“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
― Yogi Berra
One week into the season and I am a little nervous. I know the season is long and there is still a ton of games to play and you never know until you know, but there is another reason I am sweating a little right now. Let me explain, you see the year was 2004, I was young and stupid like most people in their early 20’s. Some years removed from the invincibleness of being a teenager I suddenly realized that I may die some day and that made me upset. I liked living in this world and didn’t want the party to end, this troubled me thorough out the 2004 season keeping me up at night more than once. Remembering how the Sox had finished in 2003 and a firm believer that the curse of the Bambino would never vacate the organization, I made a deal with God that I would be OK dying if I got to see a Red Sox World Series. Figuring I would get another 80 years on this earth I was confident with my deal, I felt even more confident when they went down 0-3. You see God must have a sense of humor because as you all know the Red Sox came back and won the next 7 games to win the World Series.
Luckily for me I was able to secure another deal that nullified the first. I activated my opt-out clause, a very shrewd move by my angel lawyers for sure to even get that in there. But that left me with a little bit of a challenge. I thought to myself “What other team will never win and allow me to live fearlessly for the next 80 years until I am too old to stay awake for the games”? Thinking long and hard I narrowed it down to the Cubs or the Indians. I chose poorly and chose the cursed Cubs as my team to bet on. 2016 came and my angel legal team went back to work as the Cubs won the World Series. Maybe God saw that I had a family and took pity on me and granted me another chance, most likely he didn’t want me around, or he showed how much of a baseball fan he is by giving me a third strike until I was out. Either way I am on my last chance and I bet it all on the Mariners.
Right now, I equate this to being down 0-1 in the 2nd inning of a scoreless game. It’s a little concerning but there is still time for any outcome to play out. This team is playing great as of late in what was supposed to be a “Step Back” year. In the offseason, Jerry Dipoto traded away most of the starting roster from last year’s 89-win team for younger inexperienced players that need seasoning in the minors for a few years and some vets on the tail end of their careers. The bullpen was depleted with the trades of Diaz, Colome, Pazos, Nicaso and letting Vincent and Warren walk. The ace from last year is wearing pinstripes with a freshly shaven face. The middle infield is in New York and Philadelphia. Nelson Cruz, who put up 37 home runs and 97 RBI last year, found a new home in the twin cities. Mike Zunino, the catcher who could not hit but was able to handle the pitching staff effectively, is now back home in Florida. The new guys have stepped it up this year and are making the most of their opportunities. Santana is crushing the ball, Beckham is flippin’ bats and Bruce is hittin’ dingers. Marco looks great, Felix looks like he may be able to adapt to declining velocity and consistently hit the corners of the plate, and there is some exciting young talent waiting in the minors. This was not supposed to happen this quickly.
I have decided not to assemble my angel legal team as they have saved my butt enough through the years and there is nothing left for them to do anyway besides sit back and watch the games like I am. I owe them a few rounds when I get there (I hope there is beer in heaven) for all the saves they made as I was growing up. My mom always told me growing up that I must have more than one guardian angel and she was right, I have a team and now we wait and see if this Mariners team can keep it up or if I will see another year. However this season plays out I will be happy. Play Ball