Thursday, April 13, 2006

Back to .500 and my first Sportscenter appearance

When I found out that the M's would be in Cleveland while I was on my Easter break visiting Ohio with my wife, I was excited. When I found out that Felix would be pitching at the game I was going to, I was even more excited. When Felix looked like crap, the M's were down 4-0, Indians fans were going nuts for Travis "Pronk" Hafner, and drums were being beaten, I wanted to stop being a baseball fan.

But then my wife and I said it: "You know where he keeps that power right? Mmmmm hmmm. In his back pocket." Ichiro goes yard. 4-3. The Tribe adds another run to make it 5-3. But it was in the top of the 6th that my life changed for....a day or two.

When Jose Lopez ripped that home run, it was coming straight at me. And fast. In my mind I'm thinking, "Yes. Good. But....oh....oh my God it's coming right at me. I really wish I had my glove." I made a lame jump for it, but luckily it was too far over my head and the kid behind me (who did bring his glove) caught it. I've never been so glad to not catch a home run ball. There's no way I would have caught that ball, and I would have looked like an ass in front of all those Cleveland fans. Which would have been especially bad since it was college night at Jacobs Field and there had already been fights and other nonsense between Mariners and Indians fans.

A few minutes ago I turned on ESPN, and when the game highlights came on, I saw my lanky self on TV! Tee Vee!!! Couple this with the fact that Moira linked us this week on her P-I blog and I feel like a Z-list celebrity.

But, back to the game. What a great win. Really. How great was George Sherrill when he mowed down Hafner and Broussard in the 7th? And Putz too!

So, I had this great idea for the blog that was shot down by both my wife and Travis, but I'm going to tell the Magic faithful about it anyway. I thought it would be fun to give a game ball out to the player or players who we felt like were the most important to the M's that night. I thought we could take it a step further and, staying with the magic motif, give out a game wand! It was called "chincy", "over-commercialized", "corny", "hokey", and a littany of other unpleasant adjectives. Fine then. So, without further ado, tonight's game ball/wand goes to George Sherrill. I think you'd have to actually be at an Indians game to understand how just annoying their love of Travis Hafner really is, so you may not have gotten quite the devilish pleasure that I did at seeing "Pronk" get mowed down. Regardless, it was freakin sweet.

Boston's next. This first 2 weeks for the M's is absolutely brutal. Two series wins so far which I'm very happy with.

The question is-how good can this team be?

16 comments:

  1. That's awesome that you were on SportsCenter! I've never caught a home run ball before - not even in batting practice. And, I'm glad I wasn't on SportsCenter when Mike Cameron hit a rocket foul ball that hit my girlfriend in the stomach as I dove out of the way (with a glove on my hand, BTW!). The only good that glove did me was that it gave me something to hide my embarassed face in as Cheryl walked up the stairs to the first aid station and the entire section gave her a standing ovation. Anway...long, pointless story aside...I like the idea of a game wand. And, hey - if you're going to go cheesy, go all out! Make a little graphic in Photoshop or Paint or whatever that looks like a wand. You could make a wand that looks like a baseball bat! Or a wand where the glowing magic at the end looks like a baseball. Or...you could post the picture of the player of the day and put a little Z scar on their forehead - ala Harry Potter. Haha!

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  2. Ha-yes! One person likes the wand!

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  3. Neddy Ballgame9:34 AM

    Yes,MIke L. on the highlight reels--ESPN and KONG 6/16---a thing of beauty !!
    "Wand of the Game " ,eh? or maybe "Magic Wand of teh Game"..if Georgie Porgie's Strike outs were so magical and hte blog is Mariner MAgic then a "Magic" Wand might be appropriate--I say go for it !!!

    Winning 2 of the first 3 series so far is moe than I think many of us expected...hoped for but were still doubting--still question marks but now that Ichiro is p.o.'d and our number 2 hitter is a power guy who cares tha t Everett and Beltre combined don't bat .300 !!!! ....Rock and Roll (Hall of Fame) with the MAriners at teh JAke !!...these wins at Cleveland are even bigger htan the home victories over the Angels ---

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  4. maaah9:46 AM

    mariner magic...magic wand...of course.and on top of all the fun here at MM, these games are actually inspiring/exciting to watch. go m's beat the bosox...one series at a time.

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  5. Stick to a game ball end of story! Wand i agree with Kristen mike its really corny, lame hokey insert your term here.

    Game notes on my end, The bullpen was nasty last night. The offense woke up yesterday again and really started to produce. Let me pose this question why oh why are we hitting Kenji 7th behind Jurassic Carl and I cant hit right now Beltre?? Move kenji behind richie please this is my first cry for this I just think it makes to much since.

    There is a really annoying Yankee fan in my office that busts my balls everyday. Today I shot him down. I said look we took two of three series from the likes of Oakland Anaheim and Cleveland. While the Yankees lost two of three series to the Angels, A's and the Royals, guess which series they won and which they lost, ya I thought so. I like this team they are going to be very competitive this year.

    mikey you gotta lay out for that ball!!!

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  6. Take away those few games where the team didn't do any real hitting, and the they are off to a very good start.

    The bullpen was very inspring last night; I hope they don't get overworked this year. It will be important for our starters to go 6+ innings whenever they can, so the relievers can stay fresh. I thought Sherrill and Putz had absolutely nasty stuff in the 9-5 win. I like the way they use Soriano and Mateo, and Woods looks like he could well be a better bullpen lefty for the Mariners than Thornton was.

    I think if the team has an Achilles' Heel, it's the rotation. I have little confidence in any of the starters so far, but if they pitch half their games at Safeco they should at least be "average" as a group. Fernandez hasn't found a groove yet, but I think he can, and that he probably will. I think we can expect average performances from him, Moyer and Washburn. Not so sure about Meche and Pineiro... Think we might be able to make a decent trade in July for starting pitching?

    But I've been positively impressed with other things besides the bullpen. Carl Everett shows some pretty decent patience at the plate. Lopez' hitting seems to be maturing very nicely! I love the DP combo we have going with him and Betancourt, and I am confident both of these young players' overall games will only continue to get better and better. Still waiting for Reed to improve at the plate... it was excruciating watching him fan with the bases loaded last night. Still love his glove, though! And a good CF sure can help the pitching staff.

    Beltre still isn't hitting much, but as long as they keep him on the field, they can bat him 8th or 9th in the order and I won't mind, as at least now there are other bats picking up Beltre's slack. I find some of the plays he makes at 3B absolutely amazing. If he starts pounding the ball, it will be icing on the cake.

    Johjima has been a great addition to the team, from all indications so far; he has been a total joy to watch! I wonder how he will adjust when the pitchers start figuring him out... as professional as he seems so far, I think he will do fine.

    Sexson looks like he's ready to give us another season like last year, and Ichiro looks the same. They're great guys to have on the team, and somehow, to me, Ibanez just seems to get better and better. He's a valuable part of the ballclub, and has taken to the "Edgar role" quite well.

    And one of the BEST things I've seen so far: Hargrove has resisted the temptation to start Bloomquist in more than one game! This has been a pleasant surprise to me. They are being patient with Borchard, working with him, giving him opportunities to prove his worth here and there. I'd like to see Petagine get a few more ABs, but it's nice just knowing he is a quality hitter available if needed.

    I still think the team is good for at least .500 this season, but if they can hit on all cylinders for periods of time, I don't see why they couldn't win a lot more than that!

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  7. I agree about the lineup, Big D. I'd move Johjima up. Maybe something like: ?

    Ichiro
    Lopez
    Ibanez
    Sexson
    Johjima
    Everett
    Beltre
    Reed
    Betancourt

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  8. sorry i missed sportscenter this morning. no cable at the fiancee's pad. and the link in another blog - mariner magic is coming up in the blogosphere!

    i was listening on xm radio last night. it was great to listen to the other team's announcers have to call a comeback like that. (even if it meant that "pronk" and grady sizemore did nothing for my fantasy baseball team last night.) when sherril whiffed broussard, they went to commercial so fast that johjima must still have been in his crouch. probably a good thing for the station, you could hear an fcc violation coming.

    go m's!! i can't wait to see them in bmore.

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  9. Oh the Broussard K was the best. As soon as it hit his glove, Johjima stood up. He was halfway to the dugout before Broussard even moved. He was absolutely frozen.

    I think Snave made a good point about Everett-he's leading the team in walks.

    As far as Reed, he smoked everything he hit last night. The K with bases loades was painful, but other than that I think he's looking better.

    Beltre? We may as well just wait and see. I can't decide if moving up Johjima is a good idea. Clearly he's hitting better than a #7 hitter, but I wonder if moving him up would add pressure to him. I dunno, it's hard to say.

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  10. The Broussard K was a thing of beauty, I mean not only was Broussard frozen but so was the umpire. Kenji was like yup thats a strike good pitch lets hit the dugout and was 5 feet away before the call was made. I am in love with Kenji in fact where's the team store thats my jersey this year!!

    I'm starting the Wagon. KENJI IN THE 5 HOLE KENJI IN THE 5 HOLE!!! MAKE IT HAPPEN

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  11. You know things are going well when we hit double-digit comments.

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  12. I always think about doing some sort of "gameball" or whatnot, except that Sports and Bremertonians already does "Gameball" and "Goat" for each Mariners game, so in general I just go over there to look at theirs and see if I agree -- just like Bat-Girl does the Boyfriend of the Day. And so on. I'm hoping that my "Weight Watchers" gimmick over at Marinerds does NOT last through the year though, because if we still have guys with lower batting averages than body weight in a few weeks, there is a biiiiiiig problem.

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  13. oh, man...please don't jinz johjima by buying his jersey!!

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