The Mariners season that is. After sweeping the hated A's to finish the season, they played themselves out of the top pick in next year's draft, proving they really can't do anything right. I just hope that co-worker Bob is right when he says it doesn't matter. His theory (and he's been right before) is that Stephen Strasburg, the consensus top player in the draft and ace pitcher for Team USA in the Olympics, will command too high an asking price for the Nationals and will conveniently fall in the lap of the M's with the second pick. Not only that, but the Nats will refuse to deal with his agent - the evil Scott Boras - and that Strasburg, from San Diego State, has said that he doesn't want to play on the east coast and he and Boras will do whatever it takes to keep him on the west coast. Sounds reasonable, but we'll have to wait and see.
Regardless, the M's put on their annual end of season party for their employees tonight and it was a pretty good time. With all the guests that were brought, 1,100 people were in attendance. The food wasn't fancy but was tasty. Some comfort food was in order after the disaster that was the 2008 season, so they served up chicken pot pie, mac & cheese, and of course some salad, bread, a variety of desserts and drinks. Nothing fancy, but tasty.
Several prizes were given away. For the 8th consecutive year I emerged empty handed. I didn't get the tickets to watch a game in the owners suite. I missed out on the trip for 2 to spring training. I didn't even get one of the MANY items autographed by Kenji Johjima, leading me to start the rumor that he won't be back next year. To date the only memorabilia I've received from the ownership is a Joel Pinero autographed ball I received 2 years ago. Yes, that was after he left the team.
Matt Tuiasosopo and Ryan Rowland-Smith were in attendance. I didn't wander over to meet Ryan, but did talk to Matt briefly. Let me tell you, that man could have any woman he wants. In the short time I was there, I became the unofficial photographer as the crowd of women around him shoved cameras in my hand to take their picture with him. Ah, to be young, good looking, and rich. I refrained from asking him the 3 top questions on my mind though. I wanted to ask if Zack is still in the NFL somewhere, but figured he probably didn't want to talk about his brothers. I then wanted to ask him if he wants to punch Ichiro in the face, but thought that line of questioning might get me in trouble. Most importantly, I wanted to ask when he, Zack, and Marques were going to start pumping out some kids to revitalize the struggling UW football program. I'm pretty sure that would have gotten me fired.
I probably should have warned him that I've got a fairly good track record of players I've met leaving the team shortly after. Most recently I've met Adam Jones. Sean Green is still here, but Scott Atchison is history, Willie Bloomquist won't be here much longer. Mike Morse has probably played his last game.
Wrapping it up, I'd just like to say that hands down, the worst prize given away was a game used bat from Ben Davis. Where did they find that? Also, I'm pretty proud of myself for covertly taking a picture of my boss' boss taking a seat in my section to talk on her cell phone during Saturday's game. I'm pretty sure if I got caught doing that it would be a firing. Unfortunately she was turned the other way and I didn't want to risk the inevitable wrath that would have come from waiting for her to look my way. That being said, she got a few beers in her tonight and was way friendlier than I've ever seen her before. Friendly to the point that I may or may not have been on the receiving end of some, uh, good will. I don't think so, but one witness seems to think there was some minor flirtation going on. That would be just my luck though, the only woman I could attract being one who is 10+ years older than me and universally disliked by her employees. Sounds about right.