Goodbye beloved Diabolical, Hello reluctant Savior…

I’ve had some time now to read, reflect, mourn and start the process all over again… several times.

So, I get it.  
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the Mariners never-ending need for offense.

But, it’s hard.  Really hard.  Especially for one like me who ADORES pitching and defense.
Give me 1-0 game over a 10-9 on any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

But, I get it.
Scoring is a necessary evil and the M’s were lacking in that necessity …. like, epically lacking.

But, Michael was ours. We watched him grow, we watched him glow. I loved how he would walk to the back of the mound and have a little chat with himself when things weren’t going as planned (and, more often than not, it worked!). Of course you could see his grin in person or on TV but, you could also “hear” it when listening to him via the radio. His love for the game was complete and pure.

Yet, I get it.
To get you have to give. No pain, no gain. Well, we are giving and it’s painful.

Michael, it seemed, is the closest thing we will ever get to another Felix. But, he is his own man, his own pitcher and as much as Felix seemed to enjoy mentoring Michael, he knew and respected that fact – he let him learn his own lessons, his own way.

Yes, I get it.
Baseball is a business as well as a pastime. Sometimes assets have to shift – for the good of the whole.

I’ll never forget how excited I was to see Michael make his Safeco Field debut last April – I even upgraded my seats for the occasion. Then on a day in late May, he told Shannon Drayer it was a great day because he bought his first car and made his first start against the Yankees (I was at that one as well).  He was one of the few bright and shining beacons in another abysmal year of baseball in Seattle.  He represented hope and gave us a reason to go to the ballpark.

But now it’s time for him to leave the nest…
(though it’s not official yet) Michael will be headed to the Big Apple to pitch in pinstripes. He will be the first Yankee I will openly root for (except when he pitches against the M’s of course) and I wish him nothing but supreme success.

In return, we welcome Jesus Montero to our fair city, to our beloved team…
eager to see how his highly touted bat will contribute and if he’s able to catch on at catcher.

One thing is clear, it is a two-way street…
Yankee fans are lamenting the loss of Jesus as much (or more) as Mariner fans are dreading Michael’s departure. They were looking forward to seeing him in their lineup all year long (likely as DH) providing a much needed spark of youth to a good, but aging lineup.  And, though many recognize Michael’s huge potential up-side, they are concerned that they gave up too much – that a power arm is much riskier than a power bat.  I, of course, assured them that Michael is humbly confident and the epitome of a hard worker and eager learner and that they will NOT be disappointed.

And so here we are…
Two fan bases churning through a gamut of emotions regarding the young players being exchanged. I thought this time-lapsed photography of the sunset last Friday evening in Seattle ~happening just as “the trade” details were emerging~ serves as a photographic analogy of those emotions… a flicker of light, slowly becoming brighter, beautiful in it’s depth and breadth, burning in it’s intensity, yet as you watch, you know darkness looms…

The anticipation and excitement of exchanging young stars for the betterment of both teams is palpable but, so is the sincere feeling of loss reverberating from both coasts.

Goodbye beloved Diabolical (as the late, great Dave Niehaus coined his slider), you WIll be missed.

Hello reluctant Savior – we can’t wait to get to know you and hope, one day, we can call you our own.

Daily News

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