Narváez Crane-kicks the Sox in Seattle

Daphne Moon, housekeeper and physical therapist to Fraiser Crane’s father, Martin, is in the kitchen when she hears loud, exuberant noises at the front door. She approaches as the door opens and Martin Crane and his son Niles enter with big smiles on their faces. They are both covered in Mariners hats and jerseys. Niles is casually tossing a baseball and then strikes a less than imposing pitcher’s windup pose as Martin pretends to snap a picture.

Daphne: Oh, look at you two, now! Have a swell time at the ball field? See any touchdowns did ye?

Martin: Daph, it’s home runs! Not touchdowns! Anyway, Niles! Tell Daph all about the game! Niles here won a contest and was the Fan of the Game! He even got to throw out the first pitch after they let that Asian fella talk forever before the game!

D: Ichiro?

M: Gesundheit! [canned laughter]

NIles [laughs]: Aw… shucks Dad. You know, I don’t like to brag… but I’d like to say the fact the Mariners were able to perform and find the strength within to outlast those ruffians from Chicago named after…[shudders] common feet coverings, likely purchased at the local Gas ‘n Go… Anyway, evidently, in baseball, if a score remains tied after each team has batted nine times… well, it’s quite wonderful really…I believe they are called…

Frasier Crane bursts into the room, fuming: EXTRA… INNINGS!? You get more of the most insufferable, detestable, horribly dull way to spend a splendid September evening! And even when we were mercifully about to be spared another infernal two hours of this nonsense when [snaps his fingers] ah yes, the young player Omar swatted the ball over the fence, ending the game… the Colonel Sanders aficionado in the Chicago dugout asked the men in charge to review the play?! How is that even allowed! I have a right mind to write a sternly worded letter to the commissioner….[Frasier pours himself a glass of sherry, downs it in one gulp, then pours another. He’s about to continue his diatribe when Daphne interjects]

D: Oh come now Mr. Crane… don’t be a spoilsport… [to Niles] Alright then! Tell me all about your wonderful night at the Field Pitch!

N: Right then! [Grabs the unfinished Sherry from Frasier’s hand, takes a sip as Frasier rolls his eyes and huffs away to the balcony] So, evidently, The Mariners hurler is called “The King,” and my goodness you should have seen him throw that ol’ pill around! Those Chicago batsmen had nary a chance to make Sir Felix sweat!

F: Oh yes, that was certainly one of the more pleasurable memories I shall take away from this travesty of an evening, at least both pitchers were courteous enough to quickly dispatch the other team’s batters with ruthless efficiency! Even the young man from Chicago, Dylan Cease, he was able to keep up with Felix, getting 5 strike-ins…

M: [rolls eyes] Strike-outs Fraise…

F: Oh will you be quiet! It was enough having to watch you hoot and holler with all these yokels in the 4th inning…Yes, yes, they had the bases loaded and certainly wanted to score plenty of points… but you didn’t have to throw popcorn at me like the others when I cheered for Mr. Cease when he moved the game along by striking…[pause] out the last batter!

N: This is my story Frasier! Maybe if you could have gotten the least bit excited when that Long fellow sent that ball deep into the night, a night as dark as Henry Longfellow [chuckles to himself] described in Paul Revere’s Ride!

M: But can you believe that dummy Dee Gordon?! He had that double play ball in the 7th! And he flipped it slowly to second, not giving enough time to complete the back half of the play and let the Sox tie it up! What was up with that?!

[Frasier and Niles look back at Martin, unsure on how to proceed]

M: Never mind…. ok, Niles. Wrap it up will ya?? I wanna take you down to the policeman’s bar and get you to use that baseball signed by Ichiro to buy us rounds all night long!

N: [beaming with pride] Ok… Pop! Well, Daphne, the game was tied… my attention started to wane a bit, I must admit… evidently, one of the nefarious White Stockings is allowed to expose his entire muscular right arm as he pitches to our team! I believe I heard a young woman shout “I LOVE YOU JIMMY BICEPS!”… most likely a deeply inebriated Chicagoan female…

F: This is dragging on longer than the fifth encore at the local performance of Titus Andronicus we watched at the symphony last week!

[Eddie, smelling a wayward uneaten piece of hot dog in Frasier’s coat pocket, grabs the jacket and runs off to the bedroom]

F: EDDIE! NO! THAT JACKET IS A CUSTOM MADE RUBINACCI! BAD DOG! [Frasier chases the dog into the bedroom]

N: [softly chuckles] I found that piece of “meat” on the ground as we walked out of the stadium! I snuck it into his pocket, that’s what he deserves after sullying my good night… Fortunately, the aforementioned Omar Narváez, who quite ironically, was facing the pitcher the very same Chicagoans had exchanged for him. He took a mighty swing and sent a floating curvey, spinny ball over the fence…although yes, for a split second they were required by rule to take a further review, to ensure against any potential malfeasance, and they ruled in the Mariners favor!

Twas the Mariners with 2 scores and the White Hosierys with but 1! Oh, Daphne, we must go! [To Martin] Ok, Dads! Lets go live it up!

[Frasier exits the bedroom, his jacket in tatters]

F: I should have stayed at Cheers…

[Hey Baby I hear the blues a callin…. Tossed salads and scrambled eggs….that’s right!]

Gamethread: White Sox at Mariners

IS THIS YOUR KING?!?! Its an age old battle of the New Guard taking on the Old Dying Kingdom as Dylan Cease takes on the “Bad King” Felix Hernandez. (Credit: CColePhotography)

We’ve got another late night in front of us fellow Midwesterners, but if last night’s (and this morning’s) effort from the White Sox offense is any indication, there might be enough fireworks to justify another Red-Bull fueled live-watch as the Sox go for two in a row against the Emerald City Mariners.

Thanks to the barnacle that is Dylan Covey’s death rattle of a start, it took four (!) of the teams more reliable bullpen arms to bleed a five-run lead down to a one-run sliver of a cushion. Thank goodness the Red-handed Bandit (Hey Wilzy! Got another shirt idea for ya!) came in to add some much needed space for Colome in the 9th:

It appears a wayward 12 year old Mariners fan is now in Left Field…

Tonight, Dylan Cease (#84, 23, RHP, 3-7, 6.53) hopes to get some of that sweet run support that he so very much needs as he faces the Mariners for the first time in his career (here’s hoping we repeat that sentence for as many years as it takes to get to the other 29!). Our Ace-in-Training has sandwiched a meaty and savory 11-K performance in Cleveland between the moldy, green-speckled bread of two not so delicious outings against the Twins and Angels. Let’s hope he can find a way past his first-inning woes as he’s facing a Seattle team that is 2-8 in their last 10 games, so if there was any time for Dylan to get a chance to take it to the West Coast version of the 2016 White Sox, tonight could be a very special night!

His opponent is…. woof… apparently it is the hulled-out husk that once was the most dominant pitcher in the Pacific Northwest, Felix Hernandez (#34, 33, RHP, 1-6, 6.96). Let’s check on how he fared against the Astros… Um.. er…

“Step, kick, step, step, kick…” Felix practicing for his next career in A Chorus Line

Yikes… the Bad King has been practically unwatchable for the past 2 seasons, and 2019 hasn’t been much better. His last two starts lasted a combined five innings, including a line against Houston that is rather Covey-esque (2 IP, 7 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). Now no one will confuse the Sox offense as a comparable one to the Astros…. but we took the season series against those chumps so I guess Felix will give up 20 to the Sox tonight… (Fingers crossed!)

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that prior to the game tonight, the Mariners will be honoring perhaps one of the greatest foreign-born MLB player in the modern era (or even any era really), Ichiro Suzuki. The one and true hit king officially retired after the Mariners first two games of the 2019 season were played in Japan back in Spring Training. As proof of his Baseball Sainthood, here’s a clip of him doing something that would lead to a broken face to 99.7% of the rest of Earth’s population:

Lineups! Get your Lineups!

The Mariners were so considerate, they gave me this lovely tweet that saves me the trouble of posting two separate lineups. I should send y’all a Hi Mom shirt…

Game time is 8:10 PM CST (oh boy! A whole hour sooner than yesterday!) and with Jason Benetti off doing one of his 36 other gigs for other four-lettered networks, the completely capable and easy to listen to Andy Masur will step into the booth again, this time on NBC Sports Chicago. As always, WGN 720 AM is your spot for your radio listening pleasure. I have a special treat for the recap, so all I’ll say about that is: “Go ahead caller, I’m listening.”

Seriously, drink a Red Bull or two… it’ll be worth it.