Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sorry Bill

So, I was wrong about Miguel Batista's contract. And it looks like he is more excited than Vidro about joining the M's. I was holding out hope when I read the paper on Saturday, but I guess the Jose Vidro trade actually did happen.

The interesting part of the Batista article was Bavasi seeming to get defensive about his horrible moves:

Asked if he was concerned about negative fan reaction, general manager Bill Bavasi replied: "I'm the one dealing in the market. I know what the market is. I know what's available. The reaction is probably a whole lot different if I drag you with me for a month, and you see what it's like."

You think the Magic is getting to him? I'm sure that Bill Bavasi knows more about baseball than me. But, what do you think his response would be to Keith Law? Law, after all, worked in the Toronto front office, so I assume that he knows what he is talking about. Yet, his reaction to the trades for Horacio Ramirez and Vidro (scroll down for the Ramirez deal, you can't miss the headline) were only slightly less restrained than ours. And he writes for ESPN.com, so I would assume that he has to be a little more diplomatic than we do. Here are some of Mr. Law's choice comments (and you really should take the time to read the whole thing; they aren't very long) on the Vidro deal:

I have no idea what the Mariners were thinking. None. I had to take two ibuprofen tablets after I learned about the deal so that I could write this analysis.

And on trading Rafael Soriano:

The Braves picked up their probable future closer in exchange for a player whom they almost certainly would have non-tendered next week. The Mariners made themselves worse for no apparent reason other than fear.

This is an outside observer with no rooting interest.

I have a hard time believing that the M's couldn't have gotten more for Soriano than they did. The rumors surrounding Mike Gonzalez involve the Pirates getting Melky Cabrera, who, along with Phillip Hughes, had previously been considered off-limits for trades. Soriano is younger and better than Gonzalez. How did the M's only get Horacio Ramirez?

Maybe the market is that bad. I mean, what do I know? Still, I'm no economist, but if the "market" was only allowing Bavasi to get less than fair-market value for good prospects, well, then maybe it was a good time to stay out of the market. The Ramirez trade could be justified by reasoning that the M's needed a starting pitcher to throw the ball every fifth day. So, I suppose there is an argument to be made that Bavasi was in a position where he had to take less than full value to get a starter to fill out the rotation.

But, is trading for an expensive, injury-plagued contact hitter to DH out of the second spot in the line-up really going to make a noticeable improvement in the team's offense? I can see not wanting to rush pitchers up from the minors before they are ready to take the full-load of a major league season, but why not just call up Jeff Clement to DH instead of getting rid of a young, talented hitter who just can't seem to stay healthy and a young, hard throwing pitcher who needs to work on his control? Those seem like the players that you gamble on. Why gamble $16 million over the next two years on Jose Vidro staying healthy at age 33?

It has been a frustrating week to be a Seattle sports fan. The Seahawks fell apart and failed to clinch against the 49ers at home. (For those who are reading this immediately after coming out of a coma that began in 1991: Joe Montana doesn’t play for the 49ers anymore.) The Hornets' owner announced that they are going back to/staying in New Orleans, leaving Oklahoma City without an NBA franchise. One would think that since the M's are not playing that they could at least avoid depressing their fan base. I guess that would be too much to ask.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Farkin' Hell

So when I said this...

We'll see what Bavasi is made of.

I didn't think Bill Bavasi would proceed to make baseball moves that a learning-disabled ferret could make.

I was planning on my next post being a heartfelt goodbye to Gil Meche, but then shit happened.

The hardest part about living across the country from the teams (and parents-love you Mom and Dad!!) you love is not being surrounded by fellow fans and therefore not being able to share your joys and frustrations on a daily basis. My Mariners lunch box (complete with the old school trident) isn't noticed by my co-workers, and certainly the majority of people I run into in Baltimore don't give a rat's ass that the Mariners have gutted their future for mediocre players.

Mariner fans have seen some bad trades. Especially this combination of deals. But, at least those were in the middle of a pennant race. The M's won the AL West that year. And, they filled a need. I'm just not seeing what Bill Bavasi is doing this time around.

I think there are three kinds of bad trades in baseball. The first two are judged immediately, and the third is judged in the long term:
1. Giving away quality players to get lesser players in return.
2. Trading for a similar player that comes at a much higher price.
3. Giving away prospects for veterans to "win now", only to see the veterans not produce and the prospects go onto stardom.

The Soriano trade covers the first one. The Vidro trade may just cover all three of those. Seriously....

1. Snelling and Fruto combined are more valuable than Vidro. Snelling and Vidro have essentially the same issues (injuries), but Snelling is younger, cheaper, and better. Fruto, as Chris pointed, is not the type of arm you just give away. Oh wait, the Mariners do just give away those types of arms.
2. Even if you consider Snelling and Vidro about even, Snelling comes much cheaper.
3. Vidro is declining, and the Mariners aren't going to win the Sequim, Washington 12-year old All-Star tournament with the team they're throwing out there this year.

This f'ing sucks.

What's Goin On?

The text message I received from Mike this morning:

The M's are killing me with these moves

But, before I address the Mariners directly, allow me to comment again on Daisuke Matsuzaka. When I saw that he signed for six years and $52 million (and yes, as far as I can tell, that was the front page, above-the-fold story in the Boston Globe this morning), I did some quick calculations. Now, I used to teach third graders about estimating, so I am pretty well versed in the art of mental math, and it comes out to less than $9 million per season for Matsuzaka. Of course, the Red Sox will have shelled out around $103 million total for Matsuzaka, or an average of over $17 million per season, but he will see just over half of that. (When I opened the paper this morning, I saw that Thomas Boswell came to the same conclusion: Scott Boros might actually be in the right this time.)

This made me immediately think: Wait a second, didn't the Mariners just sign Miguel Batista for 3 years and $27 million? And doesn't that come out to an even $9 million per year? And doesn't that mean that after all of the hype around Matsuzaka that Miguel Batista will be cashing bigger paychecks for the next three years? And isn't Batista 36? At least he doesn't pitch with his birth certificate.

And, then: Wait a second, didn't Gil freaking Meche just sign with the Kansas City freaking Royals for more money and fewer years? So, five years from now, Gil Meche will have made more money than Daisuke Matsuzaka and have the freedom to sign with any team he wants to the following year?

Something is obviously wrong with this whole posting system when the Seibu Lions just got a check for more than triple their entire payroll. Workers of the world unite!

Anyway, back to the Mariners. Welcome Jose Vidro. I actually heard about this trade last night on the local news here in D.C. George Michael reported on a trade that the Nationals had just completed with the Seattle Mariners, and did not at any point during the report identify the two minor leaguers that the Nationals had obtained. He closed his report thusly:

So, the Nationals have traded Jose Vidro (with an inflection that indicated that he equated Vidro's worth as somewhere in the range of Honus Wagner - a living Honus Wagner that is) for two minor leaguers that you will never hear of . . .

At this point in his sentence, it seemed to dawn on Mr. Michael that these two guys were going to play for the baseball team that his network covers on a regular basis, so he added:

until they become huge stars in the major leagues. And it will happen, but it won't happen in my lifetime.

It reminded me of my mother complaining about George Michael's anti-west coast bias in his national "Sports Machine" broadcasts when I was young. (But, if you are ever in the DC viewing area, don't miss the local NBC news on George's account - though, to be fair, I actually think he is pretty good most of the time - because Jim Vance of NBC 4 is probably among the top five news disseminators of all time. He is really that good.)

So I checked this morning, and it turns out that the Nats will be getting Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto. I guess getting rid of Snelling could be justified: he can't stay healthy, and the M's have a glut in the outfield. And, it's not like the M's just gave away an electric bullpen arm. Why would they want to hold on to a pitcher like Fruto and his 55/21 K/BB ratio at AAA last year and his 9.9 K/9 IP combined between AAA and the show who is only 22 and now has some major league experience under his belt and has improved in his second year at each level through the minors? Dime a dozen.

Well, at least they got something good in return. What did they get? I guess that depends on who you ask. ESPN.com suggests that they got a 2B and that Jose Lopez would move to 3B, allowing the M's to trade away Adrian Beltre. The P-I notes that Vidro played some at 1B last year. So, are they implying that Sexson gets traded? Finally, the Seattle Times lets us know that the only reason that Vidro waived his no-trade clause is because he was promised to be able to DH so he could rest his oft-injured legs. Nothing ironic there? You traded for a guy by convincing him that he will have a chance to rest the chronic injuries that have put his career in decline? And you agreed to take on the bulk of his salary to get it done too? Bavasi should be a hostage negotiator.

At least Jose is excited about his new team. Here is what he had to say in today's Washington Post:

I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to go to the American League and play for a team that has a pretty good shot. They have a legitimate lineup, and they're going to sign some pitchers. It's looking very good.

I wonder if he thinks the M's have a really great sense of humor too. "Pretty good shot" at what? Do you think by "legitimate" he meant that they had a good chance of finding nine players to fill each of the spots in the lineup?

You think he got a promise that Miguel Batista and Horacio Ramirez weren't the end of the road? Or, maybe he just forgot that the M's had already signed a pitcher. I wish I could.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No Schmidt Sherlock

Or, as Fox put it-Schmidt happens.

So, it's Schmidt to the Dodgers. Interesting. Extremely interesting.

I wasn't a huge fan of signing Schmidt, but the M's absolutely have to bring in at least one quality pitcher. But, who? Zito has already been offered 6 years by Texas. No reason at all to give him 6 years. I don't even know if Johan Santana is worth a 6-year contract. That leaves Ted Lilly, who I like. Kinda. But, I worry about what he's going to demand on the market, especially now that Schmidt is gone. Meche? Um, no. Rumors have him gettin $10 million. Sorry, Gil, you know have a special place in my heart, but it's time to let go.

I commented on this in the other post, but I'm a huge fan of this this rumor. Essentially, it's Sexson and Soriano for Tim Hudson and Adam Laroche. Absolutely love that deal. Laroche is a good lefty power bat, and Hudson is not Gil Meche. If that goes down, the rotation would be:

Warm Body
Warm Body

Warm bodies = Woods, Baek, etc. I like the John Thomson idea as the #4 guy. That would be a pretty solid rotation. Not 95-win solid, but better than last year.

We'll see what Bavasi is made of.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Things happen on weekends

Especially when you don't have access to the Internet. Apparantly the Mariners have signed Jose Guillen. I like the signing for a few reasons I'll get into, but it inspired one of the funniest things I've read in a while from Jeff at Lookout Landing:

I imagine a party with Jose Guillen involves Tecate by the gallon, militant graffiti, and at least one guy getting stabbed.

But, I do like the signing because it's low-risk and it shows Bavasi isn't getting sucked in by the this winter's insanity. Of course, there are plenty of crappy deals to be given to crappy players. Guillen can be flat-out nasty (both the good and bad) at times, but if he isn't (or is, depending on your definition), it's only a one year deal and the M's aren't stuck with him.

It looks like John Thomson is going to be a Mariner too. Again, I like the move for basically the same reasons as the Guillen signing. If the only crazy move the M's make this offseason is Jason Schmidt, I'll be fine with that. I can handle waiting until 2008 or 2009 to be competitive if it means avoiding this winter's insanity.

MLB.com owes me some sort of commission for the amount of links I just provided to their website.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New World Order

Keeping with the 80s-Republican-presidents-theme: remember the first Bush? He was fond of speaking of a new world order. I remember it mostly from samples on the second album released by the rapper Paris, an album that was more than slightly critical of Mr. Bush and his policies. (To avoid having Alberto Gonzales shut down the Magic, I'll skip a link to that album, and merely say that its title song and cover art spawned an investigation by the secret service. It was an interesting moment in time where crazy militia freaks hiding in the hills of Oregon and hip hop heads from the inner city had a common enemy in the new world order conspiracy theory.) Well, it seems that Theo Epstein and those poor, down-trodden Boston Red Sox who just can't keep up with the Yankees' payroll have ushered in a new world order in baseball.

The financial side of this new world order - and its ripple effect - look a lot like the conspiracy theory. I mean, $51.1 million just to talk to a pitcher? While I liked Matsuzaka, I have to agree that the numbers don't add up here. (Though the chart in the first linked article - showing the pitching staff that you could have for less than $51.1 - is really misleading. Most of the players listed there are not eligible for free agency, and no team could get them for anything near their current salaries on the open market.)

But, let's talk about the "world" part for a minute. With Tampa Bay picking up a star 3B from Japan (nevermind that the last thing the Devil Rays need is more bats to squeeze into their lineup), and the M's possibly among the teams looking for a cheaper pitching alternative from the Far East, baseball is starting to look more and more like a truly global sport. And Thomas Boswell agrees. Is it bad if MLB becomes to baseball what Europe is to soccer: stealing the best talent from everywhere else in the world for their professional leagues? Would it be possible to ever have competing leagues in different countries, to be a global sport more in the mold of soccer than basketball? Why can't the MLB owners stop the season for two weeks to let the best players in the world compete in the World Baseball Classic when they are in shape, like the NHL does with the Olympics? Besides being totally awesome - it really seems like it would would be in MLB's best financial/public-relations interests to make baseball appear to be a globally shared sport, rather than an imperialistic, American one.

Another question: Does Bavasi think anyone believes him when he says that teams are calling to see if he would be willing to deal Beltre? I'm sure they could get rid of him if they were willing to pay a big chunk of his salary, but I have never really understood the point of paying players that play for other teams.

I don't like signing Jason Schmidt, at least not for more than one year. I'd rather get Ted Lilly for less money and hope that he breaks out than hope that Schmidt somehow becomes less injury prone as he gets older.

Okay. Enough out of me. What do you all think?

Monday, November 06, 2006


Remember Ronald Reagan ? Remember how he used to say "Well.." in his very grandfather-like voice when he answered questions? When I was 5 years old, it seemed kind of comforting. Of course, I didn't know what trickle down economics involved then.

Aaaanyway, that's what I would say if I were Ronald Reagan if someone were to ask me what I thought of the M's opting to not pursue Daisuke Matsuzaka. "Well...ok then." Of course my initial reaction was actually "You cheap bastards." But, I'm not sure that it's a terrible thing now. It sounds like Matsuzaka is a bit of an, um, "well", arrogant ass. In fact, Dr. Deteco compared him to A-Rod.

So, moving on then. There are lots of other free agent options. Clearly, bringing in a pitcher or seven needs to be the number one priority this winter. Unless of course we're okay with a rotation of Felix, Washburn, Baek, and....."well", there you go. Take a look at this list and decide who you like. Now, I don't know how many of those guys have club or player options for 2007. But, at first glance, the guy who catches my eye (like a pie in the sky) is Ted Lilly. The big names are Schimidt and Zito, but the contract that those guys are going to demand may be absurd. They're both fine and dandy, but Lilly may come cheaper. Plus, Lilly had better K/9 and K/BB than both of them.

By the way, this site is way better for looking at free agents. I love Google.

So, I'm done with this post now. I could say more but it's been a long time and the Magic faithful are getting restless. Go get Ted Lilly!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Heat up the Stove

Wow. When the last post is about good feelings engendered by the Ben Broussard trade, clearly things have fallen off. So, let me try to get some discussion going with a little M's news round-up.
(There was some theme music playing in my head when I typed "news round-up." I think that it might have sounded something like the intro music for Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Further, but related, aside: Did anyone watch 30 Rock? I didn't, but I wanted to. What are our thoughts on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? I think it's really warming-up, but I wish they had just put Sports Night back on the air, instead of trying to re-do it.)

Breaking news today: The P-I reports that the M's have cut Jesse Foppert. It would have been nice if he had panned out, but it doesn't seem like he is going to live up to the pre-injury hype. I like the little dig in the article about Randy Winn. I still can't understand why everyone was so keen on letting him go.

Yesterday, Art Theil reminded us that the M's need to build from within, rather than spending money on overpriced, homophobic-dinosaur-hating veterans who missed the entire previous season with injury. (Okay, Richie wasn't really a bad signing, but his deal is still symbolic of knee-jerk, throw-money-at-the-problem thinking.) He points out, correctly, that even though we like to think that the Yankees buy championships, when they were winning it was with home-grown talent and shrewd spending. Now that they have really tried to break the bank, they haven't won a World Series for six years. And, speaking of the devils - John Hickey explains to us how cost-effective it would be to bring back A-Rod. I don't think this article was even a joke.

The biggest news for M's fans has to be that the Seibu Lions have decided to "post" World Baseball Classic MVP pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. John Hickey wonders whether the M's can/will hang with the big spenders when it comes time to place a bid. I hope so. The previous link only had Daisuke's stats through 2005, but this season he was possibly even more dominating. Over the last four years he has struck out 768 batters, while only walking 188, over 741 innings. That's a 4-to-1 K/BB ratio and 9.32 Ks/9 IP. He has given up 602 hits, for a WHIP of 1.06, and has an ERA of 2.51. To put all of that in perspective, Johan Santana's numbers over the same period look like: 4.75-to-1 K/BB ratio, 9.70 Ks/9 IP, 0.99 WHIP, 2.81 ERA. So, Santana is still the best pitcher on the planet, but Daisuke compares pretty favorably. (Note: The Pacific League season is shorter than MLB's, so Santana's absolute numbers are significantly higher, that's why I used the ratios. And, 2003, the first season in the analysis, wasn't a full season as a starter for Santana.)

So, how about Daisuke Matsuzaka as the first discussion of the off-season. Mike, Trav - let's see some new posts in reply; loyal readers - let's see some discussion in the comments. What do you think of him? How far should the M's go to get him on the mound in Seattle next season?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Good feelings

I feel good about a few things:

1) Survival 6-6 against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays. Winners of the last 2 series. And....3 games back. The Mariners have survived, in my opinion, the toughest stretch of games they will encounter in the 2nd half.

2) Changes
The Ben Broussard trade is good because
a) The M's got a solid lefty bat without giving up too much
b) Carl Everett is gone
c) A platoon with Eduardo Perez at DH is sweet
d) All of the above

3) Hope
Three games back. I don't care that they're in last place or 3 games under .500. I don't care that if they were in any other division in the AL, they'd be out if right now. All I know is the Mariners have weathered the storm(s) of Guardado, Everett, and Felix sucking and are still in it. Imagine if the Mariners had started with this exact team from Opening Day. Do you think they'd be three games better? I do. The difference between Putz and Guardado alone could make that up.

I'm still cautiously optimistic, becuase one more lousy week or two can pretty much sink the Mariners for the season. But, one more fantastic week or two can put them in first place. And even if they don't end up making the playoffs, think about what the experience of a pennant race could mean for Lopez, Betancourt, Felix, Jones, etc. This could be a fun two months M's fans. Stay tuned.


Rob Neyer has an interesting piece today that supports Mike's don't-trade-Adam-Jones-for-Soriano plan. His conclusion is that "deadline deals" rarely make a difference, so trading a top prospect for a pennant push rental is a bad gamble. (See: Varitek, Jason; Lowe, Derek.) Plus, with Everett gone, and the former Cleveland platoon in place with Ben Broussard on board - the offense is actually not too bad.

Page 2 has a great story on baseball card memories. My favorite baseball card of all time might be a Ken Griffey, Jr. Donruss Diamond King. I don't remember the year. I do remember that Mr. Griffey himself autographed it after batting practice at the Kingdome. So, it must have been 1990, maybe '91 at the latest. Any later and there was no way that Griff was signing autographs at games.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I have a funny feeling...

The Mariners are going to win the AL West.

Seriously. I don't know why. And I'm not typically a blue and teal glasses wearing homer.

That is all.

Also-please don't trade Adam Jones to get Alfonso Soriano.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


EDIT: I apologize for the post below. I read it over this morning and was like, "Damn yo, you be sounding like you think your better than people." Which I don't. I'm just mad about the Sonics. So, sorry Seattle fans.

Yes yes. We're still alive. Although the chances people are still coming here are pretty slim, but whatever.

I'm done stressing about the 2006 Mariners. I came in thinking an 80-82 season with hope for 2007 would be nice, and that can still happen. So, at this point, I couldn't care less about wins and losses. This way if they do end up making it to the postseason, it will make me do lots of smiling. And if they don't, well I'm not expecting them to anyway.

Earlier today I was feeling disappointed in myself. I've always been a "stick with the team no matter what" kind of fan. I've always despised fairweather fans. And growing up in Seattle is like being in some sort of fairweather fan breeding ground (more on that later). But, I'm not giving up on the team. I'm still excited about the future with Betancourt, Lopez, Felix, Soriano, and now Adam Jones. And how about Mark Lowe? He's filthy. I do believe the future is bright for the Mariners. Whether it's 2007 or later, they'll be contenders again. And, more losses could mean less Mike Hargrove. It's just hard to get excited about this team right now, and I'm not going to lose hair or years off my life stressing over every win and loss. It's just not worth it. My loyalty isn't any weaker, it's just gained a little bit of perspective.

There is something happening in Seattle does have me worked up. I'm sure we all know that the Sonics could be moving to Oklahoma City. Now, nothing's official yet so I'm going to hope for the best. But, the fact that the Sonics might move isn't what has me pissed off. It's the fact that Seattle "fans" aren't going to care.

Things aren't as bad as they used to be, but Seattle is the defintion of a fairweather sports town. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Should we admire Philadelphia or Chicago for their insane fan bases? Maybe not. But what irks me is that I get the impression that most sports fans in Seattle won't think twice about the Sonics moving. Why? Because they had one bad season. So they must suck. So that means people don't pay a bit of attention to them. Nevermind the fact that they were the first pro franchise in Seattle. Or that they're the only team with a championship. Or that they've had BY FAR the most success of any of the major pro teams in Seattle. Or that they could be pretty damn good next year. I'm not in Seattle, but I've had enough experience with Seattle fans to know what they're like. Can we review the fact that the Sonics had ONE BAD SEASON?! They had one of the most exciting seasons in years in 2004-2005.

Reading some of these comments only drove the point home for me. For whatever reason, Seattle fans can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Right now, the Seahawks are the gum. They're the team having the most success. Of course they are going to be the #1 draw in town. That'd be true in any town. But, take yourself back six or eight years. If this OK City thing was going down then, I'm going to assume a lot more people would be upset about it. And the Seahawks were barely being acknowledged. I will say that I've been impressed with the level of loyalty fans have shown the Mariners. Maybe it's Safeco, maybe it's the Hall of Famers that have played for the M's over the last 15 years, maybe it's the M's marketing department, or maybe Seattle is a halfway decent baseball town.

I realize I'm rambling so I'm going to stop. I think seeing people say things like "good riddance" on Lookout Landing sparked something in me. I could be dead wrong. Maybe the fans of Seattle will come out in droves and fight this thing. But, unless the Sonics do some winning this year, I just don't see it happening.

Go Mariners.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What a difference a sweep makes.

Crap crap crap. Why did I get my hopes up? Dave at USSMariner wants me to calm down, but the last three days of Mariner baseball have been hard to deal with. It's not just that the Angels swept us. They beat us down. The recent hotness and subsequent happy feelings have gone straight down the crapper and I'm finding myself hating them again.

I had a funny feeling this might happen. Despite their good play, I was worried when I looked at the M's July schedule. Detroit, Toronto, Boston, Cleveland, and the Yankees. That was a stretch that was certainly going to test the Mariners. But, based on a recent history of ownage, I thought they could at least take 2 of 3 from the Angels. Guess not.

To make matters worse, Meche and Everett are bitching. Seriously Carl? You and your .233/.308/.372 line AS A DH????????? Where does he get off? Meche might have a better case since he's actually been halfway decent this year, but what a joke. Do you think Lou would have put up with that crap? He would have punced Everett in the face and farted on him.

Am I overreacting? Of course. Isn't that what being a fan is all about? They're still only 3 back and taking the series against Detroit could be a fantastic way to enter the break.

Monday, July 03, 2006

one game

So the mariner’s are one game out of first........................... Did I really just write that. It has to be a typo right? Nope it’s true one game out. And lets be honest they were in every game over the weekend the breaks just didn’t go their way. It happens. This is a big series here against the angels. If they can take 2 or dare I say sweep that might be a nail in the coffin for the angels and one less team to worry about.

I think with the Reed injury this is going to force the M's hand. They have to make a move for a outfield bat. Mike and I both want Carlos Lee as much as we want Jessica Alba. This guy would be perfect. I think Ichiro has to move to Center and you slam Raul and Lee on the corners. You can then bring up Chris "Doyle" Snelling to ether DH or play a corner spot and give Everett his walking papers. This is a division the M's can win and I think they know that so lets hold our breath and hope they make the right move.

I’m fired up for this week it could be a really good one for M's Fans!

Singles night at the safe..........Ladies Holler at me

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Victory Sock

'Twas June the 15th when I was flying from Baltimore to the Emerald City. I was in the air when the Mariners lost to the A's again. Once again, the Athletics of Oakland had deflated the fun out of a recent Mariners hot streak. The loss knocked the M's six games below .500. I had gotten myself a little excited, but the A's took care of that quickly. How did the Mariners respond to my arrival in Seattle? With a victory of course. Then another. And another.

The Mariners ended up going 9-2 while I was in Seattle. Clearly my presence in Seattle had something to do with it. I couldn't leave could I? The Mariners might fall into a tailspin if that happened. Then Big Daddy came up with a brilliant plan. I could leave a part of myself behind. What could that be though? A piece of my flesh? That seemed a little harsh. Cut off some hair? Nah. Other people's hair is sorta nasty. Then we got it. A dirty sock. That way, some of my DNA would be left behind and I wouldn't have to sacrifice part of my body.

Of course, my mother (being the wonderful mother she is) had cleaned all of my clothes. I didn't have a dirty sock to leave behind. I acted quickly. I put a clean sock on and wore it while I packed my bags. And I left the sock behind. I got on the plane yesterday hoping it would pay off. And it did! A come from behind, late-inning victory that Jeff from Lookout Landing thinks allows us to take the M's seriously. So, without further ado, I give you...

The Mariners Victory Sock! You hear those footsteps Oakland? That's the Sock comin' for ya!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

5 hunny!!!




They are .500!!!

This is great, its been so long since this has happened, and I am entirely too fired up about it. I still don't know what to think, are they good? Are they just lucky? O r is it somewhere in between. I really don't know. They look good. But it may be a mirage, they may be trying to suck us in get our hopes up and then turn around and squash us just like they often do. I remain cautiously optimistic. I am having fun watching them again. I keep getting this feeling that hey we can win this with every game. I remember that feeling from 01 where every night I was like ya we have a better than 50-50 shot at winning this.

Tonight its Felix and a chance to go 1 up. Who better to take this large step than the cornerstone of your future. Let’s go kid get it done!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Yo, Adrian!

The M's are hot. From May 30 through last night, they have won 14 out of their last 20 games. Even more impressive, their WOO - without Oakland - record is 14-3 during that stretch (that's an .823 WOOning percentage). WOO! Why May 30, Chris? That was, after all, a loss at Texas. Well, 20 is a nice round number, but, more importantly, that night began the Adrian Beltre Hitting Second Experiment. Entering that game, Beltre was hitting .221 with 2 HRs, 14 RBI, 17 runs scored, and 6 doubles over the M's first 53 games. During the last 20 game stretch, Beltre is hitting .314 with 5 HRs, 17 RBI, 21 runs scored, and 6 doubles. He still strikes out more than he walks, but he has drawn 9 walks and struck out 13 times while hitting second (0.692 walks per strikeout), while he drew only 13 walks compared to 40 strikeouts (0.325 walks per strikeout) before the Experiment began.

I think that there can be three explanations for this great stretch: (1) Beltre is heating up enough that his final numbers will look something more like the .275, 25 HR, 85 RBI season that we would have realistically expected from him. (2) This simply a hot stretch, and we can expect him to start sucking again soon. (3) There is something magical about the second spot in the order.

My guess is that somewhere between (1) and (2) lies the truth. His last two games - where he has gone 5 for 7 with a homer, 4 RBI, 6 runs scored, and 2 doubles - really skew the numbers quoted above. If you take those out, and assume that he was just fired up to see his old team, his average in the second spot goes back to .278 - which seems about right. And, if you were to extrapolate those numbers (not including the games in L.A.) out for 550 at-bats, you get: .278, 28 HRs, 90 RBI, and 104 runs scored - which also seems about like what we would expect. He is at 280 at-bats now, so if he gets to 550 (and, to be fair, he is on pace for 612 at-bats, so these predictions are a bit conservative), he has 270 at-bats left. If he stays on the same pace over those 270 at-bats, he would have 13 HRs, 44 RBI, and 51 runs scored left in him - bringing his totals for the season to .267, 20 HRs, 77 RBI, and 90 runs scored. Not bad. Not worth $65 million, but to be fair - not many people are.

Now, the magical lineup spot does seem to have some merit. Can it really be coincidence? I suppose there were signs that he was heating up before the move - he had hits in four straight games, and eight out of nine, before being move up to the second spot. But, what is really surprising, and counterintuitive, is that he is producing more runs from the second spot. Six out of the eight 2 RBI games (and, no - he hasn't had a game with more than 2 RBI all season) that he has had this season have come when he was hitting second. So, he has produced more runs with the eighth, ninth (which has been the pitcher the last two nights), and first spots hitting ahead of him than he did with the first, second, and third, or second, third, and fourth spots hitting in front of him. Some of the explanation would come from the fact that the team is hot in general. Or, maybe Travis was right - and he is seeing more fastballs with Ichiro on in front of him. But, maybe, just maybe, this means that Beltre is best in the second spot, and dropping him back to the middle of the order would be a mistake. Or, maybe the line-up needs to be shuffled completely, so that Beltre can hit lower, but still hit behind Ichiro and Betancourt, with Lopez and Sexson protecting him. What do the Magic Faithful think?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Legend of Zelda Hero, Plural

So, the M's won last night. Beltre hit a homer, and that's good for the Mariners. Brad Penny lost, and that's good for the Low End Theorists. I listened to a few innings on XM radio. Mike and I have extolled the virtues of XM radio, and how awesome it is that one can listen to any major league baseball game being played, and hear the home announcers for each team. Bob Uecker calling Brewers games. Jon Miller calling Giants games. You can even hear the Yankees go to unnecessary excess with about six people in the broadcast booth. So, last night it was beautiful to listen to Vin Scully calling the M's against the Dodgers. The man has been calling Dodgers games for 57 years. He has called three perfect games. There have only been seventeen perfect games ever, and only seven in the National League - and two of those were in 1880. At one point he was describing Ichiro's father giving him foot massages, and it was beautiful because it was Vin Scully. But, when he started talking about how Pat Gillick turned down a trade that would have brought Scott Rolen to the M's in exchange for Joel Pineiro, I threw up in my mouth a little.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lack of Links and Wind Tunnels

"They" say you learn something new everyday. Well, here's what I learned at today. Oh, I'm in Seattle by the way and was at both Friday and today's win. Ok so...

1) For whatever reason, this iBook G4 I'm using doesn't allow me to put in links to a post. So, if you're reading this at work, I apologize. No fun links to keep you from actually doing your job.

2) If you sit in the right (or I guess wrong) area at Safeco in JUNE, you will freeze your ass off. It was like sitting in a wind tunnel. People had blankets. I almost didn't bring in my hooded sweatshirt. Thank God I did. It's June Seattle. Seriously. I loved it though. So much better than the stifling heat I would be experiencing in Baltimore.

3) Richie Sexson's walk to the batter's box song is "Hypnotize" by Biggy Smalls. Am I the only one who thinks that's weird? I guess the whole Big Richie thing, and Biggy Smalls was big. Er something.

4) It's really fun to watch Barry Bonds strike out.

5) It's even more fun to watch Barry Bonds strike out three times.

6) It's the most fun to watch Barry Bonds strike out to end a game and complete a THREE GAME SWEEP!

7) My mother is still a little bitter about Griffey. You know, there really are a lot of people who don't like how Griffey left. And, rightly so. I will fully admit that I'm blindly loyal to my first real baseball hero. I think the M's should retire #24, and that if Griff isn't a first-ballot Hall of Famer, there's something wrong with baseball.

So, all in all, I learned a lot today. Let's update the "if the Mariners didn't have to play the Athletics" board:
Record vs. A's: 1-9
Record vs. the rest of baseball: 33-28.

9 games in NL West stadiums. They're keeping me interested. I have this feeling the A's are going to start to separate themselves from the rest of the division. But for now, the Mariners are making baseball fun to follow.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

down two can the salvage?

Ok all the optimism over the past few days has kinda flown right out the window. They cant be blanton then they roll out the next night and look even worse than before. And get this today they were going to face Esteban Loaiza but he was arrested for driving under the influence while going 120 mph on a local Oakland freeway........I don’t think he is going to start. And who goes 120 mph anyway...... SO you know what that means right? The mariners will be facing some chap they have never seen before so we will get like 2 hits. Never fails.
the optimism of this post seeps from every word.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This time I'm not crazy....

First things first, we've got to acknowledge the SWEEP of the Angels. Felix throws his first CG in the majors. 94 pitches. Felix was the Emperor today. Just filthy. That makes 9 of 11 for the Mariners. Fun fun.

But...guess who's next? You got it. The A's. The last time the M's were headed to Oakland, I thought it was big. This is a big one though. Not big as in, "win this series and the M's are for real!". But more like, well....hmmm. Ok how about this:
Right now, I'm kind of feeling like this in my Mariners watching chair. Take 2 of 3 in Oakland, and I'll be sitting like this. Not overly-fired up, but my interest will definitely be piqued. So, we'll see.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ichiro's Greatness

Ichiro gets 4 hits. Ho hum. Ichiro's hitting .350. Woopty doo. Ichiro's leading the league in hits. What's new?

Maybe it's just me, but are we taking Ichiro for granted? He came to the Majors facing more media scrutiny and pressure than anybody since Jackie Robinson, and wasted no time showing he belonged. He started hitting from day one. Literally. 2 for 5 against Oakland on April 2, 2001. With his four hits last night, he now has 89 for the season. That pace projects to 240 for the year. WHether that happens remains to be seen. But, Ichiro has proven his worth in the majors. THe question I ask is-where does he rank agains the all-time greats?

Since Ichiro's greatest accomplishments have involved hit numbers, I thought it would be interesting to compare him against the all-time greatest "hit machines." I thought it'd be interesting to look at at bats per hit. I thought since we hear a lot about at bats per home run when talking about the great power hitters, this might be an interesting statistic.

So, first things first. Who are the these "hit machines"? Well, here is the "hit" list. Rim shot! I'll compare Ichiro to the top guys in terms of at bats per hit. Ichiro's has 1219 hits in 3655 at bats. That's one hit for every 2.998 at bats.

1. Pete Rose: 4256 hits in 14,053 at bats. At bats per hit = 3.30. Ichiro's better than The Gambler.

2. Ty Cobb: 4191 hits in 11,429 at bats. At bats per hit: 2.72. The Georgia Peach has the edge on our boy.

3. Hank Aaron: 3771 hits in 12,364 at bats. At bats per hit: 3.28. Ichiro wins out again.

Just going down the list, here are the other rates among the top 5:
Stan Musial: 3.02
Tris Speaker: 2.90

Of the top 5, only Speaker and Cobb have a better rate. Musial and Aaron were better all around hitters though. A couple more recent notables:

Rod Carew: 3.05
Tony Gwynn: 2.95

I could go on, but I think the point is clear. Ichiro is right there with those guys. Now, Ichiro has the advantage of the majority of his years in the majors being during his prime age years. A more in-depth analysis may show that his hit rate during his prime years is not as strong.

But, Ichiro is absolutely amazing, and I think we're forgetting that. We've had some great ones come through Seattle over the past 15 years, and he's the next great one. The question I have is-how many more years of this production will make him a first-ballot hall of famer?

Oh by the way-Ichiro just led off the bottom of the first with a HR.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

3 of 4 but it was the Royals

Winning three of four games is never anything to complain about. But I want every to keep in perspective who the Mariners were playing. In all honesty not sweeping the Royals is a Disappointment. That being said things have been getting a bit better. This new Lineup is really working out. Lopez continues to be the man. As I stated earlier get out and vote people we need this guy to go to the all star game. WHO HAS BEEN BETTER??? And Raul continues to be Mr. consistency. Beltre, while I will not use the word Flourishing, seems to be enjoying the fastballs he is getting behind Ichiro. I say don’t move him let him ride that spot out for a bit.

Now today is an important day in many ways. It really is a fantastic match up at the Safe tonight. King Felix vrs the Twins I guess king prospect, as Santana is their king, Liriano. I have Liriano on my Fantasy team much to the dismay of Chris and Mike, and have been monitoring his progress with a careful Zen like eye. This guy is the real deal and the last time these two locked up it was a fantastic pitchers duel. I expect the same tonight and I will be in attendance both rooting for Liriano and the Mariner’s it will be a rough night for me haha.

Secondly today is the MLB draft. The mariners have the 5th overall pick and it appears that they are looking to draft a college pitcher. The key is College pitcher, I doubt they want another Ryan Anderson situation with a High school kid. The M's seem to have their eye on several guys: Andrew Miller, Brad Lincoln, Brandon Morrow, Tim Lincecum, & Luke Hochevar. All pitchers all college players. The homer in me really wants the to take Lincecum out of the UW and from I think Lincoln HS here in Washington, but all accounts are pointing to that being unlikely. And if there is ever a team to disappoint me with their personnel decisions it’s the Mariners so I am saying Lincecum is off the board. Jason Churchill of Prospectinsider.com, a great prospect site you all should check out, has the most recent mock draft up saying that the Mariners are likely to take Andrew Miller. Take a gander at Jason's Break down over there its very informative. We will post what the Mariners do a little after 10 am when they make their pick today.

Last bit of info from em today, is really a story that makes you kind of sick. Take a look at this and puke along with me. What Ryan Anderson is doing now
In this article it says, "The culinary training helps Anderson feel at peace. His tuition is $76,000, with the Mariners paying $35,000, Anderson says."
ugh so typical isn’t it.............

Sunday, June 04, 2006

At least they're not the Royals.....

Despite, today's 9-4 loss, I can still say with confidence that the Royals are much worse off than the M's. Although, I guess that'd be like looking like this and saying, "at least I don't look like this." Or maybe it's more like feeling like this and saying, "at least I don't feel like this."

Jarrod Washburn for 3 more years folks. Nice work on that one Bavasi.

Like Travis told us, we need to get the All-Star vote out for Jose Lopez. You can do that here. By the way, 25 vote maximum? I used to vote 25 times by the fourth inning back in the Dome.

And what's with the poll on the M's official site? "Situational hitting" is what the Mariner nation thinks the biggest problem is. Hmmmm....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Breaking him down to build him up...

I think I figured out Mike Hargrove's plan for Jeremy Reed. After reading this article from the TNT this morning, it all became so clear. See, Hargrove figures that the best way to turn Reed into a good player is to break him down. How is doing this:

1) Taking away his ability play defense
“You work on everything you can before the game, including fly balls during batting practice,” Reed said Friday. “But it can’t be the same. In batting practice, hitters don’t get fooled. In games, they do – and you have to know how to react to those swings.

“The other night in Texas, Michael Young hit a ball I thought I should have had, but it just went off my glove.”

2) Robbing him of his confidence
“I’ve tried to stay positive mentally, to be tough,” Reed said. “That is the hardest part. Coming to the park not knowing if you’re going to play is just different. I’ve never been a bench player, so that’s been an adjustment.

Look, Reed hasn't exactly earned the right to play every day with his performace at the plate. But, he has to be given a chance to prove whether or not he is going to be part of the Mariners future. Hargrove either 1) doesn't think Reed can cut it as an everyday player, 2) thinks his best chance to win now and thus save his job is to sit Reed against lefties, or 3) has a man crush on Willie Bloomquist.

So, what do we think? Should Reed be getting the chance to play everyday?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Behind the Curtain . . .

I am leaving my office in thirty minutes to catch a plane to Miami, and since we all know that nothing gets done in the last thirty minutes of any day, I will bless the Magic with my first post.

I first became a Mariners fan right around the time that Ken Griffey, Jr. made his major league debut. Prior to that, when people asked me where I was from, I told them that I had just moved from New York. That was, of course, not true. But, with the rise of Junior, Seattle became a major league city, and I was happy to admit residence.

I now live in the Nation's Capital, a city that has gone from no baseball, to attempting to create an Office of Baseball as an actual city agency.

I will not promise the detailed analysis of individual games that Travis and Mike provide. I can, however, promise lots of hyperlinks. Because hyperlinks are cool.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Welcome new Mariner Magic contributor Chris

We've hit a rut here. PWhit is nowhere to be found, and Travis and I are extremely jaded. So, it's time to mix things up. No, this isn't a Hargrove-esque desperation lineup change. This is like a deadline deal to add that final piece that makes you a championship contender.

Without further ado, Magic faithful Chris has joined us. Chris is my older brother and is here to give us the shot in the arm we need. When he brought up Tommy Herr, there was no question he had to be a part of this.

I'll let Chris make a post introducing himself.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Salt in the wound

As if things weren't bad enough already....

Scott Spiezio: .303/.406/.506, 3 HR, 16 RBI in 38 games.
Best year as a Mariner: .215/.288/.346, 10 HR, 41 RBI in 112 games.
Last year as a Mariner: .064/.137/.149, 1 HR, 1 RBI in 29 games.

Jeff Cirillo: .382/.424/.509, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 30 games.
Best year as a Mariner: .249/.301./.328, 6 HR, 54 RBI in 146 games.
Last year as a Mariner: .205/.284/.271, 2 HR, 23 RBI in 87 games.

Miguel Olivo: .258/.297/.475, 5 HR, 13 RBI in 36 games.
Career numbers as a Mariner: .166/.359/.333, 11 HR, 32 RBI in 104 games.

Yep. Enjoy the holiday. You can do that by not watching the Mariners play baseball.

(In case you didn't know, that's AVG/OBP/SLG)

Friday, May 26, 2006


M's lose. Two G** D*** hits? Really, what am I supposed to say about that? I'm not saying anything about my boy Gilbert. There's no chance I'm going to jinx him.

But, I'm at the point where anything I would be writing about the Mariners would be forced. Sure, they're 3 games back. But, they're freaking 22 and 27. You can't ignore that. Look at the starting pitching. All of these guys (except for Felix) are veteran, mediocre guys who you're going to have to score at least 5 runs for in order to win. The bats have potential, but seem to be very streaky. Harldy a team that scares anyone. But, maybe a team that can win 80 games. Coming into the season, that's what I was hoping for, and that with a couple of offseason moves, they could be playoff contenders in 2007. The problem is, I'm not sure what to get excited about in the here and now. Sure it's fun to win a few series here and there, but every good team the Mariners have played has beat them down. So why get overly excited? If in September this team is showing signs of being good in 2007, then it might be fun again.

We've been slacking here, and the posters have too. But, can you really blame us? This brings me to the subject of obligation. I'm finding myself only posting this right now because I feel obligated. To what thought? I don't know the answer to that question. I guess I feel like if you're going to make the committment to start a blog, then you should be adding to it regularly.

We started this blog because we love the Mariners. That hasn't changed, but I'm having the hardest time finding the motivation to say interesting things about the team. So, the question is-do we keep making new posts out of pure obligation/committment, or do we only make posts when we truly have something interesting to say? I guess it's just a hard time to be a Mariners fan, and we'll have to be patient. I don't feel like less of a fan because I don't run to my computer as soon as the M's lose 2-0 to a craptastic pitcher and a craptastic team. So, you should expect to see less posts here (from me at least), but when I do post I will be sure to make it meaningful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


That's four in a row. You can't get too excited about a 21-25 team, but the Mariners are showing some signs of life. Lots of home runs lately. That = good. The bullpen is nasty. The starting pitching is decent enough. Ichiro is nearly back to form, Lopez is the best second baseman in the American League, and Raul, Everett, and Johjima are going to complement Big Richie well once he gets going. By the way, grand slams are the best kind of hits.

How much does Comcast suck? The only M's-O's game being televised is this Thursday's. Sure, the games start at 10:05 here in Bmore, but what else are people going to be watching on Comcast? I checked the channel that broadcasts the Orioles games last night when the game was going on, and they were showing stand up comedy. And bad stand up comedy at that. Weak.

The Orioles are throwing John Halama tonight. Wow. There are teams that are less fun to be a fan of than the Mariners. Make it 5 M's!

There are two things about Hargrove that are really irritating me right now:

1) Jose Lopez is the M's best hitter right now. Yet, he leads the team in sacrifice bunts.

2) This Reed/Bloomquist platoon thing in center is ridiculous. He doesn't play Reed against lefties. There are few things about this I don't like, and none of them have to do with Willie. I'm not a Willie hater. I think he serves a purpose and I like having him on the team. But starting in CF is not one of them. Reed has been heating up lately, and as far as I'm concerned, he is part of the M's future. How is he going to develop into a good hitter if he never hits against lefties? How is he going to learn how to hit lefties is he never plays against them?

The only good thing about the M's going in the tank would be to see Hargrove gone.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Sweep never felt so....................bluh

Here is the thing I should be fired up. I should be pumped that perhaps the mariners are turning things around. Meche apparently looked good. The bullpen appeared to be solid for the most part and the offense put some much-needed runs on the board. I should be waving the mariner banner and starting the wagon train.

But I'm not. I have been fooled to many times in the past few years. Yes the swept the Padres and its a good thing. It just still doesn’t feel like they are getting better despite this series win. I really have a hard time coming up with optimistic posts about this team. Apparently Grover had another 45-min team only meeting which was "positive" by all accounts. I don’t know what to think though.

I have heard rumors of Carl Everett being traded and I am all for that I don’t like him, I thought the signing was a horrible idea and anything we can get for him would be a good thing.
Anyway there hasn’t been a post here for the past few days so I thought some new stuff would be nice.

A nice ting is it looks like Snelling is getting close again, I keep hoping that he can just take it easy and get his body to last, the kid has talent and I would hate to see it never blossom in the big leagues.

I really don’t have much to add other than yesterday I saw the 4th inning I think it was where the M’s put up 7 with yet another series of Flurry of singles……………

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Alan Thicke, Kirk Cameron, and the Oakland A's

I hate Joe Blanton. Actually, it seems like Mariner bats hate baseballs thrown by Joe Blanton. When have the Mariners ever been able to win in Oakland? As long as I can remember, back to the days of Lansford, Weiss, and Steinbach, the M's have had trouble in the land of immense foul territory that is the Oakland A's home stadium. I did some quick research, and could only find on baseball-almanac.com that the A's are 203-136 all-time against the M's, but if anyone wants to take the time to find out the M's all-time record in Oakland, I'd love to know. I have to think it's terrible.

But, to last night's game. I've already said how important I thought this series was. USSMariner was doing it's best to stay optimistic. But, Felix got pounded. Jeff at Lookout Landing called it a letdown. Deanna was just plain depressed. Personally, I was half asleep when I heard the Melhuse grand slam. The XM went off right then.

Of course, the bigger issue from last night was Felix. Again with the suckage. They'll be plenty of good talk about his issues in the M's blogoverse-a-sphere. I won't try to match the statistical, mechanical, psychological analysis. But, maybe, just maybe, we can chalk it up to....

GROWING PAINS! Ha! I'm such an idiot.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Am I crazy....

To think that this series with the A's is really important? After beating down the Angels with all sorts of round trippers, the M's trail the Athleticos by two games for second place in the division. Two out of three and they're one back. Sweep and they're in second place. Maybe even first depending on what the Rangers do. Clearly, it's early. But, I'm looking at the schedule and I see a lot of winnable series coming up. The Padres, Orioles, Twins, are sandwiched by the A's and Rangers. Now that I say that, I think the rest of May could prove to be crucial to the M's season. If the M's took every series (without sweeping), they would be 28-27. That's going into a June schedule that includes the Royals, Twins, the NL West, and the A's and Angels (who they own by the way.)

I don't know, I'm probably reaching, and I'm definitely getting waaay ahead of myself. I said it before, and I still believe that the A's are the team to beat in the AL West. They made the M's look silly the first time around, and it's payback time. A baseball season is a marathon, but every game, every series counts. And I think this is the biggest one of the year. Go Felix go Felix go!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

8-1 the King has his best outting of the year

Going into the game I was worried. Worried that we would see Felix struggle as he has in the early part of the year to escape the first few innings unscathed. Worried that if he did struggle and give up a few the offense wouldn’t support him. This is pressure that many mariner starters have had over the past few years. Ask Ryan Franklin, ask Jarrod Washburn. My worry almost came to realities as Felix took the mound only to walk the first batter. Luckily he settled down and was able to get out of that first inning.

Moving into the game the mariners put up a nice 3 spot to give Felix some breathing room. Highlighted by a flurry and I mean flurry of singles. Felix seemed relaxed at this point. He was starting to put it on cruise control. Grounders, strike outs and fly outs. And from the looks of it nothing was hit hard. He was dazzling hitters with 97 MPH heat and filthy 84 mph of speed pitches. Towards the 7th and 8th he just made hitters look ridiculous.

Middle of the Game Jurrasic carl had another towering Jurrasic Blast to give felix a 3 run lead. The offense then erupted in the 8th with another Flurry of singles. Tampa didn’t know what hit them with so many single bagers dropping in and guys moving up 90 feet. All in all a 4 spot was put up in the 8th to essentially seal the deal as soriano shut the door. The 9th went smooth which was highlighted by an absolute tori hunter esc play from Jeremy reed diving to take a sure fire hit away.

The Game was Fun, Neddy Ball game and I sat and discussed many of the finer points of the game, along with our dislike of Dave "You know I played in the MLB" Henderson. One thing came clear from our conversations. Beltre was starting to hit the ball hard in every At bat over the past few games. We both felt he was getting a bit unlucky but it was a good sign to see him hit the ball so well. Everything off his bat was a rocket. Secondly we both agreed that if there was going to be a manager swap it was going to be more dependent on what the AL West did rather than how the mariners are doing. If we keep this pace and are still 4 games out......I doubt there will be a change but if/when someone gets hot Grover could see the door and Mr. Rohn will roll in from his fake position.

And Lastly, and I feel really strongly about this one. They handed out all-star ballots at the game. Early yes but this is a good thing. I started to review my options. Standard guys were coming to mind for each position. However My eyes were drawn to the options at second base. I looked and noticed something...........Was Jose Lopez the most productive second basemen in the AL??? No way that cant be true can it? So I dug deeper. Who are the top Second basemen in the league? Well offensively Soriano is probably the most potent but he is in Washington and technically is not a 2nd basemen. Chase utley then? Probably. You have to go down the list of productive players at second to find an AL guy. The top two in the AL are Ty Wigginton, is not as good as he ahs been in my opinion, and your own Jose Lopez. Lopez is not only right there offensively he is superior Defensively. And as far as important to his team.....Come on Lopez leads the team in Homers and Rbi's.

Its official I Travis "Big Daddy" Goodfellow am starting the Jose Lopez for starting second basemen at the 2006 ALL-STAR GAME. Whose with Me!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Not such a good 20

During the Mariners historical run in 2001, there were a few times during the season when I looked at their record and said "Wow." I don't remember most of those records, but one that sticks out for me is 20-4. I don't know what it was about that record, but that was just incredible to me. Maybe it was the first time I started to think about the pace they were on. But, I think it was that number 20. Something about the number 20 has always intrigued me. Barry Sanders was my favorite football player for a long time, and I think a big part of it was because he wore the number 20. It's like, you know, double the first double digit number. And with that record, 4 just looked so small next to it.

Something tells me I'm not going to be remembering the most recent 20 in Mariners history. That 20 would be today's loss. Number 20 on the season. To go with 13 wins. Oy. Another good start from Washburn is negated by the ineptitude of the nine men who swing bats. I guess I'll take solace in the fact that, somehow, despite all the crappy baseball they've played, the Mariners are still only 4.5 games out of first place. That's with Tampa Bay coming up next, and then two intra-divisional series in a row. So, anything's still possible. (Although, this isn't your father's Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Or, I guess, more like your older sibling's. More than likely your father's Tampa Bay Devil Rays are yours too. Unless of course you're under the age of 8. Which you probably aren't because if you're 8 you don't bother yourself with stupid things like this blog that is dedicated to a hapless baseball team. If you are 8 or younger, let me give you some advice-do not decidate yourself to any one team. Be the biggest frontrunner of all time. Root for whatever team is winning, always. It will save you all sorts of pain and suffering.)

In other news, Guardado is trying to make himself useful by mentoring Putz. Maybe since the M's are going with a closer by committee approach, they should do a mentor by committee thing too. You know, have a different mentor for each young arm in the bullpen. Play the matchups too. Maybe have the fiery (how the hell do you spell firey by the way?!?!!) Guardado work with a low-key guy. Or the grumpy Moyer work with a real eager, young puppy like guy. Wow, am I reaching for material or what? Go Mariners!

WARNING: This next item will put you in an excellent mood for 4 minutes and 15 seconds. Then you'll take a 13-second emotional trip from the highest of high to the lowest of low as you realize how far removed the Mariners are from these types of moments. But, if you think it's worth it, check out this youtube clip that highlights the M's-Yankees series from '95.

That is all. Keep hope alive! Or, invite a time machine that will make it football season.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


If Eddie Guardado closes another game for the Seattle Mariners and Mike Hargrove isn't sent packing immediately after he blows another game for the team....I'm not sure what I'll do but it will definitely involve throwing something and cursing. Mike-get it through your head, the guy can't close anymore. He doesn't have the same stuff he used to and his arm is about to fall off. I got myself all fired up with the comeback in the 8th, only to have Eddie do it again. Add last night's performance to this one against Texas, this one against Boston, and this one last week against the White Sox, and you've got a trend. Turn those three losses into wins and the M's are a game above .500

Forget his grit, toughness, clubhouse presence, blah blah blah. Eddie Guardado isn't very good anymore. Putz has been lights out this year. Give him the closer's role. This isn't like those teams in the 90s in which the entire bullpen was a ticking bomb. There are other options. It's time for the Mariners to take the Boston route. They realized that Foulke couldn't get it done anymore and gave the closer role to the young stud.

4.5 games back. The Rangers have been hot but no one's running away with the AL West yet. The problem is fixable. Take action Mariners.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Just singled in the 8th to tie it!!!

Sometimes I just don't know what they are thinking

Ok so a while back we were all excited about the Matt Thorton trade. found here

Well today the marlins Claimed Joe Borchard off waivers from the mariners. Borchard was who we traded thorton for. SO essentially we gave thorton away now without even really giving Borchard a look. Well he is gonna get a look in Florida. I’m not so much pissed that thorton was given away I didn’t want him but the fact that they just give up on the guy they got for him so soon is absolutely insane. With the struggles in Center Field that they have had this year don’t you think trying out Borchard made just a tiny bit of sense? Even if it was just for a week?

The santana wall

I for one didnt expect a victory going against the likes of Santana who is I must admit a personal favorite of mine. The game started off looking solid in the Mariners Favor. They started off with 3 hits, a triple and 2 singles, all were hit hard. Then however Santana settled down and pitched like the ace that he is. It was pretty much over after the 1st inning. It's all good though lets focus on the next two game set in Chicago. I think this is shaping up to be a pretty nice road trip. I really love Yuni by the way he is simply a wizard out there.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Good weekend

Well I'd love to do an extended recap of the weekend in Baltimore, but the parents have been in town, and we've been busy saving Darfur, so it's been tough for me to find a chance to get to it.

But, I was at Friday and Saturday's games in Bmore with the fam and some friends. Friday was no good. It was just one of those games that had nothing special about it. The M's were never really in it, and never really out of it. The Meche jersey obviously didn't work. Plus we were surrounded by Red Sox fans, who are have gladly taken the baton from Yankee fans as the most obnoxious in baseball. They were actually doing a "Yankees suck!" cheer at the game. Are you kidding me? Maybe those two teams should just join their own league so they can play each other every day and be really childish and obnoxious with each other.

Saturday was much better, although it didn't seem like it at first. Felix was struggling pretty badly, but still showed flashes of the brilliance that is going to make him a dominant starter for years to come. His ability to induce the ground ball is uncanny I say! I even found myself hoping Ramon Hernandez would hit a grand slam at one point because it would help my fantasy team and I figured there was no way the M's were going to win anyway. But, the bats exploded. And Beltre homered!!!!

I didn't see any of the game yesterday as we were in DC rallying to stop genocide, but....nice! Two series in a row is swell.

I've decided I can't let myself get too high about wins or too low about losses at this point in the year. On the one hand, the M's have looked terrible at times. On the other, they're 2 games out of first place. It's too early to be super negative, and too early to be overly positive. I just can't get a read on this team. I can't figure out how good or bad they can be. Let's see what May brings.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ready to go.....

We're here. We're ready to go. I've got the Meche jersey on. Heading to Camden in a few minutes. Let's go M's!!!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What a difference a day Makes

I was at the end of the proverbial rope with this team yesterday. I felt there was no way they could pull a series win out of the white soxs. It was actually funny, my roommate and I head to a local watering hole close to home on Wednesday’s for Happy hour, which by the way offers 1/2 off wine. Roomy called me saying he was leaving from Kirkland at 5:30 mid rush hour and there was a mariner’s home game so he was going to be a while. I jokingly said not to worry no one goes to the Safe anymore anyway traffic will be fine. Which in many ways is true. Anyway taht was just compounding my disappointment in this squad.

That being said Washburn is this years Ryan Franklin. Not in skill level, washburn appears to be vastly superior but in lack of run support. Last night he got 5 which was nice but Mr. Washburn has pitched well enough for more wins than he currently has. He is showing that he indeed was a nice addition although I am still not sold on the price.

The main thing of this post is a topic I wanted to get others to chime in on. Raul Ibanez. Over the past 2 seasons or so has there been a more consistent guy? Sure he’s numbers are not to die for but they aren’t bad ether. He doesn’t really ever seem to slump, just is always around 300 with moderate HR and moderate Rbi's. He is a guy who I think could take the ropes and lead this team since it seems to me that Sexson doesn’t want to, beltre is to bad too, ichiro doesn’t want to unless he is playing for Japan in the WBC. I think Raul might be a good source. I think I brought this up last year only to be shot down but after taking some time to reflect has anyone’s opinion changed?

Oh and its time to put Soriano as closer and move Eddie to set up, its not that I don’t have faith in Eddie, it is wavering a bit but soriano is so nasty its almost hard to see any other spot for him.

And lastly I dont want to jinx anythign but could alst nights series win put a spark in tehse guys for the road trip? Get ready mike they are coming your way like a runaway train.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Pineiro 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR
Livingston, B 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
Woods 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A win. Yay.

Living on the East Coast can be difficult if you're a fan of a West Coast team. Games start at 10pm and don't end until well after midnight. It's not for lack of dedication to a team, but staying up that late every night wears on you. So, I don't do it. Usually what I do is I put on my XM headphones and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of Rick Rizzs. Most nights I'll wake up at some point, quickly check on the score, put the radio away, and check the final in the morning. Last night was no different. This time when I woke up, it was 2-2 in the 8th inning. Moments later, Raul Ibanez hit the HR to give the M's the lead. I decided I'd listen to the top of the 9th. Then Eddie came. His suckage continues. After he gave up the HR to Brian Anderson....BRIAN ANDERSON....I went to sleep. Grumpy.

But, hey the M's won! Yuni! Of course, it would have been nice to have taken it in the 9th so Putz and Mateo wouldn't have had to get work. But, whatever.

A couple of things....

USS Mariner points out that the M's struggles can be summed up in one word: IchiBeltrxson. There've been some trade rumors too. I'd love to say trade Eddie now, but what value are you going to get for him at this point? He was throwing the hardest he has all year last night, so maybe that's a good thing. If he can get in a few good outings, his trade value will increase. But, it could also get worse and he might become untradable.

OK Mariners. Please win more than one in a row. I'd like to see a team that's playing well come to Baltimore this weekend.

Friday, April 21, 2006

whats up with eddie

When have you ever seen Eddie walk 4 hitters in one inning? When have you seen him walk in the go ahead run? Something is up with him. After the game Eddie said he didn’t know what was going on. He feels good and his pitches are not terrible. He just isn’t the Eddie from before so far this year. This was a big one two, thats two blown opportunities, I realize last night was not a save situation, in less than a week.
Is it time to start the conversation of moving Eddie to set up and soriano or putz to closer? I keep telling myself its only week 3, but from the looks of things 85-90 wins is going to win the west and dammit I think this team can win 80 plus so every game counts!! Discuss............

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Comeback Win....Special Guest Writers Neddy Ballgame and Maaaah

Yes, boys and girls, there is life in these Mariners...maaaah! and I were there last night---with a few (very few) thousand of our closest friends---many of those few bailed out well before the fireworks in the bottom of the ninth...and what a ninth it was...but before we got there it was looking like another painful evening at our favorite outdoor restaurant(guy behind us was screaning at Grover for letting Blalock hit with first base open and of course old Hank gets a base knock and then Julio strikes out the next batter!))....

Millwood was on (44 pitches through 4 innings) and Jamie was getting out of jam after jam but a couple of things saved our heart--Ichiro broke through the Mendoza line with a 4 for 4 night (Everett broke through the night before) and Adrian got his first extra base hit and RBI (that caused a sensation in our area ..high fives all around)...our boys kept chipping away and JJ Putz did not give up the extra run looming on third base ( his breaking stuff looked quite good and he wasn't afraid to go to it )..

Then to the 9th(maaaah! made me turn my hat into a Rally CAp --and it worked !!)--I went ballistic when Frankie Cordero hit Ichiro then our man Jose ( he is exceeding all expectation so far in the 2 slot)..thought Raul's high sac fly could have made it out (wishful thinking since it was about 5 feet short of wall) then Ritchie came through to tie it (got to see Matt Lawton as pinch runner) and Jo Mama kept it going --we now have only one out and Buckie boy in the Rangers dugout is gettting nervous so he finally pulls his ace freakin' closer for a leftie who has pitched a total of 1/3 inning to turn my boy ( yes ,I know I was the biggest detractor of this Bavasi signing !) Carl Everett around ( high percentage play since he was hitting even lower righty than lefty ) aad then "Good Bye Baseball" as he walks off and hits the KOMO 1000 sign with a rocket that you knew was gone the second it left the bat -

The Safe goes nuts --almost like a plyoff win--strangers high-fivin', I've lost my voice..what a difference 2 days makes--losing by a walk off on Monday then turning it around last night ...what a great win ..everyone smiling and laughing even the security guy broke out into a smile.

And here is maaah's take:

Is there anything greater than baseball? Until the last 5 seconds of last night's game I thought the most entertaining/memorable thing was going to be the 4 yokels in front of us or maybe mr. baseball encyclopedia behind us catching the fly ball. But in the bottom of the ninth I was reminded of the moments leading to Griffey's rounding the bases in '95. For the 2 thousand of us left watching...cheering our hearts out, Carl the dino didn't disappoint. You would have thought we'd won the world series. That's just how starved we poor Mariners fans are for a winning season...heck...just a win! There is for sure something different in this team from the last 2 years. The one thing that makes a game or a season worth participating in...players with heart. Is there anything greater than baseball?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

King less Kingly again

Felix, lets go bud!! You’re better than this. You look at his line and its not terrible but he is leaving pitches out over the plate and they are getting CRUSHED!! Chalk it up to being young and what not but the king has struggled. I think he will get it together and hopefully soon.

There isn’t much to say about last night to be honest it was a game lacking intrigue which is interesting to say since Felix was on the mound and I always was interested to see those games.

Something I want to address is Sexson strike out totals. He seems to be doing it more and more of late. Now I know we were aware of this prior to the signing but over the past few games it just seems like he is doing it alot. A couple games in Boston come to mind where he struck out with less than 2 outs and a runner on third. I am not sure what can even be done to remedy this I just would like to see him put the ball in play more often and get out that way rather than Strike out. Maybe its lofty thinking.

Grover Grover Grover. I know people will tell me its early, and mike would suggest that Managers have little to do with the team in actuality. I personally think its time for him to go. I realize they are not going to cut him loose mid year but at the end I think this is Grover’s last ride or at least I hope it is.

This is a pointless post due to just the lameness of the game last night! Hopefully today will bring something more to the table.