Saturday, August 23, 2003
We'll start with Friday's game in this post. I have to say, I never tricked myself into thinking the Mariners were going to win this game.
The Mariners continued their trend of having horrible offense against terrible pitchers, this time against Jeff Suppan, who the Mariners have OWNED over the years. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the Mariners torch this guy (they used to do the same thing with Roy Halladay). But the Mariners inexplicably do crappy against Suppan, as they were set down 1-2-3 in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings. But the main (and sickening) story of the early innings was Joel Pineiro in his FOURTH STRAIGHT CRAPPY OUTING. This is no time for the Mariners to have the entire rotation go down the tubes (as they would learn the next day), and though the A's may have lost Mulder for the year and Hudson for a start, they are facing TORONTO right now and I don't think the A's quite have the penchant for losing to crappy pitchers like the Mariners do.
Well, Pineiro threw 41 frigging pitches in the first. A decent outing by Pineiro and those 41 pitches gets him into the 3rd or 4th inning. Instead, he walks the first two batters and Nomar singles in a run. Pineiro somehow strikes out Manny and Ortiz, and gets ahead 0-2 on Kevin Millar before he falls to a full count and allows a single. Ugh. Joel had an 0-2 count and only needed one more strike to finish the inning down only 1-0 and with around 28 pitches. So Millar singles to make it 2-0, and Trot Nixon doubles on the next pitch to make it 3-0. By this point, I'm convinced the game is over, given the Mariners penchant for crappy offense against Mariner pitching and the fact that Joel is pitching like crap and will not get far in the game and will further burn out the already overworked bullpen. Joel threw 26 more pitches in the 2nd, for a total of 67 pitches, which on a better day would get him into the 5th or 6th. Cameron muffed Todd Walker's fly ball toward the triangle area in right-center, and Walker ended up on third and scored on a Nomar sac fly 7 pitches later to put the Red Sox up 4-0. In a sick twist of fate, Joel threw 23 pitches and mowed down 6 straight Red Sox hitters in the 3rd and 4th. Entering the 5th with 90 pitches, Joel loaded the bases with two outs and finished with 112 pitches before he was pulled for Mateo, who pitched through the 7th for the Mariners.
Joel dug the Mariners a deep hole early, but the Mariners offense didn't help itself out either. Besides those three 1-2-3 innings, the Mariners nullified an Edgar leadoff single in the 2nd, and blew a two-on-and-one-out situation in the 6th. The Mariners did convert when Winn doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Sanchez sac fly to make it 4-1 Sox. The Mariners hit the pay station again in the 7th as Sanchez tripled and scored on a Wilson groundout (that's the only way Wilson gets his RBIs) that chased Suppan. Alan Embree came in and gave up two straight doubles to Ichiro and McLemore, the latter of which scored Ichiro to make it 4-3 Sox. Boone then struck out with Mac on 2nd.
Mateo pitched 2 1/3 innings, but tacked on another run -- a Ramirez bomb --to make it 5-3. Shiggy was brought in for some reason in the 8th, but I guess the rationale is that he needed work. He would give up a bomb to Varitek to extend the Red Sox lead to 6-3. This whole paragraph is a shame because...
The Mariners showed some signs of life in the 9th. Sanchez drew a full-count walk off B-H Kim, then Davis hit a deep ball on the first pitch. Trot Nixon reached above and over the bullpen fence in right to get it. A Davis home run there would have put the Mariners down by one at 6-5. If the Mariners get what we expect from the bullpen, a home run there would have put the Mariners ahead 5-4. If Joel does what we expect from him, all is moot and the whole game is different. Anyway, Ichiro beat out a double play that would have ended it and then Mac hit a double to make it 6-5 and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Boone singled. Edgar then fouled off Kim's first three pitches and somehow worked the count full and fouled off three more pitches before going out with a whimper, popping the ball found just outside of first to Millar to end it.
And the Mariners lucked out again and kept a 3-game lead on the A's because they lost also.
To top it off, the Mariners affiliate here in Ellensburg is airing...friggin rodeo coverage. The Ellensburg Rodeo isn't for another week. Clam your rodeo asses up and put the Mariners back on the air.
Mariners succumb to the crappy John Burkett on SIX DAMN PITCHES. If Burkett keeps that up (you never know with this Mariner lineup, especially without Ichiro-- you don't even have to throw a pitch to Mabry to get him out, just let him sit in the dugout and skip over his spot and put an out on the scoreboard), he'll finish off the Mariners today with a 54-pitch complete game.
Johnny Damon hits a leadoff single with two strikes on him. I wanna be sick.
I'll deal with today's game and yesterday's game in a single post sometime later today.
Oh, hey, Johnny Damon just scored from first on a double. And who has that cannon arm out in right field? John Mabry. No throw home.
Friday, August 22, 2003
If you aren't that good at the actual gameplay of Madden, you'll love it for the Owner Mode alone. With the Owner Mode, you're able to set concession prices, ticket prices, stadium improvments, etc. In my Owner Mode, beers are always 2 bucks and the fries are also 2 bucks. Those prices are "below" the league average, and your profits won't be too high.
But I went 11-5 with the Seahawks for the 2003 season (simulated most of it), and was knocked out of the playoffs by Tampa Bay. Profits after the 2003 season: 12.3 million.
The moral of the story is, you can lower your concessions. But you better win on the field.
Anyway, the most hilarious quote from this article, from Tomahawk coach Kim McConnell: "We had a choice between Bremerton and Kent. Our management felt Bremerton was far superior and we were met with enthusiasm."
YIKES!! BREMERTON AND KENT?!?!! It's times like this when I wish Almost Live! was still on the air at 11:35pm on Saturday nights on KING 5, because they would just have a field day with a quote like that. And what does that say for Kent?? Ouch to be Kent.
Finally, the Orcas, in their 4th year of semi-pro football, are in the playoffs. Commendable achievement and the prices aren't too bad. It ain't NFL, and you don't pay NFL prices, and there's nothing to do in Bremerton anyway (other than that ice rink), so hey, go to an Orcas game, what the hell. It'll be fun.
Reuters has an article regarding a CDC study, athletes, and skin diseases. Yikes.
MxPx has already shot a video for "Shout". God bless Otis Day wherever he may be today. I'm sick right now just hearing that awful news.
As for comparing Kitsap County bands vs Arkansas bands, Evanescence is much better than MxPx. That's not saying much though, but whatever. And remember, MxPx aren't from Bremerton, they are from SILVERDALE. All the more reason to hate them.
That being said, I hope I'm famous enough as a sportswriter one day to be on the "I Love the 90's" series, hopefully to be aired on VH1 10 years from now. Then again, you don't have to be too famous to be on these types of shows.
Best headline of the week: "Kelly Osbourne Eats Fish with Elton John, Vomits"
Hell, I vomited when I heard her track, "Shut Up." Thankfully for us that her dad doesn't make horrible music. "No More Tears" fools!!!
As I flipped around on the TV this morning, I'll be damned if I didn't see Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Anna Kournikova on the Fox News Channel. Apparently Anna and management have chosen Amazon.com apparel as the main outlet for the new Anna-approved Shock Absorber sports bra. It was just priceless to see Bezos just gaze at Anna when she talked. Equally sick were some of the "Fox Facts" running on the screen. Of course, they weren't going to slam Anna because it really wasn't the time for it, so we got things like "Anna has been ranked #1 doubles player in the world" and most sickeningly "Anna gets between $9-15M in endorsements every year." And that for a tennis player who hasn't won a single damn tournament as a professional. Speechless. Hopefully she stops masquerading as a tennis player soon, because she's not fooling anybody.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
And get this, looking through the game log, the Mariners pretty much had the take-the-first-pitch thing going in the 8th, because the only batter that inning -- in which the Mariners sent nine men to the plate -- to not take the first pitch was Rey Sanchez, who grounded into a fielder's choice to force out Ichiro for the second out with Boone on deck, who later singled. Now what happens if Rey isn't an idiot and instead works deeper into the count? Say if he strikes out or something, the Mariners still have Ichiro and his wheels at first (he's faster than Reyrey) and can score if Boone rattles one down the line or in the gap. Anyway, it changes the course of the inning.
And lastly, much like Bret Boone's batting average fell under .300 in the last week or two, the Mariners winning percentage has dropped below .600 for the first time in quite a while. All that really matters, though, is holding off the A's.
Good night, y'all...I'm at where the Zoroastrians influence the apocalyptic thought processes of the Jews. It's actually kind of interesting.
Two plays that put this game away. The first was Cameron getting caught looking with the bases loaded and two out in the 8th after three runs crossed the plate and Dan Wilson hit the only home run he will hit for the rest of the year (three is enough for him). The second was when Benitez had the bases loaded with one out and for the second night in a row, the Mariners blew the 3-6-1 double play and Sanchez was unjustly charged with an error, and all Benitez had to do was block the ball.
Even more mysterious was why Melvin was throwing Soriano when down 3 runs and with two runners on. If anyone listened to the KJR postgame tonight, David Locke was very dead-on when noting that we had all gotten used to the way Piniella used the bullpen. There were the guys that pitched when the Mariners were ahead, and there were the guys that pitched when the Mariners were behind. Locke also said that Lou knew they were gonna lose some games and that at times, you couldn't try to win every single game. Sounds bad, but say you try like hell to win this game, and a move you make in this game causes you to lose one or two later in the week. Case in point, Melvin brings in Soriano today and he therefore will probably not pitch tomorrow against Boston, when they'll probably need him most if say, the Mariners have a 4-3 lead in the 8th with 2 out, 2 on, and Manny Ramirez coming to the plate.
All of this said, the Mariners maintain a 4-game lead because Oakland and Rich Harden got their boo-tays handed to them. That said, there's no excuse at all for the Mariners losing TWICE this year to that hack Mark Hendrickson. Please. And the Mariners didn't get a leadoff hitter aboard until the 8th?? CRAP.
Here's to his quest to become the true Major Leaguer of Kitsap County.
The only thing is the Mariners may luck out tonight because Rich Harden has left the game with the bases loaded and one out and down 6-3. Now it's 8-3 as Chad Harville let some runners score. Yippee. But if the Red Sox have their white-flag attitude with them tonight, the Mariners are looking at a 2-game razor-thin AL West lead. NOOOOOOOOO!
Now, he may be really sick and not pitch again until after this weekend. But I will not be shocked if he pitches this weekend against the Mariners. I don't need to explain how Pedro owns Seattle.
As for the Silverdale Stadium new turf, it's six years too late as far as I'm concerned. And we can bash Bremerton all we want, but at least BHS still has real grass.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Rangers have caught the Angels in the standings. This means that the Angels have gone from winning the World Series to (tying for) last place in the AL West in the span of only 10 months. It's not quite like how the Marlins did after they won the title and had the firesale (54-108 the next year), except the Angels kept their nucleus intact...and they SUCK!!
And since Barry Bonds is back off the bereavement list for the Giants, Todd Linden has had his cup of coffee with the big club for the time being. September call-ups are just a couple weeks away.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
But the end result is that Josh Towers is Pedro Martinez, and the Mariners like facing a Pedro every once in a while and when they're itching for a Pedro-like shutout, they'll pick some young crappy pitcher to do it against, and that's what they did tonight. I could kind of understand if this would have happened two years ago when Towers was with the Orioles and was sort of good, but he's not good anymore. The Mariners offense just sucked horridly.
AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF, Oakland rallied for the second day in a row against the white-flagging Boston Red Sox, whose fans are getting heart attacks back there because they've fallen two games back in the wildcard. Worse yet, the Mariners lead in the West is only 3 games again. Dammit. What in the friggin hell. Now the Mariners have Pineiro and Meche doing their best impersonations of crappy Freddy for the past four or five times through the rotation. Meche sandwiched the Yankee domination outing with four or five horrible and unsharp starts. He's never throw this many innings in his life, either, so maybe it's time for a Julio Mateo spot start or two. Ugh. Three game lead. I wanna be sick.
Well, the Mariners better get it back to a 4-game lead tomorrow. Moyer against Hendrickson, though the Mariners made Hendrickson look like Pedro when he was in Seattle. The real Pedro is facing Oakland tomorrow.
Fortunately for me, the highlight of the night was seeing Michael Ian Black talk to his plant on the 1975 edition of "I Love The 70s", and then beating the hell out of it. It needs to be replayed again, and again, and again (you get it).
Although he's probably going to come back in a few days, I wish he would end up on the 60 day DL. Then we'll see what the Willie dreamboat lovers will do with their lives.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Brian Sweeney to Tacoma, Cirillo up. Bloomquist started but was pulled for Cirillo. Bloomquist had a tight right quad. Cirillo got a hit and an RBI in his first at-bat.
Boone was 3-for-4 with his 31st dong of the year, a 2-run bomb off the TIM-BR sign in left-center.
In all, hopefully Franklin rights the ship here; this should be something to build on. He hasn't been too sharp in a while, and he's been on-and-off when he shows signs of sharpness.
As for the title of the post, this was the Mariners 2000th win in franchise history. Their franchise losses are up around 2100 somewhere.
Lastly, the Red Sox had a 2-0 lead on Mark Mulder and Mulder left with a strained hip. Theo Epstein's bullpen then proceeded to blow the game on a Ramon Hernandez bomb into the Monster seats, and the A's won 3-2.
All in all, the Mariners fans probably should be rooting for the A's to win the wildcard so the Mariners won't have to face Pedro twice in the first round. That would not be good.
He is playing in leftfield presumably until Barry Bonds gets back off the bereavement list. Then he may stay in the Show, or he may go back to Fresno and await September call-ups.
Franklin and Escobar at 4pm today. No long balls, Franky, please. Especially with the way Escobar manhandled the Mariners the last time out. Yikes.
To the 2003 Anaheim Angels. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they won the World Series last year and Seattle doesn't have a ring themselves. But they really are a bunch of flukes.
As for The Sun, Jeff Rosen did a story on Todd Linden today. But he won't get as much press as everybody's favorite little SK beyotch Willie Bloomquist. Sad indeed.
Monday, August 18, 2003
And that makes me happy. They were a fluke team. Same bunch of guys this year as last year, except they're either hurt or playing like crap.
Also, they're still mentioning Garret Anderson's name in the same sentence as "MVP." Why? Where has his team gone? No one can convince me that Garret is more of an MVP than Ichiro or Bret Boone or Giambi.
In a semi-local turn, the Little Leaguers from Richland lost their second straight game in the LLWS at Williamsport. Ironic that the Mariners beat Boston, but the Nomar-lovers from Saugus, MA beat the Boone boys from Richland. You can't have both, I guess.
And in very local sports, 2002 B-town grad Dana Kirk nabbed the bronze at the Pan Am Games. Kirk the Taller, a Stanford soph-to-be, was a mere 0.04 seconds short of the silver medal. Attaway, D-Kirk.
I guess the only Mariner news today is this: Guillen and Cirillo are both set to come back to the big club soon. Who plays third? Time will tell.
It's a slow day in sports, what with half a Major League slate. What else was I gonna talk about? The Storm losing? Come on.
Have a great day, y'all. Now I gotta study for my two tests I have tomorrow.
He's still better than Willie Bloomquist.
Rafael Soriano is still the man.
Ozzy may have to hang it up very soon.
And it is hot as hell here.
I'll have more later.
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Raf Soriano came in for Freddy with two on in scoring position in the 8th and Nomar up. Raf just blew the first two pitches right past Nomar, who swung, but had absolutely no chance. The third pitch seemed a little low and outside, but the umpire didn't think so. By the way, SportsCenter and some of the east coast biased freaks out there were all over the strike zone and the discrepancies of the pitches Burkett wasn't getting and the pitches Freddy was getting. I tell you, the east coast will never give this team their due. I think the Red Sox/Mariners highlights were fourth in order of showing on Baseball Tonight, even behind the Royals and Twins, two teams shockingly close to .500. Back to my first topic of the paragraph, Soriano is just in another world right now, and his stuff is just electric. He's automatic right now. If you get the chance to go to the Safe and see him throw or even see this guy on TV, take it. The ball just explodes out of his hand.
Also, Shigetoshi Hasegawa is also pitching out of his mind. His ERA is microscopic, and I think he might be in a zone similar to Soriano's. He is perfect in his 13 save opportunities, and Bob Melvin is going to ride this streak until it runs out, as well he should. Sasaki's not back to top form yet (not pitching for a couple months will do that to you) and Benitez has had a couple of cardiac outings and probably isn't that dependable right now.
That said, the lineup the Mariners trotted out there today was absolutely brutal. Yesterday's was awful, too with Randy Winn in the 3-hole, and McLemore, Mabry, Wilson, and Bloomquist in the bottom end of the lineup. Today's had Mac second, Mabry sixth, and Bloomquist ninth. This will be one of the many times we say it here on this board, but Bloomquist is not good by any stretch of the imagination, and that's not just the anti-South Kitsap sentiment I have boiling inside of me. The guy's just not good, and I have no idea what he is doing up with the big club because he never proved in the minors that he could hit on a regular basis. Once Cirillo gets his shoulder back in tow, he will get his job back automatically, and the Gold Glove will be back at third. Complain all you want about Cirillo, but there's pretty much nothing the Mariners can do with him and the huge contract. Don't look now, but Cirillo has homered in two straight games with the Rainiers. This may be a stretch, but if Cirillo can come up and even hit .250, that'd be great for this team. Gillick caught lightning in a bottle when picking up Rey Sanchez, and having him hit fairly well, and having a .250-hitting Cirillo would patch things up a little more nicely.
And getting Todd Zeile (cut today by the Yankees) would still help deepen the Mariners' putrid bench. It would also give them two players handed down from the Mets and Yankees (Benitez the other).
As of now, 14 days until the waiver trade deadline. The Nelson/Benitez & cash deal sure caught us all by surprise, and there's still some needs the Mariners need to fill on this roster (lefty reliever, bench help, third base), so let's all hope Gillick isn't in such work-friendly envirnments as Hawaii or his house in Toronto (yes, that's a joke).
Off day tomorrow. I'll post something. Different topic? Who knows.
The posts won't all be that long, I promise.
Final funny note: During the Mariner radio broadcast today, there was a 6-3 groundout from Sanchez to Mabry. Niehaus said something like "ground ball to short...Rey Quiñones picks it up and fires it to first...in time." I almost soiled myself laughing. If this is the first hint of Niehaus senility, then I like it.
And remember, you can take yourself out of B-town, but (for better or for worse) you can't take the B-town out of you.
ON TO THE POSTING!! ENJOY!!