A baseball season has many ups and downs. First there is hope, as in hoping the team is better this season. There is excitement when your team wins, or when your favorite player is on a hot streak. There is joy, chest thumping, and celebration when your team wins.
Then the mood swings down when your team, can’t hit, can’t pitch, and can’t win. This brings carping, bitching, moaning, and calling sports radio talk shows to say who should be traded.
Most of all baseball is frustrating. Case in point is the Mariners first two games in Texas. The Mariner bats are hot early, scoring five runs off Darvish, the Japanese phenom making his major league debut. Then the pitching of the good ship Mariner hits an iceberg giving up 11 runs and the Mariner ship sinks.
The next night the pitching is superb. Blake Beaven gave up one run in 6.1 innings and Wilhelmsen finished the game with no runs scored against him. But the Mariner bats were sleeping, getting only four hits, and they lose 1-0.
The frustration comes from not getting the pitching and the hitting in the same game. This has a lot to do with why teams lose. There is no synchronicity. A team is out of balance, the engine misfiring. Of course this two game sampling for the Mariners should not alarm. They are not in need yet of a tuneup.
But Manager Eric Wedge has said he expects accountabilty this season. Last year he was watchful. Not this year. He sat Brendan Ryan in the second Texas game, saying on a radio show that he was not happy with how Ryan played two balls on potential double plays, nor was he pleased with one of his at bats. This was not something he would have said on the radio last year.
There is a shorter leash this season. Just like fans a manager gets frustrated. He wants a smooth running engine and if he does not get it, he will replace parts trying to fine tune it.