Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Five Bazillionth Post in the Mariner Blogosphere on the Halfway Point

I was thinking to myself the other day as another Futurama episode flashed across my television (Fry saving the world from gigantic brains).

"Self, why haven't you written anything about the Mariners this season?"

My first reaction was to get very defensive with myself. You see, unlike most of you poor saps, I actually don't HAVE a full-time job, and don't HAVE to go to work every day, which means that my time is naturally taken up by the four-headed hydra of 1) ESPN (yes, even Cold Pizza), 2) Nick (did you know that Danny Fenton is actually Danny Phantom?), 3) Food Network (if you haven't watched that Giada cook from "Everyday Italian", well, you haven't lived, my friends. US Women's Curling Team lived....) and 4) Comedy Central (where even MadTV suddenly becomes comedy!). Basically, you don't know my life, you bastards! You don't know me!

Side story: I have DISHNetwork, which has usually been a cool thing to have, due to the fact that it costs less and I get all the cable shows three hours earlier, which means that Adult Swim starts at 8PM. However, it has suddenly turned uncool the last couple of weeks, as my receiver has started malfunctioning. Turns out that I get my signal from two satellites, and my receiver isn't properly picking up one of the two satellites, which happens to be the satellite with all the ESPN channels, most of my MLB Extra Innings channels, Food Network, etc. Basically, I'm in hell. So, I call their service help line, go through the task of rebooting my receiver with the automated system (has that ever worked to solve any problem? Ever? If we were to send negotiators to the Middle East to solve current tensions between Israel and, well, everyone, would we just tell Israel to press the power button and reboot their relationships with everyone?), finally getting to talk to a real person after about twenty minutes (even more exciting, the person actually sounded American, though that could have been a figment of my imagination). Well, after about forty-five minutes of talking to this nice individual, who basically told me to fiddle with some numbers and then would ask, "Did that fix it?", to which I would reply, "What part of NO did you not understand?", she finally told me that they would send a replacement part. GREAT! A replacement part! Well, it took a couple of days, but the part got here, and it took me another day before I summoned the power of my lazy will and went outside (God did not create 125 degree temperatures. It was either Satan or Coyote.). Well, took me about five minutes to comprehend that the part on my receiver was a two-pronged masterpiece, while the part DISH had SENT was a one-pronged piece of crapola that wouldn't fit in the dish itself. Apparently the lady I was talking to, after checking with EXACTLY what equipment I had, had just hit the clear button on her screen, panicked, and sent Equipment Part Cover Ass Alpha or something. Even better, this meant I had to pay for a box ($3! That's 3 Big and Tasty's my mouth will never taste!) to send the replacement part back to DISH. All I can say is..... another replacement part better get here stat. Super stat.

But enough about my television viewing habits. We were discussing the Mariners.

Now, I'm not here to talk about numbers. I only do that with football, the real football, for all you soccer-lovin' freaks out there. So, instead, I thought I would critique the current roster the best way I know how.

Through Star Trek.

Catcher - Kenji Johjima
Star Trek Equivalent - Deanna Troi
Ok, stay with me on this one. First off, Troi was hot, the bee's knees, as you will. She also had the captain's ear on plenty of decisions, including some she had no business being involved in, like being ground controller on Cochrane's first flight while the Borg were taking over the Enterprise in the situation referred to by nerds as, "totally awesome to the max." However, Troi was a tad flighty and not always on the ball, frequently falling into weird states of comas and never quite warning the crew in time of danger. Basically, she brought the hotness and flashes of brilliance, but never really wowed anyone with actual talents (Except Riker, who got wowed numerous times, and Worf, which I don't really want to think about since that relationship never failed to evoke bile rising in my throat. Let's just say that Picard should have passed a starship constitutional amendment banning Klingon/Betazoid relationships.).

First Base - Richie Sexson
Star Trek Equivalent - Lieutenant Tom Paris

When you think of sucktastic Star Trek series, you begin with Voyager, a show that, in my opinion, died with the fantastic episode where another Q takes refuge on the ship in order to commit suicide, which Captain Janeway allows, thus reaffirming my belief that women don't make good starship captains. Anyways, Paris was supposed to be the real star of Voyager. He was young, supremely talented, good looking, and a ladies man. However, just like everything else on the show, he didn't live up to the billing. Sure, he would throw in a big bomb once every three years, like achieving warp 10 or flushing out Seska's informant amongst the crew (Would you believe it was Michael Jonas? I know!). Basically, swing and a miss on this character. Hmmm. Swing and a miss. I've seen that somewhere......

Second Base - Jose Lopez
Star Trek Equivalent - Geordi LaForge
Geordi was a slightly goofy fellow who wore a freaking VISOR because, well, he was blind. Until the last movie, when he could see, and I died a little inside (also because of having to watch Frakes and Sirtis share a bathtub). However, in the early years, he was a young stud fast-rising through the ranks, catching Picard's eye early on by staying up all night to fix his shuttle. He was also one of the more interesting characters to watch; you knew that he would do SOMETHING watchable, even if it was not tagging 3rd base before heading home on a sac fly, which I learned to do, I believe, in the 1st grade. He did also disappear for episodes at a time since he wasn't yet quite a main character, but he could have been.

Shortstop - Yuniesky Betancourt
Star Trek Equivalent - Julian Bashir

Our first Deep Space Nine character, a doctor who desperately WANTED to be Hugh Grant, with his charmingly shocking accent and shockingly charming stumbling about. In fact, he was pretty much useless in most fighting and, well, driving, having a conversation, etc. However, he was an absolute genuis when it came to being a doctor. Betancourt is a fantastic fielder, but he sure does swing into a lot of outs, and we basically have one of the weakest shortstops around scheduled to start for us the next ten years. That's cool, since that defense can sometimes save a former Cardassian spy's life by breaking dependence on pleasure hormones. But it sure doesn't always seem like he's a best guy for the job.

Third Base - Adrian Beltre
Star Trek Equivalent - Wesley Crusher

Wesley was supposed to be the next Picard, a prententious, smart, talented teenager who was piloting a starship by the age most of us are learning the many different ways that a girl can tell you no. He was young, ready to become a premier player in Starfleet. What happened? Bad stuff happened. He was signed by the Lakers under the guise of Vlade Radmanovic. He started hanging out with some hippie alien. He developed an overall bad attitude about the Fleet, and, so, never lived up to his expectations. Now, that was fine with me, because Wesley was an annoying prick, but it made watching him difficult. Now we can but hope that Wesley either turns it around or is also kicked out of Starfleet.

Right Field - Ichiro
Star Trek Equivalent - Spock
If you have read Ichiro's recent tree comments (what the....?), then you know why Spock makes perfect sense here. Ichiro still seems like he's stuck between two worlds, that of the Japanese and that of America. He's full of logic, his skill is undeniable, and yet he struggles to find people ready to tell of his obvious greatness, instead being labeled a singles hitter who can run fast. Oh, he's more than that. He's the glue of the entire ship, the one person who Kirk would hijack a space ship to go to some stupid new world and find his dead body suddenly alive and a teenager. Ichiro's plate mannerisms go well with Spock's finger salute and neck pinch. Plus, he was my favorite character and, this year, Ichiro is my favorite Mariner, hitting the snot out of the ball again and just having fun. Now, if he could just be persuaded to play center field.....

Center Field - Jeremy Reed
Star Trek Equivalent - Jake Sisko

The Star Trek creators didn't realize their previous mistake (that Wesley sucked) and thus tried to do roughly the same character on Deep Space Nine with Commander Sisko's rough and tumble son (snicker). Seriously, the kid was supposed to be rebellious, but turned out to just be pretty lame, like when he didn't want to lie about Nog's (stupid friend) stolen homework and, instead, became his tutor. What the? That's rebellious? Basically, it became apparent by the end of the first season that this character, that showed a lot of promise, was basically a tool and a loser. So it goes with Mr. Reed, who has proven an inability to hit that rivals one Willie Ballgame except when he plays down in Southern California. His plate discipline is worse than Beltre's, he never walks anymore and shows absymal knowledge of what to expect from the pitcher. Only Carl Everett saves him from being the worst Mariner player, but not by much.

Left Field - Raul Ibanez
Star Trek Equivalent - Bones
Quick. Name a memorable Dr. McCoy scene from Star Trek. Go....... See? What's weird about that is McCoy was the third main character after Kirk and Spock. He was dependable, if a tad old, and always came through in the clutch. That's been Ibanez this season, as he's putting together a tremendous, consistent year. Outside of Ichiro, he's been our best hitter, quietly making me less angry about giving him a contract extension. It's time to give some love to a forgotten main character in the Mariners/Star Trek world. Now, if he could just play some actual defense (not unlike Bones' inability to actually have something witty to say to Spock during any of their so-called arguments).

DH - Carl Everett
Star Trek Equivalent - Captain Janeway

The lamest Star Trek captain meets the lamest Mariner veteran. Sure, Carl has come through in the clutch a few times for the M's, not unlike Janeway actually offering her life to save Kes on Nichristi. However, for the most part, this was an overhyped and underperforming captain. Got stuck in a wormhole, took up watercoloring (blah!), and couldn't get over her fiancee, Mark. Probably didn't believe in dinosaurs, either. I hated the show, had a healthy dislike for Janeway, and I want Everett off the team pronto. Free Snelling! What is taking Bavasi so long at this? Can there be an actual debate about this?

Closer - JJ Putz
Star Trek Equivalent - Worf

Do I need to explain this? No one could defeat Worf, except when William Shatner "wrote" a book about Kirk's return to the future, where he basically beat up the entire TNG crew, including Worf, which I sincerely doubt could happen. Worf was basically the uber-man, ready to beat up anyone Picard wished while closing the door on any would-be intruders onto the Enterprise. He was a breakout star after Tasha Yar died, becoming the new head of security, and the Enterprise was never safer.

Fast list of starters.....

Jamie Moyer = Odo
Old, reliable shape shifter, though Quark was able to basically get away with everything under his watch. Still, Odo has been around since the beginning of time, and Odo will continue to be around when time stops. Oh, and that slow process of melting and reforming? Moyer does that ALL THE TIME!

Gil Meche = Chekov
Meche just looks like he wants to say "wessel" to me, plus, he's actually been decent this year, like Chekov, who always was a decent character that didn't actually do too much except say funny Russian things and have an evil counterpart through the mirror.

King Felix = Captain Kirk
This might be blasphemous, but Kirk started off as a young, brash captain with dreams of being the best ever dancing in his head. Before he got to that place, though, he failed numerous times, even getting into a death match with Spock! Plus, Felix just seems like the type of guy that would appreciate the flesh of an alien women.

Jarrod Washburn = Scotty
Seems like a good officer and a reasonable fellow, but he's always complaining about the ship falling apart, and then, for no apparent reason, he falls into the big inning and gains about five thousand pounds. A solid guy to have, but not for the price of having to reconfigure the entire engineering system to handle his girth.

Joel Pineiro = Lwaxana Troi
The single most annoying character this side of Wesley. Who can forget her trying to seduce Captain Picard again. And again. And again. Only reason she was still in the rotation? Married the creator of Star Trek.

Mike Hargrove = Random Security Officer
Honestly, he would probably be an actual character, but I like to think of him as the random dude mercilessly gunned down by Klingons, Romuluns, fake Nazi's, fake gangsters, Cardassians, Borg, and all the other fun loving aliens that the world of Star Trek was known for. You could also think of him as Star Trek One: pretentious, full of itself, sure that the fact that it was Star Trek One spoke enough for itself, and awash with a plethora of bad decisions, like panning for fifteen minutes on different shots of the Enterprise, or giving Spock a lesser role, or having everyone wear those different (and stupid) uniforms.

Roberto Petagine = Tasha Yar
Roberto, we hardly knew ye, until you were killed by some oil creature and replaced by Worf as head of security.

Wille Ballgame = Q (just kidding!) How about a Tribble?

And that's it, a midseason take at the Seattle Mariners. Are we a playoff team? No. Just look at the pitching rotation, people. Not going to get it done. Also, Hargrove sucks, and so does Everett. So there, you vipers, take my words on the Mariners. I hate you all!

posted by colin_hesse @ 10:28 AM  0 comments

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