Friday, April 25, 2008

Meanwhile, In Seattle

Baseball is Great

God bless the brave sailors aboard the USS Mariner, whose particular brand of woe-is-us boosterism makes the varied and dissenting voices of the Jays blogging community seem like naive schoolchildren incapable of doubting their heroes ("We'll turn this around yet, fellas!").

Allow me to apply some of that Jays fan positivity (which probably has its roots in Canadian politeness; either that or we're still real chuzzed to have our very own baseball team in the frozen, miserable north, and it's a pleasure just to watch them play): Master Ichiro will soon regain his form. Putz is back, and will soon begin a streak of saves that will not abate until the autumn winds return to buffet Puget Sound. And Bedard will be back, tossing nasty lefty curveballs that befuddle and confound the rest of the AL West. And even if none of that happens, Seattlites, isn't is great just to have your very own baseball team? And if any city knows the pain of not having a baseball team, after having a baseball team, briefly, and then going to court because some asshole used car dealer/future league commissioner stole your baseball team, only to have a team awarded to your city a few years later because you raised such a legal stink, surely it's you, Seattle. But more on that in a sec.

Doubting, Thomas

CBS Sportsline is pretty shitty, I know. I probably shouldn't bother reading their baseball stuff, because it's generally more frustrating than informative, but it shows up right there on my iGoogle page, and I don't have to type or do a lot of extra clicking, or anything. Easy!

Suckiness case in point: even in the wake of Hurt's signing with the A's, Sportsline leaves up pieces about the likelihood or advisability of other teams signing him. Stupid, right? But even stupider is this article about Richie Sexson's woes, raking that lanky lad over the coals for his pithy April output, and using Thomas as a weapon to threaten poor Richie with a bludgeoning (or unemployment).

I don't want to steal Fire Joe Morgan's schtick, but look at that title:

Mariners waiting for Sexson's slumbering lumber to wake up

Really, CBS Sportsline? Really? Is "slumbering lumber" the new stand-in euphemism for ED?And that picture? If you're trying to be funny, ouch. If you're not, bravo! Unintentional funny beats hard-fought laughs every time. It's like being cool, or using the Force: there is no try, only do.

Who's the Pilot?

Have I discussed my fascination with the Seattle Pilots here yet? No? Well...

I think it started when I was 13 and my parents took me to the Hall of Fame. No, hear me out - I'll be quick. I got a bunch of swag from the Cooperstown gift shop, including a book of baseball trivia. Near the back of that book there was a picture of a skeleton wearing a Pilots cap and the caption read: Seattle Pilots, 1969-1969. It blew me away, because I'd never heard of the Pilots, and I was a kid who read anything having to do with baseball.

Years later, I read Bouton's book, and that stoked my interest more. What a sad story, I thought. Sad and beautiful. And it's the reason I own a Pilots jersey (well, okay, technically a Mariners throwback jersey, from a night a few seasons ago when they paid tribute to the Pilots, because, after all, a real Mitchell & Ness throwback would set me back like $400, right?), and why my (mysteriously underachieving) fantasy team is Dooley Womack's Seattle Pilots.

That's why it was great to come across this post and this post on a great blog called The Fleer Sticker Project (via Uniwatch). A great capsule explanation of the Pilots' rise and demise (damn you, Selig!) as well as some great imagery.

Interesting side note: While the Pilots' home, Sicks Stadium, is now an Ace Hardware parking lot, some of the seats from that yard apparently ended up in Vancouver's Nat Bailey Stadium.

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