Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 - A Season Review

I've been thinking about what exactly I wanted to say concerning the 2010 Seattle Mariners.  And perhaps surprisingly, I don't have much.
  • Thankful for Ichiro! and the way that he has stayed in Seattle.  It's probably not a stretch to say that there aren't many players who would have stuck with the team as long as he has (can you say A-Rod?).
  • It was a pleasure to watch Felix and Cliff Lee pitch in 2010.
  • Everything else is bad - so rather than unleash a rant, here's Geoff Baker of the Times with a nice recap of the season and a very cogent analysis of the Griffey situation.  
Probably the last post of 2010 - let's hope that 2011 brings us all something to cheer about!

Monday, December 13, 2010

End Of The Rob Johnson Era In Seattle

Word is out that the Mariners have designated Rob Johnson for assignment.

Update:  Traded to San Diego  :-)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

M's Still Searching For Elusive "Catcher Of The Future"

So the Mariners have signed Miguel Olivo to a 2 year deal.  Here's a nice article by Larry Stone over at the Times that provides a recap of the long search for somebody to take over from Dan Wilson (yeah, it's really been that long!!).

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bedard As Fan Favorite?

Jeff Sullivan over at Lookout Landing opines that Erik Bedard should be a fan favorite in Seattle.  I'm inclined to agree - after I read Bedard's comments concerning his return to the Mariners I'm thinking that he will get another chance as far as this fan is concerned.

Friday, December 03, 2010

R.I.P. Ron Santo

Ron Santo has passed away.  Larry Stone provides some eloquent words on Seattle's greatest baseball player.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Felix Wins AL CY Award!

Felix Hernandez has won the 2010 AL CY Award!  The bright spot from an otherwise dismal season.  Way to go King!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So Long Dave!

Dave Niehaus passed away yesterday.  Listening to or watching an M's game will never be the same.  I have only been following the Mariners for a short time compared to Dave's association with the team.  He was always there - and now he's not - and that's sad.

Shannon Drayer posted this eloquent tribute.  

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hot Stove League Update 11/9

Here's a long article from Geoff Baker over at the Times that talks about the balancing act that the Mariners will have to try and pull off in 2011.

I'm really seriously wondering if it may be time for the club to start thinking about making Safeco Field play a little more fairly for RH hitters.  The ballpark has ruthlessly suppressed RH hitters.  Makes one wonder if A-Rod going to Texas wasn't only about the money.  I'm sure Adrian Beltre would tell you that he is happy that he played a bunch of games in Fenway Park last season.  If nothing changes with regard to the dimensions, then the club is going to have to get very aggressive about finding LH batters to play here in Seattle.  What do you think?

Update: Jeff Sullivan contributes this bit of Ichiro! worship - simply awesome!

Further update:  Congrats to Ichiro! and Guti for winning Gold Gloves.  Boo to Derek Jeter! 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hot Stove League Update 11/4

Larry LaRue details the departure of Casey Kotchman, and also discusses the future of Jose Lopez.  Good stuff - definitely worth a read.

Adrian Beltre has understandably declined his option with the Red Sox and will test the Free Agent market.  Beltre had a great year in 2010 - I wonder if it may be time for the Mariners to think about changes to Safeco Field that would mitigate the RH suppression that it has become known for.  Either that or stop signing RH power hitters.

Update: The awesome Jeff Sullivan weighs in on the departure of C.K.  Nicely done Jeff.  :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hot Stove League Update 11/3

Fairly quiet in Mariner land so far.  Larry LaRue from the TNT has a few tidbits today.  Will the M's exercise their option on Jose Lopez?  Dave Cameron says no - but don't be too anxious for Lopie to be gone.  :)

Update:  The Mariners announced several roster moves today.  Declined the options of Branyan, Lopez and Bedard.  See the release for all the details.  Yay!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Giants Baby!

A quick note to say congratulations to the Giants and the City of San Francisco!  :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

THAT'S Why They Play The Games

I have a long commute - 2 hours each way - that consists of a bus ride, a ferry ride and a 15 minute walk.  Last night, with Game One of the World Series underway, I was looking forward to getting home and catching at least half of the game on TV.  Our usual dinner routine is to sit down when I get there and eat while watching Cash Cab.  We did just that - pork chops and green beans - excellent!!  Saw a few people score on the Video Bonus - and a few get the dreaded "you're out" strike 3.

Once dinner was finished and kitchen cleanup was underway, I flipped the channel to the game just to see how things were going.  I'm a big believer in not getting caught up in small sample size mania, but I saw all I needed to see of that game in less than 2 minutes.  You see, it was the bottom of the fifth - Giants had 2 runners on - 2 outs - Lee was out - O'Day was in - Uribe was digging in - O'Day threw a pretty flat slider and the broadcast crew started talking about it.  You know the rest - O'Day comes back with the slider - Uribe launches a rather majestic fly ball into the black San Francisco night - and now it's 8-2 Giants and I've seen all I want to see.

I'm sure the Rangers will come back and make a game of it today - but that is indeed why they play the games!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks Larry!

The prolific Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has a couple of must read pieces up today.  The first one says that having the Rangers and Giants meet in the World Series is a cruel joke on Seattle fans. The other piece contains some rather gloomy thoughts on the thorny path that the Mariners must follow to regain relevance in the AL West.  Great reading - I feel lucky to live in a place that can claim ownership of such an awesome writer!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forgetting About 2010

With the World Series about to get underway tomorrow, I think it's time to start forgetting about the 2010 season - at least the part that the Seattle Mariners played in it.  The fans can only hope that the club will make some good decisions over the Winter and actually field a more competitive team in 2011.

Here's a nice article by Larry LaRue that provides a very concise look at what went wrong for the Mariners in 2010.  Interesting bit about Casey Kotchman - hadn't realized that he was another malcontent on a team with way too many!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Tenth Inning

The Tenth Inning is captivating.  Ken Burns is a master storyteller.  The Seattle connection is some remarkable footage of Ken Griffey, Jr. in the opening episode.  Seeing Junior as he is now, one tends to forget what a graceful and fluid swing he had when he was in his prime.  A-Rod was also portrayed briefly in the sequence that discusses steroid use.  Chris Rock definitely lends some perspective to the issue - if there was a pill that made you better at your job, wouldn't you take it?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally And Thoughts On A 61-101 Finish

Ichiro! finishes the 2010 campaign with 214 hits.  Another remarkable performance in what has been a remarkable career in MLB.  I'm glad that Ichiro! has played his MLB games here in Seattle - it's been a joy to watch him and I wonder what else he has up his sleeve.

61-101.  If you would have asked me to give you a prediction for the 2010 season while the team was in Arizona in the Spring, I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't have been as dismal as the final result.  I'm glad it's over.  Let's hope that the team can make some effective moves over the Winter.  And let's hope that the team will at least be a little easier to watch in 2011.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 10/1

Ichiro! went 2 for 5 yesterday to raise his season hit total to 210!

Larry Stone described the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal and shitty performance by the Mariners yesterday:

"Justin Smoak was just about the lone bright spot for the M's tonight. He had a double, single, two walks and scored the only run. He has a seven-game hitting streak with a .458 average (11-for-24), six runs, a double, three homers, seven RBIs and five walks during the streak."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/30

Ichiro! went 1 for 5 yesterday to raise his hit total to 208.

I can't even begin to convey my complete and utter dismay at yesterday's loss in Texas.  Rather than wallow in self pity, I'll let Jeff Sullivan do the talking.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/29

With a 2 for 4 performance yesterday, Ichiro! increased his hit total to 207.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/27

Ichiro! has raised his hit total to 205.  7 games left to play - and you know that Ichiro! loves hitting in Arlington!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ichiro! Reaches 200 Hits For 10th Straight Season!

He's 2 for 3 so far today to reach number 200!  Ichiro! is such a special player - thankful to have had the chance to see him play for the Mariners over the last 10 years!!  Ganbare Ichiro!!!

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/23

With a 1 for 5 performance yesterday, Ichiro! pushes his hit total to 198.

How about that Jose Lopez?  Baseball is a funny game.  Lopez has had such a terrible year at the plate - yet he hits three home runs last night.  Wow.  Hopefully this will be my memory of Jose Lopez - I really don't expect to see him when the Mariners report to Spring Training next year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/22

Wow!  Ichiro! goes 4 for 4 last night in Toronto to raise his hit total to 197.  Go Ichiro!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/16

Ichiro! pulls another 0-fer last night - remains on 189 with 16 games to play.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally from 9/15

Now that's more like it!!  With a 3 hit performance last night, Ichiro! raises his season total to 189.

Larry Stone is right - The Mariners should never have turned loose of David Arias.  Can you imagine how many dingers Big Papi would have hit if he had been playing half his games at Safeco Field?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/14

Ichiro! pulled an 0-fer last night - he remains on 186.

You know, the Josh Lueke situation is really starting to bother me.  Not his criminal record - he's faced the justice system and paid his debt, etc.  What bothers me is the way the Mariners have reacted to the negative publicity that acquiring Lueke has generated.  I've got some serious concerns about the organization at this point.  How incredibly arrogant of them to assume that they could get away with ANYTHING.  At least that's how their actions are interpreted by this fan.  Shame on you Mariners.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/13

Not a very productive weekend for Ichiro! - although he did manage a 3 run homer!  The hit tally stands at 186 going into today.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Ichiro! Hit Tally From 9/8

Here's something I can write about until the season is (mercifully) over - Ichiro! and his relentless pursuit of hit number 200.  Going into today his total sits at 183.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Advanced Experimentation

I find it increasingly difficult to write anything about the Mariners these days, but someone else has expended quite a bit of effort in writing about them.  Please check out the awesome work by Jeff Angus over at Management by Baseball.  Here are links to a 4 part article concerning the Mariners and Jack Z.'s planning for the 2010 campaign.  It's a long read but very illuminating and worth the time:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

And one more thing - Felix Hernandez rocks!!!  :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Not Throw Your Best Pitch?

Jeff Sullivan takes a look at Luke French over at Lookout Landing - the analysis shows that French's best pitch (slider) isn't being used this year.  As Jeff said:  "It's interesting that French and Brandon League joined the organization with one standout weapon that they now seldom throw."

Good question - why isn't the coaching staff after these guys to throw their best pitch?  Why do I still care?

Monday, August 23, 2010

On To Boston

After taking Friday's opener, the Mariners took a thorough drubbing at the hands of the Yanks over the weekend.  I didn't see much of the series, but I did happen to see that marvelous acting job by Jorge Posada yestererday with that non-tag of Death to Flying Things as he scored.  Ouch.  But when you have a club as bad as ours, it should come as no surprise that the breaks seldom go their way.

Geoff Baker has posted a cogent analysis of what's gone wrong with the Mariners over the last 8 years or so - and the challenges that face Jack Z. moving forward.  After reading this piece I'm beginning to think that it may be time to start thinking about doing something with Chone Figgins - the team clearly doesn't need 2 lead off hitters next season.  And you know Ichiro! isn't going anywhere.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

King Felix - Cy Young Contender?

Here is Geoff Baker's take on why King Felix should be considered a favorite for the AL Cy Young award.  I'm with Geoff on this one - if Felix was pitching for a team that had ANY kind of decent offense, there would be no question that he was deserving of the award.  Don't penalize the guy for have the misfortune to be on a team with a bunch of shitty hitters.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Whither Go The Mariners?

Put me down as one of those guys that don't think a baseball team's manager has very much impact on the W-L record.

Since the firing of Don Wakamatsu, there's been thousands of words written about the bad hand that he was dealt.  There's been discussion of his poor in-game decisions, his inability to maintain good order and discipline in the clubhouse and his lack of results where they count the most - another year without a playoff appearance.  That last point is the only one that really gets my attention - no playoffs, again!  I think that we fans need to remind the organization from time to time that making the playoffs is what this exercise is all about - with winning the World Series as the ultimate goal.

So in the end I really don't care who the Mariners hire for their next manager.  Bring in Bobby V. - keep Daren Brown - no worries - it's all good.  What is much more important to me is that the G.M. refocus and keep building a winning ballclub.  There are some great young players in the system (and fortunately most of the old broken down former good players are gone) - keep building for that playoff run.  Looks to me like 2012 may be the next real shot that this club has to contend - let's hope that 2011 is a better year than 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Geoff Baker Talks About The Wakamatsu Firing

A fairly long read from Geoff Baker over at The Times concerning yesterday's firing of Don Wakamatsu by the Mariners.  Worth the time - I think there's some very interesting stuff there.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Wak Still Manager and Bedard Done (Again)

Larry Stone over at The Times had an interesting piece yesterday concerning some comments made by Jack Zduriencik on the Wak-Figgy confrontation.  It's a good read - Jack Z. is the master of equivocation.  And tacked on at the end of the piece was this little tidbit:

• Left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard will undergo shoulder surgery Friday, the Mariners announced. It will be the third straight season in which Bedard's season has ended with shoulder surgery. The operation will be performed by Edward Khalfayan, the Mariners' team physician, assisted by Lewis Yocum, the Angels' orthopedist.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Beginning Of The End

As the Mariners return home from a dismal road trip, one gets the feeling that something has to give.  There's no way the club can continue to play such awful baseball without repercussions.  Not sure what those repercussions may be, but I'm fairly certain that there are going to be some.  There has been a lot of speculation in print that Wak's days as manager may be numbered.  I don't think the firing the manager will have any effect (sort of like firing the hitting coach earlier in the season hasn't improved the club's offense).  We'll see over the next few weeks.

Two links for you.  Over at Lookout Landing, Jeff Sullivan writes about the swap of AAA catchers.  Over at The Times, the incomparable Larry Stone says the Mariners need to stave off irrelevance.  I think it's too late Larry.   :(

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bad

That's about the only description that comes to mind to describe the beat down that the White Sox gave the Mariners yesterday.  Ouch.

Geoff Baker has an interesting piece over at The Times concerning a rift between the F.O. and the Coaching Staff.  I'll say this - it struck me after Figgins went off last week that the G.M. didn't do very much to back up his Manager.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Inmates ARE Running The Asylum

I was shocked that Figgins was in the starting lineup the day after he quite publicly challenged the authority of his manager.  And after making a clearly boneheaded play.  But I guess it's not surprising since Jose Lopez was allowed to slide after such a serious brain fart.  No accountability whatsoever.  Check out Ryan Divish's take on it here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

P.O.V.

Point of view is a funny thing.  Doesn't seem that long ago that it seemed like the sky was the limit for the 2010 Seatlle Mariners.  Jack had just completed deals for Figgins and Lee, Junior was back for a final tour with the club, etc.  But then the reality of the season began to unfold.  Pretty soon that old familiar sinking feeling (can you say 2008?) began to pervade my baseball watching experience.  It's all in the point of view.

I will say one thing about the game last night.  Although the M's were unable to seal the deal, the bottom of the  9th was one of the most enjoyable half innings of baseball that I can remember.  Never mind the inability to score that run in the bottom of the 12th - the bottom of the 9th was awesome.  And I guess that it all comes down to one's point of view.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jose Lopez Must Go!

Dave Cameron says DFA Jose Lopez!  I agree.  The team needs to send a very clear message to the players that this kind of crap will no longer be tolerated.  This team is a joke.  Are the inmates running the asylum?  Come on Jack - get this thing under control already.  Jeez!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

These Are The Times...

Well I'm pretty sure that Thomas Paine wasn't thinking about baseball when he wrote those words, but the quote certainly applies to followers of the Seattle Mariners.  These are indeed the times that try men's (and women's) souls.  And with the news that Bedard is probably done for the year, any hope of at least respectability seems to be fading fast.  I'm truly concerned now that the loss total is going to be staggering.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Long Second Half

Ugh!  If the series in Anaheim is any indicator, it's gonna be a long second half.  Very long.  If that's not enough to make your Monday, here's some equally gloomy news from Dave Cameron over at USS Mariner - guaranteed to cheer you right up!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big Toes And Luggage

You know, hearing about Branyan's run in with a table in his hotel room reminds me of Kaz Sasaki's time on the DL due to a collision with his suitcase while carrying it up (or was it down?) a staircase.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Second Half Equals Fresh Start

So I've finally put my finger on what's been bothering me about the Mariners this season.  It's Cognitive Dissonance.  Jack Z. has been trying to do 2 (IMHO) mutually exclusive things this year - make the playoffs AND rebuild.  At least now that the playoff appearance is no longer a possibility, he should be able to focus on rebuilding the team for a run in 2011 (or probably more likely in 2012).  In any event, I'm sure the second half is not going to give me as many headaches as the first half (*crosses fingers*).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Half Review

Well that sucked!

To say that the 2010 campaign has been a disappointment to date would be a gross understatement.  I was certainly optimistic when the Mariners opened the season - too bad things didn't turn out quite the way that any of us were hoping for.  A few quick thoughts about what has happened:
  • Sometimes taking a chance on the low risk/high reward guys doesn't pan out.  Can't blame Z for trying.
  • Cliff Lee is awesome.  It was a pleasure to watch him pitch while wearing a Mariner uniform.
  • Ichiro! is awesome.  I hope he never retires!
  • Will Justin Smoak be the next Mark Teixeira?
  • Junior, please come back to Seattle before the season ends so we can say goodbye.
Enjoy the All Star Game tonight.  The M's get started with the second half in Anaheim - let's hope that they can at least play respectable ball for the rest of the season.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Muscle Is Back!!

I must say that I am happy to see Mr. Branyan back in a Mariner uniform.  I was disappointed that they were not able to get him signed over the Winter.  Of course the major question that seems to be in the air today is "Why now?  Why not 6 weeks ago?".  I don't have an answer, but at least this should make the rest of the season more tolerable.  Having a legitimate MOTO bat will be nice - should take a lot of pressure off some of the guys who are underperforming (trying to do too much).  So welcome back Russell!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Five In A Row

Generally speaking, having your team win five games in a row is a good thing.  And I suppose that on some level, the win streak that the Mariners are currently on is a good thing.  But in other ways, it is not such a good thing at all.  Coming after the team buried itself in the AL West, it's the kind of thing that gets broadcasters and some fans excited about another "miracle" comeback.  The anemic offense guarantees that no miracles are going to happen in Seattle this year - the 2010 Mariners are very well done.  Now it becomes an exercise in figuring out what needs to be done to make sure that the "light bat" syndrome is addressed for next year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Help On The Hitting Front

As the 2010 season continues to slide into oblivion (or as the great Larry Stone says, the Mariners continue to fade from playoff relevancy), I've been thinking about what the team could do in 2011 to add some offense.  One name that jumps off the free agent list for 2011 is Paul Konerko.  The line for 2010 so far is .294/.398/.588 - do the M's have anybody on the roster with an OPS north of .900?  He can also play a little 1st base.

It's clear that not signing a guy who can hit (Branyan, Vlad, etc.) last year has really hurt the club.  Not much to be done for this year - but the team can certainly start getting ready for next year.  Signing Konerko would be a move in the right direction.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Forget About October

Another game in the L column. It's pretty clear that 2010 is a lost year as far as making the Playoffs are concerned. So rather than bemoan our fate any longer, let's start talking about what can be done, both now and in the future, in order to make the Mariners competitive in 2011.

One of the most immediate improvements that the ballclub can make is getting rid of Ian Snell. After getting torched in Arlington last night, I don't think there's any question that there is no place for him on the club anymore. Let's look at the stats:

G  GS   IP   H    R   E  HR BB SO   W   L    P/GS   WHIP   BAA  ERA
11  8 44.1 57 32  29   9   23   23    0   5   78.5    1.80   .308     5.89

Yep. It's time to end this experiment Jack Z. - this guy is broken and you aren't going to fix him.  Don't give him another start.  The team is immediately improved without Ian Snell.  Granted, there are lots of things wrong with this team - but hey, you have to start somewhere.  And it might as well be Snell - especially after that display of suckitude last night.

Next time - some thoughts on the absent offense.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Please Show Me I'm Wrong

The Mariners are not a good baseball team - certainly not a playoff caliber team. Too many problems with this team - lack of offense - lack of consistency from the bullpen - well, you get the idea. Having said all that, I really want to be wrong about this team. After all, they are the home town nine. I'm pretty sure that I'm not wrong, but nothing would delight me more than for these guys to show me that I am.

Cliff Lee is awesome! Interesting tidbit from Geoff Baker's column today - Lee is only the 3rd M's pitcher to turn in a CG in Arlington (lefties Randy Johnson and John Halama are the other two). I'm really conflicted watching Lee pitch these days. He's so good and it's such fun watching him make Major League hitters look silly. But it's also sad because there's a good chance that he won't be here after the trade deadline.

The good news is that the M's won't be swept this series!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Waiting For 2011

I find it rather ironic that the Mariners completely fell apart in the series with the Angels this past weekend. After acquitting themselves in a very respectable fashion against the Twins, it's not unfair to say that the wheels came off completely at Safeco Field during the last three games. And now the Mariners head off for a 4 game series in Arlington. I've got to tell you that I'm not going to be at all surprised if they get swept by the Rangers.

That's why I'm waiting for 2011. I'm really hoping that next year's campaign will get off to a much better start. Hopefully there will be no distractions like Junior or 6-4-3. And by distractions I mean guys that are DH'ing who can't hit (sorry Junior - you know I hold you in the highest regard - but it really was time for you to hang them up at the end of last season). I hope there's a way to sign Cliff Lee - but as the M's fall further behind in the division I'm not very hopeful. Even so, Fister and Vargas give me hope for the starting rotation next year - along with the King. The bullpen is going to need a little work.

2010 - you can't go away soon enough. 2011 - hurry up!!!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Back to blogging!

After a long hiatus Evening Perambulations is back! I have a renewed sense of optimism. There have been lots of changes in the organization since I last posted here - going to take a while to get caught up. Just wanted to say hello again and that I will be here regularly - regardless of how the 2010 campaign ends up. Go M's!!