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Clashes of the Titans

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Tim Marchman says that the Subway Series this year “is no battle for honor between two hardened champions, but a pair of bums fighting over a ham sandwich in an alley.” There are, however, considerably more pathetic rivalry series. Such as the Mariners/Padres, which is more like fighting over a half-eaten McRib that’s been sitting for a day in a dumpster outside of a medical waste facility. However, it must be conceded that the white-hot intensity of this traditional rivalry overcomes the abysmal quality of the teams. I hope everyone will be showing up to Safeco with their “Bevacqua sucks” and “F^%$ Archi Cianfrocco” shirts.

When your team crashes, burns, and falls into the swamp, you can at least get some quality snark, such as this from USS Mariner‘s Derek Zumsteg on the Bedard/Jones/Sherrill trade:

What a horrible trade, made worse by how it took so long to complete. It was like being tortured by watching Miss Congeniality 2 on a loop tape, where time gets slower and slower, giving me more time to dwell on the never-ending horror playing out in front of me, the pain of which slowed time even further.

Any time you get fleeced by the Orioles, you should just quit. Just turn in your laminated RFID pass to the office doors, hand over the company cell phone, and walk out onto the street. You’re done.

And it’s not just that the Mariners decided to sell out the future in a trade, and then do it in a half-assed way (if you’re going for it this year, you can’t keep Vidro and Sexson, keep Ibanez in LF, etc.) What’s even worse is that the organization in 2002 and 2003 — when a sacrifice of long-term interests actually would have made sense, as they had a competitive but very old team — Stand Pat let them die on the vine.

And then there’s the manager. It’s one thing if, as in the case of Joe Morgan or (in an obscure but more egregious case, and what I think was an even greater factor in the death of my beloved Expos than the cancellation of the World Series in ’94, Jim Fanning) when the in-over-his-head organizational time-server you hire as a mid-season replacement lucks into the postseason, and you probably have to keep him for another year. But McLaren took over the team last year, it collapsed down the stretch in no small part due to his atrocious bullpen management and inexplicable lineup decisions, and…you bring him back anyway? If you’re going to trade away an Adam Jones for a short-term fix, and you start the season with John McLaren as your manager…it really is time for a full housecleaning in Seattle.

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