Saturday, August 24, 2019

Game #132 - Toronto Blue Jays (55-74) @ Seattle Mariners (55-74)

Blue Jays and Mariners Opening Game Tickets

I wrote the game threats for a Jays/Rangers series last year and was able to get a lot of mileage out of everyone's ongoing hatred for that squad.  As long as Odor remains in place (I'm sure he'll be out of the league soon, though) the hatred will burn with unparalleled fury:

Voldemort performs the Avada Kedavra curse on Roughned Odor of the Texas Rangers

I feel differently about the Mariners.  I'm not a fan of their club but I've also never disliked them and they've had a number of very likable players and stars over the years, with a curious lack of odious characters.  Let's examine a small selection of my favourite Mariners over the years, arbitrarily me.  I refuse to back my small number of picks up with anything more than feelings and conjecture.

Ken Griffey Jr.

Clearly, Griffey Jr. would have been one of the all-time greats if his career hadn't been derailed by injuries.  Even so, he was one of the most electrifying talents to play the game and probably helped to save a franchise whose fans had little to cheer for over many dreary years.  If anything, he helped the club by leaving right before he started to get injured regularly.

1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card

In 1990 I moved to Victoria, BC and the following summer my mom and I got on the bus and went to Seattle to see the Mariners play a series.  I no longer recall the opponent but I do remember Griffey Jr.'s dazzling defense in the outfield and that sweet swing, with tremendous power.  Jr. was a superstar for 10 years in Seattle and is also my official #1 Mariner of all time.

Ichiro Suzuki

I got away from baseball after the strike of 1994.  It wasn't until the 2001 season that I came back in any meaningful way.  Did this happen because I thought long and hard about the game and what it meant to me?  No.  I turned on the TV one day, found that there was a Jays game on, watched it, and was back.  I soon heard about Ichiro and how he was tearing up the league, playing with a unique style that was in some ways a throwback to the great players of the early part of the last century.

2001 Bowman Heritage Rookie Card

Part way through the season I made the trip down to Seattle to catch a Mariners series.  I was fascinated by Ichiro and the thing that really sticks out in my mind is that he had a lot of long at bats because he fouled off a ton of pitches until he got one he liked.  In my limited experience watching live baseball he was the only player I've seen who seemed to be able to foul off any pitch at will and where he wanted it...almost toying with the opposition.  He was so fast out of the box it seemed like he was half way down the line by the time he made contact.  He also had one of the best outfield arms in the last several decades:

This video works in "Compose" but not in preview.  Will it work for real in the game threat?  Stay tuned!

Ichiro Suzuki, my pick for #2 Seattle Mariner of all time.

That's it!  I've decided to stop there since I'm tired and I'll instead discuss some JITH news.  Last we heard of Wince, he was speeding toward Denmark in a high speed train, having narrowly escaped justice in Switzerland.  Unfortunately, he's having difficulty keeping himself out of trouble.  He made it most of the way to Denmark but was expelled from the train in Hamburg due to another assault, this time on a hapless server in the dining car.  It was initially unclear what transpired but sources have indicated that Wince's almost empty beer was cleared by the server.  He was heard to scream "When I start a beer I finish it!" before striking the server on the jaw.  Wince managed to escape the law and was on the run toward Holland.  Word has it he's hiding out in Friesland, perhaps in the Harlingen and Leeuwarden area.  Should he try to return to this site, we'll have to give serious thought to what restrictions he should be placed under.

In the last game threat I made fun of Dabbles and Joe McD.  Both of them failed to appear in the threat so I think they may be gone for good.  However, Wolf and karen appeared in my threat so I was "even" and have, I feel, redeemed myself.

In other interesting news, the Jays have a very thin pitching staff and both Tina and I have been approached for permission to have our dogs take spots in the bullpen.  I was reluctant at first and Tina's dog did have surgery recently but we have both agreed.

it's all over's dog "Ruutu" in 2008

Ruutu fielding a come-backer prior to his first Jays appearance

The Jays are on a bit of a run of losses here so it would be nice to pull one out today.  Opener Wilmer Font takes the ball for the Jays (sorry Wince) while Felix Hernandez starts for the first time since May.  Hernandez, at one time an ace and almost surefire Hall of Famer, has faltered badly in recent years and is only a shadow of his former self.  Due the way these things generally work, he will likely return to form this evening for a turn back the clock, complete game gem, and will then fall apart against other clubs.

GO Jays GO!!