You know, these guys are making it REALLY hard to remain level-headed …
Take a look at those numbers. LOOK AT THEM! First, click on the picture to make them bigger, then LOOK AT THOSE FUCKING THINGS!
I know you’re not supposed to say it, because it’s insensitive, but “Retarded” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about the Seattle Mariners 11 games into their 2013 Spring Training campaign. 10-1 (with the lone defeat in a charity game to start off the year), on a 10-game winning streak, with 24 homers (8 more than the number 2 team in baseball), 83 runs (2 more than the number 2 team in baseball), a .585 slugging percentage (68 points higher than the number 2 team in baseball), and a .951 OPS (47 points higher than the number 2 team in baseball). On top of that, their 10 wins is 1 more than the number 2 team in baseball. It is OUT OF CONTROL.
Now look, I know, okay? I know we’re not supposed to look at the numbers, or concentrate on the numbers, or know the numbers even exist! Spring Training is nothing more than guys trying to get their arms in shape for pitching and their eyes and arms in shape for batting. That’s it. If the numbers are great, then great. If the numbers aren’t great, then who cares?
I get it.
But, here’s the deal. A. I’m not there. I’m not sitting there watching these games. I’m not interviewing the players or the coaches. All the info I get comes from beat writers and bloggers. I’m relying on them to paint me the overall picture of what’s really going on. Also, B. I’m not a scout. So, even if I WAS there, watching the games, etc., I wouldn’t know a good swing from a bad swing anyway!
But, I can look at numbers and know what they represent. And, right now, they represent something pretty outstanding.
Who are the guys we are concerned about? Let’s start with Justin Smoak. So far, he’s 8 for 16 with four extra-base hits (2 homers, 2 doubles), 2 walks and only 3 strikeouts. He’s one of those guys working on a new swing that appears to be paying dividends. Good on ya.
Moving on, Jesus Montero is 7 for 14, also with four extra-base hits (1 homer, 3 doubles), 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Raul Ibanez is 7 for 13 with five extra-base hits (2 homers, 3 doubles), 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Dustin Ackley is 4 for 10 with 1 extra-base hit (1 triple), 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Kendrys Morales is 5 for 14 with 1 extra-base hit (1 homer). Mike Morse is 4 for 13 with 2 extra-base hits (1 homer, 1 double), 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. And Franklin Gutierrez is 4 for 13 with 4 extra-base hits (3 homers, 1 double), 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
So often, we dismiss Spring Training results, because so often we find our minor leaguers doing the bulk of the damage. Well, in some respects, this year is no different (Carlos Peguero: 8 for 19, 5 extra-base hits – 3 homers, 2 doubles – 2 walks & 6 strikeouts), but for the most part, we’re looking at our Major Leaguers doing just as much damage if not moreso. That’s promising! It means nothing; they could all revert to pieces of crap come April 1st. But, still! Right now, it’s early March, so right now that’s promising!
Part of me never wants this Spring Training to end. A much bigger part of me wants these Spring Training results to count towards the regular season, so we can have a big ol’ head start on the rest of our division. The whole of me is genuinely excited to see what these Mariners will turn into when the clock strikes 6am and Bill Murray lifts his head from his pillow as “I Got You Babe” is playing on the clock radio. Is 2013 going to be another shitty Groundhog Day, in an endless string of Groundhog Days for these Mariners? Or, will we finally be greeted with a February 3rd and get to make out with Andie MacDowell?