…and infield practice for all!

I always had this sinking feeling that commercial was going to come back to bite Boone in the butt.

Every season, the Mariners come out with a new slogan and commercials featuring current players (which may disappear during the year if the featured player gets traded). Last year, Boone filmed a commercial in which he ends up on base, with the guy from the opposing team bemoaning his error that let him get there. In the commercial, Boone says something to the effect of “Don’t worry, it happens all the time.”

“Even to you?” the guy asks.

“Me? No way. Guys like you? All the time,” Boone replies.

Even with as big as a fan as I am, that particular spot really annoyed me. It smacked of a lot of arrogance and self-superiority, which I don’t like in professional sports, much less in a bigger-name player on my favorite baseball team. I just shook my head and thought, “The minute you make a stupid error, Boone, it would serve you right to have that commercial replayed on the big screen at Safeco Field.”

Now I know that he didn’t write that commercial (and his one from this year is much better – introducing Mike Hargrove motivational tapes), but it was written for him and he didn’t say to the writers, “I don’t want to sound like this!” He did it and now this last Saturday, he fell from his high horse.

The Mariners infield has been making really stupid errors. I mean, these are professionals! They get paid to get that ball to first! Boone pulled a Fred Merkle and the ball went between his legs. Sexson had one go from his glove to his wrist and into right field. Valdez bobbled one at shortstop that should have been a double-play ball. Bloomquist has bobbled at short as well.

Guys! These things were supposed to be worked out in spring training! I decided that after last season, when the team lost 99 games and was so worried about losing number 100, that every game should matter. Errors matter, because they could cost you the game. The M’s should have won on Saturday, but thanks to Boone’s error and Guardado serving up two home runs, Texas came back to beat them.

So, stop trying to be fancy. Get the job done. Do it right. If the guy outruns you, that’s one thing. If you drop the ball, that’s something else. Make the plays clean. Cut out the errors. Take fielding practice. You’re never too big to do that.

I will give Boone credit that he took the blame like a man in the media for his error. So should every player. Then they should pick themselves up and not make that same mistake again. The fans won’t tolerate repeated errors – and neither should the coaches. Clean it up, guys. Go and beat Kansas City. And kudos to Dan Wilson for doing what he does best – defensive catching – and throwing out a guy at second yesterday. I’m not impressed with Olivo, and I have yet to see him prove that he should be the everyday catcher. But that’s another post for another day.

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