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Bad Baseball 

click to enlarge Saquan Johnson is batting just .069 on the season.
  • Saquan Johnson is batting just .069 on the season.
Way back in 1899 — Jamie Moyer’s rookie year, if we recall correctly — the Cleveland Spiders set a major league record for futility by winning just 20 of 154 games. The biteless Spiders batted a measly .253 as a team.

By comparison, the Seattle Mariners came into the week hitting .230. Home sweet home? Try telling that to the blunders of Seattle, who were batting a sickly .197 at cavernous Safeco Field. Needless to say, that ranked dead last in the majors by a goodly margin.

This whole putting-wood-to-cowhide mystery has been even more confounding for the young Spokane Indians, who began the week hitting a ghastly .209. Only one player was hitting over .260 (catcher Patrick Cantwell at .306). Only one player had more than one home run (first baseman Ryan Rua had two). Half of the 16 non-pitchers were batting .200 or lower, including two under .100.

What in the name of Interstate 90 batting fungus is going on here? The last time we witnessed such ineptitude, prosecutors were asking O.J. to try on the glove. It strains the imagination to envision a major league starter having a worse offensive year than Mariners shortstop Brandon Ryan (.182 batting average, 57 strikeouts in 231 at bats). Somehow, Indians outfielder Saquan Johnson has managed to be demonstrably worse in the lowly Northwest League (.069 batting average, 17 strikeouts in 29 at bats).

Today’s youth would summarize the batting woes of the Mariners and Indians with an emphatic “OMG!” Today’s elderly would summarize the situation with an emphatic, “What the (fill in the remainder of the sentence with a really, really bad word).”

C’mon, Mariners. C’mon, Indians. It can’t be THAT tough to hit a baseball, can it?

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