GOG #38 @ SEA - The Rime of the Mariners

Anemic Mariners Recall Coleridge's Tale of Woe

I have a lot of sympathy for Mariners fans, and sincerely hope next year is more competitive for them. Seriously, when a Post Like This gets 44 recs, you can't help but feel for them, even if you also think, well, better them than us.

For this GOG, I interpret Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1797-98), as it relates to the declining fortunes of the M's. Even if you aren't familiar with the poem, any A's fan knows the morbid feeling of an albatross hung around our neck. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.


The Questions (43 points possible)

Answers complete as of Game 3 (A's finally win, 5-1). Participant totals:

GoAs 17     -     buddahead 15     -     King Richard 14

BayAreaSportzFan 13     -     danmerqury 13     -     doctorK 13

Berry Jo 13     -     cuppingmaster 12     -     Where's My Burrito 12

Blicks 11     -     vignette 11     -    nevermoor 10     -    TheHuntForRedOctober 10 

micdog2001 9     -    paris 9     -    jackcustismyhero 5


Part the First. Like the ship of the Ancient Mariner as he tells his tale of woe, the Mariners have been driven by a storm into hellish, icy waters from which escape appears impossible:  "And now there came both mist and snow, / And it grew wondrous cold: / And ice, mast-high, came floating by, / As green as emerald."  Can the dismal, frozen Mariners, 42-70 with a team wOBA of .289 and OPS of .642, manage even a game off the A's? Predict the series outcome. [3 points] M's Win, 2 games-1 game

Part the Second. Shooting the Albatross is a poor decision if ever there was one, after which the winds die down completely and the Mariner's ship is stranded amidst a vast sea. So, the doomed shipmates hang the dead bird around the Mariner's neck, to no good effect: "Day after day, day after day, / We stuck, nor breath nor motion; / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean. / Water, water, every where, / And all the boards did shrink; / Water, water, every where, / Nor any drop to drink." It's kind of like having baserunners on the paths all day, but never crossing the plate!  Poor Felix Hernandez is sixth in the league in ERA and fourth in Ks, but in his 9 losses, the M's have only 7 runs, and routinely leave 10 runners on base.  Does Hernandez get a Win, Loss, or No Decision? How many runs do the M's score while he is pitcher of record? [2 points each; 4 total] Win / 2 Runs in Support

Part the Third. Death shows up, accompanied by his Mate, the Nightmare Life-in-Death. Death cheerily sucks the souls out of the 200 men on the ship, and after a quick game of dice, agrees to leave the Mariner to an elated Life-in-Death. "The naked hulk alongside came, / And the twain were casting dice; / "The game is done! I've won! I've won!" / Quoth she, and whistles thrice." Led by Michael Wuertz and Craig Breslow, and taking restful advantage of a surprising run of complete games, the Andrew Bailey-less A's pen has picked up its post-ASG performance. Name the three A's pitchers who finish each game (can be a complete game starter, or same reliever more than once).  What is the most combined K's (+/-1) by all A's pitchers in a single game? How many Ks (+/-1) by A's pitchers in the series? [1 point each, then 2 points each; 7 total] Henry Rodriguez, Craig Breslow, Dallas Braden / 7 K's, Most in a Game (6-8 ok) / 19 K's, Series Total (18-20 ok)

Part the Fourth. The Mariner, left alone with the Albatross still hanging around his neck, tries to pray but cannot. "I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray: / But or ever a prayer had gusht, / A wicked whisper came, and made / my heart as dry as dust." Many a prayer has been "gusht" to Ichiro Suzuki by M's fans, but even he is off his game this year.  Ichiro is in danger of failing to get 200 hits for the first time in a decade - with 50 games remaining, he needs 56 hits.  Guess Ichiro's series H / XBH.  [2 points each; 4 total] 3 H / 0 XBH

Part the Fifth. Well, the Ancient Mariner looks to the sky and finally feels a little love. The Albatross falls from his neck, the ghastly scattered corpses clamber about to pull ropes and raise sails, and the ship mysteriously begins to move.  Eventually nearing land, the exhausted Mariner passes out. "How long in that same fit I lay, / I have not to declare; / But ere my living life returned, / I heard and in my soul discerned / Two VOICES in the air."  These Voices are hard to distinguish from each other, just like the A's two OF Matts (Matt Carson and Matt Watson), and the M's two IF Wilsons (Josh Wilson and Jack Wilson).  Who gets more (ok to call a Tie) of each, the A's two Matts or the M's two Wilsons: PA / H / XBH / RBI? [Question cancelled due to attrition of both Matts and one Wilson]

Part the Sixth. Waking up, the Mariner finds himself alone, the corpses no longer animated, but now a breeze blows him toward the lighthouse. The Pilot, his boy, and the Hermit row out in a boat to take the Mariner to shore, horrified by the sight of him. Seeing them, the Mariner's spirit picks up: "I saw a third—I heard his voice: / It is the Hermit good! / He singeth loud his godly hymns / That he makes in the wood. / He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away / The Albatross's blood." Every team needs a Hermit to wash away the stain of past failure. Name 3 A's or M's hitters with a WPA > .100 in any game (you can choose the same hitter more than once). [2 points each; 6 total] Gutierrez (.100, Game 1); Kotchman (.122, Game 2); Ellis (.211, Game 3)

Part the Seventh. The Mariner survives to tell his tale and deliver his message: "He prayeth best, who loveth best / All things both great and small; / For the dear God who loveth us / He made and loveth all." Yes, apparently God loves BBs and Singles - and even HBPs and Reaching on an Error (includes Catcher Interference) - as much as he loves Taters.  Guess the A's series totals for each of the following: H (+/-2) / BB (+/-2) / HBP / ROE. [1 point each; 4 total] 20 H (18-22 ok) / 7 BB (5-9 ok) / 0 HBP / 0 ROE

     * Postscripts *

Question 8. Diego Segui, who pitched for both the Mariners and the Kansas City A's, was dubbed the "Ancient Mariner" when he turned 40. The Mariners have dumped their graying stars Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Sweeney this season, but retain two pitchers over 35 years old in Brian Sweeney (last pitched in majors in 2006) and Jamey Wright (acquired from Cleveland after the ASB). How many appearances do these "Ancient Mariners" each make during the series? [1 point each; 2 total] Sweeney, 1 Appearance / Wright, 1 Appearance (both in Game 3)

Question 9. The A's have no Ancients, but they do have a Sub-Mariner in Brad Ziegler. Guess Ziegler's Appearances / IP / BB / R + Runs allowed to score. [1 pt. each; 4 total] No Appearances / 0 IP / 0 BB / 0 R

Question 10. Here is Coleridge's description of a Brett Anderson fastball: "At first it seemed a little speck, / And then it seemed a mist: / It moved and moved, and took at last / A certain shape, I wist. / A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! / And still it neared and neared: / As if it dodged a water-sprite, / It plunged and tacked and veered."  What is Anderson's line for this, his third game back from the DL?  Guess his: IP / H / R / BB / K. [1 point each; 5 total]  7 IP / 5 H / 1 R / 2 BB / 7 K

Bonus Question (Added 9:00 p.m., Sunday).  It looks like Chris Carter's time may have come to join the A's!  What is the result of Chris Carter's first Major League AB?  Different bonus for different results: Single (3 pts.), 2B (4 pts.), 3B (5 pts.), HR (8 pts.), Grand Slam (12 pts.), BB/HBP (3 pts.), K (2 pt.), FO (2 pts.), GO (2 pts.), ROE (4 pts.). K in second Inning - vignette and micdog, 2 points each!


Answers due by 7:10 PDT Monday. 

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