It sucks rooting for a bad baseball team in the middle of July. It sucks because your team is losing – and ostensibly has been losing all season, like this team has – and it sucks because curious decisions are often made around this time. Oh, did I say “curious”? Because I meant “enraging”. I meant “loathesome”. I meant “God-damned mind-boggling”. See, it’s the middle of July. July 31st, as everybody knows, is the Trade Deadline. So teams – specifically bad teams – like to showcase the talent they’re willing to trade away. Either guys they know they won’t sign to an extension, guys who are blocking an up-and-coming prospect, or just crap who are taking up payroll you’d like to clear from the books. For the Mariners, this means playing Casey Kotchman every chance you get – in day-to-day games, in high-leverage situations, in high-leverage situations against tough left-handed relievers – because you know he won’t be around next year thanks to Smoak and (probably) Branyan. This means playing Jose Lopez EVERY, SINGLE, NIGHT, even though he makes about 5 mental errors per game at this point, and is still batting in the .230s. And, even though no one’s ready to go that far, this means playing Bradley as much as possible to see if a team is just desperate (or stupid) enough to take him off our hands. Unfortunately, for fans of the Mariners, we’re not aware of what’s going on. We don’t know who’s being showcased and who’s in there because Wak is sucking our will to live. Likewise, we don’t know how those potential deals are shaking out; maybe Jackie Z is trying his damnedest to get Lopez out of here, but nobody will bite because he’s a mental midget. When the trade deadline rolls around and these fucks are still here – and playing regularly – that’s when it’s REALLY time to light up the ire. Until then, I’ll watch these mid-July games, but I don’t have to like ’em.