.
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