Another weekend passes,
and I am still away from relaxing games and all that good stuff. I'm
still living the life of a suburban "man-of-the-house", which seems
to be a code name for not doing anything to relax with.
At least that lifestyle
lends nicely to getting time to watch whatever game is on the TV. In
the case of Seattle area people, this has been a good pastime for
The Sounders FC beat
Sporting Kansas City in one hell of a finish. For the most part, the
game was not exactly high tension. The score remained at 0-0 up
until the regulation 90 minutes had ended. It was only two minutes
into stoppage time that the game finally broke away from being
mundane and became amazing. On a corner kick, Parke managed his
first goal since the middle of last decade (which would also qualify
as his second MLS goal ever) on a beautiful header. After running
down the clock for another couple of minutes, the Sounders squeaked
out a tight win, and another perfect performance from Kasey Keller.
The funny thing is this
is also the first win that the Sounders have pulled off at home in a
May. Despite going to the post season for the last two years and
being an unbelievable team for being so young, the Sounders had
never seen 3 points at home in May before. I guess this was a
perfect time to end that poor record. Of course, with how Seattle
does a hell of a job beating Kansas City in the final stoppage time,
time and again, it was only fitting for this to end that lame streak
of May home games.
It's also amazing to be
able to say the Mariners are looking good. Even when they do perform
well over a season (which, I heard legends, would happen in the
past...in a magical time known as the mid 1990's), they always seem
to be crap in May and June. Well, they just swept the Padres after
sweeping the Angles in a 2 game series.
While I don't think this
is a sign that the M's are turning around, it does show one
important fact; the Mariners have an amazing starting rotation. I
cannot believe I'm saying it with people like Bedard and Vargas in
the rotation, but the M's have one of the best rotations in baseball
and possible the best in the American League. Peneda is living up to
the hype of being the next Felix Hernandez and is looking like he's
going for a rookie of the year award (already got rookie of the
month for April), if not trying to make his name onto a few Cy Young
ballots. Hernandez is still doing pretty solid, despite a couple of
complete flops a few weeks back. Bedard is finally showing why the
M's traded, what felt at the time, too highly for his injured self.
I mean the only thing missing from the pitching is a good solid
closer who doesn't buckle under pressure. Even the middle relievers
are looking damned good.
Of course, it doesn't
help that the M's have crap for offense, with no power bats to speak
of. I guess Smoak isn't too bad, but we just don't see a guy who is
formidable in the 4-slot. It is obvious that intentional walks are
not going to be a regular part of the M's offense.
Still, this season was
officially dubbed a rebuilding year. Unlike last year, which felt
like a rebuilding year but the M's acted like contenders. Strangely,
the Seahawks did the same thing. Two years back, it was a team all
about contending, and they flopped. Then last season they went into
rebuilding and went on to beat the Saints in the post-season. While
it's a long shot, it is possible to see the Mariners do the same and
make the post season. Despite being so bad in April, the M's are
only a few games out from first in the AL West. It's early in the
season, and I have stopped giving any hope towards a solid M's team
anytime soon, but this is the season in which the unexpected can
happen. It also helps to have all the drama out of the clubhouse
I am getting lazy on
posting again, and I know it. Actually, lazy would be better than
feeling like I'm in some weird blending of the movie Office Space
and one of those home improvement style reality shows about people
trying to remodel their homes. When you add those two features
together, you get a world of mental and physical pain.
At least I am
finally finding time to play games and relax a little again.
However, despite some newer games I'd like to play, and despite not
having played much of the third episode of The Silver Lining, I am
actually sticking mainly with two other games of a nostalgic flavor.
On the 3DS, I've
been playing a bit of Bust-A-Move Universe. I really want to quit,
but I started a game a couple weeks ago and have been trapped in it.
Each night I try to play for about 15-30 minutes before putting the
3DS to sleep again. I'm now around level 2700 and the game just will
not end. Part of me wants to just fail already, but that would feel
wrong. The other part of me wants to at least reach level 9001 so I
can be a geek and say "my level is over 9000!!!"
I've also picked
up Soul Blazer (SNES) again. I don't know why, but this game falls
into the category, for me, that also has Xenogears and Castlevania:
Symphony of the Night. The games I just have a feeling every couple
of years that I need to beat again. I have better things to play,
but these types of games are just so comforting and nostalgic in
reminding me of simpler times in my life.
Best of all, I've
managed to find a little time to watch some sports now that most TV
is entering re-run time. So, while the Sounders FC are not looking
amazing, the Mariners are really becoming fun to watch. There's a
strong chance the M's will pull off an unimportant, but not bad,
record in a few days. They may have the best starting rotation ERA
in May of all time. The current best is around 2.7 or so, and the
M's are running in the 2.1-2.2 range. Not too bad for a team that
included a good amount of starting pitchers I expected to fail (Bedard
and Vargas) or to not be polished enough yet (Peneda). However, the
team is looking solid on pitching, and has pulled off a few series
wins lately with some amazing pitching and better than expected run
support. Now if only Cust and Smoak can be the big bats the M's
need, the team could become amazing in the final two thirds of the
However, with the
Sounders looking less than amazing, my long standing theory of
Seattle sports is being reconfirmed. I swear, Seattle is allowed to
only break even in sports. If the M's are good, then the Sounders
and Seahawks will flop. If the Seahawks are good, then the other two
fail. In the past, the Sonics, if this karma is a rule, kept the
other teams under control. However, with the Sonics gone, this
leaves the field open for each year. I know, this sounds
superstitious, but it just seems to be more of the rule than the
I've been away from
posting as the world kicks my ass. Sleep deprivation, work,
chores...life just keeps coming and not giving me a break. Well, I
guess I got one "break"...
I feel like I have
disgraced myself and am getting ready to remove all semblance of
dignity tomorrow. My iPod, which I bought in August of last year,
just suffered the same problem that made me buy this iPod. The
headphone jack has become loose. In other words, I will have to get
it replaced, do some self done repairs, or make the most painful
decision I have ever made...I'm going to the Genius Bar at the Apple
I feel that the
entire atmosphere of Apple is not for me. In reality, it's not for
anyone who is trying to be a real person. It's a clean, sterile,
white environment of only smooth lines and curves with personalities
to exemplify this physical look. In other words, it just feels cold,
and imaginary. I personally like the feel of the competition far
more for one reason; Google, Microsoft, and whoever else is in
competition with Apple right now (the list fluctuates too much to
keep track) show personality that can be physically seen as anything
but smooth and perfect. There are flaws, and flaws feel real.
Anyway, I hope to
have this headphone issue resolved quickly enough that I don't have
to linger in this environment. The truth of the matter is that I'm
pretty gentle on my iPod. I almost never remove my headphones and
never put the iPod in a position any more dangerous than being in
the front pocket of my pants...which seems like the natural intended
home for this gadget. Yet, I've now seen two iPods in my home die of
the same hearing related problem (my first iPod dies of a HDD
failure, but that was a one time issue so I forgive and forget). In
fact, looking online, it seems like this is not a rare issue, and
the spare parts are even readily available (for more than I want to
pay for an iPod still under it's 1 year warrantee).
Anyway, I have
little else to say except for a quick observation on sports;
The Mariners are
amazing right now. I expected to say that line even less than I
would have expected to ever make a reservation for the Genius Bar.
However, when you have a starting rotation and a bullpen like the
M's have, you have more than just the potential for a great team.
When you add in a manager like Wedge, who does not take crap from
slacking players, then you see things get amazing. If only the M's
could handle their low batting average, and add a power bat (or
remind Smoalk and Cust why they are on the team), and you have a
championship contending team.
doesn't hit the wall in the middle of the year (many rookies seem to
love hitting a rookie slump around the All Star Break), I see him
taking home the AL Rookie of the Year award, without a doubt. If he
can keep it up, he even looks like he'd want to take the Cy Young
Award home at the same time. He has the best record (wins and
losses) for the M's, a solid strikeout count, goes for seven or more
innings without a problem, and the best ERA for a starter on the
M's...and one of the best in the league. Pineda is looking like the
real deal, and as long as this star that is burning so bright
doesn't burn out really quickly, the M's may have a perfect 1-2
punch with Hernandez. Although it is funny that it's not the first
and second pitcher in the rotation, but the last and first. Then
when you have Bedard finally earning his pay, and Fister and Vargas
looking well above average, this is a pitching team for the first
time in longer than I can recall.
Now if only the
M's will improve their batting average and find a good power hitter
on the cheap...this could be more than just an AL West winner. This
could be a team to go the distance in the fall.
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