Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Yankees' Luxury Tax Exceeds Tampa Bay's Payroll

Saw this article in the P.I. today. I suspect that Sweet Lou had a few choice words when he saw it.

Monday, December 27, 2004

R.I.P. Johnny

Just a few words concerning the passing of Johnny Oates.

I will always have fond memories of watching Johnny in the dugout whenever the M's faced the Rangers. For several years in the 90's, the M's absolutely owned the Rangers, no matter where they played. Johnny would get the most forlorn expression on his face when things were going badly for the Rangers. One couldn't help but feel sorry for him, even though he was managing the opposition. R.I.P.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Happy Holidays!

I suspect there won't be too much baseball news to discuss for a bit, so please allow me to wish each and every one of you Peace, Joy, and Prosperity.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Derek's new gig at the P.I. - way to go!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

The Afterglow

The M's certainly made my Christmas a lot brighter yesterday. As step 2 of the BB and company plan, I couldn't have asked for anything better than Adrian Beltre. The infield suddenly looks to be quite solid (even with Jose Lopez at SS). It will also be quite nice to see some thunder in the M's lineup once again.

So how many days until pitchers and catchers report?

Update: It's official!.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Beltre To M's?

That's what Ken Rosenthal says.

Awesome if true.

Update: Also being reported on ESPN. Great news - especially following the Sexson deal one day later. If it took signing Sexson at inflated dollars and years to secure Beltre, then I'm okay with it. Now if only a certain pitcher named Perez should happen to fall into our laps....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Back To Daily Blogging

Looks like I will be back to mostly daily blogging now that the M's have completed a big deal.

My thoughts on the Sexson signing:

  • Probably important to view this deal in context with the plan that BB and company have in mind. Taken in isolation, it appears to be too long for too much money.
  • Signing Sexson leads one to believe that Delgado becomes less of a target - seems to be more sensible to go full speed ahead after Beltre.
  • Looking forward to seeing Sexson launch one onto Royal Brougham.

Sexson Is Signed

According to the Times. Press conference at 4pm PST. Stay tuned.

Update: Here's the Official Press Release.
Update: According to the P.I., this is a $50 million dollar deal. Yikes!!

Murky Situation

It's apparently still to early to tell what is really happening with the M's alleged signing of Richie Sexson. Time will tell.

I don't think much of the Renteria signing. My brother-in-law will probably be ecstatic.

Would the M's sign Josh Phelps? It would be an awesome move - but it remains to be seen if BB can think that far out of the box.

Millwood or Perez? Put me down for Perez.

Still waiting for that good news....

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Sexson Deal

I'll have to reserve judgement on the Sexson deal until I hear the terms. If he passes the physical, and if the terms are favorable, and if this is part of a bigger plan, then I am okay with it. On the other hand, if this is a signing just to be signing somebody, then I won't be okay with it. The GM has been talking about making the club better not only for 2005, but for 2006 and 2007. Still waiting to see evidence of that.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Monday, December 06, 2004

Peter Gammons Speaks

Please read this piece by Peter Gammons concerning the steroid issue. As he points out, this isn't really about steroids - it's about honesty and winning at all costs. Great read - highly recommended.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday Thoughts 12.03

DMZ has an awesome post over at USS Mariner today concerning the steroid issue. I remember feeling disappointed when I learned that Pro Wrestling wasn't real - kinda feel the same way now - disappointed.

Looks like nothing is going to happen until the Winter Meetings. This is my least favorite time of the year with regard to baseball - waiting for something to happen.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Friday Thoughts 11.26

A belated Friday post. Got to take a few minutes to talk about the Safeco Field Tour. We had relatives in town for the holiday last week, so we decided to go over to Seattle and take the tour at the Safe. In short, it was awesome. In addition to hanging out in the Owner's Suite and the Pressbox, the tour also allows you access to the visitor's locker room and dugout. One can also sit at the same interview table that Bomel occupied last season while trying to explain what was going on with his club. The tour also stops in the Diamond Club (where the Bambino dominates the landscape). An excellent way to spend an afternoon in Seattle, even in the rain. Highly recommended.

No worries if Dan Wilson doesn't sign - take a look at the numbers for Olivo and Gonzalez:

Olivo    .234/.286/.399/.685 (career)

PB SB CS CS% CERA
13 32 17 .347 4.53 (2004)

Gonzalez .238/.312/.361/.674 (career)
PB SB CS CS% CERA
7 45 25 .357 4.36 (2000)

Since Gonzalez is already under contract, why not use him (as others have already suggested)?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday Thoughts 11.19

It may be good news that the M's have not made any moves so far. Some awfully strange deals have been signed so far. 3 years for Little O? Perhaps Mr. Sabean is the same caliber of genius as Mike Holmgren.

Caught Bucky on the local news the other evening. He says that his rehab is ahead of schedule.

It's curious to note that there has never been a reader comment posted on this blog.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Friday Thoughts 11.12

Interesting piece by Larry Stone in the Times today. Among the items discussed:

  • According to Stone, Carlos Delgado is the M's top target.
  • Discussion concerning the injuries to Sexson and Glaus (and implication that they can be had at discount rate).
  • Mentions trade possibilites involving Preston Wilson and Ryan Klesko (NO!!!!).
  • The Yankees are interested in Ron Villone (please take him!!)

The FA market gets underway today - hoping to see some good news soon!

Edit: Trent over at Leone for Third posted a good piece concerning what he would do if he were the GM. I'm okay with his vision - let's hope the M's end up looking something like this!

Edit: Lots of posts in comments over at USSM lately are using the word "reoccur" when talking about injury prone players. The correct word is "recur" (sorry, spelling is important to me - probably a result of my Navy communications background).

Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday Thoughts 11.05

A few interesting baseball related items this week:

  • BoMel got himself a gig after all.
  • Lots of speculation concerning possible FA targets for the M's. If Boras indeed is looking for a 10 year deal for Carlos Beltran, then I hope the M's pass and focus their energy on Adrian Beltre. Also going to go on record as supporting strong offers to Matt Clement and J.D. Drew.
  • I really am concerned about "Every Couple of Days" Eddie. Please prove me wrong.
  • Congrats to Boone and Ichiro for the hardware. Regardless of how you feel about these awards, it's nice to see the Mariners staying in the news.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Friday Thoughts 10.29

Mad props to the Boston Red Sox!!

Say hello to your new bench coach, Ron Hassey. I remember watching him while I was stationed in the Bay Area in the late 80's. Back then, an A's ticket was one of the best bargains in town.

There's been some very interesting speculation about the possible players that the M's may go after this Winter. I'm going to try and keep my expectations low - especially after the trainwreck of last season. I won't be unhappy if I get pleasantly surprised - but then again I won't be too disappointed if the "big moves" turn out to be not so big.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bavasi Speaks

I turned on KJR at lunchtime today, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that Softy had Bill Bavasi on for some Q&A. Among the things that Bavasi mentioned:

The team has plenty of money for signing a premier FA.

He doesn't want to look "stupid".

He's interested in helping the team in '06, '07, and beyond. He also said that this doesn't preclude the M's from signing a long term deal (think he mentioned some qualifiers - such as the player would have to be a young guy).

He said that Bobby Madritsch showed enough to be a member of the Starting Rotation in '05. He also said they want to play Reed regularly - and that they wouldn't hesitant to move Winn (either through trade or playing him in a different position).

Those were the main points that I came away with - perhaps others heard something that I have omitted.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Friday Thoughts 10.22

Props to the Red Sox for not quitting (Rizzs would be proud!).

Speaking of not quitting, I hope that the Mariners will not be deterred in their hunt for premium FA talent this Winter because of the collapse of the Yankees in the ALCS. It's been widely speculated that King George will run up the bidding for the cream of the crop. Perhaps he will, but that should not keep the M's out of the hunt. After all, the Yanks need just as much help (if not more) with their pitching staff. I've also read that Bavasi and Boras are on good terms - that's a significant change that should not be overlooked.

Welcome aboard Grover. I'm okay with the move - let's get to work and get this team sorted out.

I recently saw some numbers from M's players in Winter Ball - Morse has a .387/.424/.452 line in 31 AB. Shin-Soo Choo is running a .375/.500/.469 line in 32 AB. Dobbs has a .357/.438/.607 line in 28 AB.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Must Read on the ALCS

Please take a few minutes to read this awesome article by Ian O'Connor concerning the ALCS: Click here

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A-Rod - Fie Upon Thee!

I've always had the utmost respect for Alex Rodriguez, until last night that is. A-Rod is too good of a player to have to cheat in order to win. A-Rod has been getting on my nerves ever since he arrived in NYC, but his sneaky play last night has ripped it. I consider A-Rod with the same contempt reserved for Robbie Alomar (remember when he spit on John Hirschbeck?). A-Rod - you suck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Carlos Beltran!

Throw caution to the wind! Break the piggy bank! Sign the *long* term deal! Beltran is the man!!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday Thoughts 10.15

Moving to a weekly format until Spring Training. A few things on my mind this Friday afternoon:

How about that John Olerud?

How about that Carlos Beltran?

It is beginning to look like the M's will hire a new manager sooner rather than later. This should be good news - it will allow the new manager to become involved in the process of retooling for next season. As a fan, I'm willing to put up with quite a lot - but I really do hope that there is some enlightened decision making that happens over there on First Ave. S this offseason.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Looking Back on 2004

2004 was one of those seasons that tests the mettle of a baseball fan. I recall being very hopeful when the M's arrived in Peoria for Spring Training - confident that we had a good team that would be very competitive. As the season started, however, the reality of the situation became increasingly apparent with each passing game. By the time the All Star Break came, I was pretty disgusted and even turned off a few games long before they were over.

After the Break, I realized that this kind of season is inevitable. Indeed, it's the first step toward rebuilding. So I did my best to vanquish my ill feelings and enjoy the game for it's own sake, with no expectations. And what a pleasant surprise, some guys named Bucky and Bobby and Jeremy and Ichiro! showed me why I love baseball. I started looking forward to games again. And it actually was fun to watch Mariner baseball again.

As a fan, I'm looking forward to the Winter's deals and Spring Training to see what kind of team we will have. I look forward to seeing a new Manager and coaching staff named. I look forward to seeing some big deals made. But most of all, I look forward to the cry of "Play Ball!" in the Spring of 2005.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Jamie Moyer

While watching Jamie's last start, the intrepid broadcast crew was discussing Jamie's "inability to get back on track after the ill-fated relief appearance in June". That made me wonder, had he ever been on track at all, and did he really suffer a dramatic fall-off after coming into that game in Texas in relief. Here are the numbers:


             IP    H   R  ER  HR   BB   SO   DEC	ERA


Apr Totals 30.0 30 17 17 5 13 17 1-2 5.10

May Totals 41.0 36 15 15 11 5 23 3-0 3.29

Jun Totals 26.0 23 11 9 3 12 20 2-2 3.12

Jul Totals 33.0 38 21 21 10 7 25 0-3 5.73

Aug Totals 36.2 53 31 28 8 13 13 0-2 6.87

Sep Totals 30.1 29 26 21 6 12 21 1-3 6.23

Oct Totals 5.0 8 6 6 1 1 6 0-1 10.80

IP H R ER HR BB SO W-L ERA
Totals 202.0 217 127 117 44 63 125 7-13 5.21


So it's pretty clear that Moyer did implode after making that relief appearance in June. Is there a cause and effect relationship? I don't have the skill to evaluate that - but I am dismayed that Moyer will be drawing an $8 million dollar salary next season. I would have to say that the chances are pretty good that he's not going to get any better next season. Can the M's move him? Seems to me that if they have learned anything, they will find a way.

The Road Ahead

Bob Finnigan writes a nice piece in the Times today (click here) concerning what lies ahead for the M's. Here's what caught my eye:

"Lincoln said earlier this year, and confirmed it in the final week, that the payroll would be at or slightly above last season, when the Mariners had about $87 million to spend on players (plus a contingency fund of around $5 million, for a total payroll budget of approximately $92 million).

About $65 million of that is spent, with Jamie Moyer's incentives bringing him in at $8 million for 2005 and the club still suffering the Jeff Cirillo/Kevin Jarvis hangover for about $5.5 million, including more than $2 million owed to catcher Wiki Gonzalez — remember him?"


$8 million for Moyer next year? More to come on this.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Tale of the Tape

Ran across this chart yesterday - just thought it was interesting
to notice which Mariner manager has the second best winning percentage:



Manager Tenure W-L

Bob Melvin 2003-2004 156-168 (.481)
Lou Piniella 1993-2002 840-711 (.542)
Bill Plummer 1992 64-98 (.395)
Jim Lefebvre 1989-1991 233-253 (.479)
Jim Snyder 1988 (hired June 6) 45-60 (.429)
Dick Williams May 9, '86-June 6, '88 159-192 (.453)
Marty Martinez May 8, 1986 0-1 (.000)
Chuck Cottier Sept. 1, '84- May 8, '86 98-119 (.452)
Del Crandall June 25, '83-Sept. 1, '84 93-131 (.415)
Rene Lachemann May 6, '81-June 25, '83 140-180 (.437)
Maury Wills Aug. 4, '80-May 6,'81 26-56 (.317)
Darrell Johnson 1977-Aug. 4, '80 226-362 (.384)

Monday, October 04, 2004

Adios BoMel

With the firing of Bob Melvin, the rebuilding begins. I'm sure he will land somewhere. He seemed like a nice enough guy - too bad he happened to accept the job in Seattle when he did.

Hope to have some thoughts on the 2004 campaign and a piece on Jamie Moyer done in the next couple of days. Will try to keep up some kind of regular schedule of posting during the Winter. Now let the playoffs begin!!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Fair Winds and Following Seas

I want to extend the traditional Navy farewell to Edgar upon his retirement. He's been a stalwart member of the team - his shoes will be difficult to fill. Here's wishing you fair winds and following seas Edgar - thanks!!

Friday, October 01, 2004

One For The Ages...

Or at least until next year, when he will probably make another run. Congratulations Ichiro! - thanks for maintaining your excellent approach while surrounded by so much mediocrity.

An Ichiro!/Sisler Comparision

Check out this excellent article from Brian over at Caffeinated Confines click here.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Olivo!

Two doubles today (of course I couldn't watch the game because I'm at work!!). Way to go Miguel!

Indomitable Spirit

Although I'm not a big fan of seeing pitchers left in a game to throw 130+ pitches, I am okay with Melvin's decision to leave Bobby Madritsch in the game in Oakland last night. Bobby displays that "knock me off this hill if you can!" attitude - that Indomitable Spirit. I suspect that the decision to let him go for the CG will pay off next season - Bobby will continue to mow down his opponents (as long as his arm holds together). My .02 - YMMV.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

C’est Si Bon

How about Jeremy Reed? He's beginning to look like the serious real deal to me.

Kudos to Jose Lopez, Raul Ibanez, Randy Winn, and of course Ichiro! for continuing to make it fun to watch M's baseball again.

Another good outing for Gil Meche.

Why is a club that is tied for the division lead only able to put 18,000 butts in the seats? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It's Fun!!

Something has been bothering me about watching Mariner baseball for the last few weeks. I finally figured it out yesterday afternoon - it's fun to watch the M's again!

Lots of positive things happening. Baek throws a gem. Reed is hitting (although not much in the way of extra base hits - but hey, it's the Ichrio! model) and fielding (nice to see some direct routes to the ball in center). Winn and Ibanez are producing like mad at the plate. *Edit - I forgot to mention Jose Lopez while talking about folks that are producing like mad at the plate. Mea culpa.

I'm really concerned about Miguel Olivo. Something tells me that he is going to have trouble sticking with the team if he doesn't start swinging the bat more effectively. We definitely don't need another catch and throw guy.

Friday, September 24, 2004

J.D. related article

Nice piece here concerning J.D. Drew on ESPN today. I wouldn't be unhappy if the M's found a way to sign him for next season.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ichiro related article

Interesting article here - check it out.

And Then There Were Ten...

Ichiro! gets nine hits in the last two games, reducing the number of hits needed to tie George Sisler to 10. Unreal.

Ibanez rolled a 6 for 6 last night - another remarkable feat.

Reed is beginning to look like the best part of the Freddy Garcia deal. I'm not giving up on Olivo, but he has a lot of work to do. Nice to see Rivera get an AB and a little playing time last night.

So put me in the Beltran/Beltre must be obtained at any cost camp. The addition of these two players, along with a SP (I like Milton) should allow the M's to at least be competitive next year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A Tale of Two Hitters

Ichiro! and Miguel Olivo.

Ichiro! was in the zone last night - cranking out a 5 for 5 and reviving the fading hopes for breaking Sisler's record.

Olivo didn't play, but has certainly been stinking it up as of late. Although he's still young, I'm concerned about his passed balls (leading the league). As far as hitting goes, the BP crew said it best in Baseball Prospectus 2004: "Particularly troublesome was Olivo's declining plate discipline, hardly the sign of a late-blooming hitter."

Ichiro! is the antithesis of poor plate discipline.

One wonders whether the M's future catcher is still sitting on the bench?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Fox Broadcasts Stink

There are many things that I do not like about the way Fox broadcasts baseball - but chief among them is Steve Lyons. Lyons was talking about Kida being a rookie (he's not) - and then went on to say that the M's bullpen is currently made up of all rookies (less Hasegawa and Villone). I guess Julio Mateo might be surprised to hear that. Come on dude - if you are going to speak with authority, at least get your facts straight.

M's Shock Halos

I sat down to watch last night's game with that all too familiar feeling that the M's were going to take a beating at the hands of the Anaheim Angels. Instead, I was treated to a Mariner victory, fueled by the two guys that I have been complaining about recently - namely Reed and Dobbs. By the way, Jeff over at Leone for Third has a great analysis of Mr. Reed posted - take a look.

Ichiro! got a couple of hits last night - keeping the quest alive.

On a non-Mariner note, congratulations to the incomparable Barry Bonds - 700 and counting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

2005 Pitching Staff

All of a sudden, there is a resurging sense of hope when one takes a look at the M's probable pitching staff for next season. With Madritsch and Meche mowing down some of the best hitters in the league, it is not hard to imagine next year with those 2 joining a presumed healthy Pineiro, and perhaps a FA pickup like Eric Milton. And if the bullpen is healthy, one does not have to stretch too far to imagine that the M's opponents will have a hard time getting a hit next season.

Now if only the offense is improved over the off season...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Second thoughts on Meche and other stuff

Perhaps I have been overly critical of Mr. Meche. He certainly spun a gem today -- CG shutout. There may be a future for this young man in a Mariners uniform after all.

I've been generally disappointed with Dobbs, Reed, and Olivo lately. They just don't seem to have a real good feel for what they are doing at the plate.

Ichiro! broke out of his 0-8 (!!) slump today with a couple of hits. The assault on the record continues.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bobby and bunting

I cannot say enough good things about Bobby Madritsch! He certainly was effective in his start last night - made two of the League's best hitters look bad. What I like most about the kid is his attitude - he positively takes ownership of the mound and dares any hitter to knock him off it. Very cool.

It would be nice if somebody on the M's staff talked to Ichiro! about bunting with runners in scoring position. I'm looking for an RBI there - not a friggin' bunt. Come on.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A New Hope

Seeing the Cleveland ballclub in town does give me some measure of hope for the future. I remember the powerhouse Indians of the mid-90's well. And as many before me have pointed out, there are many similarities between the Tribe and the M's. Looking at Cleveland's lineup last night, Little O is the only holdover from the "glory days" of that franchise. Lots of new faces. Crisp, Hafner, Blake - you get the idea. So there's hope yet for the M's - assuming Bob will actually let some of the call-ups play. Looking foward to seeing Reed in the outfield - what kind of gas does Big Country have - and if Mickey Lopez belongs on a major league roster.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Unhappy camper

I'm generally unhappy after watching the last several M's games. If anything, the team has been good defensively this year - not great - but good. The last several games have been pathetic. Olivo doesn't realize there's a guy about to score? Outfielders can't hit the cutoff man? Balls thrown into the dugout?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing Ichiro! Someone else recently said that he is acting like a man on a mission. I think his mission is to provide the one ray of light in this otherwise dismal season. Go Ichiro! - we are all counting on you!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Brass attending games

I've noticed on the last several televised games that the Mariners FO is well represented. Trader Pat was hanging out with Bavasi and Lincoln in Toronto. Last night in Chicago we are treated to a shot of Chuck Armstrong and Lincoln hanging out. What to make of this - are they just trying to use up their travel money before the end of the season? Are they laying the groundwork for offseason moves? Are they trying to make Bob Melvin uncomfortable?

Friday, September 03, 2004

After loss, Edgar lobbies for M's to pursue pal Delgado

After loss, Edgar lobbies for M's to pursue pal Delgado: "'If they asked me, I'd definitely recommend Carlos,' Martinez said. 'He's the kind of guy who wants to play every day. He's great with younger players. He's great in the clubhouse. He's just a great teammate.
'He'd be a great choice, for sure.'"

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Shooto?

Did I hear Ron Fairly wondering if Kida-san throws the shooto on the broadcast tonight? Speaking of Kida, he didn't look too bad. He should be able to soak up a few innings for the remainder of the season (he will need to if Baek keeps stinking it up like he did tonight).

Ichiro! continues his white-hot hitting pace. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

MVP

Here's Villone's line from the game in Toronto this evening:

1.0IP 3H 2R 1ER 2BB 1SO 1HR

Yeah Bob, that's your MVP. *sigh*

Bob Melvin on R.V., Part deux

Say what?

Mariners Notebook: "'For my money, Ron Villone is this team's pitching MVP,' Melvin said. 'Whatever we've needed him to do, he's done.'"

Bits and pieces

I normally don't like to gloat, but this couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Ichiro! continues to amaze. It's a pleasure to watch him do his thing.

Aside from Ichiro!, Bucky and Jose Lopez are two of the reasons that I continue to watch Mariner baseball. And I'm not going to say anything about Randy Winn's anemic arm - I'm not!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

End of an era?

Say it ain't so:

The Seattle Times: Team-by-team reports for M's farm teams: "What's up: 2B/OF Luis Ugueto, the former Rule 5 player who was carried the entire season by the Mariners in 2002, has left the team for personal reasons."

Monday, August 30, 2004

Bob Melvin on R.V.

Here's a quote from The Times today that sums up Bob's feelings about R.V. - let's hope he is the only one that feels this way:

The Seattle Times: Mariners: Mariners on a roll after fourth win in a row: "'R.V. brings a lot to the table,' Melvin said. 'He's a starter, a reliever, he can pitch late, he's a situational guy. He's a guy the kids learn lot from because of his conviction and what he's doing. We talked to him about going back out there in the ninth and he wanted it bad. Those are the kind of guys you want on your staff.' "

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Odds and ends

Nice win for the M's today - especially after my prediction earlier.

Dave Niehaus, while talking about Desi Relaford's music business, said "he makes bebop music." Yeah Dave.

I'm tired of hearing about Hard Luck Ryan Franklin. Do you think it might have something to do with his ERA being almost 5, and giving up 23 HR?

That "hit" that Ichiro got in his last at bat was no hit. E 5 - no doubt about it.

Not fair

The M's sweep a double header, and neither game is televised locally. In this most disappointing season, it would have been a big boost to see the hometown nine win 2 on a Saturday afternoon.

Any bets on what the outcome of todays (televised) game will be?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

An open letter to Bill Bavasi

Dear Bill,

It was nice to see the Mariners win a ballgame last night. It was even nicer to see the Mariners win a ballgame last night because they hit the ball out of the ballpark. So please, when you start doing deals this off-season, look for guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark. We've seen enough of what singles hitters can do already.

Sincerely, Iron Tech

Friday, August 27, 2004

A double-dipper

Check out John McGrath's piece in the TNT - a well written tribute to the doubleheader.

200 - again

Congrats to Ichiro! for picking up hit number 200 last night - a dinger to CF! I think the thing that I admire most about Ichiro! is his ability to stay focused and continue to play his game, even when surrounded by the mediocrity (or worse) that is your 2004 Seattle Mariners. Way to go Ichiro!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

What other writers are saying

Two of my favorite writers have some very thought provoking pieces posted.

Stephen over at Mariners Wheelhouse presents a scathing indictment of the Front Office and their inability to learn from past mistakes.

Jeff over at Mariner Musings posted a great article concerning Carlos Delgado and why the M's need to offer him a deal. Good stuff.

That was quite a blast that Bucky produced last night - so nice to see a right handed hitter reach the upper deck in left.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Cause for concern?

David, over at Sports and Bremertonians raises a disturbing issue today. What if the M's have overvalued the young pitchers in our "pitching rich" system? Perhaps the future is not so bright after all.

An open letter to Bob Melvin

Dear Bob,

Why is Bret Boone hitting in the top half of the lineup? Why don't you give the guy a break and put him in the 8 hole? Maybe the team might score some runs if Boone doesn't leave so many guys in scoring position. Just a thought.

Sincerely, Iron Tech

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Bone to pick

Jay Buhner will be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame tomorrow evening. Looking back over his career, he produced a .254/.359/.494/.852 line, with 1273 hits, 310HR, and 965RBI. What's harder to quantify is the attitude, the swagger, the "bad to the bone" approach that Jay brought to the ballpark every day. His presence in the batters box - open stance - wild shoes - shades - and that opening - closing grip on the bat. Guys like Jay Buhner don't come along too often -and it's nice to see the team taking the opportunity to give him the praise that he truly deserves.

Now if they will only keep Jay and Dave Valle apart on the broadcast crew...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Here comes the rain again

As the rain returns to Western Washington, a few things are on my mind this morning:

.314/.380/.546/.926 18HR 91RBI - yeah, that Carlos Guillen sure is a slacker!

196 hits and counting for Ichiro! Glad to see he's not suffering any lingering effects from that beanball in KC.

10 runs on 21 hits last night in Detroit. Where were the bats in April and May?

Friday, August 20, 2004

What if?

So what would you think about a player whose line is currently .241/.341/.505/.846, and who has 26 HR and 63 RBI?

Even if his name was Mike Cameron? *sigh*

High and Tight

Watching Ichiro! get beaned the other evening brought back some very painful memories for me. In 1984, I was a huge Houston Astros fan. Dickie Thon (click) got beaned and was never the same. Here's hoping that Ichiro! bounces back with no ill effects.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Strong arm?

Here's what USA Today has to say about Pineiro's arm. Leads me to believe that the piece in the P.I. today was poorly written:

USATODAY.com: "SeattleRHP Joel Pineiro, on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, could be throwing on the side by next week. He's doing strength exercises and says his arm is feeling strong."

Let's play two!!

Who were those guys that snuck onto the field in Kansas City last night? The ones wearing the Mariners uniforms who put up 16 runs on 20 hits?

Is anybody else a little concerned that Eddie has decided to rehab rather than undergo surgery? I keep getting this feeling, like when Gil Meche first encountered the dreaded "dead arm" syndrome. Not sure what Will Carroll has to say about all of this (can't afford to read premium content these days), but I suspect he is not in favor of this move. It's a conflicting decision - I'm happy that Eddie may be ready for Spring Training - but also apprehensive that he may be making things worse - especially since he is older and therefore not as resilient as a younger guy.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Something for your consideration

Jumping on the bandwagon after reading Derek's post over at U.S.S. Mariner this morning. Consider the following:

Player "a" .333/.390/.583/.974

Player "b" .253/.358/.370/.728

Player "c" .205/.279/.335/.614

Player "d" .239/.261/.291/.552

Who would you rather have on your club? Did the M's release the right guys? Just to help with the thought process here, I will tell you that Player "a" is none other than Rich Aurilia, Player "b" is Johnny O, Player "c" is Scott Spiezio, and Player "d" is Willie Bloomquist. I'm not bitter.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

M's Clobber Yanks

Hey, a W is a W, but they are always a little sweeter when they come at the expense of the Yankees. Lots of good stuff today, including multi-hit games from Ichiro, Ibanez, and Olivo. The M's rolled a 6 in the bottom of the 7th - nice to see offensive outbursts like that. Gil Meche had another decent outing - and the bullpen did not let the lead get away.

Saw a piece in the Bremerton Sun today (click here) indicating that the M's are about to shut Pineiro down for the rest of the year. Excellent plan - most reasonable thing I have heard from Bob Melvin in quite a while.

One additional note - I really hate Blogger!!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Waiver wire

Boone and Ibanez both cleared waivers. Think there's a chance that either of them could generate any interest?

Keep Villone? (link to Seattle Times story)

I was not aware that Ron Villone was a Scott Boras man. Bob Finnigan reports that the team is in discussions with Mr. Boras concerning resigning Villone for next year. In view of the youth movement that has clearly begun, I hope they are unsuccessful.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

How about them apples?

Johnny O's line since joining the Evil Empire - .318/.400/.409/.809 - how about them apples?

The Winter of Our Discontent

The news yesterday that Guardado and Soriano will most likely require surgery added insult to injury in a lost season. Others have written extensively concerning the apparent ineptitude of Mariner management when dealing with arm injuries. I suspect that it will be increasingly difficult for the team to recruit young pitchers based on this history.

So the M's are now faced with a problem - the re-tooling effort effectively becomes a re-building effort - does it not? Unless a couple of the young hosses emerge to anchor the backend of the bullpen, another huge hole has opened that must be addressed during the offseason. Hold on to your hats - it may be an interesting ride.

If you haven't checked out Bat Girl, the erudite Twins blogger, please do so. Except for the somewhat annoying habit of referring to herself in the third person (reminds me of Rickey), she is an excellent writer with a flair for the wry comment. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Non-Baseball - R.I.P. Andy

As an Alumni of Strake Jesuit (Class of 1972), I was sorry to read the following news on the school's website. When you see the numbers flashed on the evening news, you'll know who one of those brave folks were. Also going to post a link to the DOD site with the official announcement:

http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2004/nr20040810-1104.html


News: "ANDY HOUGHTON '97 PASSES WAY FROM IRAQ INJURIES

The entire Strake Jesuit Community mourns the loss of Andrew Houghton '97 who passed away early on Monday, August 9, 2004. Houghton, a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army with the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, died from injuries sustained on July 10, 2004 while serving in Iraq. He is the first Strake Jesuit alumni to be killed in action while in service to his country.
A 1997 graduate, Houghton was active while a student at Strake Jesuit. In addition to being named to the National Honor Society as a sophomore, he was a member of the football and track & field teams all four years while at Jesuit. Also, he served on the Crusader Guard, Yearbook staff, Freshman Retreat Team and Debate Team."

Mr. Double

Thanks for lots of exciting baseball over the years Edgar. There will never be another like you - and you will be missed.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Baseball is a funny game

I try not to be overly critical of Ron Fairly, especially when he is broadcasting with Dave Niehaus. But last night, the boys had a couple of instances where I found myself saying "What?".

  • Ron and Dave were carrying on about how much Franklin throws over to first. It's one of those baseball paradoxes that Jim Bouton first mentioned in his classic Ball Four. Dave and Ron are getting on Franklin for throwing over to first too much - you can be sure that they would be on his case if he failed to hold runners close. You just can't win with some people.
  • A little later in the same inning, the boys were talking about Franklin's ERA being 3 points higher on the road. Dave wondered "Why do you suppose that is?". I think he was serious.
  • With regard to the obstruction call that ended the game - I really hate it when the umpires decide a ballgame. Let the players play.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Hope

After yesterday's game, I'm hopeful that the M's will be a better team next year.

  • Bobby Madritsch made a quality start. J.J. and Atchison looked good out of the pen.
  • Jose Lopez appears to be the real deal. Still a little rough around the edges, but definite potential.
  • Ichiro!

Looks like the Padres gave up on Jeff Cirillo. Which former Mariner will be next?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Interesting note from the Times

The Seattle Times: Mariners: Notebook: Madritsch gets first M's start tomorrow: "Orioles players were puzzled in the fourth inning of the first game when Mariners starter Ron Villone began jawing at them. After he walked Melvin Mora, Villone was lifted for a reliever. He then began yelling at Mora from the dugout. 'He said, 'Hey, we need to talk,' ' Mora said. 'I said, 'About what?' And he started cursing. I don't know why he got mad. Maybe he was frustrated because he threw 100 pitches in three innings.' "

Word.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

If it wasn't for bad luck...

Eleven runs on thirty one hits - and they still can't win a game.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Hendu and the Wonder Dog

After being subjected to an afternoon with Rex Hudler this past Saturday, I want to officially take back any bad things I ever said concerning Hendu's broadcasting abilities. Yikes!

Nomar well received by Cubs fans

While watching the Cubs/Phillies game yesterday on WGN, one couldn't overlook the very warm and enthusiastic welcome given to Nomar by the Wrigley faithful. It was nice to see - and served to remind me why I watch baseball.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Ride my seesaw

Lots of excitement in today's game. Guardado's two recent blown saves remind me of two former Mariner bullpen guys named Nelson and Rhodes, who once upon a time gave up grand slam homeruns to some guy named White. That was a turning point for that bullpen - I wonder how wise it was for the M's to decide to hold on to Guardado.

Jose Lopez didn't do much in his major league debut. Perhaps he will be able to show what his defensive capabilities are in the coming days.

I like Olivo quite a bit - but he sure has a lot to learn behind the plate. I hope Dan mentors him properly.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thoughts on Thursday night's game

Why was Santiago hitting in the ninth when Edgar was on the bench?

Boone left 3 RISP with 2 outs.   Leone left 2 - Ibanez, Cabrera, and Santiago each left one.

Too bad that Eddie couldn't hold the lead.  Putz looked very good.  I really like Madritsch - he pitched well under pressure, getting the outs that he needed to get - and getting the W in the process.

Villone had a good outing tonight.  Can anybody get Ichiro out?  Bucky and Olivo had a rough night.  Leone's bomb in the third was nice - and a breaking ball to boot.

Thanks goodness the streak is finally broken!!!

New template

I've tried out about half a dozen different templates this afternoon - I think this one will be it.

I'm frankly amazed that there has been no news concerning any moves that the M's are (hopefully) planning to make.  Perhaps if Villone has a good outing tonight....

Words of wisdom from Steve over at Mariners Wheelhouse

Mariners Wheelhouse - A Seattle Mariners fan blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

An open letter to Bob Melvin

Dear Bob,

Bucky must play - every day!

Sincerely, Iron Tech

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

How would you like the M's if they made these deals?

Here's some great stuff from David over at U.S.S. Mariner:

U.S.S. Mariner: "Realistically, I believe the Mariners could get Beltre, Drew, and Milton for around $30-$35 million. Fill in the holes with players from Tacoma and those improvements alone make the M's a threat to contend next year. If they're able to clear even more salary and add a fourth player from the pool, or upgrade for Milton to Clement or Drew to Beltran, all the better. "

Brian Price reflects on the lessons learned from last night in Oakland

The Seattle Times: Mariners: A's make it a walk in park in 14-5 win over M's: "'It was stupid on my part,' said the pitching coach, who joined Melvin in yelling at Reliford from the dugout as one close pitch after another went against Blackley. Price was thumbed for loudly complaining on a pitch that ran a 3-0 count to Bobby Crosby, who batted after the walk to Kotsay gave Oakland its first run of the night.
'If it's not a crisis situation, and it wasn't with us leading 5-0,' Price said, 'then it's stupid to piss off an umpire who's already pissed off at your pitcher for his shenanigans on the mound.'

The coach said from now on Blackley should 'just get the ball back (from the catcher) and throw it over the plate.
'There's no more back and forth with the umpire. If you ask a guy where a pitch was he just gets pissed off and you get the plate umpire yelling at your pitcher. And I probably made the situation worse.' "

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday evening thoughts

  • It was considerably cooler in the Seattle area today - perhaps accounting in part for the M's better showing.
  • Nice to see Bucky drive the ball out of the ballpark going the opposite way.
  • I really like Olivo - he is shaping up to be the centerpiece of the Freddy Garcia deal.
  • Bob Melvin doesn't hold a monopoly on strange managerial decisions.  Larry Bowa left Eric Milton in the game today after his no-hitter evaporated.  Milton not only gives up another hit, he also allowed the Cubs to tie the game.  His pitch count was already high - why not bring in a fresh arm to finish the Cubbies off?  *sigh*

Back to Earth

  • Friday night's TV broadcast was nice, primarily because Ron Fairly was absent.  Bill Krueger filled in - and did an okay job (especially when compared to Red).
  • Bucky and Justin are starting to see what a quality Major League breaking ball is all about.
  • Why is Mike Meyers still on this team?
  • Olivo displayed some awesome power - too bad it was a foul ball.
  • The Hasegawa Effect was in evidence again last night.
  • It takes a pretty tough guy to take a swing at somebody with your catcher's mask on.


Friday, July 23, 2004

M's sweep A's

  • Another exciting Mariners game last night.  They have been fun to watch since the break - let's hope it continues with the Angels in town.  And isn't that Vlad something?
  • The Hasegawa Effect was not in evidence last night.   Hopefully Shiggy will be able to put together a few more good appearances.
  • It's really fun as a fan to see how fired up Guardado gets after the 27th out is recorded. 
  • I'm going on record right now as a "Let's keep Boone" fan. 

Delgado shows conviction in Iraq protest

Great point made by Steve Wilstein in this article (emphasis added):


The Seattle Times: News from AP: "Agree or disagree with Delgado for calling the Iraq invasion 'the stupidest war ever,' the Puerto Rican slugger is not being anti-American by showing his disagreement with President Bush's policy. He is not disrespecting the soldiers or, as one Yankee fan said, slapping every New Yorker and American in the face.
Delgado is simply exercising the most fundamental of our rights, freedom of speech, or more accurately in this case, freedom to sit silently while his teammates stand on the dugout steps."

Patrick posted this anti-Ron Fairly rant over at The Sons of Buhner

I agree - Fairly must go!!!


The Sons of Buhner: "But seriously, if he would only quit promoting the dropping of infield popups, I would be so much happier. I honestly believe world peace could be achieved if Ron would just let the popups go. So much strife, Ron; so much strife. And you could end it all. Do it, not for me, not for baseball, but for the children of the world.

Don't you care about the children? "



Thursday, July 22, 2004

Quote of the day from Bob Finnigan at The Times

The Seattle Times: Mariners: Bucky stuns Oakland: "But after J.J. Putz let Oakland tie on Scott Hatteberg's two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth, the game went to the kids, which is better than the first half, when most Mariner games went to the dogs. "

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

There is joy in Mudville...

  • What an exciting finish at Safeco Field tonight.  Madritsch gets out of a jam on an unassited double play turned by Leone.  Then Bucky sends one deep into the night sky to win it in the bottom half.
  • Randy Winn throws like a girl.  That's the real reason Kotsay tagged up and went to second on that ball in the top of the 5th.  Don't pay any attention to that baloney that Dave and Ron were talking about on the TV broadcast.
  • I'm getting a little concerned about J.J. - perhaps he is starting to feel the Hasegawa Effect.  Blackley had a relatively good outing - should be a confidence builder.
  • Nice to see Boone and Ibanez hit the ball into the unplayable areas tonight.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Got all of it!!

Great game last night.  A few observations:

  • Kudos to Edgar and Boone.  So many times this year, these guys have had an AB that resulted in either a backwards K or a GIDP when the game was on the line.  Nice to see them deliver the goods last night.
  • Bucky hits the ball hard.  Even with that exploding bat, the ball was on top of Nomar in a heartbeat - and ate him alive!
  • I really like Olivo.  Yeah, he's got some rough edges, but he's also got the makings of a fine big league catcher.
  • The cable was out all afternoon over here due to a fiber cut.  Had to listen to the game on radio until the bottom of the 5th.  Good news - no Fairly - not so good news - an entire evening with Rizzy and Dave.  *sigh*

Monday, July 19, 2004

Bucky!!

I know it's only 8 AB, but .625/.769/1.375 - wow!


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday evening thoughts

  • Actually had fun watching the M's play this afternoon.  It's also clear that the players seem to have a renewed sense of purpose - and they seem to be having fun.  It's a nice way to enjoy a game.  No expectations regarding the post season - just a good, well-played game of baseball.
  • How about that Bucky?
  • Say what you will regarding Hiram Bocachica - but the dude shows up to play!!

A better effort

I found myself watching last night's game with some of the old excitement, especially in the bottom of the ninth.  How many times does that dying quail hit by Olivo fall in for a hit?  And would the Indians have staged that rally at all if Little O wasn't tossed?  What if is a fun game for Sunday mornings.
 

The local sportscasters are already talking about "Bucky Ball".  Just to set the record straight, a Buckyball is a form of carbon including C60, a roundish molecule made of 60 carbon atoms. It was named Fullerene or Buckyball, after Buckminster Fuller, who invented the geodesic dome, which has a similar structure.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Ouch!!

Not much to be happy about after tonight's game.  Nice to see Leone go deep again.  And Bucky came close to his first dinger.  Otherwise, it was all Indians, all night.  Hopefully Travis will take this in stride.  As far as the bullpen goes, it appeared that most of them were mailing it in tonight.  J.J. was sharp - the rest were less than good.


In case you have not seen it yet - BuckyBackers.com

I'm speechless!

BuckyBackers.com

Good game last night...

which finally resulted in a W for the hometown nine.  Leone provided quite a bit of excitement at our house when he unloaded that blast (did you notice the fan had it in his glove before dropping it?).  Looking forward to Bucky's debut in the DH slot tonight. 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

And the second half begins...

with the DFA of John Olerud.  Got mixed feelings on this one.  He has declined offensively, but he still has the second best OBP on the team.  And his fielding has not been an issue.  Oh well, he would have been gone next season, so no sense prolonging the agony.  Now if Edgar would only retire...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Sake-Drenched Postcards - Wokin' and Rollin': Dubbing Iron Chef

Here's a nice article concerning the best cooking show in the Universe - Iron Chef!!

Sake-Drenched Postcards - Wokin' and Rollin': Dubbing Iron Chef


Mariner Season Part II

Hard to believe that the Mariners have reached the halfway point of the season in such poor shape. Although plenty of folks were apprehensive prior to the start of the season, I don't think many people actually thought that the M's would be as bad as they have turned out. Let's hope that the team makes the changes that are required to be competitive again next year. Wait until next year!!!

Mariners Wheelhouse - A Seattle Mariners fan blog asks a deep question

Mariners Wheelhouse - A Seattle Mariners fan blog: "Is picking on Tim McCarver morally indefensible?

One of the measures of a civilized society is the respect and dignity it affords to the weak and powerless in its midst. Base cultures regard their fringe members as fit objects for ridicule and personal gratification, but as most civilizations advance, they recognize a moral imperative to protect and defend those members with mental or physical limitations that leave them unfairly exposed to the cruelty of others.

Listening to Tim McCarver's All-Star game commentary, I was reminded of this principle. Which forces me to consider, 'Is picking on Tim McCarver morally indefensible?'"

San Shin - Jeff Shaw weighs in on Barry Bonds

San Shin: "Frivolous MVP balloting edition: Scott Rolen is a truly great player, having a truly great year. I am a huge fan of his, and would have loved to see the Mariners bring him in.

That said, David's right: I don't care if Barry Bonds kicked your dog, robbed your house and traded your Mantle rookie card for steroids, he's the league MVP, and you have to vote for him. Have to.

Unfair comparison: Bonds' OBP is .628. Here's the OBP for the middle of your Mariner lineup from last night:

Boone: .299
Ibanez: .323
Total: .622

That's right, it's more likely Barry Bonds will get on base in a given at-bat than either the M's No. 3 or No. 4 hitter will.

Like it or not, from a production perspective, he is our Babe Ruth. Hate him? Fine. But appreciate what we're watching. "

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

For the statheads out there

Here's an interesting article from ESPN that shows that the fascination with statistics among baseball fans is nothing new. Check out this article.

A New Beginning

The "other" blog is gone! Now it really is all about me! :)