Thursday, December 29, 2005

Weekly Update 12/29/05

A nice article here by Dave Studeman over at The Hardball Times that discusses, among other things, the notion that better pitchers leave more runners on base. The methodology to evaluate this seems pretty strong. He also forecasts that Jarrod Washburn is "due for a big correction downward" - as for A.J. Burnett "upward correction in the forecast". I'm less optimistic about the Washburn signing this week than I was last week - especially after reading this.

The "trade Reed for x" rumors are heating up again. As more time goes by, I'm less and less enthusiastic about trading Reed. Show me an awesome deal and I may be inclined to change my thinking - but it better be an awesome deal.

I got a copy of Moneyball for Christmas (a little behind the times). It's a fascinating read so far - and enlightening as well.

Happy New Year! Sending along my wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity to you all.

Edit: Kevin Millwood ends up with the Rangers. If they actually ever do assemble a pitching staff, they will win a LOT of ballgames.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Weekly Update 12/23/05

As this week ends, I have to give a cautious "thumbs up" to the Washburn deal. I would like it a lot more if it was a 2 year deal - but it's no longer possible to ignore the market reality - you have to overpay if you are going to play. Besides, Washburn has not been all that bad - take a look at Dr. Detecto's analysis here.

I really like the Matt Lawton signing. I'm hoping it's not at the expense of Jeremy Reed. Then again, seeing Ichiro! playing CF on a regular basis does have a certain appeal. Continuing on the possible trade scenarios, I would like to see Gil Meche move on to greener pastures - although I'm not sure what the team would do with Patterson now that Lawton is signed.

The DFA's were not surprising. Glad to see the organization cut ties with the marginal performers who were never going to amount to anything above replacement value and make room for some of the up-and-comers who will amount to something. At least we won't be hearing from Ryan "I never get any run support" Franklin next season (I hope).

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Non-tendered Players

Bryan Smith over at Baseball Analysts has some interesting comments concerning several players that were non-tendered yesterday. The best:
  • Ryan Franklin - "I would suggest he look into the salary difference between being a AAA ace and whatever job he could get away from baseball very soon."
  • Wade Miller - "It appears as if the days in which Wade Miller has great stuff are gone, and he must learn to adapt with merely average stuff."
  • Miguel Olivo - "If he could walk or make contact, he'd be an everyday catcher."
  • Eric Byrnes - "I've always thought of him as a poor man's Aaron Rowand, and someone in need of a versatile 4th outfielder, and accomplished southpaw basher should call Byrnes up."

Finnigan Hits The Nail On The Head

In today's Times, Bob Finnigan hits the nail on the head with the following quote:

"After removing the three players from the 40-man roster Tuesday, Seattle has now dropped 22 of the 48 players who appeared in games in 2005, including 13 of 27 position players and nine of 21 pitchers."

I usually don't pay much attention to Finny, but with this sentence, he has laid out the one salient item from this offseason that will result in some measure of success for the Mariners in 2006. By purging the remnants of the post-2001 ballclub, Bill Bavasi will ensure that the club will forget it's "losing ways" and go forth with a new attitude. I like it.

More on Friday concerning the Washburn signing and non-tenders.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Weekly Update 12/15/05

It's a day early, but I wanted to get the update done today while some of my thoughts concerning recent events are relatively fresh.

With regard to the Carl Everett signing, I'm going the other way from most of the reaction that I've seen in the blogosphere so far. Everett hit more HR last year than all but one member of the 2005 Mariners. Everett had more RBI than all but 2 members of the 2005 Mariners. And after listening to the press conference yesterday, it's clear that Carl Everett has a burning desire to win. And winning is what it's all about my friends. Time will tell how good (or bad) this signing is. I'm also a little surprised at the righteous indignation over this signing. I thought that Seattle was a tolerant city - apparently not - at least when it comes to Carl Everett. For me, it's pragmatic - if he helps my ballclub win, then he's okay with me.

The lack of movement on the pitching front is beginning to be an item of concern. The FA names that have been mentioned as possible targets don't do much for me after you pass Kevin Millwood's name on the list. And Ponson? You must be kidding. But once again, I'm willing to give BB and Co. a chance to put their entire plan into action. There's plenty of time between now and ST to decide whether or not they have a good one.

Edit: The other point I wanted to make concerning Carl Everett is that freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution - even when that opinion doesn't happen to agree with your personal belief system.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Weekly Update 12/9/05

Forget what I said last week. The Winter Meetings are over, and aside from Jamie Moyer returning to the fold, not much has changed. Although Marcos Carvajal looks to be a good addition to the bullpen, he's not the "impact" player that we were hoping to see.

Patience is a virtue.

I did tweak the site template a bit - it's getting closer to what I'm looking for.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Olerud Retires

According to the Times, John Olerud has decided to retire. He was one of the classiest acts ever to play ball for the Mariners. The softest hands and that sweet, sweet swing. Good luck in all your future endeavors John!

Edit: One other thing about John Olerud. When my son was younger, we used to send off baseball cards to Peoria every ST with a stamped, self-addressed envelope and ask the players to sign. Some did - some didn't - but John Olerud was always one of the good guys who signed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dave Makes The Cut!

Dave Niehaus has been selected as a finalist in this year's Ford C. Frick Award competition. Here's the link. Dave and Denny Mathews (KC) are the only active broadcasters on the ballot. Good luck Dave!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Weekly Update 12/2/05

Another week has passed in Mariner Land without any real news. The local papers and the blogosphere are full of speculation and rumors, but nothing has materialized so far. I suspect that by this time next week a few of the pieces will have fallen into place.

We did learn that Ichiro! will play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic and will consequently be a scare commodity at ST. In light of his remarks published earlier, this may be fortuitous.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Weekly Update 11/25/05

Hope that everyone had a nice day yesterday - there's a lot to give thanks for.

The Mariners struck while the iron was hot last week and signed Kenji Johjima to a 3 year deal. I like this deal because it gives the team a legitimate starting catcher. I'm hoping that they hang on to Torrealba and give Rivera another season to get ready in AAA.

With Delgado and Thome heading elsewhere, the search for left hand sock continues. No news on the search for starting pitching either - perhaps the Winter Meetings will be the place where further trade/FA action happens.

Lots of speculation concerning a certain fella named Manny this week. Both the P.I. and The Times weigh in on the subject. While he is definitely one of the most awesome offensive forces in baseball, the monetary outlay would make it difficult (if not impossible) for the team to address the pitching issue. Just say no.

Edit: OTOH, if money is no object, then by all means go get him. Manny would not be bothered in the least by playing half his games at Safeco Field.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What I'm Reading Today

Just finished an awesome piece of writing (baseball related) over at Baseball Analysts. Take a few minutes to read it - I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Weekly Update 11/18/05

Lots of excitement in Mariner Land this week:

  • Jeff speculates that Johjima-san is a lock over at Lookout Landing. I'm onboard.
  • Ichiro! made some comments concerning his dissatisfaction with the team in 2005. I'm pleased that he decided to speak about this openly - perhaps the people that it was directed toward will get the hint and start applying themselves more diligently in 2006.
  • Cammy will be back in Safeco Field next season! Okay, wearing a Padres uniform, but I'm just saying.
  • It's beginning to look like we will have to wait for the Winter Meetings before we see any serious trade or FA action.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Weekly Update 11/11/05

Happy Veteran's Day! Be sure to say Thank You to any veterans that you may encounter today.

Lots of interesting information out there:

  • Larry Stone weighs in over at The Times.
  • Jon Paul Morosi writes a rather misguided piece over at The P.I..
  • Paul White has a few things to say over at USA Today.
  • Pro Sports Daily has a bunch of rumors - some links require registration. Of note is a New York Post article concerning Ichiro! (and full of speculation) - also a Philadelphia Inquirer article that discusses Trader Pat's upcoming moves (with emphasis on a Thome to Seattle scenario).

Hot Stove action really starting to heat up now - perhaps we will know some things for sure by next week. Stay tuned.

Edit: Almost forgot - wanted to post a link to MLB's Hot Stove Report.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What Did Jeff Say Today?

If you don't do anything else today, please take a few minutes to read Jeff's latest dose of common sense over at Lookout Landing. Thanks very much.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Weekly Update 11/04/05

Eddie Guardado will return in 2006, as reported in the Times. I wouldn't have minded if the Mariners let Eddie walk, since there are guys in the bullpen right now that could close for a lot less than $6.5M. I'd like to see what the rest of the moves are before I say that this was a bad move - as part of the bigger plan it may very well be acceptable.

Little Cruz signed a 1 year deal with the Dodgers today for $3.21M.

Larry Stone has an interesting piece in the Times today concerning the FA market. A few interesting names are mentioned, including Carlos Delgado.

Deanna posted an interesting tidbit concerning Brian Giles over at Seattle Marinerds today that might cool your jets a bit.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

At What Price Victory?

As a Mariners fan, I am frustrated. Two poor years. Two very poor years. Earlier today, I was actually arguing in favor of signing Rafael Palmeiro to an incentive laden deal to provide the "left hand sock" that the GM has been talking about.

Which leads me to pose the question - at what price victory? Is it wise to follow the White Sox model and sign the malcontents that nobody else wants? Should it matter whether players have integrity? Or should the primary focus be on winning?

I'm not sure. I argued in favor of Raffy mostly to counter the righteous indignation of some posters who wouldn't be caught dead signing a "cheater". I'm not so sure it's that big of a deal as far as I am concerned. If the guy can hit 30 HR and 125 RBI, I'm not so sure that I give a rat's ass about his personal belief system - or what PED he is using - or anything else besides what he can produce on the field. Some of that probably comes from 2 losing seasons - but part of it is also driven by the "what have you done for me lately" attitude that pervades our society.

This certainly goes in direct opposition to the Mariners "squeaky clean" brand of baseball. But hey - let's keep one very important thing in mind - the goal is winning the World Series. Go ask the White Sox.

Vote For Dave!!

It's time again for fan voting for the Ford C. Frick award. Please go over to The National Basseball Hall of Fame and cast your vote for Dave Niehaus (and two other deserving broadcasters of your choice).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

No News Is Good News?

This is the worst time of the year for a baseball fan. I opened the local paper this morning (The Kitsap Sun) and found exactly two baseball related stories in the Sports section - DePo gets canned and Manny wants to be traded (again). Yikes! Perhaps an online search would provide something. The Times and P.I. are both devoid of any content related to the Mariners. Even the blogosphere was pretty quiet.

I don't follow football or basketball or hockey - it's baseball or nothing for me. So I guess it's nothing for the next several months. Which may not be an entirely bad thing - I've been planning to update my web page for a long time now. Perhaps it will finally come to pass.

So when does Spring Training start?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Weekly Update 10/27/05

We're back to the weekly update format that served us so well last year until ST. So let's hit it:
  • Wrap up from the Times concerning the coaching staff hirings. Ho-hum - let's talk starting pitching and left handed sock please.
  • Fluff piece from the P.I. concerning whether Eddie will be back next year. For the work he did in 2005, he was overpaid. There are guys on the 40 man roster right now that can close - spend that money elsewhere.
  • Baseball for 2005 is officially over since the WS concluded last night in Houston with a White Sox win.
  • USS Mariner reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka will not be posted this year. Bad news for us - good news for NPB fans.
  • Edit: Got to add this piece by Art Thiel in the P.I. this morning. Among many things I completely disagree with are his assertion that, speaking of Guardado, "the Mariners have no obvious successor to him on the 40-man roster." How about Soriano, Putz, or even Meche?

Friday, October 21, 2005

So Long Bobby!

The Mariners announced today that Bobby Madritsch was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals. As I have said before, I admired Bobby for his "knock me off this hill if you can" attitude. He made the second half of the dreadful 2004 season at least interesting. Good luck man.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Go Astros!!

So why a post concerning the Astros in a Seattle Mariner blog?

I'm a native Houstonian. Although I've lived in the Northwest for the last 11 years (and now call Silverdale home), my roots still extend back to the Houston area. I remember well seeing games at Colt Stadium, and my Dad taking us across the parking lot to the big hole in the ground that would one day be the Astrodome. I remember seeing many games in the Dome. Seeing guys like Willie Mays, Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, "Little Joe" Morgan - well, you get the idea. Anyway, seeing the Astros win the NLCS was awesome. Best wishes for success in the WS.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What I'm Reading Today 10/18

USA Today has posted a very moving story concerning the life and hard times of Dwight Gooden. It's a sad story - but worth a read.

The Winter of Ichiro's Discontent

An interesting article in the Times this morning concerning Ichiro! and his feelings after the disastrous 2005 campaign. I'm not quite sure exactly what Finnigan is trying to say in this piece, but it does call to mind something that tends to be overlooked in the discussion concerning Ichiro!. He is, first and foremost, Japanese. I think people here tend to judge him as they would an American player - and that misses the mark. For example, the practice of the Japanese players paying a visit to Mr. Yamauchi to thank him for the opportunity to play for the club is quite foreign to us. Can you actually picture somebody like A-Rod appearing before King George to thank him for the opportunity to be a Yankee? Not likely. But Ichiro! functions as a Japanese player - Finnigan does allude to some of the philosophical differences that Manager Hargrove had with Ichiro! this past season. It's been clear from the start that Ichiro! has been his own player - he does things his way (or in context with his cultural heritage). Does this make him selfish? Not in my opinion - it just makes him true to himself - and that's something that the Mariners need to keep in mind when dealing with him.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sponsorships At

As pointed out by Dr. Detecto, an opportunity exists for sponsoring a player (or team for that matter) over at Check it out - it's a win for a great site and for you (the sponsor).

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Here's a few final thoughts on the 2005 campaign - and where we go from here.

Although Seattle fans had to suffer through another terribly disappointing year, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for 2006:

  • One must assume that Beltre, Reed, Betancourt, and Lopez will improve offensively.
  • King Felix emerged as a true force.
  • The GM has assured anyone who will listen that money is not a problem.
  • Richie Sexson dispelled all fears concerning his health and turned in an awesome year.

I plan to take a bit of a break from daily blogging. I'll update as needed until ST starts - then it's back to the daily grind. Hopefully next year will be better for all of us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

2005 Report Card - The Defense

The Defense

I was planning to do an in-depth review of the defense, but quite frankly I think that would be a waste of time. Let's just agree that the 2005 defense was above average, give them a B+, and move on.

Edit: Jeff did an excellent review over at Lookout Landing.

What I'm Reading Today

Check this hilarious piece by Seattle's own Deanna over at Seattle Marinerds. Priceless.

Monday, October 10, 2005

ALDS Sidelight - The Broadcast Crew

In addition to having to deal with Tim McCarver's drivel, did you notice yesterday evening that the other one (edit: Thom Brenneman, I think) kept referring to "Cowboy" Joe West as "Country" Joe West? Gimme an F!!!!

In case that Country Joe reference is a little arcane, here's a link to Joe's website that should clear it up - Click here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

2005 Report Card - The Pitchers

The Pitchers

I happened to spend a couple of days in Arizona this past February, and
was lucky enough to be able to get over to Peoria on one of those days
and watch the Mariners work out in Spring Training. There was a lot
to be optimistic about at that time, including the pitching staff.
Sometimes fate has other ideas - and the 2005 pitching staff ends up
with a D. Take a look at the following:

W   L   WHIP   K/BB   K/9     BAA   OPS   ERA
69 92 1.38 1.79 5.61 .268 .753 4.47

A few thoughts:

Madritsch going down was a major blow to the rotation.
Pineiro not being ready to start until well into the season also hurt.
Moyer's extreme home/road splits...
Moyer was the only guy to get 200 innings.
Meche was an enigma (again).
Franklin's suspension (hopefully signalling his departure).

The numbers (reasons to be hopeful):

Felix - K/9 of 8.38 in 77.1 innings, 2.56 ERA
Soriano - K/9 11.05 in 7.1 innings, 2.45 ERA
Guardado - 36 S, 2.72 ERA.
Sherrill - awesome 11.37 K/9 over 19 innings, 3.32 ERA.
Mateo - 88 innings, 2.97 ERA

Although the 2005 campaign was a bust, there are many reasons to be
optimistic for the 2006 campaign. Bavasi has stated that starting
pitching is one of his number one priorities. The addition of one or two
quality arms (and the loss of several "problem" members of the pitching
staff) will go a long ways toward righting the ship. The bullpen is not an
area of concern. Speaking of the bullpen, let's hope that Gil Meche finds
himself starting the 2006 campaign there - that finally may be the answer
to the question that has been Gil Meche.

Next: The Defense

Monday, October 03, 2005

2005 Report Card - The Hitters

Here is the first of three installments of my 2005 Report Card for your Seattle Mariners (69-93). Today, we will discuss the hitters. Later this week, we will discuss the pitchers and the defense.

The Hitters

Although there were some individual bright spots, the hitters get a D for overall performance. Let's compare this year's offense to the pathetic 2004 team:

  • 2004 - .270/.331/.396 698 Runs, 136 HR, 658 RBI
  • 2005 - .259/.323/.391 699 Runs, 130 HR, 657 RBI

I'd call that a wash. Although some individuals performed at a much higher level, the team as a whole did not improve. Some individual performances that I would like to highlight:

  • Ichiro! .303/.354/.436 111 Runs, 206 Hits, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 33 SB
  • Ibanez .280/.355/.436 92 Runs, 172 Hits, 20 HR, 89 RBI
  • Sexson .263/.369/.541 99 Runs, 147 Hits, 39 HR, 121 RBI
  • Beltre .255/.303/.413 69 Runs, 154 Hits, 19 HR, 87 RBI
  • Reed .254/.322/.352 61 Runs, 124 Hits, 3 HR, 45 RBI

To me, Ichiro!, Ibanez, and Sexson all exceeded my expectations, and all get A's for their efforts. It's a bit tougher to call it on Beltre, but in the final analysis he gets a C. His 2005 numbers are certainly better than anything the M's threw out there at 3rd base in 2004 - but also a disappointment after his monster stats in 2004. I would hope that Beltre can do better in 2006. Jeremy Reed gets a D - he wasn't anywhere close to his 2004 performance this year. He is definitely going to need to do better in 2006.

I'll make some general comments about the rest of the offense (don't want to get too specific with the guys that didn't have at least 300 AB). I think Lopez, Betancourt, and Morse (assuming that he is still around in 2006) will all get better with more AB under their belts. Greg Dobbs got hot in September - I'll be interested to see if he can repeat in 2006. The offensive contribution from the catchers was negligible. And the bench, for the most part, was a non-factor.

It's clear that another offensive upgrade is in order. Bavasi mentioned the left handed power bat as a priority. I'm not sure that the addition of a single bat is going to fix this offense. But adding a quality left handed power hitter would be a step in the right direction.

Edit: Of the guys with less than 300 AB, here are a few details:

Bloomquist .257/.289/.333 27 Runs, 64 Hits, 0 HR, 22 RBI, 14 SB (1 CS)
Morse .282/.353/.374 27 Runs, 64 Hits, 3 HR, 23 RBI
Betancourt .256/.297/.372 23 Runs, 53 Hits, 1 HR, 15 RBI
Lopez .246/.281/.380 18 Runs, 46 Hits, 2 HR, 25 RBI

Next: The Pitchers

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Game 162 - It's Over

And so ends the 2005 campaign. Too many in the L column - not enough in the W column.

Felix had another good game today. The bullpen let the game get away.

The season report card will come in three installments - hitting, pitching, and defense.

Game 161 - Approaching The End

Okay, I'll be honest. Since this game was not televised, I didn't even bother listening to it on the radio. Instead, I went over to Silver City Tattoo and made an appointment to get a new tattoo.

I did see Betancourt's homerun on the 6 o'clock news. He's going to be something special. I also saw in this morning's Kitsap Sun that Bobby Madritsch will have surgery on his shoulder - hopefully ready for ST.

Felix pitches the last game of the season today. I plan to have the first installment of the season report card up by Monday evening.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Game 160 - Dan, Moyer, and Ichiro!

Moyer goes to 10-0 at Safeco. I'm beginning to think that the idea of bringing Moyer back next year as a "home starter" has some merit.

Congrats to Ichiro! on acheiving the 200 hit mark again. He continues to show why he is such a special player.

The fans got to say goodbye to Dan Wilson last night. Seeing the tribute footage, I couldn't help but think how young he looked in 1995. Dan was always a favorite in our house - we will miss him.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Game 159 - Mariners Win!!!

Nice to see the hometown nine put a W on the board.

Soriano appears to be on the mend. Good news after reading about Bobby Madritsch earlier. Eddie managed to wrap things up with minimal suspense. If indeed that was Ryan Franklin's final performance in a Mariners uniform, it ended quite well. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Three with Oakland and we're done. Hardly seems possible that the season is almost complete. And the playoffs start next week. Sheesh.

Jeff Shaw Loves Baseball

If you don't accomplish anything else today, make sure you read this article by the illustrious Jeff Shaw.

Game 158 - Sisyphus

Are you familiar with the myth of Sisyphus? The guy who was condemned to an eternity of rolling a boulder up a hill - only to have it fall back as he reached the pinnacle? Watching the Mariners these days is beginning to remind me of Sisyphus - futile and hopeless labor.

4 more games. At least we have Felix to look forward to on Sunday.

Edit: Here's a little nugget from the Mariner Notebook at the P.I. this morning:

"Bobby Madritsch will have an MRI today on the left shoulder he hurt April 6. Madritsch hasn’t had surgery, and had been throwing aggressively in the past month trying to come back from the injury. Last week, with pain in the shoulder, he was shut down – and the pain has not subsided. “I’m a mess,” Madritsch said. …"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Game 157 And Stuff

Another one for the L column. Felix is the only reason I'm watching the club right now.

Edit: That's not entirely true - Lopez and Betancourt - get used to hearing those 2 names mentioned together. They almost won the game last night. They are fun to watch.

It looks like Buck had the right idea last night - walk Ichiro! and take your chances with the rest of the inconsistent lineup.

Some news from the Mariners Notebook at the P.I. this morning:

  • Bucky is movin' on.
  • Snelling had his surgery.
  • Dan will get the start on Friday - will catch an inning or two but will not bat.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

At What Price?

Here's a great story by Eric Neel over at ESPN that tells the story of Robb Nen's last pitch. Check it out - probably one of the better baseball related stories that I have read in recent memory.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ichiro! Joins Elite Club

As reported in the P.I. this morning, Ichiro! has amassed more hits than anybody in his first 5 seasons in MLB. Another reason why he is such a special player.

Edit: Or in any 5 year span. Awesome.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Game 154 - Eddie Delivers

I think the best part of last night's game in Toronto was seeing Eddie Guardado pitch with confidence in the bottom of the 9th. He's been tentative lately - not the hyperactive Eddie that we got used to seeing earlier in the season. But he looked like the old Eddie last night - and that bodes well for 2006.

Edit: I've had a change of heart concerning the 2005 report card. I'll wait until the Mariners play out the season before posting.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Game 153 - Why?

One must ask why Mike Hargrove decided to let Joel Pineiro go back out for the bottom of the 8th last night. Or certainly one must ask why Hargrove decided to leave him in after giving up the walk to Koskie. After the disaster that was the 1st inning, Pineiro got himself sorted out and pitched a good game. But it was clear to even the most casual observer that he was done by the time the 8th rolled around. I'm not cutting Hargrove any slack here - the pen was full of fresh arms - no excuse for leaving Pineiro out there to take the loss.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

If You Ever Visit Turner Field...

Here's an interesting read from ESPN today concerning hand washing and where you are likely to find the highest concentration of people who don't bother washing after visiting the bathroom.

Game 152 - Long Live The King (again)

Felix again showed why he is the real deal last night in Toronto. He bounced back from 2 less than stellar outings with an outing that almost went into the history books. I don't have any trouble watching Mariner baseball when the King is on the mound.

How about that Greg Dobbs? He has gone 8 for 20 in the last 7 days,
yielding a .400/.409/.500 line.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Inevitable Intensification Of Bland

It's been a while since I plugged the illustrious Jeff Angus - so check out the following piece that speaks to one of the central issues that drags down every organization.

Nightengale Sings

So here's Bob Nightengale's latest from USA Today. There's a blurb about Bavasi being on the hotseat - but the sidebar is the most interesting. He says that the Mariners will be after Junior this offseason (if healthy). It makes one wonder if Mr. Nightengale is related to another Bob that has an affinity for writing a "Junior returns to Seattle" piece every now and again.

Game 151 - Further Down The Road To Futility

Another one for the L column. Two bright spots in last night's game for me:

  1. Beltre's home run.
  2. Meche's curveball. Wicked.

It's Felix this afternoon. Long live the King!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Game 150 - Sexson!

Not to give away the plot to one chapter of the 2005 report card, but Richie Sexson has certainly earned an A+ this year.

In general, it appears that the players are starting to wear down a bit. Hargrove certainly looks like he has had enough - if you didn't see the game, there were several shots of Grover in the dugout rubbing his forehead in the bottom of the ninth - appeared he was thinking "please make it stop!".

Food For Thought

Please check out this gem from Dr. Detecto.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Games 146, 147, 148, and 149 - Why Bother?

Not much to say about that. The Mariners got swept. On to Canada.

I'm working on the 2005 report card - first installment should be up by Friday.

Edit: The following was contained at the bottom of the Notebook feature in the PI this morning:

"To make room on the 40-man roster for Morse, first baseman/DH Bucky Jacobsen was taken off it, which may signal the end of his Seattle career. Jacobsen, who spent the season recovering from a series of knee surgeries, can be a free agent at the end of the season."

And so it goes.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Games 143, 144, and 145 - Swept 'Em Again

I'm only going to comment on Game 145 - being that I attended. It was a nice day in Seattle, although a bit cool in the shade. My sister and brother-in-law are in town from Corpus Christi, TX. They went to the game in shorts and t-shirts - against my advice. By the 4th inning, my brother-in-law made a trip to the team store to get sweatshirts. I thought I exercised remarkable restraint by failing to say "I told you so". But I digress. We sat in section 326, row 4 (awesome seats - check out the view):

The garlic fries are still fantastic. The game was probably the best game I have ever seen at Safeco Field. Best may not be the right word - but most exciting may be a better descriptor. There was lots of offense - sloppy defense - good defense - terrible pitching - and an excruciating ninth inning that finally resulted in a W for the hometown nine and a completion of the sweep.


Just a couple of thoughts:

  • The Angels bullpen stinks.
  • Sexson's homerun left the yard quickly - even though it was going to the opposite field.
  • Beltre sets his feet for the throw to first like nobody else I have ever seen.
  • Raul Rocks (at least that's what the scoreboard said).

That was my last game at Safeco for the season. Even though this season has been a major disappointment, I had a great time yesterday.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Games 140, 141, and 142 - Another Series Loss

I must admit that it is becoming extremely difficult to write about this team anymore. They just don't inspire me. Perhaps something will happen in the last few weeks of the season that will rekindle my interest, but for now I just can't get too enthused.

Felix finally had an outing that was less than what the fans have been hoping for. To me, it was still an impressive performance. After giving up 5, he settled down and pretty methodically shut the O's down. Of course the M's offense was never able to do any real damage - as has been the story for most of the year.

The Angles come to town. I'm going to Safeco on Wednesday for my last visit of the season. Game report and pictures to follow.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Testy Nelson

Here's an interesting quote from Larry LaRue over at the TNT today:

"How about testy? Someone asked Jeff Nelson if he could remember the last time he’d walked a batter to force in the winning run. He answered only the first half of the question.

“You mean, can I remember the last time I came into the game after seven days off with the bases loaded? No, I can’t,” Nelson said. “I was throwing all fastballs. I didn’t throw sliders because I didn’t have time to throw them in the bullpen …”

Does that mean he wasn’t given time to adequately warm up in the bullpen?

“As far as you know, I was warmed up,” Nelson said.

That’s not likely to sit well with manager Mike Hargrove, who took the loss with a grimace – and Nelson’s quotes with a shake of his head and no comment."

It's high time that Jeff Nelson packed his bags and sought his fortune elsewhere.

Edit: The more I think about this quote, the more irritated I get. It seems clear now that Nelson went into the game predisposed to do less than his best. Whether or not he was poorly used (and I think you can make a good arguement that he was), it's not his place to question the Manager's decisions with the game on the line. I hope that was his last appearance as a Mariner.

Game 139 - Ouch!

I suppose that if you see enough baseball games, you'll sooner or later see a game like yesterday's affair in Oakland. The Mariners seemingly had the game iced - only to have the bullpen implode and give it away. Too bad - but that's the way it goes sometimes. In the overall debacle that has been the 2005 season, this game just adds to the general feeling of malaise that I am experiencing when it comes to Mariner baseball.

Only 23 games until next season.

Edit: And props to Ryan Franklin for a well pitched game yesterday. Perhaps he should go on short rest more often.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Morse Suspended

This is starting to get old. Check out Morse's statement. Not sure if I buy this or not - but if true, he's getting screwed. In any event, I find it quite disappointing that another member of the Mariners has been identified as a steroid violator.

Edit: Just want to be sure my position on this is clear. I don't condone steroid use. I do think it's unfair to punish a guy 3 times for the same infraction.

Game 138 - Pineiro Shines

Another one for the W column. I must admit that I am conflicted concerning Joel Pineiro's future with this team - but probably less so than with one Gil Meche. Pineiro had another decent outing last night. It would appear that he has at least found a way to repeat these effective starts. I don't believe that he will ever be the TOR guy that people were talking about several years ago - but I do think that he can be an effective 3 or 4 guy - if he stays healthy. But I'm not complaining - another win is always a good thing.

I was pretty sure Richie Sexson was going to unload a *long* home run last night. He didn't - but I don't think it will be long before he does.

Maybe Mike Morse will learn how to play left field after all. He didn't look that bad last night.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Games 136 and 137 - Blah And Bang!

Nothing much to say about game 136.

Felix provided another outstanding outing in game 137. The remarkable thing about Felix (IMHO) is his ability to stay cool under pressure. I'm sure you've all read the accounts in the dailies concerning his ability to refocus after becoming distracted, but it was very clear yesterday to the observer that he was able to make his pitches when he absolutely needed to. And he will only get better. Long Live The King!!!

A few words about Yuniesky Betancourt. I'm surprised that there haven't been any comparisons to the young Ozzie Smith - who was, as you may recall, quite a light hitter in his early days with the Padres. But that magical glove. And Betancourt is every bit the dazzler on defense that Ozzie was.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Games 134 and 135 - The Season In Microcosm

The last two games in Anaheim perfectly sum up the frustration that has become the 2005 baseball season. One L and one W - and the consistently inconsistent Seattle Mariners keep rolling along. Just a couple of thoughts:

  • When Vlad hits one, it stays hit.
  • We really need an everyday left fielder. Sorry, but Morse and Dobbs just are not cutting it.
  • The bullpen seems to have recovered.
  • Ichiro!
  • Beltre is such an awesome defensive third baseman - he makes the really difficult plays look quite easy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Game 133 - Pineiro Returns

No sooner do I post something concerning the demise of Joel Pineiro as a good pitcher...

So props to Joel for a good game and another one in the W column. Also props to Miguel Ojeda and Jose Lopez for exhibiting some power today. Nice to see a split with the Yanks.

Edit: Or not. See Dave's alternate (and scholarly) take over at USS M .

Game 132 - Deuling Pitchers

In a pre-game interview, Randy Johnson minimized the importance of his start against the Mariners and King Felix last night. By the 6th inning, it was quite clear that Randy was blowing smoke in the pre-game interview, and throwing smoke on the mound. He was obviously into the game - and he managed to keep the Mariner squad down. Which really didn't come as much of a surprise - this year's lineup really seems to be lost when facing a quality starting pitcher.

Felix threw what I thought was an excellent game last night. He somehow managed to retain his composure and held the potent Yankee offense pretty much in check. Two mistakes - two longballs - and another one for the L column. But it was an impressive performance nonetheless. Long live the King!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Overrated Players?

Check out this article by Dayn Perry over at Although I agree with most of this list, check out number 8 and see what you think.

Games 130 and 131 - A Tale Of Two Pitchers

One for the L column, followed by one for the W column.

Ryan Franklin is done. Stick a fork in him.

Jeff Harris pitched a good game last night. Although he did a fairly good job of imitating Ryan Franklin, Harris was able to stay away from the big inning. As a matter of fact, he limited the damage from a quite potent Yankee lineup. He gave his team a chance to win. And they didn't miss it.

Ichiro! continues to show why he is such a special player.

So did anybody else see the attitude that Mike Morse was displaying after Carlos Garcia started bitching him out for not scoring on that fly ball? Perhaps this is what the Sox saw that made them give up on the kid. I like Morse as a player, but we have all seen what happens to guys who can't get their attitude right (anybody remember Shane Monahan?).

Monday, August 29, 2005

Larry Poncino At It Again

From Yahoo Sports:

Aug 29 Pujols was ejected in the first inning of Sunday's game after he was caught stealing. Washington pitcher John Halama picked Pujols off first base, and Nick Johnson threw to Cristian Guzman, who applied the tag. Pujols took exception to the call and was ejected by first-base umpire Larry Poncino, as Pujols went to take his position in the bottom half of the inning. STATS, Inc.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Game 129 - Welcome Back Freddy

Another one for the W column. Good pitching, good hitting, and Dave Hansen smacks a long ball!

Nice to see some aggressive baserunning from the Mariners. Apparently Mike Goff's little chat with the boys the other day has paid some dividends.

Game 128 - On The Road To Futility

Another one for the L column. Starting pitching less than acceptable. Defense acceptable. Hitting less than acceptable. Baserunning - well, not sure if Carlos Garcia should get the credit for Ichiro! getting nailed on a close play. Again, if the club was in a pennant race, I'm not sending him. But in the waning days of a lost season, does it really matter?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Game 127 - He's Still The King

Felix made a couple of mistakes last night. He's 19 - it's not going to be the last time. In spite of giving up a couple of long balls to the guy who took over the role of "Number 1 Prospect" in the White Sox organization, Felix pitched another outstanding game. His poise is particularly noteworthy - and something that has been sorely lacking in Mariner pitchers this year without Bobby Madritsch taking the hill.

I don't want to say this too loud, but Yorvit Torrealba is looking like he may be able to stick as a starter on this team. I'm just saying.

Eddie Guardado is going to give up some dingers - it's just the way he pitches. I would feel a lot worse about it if we were in the middle of a pennant race.

Dave and Ron were wondering why Hargrove called for the squeeze so early in the game. Hey guys, do you think maybe he called it because nobody was expecting it? Just a thought.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Game 126 - Ichiro! and Harris

What else can you say about Ichiro!? The guy doesn't have a decent AB all day, then manages a grand slam. Amazing.

Props to Jeff Harris. Not a small feat to hold the Rangers at bay - at home - with the temperature approaching the century mark.

Felix takes the hill tonight! Long live the King!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Games 124 and 125 - More Of The Same

Not much can be said of the last two games that hasn't been said already. I'm at the point of the season where I am not really interested in watching the Mariners anymore (unless Felix is pitching). For the last two evenings, I caught snippets of the games - but was mostly occupied with getting my son's computer sorted out. Finally ended up wiping and reinstalling the OS last night - figured I was better off cutting my losses and starting fresh. He wasn't too concerned about losing files - so we now have a clean install and the computer seems to be happy again. At least one of us is.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Whatever Happened To Joel Pineiro?

Whatever happened to Joel Pineiro? Remember the Pineiro of 2001 - the one that gave up 50 hits in 75.1 innings? The one that only walked 6 and allowed 2 HR? The one with the ridiculous 2.03 ERA? The one that reitred the first 60 or so right handed batters that he faced?

Compare him to the Joel Pineiro of 2005 - the one that has given up 177 hits in 144 innings. The one who has walked 45 and allowed 21 HR. The one with the very poor 5.83 ERA.

It seems clear to this fan the the Mariners are faced with a choice concerning Mr. Pineiro. Do they hang on to him and hope that he regains his form - or do they cut him loose and try to find somebody to take his place in the rotation? Somebody who looks a lot more like the Pineiro of 2001.

Monday, August 22, 2005

New Look Revisited

Okay, finally found a template that I like. It's almost right - a few more tweaks here and there - but this should be it for the present.

Game 123 - Oops!

Another one for the L column.

What's up with Larry Poncino? Some umpires take themselves way too seriously - looks like Poncino falls into this category. Just call the game.

Even though that was a tough loss yesterday, I still feel relatively hopeful for next year. I say relatively because it is clear now that the offense and defense are going to be fine - but the pitching staff is going to need a lot of work.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Game 122 - Power Up!

Great win for the Mariners last night in the Homer Dome. Felix continues to show that not only is he ready to compete at the ML level - he is ready to dominate. After giving up 2 in the 1st, he settled into a nice groove and kept the Twins at bay until Sexson and Beltre tied the game. Nice.

Speaking of Sexson and Beltre, it's really nice to see them both deliver at the plate in the same game. They weren't the only story for the offense last night - but they were definitely the most compelling. I felt hopeful last night - and that's been a pretty rare feeling this year.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Games 120 and 121 - Twins Win

2 more for the L column. Both games were difficult to watch. Poor starting pitching, no situational hitting, strange plays, balks - not good.

If Adrian Beltre is beginning to assert some leadership over this team - good.

Scott Spiezio is gone. Another Cirilloesque performance from a FA signing. Let's hope it's the last one for quite a while.

The King takes the hill today. Long live the King!

Friday, August 19, 2005

High Tech Baseball

Ran across this over at USA Today earlier. It's an interesting read - I was unaware of the Bavasi connection to Inside Edge. Check it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Game 119 - The Hitters Deliver!

It would have been just as easy to dedicate this post to Jamie Moyer, but I've been waiting for the hitters to deliver the goods, and man did they deliver the goods today! Ichiro! goes 3 for 4 with 3 RBI. Beltre swats the Grand Slam. Sexson delivers another dinger. Betancourt and Torrealba go 3 for 4. Reed goes 2 for 3. Just an outstanding offensive display.

Moyer does get the props - 1 run on 6 hits and 7 K.

And Matt Thornton gets the finger - what an awful performance.

Game 118 - Another W

Another one in the W column. Joel Pineiro had a respectable outing last night. His last three starts have been good - so perhaps he has indeed turned the corner.

Ichiro! showed one facet of his game last night that I wish he would concentrate more on. Running on Terrence Long (which is ironic, since Terrence Long is the first guy that Ichiro! gunned down at 3rd base in his ROY season) was a great move. Ichiro! has the ability to create havoc on the basepaths, much in the same way that Rickey Henderson and Kenny Lofton literally took charge whenever they got on base.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Props To Randy

Randy Winn hits for the cycle! Yeah baby!

Valdez Up

Yeah, it's Wilson Valdez, called up to replace Khalil Greene by the San Diego Padres. Check it out - USA Today.

Game 117 - It's All About The K's

The King turned in another awesome performance last night. Small sample size be damned - the kid can pitch! The level of excitement was evident on the TV broadcast - the fans were into the game and having fun (an unusal situation this season). Hopefully the folks that were putting up the K's will make up some more before Felix's next start - they ran out when he hit 10.

Strange lineup last night. Strange move with Wiki and Ojeda. I heard Larry LaRue on the pregame radio show opine that Wiki did something bad enough to warrant him being shipped out "right now". That would seem to fit with what we have been hearing for a long time concerning his reputation as the "laziest man in baseball". Whatever - just find a catcher that can hit his weight and I'll be okay with it.

When Sexson tags one, it's a thing a beauty.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Behind The Plate Report

A quick review of stats on ESPN this morning revealed the following (last 7 days):

Olivo .300/.333/.550/.883 20AB

Torrealba .125/.222/.250/.472 8AB

Gonzalez .182/.182/.182/.364 11AB

This seems to fit quite nicely in the alternate universe that Mariner fans are inhabiting this season. Just thought you might like to know.

An Open Letter To Bill Bavasi

Dear Bill,

I read in the TNT this morning that you were pretty bleeped off after yesterday's game.

I'm pretty bleeped off too. As a matter of fact, I'm so bleeping bleeped off that I can barely see straight.

Ichiro! once said that it's dangerous for ball players to become accustomed to losing. I'm afraid that the Mariners are beginning to get accustomed to losing - please do something about this. Like getting rid of Scott bleeping Spiezio - that would be a good start.

Sincerely, Iron Tech

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Angelic Revenge

The Angels certainly extracted their revenge for the sweep that the Mariners pulled off down in Anaheim before the All Star break. Poor pitching, lack of timely hitting, and base running errors all contributed to the sweep in Seattle for the Angels.

So it appears that Snelling is done - for the season anyway. It certainly begs the question at this point - can the kid ever stay healthy enough to show what he can really do at the big league level? Time will tell - but not this season.

So is there a more hapless team in baseball than the Mariners right now? Quite possibly it is the Kansas City Royals - and they just so happen to be flying in for a 3 game set.

News From Tacoma

From an article in the TNT today, Bucky is back with the Rainiers. Additionally, Jamal Strong did not play yesterday, suggesting that he will be called up to replace Chris Snelling on the roster. No word on which pitcher will be moved to make room for Strong.

I'll post an update for the Angels series this evening. Quite frankly, I just couldn't bring myself to write anything after the first two games of the series. I'll grit my teeth this evening.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Thoughts

A couple of things - in no particular order:

  • Please let Mike Cameron be okay.
  • Please let Chris Snelling be okay.
  • What's up with Miguel Ojeda? He's tearing the cover off the ball in Tacoma.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Game 112 - Long Live The King

Many words will be written about Felix Hernandez in the next several days. What is clear is that we witnessed something special tonight at Safeco Field. The King ascended to the top of the hill tonight, and owned that hill like no Mariner pitcher since Bobby Madritsch. Felix maintained very good control of his fastball, and his ability to throw the breaking ball for strikes kept the Twins off balance for most of the evening. Felix also fields his position quite well - that throw to third was spot on. Quite a game - long live the King!!

Yuniesky Betancourt is such an exciting player to watch. When he turned on the jets between first and second, he looked like he was moving along without even touching the ground. I think the rest of the squad was feeling the electricity at the Safe - even Eddie seemed to be more pumped than usual this evening. A good win - and a great night to be a Seattle Mariners fan.

Game 111 - Fair Dinkum!

A fun game last night - and an improbable win. But any W is good.

Chris Snelling had a fair dinkum game last night. He provides hope for the future - please stay healthy! Whether in the field or at the plate, I really like his approach.

Check out Seattle Marinerds, a very well written Mariners blog. I felt very inadequate as a writer after reading this blog - but perhaps inspired to do better as a writer as well.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Games 108, 109, 110 - Chicago Report

Since the trading deadline, I must say that the Mariners are a lot more fun to watch. And, for a change, the starting pitching has been quite good lately. Unfortunately, the offense has not kept up with the pitching, but this will probably change as the season wears on.

Sexson and Beltre continue to amaze with their power. I wish Beltre would be a bit more consistent, but he has started to show some tantalizing glimpses of what he can do when (and if) he gets hot.

Snelling and Betancourt have been a breath of much needed fresh air.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Games 105, 106, 107 - Detroit Report

Same old consistently inconsistent Mariners. They just can't seem to put the good pitching and good hitting together.

Let the Felix Hernandez era begin. Too bad he had to start off with a L, but I am sure that he will have plenty of W's before it's all over.

Yuniesky Betancourt is for real.

Beltre. Man.

Edit: Just realized this post got truncated. What I was trying to say about Beltre is that he seems to be ready to explode at times - then he fades back into mediocrity. It's enough to drive one to distraction.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Franklin Suspended

Shit. So perhaps this will create another opportunity for one of the kids in Tacoma. Like Nageotte?

Edit: The Press Release says Masao Kida will take Franklin's spot on the roster.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Trading Deadline Passes

How awesome is it to see the Mariners actually make some deals? The days of "Stand Pat" Gillick are gone - long live Bill Bavasi!

All of the deals seem to have one common thread - getting young players who have the potential to contribute (some of them immediately - others down the road). And clearing some roster spots to let guys like Chris Snelling play regularly is certainly a good thing.

Hearing some reports today that Aaron Sele is about to be released - and that Scott Spiezio, Dave Hansen, Shiggy, and Matt Thornton (or Pineiro) may also be very close to being handed their walking papers. It's definitely time to blow this squad up and look towards the future.

And Boone was released by the Twins.

Palmeiro suspended. Man - that sucks.

Game 104 - Another L

Another one for the L column. The offense showed up - the starting pitching did not.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Game 103 - Ultimate Hitter's Revenge

Ichiro! certainly made a statement today.

Also nice to see Mike Morse pull a ball for a home run.

The clock is ticking...

Games 101 and 102 - P.U.

The Mariners have been stinking it up so bad that I can smell them in Silverdale.

Some interesting (and downright baffling) moves in the last couple of days. First of all, best wishes to Pat Borders. He's always been a favorite player of mine, but it's clearly time for him to hang it up. I hope the M's can hire him as a coach - he's got a lot to offer in that regard. The Lopez for Betancourt swap is still puzzling. But maybe not - Lopez gets everyday playing time at AAA to improve his approach at the plate. Betancourt gets time in the show to prove that he is the real deal. Morse has shown that he belongs in the show - so perhaps Betancourt becomes the starter at second. Don't know.

Will Aaron Sele be the next DFA?

I hope Jeremy Reed does not make running into the wall a habit. Super effort - but it's also important to protect the body a bit. Wow.

Trading Deadline approaches. Will it pass with a whimper, or a bang?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

So Long Pokey?

Larry LaRue over at the TNT says today that Pokey may need additional surgery on his shoulder, and further opines that Pokey never will play an inning for the Mariners this year.

Game 100 - Big Sexy

As the team reaches the century mark this season, it seems fitting to say a few words about Richie Sexson. My general trepidation at his signing has been replaced by a very happy feeling every time he launches one - especially like the one that went into the upper tank in left last night. The guy is awesome - and healthy - which are the 2 big concerns that I had (along with almost everybody else in the blogosphere). He's certainly proved that he is healthy - and he can really hit the ball a ton.

Props to Jamie Moyer for throwing an excellent game last night.

What was Craig Monroe thinking? Was he thinking at all? You can't miss a ball like that at the Big League level.

For those of you who don't get to see games on Fox Sports NW, they were running a contest last night to see how many balls were used in the game (76, I think). It was overplayed by the commentators (what a surprise) - and I think Grover got a little irritated when asked for his guess on the pregame. He said something about really not caring - way to go Mike!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Games 98 and 99 - From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

Nice game on Monday. Sexson and Beltre. Man.

Nice game yesterday, until the bullpen gave it up. That pitchout when the squeeze was on was awesome.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Games 96 and 97 - HoHum

I'm once again having a very difficult time saying anything positive about the Mariners. So I won't. They stink.

Edit: In Pocket Lint's article today in the Times, he mentions "Rafael Belliard" as delivering the sacrifice fly that tied the game yesterday. Perhaps someone should remind Bob that Ronnie Belliard is the player on the Cleveland squad. Sheesh - does anybody proofread his work?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Game 95 - Reversal Of Fortune

Lots of things to like in tonight's game in Cleveland. Sexson finishes the double play by keeping the tag on Belliard as he comes off the base. Snelling draws the walk - and Ichiro! pounds the game winner. Putz hitting 98mph and putting some hitters away. Guardado not too sharp - yet good enough to finish. Not a bad effort.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Games 93 and 94 - Maximum Suckage

I'm posting this before today's game ends - mostly because I just want to get it over with. Maybe the series in Cleveland will be better. Sheesh!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Game 92 - Roller Coaster

Quite a game in Toronto yesterday. It had plenty of ups and downs - and for the most part was enjoyable to watch. What was not so enjoyable was seeing Aaron Sele have one of his "not so good" outings. It was also not good to see The Hasegawa Effect once again. If only Matt Thornton could throw strikes. And Scott Spiezio - could a batter look any more lost than him? Snelling really scalded that ball that went for a double. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully Hansen will stay on the DL indefinitely - it's a good feeling having Snelling up with the big club.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Games 90 and 91 - Now That's What I'm Talking About!

A split with the Orioles. Nothing wrong with that. Luckily for us fans, the craptastic Mariners didn't show up on Saturday and Sunday. Instead, the Good Mariners showed up and outplayed the Baltimores in all respects. Good starting pitching, timely hitting, defense - it was all there. Two nice games.

So the sample size is still quite small, but for me anyway, Mike Morse is the guy that I want to see at the plate in the "close and late" situation.

Sorry to see that Chris Snelling is headed back to Tacoma. He didn't really get much of a chance to show Grover anything - but I suspect he will be back.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Game 89 - Palmeiro Makes History At Pineiro's Expense

Congrats to Raffy for achieving his 3,000th hit.

Another game that the Mariners should have won but for lack of timely hitting and effective starting pitching.

Ichiro! needs to create havoc on the basepaths a lot more often. His tear in the home half of the 7th was a perfect example of how he can take control of a game. As Hendu pointed out on the telecast, it was reminiscent of Rickey Henderson in his heyday.

Apparently Bobby Madritsch got some good news from the latest MRI. Hope to see him back before the end of the season.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Game 88 - Here We Go Again

Another W in the loss column. Lack of timely hitting and an ineffective starting pitcher sealed the M's fate in this one.

I'm with Jeff over at Lookout Landing, what the hell was Hargrove thinking when he sent Sandfrog up to pinch hit when he had Snelling sitting on the bench? It boggles the mind.

Hey, I'm happy for Raffy too - I mean, guys don't reach the 2,999 hit plateau every day. But to boo your own pitcher for walking the guy - that's a bit over the top (IMHO). Let's enjoy his historic accomplishment - but let's also remember why our team is out there on the field in the first place.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

EP Celebrates One Year Anniversary!

It's hard for me to believe that I've been doing this blog for a year already. Seems like a couple of weeks ago - but tempus fugit. It's nice to mark these anniversaries with a sense of renewed hope. And I suppose that's one of the things that keeps me watching baseball - the new beginnings each Spring - the ups and downs of the long season - the ultimate satisfaction or disappointment when the season comes to a close - and the promise of better things to come again in the Spring.

I'm looking forward to another year of blogging the Mariners. Let the second half begin!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Game 87 And The First Half

A sweep. In Anaheim. Unreal.

Looking back at the first half, I think it's fair to say that the Mariners have been a major disappointment. The club looked awesome down in Peoria in February. I was hopeful that they would come out and play good ball. Instead, they mostly stunk it up for the majority of the first 2 months.

I've talked about the team's inconsistency - this is their defining trait. It's impossible to predict which team will show up on any given day. I hope that the trade of Batflip the Terrible is the beginning of a change for this club. If they continue to play as well as they did in Anaheim over last weekend, then the second half could be a lot more interesting than the first.

I'm looking forward to seeing Chris Snelling play a lot more. I must admit that WFB has been a solid player coming off the bench - perhaps he should stick around for a while. I'm afraid that Miguel Olivo is done - he'll never hit a breaking ball with authority. Why is everybody on Randy Winn's case? I don't think the team should re-sign him, but he is making some valuable contributions with glove and bat. Beltre appears to have found his groove. The pitching staff has been quite good lately - hopefully we will see Bobby and Rafael return soon.

Glad the first half is over. Let's get on with the second half.

Edit: .462 .517 .692 1.210 - Know who owns this batting line? Over the last 7 days, encompassing 26 AB's - it's none other than WFB. How about them apples?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Games 85 and 86 - Somebody Pinch Me!

2 more in the W column. A series win (and potential sweep) at the expense of the division leader. Excellent starting pitching. Timely hitting. Great defense. Relievers who come into the game and get batters out. I'm impressed.

Of course, the maddening aspect to this recent good run by the Mariners is that once again, they are consistently inconsistent. After looking like a bunch of scrubs in Kansas City, they show up in Anaheim playing lights out baseball.

I'll have the broom out this afternoon, just in case.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Game 84 - Yeah Baby!

Hey, it's not often that the Mariners actually overwhelm an opponent - I'm enjoying every minute of this!!

Bartolo Colon reminds me of Chico Marx.

Adrian Beltre has finally found his groove. I think the second half is going to be fun with him in the lineup.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Games 82 and 83 - Gah!

Too many walks. Too many runners left in scoring position. You can't win ballgames with a performance like that - and the Mariners certainly did not.

Nice to see Snelling actually get into the game this evening.

Why does Grover insist on sending Sandfrog up to the plate in the 9th?

On to Anaheim.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Game 81 - KCK Or KCMO?

I'll leave you to ponder that deep question.

As for the game yesterday, I'm happy to say that I was able to enjoy a Mariner win while barbecuing and celebrating Independence Day. Any win is a good win at this stage. I was going to ask a rhetorical question about Franklin's pitching abilities, but why bother? Let's go get 'em today!

While at the Clearwater Casino Sunday evening, there was quite a bit of discussion about the departure of one Bret Boone. I overheard quite a few people say something to the effect of "Boone got a raw deal." So if you were the employer, and you had an employee who had been mailing it in for the past 2 years, what would you do?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Game 80 - So Long Batflip

A nice W today.

Props to Willie Bloomquist today - both in CF and on the basepaths.

Best wishes to Bret Boone in his future endeavors. He provided this fan with lots of excitement during the 2001 season. But it's clearly time for him to go. The club responded to his departure with a crisply played baseball game today.

And welcome back Chris Snelling. We've missed you.

Games 78 and 79 - How Low Can They Go?

The Mariners returned to Seattle after a lousy roadtrip and continued the lousiness through the first two games of the homestand. No chance of a winning homestand - as this stop is a brief one. It does appear that we may be in for another long week as they hit the road and continue stinking it up.

I do want to make one positive comment regarding Adrian Beltre. Although it's based on a fairly small sample size, it would appear that Beltre is finally beginning to find his groove at the plate. Good news in an otherwise bleak situation.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Game 77 - A Poor Effort

Not much can be said about yesterday's game in Oakland. The Mariners did not make a very good effort - and as a result, they found themselves swept. The club is not much fun to watch right now - and even more difficult to write about. If change is indeed in the air, then I welcome it with open arms.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Games 75 and 76 - Not Even The Dog Days Yet

They always say that the Baseball season is more like a marathon than a sprint. It's a long season, designed to test the mettle of a club. It certainly tests the mettle of fans, and bloggers in particular. It is becoming increasingly difficult to write anything about this team that doesn't start with "Wow, they really sucked last night.". In fact, it's becoming increasingly difficult to write anything about the Mariners right now.

In the search for good news, that HR that Beltre delivered last night was nice. I'm hoping that he has finally made whatever adjustments he needed to make - and that we are about to see what made him so special last year.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Games 73 and 74 - No Joy

Two more games added to the loss column.

Jeremy Reed rocks.

Props to Batflip the Terrible. Good game today. Good hitting and an awesome feed on the DP.

On to Oakland. Could be the start of a long week.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Game 72 - Slugfest In Socal

The offense returned with a vengeance last night in San Diego. I had my doubts prior to the game. The Mariners have made lots of guys like Darrell May look like legitimate Cy Young candidates. Not only did they jump on May, but every other pitcher that Bruce Bochy ran out there. An excellent performance (yes, even Batflip the Terrible did good).

Gil Meche was lucky that the offense decided to show up last night. He was shaky, even with a big lead. This start points out his inconsistency. It's an issue that needs to be resolved if Gil is going to be a part of the team's long term plans. Julio Mateo, on the other hand, showed exactly why he figures to be a part of the team's long term plans.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Game 71 - So Much To Say

But almost none of it is about the game. I actually didn't see or hear the game - too busy at work to follow it. After reading the post game reports, I'm glad that I didn't. My only comment concerning the game - Batflip the Terrible was 0 for 3.

Does it irritate you when fans talking on cellphones wave and mug for the camera whenever they get in the shot? Especially the ones around home plate that are shown every time a batter steps in? This sort of thing has been around for a long time - remember Rollen Stewart, The Rainbow Man? I just wish these folks could see themselves. Yikes.

On to San Diego. The Mariners have actually been quite good in Interleague play this season - let's hope that trend continutes this weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Game 70 - At Last

So the Mariners finally win an extra inning game. Nice performance overall, although the offense still missed several good scoring chances.

Looks like WFB has found his groove as a late-inning pinch runner.

Villone's reflexes are amazing. Still not sure how he got his glove up in time to avoid decapitation.

Fitting that Sexson delivered the game winner.

Batflip the Terrible was 1-4. I'll be convinced when his BA is .290.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Game 69 - GIDP

So good job by Grover for inserting WFB last night to run for Beltre. Too bad it ended in the Double Play. I hope Sexson gets this out of his system soon.

The offense struggled again last night. With the exception of the bottom of the 2nd, the offense did not execute - again.

Pocket Lint presents us with this little gem this morning. Ugh.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Game 68 - The One That Got Away

Too bad the bullpen let last night's game get away. Another good effort by Aaron Sele - another good effort by the defense - too bad. In particular, the duo of Morse and Lopez threw a lot of leather at the A's. And Jeremy Reed made several outstanding plays in CF. These guys are definitely the future of the ball club.

I was dismayed to read Pocket Lint's piece on the Batflip the Terrible reclamation project that is currently underway. He reports that Hargrove is determined to see Batflip return to the lineup. I'm okay with that as long as he is producing. But if he is hurting the team (which he has all season) then he needs to seek opportunities elsewhere - Lopez is perfectly capable of playing 2B for the club.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Game 67 - First Sweep!

In a weekend that brought the first Mariner win over Pedro Martinez, we are also treated to the first sweep of the season!

Could this offensive resurgence have anything to do with the benching of Batflip the Terrible?

Speaking of old, broken down players, did you notice Mike Piazza this weekend? He can't run - can't throw - and can't even get around on the junk that Shiggy was tossing up there this afternoon.

Game 66 - Finally!

The Mariners finally managed a win against Pedro Martinez. It was certainly one of the more enjoyable games I've seen all season. Perhaps the ejections in the bottom of the 1st had something to do with it. Or perhaps the substitute second baseman. In any event, it was very nice to see the convergence of good hitting and good pitching - especially when Ryan Franklin was the beneficiary.

Did you believe the play that David Wright made? Man, I wish the Mariners could have found a way to get this guy - he is awesome!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Game 65 - The Power Of Ichiro!

After Ichiro! delivered the 3 run HR, Jamie Moyer coasted to a nice win. Even Jeff Nelson looked okay as he came in to mop up. Mike Morse continues to impress.

So it appears that Batflip the Terrible is headed to the bench for a while. Nice to see Jose Lopez again - let's hope he goes on a tear and forces the club to do something permanent with regard to Batflip.

Nice to see Cammy again.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Felix Hurt

In what cannot be anything but bad news, Pocket Lint is reporting that Felix Hernandez is hurt. Here's the link. Let's hope this is nothing serious - but hey, it's the Mariners. Cripes!

Game 64 - Chances

Baseball is a game of inches. It's also true that baseball is a game of chances. Or perhaps opportunities. The Mariners certainly had quite a few chances to win the final game with the Phillies last night - greatest among them being the bottom of the ninth. But it's another series win.

Mike Morse looks like the real deal. Pocket Lint figures that Morse may make Reese a redundancy in the notebook section in today's Times. He may very well be correct.

Batflip the Terrible is really starting to get on my nerves. He is downright painful to watch anymore. His struggles at the plate are bad enough, but his alarming lack of range is something that the club can not afford to ignore anymore.

Edit: I suspect that will be the last time that Jeremy Reed makes a lackadaisical throw back to the infield. Lofton, even though getting on in years, is still one of the most dangerous base runners in MLB.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Game 63 - Wow!

Another W for the hometown nine - and another series win. Would it be too much to ask for the sweep?

So props to Mike Morse for his first ML dinger. And props to Aaron Sele, the pride of Poulsbo, WA for another excellent outing.

Now if only Pat Borders could manage to throw out a few runners....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Game 62 - 1,000 Reasons

Okay, the consistently inconsistent Seattle Mariners actually spun a pretty good game at Safeco Field yesterday evening. And congratulations to Ichiro! for reaching the 1,000 hit plateau.

Let's have a quick look at the particulars for Batflip the Terrible last night - GIDP, stranded 5, caught stealing.

Nice job by Gil Meche. It was certainly not a stellar performance, but a W is a W. And nice to see Eddie close the deal with flair. An enjoyable game.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Game 61 - How Much Worse Can It Get?

Try as I might, I just can't find anything good to say about yesterday's game - or the series in D.C. for that matter. The Mariners did not look good.

So perhaps the question becomes quite simple now - can the club contend this year or not? The actions that the F.O. needs to take will depend heavily on the answer to this simple question. Either way - change is coming.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Game 60 - Can The Bullpen Throw A Strike?

So what's up with the bullpen? Aside from Eddie, they are not looking so hot as a group lately. Another perfectly winnable game that slipped away.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Game 59 - Coyote Ugly

Not a bad game until the 8th inning - but oh, that 8th inning. The Hasegawa Effect, which had not been seen for quite some time, returned with a vengeance this evening. Then Matt Thornton was unable to throw a strike, and the ballgame was over. Go get 'em tomorrow.

Edit: Not to lay this all on the pitchers - Ichiro! misplayed a ball that perhaps could have helped end that 8th inning several runs earlier.

Game 58 - Relentless March

Well, okay, that may be overstating the case a bit. But another series win has me thinking that perhaps there is hope left for the hometown nine. Sele certainly did turn in another excellent performance. And the hitters finally managed a barrage of 2 out hits - just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Game 57 - Should Have...

Although it went down as an L, the Mariners had plenty of chances to win in Miami yesterday. Let's hope that they make a better showing today.

It's been a while since I ran one of these Rob Neyer ripoffs - but have a look:

Player A .324    .434    .634    1.068
Player B .328 .373 .639 1.012
Player C .239 .357 .505 .862
Player D .242 .277 .359 .635
Player E .320 .412 .586 .998

Players A and B look pretty good, do they not? Of course that's A-Rod and Miguel Tejada. The next two you may recognize as the number 3 and 4 hitters for your Seattle Mariners. I threw player E in after his performance last night - that's right - it's Carlos Delgado. *sigh*

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Game 56 - Snatched From The Jaws Of Defeat

Thankfully Jeff Nelson didn't give away this game (although it appeared that he was *really* trying). Eddie was a bit shaky, but managed to close it out without too much trouble. This was the game that the Mariners needed in order to avoid the sweep.

Jeremy Reed continues to impress.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Lookout Landing Plug

If you aren't reading Lookout Landing daily, you should be. Jeff and Devin write really excellent material covering both the Major and Minor League clubs. Today, Jeff has an awesome piece concerning, among other things, yesterday's game and the precipitous performance decline of a certain second baseman. And Jeff has also created the ultimate nickname for this certain second baseman - Batflip the Terrible - which I shall henceforth use whenever discussing this certain second baseman.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Games 54 and 55 - How About Them Apples?

By all rights, the Devil Rays should probably have swept the series in Seattle this weekend. As it turned out, they only won 1 game and the Mariners had another series win when all the dust had settled. Game 54 turned on 2 plays in the top of the 9th. The so-called double play, followed by Eddie's remarkable catch of that line drive. Game 55 contained more come-from-behind magic from the hometown nine. Richie Sexson redeemed himself by delivering the game winner. But as long as the club continues to win series, I will be relatively happy (just not sure how long they can maintain the smoke and mirrors required to do this).

Miguel Olivo had a HR for the Rainiers down in Portland today. Perhaps he will get his offense back - we certainly do need his arm back here in Seattle. I just don't see Pat Borders as a long term solution - the D-Rays really didn't show him any respect and ran at will when he was behind the plate.

On to Florida and D.C.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Game 53 - A Visit To The Safe

My wife and I were in attendance last night at Safeco Field while the Tampa Bay Devil Rays won their fourth road game of the season. It was indeed (to paraphrase Mr. Niehaus) a wonderful night out for baseball. It was neither too warm nor too cold - a perfect Seattle evening. As always, I enjoyed being in the confines of Safeco Field - the most beautiful ballpark in baseball (I think I've been listening to *way* too much Rick Rizzs). We had hot dogs and garlic fries - yeah!

As for the game, it was a typical example of the mediocrity that is Mariner Baseball this year. The offense didn't show up - the starting pitching was okay until *The Mistake* - and the defense was adequate.

The D-Rays certainly exploited the not-so-hot throwing arm of the Ancient Mariner last night and ran at will. I felt sorry for Pat - but it also reinforces the point that he doesn't have any business being an everyday catcher at the ML level anymore. The D-Rays only misadventure on the basepaths happened when they tried to run on Ichiro! - bad move. It was amazing to see how fast that ball got to third base. Speaking of Ichiro!:

Ichiro! at the plate

And props to Mike Morse on his first ML hit!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Games 50, 51, and 52 - A New Hope

Another series win. The last three games have covered the spectrum of baseball goodness (or lack thereof) that is the 2005 Seattle Mariners.

Sexson's home run in Game 50 was impressive. When he hits one, it stays hit.

I'm really getting fed up with Bret Boone. He looks old, tired, and broken down. And that throw on the relay last night - puhleeze!!!

Sorry to see Miguel Olivo get demoted, but the club can't afford to carry people that can't hit (cough*Greg Dobbs*cough).

So the Mike Morse experiment begins - not looking too bad so far. He's got an arm - but can he hit?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Games 48 and 49 - Cognitive Dissonance

So my team just won 2 games - why am I not feeling good? Of course there were lots of good things that happened in these 2 games, yet I don't feel like the team is any better off today than they were 2 weeks ago.

Props to Aaron Sele for another great outing. Props to Jeremy Reed for beginning to play like the player that we all hoped he would be.

I'm trying to stay positive - but I think it's going to take a lot more than 2 wins.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Game 47 - Where Do We Go From Here?

It is becoming increasingly difficult to write anything about the Mariners this year without using the words "suck" and "I give up". They are just a bad baseball team right now.

The Kitsap BlueJackets open their season on June 10th. Check out the website .

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Games 44, 45, and 46 - Going Nowhere Fast

Not much needs to be said about the last 3 games that the Mariners have played. I can sum it up quite nicely - they are not playing good baseball right now.

Nice to hear John Marzano on the broadcast team. I remember Marzano quite fondly - he always managed to get into the camera shot each time Junior hit a HR and returned to the dugout. I believe that his nickname at the time was "Airtime".

How about that Carrie Underwood?

Edit: How could I forget to give props to Jeremy Reed on his first Major League dinger? Congrats Jeremy!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Games 42 and 43 - Another Series Win

Another series win. It's early, but perhaps my profound pessimism has gone a bit too far. Perhaps. But there are plenty of things going pretty well for the hometown nine right now. Consider the following:

  • Sele's line from Sunday's game - 0 runs on 4 hits, 3 K, 1 BB (CG)
  • Jeremy Reed on Sunday - 3 for 4, 2 RBI
  • HR by Beltre and Sexson on Saturday - both very long balls
  • Meche won ugly - but a W is a W
On to Baltimore.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Game 41 - It's Jake

The Mariners got rolled by Jake Peavy this evening. With the exception of the longball from Miguel Olivo, the Mariner hitters were ineffective. Poor Ryan "I won't ever get any run support" Franklin lost again. Too many bases on balls.

On a more positive note, how about that Ichiro!?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Welcome Back Pat

It's official - Pat Borders is back. I'm okay with this move - no real downside. Rivera can go back to playing everyday. And he is a World Series MVP. :D

Game 40 - It's Not Over...

Excellent comeback win last night for the Mariners. Jeremy Reed takes a big chance and comes up smelling like a rose. Then Olivo drives him in. Nelson and Villone hang on to close it out in the 9th.

Does anybody else find it irritating to watch A-Rod these days? Can't quite put my finger on it - but he is beginning to remind me of one my least favorite whiners who used to wear a Yankees uniform. That's right - Paul O'Neill.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Game 39 - Do Not Go Gently

Please check out the fine writing by Jeff over at Lookout Landing today. My sentiments exactly.

"Do not go gently into that good night... Rage, rage against the dying of the light." With all apologies to Mr. Thomas, I really wish the Mariners would start to show a little fire, rather than going gently into another lost season.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Game 38 - Almost A Win

2 catches. Sexson and Reed. That's all that separated the Mariners from a W last night against the Evil Empire. Not a bad performance from Aaron Sele last night (it sure looked ugly, but he left with a 1 run lead). J.J. really needs a good offspeed pitch. And why is Jeff Nelson still hanging around?

Have I mentioned lately how much I despise the Yankees?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Games 36 and 37 - A Series Win

I'll take a series win anytime. The offense continues to produce runs. The bullpen has been solid (notwithstanding that one pitch to Nixon). The starting rotation is still a question mark. Not sure what sending Pineiro to Tacoma will accomplish - hopefully the same type of resurgence that Gil Meche had last year.

Now if they only pitch carefully to Tino over the next three days, perhaps another series win is possible.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Game 35 - Slugfest!

If nothing else, the Mariners are showing that they are almost completely unpredicatable this season. After an awful road trip, they come home and literally explode in the first game of the series with the Bostons last night. They definitely played ball according to the Texas Rangers model last night - score a bunch of runs (and hopefully one more than your opponent because your pitching staff is not getting the job done). At least the starters aren't contributing - the bullpen continues to do good work. Julio Mateo had a great outing last night. Too bad he can't go 3+ innings every day.

If Sexson and Beltre can repeat on a fairly regular basis, it won't be so difficult to watch the Mariners play this summer. If they don't - well I don't really want to think about it right now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Game 34 - I'm So Tired

In addition to being one of my favorite Beatles tunes, the title describes my state of mind quite well. I'm not even waiting until this game is over to make this post. I think there are certain players that a team should not pitch to. Over the years, there are certain guys that have given the Mariners nothing but grief - guys like Jim Leyritz, Rafael Palmeiro, Omar Vizquel - and now Tino. Put the guy on first - at least you know where he is.

I suppose it really doesn't matter anyway - this club is going nowhere this year. I admit that I got pretty enthusiastic after visiting Peoria and seeing the club. They looked good - too bad it didn't translate into anything once the season started.

Game 33 - More Questions

Why is Aaron Sele still in the starting rotation?

Why are the Mariners still pitching to Tino?

Why does our ballclub continue to make guys like Wang look like legitimate Cy Young candidates?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Game 32 - Questions

Can somebody please remind me why Jeff Nelson is on this team?

Why did Grover send Dobbs to the plate in the 9th while Dave Hansen was sitting on the bench?

Does Tino have to hit a home run every time he faces the Mariners?

Isn't it a beautiful thing when Beltre hits the ball with authority?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Games 30 and 31 - On To The Big Apple

The one bright spot in an otherwise dismal picture is that the Mariners are on the way to New York to square off with the Yankees. If you've been off the planet lately, the Yankees have turned in a perhaps worse performance than our own beloved Hometown Nine so far.

I was at the Clearwater Casino yesterday afternoon when Richie Sexson delivered the game winning bomb. About half a dozen people all said "about time" at the same time. So I guess I'm not the only frustrated fan in Mariner Nation. The one thing that is clear to me now is that I let my expectations get out of whack with reality. As Trent pointed out over at Lookout Landing today, patience is the name of the game with this club (hmmmm - seems like I said something about that a few posts ago).

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Game 29 - What Year Is It?

I kept getting the feeling that it was 2004 all over again last night. It's becoming more difficult to watch the Mariners struggle at the plate. Hopefully the return of Richie Sexson today will signal a revival of the offense.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Games 27 and 28 - Patience Is A Virtue

So the Angels owned the Mariners this week. It was very frustrating to watch - yet I know that this club will be better. They have a rough stretch ahead in Boston and New York - but perhaps this will be the turning point for the offense.

Edit: So Dan Wilson is quite probably done for the season (and perhaps for good). I've got to say that of all the guys that stood outside the practice field signing autographs the day we visited Peoria, Dan was the most gracious. It was clear that he was tired, yet he very patiently worked his way down the line, signing everything that people stuck in his hand. Nice guy - sorry to see that he may end up on such a sour note. Get well soon Dan.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Game 26 - Franklin Falters

Personally, it's becoming pretty frustrating watching the Mariners play baseball these days. I know it's only May, but the trends that began to manifest in April are continuing unabated. The hitters continue to be absent. Ryan Franklin got hammered - no excuses about lack of run support - giving up 5 walks and the long balls is not the way to win a game.

The only bright spots last night were Ichiro! (wow) and a couple of good throws from LF by none other than Randy Winn in the 5th. And I certainly don't want to forget Julio Mateo - he came in throwing strikes and appeared to be in complete command. Of course it was too late by then, but it was nice to see another strong performance from Julio.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Games 23, 24, and 25 - May Flowers

I don't have much to say about the weekend series in Oakland. A good game Friday - a game that should have gone the other way on Saturday - and an excellent performance by Joel Pineiro on Sunday that went for nought.

I'm still very concerned about the lack of offense. Aside from Jeremy Reed, the hitters have been absent for the most part in April. Let's hope the arrival of May signals a rejuvenated hitting attack.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Game 22 - Of Long Balls And Curveballs

Excellent performance by Gil Meche this evening. By pitching ahead in the count and throwing the curveball for a strike, he kept the Ranger hitters off balance. This is the Meche that I really like - just hope that he finds a way to be more consistent.

Ichiro! continues to amaze. Another dinger in Arlington. I'm sure he wishes that the club played a lot more games there. Sexson certainly covered that pitch from Almanzar - nice to see.

Is it just me, or does Eddie Guardado appear to be MUCH more comfortable in the last few games in which he has appeared? He's throwing nice and easy - and seems to be hitting his spots a lot more than he was 2 weeks ago. Nice. On to Oakland.

LOOGY - Part 2

Here's the second part of a great read found over at Hardball Times concerning the LOOGY. Of note, our favorite LOOGY, Mike Myers, is referred to as "The King". Sweet.

Games 20 and 21 - From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

I enjoyed Tuesday's game quite a bit. Can't say the same for yesterday. Poor old Ryan "I never get any run support" Franklin got hammered. The Mariner offense once again failed to show up - making Kenny Rogers look like a legitimate Cy Young candidate. *sigh*

Dave Hansen is back. Guess this means Choo is heading for Tacoma. Gil Meche tonight.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Power Outage

A quick read of ESPN AL Team Batting stats this morning reveals the following:

  • Hits - M's 11th
  • Doubles - M's 4th
  • Triples - M's 11th
  • HR - M's 14th (dead last)
  • RBI - M's 9th
  • .OPS - M's 12th

I didn't bother doing the comparison with last year, but it's pretty clear that the offense this year leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Game 19 - Looks Can Be Deceiving

Okay, it's a W - and as we all know, W's are good. But 9 runs on 5 hits - does anybody else see something wrong with this picture?

Games 17 and 18 - Deja Vu All Over Again

Okay, so Sabathia threw a pretty good game against the M's Friday evening. But Cliff Lee? Come on. Not sure why the offense is so lethargic, but I hope they snap out of it soon.

I've read in several places now that Jeremy Reed is fixing to go on a tear. After last night's game, I think it's going to be soon (at least I hope it's going to be soon).

From one fan's perspective, last year's M's were SO bad that any subpar play from this year's club will not be tolerated for very long. Not getting the bunt down - grounding into the DP - stranding runners in scoring position - these things are not sitting well with me personally - and I'm sure that there are plenty of other fans that feel the same way. My message to the team - go get 'em!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Game 16 - Rich Harden

The M's have certainly faced some tough pitching so far, and last night was no exception. Rich Harden was awesome - I'm sure a lot of fans in Oakland are saying "Tim who?" when they see Harden pitch. And poor Ryan "I don't get any run support" Franklin pitched a pretty good game. His only big mistake was that pitch to Kotsay.

It's really starting to get painful watching Miguel Olivo flailing away at the plate. I'm pretty sure that nobody will ever throw him another fastball - at least until he shows that he can hit a breaking ball. Don't get me wrong - I really like Olivo as a player - but I'm afraid he's going to turn out to be one of those guys who is a defensive whiz, but can't hit ML pitching to save his life.

How about that Wilson Valdez? I'm just saying.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Game 15 - No Margin For Error

Great game at Safeco Field last night. It had everything that makes baseball such an awesome game - pitching, hitting, ups, downs, offense, defense. And though it was much more exciting than it needed to be in the end, the club came away with the W.

Can somebody remind me why Jeff Nelson is on this ballclub?

Nice to see very timely pinch hits from Reed and Dobbs last night. And Pineiro appears to be healthy for now - and that's a good thing.

Edit: Also must give props to Ron Villone for restoring order last night when the game was definitely on the line.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Here's a cool piece from the Hardball Times that discusses that fascinating creature known as a LOOGY.

Games 13 and 14 - .500 Ball

Split in Socal. Good things:

  • Moyer appears to be on track again.
  • Sexson is feeling better.
  • Ichiro!
Not so good things:

  • Aaron Sele.
  • Miguel Olivo.
  • Bret Boone.
Hopefully the three aforementioned players will get their acts together soon. I'll be in front of the tube this evening at 6:30pm sharp for the pregame show on FSN.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Game 12 - Thanks Ozzie!

Hey, it's a W. Good things:

  • Ichiro! displays the power stroke!
  • Meche did not allow a BIG inning.
  • Ozzie may very well have run his team out of a rally in the bottom of the 9th.
Not so good things:

  • Eddie did not look very sharp at all today (see the last good thing).
  • Olivo on the basepaths.
  • Olivo's misfire when displaying the cannon.
Edit: My concern with Olivo is that his enthusiasm will cause trouble - manifested either in baserunning mistakes or throwing errors. I also see that Ozzie is saying that Willie Harris was "on his own" yesterday. Whatever.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Games 10 and 11 - Good Pitching Beats Good Hitting

So along come a couple of guys named Garland and Buehrle - and down go the M's. Garland carries a Perfecto into the 7th - then Buehrle comes back the next day and throws a 3 hitter. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and say "go get 'em tomorrow".

It was nice to see Matt Thornton come into the game on Friday and look good. Hopefully he will build on this outing and continue to improve.

Here's wishing a speedy recovery to Richie Sexson. The M's have definitely missed his bat in the last 2 games.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Games 7, 8, and 9 - Royal Flush

Nothing like a sweep to cure what ails ya!

It's still pretty early, but I'm beginning to think that the 2005 M's will be defined by pitching. There is no question that these guys (unlike the anemic 2004 lineup) can score some runs. What remains to be seen is whether the pitching staff can continue to hold the opposition's batters down. So far so good.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Games 5 and 6 - Reminds me of...

Games 5 and 6 remind me of the discussions that my friend Barclay and I used to have concerning the Texas Rangers. Only now, it's starting to look more like the Mariners are taking over what we used to give the Rangers a hard time about - namely we knew they would score some runs - but would it be enough to overcome their awful pitching?

Sounds like Bobby Madritsch is going to be out for a while. This really doesn't bode well - but perhaps we will get a chance to see Campillo up with the big club soon. Somebody is going to have to step up.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Game 4 - No Quit

Not sure if Rick Rizzs mentioned this last night, but the M's don't have any quit in them!

Up and down game last night - certainly exciting in spots. The 2 errors (Sexson and Valdez) hurt - but in the end made no difference. It was nice to see the club swinging the bats effectively - and scoring runs in innings other than the 1st. Hey, it's a W.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Game 3 - Bobby Hurt

1 run on 10 hits - what's wrong with this picture?

Although the game was not televised, the local news had some footage of Bobby being examined by Rick Griffin on the mound before he was taken out of the game. Bobby looked scared. Let's hope it's nothing more than a strain.

edit: Meant to type Tom Newberg - not sure why Griffin popped out.