My emotions have been so drained from tonight’s terrible-then-awesome-then-terrible-again game. Let’s start with the good from tonight. Oliver Perez had a decent relief outing. Casper Wells did well. John Jaso came off the bench (of course) and got a huge hit (of course). The rest of the Mariners pitchers were good. I’m going to focus on Oliver Perez’ 0.1 inning outing tonight, however.
Perez may very well be the only player who outwardly displays emotion on this team. A big league veteran, Perez was signed by the Mariners to a minor-league deal and was not quite pleased when he was assigned to AAA Tacoma as a reliever. All he did in AAA was focus his anger on opposing hitters, dominating the PCL and earning himself a call-up to Seattle.
Perez has kept himself on the same path in Seattle. His fastball has been clocked in the upper 90s and he has struck out ten while only walking two for a SO/BB ratio of 5. When he finishes an inning on a good note, he walks off the mound and leaps over the foul line with a heel click, Dick Van Dyke style. I’m fascinated when Oliver Perez takes the mound in a similar way to when Munenori Kawasaki takes the field. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and if only for a night, gave his team a new nickname in my book – Oliver and Company.
Of course, no reference to Oliver and Company is complete without the song that helped make the children’s movie so popular – Billy Joel’s “Why Should I Worry?”
It was only after thinking about the song for a little bit that I realized how fitting some of its lyrics are to the Mariners’ 2012 season and especially this game.
Why should Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders worry that their jobs (and, more importantly, spots on the major league roster) may be in jeopardy when they can go a combined 1-20 with 10 LOB (not to mention the extreme cold streaks most of the players are on) and still be starting the next day?
Why should Miguel Olivo worry about his job security when a back-up catcher in Jaso is now hitting .272 with better defense and is still sitting on the bench the vast majority of games?
Why should Ichiro worry about being dropped down to the bottom half of the lineup? It seems no matter what he does (or doesn’t do) at the plate, the manager is afraid to put him where he needs to be.
If the second half of the Mariners’ season picks up where the end of the first half left off, Eric Wedge won’t be in a good way. Neither will Jack Zduriencik. Unfortunately, “why should I worry” isn’t the only part of that song with ties to the Mariners’ season. The next line seems to become more true each day that the product ran out onto the field isn’t as good as it could be.
Why should I care?