Thursday, December 28, 2006

RJ Returning?

There's been some interesting speculation published recently concerning a possible return of Randy Johnson to Seattle (perhaps this will be the new version of the 'annual Junior returns to Seattle story' now that Bob Finnigan is no longer writing for The Times). In any event, there seem to be two distinct schools of thought on the issue. On the "no way" side, Larry Stone of The Times says the following:

"If the Mariners wind up getting shoved out of the Zito market, it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, saving them from making a near $100 million commitment to a pitcher who some analysts predict is at the precipice of a decline.

Of course, the Mariners thought the same thing about another left-hander nearly a decade ago."

On the "damn skippy" side, Dave from USS Mariner says "Yes, Please" - and goes on to say:

"Johnson isn’t an an all-star anymore, but he’s still a very effective starting pitcher, better than any of these clowns who are getting long term, big money deals as free agents this winter."

I'm not convinced that RJ would ever consider coming back to Seattle. I remember well the acrimony that surrounded his departure for the Astros. Besides, I don't think the Yankees will let him go without some very major compensation is the way of prospects - and that's something the Mariners can ill afford to give.

I'm still hoping that Bill Bavasi has some bigger plan in mind.

Edit: This bit of late breaking news from ESPN - Zito signs with San Francisco for an unbelievable 7 year $18M per deal. Yikes. No thanks. More power to the Giants.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Here's a completely non-baseball post wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and health, joy and prosperity in the coming New Year!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's Going To Be A Long Year

The Winter certainly hasn't been anything close to what many of us expected. Instead of Dice-K and J.D. Drew, we have Miguel Batista and Jose Vidro. We no longer have Chris Snelling and Rafael Soriano. Barring any more deals, it would appear that the Mariners will be another mediocre baseball team in 2007 - certainly not a contender. Perhaps the good news contained within that bad news is that in 2008 there will be a new GM and Manager (and hopefully President and CEO) to attempt to get the club back on track. The current group is just not getting the job done. It would also not surprise me if the 2008 season is an Ichiro!-less season if the 2007 club performs at the level of the 2006 club.

It is the winter of our discontent. Can the club do anything between now and the start of the regular season to improve their chances? Of course they can - and hopefully they will. Right now things do not look very promising. Please Bill Bavasi - prove me wrong!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

M's Trade Snelling and Fruto - For Jose Vidro?

USS Mariner reports that the Winter just got a little wackier with the M's trading Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto to the Nats for Jose Vidro. I'm speechless. It has to be part of a bigger deal. It has to be. Just when I was trying to feel good about no more Pineiro, now this. Sheesh.

Edit: Okay, Geoff Baker of the Times says that Vidro was acquired to become the full time DH. And this is supposed to make me feel better?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Maybe Not

Earlier this week, I was feeling pretty optimistic. Now, not so much. As I have said many times before in this venue, I don't really like looking at one deal in isolation and making pronouncements about the upcoming season. I prefer to see the entire plan unfold and then make a judgement concerning its relative merit. So I'm trying extra hard this year not to jump off the deep end and declare the 2007 campaign over. But I will say that so far I'm not particularly encouraged.

Edit: Have a look at Larry Stone's piece in the Times this morning. He has a much more eloquent take on the current situation than I was able to muster.

And Larry Dobrow over at CBS Sportsline gets in on the act today. I'm really beginning to get concerned.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Now That's More Like It!

Finally, some good news to report concerning the hometown nine. From The Times, John Thomson is close to signing a 1 year deal with the Mariners. Then, the illustrious David Cameron reports that the M's are ready to give a 1 year deal to Jose Guillen.

I like both of these deals because they are short term and fiscally much more responsible. These types of deals will leave the club plenty of room to sign a TOR pitcher. Kudos to Bill Bavasi for adding a little sanity. On to Orlando.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Alienating The Fans

If I may presume to speak in generalities, I've got the feeling that signing Willie Bloomquist to a contract extension as your first move of the off-season is probably not going to sit very well with many people. As a matter of fact, it may just tend to piss a few people off. After the last couple of dismal seasons, I think most fans are looking for some sort of sign that things are going to get better in 2007. So far, the results are not promising.

Thanks to all who have expressed their sympathies concerning the passing of my Mom. Your kind words were truly helpful during a very difficult time.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Personal Note

My Mom passed away last Friday night. She was 87, and her death was not unexpected. I miss her already, but I know I will really miss her once Spring Training starts. You see, my Mom was a huge fan of the Mariners. Even after all of her favorites (Dan, Edgar, Bone, Jr., Jamie) were gone, she still hung on as a fan. Even after the last several seasons that were disappointing to say the least, she continued to watch every game and cheer them on or call them bums when the situation dictated. We spent many hours watching the Mariners, and I know that I will always cherish those memories. Rest in peace Mom.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Baseball Withdrawal

It's not even mid-November and I'm already freaking out because there's no baseball. Between the mid-term elections, stupid game shows and the 1-4 Sonics, it hasn't been a good start to the off season. Finding out that the Mariners decided not to go after Matsuzaka-san didn't help matters either.

There have been lots of posts in the blog-o-sphere concerning roster construction for the 2007 campaign. Some have been pretty good (Nomar for DH) and others not so good (Adam Eaton). Mr. Bavasi certainly has a daunting task in front of him. One more losing season is not an option - he is going to have to put the pieces in place for a successful season or the sky will certainly put a bump on his noggin.

Will try to post from time to time, but some issues at home will prevent more than an occasional outburst for the next several months. Hopefully by the time 2007 rolls around, there will be some good news to talk about.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

2006 Season - Final Comments

I'm sad this morning. Baseball is finished. Congrats to the Cardinals - although there was something really wrong with seeing a celebrating Scott Spiezio on the front of the Sports section this morning.

It was another disappointing season for us here in the Northwest. The Mariners did offer some glimmers of hope. With some good moves this Winter, the club should be able to make a much better showing next year.

Time for the hot stove league to start. It won't be long until Spring Training starts. Maybe I'm not so sad after all.

Friday, October 20, 2006

McLaren Rejoins M's

As reported in The Times this morning, John McLaren will be Mike Hargrove's bench coach for the 2007 campaign. This is a surprise - I'm sure most people felt sure that McLaren would follow Lou to the Cubs. Guess this means he will have a shot at the M's job when Hargrove is not asked to return for 2008.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Gyroball

David Andriesen over at the P.I. takes a crack at the fabled Gyroball today. It's an interesting article - I suspect we will see more of these pieces as the hunt for Matsuzaka-san continues. For the uninitiated, the Gyroball is a pitch that Matsuzaka is rumored to throw. It's all about double-spin mechanics. Check out the article.

Edit: The Times is running an article this morning discussing the deal that MLB and TBS signed allowing TBS rights to broadcast the LCS in coming years. The Commissioner is quoted in the article as saying:

"I kind of hate when we put two games on at the same time," Selig said.

Ya think?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More Random Playoff Thoughts

Here we go again, in no particular order:

  • Steve Lyons is a jerk. Although I'm not sure that his comment regarding Lou was all that bad, as a culmination of a million stupid things he has said, it was enough to get him fired. Excellent. Now if only Timmy would say something stupid...
  • I found myself getting really pissed when Scott Spiezio managed to drive in a couple of more runs for the Cards last night. It is just unbelievable that a guy who played so horribly while in Seattle could be winning big games in the NLCS.
  • Not taking anything away from the Tigers, but the A's didn't put up much of a fight in the ALCS. Aside from The Big Hurt coming to bat with bases loaded in the 9th in game 3, the A's went quietly. Oh well, I suppose seeing Ramontiago in the World Series will make it okay.
  • I hope Lou Piniella ends up managing the Cubs. I hope Luis Gonzalez catches on with another club. I say this because as on-air talent, they both stink.
  • My AL prediction (Twins) didn't do so well. I'm hoping my NL prediction (Mets) starts playing better ball today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dice-K To Be Posted

Here's a link - CBS says he's to be posted. Let the games begin!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Random Playoff Thoughts

In no particular order:

  • Did anyone else see the irony in Scott Spiezio delivering the hit that broke the game open and ensured the Cardinal win?
  • Nice to hear the National TV guys speaking of Carlos Guillen in such complimentary fashion.
  • Just say no to Jim Edmonds.
  • The Yankees crash and burn in the first round - again. Nice.
  • Too bad the rest of the playoff coverage will be on Fox TV (Timmy is driving me crazy!!).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

So Long Buck

Buck O'Neil has passed away. I was introduced to Buck by watching the Ken Burns Baseball documentary 12 years ago. Buck was again in the news earlier this year when the HOF snubbed him. Here is what he said regarding that incident:

"You think about this. Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We've come a long ways. Before, we never even thought about anything like that. America, you've really grown and you're still growing."

Rest in peace Buck.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What I'm Reading

It's been a while since I've plugged my favorite author, Jeff Angus. Take a look over at Management By Baseball at this article (first of a series) that discusses Ichiro! and his move to CF.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Looking Ahead - 2007

Seems almost hard to believe that the regular season is over. 162 games. It always feels like a lot of games in April - it's a much more finite number in October.

The 2006 Mariners were an improvement over the 2004 and 2005 versions. Although they still finished in the AL West cellar, they won more games and looked much better doing it than the previous 2 clubs.

Now the question is what to do to prepare for next year. Without question, starting pitching is the number one area of concern. The M's have to be right in the thick of the hunt for Matsuzaka-san. Additionally, they must find another #2 or #3 guy through trade - none of the FA guys will be able to deliver the goods (I'm still undecided about Schmidt, but right now leaning against). As far as the MOTO bat goes, I'm okay with either trading for Manny Ramirez or signing Barry Bonds - either guy would provide the firepower that this team sorely lacks. Get those things done and you've got a team that could get it done in 2007.

I like the Twins and the Mets - Twins win it all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bavasi And Hargrove To Return

Here's a link to Derek's post over at USS Mariner with the text of the letter that was sent out to season ticket holders today along with Derek's commentary.

I'm not too concerned about this turn of events (Edit: What can I do anyway? The FO has made their decision.). It's much more important to make sure that the holes in the current lineup are addressed over the Winter. A post or two concerning what needs to be done (aside from keeping Sexson and losing Meche and Pineiro) will be forthcoming during the next week or so.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Looking Ahead - Meche & Pineiro

As the season winds down, I find that I really don't have much motivation to write about the current string of games. It's nice to see the M's kicking ass, but quite frankly it's too little and too late to make any difference. Instead, I would prefer to focus on next season.

The M's face lots of decisions this Winter. Two of them are named Meche and Pineiro. These should be easy decisions - let them walk. Neither of these guys has shown anything this season that makes me believe that they have "turned the corner". So when it comes to Meche and Pineiro, just say no.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Steve Kelley Speaks

Over at The Times this morning, Steve Kelley delivers a scathing indictment of the Mariners 2006 season. He implores you to ignore the spin and recognize this club for what it is - a loser. Although I normally don't pay much attention to Mr. Kelley, this particular article is on the mark. Give it a read and see what you think.

Monday, September 18, 2006

200 Again!

Congrats to Ichiro! for another 200 hit season.

On an unrelated note, my apologies to Derek Jeter. You see, I picked him for my Diamond Daily entry yesterday, thus ensuring his hitting streak would come to an end. Sorry dude.

Friday, September 15, 2006

An Ill Wind

Contained within the M's Notebook over at The Times today is the following quote that fills me with dread:

"Mariners manager Mike Hargrove and general manager Bill Bavasi are already shopping for the field boss' new bench coach for next season. Hargrove said on Thursday that he and Bavasi 'have a list of names that we'll go over — that we've started going over. And we'll fill that spot.'

The development is an interesting one, given all the previous speculation about whether Hargrove would, in fact, be fired at season's end. It would seem a waste of time to include Hargrove in a search for his own bench coach if he is not in the plans for 2007."

I can't guarantee that I will pay any attention to this team next season if Hargrove is still around managing it. Edit: Of course, there is nothing here that says for sure that Hargrove will be back - but it certainly does strongly imply that that will be the case. And Larry LaRue seems to think that Grover will be around in 2007. Argh.

On an unrelated note, the team really needs to do something about Ichiro! and his horrid baserunning. You all know that I'm a big Ichiro! fan, but enough is enough. Edit: To be fair, the team has been pretty craptastic on the basepaths this year. I still maintain that this is a coaching staff issue.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Looking Ahead - Richie Sexson

Richmond Lockwood Sexson. Looking forward to the 2007 campaign, the question of whether to move him certainly must be asked. Since the All-Star break, Sexson has put up a .305/.377/.584 line. In the month of September, he's looking even better with a .361/.429/.694 line. He's 31 years old, and has 2 years remaining on his deal ($14M per). If he continues to produce at his current rate, then it would take a pretty awesome offer for me to part with him.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Playing Out The String

I've arrived at the point in the season where I really don't care what the Mariners do anymore. Win or lose, it's all the same to me. I'm ready for the season to be over. It's been another frustrating year - although this one was a bit more enjoyable than the last two seasons. It's certainly time to start thinking about what needs to be done in order to make the team better for next season. Along those lines, Dave has a great post over at U.S.S. Mariner today that cautions against giving long-term contracts to FA pitchers. It's a great read (as usual) and is an excellent place to begin the discussion about what the club should look like next year.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Where Are They Now?

Saw a couple of familiar names over the past few days:

  • Bobby Madritsch was released by the Royals. I don't think he pitched one inning this year.
  • Justin Leone was DFA'd by the Padres to make room on the 40 man roster for David Wells.
Too bad - both of these guys were a lot of fun to watch. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as a sure thing in professional sports.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Manager's L

Sometimes the club doesn't play well and they deserve to lose. Other times, the club plays well, they deserve to win, but they end up taking the loss because the manager does something stupid. Today's game in St. Pete was a prime example of the latter. Why Hargrove decided to leave Felix in is beyond me - it was quite clear from watching the telecast that Felix was done. Not that it really matters anymore, but it certainly does piss me off when Hargrove does things like this. Felix should have had the W today - instead he gets the L - courtesy of Mike Hargrove.

Danger On The Basepaths

I've got to tell you that nobody should be getting thrown out in the manner that Jose Lopez did last night this late in the season. If the coaching staff hasn't been able to get him sorted out by now, then perhaps he needs to sit for a while in order to drive the point home.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Updated Template

Meant to say something the other day concerning the look of the page. Blogger has a new interface in beta that is actually pretty cool. Site layout and design is a snap - even for those who are html challenged. I've modified one of their stock templates - looks fairly close to the previous one - but I must admit that I like this one a bit better.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Chris Snelling

Now that we know that Rafael Soriano is going to be okay, I wanted to post a few things concerning Chris Snelling.

  • He's the Bobby Madritsch of 2006 - the guy who came in late in the season and caused everyone to take notice.
  • Snelling's approach at the plate is impeccable. He goes up there with an idea and executes.
  • His enthusiasm is contagious. One could say that joie de vivre is the perfect descriptor.
  • Whether at the plate or in the field, his hard nosed, old school style of play is just what the doctor ordered for a team that many might describe as moribund.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

God Bless Rafael Soriano

Please keep Rafael Soriano in your thoughts and prayers.

Edit: It appears that Raffy is not seriously hurt. It's still early, but the reports that are coming out of Harbor View are positive. I was planning a post today concerning the awesome Chris Snelling, but I think it's going to have to wait for another day. My heart's not in it right now. Get well soon Raffy.

The King

Felix Hernandez provided another tantalizing glimpse of the pitcher that he could be last night at Safeco Field. In a masterful outing, he shut out the Angels by relying mostly on his fastball. I'm in complete agreement with Jeff over at Lookout Landing that Felix doesn't need to strike out every hitter that he faces. He's much more effective when he stays within himself and pitches low in the zone. He can be a really extreme groundballer - only going for the strikeout when he gets into trouble. With the shortest game in Safeco Field history, he finished it up with less than 100 pitches. Very well done.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Signs Of Hope

Too bad the Mariners can't play all of their games against the AL East. After the win last night, the M's are 22-15 against AL East competition this season. In any event, a series win at the expense of the Yankees and two wins to open the Red Sox series bodes well - especially when one thinks in terms of where this team is heading next year. So what do I see as signs of hope for next season?

  • It is a pleasure to watch Chris Snelling play. Whether in the field or at the plate, he exudes confidence. His ability to work the count is awesome - hopefully it will be contagious.
  • Lopez and Betancourt. Not only do they field - they both can hit.
  • The resurgence (well, okay, maybe that's too strong - how about revitalization?) of Adrian Beltre.
  • Minor league surprises named Lowe and O'Flaherty.
  • Ichiro! in CF - let's hope this continues.
  • Raul Ibanez. He just continues to produce.

So you see where I'm going with this. There's plenty to be hopeful for.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Win, Finally!!

Nice way to end the streak!

The inimitable Dave Cameron has very precisely laid out the case against Mike Hargrove over at USS Mariner this morning. Please give it a read.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ichiro! - Front And Center

Although I am still mired in the gloom that has come along with the M's losing streak, there was this little piece of hopeful news contained within Larry Stone's column in the Times today:

Encouragingly, Bavasi indicated that the Ichiro-in-center scenario will continue.

"He's going to remain there for now," he said. "He likes it. It appears he's pretty comfortable out there, and good at it. After the bus got in [Sunday night] from Anaheim, that was the discussion Mike and Ichiro were having, and it sounds like he's going to stay there."

Now that's something to be happy about, even with the Yankees coming to town.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Shifting Gears

Time to shift gears. Since this season is basically over as far as the Mariners are concerned, it's time to start thinking about next year and what needs to be done to prepare for a (hopefully) successful 2007 campaign.

It certainly was nice to see Chris Snelling in the lineup over the weekend in Anaheim. Also nice to see the precautionary placing of Mark Lowe on the DL - somebody is thinking about next year as well.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

So Long Jamie

With the news coming last night that Jamie Moyer had been traded, I felt that an era had finally come to an end. For me anyway, this represents a new direction for the Mariners - and hopefully one that will get them back on the winning track for next season.

Jamie has been one of the guys that the Mariner FO loves. He's a good guy - both on and off the field. A PR man's dream. He's also been a very effective pitcher - and not too many people think that giving up Darren Bragg was a bad idea. Here's wishing you fair winds and following seas Jamie.

Road Trip Report - Game 10

I can't write these anymore.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 9

How quickly we have gone from being in the race to being painful to watch.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 8

There actually were a couple of semi-positive things in last night's loss. It took a hitter like Vlad to finally get to Mark Lowe. And it was good seeing Chris Snelling take a hack in a Major League uniform again.

Edit: Here's a nice article by John McGrath over at the TNT that might help pick up your spirits a bit this morning.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 7

You know, sometimes it pays to have a good sense of humor. Especially if one is a Mariners fan. Another craptastic performance in Oakland last night. So remember, it's only a game.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 6

The only thing I have to say after watching last night's debacle in Oakland will take the form of a question - how much longer until Spring Training?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 5

After the fact, I'm actually thinking that it would have been nice if the game in Oakland last night had not been televised. In spite of the fact that the Mariners made a fairly good showing through 7 innings, the bottom of the 8th was painful. Oh well, it's all about playing out the string now anyway.

Ben Broussard and Mark Lowe. Two names that will make a very positive impact on this team next season.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 4

No TV yesterday, so I didn't even bother listening to the game. Looks like that was a good choice. A couple of points:
  • Valle and Rizzs were talking about Daisuke Matsuzaka on the broadcast Saturday evening. Even those two realize that big changes are coming.
  • Stop with the lack of run support for Jamie Moyer already! Maybe if he didn't give up 5 runs then he wouldn't need a bunch of run support.
  • This road trip got ugly pretty quickly, and it probably won't get much better starting tonight in Oakland.

Edit: I should have known that things were going downhill - even the Mariner Optimist has stopped posting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Road Trip Report - Games 2&3

Game 2 - Yikes!

Game 3 - I'm really tired of this team making scrub pitchers look like aces. It's getting old. Nice comeback late - but in the end it didn't really matter. If memory serves, I think the Mariners went to Texas last year about this same time - and if memory also serves I think they were swept. I'd say there's a distinct possibility that is exactly what will happen today.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Road Trip Report - Game 1

Not what I would call off to a good start.

I just can't understand why Mike Hargrove continues to use Julio Mateo in high leverage situations. I really don't care about his improved delivery mechanics - he just isn't reliable in the high leverage appearances anymore. Needless to say, if Pineiro had been banished to the bullpen, and somebody like Francisco Cruceta called up to take his place in the rotation, perhaps none of this would have been necessary.

Both Dave at USS Mariner and Jeff at Lookout Landing drive home the point of how absurd it was for Mike Hargrove to bring Mateo into that game last night. Sheesh.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Critical Road Trip

A brief note prior to the start of this evening's game in Arlington. To say that this is a critical road trip for the Mariners is not an exaggeration. They must play well and win during this trip.

Just as a side note, the Blogger spell checker suggests mourners when it encounters Mariners. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Off The Schneid

A couple of thoughts concerning the M's victory last night:
  • Beltre continues to show those tantalizing flashes of greatness. For a look at just how well Beltre has been doing lately, check out Dave's entry over at USS Mariner this morning. Dave also has some somber news concerning Chris Snelling.
  • Ibanez can still get the bat around when he gets a pitch in his wheelhouse.
  • I'm starting to think that it's time for Moyer to go fishing after this season ends.
  • It certainly appears that Jose Lopez has found his stroke again. Nice.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gloom And Doom - Not!

Lots of gloom and doom in the M's blogosphere today. Granted, that sweep by Oakland has left a pretty bad taste in my mouth, but I'm not quite ready to give up just yet. Outside of the last three games, the club has been playing pretty decent baseball for the last 3 weeks. Although the sweep was not an optimal outcome, there are still a lot of games left to play. Check back with me in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Not Again!!

What else do the Mariners have to do to win a ballgame from Oakland? I thought surely they were going to be able to come from behind today and pull off a dramatic victory. It was, however, not to be. Thank goodness the Devil Rays are next.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Looking Good

I've really got to say that I am quite pleased with the way the Mariners are playing just now. A couple of wins in Cleveland - then a nice come from behind victory in Baltimore this evening. My only complaint is Hargrove bringing Mateo in with the game tied - but it turned out to be inconsequential so I am going to bask in the glow of a Mariner victory.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Update - This & That

So our good friends over at USS Mariner suffered a serious equipment casualty the other day. Bottom line - DMZ is asking for donations. Help them out if you can (I did).

Not going to make any further comments on the Chris Snelling situation until I get some more information. The facts that I know right now don't really add up - must be a piece of the puzzle still missing.

So what's the status of the ballclub? Seems to me that with our new platooning DH's, we are pretty much good for a run on the division with the exception of one solid, impact starting pitcher. With our playoff staff consisting of King Felix, Moyer/Meche (take your pick) and one solid starter, we could conceivably get it done if we get hot at the right time. I'm just saying. Of course this also presupposes that Julio Mateo never makes another appearance in a high leverage situation.

Edit: Paul provides a Chris Snelling update (with pics).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Snelling Goes On DL

I normally just link these stories, but here's a copy and paste from SeattleMariners.com:

"Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that the club has placed outfielder Chris Snelling on the Major League 15-day disabled list with an impingement in his left shoulder.

Snelling was recalled from Tacoma July 26.

'Our plan was to option Chris back to Tacoma today,' Bavasi said. 'However, he's been on the medical report in Tacoma and when our trainers examined him here prior to yesterday's game, they recommended he not play outfield for several days. We determined that the proper and fair thing to do would be to place him on the disabled list until he is fully healthy prior to optioning him back off the roster.'

Snelling, 23, hit .247 (45x182) with 30 runs, 12 doubles, 4 home runs, 4 stolen bases and 34 RBI in 52 games with Tacoma this season. He hit .322 (19x59) with runners in scoring position and .313 (5x16) with runners on base and two outs. Snelling began the season on the disabled list recovering from ACL surgery on his left knee. He joined Tacoma on injury rehab May 10 and was activated from disabled list, and optioned to Tacoma, on May 20.

Snelling played for the Mariners in 2002 and 2005 with a combined .214 average (12x56) in 23 Major League games."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ben Broussard

Ben Broussard is the latest addition to the ballclub. So long Shin-Soo Choo and the ubiquitous PTBNL.

Edit: So the more I think about this, the more convinced I am that another deal is brewing.

Further edit: As it turns out, Snelling was only up for the day. He's back to Tacoma - Broussard will fill the roster spot on Friday in Cleveland.

Return Of The Aussie

Official word from the Mariners - Chris Snelling has been called up. Carl Everett was designated for assignment. Excellent.

Edit: In case you aren't stoked about this news, check out Dr. Detecto's latest post concerning young Mr. Snelling.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What A Finish!

I've seen a lot of baseball games over the years, but not many of them had a more satisfying ending than the game that was played at Safeco Field this afternoon. As a fan, I really need to savor the moment on this one. Analysis and speculation must wait until another day - this is a feeling that cannot be denied. Way to go Richie!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Petagine Clears Waivers

From the Times notebook:

"• First baseman Roberto Petagine cleared waivers and was sent outright to Class AAA Tacoma, where he is expected to report Saturday."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bad Call

Yeah, there was definitely a bad call made in NYC last night. It was made by Mike Reilly, but it's probably not the one that you may be thinking of. Although it's true that Reilly blew a call at 1B (as evidenced by replay), that's just a part of the game and can't be helped. I think Reilly's more serious error last night was allowing the game to continue as long as he did in the driving rain. It was pretty clear that Putz was having a hard time gripping the ball. And with the game on the line, the prudent thing would have been to suspend play until the rain let up.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is Carl Everett Really That Bad?

Judge for yourself. Follow this link and read some analysis from Steve over at SportSpot. The GM and the manager should be ashamed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How Long Will He Last?

How much longer will Mike Hargrove last? After giving away the last 2 games by his poor bullpen management, let's hope it won't be too long. Here's a link to a post over at SportSpot that articulates quite well what may be in the works. Good work Steve (as usual).

Edit: And truth be told, both of those games could easily have gone the other way were it not for some outstanding defensive plays made by Toronto. Eventually some of those balls will have to drop in for the Mariners.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Snelling Is Alive And Well

FSN broadcast the Rainiers/Beavers game last night. Although the Rainiers ended up getting the snot beat out of them, it was nice to see that Chris Snelling looks like he is just about 100%. He played RF, hit a home run, threw well, and generally looked like he was running without any pain. Good news. Hope to see you in Seattle real soon mate.

Justin Leone was coaching 1B for the Beavers. I've lost track of him since he went to the Padre organization - anybody know what's up with him as a base coach? Is he hurt?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's Jones AND Dobbs

Official word from the Mariners. Choo and Oliveros gone - Jones and Dobbs called up. While I understand bringing Adam Jones up, I'm a little confused by the Dobbs move. Is this the precursor to another move?

From Dave over at USS M: "So, if Grover looked at a roster with Snelling or Choo on it and said “hey, Bill, I’m still DH’ing Everett, so those kids aren’t going to play much up here”, I can understand why Bavasi would then respond with a “fine, here’s Greg Dobbs then.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mid-Season Review

A few impressions of the first half from a fan's perspective:

  • Ichiro! continues to impress. Although he cooled off a bit in the last week, he's still ahead of the 2004 pace when he broke the single season hit record.
  • Where would this team be without Raul Ibanez? He has continued to improve since coming back to Seattle.
  • Sexson and Beltre. I have mixed feelings about these guys. They both have shown signs of life in the past few weeks - but they definitely aren't the impact players that we had hoped for.
  • Why is Carl Everett still on the team?
  • The pitching staff has, for the most part, been pretty good. Now that Eddie is gone, Pineiro and Mateo should be on Bavasi's list.
  • Betancourt and Lopez. Wow!
  • Hope to see some new faces in town over the next couple of weeks. The AL West is there for the taking.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Inscrutable Ichiro!

Ichiro! had some interesting comments when asked about the Mariners and his future with them. As always, Ichiro! speaks in riddles - which is just one of the reasons why he is so special.

The incomparable Bobby V. has a few thoughts about the differences between MLB and NPB. He specifically talks about playing the game the right way - which is what Ichiro! was talking about in the previously linked article.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

So Long Roberto

Hopefully Roberto Petagine will get a chance to catch on with another club. He certainly never had a chance with the Mariners.

After the fireworks in last night's game centering around umpire Ted Barrett, I found the following tidbit in his bio at MLB.com:

"...Associate Pastor at Rock Point Church in Higley, AZ...co-founder of Calling for Christ, a professional umpire ministry...received a master's degree in Biblical Studies at Trinity University and is now pursuing a doctorate in Theology..."

Interesting.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

All Star Break

So I know the All Star Game isn't played until next Tuesday, but it's a good excuse to take the weekend off from blogging. And quite frankly, I don't have anything constructive to say about the Mariners right now. Perhaps it will be best to remain silent and pick things up again after the ASB.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Updated Template

Updated the template to use one of Blogger's stock offerings. I was getting tired of comments not working properly and a few other inconveniences. Looks like comments are okay now and open to all.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Guardado Traded!

Link.

Good luck Eddie.

Nice job Mr. Bavasi. Now please do something about Everett, Mateo and Pineiro.

Edit: I did want to mention that during a recent telecast, Hendu spoke with obvious disdain of one Jim Bouton, who happened to be in town for the SABR convention. Hendu said something to the effect that "baseball players" still have it in for Bouton. I found it a little irritating that Hendu would feel that way - especially after all these years have gone by. But apparently there is no statute of limitations when it comes to revealing the arcane mysteries surrounding professional baseball players. Whatever.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!!

I hope that you had an enjoyable 4th of July. I'm trying not to think about the shitty game the Mariners played today. In about 2 hours, I will enjoy a bunch of fireworks with my family and some friends. Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Thoughts On Injuries, Idiots

Jeremy Reed is hurt. This creates a problem for the Mariners. The solution (as expressed elsewhere) is simple. Move Ichiro! to CF - call up Choo or Snelling to play RF. If that signals the end of the Jeremy Reed era in Seattle, so be it. Reed has "not hit" his way out of the lineup in my opinion.

Rafael Soriano is hurt. Maybe. Or maybe not. Not sure what to make of the various statements made yesterday. But history tells us that no matter what the club says, he probably is hurt. The need for help in the bullpen has just increased.

So what to make of Mike Hargrove? Is he trying to piss the GM off? Does he not care about winning ballgames? Is there something wrong with his cognition? I can't begin to express how mad I got yesterday afternoon as he let Ibanez and Reed face Brian Fuentes (who has turned out to be a pretty good pitcher, by the way. What sack of shit was he traded for?). I'm beginning to think that Perez is going to rot on the bench alongside Petagine. These managerial lapses can only hurt the ballclub. Let's hope the FO wakes up in time and fires Mike Hargrove before he derails the season.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Phew!!

Another awesome Mariner win last night at Safeco Field. Nice to see the team keep scratching until they get the win. In spite of Joel Pineiro and Mike Hargrove. Nice.

The Division is theirs for the taking.


Or not. Another game that slipped away today thanks to Mike Hargrove. Okay, perhaps that is a bit harsh. Shall we say that Mike Hargrove was one of the major contributors to today's loss? The injury to Reed may shake things up a bit - is Snelling on his way back up?

Dave Cameron over at USS Mariner provides the solution to the problem posed by Reed's injury. Check it out - I am in complete agreeement. And one additional link - John McGrath over at the TNT has a interesting piece this morning. I especially like his reference to "Team Sisyphus" - sweet. But blaming Ichiro! for Reed's injury may be pushing things a bit too far.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Sweep!

I'm still positively giddy over another exciting finish in Phoenix yesterday evening. Rather than me carrying on about how awesome the Mariners are right now, let me refer you over to the inimitable Jeff Sullivan at Lookout Landing.


Edit: On the subject of the Cabrera for Perez deal - Good move. It shows the team is making an effort to win the division. The impact of this move will not be lost on the players. For so many years now the Mariners have not been able to do any deals around the deadline. In turn, the players have lost faith that the organization was committed to winning. Picking up Perez will show the players that the FO recognizes the team's shortcomings and is taking steps to correct them. Awesome. The preceding is my opinion - YMMV.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

High Water Mark

Since the team is currently playing winning baseball, it's probably time to think about what comes next. Dave over at USS Mariner has done just that - it's a long article but definitely worth a read. My impressions:

  • Bringing up Doyle and letting him and Ibanez play LF/DH is an awesome idea. It makes the club better. Dave didn't mention this, but if Everett is going to slide to the bench, it's buh-bye to Petagine.
  • Getting a solid middle reliever is a must! I can't stand to watch Mateo any more - he just doesn't inspire my confidence - so you know Grover is not impressed.
  • Getting rid of Pineiro would be another move that makes the team better - as long as it can be accomplished at little or no cost. Got to agree that the fifth starter is not that important - the LF/DH situation and a solid middle reliever should be the top priorities.

Watching Mariner baseball is fun again. Bill Bavasi better make sure he does what is required to keep this team rolling - the division is theirs for the taking!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pinch Me!

Just want to make sure I'm really awake - the Mariners have arrived at the .500 mark! And they have done it in a methodical, explosive and exciting fashion. Don't want to get too effusive here, but this club is on a roll. Some bullets would seem to be in order:

  • It would appear that Kenji Johjima can be as streaky as any hitter in baseball. No worries - I really like what he's doing right now.
  • Dr. Detecto has an interesting piece on some possible acquisitions. The Doc also sings the praises of Raul Ibanez - count me as a believer.
  • Mike Hargrove tried really hard to lose the game in Phoenix last night. Thanks goodness the hitters stepped up and didn't let him. Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Maybe It's Paul Nauert

So in addition to being at the center of the controversy in San Diego last Sunday, Umpire Paul Nauert was also the culprit when Raul Ibanez lost his mind and got tossed for the first time in his pro career not long ago at Safeco Field. I'm just saying.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rollercoaster

Watching a Mariners game these days is just like riding a rollercoaster. The game in San Diego Saturday evening was no exception. A few quick impressions:

  • Moyer can probably keep pitching until he's 50 if he feels like it.
  • Where would this team be without Raul Ibanez?
  • Eddie Guardado is not only done, he's really done.
  • J.J. managed to overcome a lot of adversity to strike out the side and end the Padre rally.
  • Nobody makes that barehand play better than Adrian Beltre.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Do I Hear Six?

The coolest thing about baseball is that it's so unpredictable. Just when you are sure that you know exactly what's going on, something happens that invariably surprises you. Such was the case down in Chavez Ravine last night. What appeared to be another game that the Mariners had in the bag and squandered turned out to be a win. And the 5th win in a row (how about them apples Corey?)! Although it's still a bit premature to say that this team has turned the corner, I am certainly feeling a lot better about their chances now than I was 2 weeks ago. But that's the coolest thing about baseball - it's so unpredictable!

Edit: For two opposing views of the state of the ballclub, I give you Dave over at USS Mariner, and Jason over at Prospect Insider.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Death To NL Clubs

One thing is for certain. The Mariners know how to win interleague games played at Safeco Field! Nice finish to a good weekend series with the Giants taking a drubbing from the hometown nine.

This team has been maddening this season - in the sense that they always manage to reel off a few wins just about the time that I am getting ready to give up on them. I've still got some serious concerns about Sexson and Beltre. I still have some serious concerns about Everett and Guardado. But even with all that, I have to say that I am starting to feel optimistic again. And why not? At least until the ASB anyway.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

J.J. vs. Barry

It was an excellent game at Safeco Field last night. To me, the most exciting and compelling part of the game came at the very end, when J.J. Putz faced Barry Bonds. J.J. was protecting a 1 run lead - and Barry Bonds is more than capable of tying the game with one swing. It was a classic confrontation - power pitcher vs. power hitter. J.J. prevailed in the end (that splitter was filthy). I also think that this appearance will cement J.J.'s installation as the closer - and also signal the end of the road for the former closer.

For those of you that can follow the Mariners on FSN, can you believe the difference between Matt Morrison and Brad Adam? Morrison did the pregame shows on the last road trip - and he was awful (no surprise there - he stunk last year too). Brad Adam is everything that Matt Morrison is not - smooth, polished, articulate.

Will somebody please explain to Dave Valle the difference between "prostate" and "prostrate". Geez.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A New Low

Rather than commenting on the last two games in Oakland, I will quote the immortal Homer Simpson: "Yeah Moe, that team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I've seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Turning Point?

Bill Bavasi was talking about turning points last Saturday evening. I am beginning to think that this week will contain another turning point - namely how will the Mariners do in Oakland? Will they be able to carry the momentum that they have gathered over the past dozen games? One thing is for certain - the Mariners are fun to watch again.

The King was at his most regal yesterday. His curve and change were absolutely filthy - the Angels looked really bad. That was the kind of outing Felix needed to build his confidence. Long Live The King!

Edit: Saw some discussion over at USS Mariner today concerning Ichiro! and Rickey Henderson. Please click here to see just how awesome Rickey was. No knock on Ichiro! - but Rickey is definitely in a separate league.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Slugfest

The Mariners unloaded the lumber last night in Anaheim. They have certainly owned the Angels for the last two seasons. The hitters definitely picked up the pitching staff last night (Meche and Fruto anyway) and provided another very enjoyable game.

On the pregame show (FSN), Bill Bavasi discussed Jeremy Reed, and actually used the P word (platoon). I'm paraphrasing, but Bavasi basically said that he would like to see Reed succeed with the club, but it's more important right now to win games than to develop Reed. He said that he thought that the platoon was a good idea for now. He also said that he felt that Reed was at a pivotal point in his career. So I think the message in all of that is pretty clear - shape up or prepare to ship out!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More Random Stuff

Nice finish to a fun game to watch last night. There, I said it, fun. Despite all the bad feelings that I still have about this team, they are playing some pretty good baseball right now. And they are fun to watch.

A bit of sad news - looks like Jeff Nelson may be done.

Speaking of done, will somebody please stick a fork in Eddie Guardado?

Edit: And for another take on last night's game, please check out the awesome Anne Ursu, aka Batgirl.

Edit: Also must make a comment regarding Boof Bonser. We had a miniature Schnauzer named Boofer - he was an awesome dog. When Dave Niehaus called Boof "Boofer" last night, it really reminded me how much I miss my old friend.

Edit: Click here to see how good Ichiro! really is.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This And That

Congrats to Ichiro! for being named AL Player of the Week.

Nice to see Beltre and Sexson starting to show some signs of life at the plate. It still may not be too late. Ibanez and Lopez continue to amaze.

Awesome pitching matchup tonight - Liriano vs. The King.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Cautionary Tale

USA Today is running a great article today concerning Ryan Anderson and what he's up to these days. It just goes to show that being a number one pick doesn't always turn out the way that we might expect.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Off Day Ruminations

Follow this link to Larry Stone's article in the Times today. He does an excellent job of summarizing the quandry that the Mariners are currently in.

Sort of an offensive outburst in Texas yesterday (take that any way you wish). 17 singles. Interesting.

King Felix had a good outing for the most part yesterday. He is still getting burned by mistakes, but with run support he can survive those without too much difficulty.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

After Hargrove

So who would be a good candidate to replace Mike Hargrove? Dr. Detecto says Davey Johnson. I've always liked DJ - both as a player and a manager. Why not?

Edit: And just who is John Rheinecker? And how did he throw a CG 4 hit shutout against the M's? On second thought, never mind. I don't want to know.

Another edit: Good stuff from the P.I. blog today by John Hickey who suggests that it's time to shuffle the lineup. Indeed.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Decision Time

After watching the Twins complete the sweep yesterday afternoon, I think it's pretty clear that decision time has been reached. The FO is going to have to do something to salvage this season - losing 90+ again is not an option (or at least not an option if they want to continue to rake in the cash). The team is playing bad baseball - the manager is inept - and the GM has not done anything visible to improve the situation. There should be some drastic changes made prior to the start of the next homestand. The future of the organization depends on it. I'm just saying.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I've Seen The Light

After a couple of losses, too many runners stranded and a triple play, I've seen the light concerning the 2006 Seattle Mariners. They are another 90+ loss club headed no where. The only good news in all of this may be that the 2007 Seattle Mariners will start the season with a new GM and new Manager.

I'm not the only one. See Dave's scathing indictment of Manager Hargrove over at USS M.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ups And Downs

L, followed by a W, followed by an L. Thank goodness the Mariners are members of the AL West (the division that doesn't really care). The good news is that despite their inconsistent play, the Mariners are still right in the middle of the pennant race. There have certainly been some signs lately that the offense is starting to come alive. The pitching has, for the most part, been quite good. Defense is almost always a given with this team. Aside from the very odd composition of the bench (and even odder still, how those bench players are used - or not), things are not bad. On to the Twin Cities!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Four In A Row - Do I Hear Five?

The Mariners are fun to watch again. There, I said it. And with the next several games against clubs that are playing terrible baseball, they have a chance to get right back into the division race. Go M's!!

Dr. Detecto provides another awesome post concerning Ichiro! today. I agree completely with Doc's point concerning Ichiro! and Seattle fans - can't understand why people want to bash the best player on the team and a certain HOF inductee when he is eligible.

Edit: And I was bashing him on April 19th - but he was hitting .177 for goodness sake!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Swept In Seattle

Nice series sweep completed yesterday afternoon. Go J.J.!

Here's some optimism courtesy of John McGrath of the TNT. And Dr. Detecto provides some analysis By The Numbers.

Edit: And this story from the P.I. today concerning Joel Pineiro getting in Felix's face may be the most encouraging news of all.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Joh-san Takes One For The Team

Nice win last night. Although there were lots of bright spots, Johjima's ability to hold on to Ichiro's throw has to be the brightest of all. An excellent play that kept the momentum going in the hometown nine's favor. Over at Lookout Landing, Jeff opines that this play could be a pivotal time of the season. I agree - time will tell if it actually does signal a new trend for the ball club.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Change For The Sake Of Change

Count me among frustrated Mariner fans who are tired of seeing the team lose. While we are all looking for something to change, it's also important to have a plan when implementing change. Change just for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing. One must ask whether the organization has a plan - the events of the past few years makes one wonder. In any event, if Sexson and Beltre continue to be non-impact players, what do you do? In my view, these 2 guys are who are really killing this ball club right now. There are certainly other problem areas, but they pale in comparison to the big guns (heh). I don't have a solution. Let's hope the FO does.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And Now For Something...

And now for something completely different. Rather than comment on the shitty ballgame that the Mariners played in Oakland last night, here's a link to an article in today's P.I. concerning the 26th anniversary of Mt. St. Helen's eruption. As a side note, if you live in the Northwest and have not visited Mt. St. Helen's, it's definitely worth the trip and you should check it out. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is awesome - well worth the time and trouble it takes to get there.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Typical Night In Oakland

The Mariners got rolled in Oakland last night. It wasn't pretty. Felix didn't make his pitches, the normally sure-handed Adrian Beltre committed a costly error and the hitters (well, most of the hitters) didn't bother showing up at all.

Consider these sad lines - Beltre 0-3 1K, Sexson 0-3 1K GIDP, Everett 1-4 CS. If it hadn't been for Lopez and Ibanez, the night would have been a total disaster.

I'm still optimistic, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. The club needs to do something soon - before it's too late (again).

Edit: Check out Dave's post over at USS Mariner for a detailed discussion of Felix's performance last night. So I stand corrected - it wasn't that Felix was not making pitches - it's that Felix had a bad gameplan.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Things Are Looking Up

After Sunday's victory in Anaheim, I think that things are definitely looking up for this club. The pitching has been good. Defense was never really a question. The hitting is getting better - although I'm still concerned about Sexson and Beltre. Snelling may be close to a return to the bigs - and that would definitely increase my optimism.

I'm not the only one. See what the good Dr. Detecto has to say on the subject.

Edit: King Felix!

By the way, Jeff Angus wrote an interesting piece concerning Hargrove's recent team meeting that is worth a read.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Jeremy Reed Show

Nice game last night to even up the series in Anaheim. Especially nice to see Richie Sexson get the game winner. Even better to see Jeremy Reed emerge from his exile to the bench with a couple of dingers. Perhaps the lad has finally decided to bring his A game. If that is the case, then we may have something to be hopeful about after all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Contemplate This

It's been a while since we've compared players, so take a look at this:

           BA     OBP    SLG
Player A .186 .264 .381
Player B .225 .306 .287
Player C .229 .333 .415
Player D .292 .366 .454

So it probably comes as no surprise that Player A represents Richie Sexson, Player B represents Adrian Beltre and Player C represents Carl Everett. Thought I would throw Player D in just to compare and contrast (it's Randy Winn). I guess the place I am going with this is that this team is relying on three guys to sustain the offense and they are not getting the job done. What to do? Nothing to be done other than hope that at least 2 out of 3 of these guys wake up and start performing up to expectations. Otherwise, another 90+ loss season is staring us in the face.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Series Win?

With the victory last night, the Mariners have another series win within their grasp. The King turned in a good performance last night - although I find myself in agreement with the good folks over at Lookout Landing, wishing that Felix would use his curve and change more often - especially in fastball counts.

I'm still pretty concerned about the offense though. As has been pointed out elsewhere, Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre hitting singles is not what it's all about. These guys were signed to mash - and they aren't. Where would the team be without Jose Lopez?

Edit: He's back!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cause For Optimism?

How much more trouble would the Mariners be in if they had gone with Fernando Vina over Jose Lopez? Lopez has pretty much carried the team offensively this season - would Vina have done anything close? Unlikely.

Props to Joel Pineiro after being selected as the AL player of the week.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The High Road

Jarrod Washburn took the high road yesterday. When asked about the lack of run support, he said "My job is to go out there and give us a chance to win, and not worry about what our offense is doing. We have a lot of offensive talent that's going to come around. They have a long history of being successful. It's not something that's going to last all season." While it's nice for him to phrase it like that, perhaps what is really needed is for somebody to come right out and say just how much the hitters suck. I think Carl Everett was trying to get there yesterday - perhaps a few more bad games and he will. I don't know about you, but things are looking pretty bleak.

Happy Birthday to me!

Edit: Here's some pithy commentary from John McGrath over at the TNT.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pineiro For Real

After his performance at Safeco Field last night, I have to think that Joel Pineiro is for real. After a CG victory in Minnesota, he comes back on his next start and shuts down the premiere offense in the AL.

There were some other nice things about last night's game, but J.J. coming in to work an uneventful top of the 9th for the save was the nicest by far.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bullpen Implosion

I suppose a game like this was bound to happen sooner or later. With the exception of Eddie Guardado, the bullpen had been pretty good up until last night. I find it particularly ironic that Eddie mananged to come in and work a clean 9th last night.

I don't think I've talked much about YuBet lately. In last night's game, he showed, with both the glove and bat, why he is such a special player.

So what are the M's to do with Beltre, Sexson and Ichiro!? I'm afraid that the answer may be to watch all 3 of them suck for the remainder of the season.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thinly Veiled

Tough loss yesterday, especially since King Felix looked very ignoble - again.

Interesting quote from John Hickey's piece in the Times today:

"Hernandez hasn't produced the power in his pitches generated by his legs, in part because he had to stop running for a couple of weeks in the spring because of the shin splints. That's something that may only come with time.

And time is something Hernandez has plenty of.

That's not something everyone in the organization can say."

Administrative Note On Comments

Recent spambot intrusions into the comments section have forced me to turn on comment moderation and allow only registered users to comment. Sorry for the inconvenience, but spambots really piss me off.

Edit: Apparently comment moderation doesn't work with the template that I am using. So I guess we will try the "only registered users" option and see if that keeps the bots out. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Enough

So you definitely tip your hat to Santana and the Twins yesterday evening. But the Mariners should have won the game in Chicago tonight. They battled back and had the game in the bag until Eddie Guardado came in and did it again. So enough is enough. J.J. is perfectly capable of closing. Move Eddie to the setup role. Damn.

Edit: Dr. Detecto says Eject Eddie!

Edit: He's out!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Who Will It Be?

Quoting from today's TNT:

"With three men capable of playing center field – Jeremy Reed, Lawton and Willie Bloomquist, Reed’s job as a regular could be in jeopardy if his bat doesn’t come around quickly. Reed is batting .188 and, according to Hargrove, the position is now a day-to-day decision."

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Hit Parade

An amazing offensive outburst by the Mariners tonight. 19 hits. Please let this be the start of something good.

On To The Twin Cities

Another series win! As Jeff mentions over at Lookout Landing today, the team is creating a lot of cognitive dissonance for me this season (probably for you too). They are playing good ball at times - and even when they win it mostly comes as a surprise.

A certain ex-catcher was really badmouthing Ramon Hernandez on the TV broadcast yesterday. The words "lazy" and "lackadaisical" were used - which actually surprised me. You almost never hear a former player talk about a current player in those terms. Of course, in this case, Mr. Valle was absolutely correct - as evidenced by the poor effort displayed by Hernandez when faced with Richie Sexson heading for a collision.

A new month begins today. Hopefully some of the players who have been less than satisfactory will find a way to get their jobs done.

Is Eddie done? If I'm Bill Bavasi, the choice is clear. J.J. closes - Eddie moves to LH setup.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sometimes Lighting A Fire Is A Good Thing

So we hear that Mike Hargrove lit a fire under his player's asses after the series opening loss in Baltimore. Good. About time.

We also hear that Jeremy Reed is frustrated because he is not hitting. Join the club Jeremy. Perhaps the performance by a certain Port Orchard native today will signal a change in the starting CF soon. I'm just saying.

I liked the way King Felix held on and made the pitches he needed to make today. Obviously not one of his best appearances - he will have better. Beltre absolutely smoked that ball today - hopefully this signals good things for him. Johjima-san really needs to concentrate when he is throwing. It was clear today that his rushed throws are wild.

Back To Reality

Just when the Mariners start making me think that they are coming around and ready to play good ball, they turn in a performance like the one in Baltimore last night that makes me think they are headed for another 90+ loss season. Jose Lopez continues to impress, and Beltre and Ichiro! both had a couple of hits - but overall that was a pretty weak performance.


Edit: King Felix today!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Series Win - Always A Good Thing

A series win is always a good thing in my book. Especially when it comes unexpectedly. The old adage about good pitching beating good hitting was certainly true in this series. Although there are many areas of concern, there are some very good reasons to remain optimistic:

  1. King Felix
  2. Jarrod Washburn!
  3. The Bullpen (less Guardado)
  4. Jose Lopez
I could go on, but you get the idea. This team is still capable of attaining respectability this season. If the big guns get on track, look out.

More words of wisdom from the inimitable Dr. Detecto.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Win Some - Lose Some

I was in a really good mood Tuesday morning. The Mariners were coming off an exciting, extra-inning win, the sun was out, all was right with the world. And Jose Lopez had really smoked a home run to the deepest part of the yard. The good feelings lasted all day - until about the 3rd inning Tuesday evening. All bets were off after that.

The White Sox are the defending World Champs. They have an awesome team. The Mariners do not. It's that simple.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Not So Rhetorical

John McGrath of the TNT asks the not-so rhetorical question "Does anyone have the wits to fix the hitless Mariners?

So Nageotte goes back down and perhaps Bobby Livingston is on his way to Seattle - at least that's what The Times says. Sweet.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Prognostication

You know, the most difficult thing about predicting the future is getting it right. I felt, prior to the season, that the Mariners would have their biggest problem with pitching. As things have turned out, the pitchers have been pretty much okay. The offense has turned out to be the biggest problem - and certainly one that not many were predicting prior to the 1st of April. Youneverknow.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Washburn's Good Game

For all the gloom and doom that was prevalent when the Marines signed Jarrod Washburn, the reality has turned out to be much less severe. In fact, Washburn had an excellent outing last night. Never mind the fact that his offense didn't get the job done - he pitched a good game. Taken together with Pineiro's recent good performance, I'm not quite as down on the pitching staff this morning.

This "aggressive" baserunning has really got to stop. Two mistakes last night that may have cost the team some runs. There's a difference between "aggressive" and "thoughtful" - I don't think there has been a lot of thought given to the running game so far. Let's hope the coaching staff corrects this issue soon.

Edit: Here's a bit of optimism from none other than Dr. Detecto!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Is His Arm Ready To Fall Off?

It's probably time to ask the question - is Eddie Guardado's left arm ready to fall off? There was a lot of discussion at the time of his decision to forgo surgery that his arm would be a ticking timebomb - just waiting to explode. Is the time here?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Now That's Baseball!

Speaking purely from the fan's perspective, that was one hell of a baseball game last night at Safeco Field. It had everything you could possibly want from a baseball game - and then a little bit more. It had heroes and villians, ups and downs, ins and outs, twists and turns - and ultimately, winners and losers.

Nice game Ichiro! - that's what we need from you every day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Koronka?

Once again the Mariners made a journeyman (and not even sure if Koronka qualifies as a journeyman) pitcher look good. Of course Felix grooving a couple of pitches for Phil Nevin and Brad Wilkerson didn't help the cause either. The good news was, unlike last year, the team didn't quit after going down 4-0 in the second. They continued to battle - which may bode well for the summer. Jake Woods sucks (at least he did last night).

Ichiro! - what happened to you? Hitting .177, you should be ashamed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Win Some - Lose Some

Talk about an emotional roller coaster at Fenway Park yesterday. Even though the Mariners ended up 1-3 for the series in Boston, it could easily have been 3-1. All the games were close - and winnable if the breaks had gone the other way.

Continuing the mostly optimistic tone of this entry, check out Dave's latest contribution over at USS Mariner.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spitting Seeds

So I've been meaning to mention Jim Thomsen's column in the Kitsap Sun called Spitting Seeds. Today's piece concerns the USS Mariner get-together with GM Bill Bavasi before the regular season started. It's a good read - check it out.

Another close game at Fenway Park today. Unfortunately, the M's came out on the losing end. I'm really deeply conflicted about Beltre right now - his hitting sucks but his glove is awesome.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A W By Any Other Name

Yet another ode to the unpredictable game known as baseball. A win at Fenway Park is always good - but considering how Joel Pineiro tried to let Boston have this one - then took it away from them made it especially nice. Putz and Guardado closed it out without too much unnecessary excitement. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Although Beltre went hitless again, it was interesting to note that he was actually smiling during his first at bat today. Perhaps 'tis better to laugh than cry.

So Close

The Mariners ended up playing the Red Sox very well last night - and ended up with a chance to win the game. Which is pretty much the opposite of what most folks were expecting. Once again the unpredictable nature of this game asserts itself.

So how long do you stick with Beltre and Everett if you are the manager?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Unpredictable Series Win

Once again the unpredictability of our National Pastime has delighted me with an unexpected series win in Cleveland. The offensive onslaught continues today in Boston.

Felix has demonstrated that he has some work to do - yet even when he's not brilliant he's able to keep the other team from running away - allowing his team a chance to come back and win.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Felix Day!

It's Felix Day. Long Live The King!

Return Of The Hitters

Nice offensive outburst by the Mariners last night in Cleveland. I don't know what Eric Wedge was thinking when he walked Ibanez to get to Sexson, but I'm thrilled that Richie clearly demonstrated why it was a bad idea. In general, my theory is never give a player who used to play for your organization a chance to beat you (think back to the M's and Tino). Anyway, nice to see almost all the hitters have a good night.

Jeff posed a couple of questions over at Lookout Landing - I will pose one additional question - How long do you stick with Carl Everett?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On The Road Again

The roadtrip starts with a loss. On a positive note, the offense continued to battle back - last year's squad would have folded much earlier. Of note, Roberto Petagine comes off the bench and delivers a double (2-2). How much longer will Mike Hargrove allow Petagine to rot on the bench?

Edit: From the P.I. - "To make room for Lawton, the Mariners designated catcher Guillermo Quiroz for assignment. They also optioned right-hander Jeff Harris to Triple-A Tacoma and recalled catcher Rene Rivera from Tacoma."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where Fore Art Thou Petagine?

I think that I will ask this question until Mike Hargrove provides a satisfactory answer - why has Roberto Petagine had only 2 PA's so far? And in those 2 PA's, he has a home run and a walk. As a manager trying to win ballgames, would you leave such a potent weapon sitting on your bench? Would you try to expand your thought horizons and find a way to get this potent weapon into the lineup? Can you believe how many rhetorical questions have been added to this post?

I certainly don't mean to suggest that Roberto Petagine is THE ANSWER to what ails the Mariners, but I do think that he could play a major role in getting the offense turned around.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Los(s)t Weekend

There are no two ways about it - it was tough being a Mariner fan over this last weekend. After a promising opening series win against the Angels, the A's came to town and had their way with the hometown nine (pretty much). Although there are lots of good things about this team, there are some pretty significant bad ones as well. And with a road trip to Cleveland and Boston coming up, I'm not feeling particularly good about the team at this juncture.

So what happened to Adrian Beltre - he of the 4 home runs during the WBC? Carl Everett has not resembled a "left hand sock". Pitching has been a real mixed bag (well I guess we were expecting that anyway). So I liked the team a lot better when they were 3-1 rather than now when they are 3-4. Let's see what happens on the road.

Edit: Here's an interesting piece from the P.I. today that discusses the hitting woes of a certain third baseman that may be of interest.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Unpredictable

I suppose one of the things that I love most about baseball is its unpredictability. Whenever I feel like I have a good handle on what is about to happen in a game, the result veers wildly and something completely different actually happens. Which is exactly what went on at Safeco Field last night.

King Felix was obviously not in complete command, although his line was not particularly bad. It was clear that he didn't have the type of control that has been so devastating until now. Julio Mateo had a disappointing appearance as well - perhaps his absence during ST accounts for that. Sherrill and Harris looked good - although it was too late by then because the hitters never did figure out Joe Blanton.

Just as it has happened many times over the last several years, the M's hitters made a journeyman pitcher look like a legitimate Cy Young candidate.

So what will happen tonight when Jamie Moyer faces off against Barry Zito? Ah, that's the beauty of this game - it's so unpredictable!

Friday, April 07, 2006

3-1 - Who Would Have Thought?

Another good game from the hometown nine last night. And against their arch-rivals, the Oakland A's no less. Although we are still pretty early in the season, I think the M's are going to end up playing much better ball than many of the naysayers were willing to allow prior to the start of the regular season.

I think the most significant change so far is the resurgence of the offense. The last two years have been very difficult to watch - primarily because the team was just not able to score many runs. This year, it appears that the bats are not going to disappoint.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Revenge Of The Jarrod

Much to my delight this afternoon, Jarrod Washburn pitched a good game and beat his former team. The M's win the first series of the year - I'm feeling more and more optimistic.

Joh-san And Richie

Although the bullpen made last night's game much more exciting than it really needed to be, the best part of the game for me was watching the home runs that came off the bats of Johjima-san and Richie Sexson. I think it's important for our right handed hitters to pull the ball for home runs at Safeco - just a reminder to the opposition that we have people capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark to left field.

If you are not already doing so on a regular basis, please check out Lookout Landing for Jeff's awesome Win Expectancy charts. Best in the M's blogosphere.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oh Those Bases On Balls!

As Mr. Niehaus pointed out on the radio broadcast from Safeco Field today, those bases on balls spoiled what would have been a game winning home run from Roberto Petagine. Nice to see Peta come off the bench and take one out - a harbinger of good things to come.

Not a bad game, although it would have been nice to open the campaign with a W. Johjima-san probably convinced anybody who wasn't sure about him today - he's for real. The late innings did have a bit of deja-vu feel to them - George and J.J. struggled.

Opening Day

Opening Day is here at last! I did follow the Sox/Indians game last night (even through the looooong rain delay), but nothing compares to Opening Day when your team is playing. Go M's!

Of note, my fantasy team on Baseball Challenge did okay last night (thanks Jim Thome!). My friend Barclay and I have been doing Baseball Challenge (and any other free fantasy baseball that we can find) for the last 5 or 6 years now. It's another rite of Spring.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

25 Man Roster Set - Play Ball!

With the selection of Jake Woods and Jeff Harris to round out the 25 man roster, the Mariners are ready to begin the 2006 campaign. With most pundits picking the team to finish last again in the AL West, I must say that I am a little more optimistic. Although I don't think this club has a chance to win the division, I think they will win enough games to finish second. Let's go M's!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Guillermo Quiroz, Come On Down!

The M's claimed Guillermo Quiroz off waivers today from the Blue Jays. Head over to Lookout Landing for Jeff's report on Quiroz.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And Then There Were 29...

Good news from Peoria today - the M's have made some additional cuts - and most importantly (at least to me anyway) Roberto Petagine is not among them!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Petagine For DH (Bandwagon Jumping)

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the somewhat less-than-serious rhetorical question "Can the M's really afford to break camp without Petagine on the 25 man roster?" - or words to that effect. Well, I think I am a bit more serious now. And I'm not the only one - check out Deanna's plea as well!

Edit: Positive Paul apparently started this - check out his entry here!

Monday, March 27, 2006

One More Week

One more week until Opening Day! Even with Reed going down and the concern regarding the pitching staff, I still have to say that I am optimistic as the season begins. The top of the 1st this evening in Surprise contained what I hope is a snapshot of the 2006 offense of your Seattle Mariners.

Friday, March 24, 2006

This Just In...

Jeremy Reed out for 6 to 8 weeks due to broken wrist.
Edit: Or not. Check out the latest from The Times!

Say goodbye to Dave Burba and Fernando Vina - buh-bye!.

The King Shines

Nice game in Peoria last night. Manager Hargrove had what looked to be close to the opening day lineup on the field. The King was the star of the show - keeping the Diamondbacks off balance with 3 devastating pitches. He added 8 K's to the list, and appeared to be in complete control.

The bats were lively as well, with a total of 4 runs on 13 hits. Ichiro! continues to show why he is such a special player. Adrian Beltre looks so much better in the batter's box as compared to last season. Betancourt, Reed and Lawton all were impressive.

My optimism is a little less cautious.


Edit: Make sure you check out Dave's piece over at the Hardball Times. It's sure to make you a little less cautiously optimistic!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Corporate Culture

The inimitable Jeff Angus writes about corporate culture and the need for a little "orneriness". As usual, Jeff seems to gravitate to topics that fit the Mariners very well.

So Long Matt - Whad'ya Know Joe?

Say goodbye to Matt Thornton and hello to Joe Borchard Click

I like this deal because Borchard can mash and the Sox can deal with the enigma that is Matt Thornton.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sunday Baseball Goodness

Today was the first Sunday in many months that my barbecue grill was pressed into service. It was also the first Sunday in I don't know how long where the weather was pleasant enough to be outside and actually get some yard work done. Some of this afternoon was also taken up by Mariner baseball on TV! Although the hometown nine lost, there were a couple of good things:

  • Don't worry about Jeremy Reed. He looked very comfortable at the plate today and swung the bat with authority.
  • Kenji Johjima looks like the real deal - both behind the plate and swinging the bat.
  • Francisco Cruceta had another good relief appearance.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cautiously Optimistic

I'm beginning to feel cautiously optimistic about the hometown nine. The news from the Cactus League has been mostly positive lately. Of particular note, the Mariners have been swinging the bats with authority - something that they had been completely incapable of the last two seasons. This alone gives me hope that the outcome for the 2006 campaign will be much improved. The pitching staff is still a matter of concern (at least the starters anyway), but generally things do appear to be on track.

Now that Team Japan is eliminated from WBC competition, we should see the return of Ichiro! Edit: Okay - so they aren't eliminated just yet. Although there have been some good games in the WBC, I don't think I care for the rules very much. *sigh*

Does anybody really think that Fernando Vina is going to play in even one Cactus League game?

How can the M's break camp without Petagine on the 25 man squad?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The King Is Back

He wasn't really gone, but Felix Hernandez had an excellent outing in Peoria today. In addition to the King, J.J. Putz and Rafael Soriano both turned in good performances as well. Back to back home runs from Raul Ibanez and Roberto Petagine and a solo shot from Jeremy Reed - the hitters apparently did not want to be upstaged by the pitchers.

Long live The King!

In WBC action, Team USA played a close game against Team Japan today. It seemed like ex-Mariner day in Anaheim - with A-Rod delivering the game winner for Team USA. Nice to see Junior and Randy Winn as well. I'm starting to get into the WBC - especially after watching the game today.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Hit Parade

The Mariners managed to win a game today (thanks in no small part to Jose Mesa). The team put up 8 runs on 16 hits. Pitching was a bit better today - Cruceta and Carvajal both did well. Edit: Well, maybe not so much Carvajal. What's happening to George Sherrill?

Matt Lawton appears to be making a statement in Cactus League play - at least today anyway. He went 3 for 5 - all doubles! 2 RBI and scored 2.

Speaking of guys making statements, how about Junior today? 4 for 4 - 2 HR - 7 RBI. He's certainly saying something.

A few more outings like today and I might start to get enthusiastic!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

State Of The Blog (and other items)

I don't know about you, but I'm less than impressed with the Mariners so far this Spring. With a few notable exceptions, most of the team has sucked. I know it's early, but after a couple of 90+ loss seasons, it doesn't take much to topple my fragile psyche right over the edge.

I've been doing this blog for a couple of years now, and I am still trying to find my voice. It's always a given when you read Jeff or Deanna or The USS Mariner Crew that you know exactly what to expect. I have never really gotten that feeling from this blog - consistency has not been my strong suit. It doesn't mean that I will stop writing - but I am still searching for my niche in the Mariner blogosphere. Not sure what the blog is going to look like this season. I did game summaries last year, but wasn't really happy with that. So it will be something different this year. For those of you who have been reading, my thanks. And my promise to continue to strive to be better.

Hopefully the Mariners will continue to strive to be better - they haven't gotten off to a very good start.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The King Strikes Again

Although not quite as sharp as his last outing, The King breezed through the Brewers lineup in the 1st inning today (the hit was a roller that Dobbs couldn't do anything with).

Long live The King!
Edit: Guess that headline was prophetic - just not in the way I was thinking. Guess it's better that he gets roughed up a bit early - should help him to focus.

Small Sample Size

I know this is a *really* small sample size, but I almost fell out of my chair this morning looking at Richie Sexson's line so far:

     AVG  AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI
--- -- - - -- -- -- ---
.857 7 1 6 1 0 0 3

Monday, March 06, 2006

R.I.P. Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett passed away today. For an eloquent eulogy, please see Batgirl's latest entry.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Pitchers Off To Rocky Start

With the exception of The King, none of the Mariner pitchers have been impressive so far. Moyer, Foppert and Blackley have looked okay - the rest have been less than satisfactory. It's early - but coupled with the mostly anemic offense, I'm starting to be a bit concerned.

Watched Korea vs. China in the WBC series from Tokyo the other evening. Talk about offense - the Koreans pounded the Chinese. I'm still not sure if I am really going to be able to get onboard with the WBC - but I am at least willing to give it a try.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's Finally Here

They are playing baseball in Peoria!

Felix is The King!

Edit: Roberts, Cammy, Giles - 1st three strikeout victims!!

Bobby V. on Pressure and Desire

Here's an excellent read from Bobby Valentine concerning Pressure and Desire. I wasn't aware that Bobby was such an articulate person - and his thoughts really hit close to home considering the struggles that our own home town nine have experienced the last couple of years.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Official Announcements

It's official - Raul Ibanez has his contract extension.

Bret Boone has hung up his cleats. I'm rather surprised at the way that Boone utterly, completely and swiftly fell apart. In any event, thanks for the memories Boonie.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Birthday Wishes and Stuff

Happy Birthday Ron Hassey!!

David Appelman has another cool piece over at The Hardball Times about plate discipline. It's a good read - but none other than WFB gets a mention (and not for something good).

Things should get a bit more interesting in Peoria later in the week when they start playing for real.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Huh?

Please number me among the perplexed who are wondering why Raul Ibanez got a contract extension - to the tune of $11M. He's an okay player, but really. I think anybody who seriously considers the situation at this point must be asking who is driving the bus, and what kind of drugs is he taking?


Edit: Here's a link to the story over at The Times.

Edit: Or perhaps. Here's a link from The P.I. that indicates the deal isn't quite done yet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Carl Speaks

The local NBC affiliate (KING) ran an interview with Carl Everett on the 5pm news last night. The piece contained some footage of Everett throwing, hitting and clowning around with Eddie Guardado. During the Q&A, Everett mentioned the reason he feels that he was brought in - namely that the team didn't have any desire last season - and that he felt that he could help instill the "winning attitude". He also said that if he was not smiling, it was a good idea to stay away from him. He said he didn't care if people liked him or not - he was here to win.

So I have to say that while watching this interview, a couple of things became clear for me:

  • Carl Everett is very well spoken and doesn't come off as a lunatic.
  • He identified the team's major problem in a single sentence and proposed the solution.
  • He appears to be very sincere in his desire to win.
To which I say, welcome aboard Carl! Where have you been for the last two years?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Competition Gets Better

From The Times, the Rangers have signed Erubiel Durazo to a minor league deal.

A Stick And The Doc

Hot off the presses at The Times, the M's have signed Roberto Petagine to a minor league deal. His line with Boston last year - .281/.361/.438 - could be a nice deal if he can perform. And you know me - it's all about performance this year!

And Dr. Pedegana is done - he's officially notified the team that he won't be back.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Three Will Get You Two

John Hickey reports from Peoria for The P.I. that Manager Hargrove sees the starting second base job as a competition between Jose Lopez, Willie Bloomquist and Fernando Vina. Personally, the only thing I care about is that the starting second baseman make a positive contribution to the offense this season. Whoever that turns out to be is okay with me - I'm only interested in results.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Beltre's New Number

Finny posted a report from Peoria over at The Times which includes an interesting tidbit - namely that Adrian Beltre will wear his old number 29 this year, seeing as how Bret Boone is no longer needing it. The report also goes on to mention Beltre's slimmer appearance this Spring.

Speaking of health concerns, Trainer Rick Griffin is pleased that all players were able to work out on day one - a much better showing than last year, when seven players were unable to go on day one. Hopefully a good sign.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The End Of Weekly Updates

Pitchers and catchers have reported to camp in Peoria. Many position players are already in camp - the remainder will report next week. It's Spring Training - and time to stop the weekly updates and get back to regular posting.

Nice to see that Chris Snelling is in camp and continuing his rehab.

The local NBC affiliate has been covering Johjima-san extensively - he looks great so far. That red mitt is awesome!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Three More Days...

Three more days until pitchers and catchers report. Finally. With ST comes renewed hope.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Weekly Update 2/10/06

In lieu of any interesting Mariner news to report, I would like to refer you over to an excellent article by Dave Studeman at The Hardball Times. This article also references several fine articles published over there at THT this week - but it is topical for Mariner fans because it covers player valuation - something that we have all been very concerned with this winter.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weekly Update 2/3/06

Sorry to report that another week has gone by with virtually nothing of interest to report from Mariner Land. I will be glad when ST starts - at least there will be a reason to make regular updates to the blog again. In the meantime, my apologies for the lack of content.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekly Update 1/29/06

So no arbitration hearings for the Mariners this year. That's a good thing I think - the adversarial nature of the arbitration process cannot be healthy for the employer/employee relationship.

Some of the NRI's for ST this year have me puzzled. But none any more so than Dave Burba. What are we to make of this? Is this a move that a team who is contending for the Division makes?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekly Update 1/22/05

No news is good news. No wait - that can't possibly be right. There is no news regarding the Seattle Mariners, but I don't really consider that good news. I'm getting impatient.

Since there is no Mariner news to discuss, I would like to direct your attention over to The Hardball Times for an article written by John Brattain concerning Mark McGwire. Mr. Brattain poses the question "Is Mark McGwire a Hall of Famer, yes or no?". It's an interesting read, and perhaps no so much of a no-brainer as one might suspect at first glance. Anyway, check it out - talk among yourselves.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Weekly Update 1/15/06

Edit: Just realized I posted the draft article - here's the finished piece (hopefully better than the draft!


Since there really hasn't been any news from the Mariners this past week, I thought that I would write a brief article about Moneyball, the book that many people love to hate, even though they have never read it. It was a Christmas gift, and I really couldn't wait to get started reading it. I certainly had some opinions about the book - mostly based on what I have heard in the mainstream media, and what I have read in the blogosphere. It was a fascinating read - some of my opinions have changed. I learned quite a few things. Among them:

  • In addition to Joe Morgan, I was surprised to learn that Pat Gillick was one of the major detractors of the book.
  • After reading about Billy Beane's unsuccessful playing career, I now understand why so many in the blogosphere are down on Greg Dobbs (looks the part - numbers don't match).
  • Another great example of how the Establishment marginalizes anything or anyone that they feel are threatening the status quo.
I could list more, but I want to encourage anyone who has not read this book to take the time to read it. It's not only about baseball. The concept of exploiting market weaknesses has been around for a while, but seeing the way in which Billy Beane and his staff implemented some clearly superior practices is inspiring. They certainly had to deal with a lot of negative pressure from the Baseball Establishment - yet they pressed on and showed that having a better plan will allow you to be successful.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Weekly Update 1/7/06

Another week has passed in Mariner land without anything that would qualify as front page news. Our former friend Ryan "I don't get no support" Franklin signed with the Phillies. Speaking of Ryan, David Appelman over at The Hardball Times published a piece that should dampen any hopes that Phillies fans have that Franklin might actually help them in the 2006 campaign.