Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Of course it's not only Julio Lugo who was hypnotized by the Mariners and their evil moose-ish ways, but he was a big part of it. I'm aware that everyone has slumps, but with Lugo it's starting to look like we're leaving the "alas, poor fellow's in a bit of a low spot" slump and rapidly entering the "may as well go up there holding a fuzzy purple pipe cleaner, he's just as likely to hit something with THAT" slump.
I'm starting to fear that we have the Curse of Cabby. It's nothing quite so panic-mongering as that Bambino business; just that since we declined to keep Orlando Cabrera, we will henceforth be doomed to suffer through shortstops who really, REALLY just can't hack Boston. It wasn't the kind of place where Alex Gonzalez could play, and it's starting to look like it's not the kind of place where Lugo can play either.
When he was pulled for a pinch hitter today and smashed his bat at the ground in the dugout, that was when I realized it. Oh, I had realized that he can't hit a cockroach's weight right now (or, rather, I SAW that... it didn't take any REALIZING) some time ago, but I thought that maybe his simmering belligerence would be enough to buffer him against everything that comes from playing in Boston.
That wah wah wah i don't wannaaaaa bat slam showed a depth of helpless frustration that convinces me this is not the case. He may be simmeringly belligerent, but he's not using it to shield himself against Boston... he's directing it AT Boston, or at himself, or at both at once. And that will only end in tears, and a lot of angry words about contracts from everyone in the area.
And to think, I usually LIKE when the Sox play the Mariners. I get to watch Ichiro play baseball, which is always a delight... when you watch Ichiro play baseball, you are watching a more pure and exacting form of baseball. His little measuring gesture with the bat, his pigeon-toed stance, the way he flies over the outfield grass... it's just a simple joy to watch. I reckon that if you don't like watching Ichiro, you don't like baseball.
Oh, and the whole Matsuzaka vs. Ichiro thing is a pretty good storyline too, y'know. I love how everyone gets so unreasoningly excited about it. NESN even put on the NHK broadcast for an at-bat-- so there I am, watching Ichiro up to bat against Matsuzaka, and the broadcast is in Japanese, which means I don't understand a single word of it... and I still LOVE IT. Why? I don't even know. It's probably something to do with the fact that you can almost imagine what they're saying. The universality of baseball announcing and all that. And maybe it's that little reminder that somewhere halfway across the world there's someone your age sitting there, listening to that very same broadcast, just as excited about the coolness of the matchup as you are.
I also always enjoy seeing JJ Putz, because with Mike Matheny out of baseball, he and Rich Hill are holding down the Wolverine alum fort. So it was great to see how well Putz is pitching. The Red Sox fan bit of my brain, however, spent much of that series screaming that HE MUST BE STOPPED. 'Cause, wow. That was SOME kind of game closing action.
edit: Man, I REALLY need to get around to overhauling my sidebar. I've got a bunch of work-things due soon, and am heading into NY this weekend for art and a ballgame, but after that! Blog gets attention. Suggestions welcome.
Labels: baseball, Ichiro, Japan, JJ Putz, Julio Lugo, loss, Mariners, MLB, Red Sox