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.