Psychologists tell us that some personality traits are subject to change, others are harder to change, and others go firmly into the "cradle-to-grave" category.
In Dr. D's case, there is no shortage of the latter, the long-term quirks that he'll be saddled with in two years or two hundred. He is resigned to permanent friendship with comfort food, to being the guy at the party with a lampshade on his head, and to a hopeful orientation towards Chris Taylor. In the Mariners' case, that means a fondness for long-distance relationships, particularly relationships with ca. 2001 banners in their rafters.
The Texas Rangers have a fondness for ... how do they put it in the South ... oh! winning. James gives "118 degrees" as the meteorological analogy for the way they're playing. The Gentle Reader does not enjoy being broken down by the side of the road in 118 degrees, and the Mariners do not enjoy having three starting pitchers in line at the MRI machine while Texas rips off 23 wins against 6 losses.
But you have to see the humor in it. Texas is all hat, few cattle. They're on pace for a 104-58 record despite a run differential of +336 -294; the Mariners are on pace for an 84-78 record with a differential of +341 -281. Abraham Lincoln's reaction to this kind of situation was to laugh so that no one would see him crying, and to conspicuously seat himself in public so that Southerners could freely approach him from behind.
So, for the moment, we turn our attention to the Wild Card race. Here are the standings. We've got to finish 2nd in a 4-hydro oval track on Lake Washington. Balmer, Royals, Jays, and us. One of them will turn out to be really good; our job is to prove we can win more than the other two.
Run differentials and our almighty OPS+ ERA+ figures:
||Run Diff / game
||No additions to these three hydros will be of any relevance whatsoever
||Now add K-Pax and Edwin Diaz
Comfortingly, we can cancel the fractions on "threats" like Detroit, New York, and Houston. They're all a good 6 games back of us. Not as comfortingly, we do find a -2 to -3 game deficit against the other 3 hydros.
It used to be that the Tigers featured a starting rotation pawn phalanx with Verlander, Max Scherzer, David Price, Anibal Sanchez, Drew Smyly and his 10+ K's per game, Rick Porcello ... from behind this wall of pawns they would range their Miguel Cabrera queens, Victor Martinez rooks, Ian Kinsler knights, J.D. Ramirez bishops, and you could only cuddle pieces around your king and wait for the hammer blow to fall ...
Serious question. How did this SP situation happen to them? Do they still have that 97-year-old owner whose "Dying Declaration" was that he cared more about the Tigers than about most stuff? Seriously, somebody brief me as to the general reason for this.
The Tigers do have one fragment of pawn center left, that being Justin Verlander, but he pitches Tuesday against forecasts for a lightning storm off the mountain.
All things considered, I'd just as soon face Pelfrey, Fulmer and To Be Announced than face Price, Scherzer and Sanchez. But at times my judgment can be suspect in view of my carefully-concealed "M's Win" agenda, so let me know if I've got a blind spot here, wouldja?
Whale of a juicy hydro series starts in a few minutes. Enjoy, fellow denizen.
:: daps :: ,