Scott Servais wouldn’t say exactly when and where the metaphorical comparison entered his mind. Perhaps it was on the flight back from Oakland on Sunday evening following a frustrating series loss to the Athletics, capping a road trip that wasn’t awful but could’ve been much better.
Perhaps it came to him on Monday — a day without a game. Did he and his wife, Jill, shop for perhaps a gallon of laundry detergent, a year’s supply of paper towels, a rotisserie chicken or pick up the $1.50 hot dog combo?
“Let me make a statement on the 40 games left,” he said with his voice raising. “I’m gonna make it today. I’m not gonna talk about it again.”
Well, to be fair, there will be 39 games left on Wednesday.
“We can only play one game today,” Servais continued. “We can only win one game today. You can’t win games in bulk. You can’t play games in bulk. We’re not Costco. OK, Costco does everything in bulk. We don’t. We play one game.
“So the biggest, the most important game of the year, guess what it is? It’s today against the Washington Nationals. I don’t know how many games we are going to win the rest of the year. I know we have a really good team. We’ve worked our tail off to put ourselves in this position. That’s part of that’s the fun of competition — work all year long and you get to play these important games.”
Servais didn’t even pause to catch his breath. He was rolling
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. Just another thing, our team, like these guys haven’t been here for 21 years. I haven’t been here for 21 years. So again, the most important game is today’s game. We’re gonna focus on that one and we’ll go from there and I wish you could get games in bulk, wins in bulk, because I would be first in line at Costco if you could pick them up over there, but you can’t you got to play every day. We good? Good.”
The immediate response to Servais’ soliloquy: “Where did you come up with this?”
“I don’t know,” he said laughing. “I like it. I love it. It just made sense to me. The bulk thing, you can’t do it. Baseball is every day. You know that’s the beauty of it. That’s why we love it until we get to the point in the season where it’s like, ‘oh gosh, I just want to fast forward this. Let’s just get to the end of it. No. We play every day. That’s the beauty of it.”
Haggerty’s shoulder is healing
Sam Haggerty was out of the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game and likely won’t return for a few days. The versatile switch-hitting utility player is dealing with a strain in his left shoulder that he suffered on the previous road trip, keeping him out of the lineup for the series in Oakland.
“I’m not sure really when it happened and I’m not sure how it happened,” he said before Tuesday’s game. “The body is an amazing piece of work.”
Haggerty noticed it during his early pregame work in Oakland.
“I kind of just thought that I slept on it wrong,” he said. “I didn’t think too much of it. When I came to the ballpark and you work through some stuff because we’ve all played through pain and we’ve all played through discomfort. But it go to a point where I was like, ‘I can’t really do my job the way I need to be able to do my job.’”
Haggerty underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning, which revealed “an isolated deltoid strain.”
“Primarily the problem is just swinging and any time like my arm gets over my head and I kind of need to use that muscle.”
The Mariners used Haggerty as a pinch runner and defensive replacement in Sunday’s game. And that’s the plan for the next few days until he’s able to swing.
“I’m here,” he said. “I can run and I can slide. I hope to still come in the game and try to make an impact and change the game in some capacity.”
Haggerty is having an unexpected breakout season for Seattle. In 53 games and 127 plate appearances, he’s posted a .310/.357/.491 slash line with seven doubles, a triple, four homers 15 RBI, 22 runs scored and 10 stolen bases.
Junior got a coaching job
Mark DeRosa, who was named the manager of Team USA, for next year’s World Baseball Classic announced his coaching staff for the team, that includes Ken Griffey Jr. serving as the team’s hitting coach.
“I couldn’t be more excited to get in the fight with this group of men,” DeRosa said in a statement. “The wealth of knowledge, experience, and character that these guys will bring to our clubhouse will be vital to our success. March can’t come fast enough.”
Joining Griffey will be bench coach Jerry Manuel, pitching coach Andy Pettitte, first-base coach Lou Collier, third-base coach Dino Ebel and bullpen coach Dave Righetti.
Due to the pandemic, the World Baseball Classic hasn’t been held since 2017. The U.S. won the last title, defeating Puerto Rico in the championship game at Dodger Stadium.
The WBC returns next season for its fifth worldwide tournament, running from March 8-21.
The semifinals and finals will be played at Loan Depot Park in Miami on March 19-21.
Pool play for the tournament runs from March 11-15. The U.S. will be in Pool C along with Canada, Colombia and Mexico with games being played at Chase Field in Phoenix.