Thursday, April 06, 2006

Synchronicity

Days in first place in the 2006 AL West: 2.


Home runs by Kenji Johjima: 2.


Mental and speaking gaffes by Mariners announcing team: Countless.


It all adds up, ladies and gentlemen. The opening series with the Angels was just the kind of start to the season you would like. Oh, sure, Adrian Beltre is hitting like Jeff Cirillo again, and Putz is doing his best impression of a right-handed White Flag, but on the whole, we'll take a 2-1 start.

This sets up tonight's Clash of the AL West Titans: Oakland brings their 2-1 team to Safeco, led to victory last night by the Big Hurt and Milton Bradley. I'm hoping for a pre-game tag-team wresting match between the A's, uhh, friendly duo, and the Mariners' own enforcer, Carl Everett. (Carl doesn't need a partner....)

We get Esteban Loiaza tonight, who along with Bradley and Thomas represents the big changes this year for the Athletics. He has had a career full of surprises, and it is pretty difficult to predict whether his fine year last year in a pitcher's park can carry into 2006, or whether he'll self-immolate a dozen or so times before being replaced by someone else.

Facing Loaiza will be a pitcher guaranteed to invoke flames for the Mariners' faithful this season. At this point in his career, Gil Meche is a AAA long reliever masquerading as a major-league starting pitcher. I've got zero hope that he is valuable this season. Look, the high point of his 2005 season was an 8-2, 4.80 ERA first half. High point. He's apparently never going to be the promising pitcher that we saw before the injury, and it's yet another reflection of Bavasi's poor planning that Meche has been guaranteed a rotation spot on the big club for this long.

Many miles away
Wilson Valdez crawls from the slime
At the bottom of a dark
Scottish lake.

Despite all of this, we can hope for some sort of freak, early-season paranormal phenomenon in which Meche baffles the A's hitters, while the Mariners light Esteban Loaiza on fire early, and we claim sole possession of the division lead. Hey, it could happen.

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