Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Game 76: Oakland scored more runs than the M's

I decided to start the game recap midgame. It's rare that I can stay up for a West Coast game, so it's nice that this is the garbage I am following. The way this is going, the recap would be boring anyway, so let's see if this makes it more interesting. Right now there's one out in the top of the 8th with OUR BOY Mike Morse coming to the plate.

Halley's Comet. An Adrian Beltre homerun. These are phenomena that come along rarely, so enjoy them while you can. Thank you for the 7 fantasy baseball points though Adrian.

11:48 EST-Morse is workin the count on Joe Blanton. I hate Billy Beane. I hate him for the same reason I hate the Yankees. He is a friggin genius. Blanton and Haren are better than Hudson and Mulder this year. O good-Morse got out.

11:49 EST-Ovilo Leugim is up. Yes, he's up to bat, but more importantly he's up playing in the Majors. WHY?! I love the M's philosophy-if you're young and playing well, you should go back to the minors. Screw you Rene, we're gonna keep the 41 year-old who can't hit, throw, or call a game. He's got some serious potential. Makes perfect sense. And Leugim strikes out.

11:53 EST-Franklin has "settled" after a rocky start. Nothing worse than the opposition scoring early on the M's. Although it's helpful if you have things to get done around the house. Chavez doubles. Perfect.

11:56 EST-Bobby Crosby knocks in Chavez. I was hoping Crosby would go the way of another ROY for the A's, Walt Weiss. How about Walt Weiss though? Who didn't want his, Chris Sabo's, and Jerome Walton's Upper Deck card? My favorite was Bowman though-those gigantic cards were sweet.

11:57 EST-YES! Mariner Magic MVP Ron Villone is coming in.

12:01 EST-Fairly and Dave are talking about Don Drysdale's consecutive scoreless IP streak. Yeah Ron Fairly for being in the game when the streak ended!

12:03 EST-Dave says Villone is looking for a "comfortable hole to push off". Throw the damn ball.

12:05 EST-Nick Swisher turning around to bat right handed. Why not make it interesting and turn your back to Villone. We'll even give you an extra strike.

12:09 EST-Top of the order coming up. Blanton has retired 13 straight. Here are 13 Mariners that I would like to see retire from baseball: Boone, Bloomquist, Borders, Villone, Nelson, Thornton, Boone, Boone, Boone, Boone, Boone, Boone, and Boone.

12:11 EST-An Ichiro K. Wapa!

12:12 EST-There are too many letters in Duchscherer. How is that "Doocher"?

12:12 EST-That's right Adrian. Way to reach on an error. This team just has no quit!

12:15 EST-Sexson you are garbage. Looking??!! I'm so glad I stayed up for this. At least I get to sleep in tomorrow-the joys of teaching never end.

Note: Pardon the bitterness, but this sucks.

PS-The A's will be in playoff contention come September.

I am sorry but I really don't know what to say about that Pile

Well if we are truly show casing Moyer and Boone for a possible trade, last night surely did wonders for our benefit. Moyer gets lit up over 4 innings to a team who are in my opinion are really awful offensively. Moyer to his credit took this with class saying that the loss was his fault and no one else’s. He said in post game comments that he never gave his team a chance. While this can be considered true, even if he had given up 3-4 runs, which is a winnable game, they still would have lost.

I hate the term throwing up the white flag, but is it not time? And what’s the deal with calling up Olivo. For crying out loud did I miss something? Was Rivera playing bad? If I recall he hit his first HR the other day only to be sent down. Great way to boost a guys confidence management. I mean he is still a kid, don’t send him down while he is playing well. All that is going to do is make the kid wonder what he has to do to stay. Rivera did more than we asked and he gets sent down. I don’t know……………………

I am trying to think of a positive from yesterday……………..Ichiro hit a HR………………..Morse got to play still. That’s about it

How surprisingly good in CF has Jeremy Reed been defensively. He must have made Top plays on baseball tonight 4 times last week. He looks like a young Jim Edmonds, I thought that before I heard some commentator said it and its so true he really does look like that.
What else can we say about last night……….Nothing……………The Sonics drafted a 7’-0" French guy who is 19 so that’s good………..

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I am sorry for the lack of Info over the past few days. Two members of our Mariner Magic Panel are out of town and that leave Big daddy to hold down the fort. I unfortunately had a bit of Family trauma lately and have needed to support my mother through a very hard time for her. Needless to say I just wanted to say that no we have not gone and yes things will return to normal this week.

Last night, for those of you that live in Seattle, FSN did something wonderful for us. They re-ran the entire Game 5 1995 Yankee's-Mariners Series. It was incredible to see that again. Very funny hearing the announcers talk about up and coming players Like A-rod, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. I have this game now recorded through friends and it will be a tape I hold onto for the rest of my life. If any lady is every lucky enough to tie big daddy down and have a family this is a game I would love to be able to share with my son.

Anyway Trade rumors abound and as soon as anything falls through rest assured that we here at mariner magic will bring you the details as they happen. It is my personal feeling that anything you can get for Boone is a positive since he walks at the end of the year anyway. Names swirling around seem to be the aforementioned Boone, Moyer and Winn. All guys I like but all guys I have no problem moving to better our, the mariners, future.

Game review coming tonight as the Mariners stumble into Oakland.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Game review, Anyone Angry?

There were some major things about yesterday’s game that need to be addressed. I am officially opening a venting post. This is not so much a game recap post as it is a way for me to just rid myself of pure anger. Lets take a look at some numbers shall we………… Kirk "Freakin" Saarloos over his last 6 starts has gone roughly 5 innings a start, and has struck out a combined total of 2 people. This season in 75 innings pitched Mr. Saarloos has struck out 21 people. Yesterday afternoon not only did Saarloos break his average innings pitched by throwing a complete game, but he struck out a 1/3 of his total strikeouts for the year. He struck out 7 Mariners. That is so unacceptable. This is a number 5 starter. He brings nothing mysterious to the mound. He doesn’t have anything dazzling. His game is to let his defense play behind him and let the bitters hit. Some would say he pitched a beautiful game, however I will not concede that. I feel it was more of what the Mariners didn’t do than anything else.

Richie, I love you man, but your performance yesterday was flat out embarrassing. You struck out 4 times man. That’s is totally unacceptable. You make it very hard for me to defend you to my friends and colleagues when you have performances like yesterday.
This type of thing happens to the Mariners more than any other team. How often do we see an upcoming match-up against a pitcher generally unheard of and then go on to see that Pitcher go 7+ innings of dominating baseball. Then follow that pitcher in his next few starts and watch him get lit up repeatedly.

Talking with Pete yesterday he brought up a good point. Perhaps it is our advanced scouting. I mean this happens all the time. Are our scouts just sloshed when they look at the opposing pitchers. I mean for 8 bucks a beer and the reports the Mariners are getting from their scouts we are way overpaying them!!!! Am I wrong here, am I the only one who thinks this happens to the Mariners an awful lot. And am I the only one who is sick of it?!?!?!?!?!

A second note concerns our pitcher Ryan Franklin. I know he is not a stud pitcher. But lets face it he is a number 5 and more often than not he pitches well enough to win. I am also getting tired of this guy getting ripped and beating in the press and in social mariner groups. Franky gets no run support and hasn’t for 2 ½ years. Franklin has been good about his comments about how bad the offense has been for his starts, yesterday I think he vented a bit. "I could've gone nine innings and given up one run -- doesn't matter, We'd still lose." Franky said. And you know what? Is that untrue? I don’t think so they guy gets a horrendous 2.36 run support per 9 innings. Don’t hate on Franky for his comments, He is a number 5 pitcher and a good one at that. He has every right to be frustrated with the lack of support he receives. He has kept his frustration in check for 2 years now let him vent a bit.

I want to hear what the Mariner Magic faithful have to say on both the Franky front, and the abysmal performance that was yesterdays game. It seems like every time they start to put things together they go and do this……………

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ninja Set-Up Man

Here at Mariner Magic, we seemingly grumble hourly about the M's bullpen: "Grumble grumble Thornton...Nellie!! GRUMBLEGRUMBLE!!...Oh, Villooonne, Bullgrumble!"

However, 20 days from now, all grumbling may subside. I think I can speak for my two cohorts - I probably don't even have to ask - when I say that the unanimous Refusing To Lose bullpen favorite is none other than Rafael "No, not the Ninja Turtle with the red mask, the pitcher" Soriano. He's on the fast track, says the Seattle P-I. And he's coming to an Everett outdoor baseball facility near you.

Our fireballing boy wonder tossed his final simulated game yesterday. [Does that mean he played Nintendo against trainer Rick Griffin? And if so, was it RBI Baseball on the original, or Ken Griffey Jr. on Super?]

Get this: he looked so good against Hansen, Bloomquist and Borders that they immediately put the 20-day minor league rehabilitation phase in motion. Enough said.

My understatement quote of the week is from the newbie catcher, Rene Rivera: "It's better to catch him than to hit against him." Love that.

Soriano, Putz and Mateo are half of the future of the Mariners' bullpen. Mateo might be the top long reliever in the game. Putz and Soriano have the heaters for the back end. One will close (probably Soriano), and one will be the primary set-up man. Throw in a situational lefty (possibly Sherrill), and you have a good, young foundation.

But that's beside the point. With Raffy on the mend, we're going to have to step up the quantity and quality of our bullpen grumblings over the next few weeks...

Game 68: A's 4 M's 2

I thought I'd summarize last night's game from a musical perspective. Here are the songs that sum up the themes of Game 68:

"Back to Life, Back to Reality"by Soul II Soul-After tearing up interleague play, the Mariners came back to the AL and have lost 2 straight to a last place team.

"Double Trouble" by Otis Rush-Richie Sexson hit into two rally-killing double plays.

"Truckin" by The Grateful Dead-Adrian Beltre continues to slowly get himself together. An RBI, and another walk. He is taking a page from Guns N Roses book and showing more "Patience" at the plate.

"Young at Heart" by Frank Sinatra. OK I can't stand Sinatra, but I wanted to give the kids a shout out. Lopez/Reed/Morse went a combined 2-for-9 with an RBI and walk. Ol' Man River Borders got the start over Rivera though.

A tough couple of days for Mariners fans after coming off the Mets sweep. But, Mama Said There'll be Days Like This

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bullpen "Management"

OK I started this on the last post, and decided to make a full post out of this.

"But with our bullpen, it doesn't happen too often"-Mike Hargrove. I'm sorry but from what I have seen this year, it does happen too often. I'd like to take a look at inherited runners statistics with this bullpen when I get a chance, but it seems like a number of times the bullpen hasn't been able to put out the fire when they come into a pressure situation. I don't understand why there are 12 pitchers on the staff to begin with, but that's another story.

Thornton wasn't credited with any of those runs the other day when he came in and let the Mets cut the lead from 6-1 to 6-5. Against the Nationals, he came in with the bases loaded and walked the first two batters. If you look at the "Game 54" entry, I made a comment about Villone giving up runs that were charged to Piniero.

In fact, I will take a second here and look up the relievers numbers. Let's do it by category:

WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched):
Guardado .81
Mateo 1.09
Hasegawa 1.11
Putz 1.26
Nelson 1.5
Villone 1.5
Thornton 1.78

OBA (opponent's batting average):
Guardado .216
Mateo .278
Hasegawa .287
Putz .296
Nelson .365
Villone .371
Thornton .376

Villone 33
Guardado 26
Nelson 26
Putz 25
Hasegawa 22
Mateo 22
Thornton 22

I chose those numbers because ERA doesn't tell the whole story, as many runs are not charge to relievers. A good bullpen will come in with runners on, and clean up the mess, and GET PEOPLE OUT! I chose WHIP because it gives a good indication of how many batters they are(n't) getting out, and OBA because it shows how many hits they are giving up, regardless of the runs they are giving up. If anyone would like to take the time to find inherited runners scored, splits, etc. type numbers, I'd love to see them.

So I have the following questions/thoughts/ramblings....
Clearly Eddie is the best of the bunch. Then Mateo and Shiggy. Do we see how bad Thornton is? Why is he on this team? Why are there 12 pitchers? Shiggy and Mateo should be getting more work. I know Shiggy isn't what he was 2 years ago, but he is clearly better than Nelson and Villone. WHY IS RON VILLONE PITCHING SO MUCH? Easy answer-he is the best lefty option. Maybe he is overworked and getting worn down, but I think its that he sucks. But why Nelson over Shiggy, Mateo, and Putz? The three relievers that came in last night were Villone, Nelson, and Thornton. Their OBAs are 70 points higher than anyone else on the team. They have the three worst WHIPs on the team. We can say Hargrove doesn't have much to work with, and there's the whole lefty thing, but I really question his managment of the bullpen. I say Thornton needs to go, as does Nelson, and bring up Sherrill.

Game 67: A's 6, M's 2

Last night's game would have been a forgettable one from a Mariner perpective, except for what occurred during a memorable - if not stellar - Aaron Sele's start. I was at the game, with my wife, brother, dad, and a pair of friends. From our perch in section 329, row 25, we were witness to one of the most remarkable combinations of luck and defense I've ever seen at a baseball game.

From the beginning, it was obvious the A's had Sele's number. Line drives were shooting all over field. A few found the grass, but nearly every one ended up safe in the leather of a surprised member of the hometown nine. Adrian Beltre lept out of his shoes to snare a shot down the line. Jose Lopez dove to his left to snatch another. Jeremy Reed made two incredible running catches - one diving deep into the right-center gap a la Alex Diaz's famous '95 flop at Yankee Stadium. Randy Winn got a glove on another deep drive in left, nearly hauling it in. And when Oakland's pellets weren't foiled by amazing plays, they were simply smashed right into the webbing, making it easy on M's like Ichiro and Mike Morse.

The way he was pitching, Sele was very fortunate to get through a couple of innings, let alone log six innings. We had a great time at the game, amazed at his good fortune.

The bullpen continued coming back to earth, as Ron Villone and Jeff Nelson gave up the game-deciding runs on homers to M's killers, Kielty and Kotsay. [sidenote: Hmm, still seems like lefties have success with the long ball at Safeco...Swisher, Kielty, Kotsay. Maybe the M's could add some lefty power to take advantage of that someday? Eh? EH?].

Jeremy Reed crushed the ball in three of his four at-bats. Shame he couldn't have pushed that one to the wall a foot or two further.

My early season pick for the AL Cy Young is back from injury to face the M's tonight.

Harden vs. Pineiro. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ode to Fauxturtle - A True Loyalist

An ode to our fake reptilian friend:

In the ever-expanding world of the internet, there are a handful of extraordinary explorers. Call them modern day Magellans of the vast ocean of circuits. They delve into the depths of the virtual deep, investigating the wires and currents like a coral reef, leaving no asterisk unturned. They are the ageless sea tortoises of the World Wide Web, nobly surveying the landscape until they find a item worthy of their interest.

Yesterday, our humble blog, Mariner Magic: Refusing To Lose, had the honor of hosting one such explorer. I'm sure you've heard her legend, but you may not have had the pleasure of seeing her cyberlikeness in an environment as intimate as a weblog. She is Fauxturtle. And her presence is among us.

Much like the life version of her chosen cyber name, Fauxturtle was poking her head around the blogosphere, when her head slipped out of her shell into the light.

As a waterbound creature, she has a natural affinity for those of the marine world. It's only appropriate her favorite baseball team is the Seattle Mariners. When she clicked "Next Blog" that fateful time, she found what she may not have even known she was looking for - a place of comfort and unparalleled optimism; a place where she could rest her tired ears, weary of the whiney wailings of baseball fans in the Bay Area, pleading for the sweet sound of baseball banter from the Northwest.

From her kind words, it's obvious to me she happened upon her heart's desire. Her technically astute prose is a testament to both the wisdom she has gained from her years of exploration, and her undying love for the Mariners. Her brilliant use of the words "mojo" and "beloved" show a clear understanding of what's important in Mariner fandom. Her employment of the compound adjective "sub-par" in description of the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants demonstrates an adequate knowledge of baseball on a national scale.

When it comes down to it, Fauxturtle lives up to the billing. By gracing us with her presence yesterday, it's evident Her Turtleness is a genuine Mariner fan and a truly terrific human being (or seaborn reptile). I only hope we at Refusing To Lose can live up to her lofty review of our blog.

Reading and Readers

In an act of unforgivable plaigarism, everyone's favorite Seattle writer, Art Thiel, waxes on similarly to Refusing To Lose on those Mariner Munchkins. ...Mariner Munchkins is a bit of a stretch, isn't it? It's not as if you can picture Mike Morse and Jose Lopez holding those big lollyipops, clicking their heels together, and singing about the Lollipop Guild. ...Well, maybe Jeremy Reed. We'll work on that here at Mariner Magic, and get back to you.

Speaking of "you," our dear reader(s?), I think it's time to start giving back to you guy(s?). Here's what I'm going to do, given our modest budget here at Mariner Magic:

If one of the Refusing To Lose faithful happens through the site before the end of the Seattle business day (let's say, 4:15), and comments on either this entry, or the one entitled "Game 66: Sweep! ...A New Era", I will dedicate a 100-word post to his or her overall greatness. The comment must be Mariner-related. But let's just say, he or she will be feeling pretty good about themselves after they read this loving, appreciative ode to a loyal reader.

We'll see how this goes, and then decide whether to continue it as a regular Mariner Magic promotional stunt.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Game 66: Sweep! ...A New Era

A genuine Mariner pride is welling up deep within. This weekend, our beloved Mariners cast aside the New York Metropolitans. It really wasn't even close. It was less a baseball series, more a stroll along the slew. Less Leo vs. Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York, more Bruce Willis vs. the asteroid in Armageddon. Yeah, I'd say we pretty much blew 'em in two and sent 'em hurtling into the remote reaches of space. [sidenote: I asked my wife for a good comparison. Her response: Austin Powers vs. Alotta Fagina. Not sure what that means].

There are so many things to be grateful for. The curse of Pedro is broken. A new era of youth has begun. And it's been at least 36 hours since Bret Boone has flailed away hopelessly at a fastball down the middle.

This afternoon's 11-5 drubbing concluded the M's first sweep in over two months, when they broomed aside the hapless Royals in the season's second week. Were it not for more floundering from the aimless Matt Thornton, Seattle's pride might have registered its first double-digit victory in...(not sure I want to research that one).

They've won five of the last six; 13 out of 20. Not bad for a team that took the better part of a third of the season to find its identity. But the surprising part isn't how long it took - it's what they found.

After nearly 3 years of trying to squeeze out every last morsel of that delicious run of the latter half of the 90's through early 2002, the Mariners have happened upon a fresh brand of Mojo. Meet the infield of he future (knock on something wooden, preferably the Light Bat). Beltre. Morse. Lopez. Sexson. Righty Row. The Diamond of Danger. A combined 7-for-16 in the game. A homerun and a double; 5 RBI's scattered about. It may have been game 66, but it seemed like game number one to me.

As for the rest, Ichiro, Raul, and outta-nowhere Rivera smacked three hits apiece. And Gil Meche built on some solid outings with a strong 5.1 innings. Thornton made the box score look messier than it should have been. If Gil continues to throw his curve for strikes, a great second half could be on the horizon.

But let's face it. This weekend is a celebration of youth. Morse and Lopez and Rivera and Reed. They have energy and spunk. They're hitting for contact and average. They're not striking out, overmatched by Major League stuff. The other night, Morse took the best fastball the Bigs has to offer and shot it right back at Billy Wagner himself. Today, they made the soft-tossing, crafty Glavine look tired - Reed went with a pitch low and away and poked it down the left field line for an RBI. Lopez took a pitch on the outer half and shot it up the middle for another. Rivera turned on a fastball for a double, again. This is fun baseball. There are rallies, and the kids are the cause.

A new era has begun. There's a new energy at Safeco. And I'll be there tomorrow night...

...for Game 2.



Step right up and sweep the Mets!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Game 65: Mariners 5 Mets 0

He keeps it in a safe place. It's hidden amongst a few scattered sunflower seeds, but it's there. He breaks it out whenever he needs to, and when he does....look out below if you're sitting in the first row in right field. He did it last night folks. Ichiro brought out the power from his back pocket. A mammoth blast that cleared the right field fence by at least 6 inches, and put away the Mets for good. By the way, he's back. He's got his 1000th hit, and is ready to move on. Back-to-back multi-hit games have pushed him back over the Suzuki line.

Before last night's game, Jose Lopez was recalled from AAA, and Greg "At least I look pretty doing it" Dobbs was sent down. My first reaction was to think that this is the beginning of the end of Bret Boone's career as a Mariner. Lopez would probably share some time at 2nd, then Boone would be moved at the deadline. Then I read the Seattle Times this morning, and my thoughts were driven home. Bavasi and Hargrove had some very interesting quotes in there. Some of my favorites:
-"We don't have the luxury of sending Bret down. So we'll see. If it's needed, we can give him four, five, six days off in a row."
-"he won't sit for long, no. There's a possibility he'll play most of the time he's here at second, [and] a possibility he'll go down in a couple of days."
Bret Boone is making $9 million. He was the MVP of the 2001 team (sorry Ichiro), and in the past the homer management would have forgiven him for any crappy play until his contract ran out. It doesn't look like that's what's going on now. The fact that they even mention him being sent down is amazing. The move coupled with the quotes is very interesting, and even more interesting was the fact that Lopez hit 5th yesterday, and Boone hit 6th. How does Lopez respond? 2-for-4 and an RBI. Stay tuned for more of the Boone saga.

As for the game itself, Jamie Moyer kept the trend of solid starting pitching performances going. He went 7 2/3, and has now given up just 6 ER in his last 5 starts. Over the last ten games, the average M's starting pitching line looks like this:

6+ IP, 5.6 hits, 1.5 ER, 2.3 BB, 2.4 K

The M's are 5-5 in that stretch, mainly due to the offense taking a tour of DC while the Nationals were throwing pitches at them. The K/BB ratio is a little concerning. Really the number of strikeouts period is concerning. But the pitchers are using their defense, and USS Mariner reports that the M's have one of the better defenses in the game.

We'll continue to ride the Mike Morse bandwagon here at Mariner Magic, as he is hitting .413. He made nice catch yesterday which you can check out on the M's official site.

Since losing 10 of 11 in early May, the M's are 17-15, and 17-9 in games not held in the Baltimore-DC Metro area/games that Mike L has attended.

Pedro tonight! Woo hoo! He's 13-0 with a 1.30 ERA against the M's in his career.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Game 63 Mariners 5 Phillies 1

Who is this guy? Aaron Sele has been incredible lately and I really can’t see why. Over his past 5 starts including last nights gem Sele is 4-1 and only gave up more than 2 runs once in the loss to Tampa Bay. He simply has been incredible! Last night he baffled the vigorous Phillies with cut fast balls and snapping curve balls. He seems to work almost better with a man on base. Sele, in he new found resurgence, is able to induce double play balls almost upon command. It’s uncanny to see this unfold during the game once, twice, three times, and sometimes a fourth to close out his night. Last night he only needed one double play but of course it seemed like he planned it.

Sele downplays his performance but numbers don’t lie. Did you all know that in interleague play there is only one man that can call himself Sele’s Equal? That’s correct, Sele is a gaudy 18-7 in his career in interleague play. That’s inconceivable. Greg Maddox is the only man that can call himself Sele’s equal in interleague play. Greg "Hall of Fame bound" Maddox is Sele’s equal.

In last nights game Sele allowed 8 hits and 1 run over 6 innings of work. That one run came in the first inning. Sele gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy "I’m not worth 40 million dollars" Rollins who in turn stole second. Rollins eventually Scored on a Bobby Abreu single. After that Sele shut the Phillies down over the next 5 innings. 7 of the 8 hits were singles and the loan double belonged to Chase Utley in the top of the 6th inning.

Ichiro and Winn powered the Mariners to an early lead with two deep home runs, considering the sources. This lead was never relinquished. Aside from Sele the other major story from last nights game has to be the play of this blog’s boy Mike Morse!! Who said this guy can’t hit? I know his numbers in the minors said he couldn’t, but ether something clicked in or he was just trying to hard. Morse looks comfortable at the plate, comfortable and confident. He looks like a hitter feels like a hitter, and as of his call up is a hitter. Morse is only knocking the ball around at a cool crisp .395, which is 15-38 since his call up.

While it is obvious that he can’t keep this pace up it is great to see him play so well. Last night he belted his first major league homerun a rising line drive out of left field. Morse must not have wanted to enjoy it too much though because he ran that homerun out like it was an inside the park shot. I think as the trade deadline approaches the Mariners should trade Boone and bring up Lopez, lets really get into the middle infield of the future.
While we got swept in DC I think that was a case of a hot team running into a scorching team.

The Mariners are back to winning another series. That’s what it’s all about. Hopefully Joel can follow in the success of the first two games of this series.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Game 62: Mariners 3, Phillies 1

Louisiana native Gil Meche turned in his best performance of the season, allowing just one run on three hits in eight innings to the hottest team in baseball. Now that's some tastey cajun cookin'.

Those who obsess about important statistics such as K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) will dismiss this game as an aberration - Meche mashed just four last night. Those who saw Gil's curveball snapping shut over the outside corner, look at intangibles such as confidence, and believe in the general goodness of Louisiana will see the outing as a good omen for a rotation looking for a pitcher who at least roughly resembles an ace. You choose.

In other news, Ichiro reached 1,000 hits in 696 games. He is the third fastest to that milestone. Less encouraging is the fact he continues to lift the ball to right field and swing at pitches up in the strikezone. He seems to be hitting the ball hard, which isn't necessarily a great sign. By my observation, the more he finesses the ball and bangs it into the ground, the higher his average climbs. It's odd, but it seems like the more he squares up pitches, the more often he gets out. Anyone else have a similar observation?

Dave Hansen hit a line-drive homer for an insurance run - who cares, it would be nice if a regular would go deep. Eddie Guardado continued his pinpoint controll with a mediocre fastball, which apparently translates to closing dominance.

Overall, a good day for pinch-hitter types and spicy southeastern ciusine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Greatest Mariner Ever


Great article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about George Kenneth Griffey, Jr.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday Reading

A few things for your reading enjoyment:

-USS Mariner has done a piece on our light-hitting RFer: I-CHI-RO!

-They also brought up the question of how to approach any moves made this year: What Would Bavasi Do?

-The Seattle P-I has Beltre likely to miss some time: This guy can't catch a break

-Also in The Seattle Times: BOONE IS A CLOWN!

-The Onion reports the Special Olympics is under fire: Performance Enhancers

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Game 60: Nationals 2 Mariners 1 and Game 61 Nationals 3 Mariners 2

O FOR 6!!!!! I've been to 6 Mariners games this year. Add this sweep to the Orioles sweep I witnessed a few weeks back and I have seen 6 losses.

Morse is sucking defensively. He also struck out three times today. But there's something about him you just can't help liking. My mom is a big fan.

Beltre gets two doubles in today's game. And what happens? He is Day-to-Day.

Crap! The Nationals are hot. What can you say?

I don't feel like saying anything more. Perhaps my colleagues and you all in the blog universe would like to add something else.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Game 59: Nationals 9 Mariners 3

What an incredibly original outfield Posted by Hello

What a suckfest. I witnessed this game in RFK. If you've been to Riverfront, The Vet, Three Rivers, or Busch, you've been to RFK. People can say what they want about the Vet and other crappy stadiums, but nothing even touches the Kingdome. Take all the crappiness of the ashtray cookie-cutter stadiums, and put a roof on top.

Now to the game. Things were looking really good for 6 innings. Joel pitched well, and the M's were capitalizing on the Nationals mistakes. The M's looked like the superior team. The Sexson blast was mammoth. People there were saying that's the longest one they've seen in that stadium.

Oh but then came the 8th inning. This wasn't a bullpen explosion. This was bullpen nuclear holocaust. We left after Thornton walked in his 2nd straight man with the bases loaded.

Before that happened, there were a couple of rookie mistakes. Up 3-2, Villone had two chances to get out of the 7th. First Rivera dropped a foul tip strike three, then Morse double-clutched out number three, letting the tying run score. Morse looked pretty nifty around the bag (that sentence dripped with cliche) on an earlier double play, and actually made the hard part of the play in the 7th. He made a nice grab in the hole, but you could just see he wanted to get that third out so badly he rushed it. His 3 hits were of course nice to see.

My brother pointed out that the starting battery was "Joel" and "Rene".

Beltre looked like crap at the plate. I have received a request for more links on the blog, so here is a Los Angeles Times article about Beltre and his sadness. He's a good guy, and it'd be great to see him get going.

Want more links? You got it! Here's the crapbag ESPN Box Score

Friday, June 10, 2005

Game 58: Mariners 8 Marlins 0

Three weeks ago as you listened to KJR AM or read the various sporting news outlets all you would hear is let Sele go, bring up some young guy instead of trotting Sele out there. That was three weeks ago. Sele over his past 5 starts has gone a gaudy 34 and a third innings of baseball, which is almost 7 innings a start. He has a combined ERA of 1.573 and he ahs struck out 15. During this resurgence Sele has gone 3-1 and quieted his most vocal critics, i.e. Softy Softerson of KJR AM.

In last nights performance over 7 strong innings Sele scattered 5 hits and not once did a runner pass second base. This was a truly remarkable outing for a pitcher who at one point was believed to be washed up. While his curve no longer wow’s me as it did during his prior stint with the Mariners it is still effective and I can’t help but to wonder if perhaps he is taking a page out of Moyer’s book. He seems to be learning to really work with the umpire, feel him out and exploit the zones the umpire is giving for the night.

I also have to give Sexson more props. He is the most clutch hitter with runners in scoring position we have had in a long time. I cannot stress how happy I am that we signed this guy. I remember talking with Pete and Mike in the off-season and saying he is the guy I want them to get. Both Pete and Mike were on the Delgado wagon, and how can you blame them that guy is a MAN-BEAST. Of course I would have been happy with Delgado but Sexson made more sense to me since he was a local guy, hits for power in any park, and is a solid 1st basemen. And other than average, which I don’t care about from my power hitter, are Delgago’s numbers better? No they aren’t in fact Sexson, again other than average, has been one of the most productive bats in the game

Back to the game, the defense is reminding me of earlier teams, you know the Harlod Reynolds, Omar Vizquel teams. The ones that led the league year after year in Double plays turned. Last night was no exception as they turned 3 double plays to help Sele out. Morse at SS looks really good. He is a large target for Beltre and Sexson to fire at when attempting to turn DP’s.
It seems like the Mariners are really taking advantage of other teams mistakes. Juan Pierre booted Sexson’s single that allowed Beltre to score and as it turns out that was all we needed. But am I wrong in saying that I feel like the Mariners are playing really solid defense? They are hanging around games until the other team makes the mistake and then taking advantage of the opportunities given to them. If this is true, as I believe it is, it could mean that this team is poised for a serious run. The Boppers are starting to hit, the pitching is keeping us in games and out defense is very solid.

This win gave the Mariners 6 series wins over their last 8 series played. I really believe things are starting to click for these guys. It looks like they are having fun again. Smiles abound in Mariners land as we head into the Nations Capital!

Mike Morse is looking better and better everyday. Oh ya I am on the Morse Band Wagon!!!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


The M's traded Wilson Valdez to the Padres for RHP Michael Bumstead and RHP R.D. Spiehs. They're both AAA relievers but, more importantly, they are 2 human beings. This may be Bavasi's shining moment. He got two people for Valdez.

Also...the Rangers designated Ryan Drese for assignment. He was their Opening Day starter. I'd at least take him over Sele.

Game 57: Marlins 5 Mariners 4

I saw parts of this game through the ESPN bonus coverage during the Red Sox-Cardinals rain delay. The most important thing I determined from this game is this:

Mark McLemore is a decent colorman. He doesn't say anything earth-shatterring, but I'd much rather listen to him than the arrogant Tim McCarvers, Joe Morgans, Jeff Brantleys, and Rick Sutcliffes of the world. Those guys suck.

Beltre 3 hits? WOO!

I think Meche just enjoys throwing as many pitches as he possibly can to each batter.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Free Agent Face Off

When I browsed through the June schedule and realized the Mariners would face the Florida Marlins for the first time ever, two words came to mind. Strangely, they weren’t “Oh, crap” or “starting pitching” or “Wazzup Dontrelle?” They were “Carlos Delgado.” Yes, the newest fish in the school was the first thing that popped to mind.

I spent much of the off-season tooting my Delgado horn all over the blogosphere, hoping against hope the M’s could land that ever-elusive sweet left-handed power stroke. My words fell upon deaf ears, and the Marlins struck a deal with the former Jay, similar to the one the M’s gave Sexson. Two months into the season, both deals seem to have worked out, at least for the time being. Delgado has knocked around NL pitchers to the tune of 11 HR, 37 RBI, and averages of .315, .406 OB, and .565 SLG. Meanwhile, Sexson has swatted 13 HR and driven in 44, with a .505 SLG. However, I feel the M’s will one day regret their choice in first baseman.

Beltre has struggled shifting leagues, but in the end, I believe Beltre’s right-handed bat is the best of the three free agents, and will prove to be a bargain for the $64 million the M’s invested. Sexson has been good, but I would have preferred a Delgado-Beltre coupling, for several reasons.

If I had my druthers, I would have at least one left-handed bat on the infield, especially on a team that has to play at Safeco Field. On the infield, it’s rare that you’ll find a non-switch-hitting lefty anywhere but first base, so if things stay true to form, the Mariners won’t have a lefty on the infield for at least four more years. Assuming Adrian Beltre sticks at third, Jose Lopez takes over at second, and one of the young shortstop prospects comes through, the Mariners will have righties across the diamond. That leaves five slots in the batting order to fill in lefties who can reach the seats in right field. That wouldn’t be much of a problem if we didn’t have a slap hitter in right field (Ichiro) and another singles and doubles type in center (Reed). Ibanez isn’t a bad DH, but he’s far you’re your typical homerun hitter. That leaves left field and catcher as spots for lefty power. Hopefully, Jeff Clement foots the bill behind the plate…but are you catching my point?

The M’s currently have pretty much zero left-handed power, and not much to speak of on its way from the minors. Snelling and Choo won’t hit any more out than Raul. Ideally, the M’s would have three left-handed boppers with that reachable right field porch. This is why locking in first base with a righty was a mistake. It doesn’t give them many options. They have lefties, but not much power. Delgado would have solved that problem. He would have allowed them to alternate right-lefty in the middle of the order like the in the 90’s rather than clogging it with Beltre-Sexson-Boone.

We’ll see how it all pans out, but sandwiching Delgado, who makes much better contact than Sexson, between Beltre and Boone would have given those dominant AL right-handed pitchers more to think about when trying to plow through the middle of the order.

Let’s see how Bavasi can create some more flexibility.

Quick Draft Recap

Overall I'm happy with what the M's accomplished in the draft. I'll get into that later, but here's a rundown of what the M's did with their first 5 picks (Rounds 2 and 3 were "pickless" because of the the Belsextreson signings). You'll have to scroll down to read the scouting reports when you click on the link):

Round 1: Jeffrey Clement -C- USC Story

Round 4: Justin Thomas -LHP- Youngstown State (2005 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year) Scouting Report

Round 5: Stephen Kahn -RHP- Loyola Marymount (2004 WCC Pitcher of the Year)Scouting Report

Round 6: Lance Lynn -RHP- Brownsburg, Indiana (Apparantly threw 189 pitches in a high school game. Has signed with Ole Miss) Scouting Report

Round 7: Robert Rohrbaugh -LHP- Clemson Scouting Report

What I like the most about this is that there is an abundance of college pitchers. That tells me the Mariners are moving away from the traditional high school phenom approach. As I said in a previous post, college pitchers have a better track record in the bigs. This in addition to the following has made me feel good about the direction the organization is going:
1. The Freddy trade from last year in which the FO made a move to get some good, young talent
2. The offseason aggressiveness
3. The recent Olivo, Valdez/Morse moves which attempted to address the catcher and shortstop problems (as best they could at this point in the season)
4. The hiring of Matt Olkin, giving them an in-house stat geek with sabermetrics influence on moves they make

This season and offseason will also be a good test for the front office, but so far I like what I see.

Here is the entire first day actionDay One

And Lookout Landing was cool enough to post the continued draft results today...It keeps going and going....

The Third Amigo

In every phase of life, there are stragglers. Those who dutifully follow the leader. Those who mooch off the ideas of others. Those who benefit from the initiative of groundbreakers. In the world of Mariner Magic: Refusing To Lose, I am that straggler. My name is Pete. Feel my mooch.

P Whit

I'm a huge baseball fan. I have a difficult time holding back tears during certain James Earl Jones monologues. October is sacred. My first heroes were Jimmy Pressley and Alvin Davis. I take great pride in the fact that my little league Kirk Gibson glove is autographed by the likes of Tino Martinez and Pete O'Brien.

I fancy myself a sabremetrics believer. Numbers are cool; nifty multipliers, exciting. However, as a child of the '95 season, I can't help myself from buying into the intangibles and chemistry of it all. Let's face it people: numbers don't win games, Luis Sojo and Doug Strange win games.

I've always loved Junior. I stubbornly believe he will hit 56 homers every year for the rest of the 21st century. Don't be shocked when you see an Ichiro, Beltre, Sexson, Felix, Safeco Field, plus Bavasi's right arm for Griffey Jr. trade proposal at every turn. ...I'll try to spare you from that.

I’m also a Northwesterner. I live in suburban Sammamish. I’m of a relatively normal height. Mike and Travis are really tall. I’ve known Travis since first grade, when the big goof became the man child center of the juggernaut elementary school basketball team, the Dickinson Dragons. We went through a lot in the ensuing 12 years, especially during an infamous ninth grade playoff run (maybe we’ll get to that sometime). Mike and I met in high school and shared a similar experience junior year, buried in classics such as Ethan Frome, The Merchant of Venice, and Word Smart during a grueling advanced English course. Forgive us if we’ve forgotten how to use “verisimilitude” in a sentence.

You can imagine the honor I felt when my gigantic friends asked me to hop on as co-author of this prestigious Mariner-loving enterprise. The sheer magnitude of the readership was enough to send shivers down my scrawny spine. I hope that together we can take this blog where no blog has gone before. I’ll only say this once: I believe that one day, this weblog will have the clout to lift Mt. Rainier from its Northwest soil and drop it on top of Yankee Stadium.

Hope you enjoy our wayward thoughts.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Game 56: Mariners 4 Marlins 3

Tonight defines the term ugly win. At least from the perspective of someone watching the internet updates. Seemed like neither team really wanted it. Nelson BALKED in a run. Are we in Little League? But good teams tend to pull games like this out. Does that mean the M's are a good team? Eh.....not sure yet.

Couple of highlights: Ibanez keeps coming up with big hits. I'm becoming a fan of Morse. Him and Rivera have made things interesting lately. Beltre will make me cry soon if he keeps this up.

I questioned a couple of Hargrove's decisions, as any armchair GM would, but the one that confused me the most was using Greg Dobbs to pinch-hit for Shiggy in the 8th. Reed was on the bench. Why not hit him? Dobbs is hitting a FAT .161 on the year. But, it worked out. Lucky you Grover.

Tomorrow is an intriguing matchup. Dontrelle vs. Meche. I'd love to see Meche step it up like I know he can!

Box Score

The M's Need to Get......Volume 1

Mike L: Kyle Davies-Pitcher-Atlanta Braves
The M's staff is 20th in the league in ERA, and dead last in strikeouts. After adding to the offense in 2004 with the trade for Jeremy Reed, and the Sexson and Beltre signings, it's time to think about the future of the pitching staff. Assuming Moyer and Sele will be gone, that leaves Meche, Pineiro, and Franklin in the current rotation for 2006. Um...they need another starter.

Baseball America ranks Davies as the 53rd best prospect overall, and the 15th best right hander. He is the Braves top pitching prospect, and has pitched well so far in his first 4 starts for the Braves this year (2-1, 0.77 ERA, 1.9 K/BB, 1.41 WHIP), which included an impressive debut win over Boston. He strikes batters out (9.1 K/9 in 2003 in A ball, 10.9 K/9 in 2004 over three levels). Oh, and he's 21.

How can they get him? The Braves are having closer issues. Danny Kolb has lost the job. The M's should take the Billy Beane approach here and move their "stud" closer to a contending team that needs one. I'd love if the M's could pull off Guardado straight up for Davies. The Braves traded their top pitching prospect for a closer last winter when they moved Jose Capellen to the Brewers for Kolb, which may cause them to be a little reluctant. But they do have other good prospects, and Leo Mazzone works wonders with every pitcher that comes his way. The M's could agree to part of Eddie's $6 million contract (say $2 million), which would still free up another $4 million this offseason to go after a top pitcher, on top of the money freed up with Boone ($9 mil), Moyer ($8 mil), and Shiggy's ($3.2 mil) contracts coming off the books. The 2006 rotation would then look something like this: Free Agent, Davies, Pineiro, Meche, Felix. I like it. Let's do it! There is a chance the Braves would want more than Eddie, ie Randy Winn. I love Randy Winn and would hate to see him go, but Snelling and Choo are waiting in the wings and it may be a necessary sacrifice to improve the pitching staff.

Travis: Zack Greinke-Pitcher-Kansas City Royals
Key Stats: IP = 66.0; W-L = 1-7; ERA = 4.91; Ks = 40; BB = 16

Here is a nice link about him: Greinke

First off the guy is 21 years old. He is a converted SS to pitcher and seems to have a really good grasp of the game. His record this year is awful however take into account who he plays for. He receives little run support and 5 of his 7 losses were "Quality starts". This means his record on a decent team could easily be a winning record, possibly a dominant record.

Reports say he throws form the high 80's to low 90's with great control. The guy has a lights out slider and a above average change. He is working on a curve that we saw him throw a few times this spring when Mike and I were both at spring training. Greinke has a tremendous upside and I think putting him with Brian Price and Jamie Moyer would do wonders for his pitching education.

The rotation with him in it would be really young, which I think is a good thing. Pinero, Meche, Madritch, Felix the cat, Greinke. I like that a lot. Franky move to pen, I love the guy but he is a great long reliever and he could hang around the game for years and years if he would embrace that roll.

So how do we get him? That’s the tough thing. What don't the Royals need? Well your going to have to give up a lot to get him and that probably means prospects. I think you package a major leaguer i.e. Randy Winn along with Olivo and a prospect. In return you will receive Greinke and a prospect from KC. Deal them Olivo because he has Major League time and the Royals are struggling with John Buck. Money to sign Greinke comes available this off season.

One other option would be to get involved in a three team trade in which the mariners receive Greinke and the Royals gain prospects while loosing Sweeny and Greinke. I don't know how to even start theorizing who the third team is but Sweeny is out there and I would think Boone is too. Hmmm interesting thought, there has to be a contender that would want those two......

Monday, June 06, 2005

Draft Day!

The Mariners hold the 3rd overall pick in this year's draft, being held tomorrow. With a pick that high, you go for best player available. There are rumors flying all over the place. Baseball America has the Diamondbacks taking Justin Upton. USS Mariner has posted rumors that the Diamondbacks will go pitching. John Sickels has been running this mock draft on his site, which has the M's taking Long Beach State SS Troy Tulowitzki.

If the Diamondbacks take a pitcher, then it is likely that the M's will take either Upton, or University of Nebraska 3B Alex Gordon. If Gordon and Upton are gone, then it's likely Tulowitzki. The top pitchers available are righties Mike Pelfrey of Wichita State, Craig Hansen from St. John's, and Luke Hochever from U. of Tennessee. The M's really can't go wrong with any of those guys. I say go with a position player, but the nice thing about those pitchers is they are all college pitchers, who have a much higher success rate in the majors.

Let's just hope they don't do something stupid.

Game 55 Mariners 6 D-Ray's 5

What can you say about this game? Moyer starts out and looked awful for the first few innings then proceeds to cruise through 6 innings striking out 6 in 126 pitches. That’s really not that many pitches for a guy like Moyer, he really doesn’t have the same amount of stress on his arm that other guys would have. It was good to see the "Money Boys" ie Richie and Adrian come through in the 9th. Beltre nabbing his 1000th career hit, which he was apparently unaware of. And then Richie doing what he does best, driving in runs. Richie has been worth every penny that the mariners spent on him this past off-season. Some complain about his average, but how can you argue with your number 4 batter hitting 13 HR and driving in 44 RBI’s. That’s MONEY WELL SPENT end of story. I for one could care less that he is hitting .250. Keep it up Richie!!!

At the end of the day the Mariners have won 3 straight series and 7 of their last 9. That my friends looks to me like things are getting better. This upcoming series will be tough, check back later for a preview of the Mariners Marlins series as I break down the pitching match-ups which look to be simply incredible!! Start Morse more get the man some reps!!!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Game 54: Mariners 6 Devil Rays 5

What a weird night. The M's were getting breaks all over the place. What's that all about?

Good to see Joel pitch well. Him and Meche need to keep going out there and working out there issues. They are young and talented, and can be a big part of the M's future. Ron Villone was awful. He's doing this year what Shiggy did last year after a good season. It's a crime that all those runs were charged to Joel.

I feel bad for Lou. It's not like when he came to Seattle and was able to be part of a team that was building. The DRays are going nowhere in that division. Maybe he can scout Florida for the M's or something.

Here's the Box Score

Friday, June 03, 2005

Game 53: Devil Rays 6 Mariners 1

I didn't watch this game. I didn't listen to this game. I didn't follow this game on the internet. But seriously-did I really need to? The Mariners lost 6-1 to the Devil Rays at home. 5 hits? 3 of which came from Raul Ibanez. It's astonishing tha Aaron Sele is handed the ball every 5 days and is expected to win a major league ballgame.

Well, at least Beltre went 1 for 3 instead of 1 for 4. He's coming around people!!! I have heard the argument for switching Beltre and Ibanez. That might make sense if the rest of the team weren't sucking so bad. Ibanez would get more ABs, and Beltre's obsession with getting out would be less detrimental to the team from the 5 spot. Beltre himself seems to think it's mental.


Welcome to Mariner Magic

Travis and Mike are officially joining the Seattle Mariner blogosphere. As fun as it is to discuss the Mariners in our circle of friends, we decided it was time to hear what other people have to say about our ideas.

We are new to this and are looking to build a following here. We're not trying to outdo USSMariner, Lookout Landing, or any of the other existing blogs that provide a great outlet for so many M's fans. We just want to have a place to voice our opinions, ideas, and thoughts and engage people in thoughtful discussion about the team we love.

We plan on adding new posts on a daily basis. This will include your standard items like game recaps and roster transactions, thoughts on current Mariners news, other baseball news, and anything else we think is worth talking about.

We also will have some special feature posts. To start with, we will have a weekly feature called "The M's Need to Get....." in which we will both pick a player we think the M's should go after, and attempt to create a scenario in which it could happen. As we gain experience, we hope to add even more features.

A little about us:
Mike L-My name is Mike Laskowski. I grew up in Unicorportated King County, Washington (aka Sammamish). I spent my early baseball years idolizing Mark Langston and Alvin Davis. Then George Kenneth Griffey, Jr. entered my life. I had a real baseball hero. I was in high school during the mid-90s runs. I went to college at Penn State, but was lucky enough to be home during the summer of '01. The 2000 and 2001 ALCS losses to the Yankees were spent in my college house. Many things were thrown whenever Arthur Rhodes showed up during those series. I currently live in Baltimore and watch the latest M's versions suck from afar. I am looking forward to putting what I think into writing for others to rip apart. Go M's!

Travis- My name is Travis Goodfellow. Like Mike I grew up in Unincorporated King County, Washington however my hometown is considered Redmond. I moved to Washington in 1st grade and was not into any sports at that time. I remember moving out here and attending my first Mariners game not to long after getting settled in a new home with my family. The game holds only one memory and that is that every time Bill Spiers came to bat the fans booed louder than anything I had ever heard. This was due to his brawl instigation from the night before. After that game I attended a few more with growing intrigue. Slowly I became hooked on the team, worshipping players like Harold Reynolds, Dave Valle, Junior, Edgar, Buhner, Randy etc etc. I loved some of our rent-a-players too, David Segui was one of my personal favorites, along with the Sheriff who really is more than a rent a player. The team has been a huge part of my life for going on 20 years now, Mike and I bleed Mariner blue and have decided to put or passions into text so that others may begin to see how nuts we really are. No lets turn this team around and return to the dominance of years past, WHERE WE BELONG!!!