Saturday, September 06, 2003
AFC North---Pittsburgh (10-6)
AFC South---Tennessee (11-5)
AFC West---Oakland (10-6)
AFC Wild Cards---Baltimore (9-7), Indianapolis (9-7)
NFC East---Philadelphia (12-4)
NFC North---Green Bay (11-5)
NFC South---Tampa Bay (11-5)
NFC West---Seattle (11-5)
NFC Wild Cards---St. Louis (10-6), Atlanta (9-7)
WILD CARD PLAYOFFS
AFC---Indianapolis d. Pittsburgh, Oakland d. Baltimore
NFC---Seattle d. St. Louis, Green Bay d. Atlanta
AFC---Tennessee d. Indianapolis, Buffalo d. Oakland
NFC---Seattle d. Philadelphia, Tampa Bay d. Green Bay
AFC---Buffalo d. Tennessee
NFC---Seattle d. Tampa Bay
SUPER BOWL XXXVIII, Feb. 1, 2004 in Houston, TX
Seattle Seahawks defeat Buffalo Bills (SB MVP---Darrell Jackson, Seattle)
NFL MVP: Drew Bledsoe, Buffalo
AFC Offensive MVP: Drew Bledsoe, Buffalo
AFC Defensive MVP: Ray Lewis, Baltimore
AFC Coach of the Year: Gregg Williams, Buffalo
NFC Offensive MVP: Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle
NFC Defensive MVP: Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay
NFC Coach of the Year: Mike Holmgren, Seattle
First Coach to Get Fired: Dave McGinness, Arizona
Best Monday Night Football Game: Philadelphia at Green Bay, Week 10, November 10
There you go. Remember, predictions, schmictions. They're in good fun. Don't use them as betting lines, because chances are, I'll probably get half of these wrong. But whatever. IT'S FOOTBALL TIME, ONCE AGAIN IT'S ON!
Rich Cy Young Harden, however, lost for Oakland tonight, as the Devil Rays decided to play a MAJOR LEAGUE ballgame against those Swingin A's, winning 7-4. In a perfect world, the M's would have beat the O's tonight so they would only be a game back of the A's...but that just makes too much sense.
Actual title of my Mariners Mail in my Hotmail inbox: "You Gotta Love This Pennant Race"
Do I have to love this race? I dread this race, because quite frankly, this shouldn't have been a race. It's the same ol' situation as 2000 and 2002, and I don't like it one bit. Is it too much to ask to hire a decent scouting department? You would think that with the money the M's make off of their stuffed mooses, they could pay a few scouts here and there. It's beyond frustrating to have to see a "veteran ballclub" get worked by these no-name trash pitchers (DuBose, Jorge Sosa, Doug Waetcher, Billy Traber, Mark Hendrickson, etc.).
Sure, the race is far from over. But this 2-game deficit seems like 8 to me. I hope I'm proven wrong, but I'm not a rose-colored glasses guy either. I've never been one, so I'm not going to start now.
BTW, what a day in college football. Tough, tough loss for Washington State today against Notre Dame. That's TWO Overtime games that Matt Kegel has lost in the last two seasons for the Cougars. Yes kids, Kegel sucks. But Will Derting is a stud. I've known this ever since the Nevada game last year in Seattle...he should definitely get more national pub. Ho hum, the Huskies won over Indiana, YAY! 38 points just weren't enough though. I think 56 would have been more like it, because well, Indiana is TERRIBLE!
Great games in Tuscaloosa and Miami tonight, with Oklahoma and Miami winning. That's what college football is all about. Thank God football season is here. And the two Arkansas D-1 teams (Razorbacks and Indians) put up a combined 108 points tonight in their victories (45-12 Arkansas over Tulsa; 63-6 Arkansas State over Tenn.-Martin). Don't know which Arkansas 4-year school I'll be at next year, but that's for another time.
NFL PREDICTIONS COMING UP NEXT....STAY TUNED.
Friday, September 05, 2003
Baltimore’s a good hitting team, but man…I’ll get to that later.
First, the pitching.
Meche didn’t bring his A-game tonight; he threw too many pitches, but he did pitch well enough to win. He got out of the jams fairly well. Gil allowed two at least two runners aboard in each of the first four innings before getting a 1-2-3 fifth.
(disclaimer: game log references and box score data provided by CBS SportsLine)
In the first, Meche allowed two singles and struck out Bigbie before getting Jay Gibbons to GIDP (11 pitches).
In the second, Luis Matos worked the count full from 1-2 and hit a single with one out to make a first-and-second-with-one-out situation. Meche then struck out Deivi Cruz on three pitches then whiffed Brook Fordyce (22 pitches – 33 total).
In the third, Bigbie singled to force yet another first-and-second-with-one-out situation. Meche forced flyouts from Gibbons and Tony Batista (17 pitches – 50 total).
In the fourth, Fordyce singled to make a first-and-second-with-two-out situation. Though Meche had one more out than the other three times with one out, he yielded a single to Brian Roberts (this guy was 4-for-6 tonight…there’s no excuse for this) to score Deivi Cruz and make it Baltimore 1-0. Mora then flew out (25 pitches!! – 75 total).
In the fifth, Meche had his easiest inning of all. Bigbie caught looking, and Gibbons and Batista fly out (10 pitches – 85 total).
In the sixth, Meche allowed a leadoff bomb to the 684-year-old grizzled veteran (and a man who lost his spark the minute he left the Brewers) BJ Surhoff. Seattle’s lead was cut to 4-2. Meche threw three straight balls to Luis Matos, which really didn’t look good, but battled back to a full count before giving up a single. But then he got Cruz, Fordyce, and Roberts to either line out or fly out (21 pitches – 106 total).
In the 7th, Rafael Soriano came on and did his best Armando Benitez impression. It was almost scary. He got ahead 0-1 and 1-2 on Melvin Mora before a combination of balls and foul-offs made for a long at-bat on which Mora flew out on the 9th pitch. Raf then got ahead 0-2 on Bigbie but lost him to a single on a 1-2 pitch. Gibbons singled on the first pitch for two on and one out. Tony Batista fouled off two pitches to get behind 0-2 in the count. The third pitch saw him hit an RBI single that scored Bigbie to make the score Seattle 4-3. Raf then had an epic battle with Surhoff, the count was 1-2 before ending up full once again before Raf managed to blow a fastball by him. Raf then got Matos to fly out after falling behind 3-1 in the count. A long and hairy inning (32 PITCHES!!).
In the 8th, Mateo gave up a two-out single to Roberts, who stole second on a 1-1 pitch with Mora up. The count went from 1-2 to full, then Mora fouled off three pitches before finally popping out to Olerud (21 pitches).
In the 9th, Hasegawa came in to nail down a 4-3 Mariner win. How’d it go? Bigbie led off with a single on an 0-2 pitch. Shig threw a first-pitch strike to Gibbons, but then threw four straight balls. Shig threw two strikes past Batista to put him in an 0-2 hole. Then Shig nibbled and the count went full before Batista hit a double play ball. Runner on third, two out. Orioles would need a hit or some kind of error to tie the game. Shig threw a ball on the first pitch to Surhoff and the grizzled vet hit a single to score Bigbie on the second pitch. Tie game at 4-4. Worse yet, Matos singled on the next pitch, putting the winning run on second. But then Cruz bounced out to Sanchez to end the inning (21 pitches).
In the 10th, Shig came on once again to hold the O’s, this time in a tie game. He had a 1-2 count on Fordyce go full before forcing a groundout. He had a 2-2 count on Roberts before walking him. He started out Mora 0-2 before Mora fouled off three pitches and took two balls before being caught looking. He fell behind 2-0 in the count to Bigbie before walking him to put the winning run in scoring position for the second straight inning. Tim Raines Jr then came up and bounced one along the third base line that Shig picked up. Shig couldn’t nail Spawn of Raines because the guy runs like his dad did. This loaded the bases with two out, the winning run 90 feet away. Luckily, Tony Batista flew out on the first pitch. Whew (30 pitches – 51 total).
In the 11th, Kazu Sasaki came on and got ahead on all three hitters he faced, as Hairston Jr flew out, Matos whiffed, and Cruz flew out. Great inning by Kazu, though with a fairly long battle with Cruz (19 pitches in inning).
In the 12th, Kazu came out yet again to hold the O’s. Fordyce flew out on the second pitch. An eight-pitch at-bat led to a Roberts flyout. He threw a strike to Mora, but beaned him on the next pitch and was yanked for Rhodes (12 pitches – 31 total). Of course, I always cringe when Rhodes comes into any game in a tight situation. He came out and threw two balls right out of the gate to Bigbie before he singled to move the winning run to second once again. Luckily, Rhodes caught Raines Jr looking (7 pitches).
In the 13th, Rhodes stayed in to close it out. Rhodes got two quick outs before throwing a ball to Matos and then yielding a single to him. He got Cruz to foul off two pitches before he doubled to put the tying run on second and bring the winning run to the batters box. Luckily, the game ended on a Fordyce groundout. Whew. Mariners 6-4.
You know, I don’t care how good a hitting team the Orioles are, and I’m glad the Mariners won, so I’m not too hung up on it, but the Orioles got TWENTY-ONE FRIGGING HITS tonight. That’s astounding. Roberts, Bigbie, and Matos got FOUR HITS EACH. Let’s hope Moyer doesn’t let this happen tomorrow. I don’t think the Mariners can withstand another 21-hit game by the opposition and still win.
Shig blew his first save of the year and showed that, yes, he indeed is human. I knew he had to blow a save sometime, but the middle of September is such a terrible time to do it. In any event, if the Mariners have a one-run lead on Sunday (no way in hell he pitches tomorrow after throwing 51 pitches), I still want to see Shig out there nailing down the game. And like I said after the extra-inning game in Tampa Bay, I’m glad this game didn’t happen in August, or the bullpen would be screwed for about three days. All the guys except maybe Sasaki threw a ton of pitches, but since it’s September, there’s a fallback policy, and it consists of Putz, Looper, and Sweeney. If the Mariners have a late-inning close lead tomorrow, Looper (Tacoma closer, post-Taylor injury) may get the call. It sure as hell won’t be Benitez, who didn’t pitch tonight. It’s been mentioned elsewhere, but can tonight be the official moment where we declare that the Jeff Nelson trade was made because he shot his mouth off at management? It’s not like they’re actually using Benitez or having any confidence in the guy whatsoever, because he should have been out there tonight. Worse yet is that they’re paying this guy more than they paid Nelson, and to do less.
Soriano was shaky once again, but still dominant. He’s still young, and he’s been great for this team. Tonight it was entirely evident that he needs to work on that changeup or a curve or something to offset the high speeds of the fastball and slider. This guy is incredibly good right now; if he gets a third (and slower) pitch, he may be unhittable. I’m thinking Gagne-type here. Of course, if he gets that third pitch, it’s possible that the Mariners put him in the rotation if they pink slip Garcia or he walks in the offseason. Then Raf would possibly be forced to develop that third pitch.
A really encouraging thing tonight was the performance of Sasaki. This is the best he’s looked since he’s been back. Do I want him to take over the closer’s role because Shig blew one save? Hell no. Do I feel a little better that the Mariners may have another option in the pen that they may feel half-confident about? Yes. Sasaki got ahead in the count on every hitter he faced, and got first-pitch strikes on five of the six hitters he faced. He hit 91 on the gun at one point (significant progress on the speed end) and it appeared that the splitter had some bite to it once again. His pitch breakdown: 5 balls and 26 strikes for 31 total pitches.
Now for the hitting…
For quite a while tonight, it looked like the same old crap for the Mariners. They extended the streak of scorelessness to 22 2/3 innings before scoring with 2 out in the 5th. That’s when they finally got some breaks and some much-needed signs of life. This thanks to the fact that Jason Johnson is now 1-6 against the Mariners in his career and that he is a very tall righty with a high leg kick.
The Mariners went 1-2-3 in the 2nd, 7th, and 11th.
In the 1st, Edgar hit a two-out single, Boone walked, and Guillen grounded out. One runner stranded in scoring position.
In the 3rd, Sanchez led off with a single, Ichiro fell way behind in the count and whiffed (oh boy), Winn flew out on the first pitch, Edgar walked, then Boone hit a grounder to force out Edgar at second. Another runner stranded in scoring position (2 total).
In the 4th, Guillen led off with a single, and stole second on a 2-2 pitch to Olerud before John struck out (this will be a recurring theme). Cameron walked. Davis whiffed before Sanchez grounded to force out Cam. Another runner stranded in scoring position (3 total).
In the 5th, Winn hit a one-out double. One out later, Boone walked. With Guillen up, Boone and Winn executed the double steal on a 1-1 pitch. Guillen then came up with a key single to drive in the runners. Olerud then whiffed. Mariners were up 2-1.
In the 6th, Cameron worked Johnson for a 10-pitch at-bat, but flew out in foul ground to Bigbie. Davis then beat a throw for an infield single. Sanchez flew out to center in a situation in which it would have behooved the Mariners to move the runner over. But that was rendered moot on the next pitch when Ichiro homered to put the Mariners up 4-1. Winn then singled and Edgar bounced out to third. This was Jason Johnson’s last inning.
In the 8th, nothing really eventful other than a 2-out Sanchez single and that Ichiro finally tried to bunt himself on and use his speed for the first time in a while.
In the 9th, Boone walked with two outs. He was on first and pitcher John Parrish tried to snap throw and pick off Boone. The throw was a little wide toward the runner and the ball went into right-field foul ground, landing Boone on third. This would have been a great insurance run to have, though there were two outs. Guillen then fouled off three pitches before whiffing. Another runner stranded in scoring position (4 total).
In the 10th, a Cameron one-out infield single was followed by a Davis warning-track flyout bash to left and a Sanchez bounce out.
In the 12th, against Kerry Ligtenberg with one out, Guillen walked and Olerud singled. Cameron and Davis then flew out. Another runner stranded in scoring position (5 total).
In the 13th, the Mariners came through for good. Ichiro hit a much-needed 1-out single to jumpstart things (sounds like the Mariners finally). Randy Winn then got into a pitch that was hit as hard as one could hit it without it being a home run (off the scoreboard in rightfield). Edgar was walked to keep the double play possibility and was pinch-ran for by Jamal Strong. On the next pitch, Boone was beaned in the left elbow to put the Mariners up 5-4. Guillen then hit a sac fly to score Winn with the insurance run (6-4 Mariners) before Olerud flew out.
Adapting a stat from Locke and Woodward on KJR, the Mariners are now 40-18 when Ichiro gets 2 or more hits (including tonight’s 2-for-7). Multihit games were also had by Winn (3), Edgar, Guillen, and Sanchez (2 each). Boone was 0-for-3, but one of the three was a good-looking opposite-field lineout to the rightfielder, possibly a sign of him finding it again. Though Boone was 0-for-3, he also drove in the game-winning run and walked three times. In contrast, John Olerud was 1-for-7 with the golden sombrero. What’s that, you ask? FOUR STRIKEOUTS. Yee-haw! Good gracious.
All in all, I guess the Mariner offense didn’t have to be perfect tonight, but they needed a few breaks and they got them, though none of them were early in the game, as they stranded three runners in scoring position before the 5th inning.
Boston pasted Pettitte and the Yanks tonight. What sucks is that this is the last Yanks and Sox series for the rest of the year. It’s not bad in that the Yanks/Sox games won’t get shoved down our throats on ESPN for the rest of the year, but it’s also dumb that their division race after this weekend series will ultimately depend on how they do against other (and weaker) teams. Luckily in the West, the Mariners and the other three teams get to control their own destiny, and more often. And that’s the way it should be.
My dad pointed out to me that this weekend, Lou Piniella is in a win-win situation. His team wins and his team looks great and is that much further away from 100 losses. His team loses and that bastard management in Seattle doesn’t gain any ground on Oakland and is one step closer to not being in the playoffs. I can’t say his team totally laid down for the A’s tonight, but they still lost. The Mariners can’t afford to just mirror the A’s the rest of the way. That won’t get them anywhere.
Okay, I have no visual proof of this, and I don't know whether he was joking or not, but KJR morning guy Mitch Levy said that after the game, Bob Melvin said "we just don't match up well with Tampa Bay." Now if I got some visual proof of that, I may just go crazy. All this guy looks for are excuses. I have to ask him and the brass, where's this big run you've promised us? Don't tell me it was that piddly winning streak from last week.
You know what? If Lou is really REALLY vindictive, he'll have his D-Rays absolutely lay down for Oakland. They did last time...Sick, isn't it?
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Sound made when hamsters are embarrassed or shy; or when they are cleaning/grooming themselves, or scratching their heads.
That's the sound that's being made by David, myself, and every hardcore Mariners fan around the globe right about now.
Sound used when a hamster takes a bite out of something. Crunchy sound.
The sound Lou Piniella made tonight after the DRays 1-0 victory over the Mariners. This after his usual postgame smokes.
The sound of sleeping, like ZZZZ.
Sound of the Mariners offense since, well, September 2001. Or you could say since the day Alex Rodriguez left Seattle.
OK guys and gals, that's enough out of me tonight. Isn't sarcasm fun? Hell yeah it is.
Sure, the Mariners are only 2 games behind the A's in the American League West. But they are a half game behind the Red Sox in the wild card race, and guess what? If the playoffs started tomorrow afternoon, the M's would be sitting at home watching Step By Step reruns on ABC Family.
Look, I hope that the Mariners pick it up. But there's that thing called a TRACK RECORD, and judging by that, things aren't looking so good for your favorite baseball club in the whole wide world (cue Opie and the Beaver here).
If it weren't for Tony Pena in Kansas City, I would vote for Lou Piniella as the A.L. Manager of the Year. What he's done with that Devil Rays ballclub has been remarkable. Sure, they're in dead last. But they will not lose 100 games this season. And what do you know, they took the season series with the Mariners, 5-4. By the way, Jorge Sosa was once a Mariner farmhand, playing with Class-A Everett and Wisconsin in 2001, going 3-1 in with 7 saves in 23 appearances.
Just to really piss all of you off, this is the Mariners promotional item for the Sept. 13 game against the Angels: HAMTARO VIDEOS! Yep, Hamtaro. What the hell is Hamtaro, you ask? Well, it is a Japanese cartoon about little hamsters. Don't worry, I just found out about Hamtaro tonight, so don't think that I actually care about this damn show. Ladies and gentlemen, if this isn't an indication of how the M's organization doesn't care about winning, then you need some serious psychological help.
BTW, here's the official Hamtaro website, www.hamtaro.com.
Preach on, brother David...you stole almost all the words out of my mouth.
As I heard on the Groz with Gas Show today, and now have confirmed with an AP wire report, Anaheim Angels announcer and popular former player Rex "The Wonder Dog" Hudler got busted with marijuana and/or paraphernalia possession. Apparently it was a commercial flight, and it's probably easier to sneak the stuff onto a charter flight. In any event, the guys brought up the possibility of Rizzs getting busted for pot in an airport. It'd be hilarious.
And one thing I forgot that yet another caller brought up (and that was mentioned during the Mariner broadcast) is that the specially-made shoe that came in for Edgar was for THE WRONG FOOT. Can it get any worse for this team? The same caller also said (I'm stretching the PG-13 rating for this one) "The Mariners could fall into a barrel of [breasts] and come out sucking their thumbs." It's a sick line, but it's funny as hell.
That's my last post for tonight. I promise.
As I remember from the Mariner telecast today, Ichiro and Melvin had a "heart-to-heart" chat (forgot if it was Rizzitello or Niehaus that said it), Ichiro suggested he might be mentally off, Melvin suggested a day off, and Ichiro agreed. Would you want Ichiro up instead of Sanchez in the 9th with a runner on? At this point, I think it's a wash.
I don't know how many times the Mariners have faced Pedro Martinez this year. Yesterday he took the form of Doug Waechter. Tonight he was Jorge Sosa. And one thing never changes, the Mariners never beat him.
Before I start ripping, Ryan Franklin will be the only one not getting the blame tonight. He's had some good outings and some bad outings, but HE WAS THE ONLY ONE SHOWING ANY HEART TONIGHT. Ichiro doesn't get any direct blame tonight, but for the last two to three weeks...let's just say there's a sick correlation between Ichiro sucking and Oakland getting hot, and I really don't like it.
This team absolutely sucks. I thought maybe that big inning last week would do something for these guys, but it didn't. It was a total aberration.
Lou Piniella is laughing tonight. Hard. The Mariner brass never got him the bat he asked for since the day Alex Rodriguez left, and the Devil Rays absolutely STUCK IT TO THE MARINERS ORGANIZATION. Take your Stand Pat, take your untouchable prospects, take your tight payroll, and FRIGGIN SHOVE IT.
KJR's Dick Fain once analogized the Mariners farm system strategy in football terms. It would be like owning a football team and drafting or recruiting nothing but defensive players. Linemen, safeties, corners, linebackers -- that's it. Needless to say, such a strategy is bullcrap because the offense is obviously neglected. The only points this fictional football team would score would be on fumble recoveries, interceptions, etc. Now convert this to baseball terms -- sure sounds uncannily like the Mariners, doesn't it? I mean, Edgar was a position player at one time but not anymore. That leaves Willie Bloomquist as the only position player on the Mariners 25-man roster that was homegrown by the farm system. That's friggin pathetic. Homegrown talent is the way to get around any need for free agency. What the Mariners have been doing is stockpiling the arms, so they have a good rotation. Then they have to depend on free agency to get bats. Why is this a bad idea? You're trying to woo hitters into SAFECO FIELD. Bill Krueger once made the point that the Safe in some ways is a lot like Yankee Stadium in that the ball is more likely to leave the yard in right field. So the Yankees build the team around their park. How? Left-handed hitters with pop. Over the years, Paul O'Neill, Jason Giambi, Bernie Williams, Nick Johnson, Jorge Posada, etc. Now who do the Mariners have for lefty hitters with pop? Olerud doesn't hit for power anymore. Ichiro's not a home run hitter. So...they're not taking advantage of that, and that's the reason why you hear rumors to get Raf Palmeiro to DH after Edgar retires. He's perfect for the park.
A caller named Cameron called in to KJR and said "does anybody miss Buhner?" He then waxed nostalgic about Buhner's grit and how the Mariners could use it right now. I kinda miss Nelson too. It's great that Howard Lincoln has basically made the organization Communist by stamping out all opposing views within the organization. Just great.
David Locke brought up that if this is Edgar's final year in baseball, it's really sad that he has to bow out with this sad sack of a team. Another caller said he hoped that Edgar would come back next year, get traded, and at least have a chance to get to the World Series, a la Ray Bourque in the hockey world.
Locke is on fire tonight. "I'M AS OUT OF CONTROL AS [the Mariners] SUCK BAD!!!!"
One quick note here, Lou Piniella was basically playing with a 24-man roster last year because Gillick had some sick infatuation with Mr. Rule V, Luis Ugueto, who was couch-surfed (a Sandmeyer buzzword) the whole year on the Mariner bench just so they could keep him and send him to San Antonio this year. This year, it could well be said that Melvin had an identical problem for a prolonged period because Sasaki and Cirillo were on the roster when they weren't anywhere near 100%.
Another point brought up was that once all the guys in the lineup either retire or leave, the Mariners will be left with all those young arms. Result? I say GET READY FOR SOME 85-WIN BASEBALL!! The radio people are giving them 90, but I think that's asking a little much.
And some people hate to hear it, but you know there had to be some people in that locker room on July 31st that were anticipating some decent help from the brass, that extra boost, and they got NOTHING.
A caller is bringing up that Brian Sabean and the Giants brass bet the house to get Sidney Ponson and THEY STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN STADIUM BECAUSE IT'S PRIVATELY FUNDED!!! I would LOVE to be a Giants fan right now. Great baseball, great fans that actually know something about the game, and a management that REWARDS the fans. Don't reward me with bobblehead dolls, B2K, Sara Evans, free shirts, or free posters. GIVE ME A TEAM THAT GIVES ME A CHANCE TO WIN A WORLD SERIES. You can't tell me that you actually expected this lineup on July 31st to win the World Series. The same caller also points out that the Mariners organization is the same organization that announced they would not re-sign Randy Johnson ON THE SAME DAY that Ken Griffey Jr won the MVP Award. This organization has no tact at all.
So even with all that is said about the lack of deadline moves, this lineup STILL should have been able to take a series from the damn Devil Rays. There is blame all around. Owners, players. But I can't help but think a move would have really helped. You think A's fans were glad they had gotten Jose Guillen when Mulder went down?
TO THE GAME...
The Mariners went 1-2-3 in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 7th.
I will only remark about their two scoring chances.
In the 4th, Sanchez led off and drew three straight balls from Sosa before the count work full again. He laced a double. Runner in scoring position with nobody out. Objective: move the runner. Carlos Guillen comes up. Swings at the first pitch. Lazy fly ball to the centerfielder. Not deep enough to move Sanchez to third. More importantly, NOT ON THE GROUND, and NOT TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FIELD. And on the FIRST PITCH?!! COME ON!! So then Edgar grounds out and Sanchez moves to third with two out, so Rey can't score on an out. I like my chances with a runner on third and Bret Boone up to at least get a sac fly to tie the game at that point. Boone whiffed, though, and hasn't been able to catch up to fastballs at all the past two nights.
In the 8th, the Mariners absolutely blew the game. Winn doubled on the second pitch. Tying run IN SCORING POSITION with NOBODY OUT!! Even skeptical me liked the Mariners' chances at this point. Then Sosa throws three straight unbuntable balls to McLemore. Maybe the walks might actually catch up to Sosa?!!?! McLemore walks!! Two on and nobody out!! The go-ahead run is on first! And the Mariners' best bunter is at the plate!! First pitch, Wilson jabs at the ball, which wasn't too close to the plate, and fouls it off. You know what they teach kids when they first learn to bunt? Catch the ball with the bat. Don't jab at it. Second pitch, the ball was well off the plate, and he does the same damn thing. Third pitch was a breaking ball up in the zone, and Wilson MISSES THE DAMN BALL!! CHOKE!!!!!! How bad is it for this team right now if even their best bunter makes a huge gaffe? Goodness knows Wilson wouldn't have gotten a hit in that situation, so the one sure-fire way in which he could contribute was to bunt the runners over, and he couldn't even do that. So instead of two RISP with one out, it's still 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Next hitter is Cameron who hits a deep fly to Baldelli, far enough to move Winn to third. Hey, Wilson, know what happens if Cameron hits the same fly ball with a runner on third? I might still be watching the game right now, or celebrating a Mariner win. Sanchez then flew out to left to basically end the game.
In the 9th, Guillen flew out with another lazy fly ball, this time to left. Then Edgar reached when Rolls dove and stopped the ball near third, but couldn't come up throwing. A double down the line would have been nice, but the Mariners had a runner on 1st with one out instead, and the fleet feet of Jamal Strong would be that runner. Perhaps Melvin should have green-lighted Strong to run, even with the quick delivery and Toby Hall's arm? Match your best against their best? Not like you're getting any hits at all. At the same time, you still have to like your chances with Boone, even though he's cold lately. And that way he would stay, as he struck out yet again and got the hat trick (3 whiffs). Olerud then lined out to Travis Lee at first to end it.
I could rant about the pitching, but I'll just say that the Mariners wasted one of Franklin's top 5 best outings of the year (here's his game-by-game stuff). Two things this team couldn't afford to do ended up happening to them. They hit the skids when Oakland got hot. And sans the winning streak, they've wasted some good starting pitching (except Garcia last night) by not scoring enough runs. It's sickening.
As another caller said, I'll inevitably be back again tomorrow, because it's like a sick addiction. We keep going back for more, but it's friggin frustrating as hell to get nothing out of it. Another caller said he was afraid the Mariners would become the Cubs of the AL. I've heard that before, but does it really seem that far-fetched? Just think of how this team with this management will be in four years. It may scare you, but it probably won't surprise you.
And one last thing, can everybody stop talking or even THINKING about calling Boone and definitely Ichiro as MVP candidates? Boone isn't doing much for this team down the stretch, but Ichiro isn't doing a damn thing. This team does not have your AL MVP right now, that's for damn sure.
This loss for me was the final nail on the coffin on this team ever overtaking the A's in this division. This team does not deserve the playoffs. It's absolutely sick.
I'll rip on Dan Wilson and Carlos Guillen later. (Mike Cameron has 4 RBI in August and hasn't homered since July. --Locke)
But even with the Mariners doing absolutely crappy and losing the damn season series to the friggin Devil Rays, THE SIMPSONS ALWAYS BAT 1.000! Tonight's episode featured the Springfield opening of Greaser's, a '50s restaurant run by a now-coughing Wolfman Jack. There is a dancing contest for a Harley, and Homer and Marge win. Homer then starts a motorcycle gang called the Hell's Satans, even with Flanders aboard. Other vehicles in the motorcycle gang include a riding lawnmower and what looked like a Vespa scooter.
Anyway, I'll get my Mariner-bashing post together. Ugh.
The Mariners are 6 outs away from being shut out by them damn Devil Rays again. Anyways, are you ready for some football? Jets-Redskins opening up the 2003 NFL season tonight in just a few minutes. I say the Jets destroy the Redskins, 35-7. I hate Steve Spurrier, and he will get what's coming to him tonight by the J E T S, JETS JETS JETS.
My first opinion of these uniforms is that Wayne Gretzky had a lot to do with them. I definitely see a little Team Canada in these unis, judging by the lines are near the bottom and whatnot. I'll also say that somebody in their marketing department was motivated by how well the new Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys were selling, and thought, hey, why don't we have that new Cavs color for the Coyotes? And they are TRADITIONAL! How about that?
The new Coyote logo is worlds ahead of the previous logo. It doesn't look a cartoon, it actually looks like a real coyote. Who knows, I may actually buy a new Coyote hat.
But I'll still go with the new Everett Silvertips logo as my favorite new sports logo...link to their page is to the right, just scroll down. Props again to the Coyotes for seeing the light...and I can definitely hear the CHING CHING right about now.
I found this link on www.blabbermouth.net and it's a good in-depth interview with Wylde, who plays guitar for Ozzy Osbourne and his own Black Label Society. He goes into the whole controversy over whether Ozzy uses backup tapes to help him get through the Ozzfest shows.
That being said, you all need to go out and pick up "The Blessed Hellride", Black Label Society's current album. I'll have a full review (finally, David!) sometime tonight or tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Quick note: I've listened to Elise Woodward and David Locke on KJR, so their stuff makes it into the post every once in a while, and I try to credit it every time.
One quick thing, I must say I'll be glad when the Mariners get out of Tampa Bay (better be with a series win). Why? The camera angle they use during the pitching sequences is a HORRIBLE camera angle. It's too far overhead (you see the pitcher's head at the same level with the plate), and not covering enough of the "action," per se. Worse yet, it messes up my whole self-umpiring pitch recognition scheme I've developed over my many years of watching baseball. Another thing about it, it reminds me a little too much of ESPN's horrible Dead Center viewing scheme of a couple years ago, which was absolute and total crap. K-Zone is great, but I didn't want to watch a whole damn game from that view. I think the nail in the coffin of strictly-Dead Center game viewing was when they had a game in San Francisco and the camera was getting so relentlessly harassed by the wind it looked like the Blair Witch camera people were doing the game. My only other recent Blair Witch-like moment was watching that first XFL game. Ouch.
Another quick thing. I was unloading electrical goods to the people of Kitsap County and I was taking the boxes out of the truck and I slipped on a gravelly hillside. The first thing that popped in my mind: "I just had a Jack Cust moment." You know, Jack Cust could hit .310 and hit 27 homers a year for the rest of his career, and he'd still be remembered for blowing that game against the Yankees.
First, I guess I'll dissect Freddy.
In the 1st, Freddy whiffed Carl Crawford, but the pitch got away from Wilson. The Mariners wouldn't get Crawford out for the rest of the game. Crawford was picked off of first, then Baldelli was beaned on a 1-1 pitch. Huff doubled on a 1-1 pitch to put 2 on in scoring position with 1 out. Travis Lee sac flew to score Baldelli before Laforest whiffed (19 pitches). Tampa Bay 1-0.
In the 2nd, Freddy gave up a single, but still had a quick inning (6 pitches -- 25 total).
In the 3rd, six pitches and three runs. Crawford and Baldelli singled on their second pitches. Two on and nobody out, and Huff took the first pitch for a ball. My hand to God, I played the image in my mind of Freddy giving up this home run. I saw it coming. And it did. Worse yet, I had to hear Rick Rizzitello/Rizzs/Rickzilla/Rico (in any language, a homer) call that blast. In a sick reversal, Freddy got Lee, Laforest, and Lugo to whiff, bounce out, and whiff, respectively (16 pitches -- 41 total). Tampa Bay 4-0.
In the 4th, Freddy had a 1-2-3 inning (10 pitches -- 51 total).
==News break: Steve Trachsel is 14-8 for the Mets?!!?! WHAT THE HELL?!!?! Also, Jeff Cirillo is 1-for-32 since JULY 6!! That's damn near two months!! He is also on pace to have an on-base percentage higher than his slugging percentage (more walks than total bases minus hits). Mike Cameron has 13 RBI in the second half. (credit: Woodward and Locke)==
In the 5th, Crawford hit a leadoff triple, Baldelli whiffed, Huff was put on to put the double play in order, then Travis Lee hit a double on an 0-2 pitch to make the strategy backfire and score Crawford. Again, sick reversal of Laforest and Lugo grounding out and whiffing (22 pitches -- 73 total, SportsLine GameCenter has 76. Oh well). During the inning, Freddy and Wilson appeared at odds with what pitches to throw, as Freddy shook off Dan a million times, and when Dan came out to talk to Freddy, he was visibly upset and walked away toward the back of the mound. Love that harmony! Tampa Bay 5-0.
In the 6th, Brian Sweeney came in to eat up some innings in the rout. Sweeney had two on with two out and Baldelli and Huff singled, and Baldelli was nailed at second on the Huff play (21 pitches). Tampa Bay 7-0.
In the 7th, Lee hit a single, but then Sweeney got a double play (14 pitches -- 35 total).
In the 8th, Aaron Looper used 8 pitches and got a 1-2-3 inning.
==TRIVIA with Locke: Can you name the three guys in recent memory that spent a year on the Mariner roster THAT WERE HOMEGROWN through the farm system? If you said Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez, and Willie Bloomquist, you get a friggin medal! It's sick how Looper, Gillick, Pelekoudas, Jongewaard, and Co. have rigged the Mariner farm system in such a way that they manage to turn out close to zero position players. I remember a couple years ago when the Mariners were rumored to be going after either Bartolo Colon or Jeff Weaver, both of whom would have helped immensely. I figured with all their young arms, the Mariners had more than enough to get one of those guys. But then the trade market demands for prospects inexplicably switched to position players. That was simply infuriating.==
Now the horrible offense.
The Mariners went down 1-2-3 in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. The two hits were the Sanchez one-out single in the 3rd, and the Wilson leadoff single in the 6th. As Tom Paciorek would say, "WOW." I guess Doug Waechter must have brought his A-game in his FIRST GAME AS A STARTER IN THE MAJORS. As "Pedro" was striking out Boone, Niehaus was suggesting Waechter may be "deceivingly fast" because Boone hardly ever misses those kinds of fastballs. I'm sick and tired of this trend of no-name pitchers shutting the Mariners down. If I were the Orioles, Rangers, A's, or Angels (the Mariners remaining opponents), I seriously would call up three or four of my minor-league starting pitchers and throw them against the Mariners. The Mariners would probably go 0-23 the rest of the way. I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit.
Well, there goes all that Milloy-to-the-Seahawks banter. The guy's going to the Bills. He wants to stick it to the Patriots, along with Drew Bledsoe. Their defense has the tools to do such.
I'll start by saying thank goodness for September call-ups. If it was still August, Rhodes giving up the homer to Huff that cost the Mariners two more bullpen innings may have cost the Mariners dearly.
Four errors. Ugh. Somehow in the last few games the Mariners have found a way to win in spite of making their own errors. Those "pitching and defense"-minded people haven't been getting the latter lately. It's relatively true that the Mariners had both of those things for a great portion of the year, but if those two things win you championships, then the Mariners should have 92 wins by now. The team needs some pop. The guy in the lineup who everyone fears.
The guy who everyone feared for quite a while in the Mariner lineup was Ichiro. Well, the only meaningful thing he's done in a while was an RBI triple in the game I'm about to talk about at length. But before I do, here's Ichiro's game log. The first thing I noticed was that all the 2's and 3's under the hit column seemed to disappear (sans Aug 22 at Fenway) after August 15th against Boston at the Safe. So nothing even close to a tear or good streak after August 15, and no multi-hit games for almost two weeks. I'll bitch more about this later.
On to the game. One last thing before moving on, before plate umpire Mike Hirschbeck caught the ball in his ribcage, he was calling consistent low strikes and giving the pitchers the corners. The second plate umpire was a little more hitter-friendly, and I think this defintely favored the Mariner hitters against the Tampa Bay pitchers.
Pitching (Pineiro) first.
In the first, Sanchez' error loaded the bases with one out, which Joel Pineiro managed to pitch out of, whiffing Baldelli and getting Lee to pop out (12 pitches total).
In the second, a Guillen error let the first runner (Toby Hall) on, but he was erased on a Marlon Anderson fielder's choice. Damian Rolls then doubled on a 2-1 pitch to score Anderson from first. Pineiro later made an error of his own to put runners on the corners with 2 down, but he caught Lugo looking (17 pitches -- 29 total).
In the third, Baldelli reached on an infield single on an 0-2 pitch. Other than that, easy inning (10 pitches -- 39 total).
In the 4th, Rolls and Laforest hit back-to-back one-out singles. The threat was erased by a 6-4-3 double play (11 pitches -- 50 total).
In the 5th, Joel got into some trouble. No outs would be recorded until the fifth batter. Lugo walked, Huff singled, Baldelli singled (Lugo scored, Huff to third), Lee was put on, Toby Hall grounded into a weird double play to Olerud (Huff scored on the play), Anderson ran out an infield single, then Rolls flew out after Anderson stole second. Three runs scored in the inning, making it Tampa Bay 4-0 (31 pitches! -- 81 total). Nice deep hole for the Mariners to be in.
In the 6th, easy inning for Joel. Other than that one-out solo blast by Crawford (13 pitches -- 94 total).
In the 7th, Soriano was brought in. Arguably, Pineiro could have been brought out for a couple of batters with his pitch count only at 94, depending on what you thought about his stuff. It's a wash here, though. Soriano does get himself into a hairy two-on-and-one-out situation, but Anderson and Rolls succumb to Raf (17 pitches).
In the 8th, Soriano had thrown 8 pitches (0 balls) for strikes and gotten the first two outs. Lugo then got a 2-0 count, then got a 9-pitch at-bat and drew a walk. Soriano was yanked. In hindsight, stupid move. In the moment, though, I still didn't want Rhodes out there, with a runner on and the tying run at the plate, who happened to be a lefty with good pop. First pitch, Rhodes grooves a slider right over the middle of the damn plate, Huff hits it out AND RIGHT ABOUT THEN I WAS CURSING IN AN UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE AT THE TELEVISION. You know, for all the good Rhodes has done in a Seattle uniform, all I can remember is when he couldn't get key hitters out, in particular those great moments in the 2000 and 2001 ALCS. He would strike out Baldelli to end the inning.
In the 9th, Rhodes allowed a leadoff single and was pulled for Benitez. Why the hell not. I didn't mind this move. You've gotta get something out of this guy. And what they got was a teetering-on-the-brink-of-insanity inning. Twice Terry Shumpert (he's gotta be 58 years old) failed to bunt, putting him down 0-2 in the count, only to be walked to put the winning run on second with nobody out. Anderson then worked a full count before whiffing. Rolls fouled off five pitches before Guillen caught his pop fly in foul ground. Laforest swung on a 2-0 pitch and flew out to Davis. Lou was not happy.
In the 10th, Crawford led off with a single off Hasegawa, and was bunted over by Lugo. Huff was put on (good move) to keep the double play in order. Baldelli flew out on a 3-1 pitch. Javier Valentin worked a full count before flying out.
In the 11th, Hasegawa came out again, now with a 3-run lead. He got the first two out before Rolls doubled. Laforest singled to score Rolls before Crawford flew out to end it.
So for the pitching, Pineiro was okay until the 5th when he lost his mind. An average inning there probably means Joel gets into the 7th or 8th. I think Melvin should have let Soriano lie in the bed that he made after he walked Lugo in the 8th. Rhodes...I didn't like him much after this game. Benitez, shaky as expected, but he got the job done. Hasegawa...just glad they didn't need him Wednesday.
Now for batting (scoring chances).
In the 2nd, Guillen reached second on a 1-out Olerud single. Cameron hit a deep sac fly to move Guillen to third, then Davis bounced out to second.
In the 6th (yes, three innings without a threat off VICTOR ZAMBRANO, your league leader in walks), Winn singled, Edgar walked, and Boone doubled to score Winn. Guillen got an RBI groundout to score Winn. So with a runner on third and one out, Olerud bounced out to the first baseman and Cameron had a 2-0 count before whiffing. Tampa Bay 4-2 at this point.
In the 7th (Tampa Bay 5-2), Davis led off with a homer off new pitcher Travis Harper. Sanchez singled, but the threat was erased when Ichiro hit into a double play (YAY ICHIRO!). Winn singled and that damn 20-year-old (Gaudin) was brought in. He walked Edgar and Boone and was yanked for Mark Malaska. Jamal Strong pinch-ran for Edgar, who was the potential tying run at second. Guillen hit a single to make such a move relevant. Game tied. Olerud was caught looking to end the inning.
In the 8th, Cameron walked and took off from first on a 2-2 pitch with one out and was nailed at second. Sanchez then walked. Ichiro then made his first meaningful contribution in a long time, tripling to score Sanchez and give the Mariners the lead. Winn walked, then Mabry (this bench still sucks, even though he) hit a single to score Ichiro. Boone flew out to end the threat. Seattle 7-5.
In the 9th, Guillen led off with a single and was erased on an Olerud double play. Cameron doubled and was stranded on a Davis flyout. 7-7 tie.
In the 11th, Mabry hit an infield single. Boone doubled to send pinch-runner Chad Meyers to third. Guillen had another clutch hit, a double to the gap in left-center to clear the bases (Seattle 9-7). Olerud sac flew to move Guillen to third. Cam walked. Davis sac flew to score Guillen (Seattle 10-7). Sanchez singled to put runners on the corners with 2 out. Ichiro...flew out.
Basically, the offense warmed up at the right time, and none of the pitching really stood out. Benitez had the best linescore out of all the pitchers, but had by far the shakiest inning, which is his style.
This game was nothing short of exhausting to watch.
YAY! Should I be excited about this? This is me leaving. NO, I'm not leaving just yet, because I can't let this issue go without a few cents spewed from my mind. Since Rey Rey has been a Mariner, the M's are 15-14. Obviously this can't be pinned too much on Sanchez, because he did do a good job filling in for Carlos DUIllen when he was out with another boo-boo. But the point is that how ludricrous it is to bring up a stat like this. It doesn't mean anything. So what if Rey Rey has hit .352 since he's been in Seattle. In his 37 hits as a Mariner, only 2 of them have been extra base hits.
And this team is in second place. But I guess getting a bat at the July 31 or the August 31 deadline would have made too much sense, huh?
I think they could be a whole lot worse. I think the worst thing on those uniforms is the numbers. Those look like a damn CFL team or an Ontario Hockey League team or something. Ugh.
I've always been a huge fan of the original Blue Jays look, which was used from 1977 to 1996. I have the American Needle fitted hat to prove my love for the Old School Blue Jays. But what disturbs me is that the Blue Jays' management says that everybody calls the team "the Jays" anyway, so why not just include "Jays" on the uniforms? I still call them the Blue Jays, but like my opinion counts for a whole heck of a lot.
As far as I'm concerned, the Blue Jays management must have been on crack, while watching the past 5 years of Tampa Bay Devil Rays highlights. That's the only reason why I think they could have come up with the crappy uniforms that they have come up with.
M's and DRays coming up in about a half hour...5 in a row perhaps? Hope. That's what you can lean on.
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Walter Jones is back in Hawks camp. He would have lost somewhere in the neighborhood of $350k/game if he held out into the regular season. Basically he realized that no talks were going on, he wasn't getting any closer to any negotiations, but most importantly, HE WAS LOSING MONEY. It all comes down to the moo-lah.
Speaking of the NFL and money, All-Pro safety, Husky grad, and Tacoma native Lawyer Milloy was cut by the New England Patriots today for not taking something like a $1.5M pay cut. Though not on the air, Softy from KJR called Milloy after hearing the news, and Milloy was in a hurry and said only that "coming home is definitely on my list." Needless to say, with Trufant and Hamlin looking to start in a two-rookie backfield for Sunday's game, Softy and Dave Grosby were all over the idea of getting Milloy. Softy also had John Clayton on, though, who said that Minnesota and Buffalo were more likely destinations and that the Seahawks, though having the financial flexibility to sign Milloy, may not have a spot for him, as hard as that is to believe. Clayton said Milloy probably won't help in the first two weeks, but would start contributing in weeks 4 and 5 when he learns the Ray Rhodes system and whatnot. And maybe signing a hometown dude would help put some more people in the seats? As Mike Gastineau just said, "if they took a chance on Chris Terry, why not take a chance on this guy?"
Grosby and Mike Gastineau just finished a segment with Dave Andriesen of the P-I. Apparently Dave's been on a sort of tour of the Mariners' minor-league teams. He said that Pat Gillick back in the day went 11-2 with a 1.90 ERA on an Appleton WI minor-league team with Boog Powell and managed by Earl Weaver. Dave also said the San Antonio Missions are a juggernaut and could beat the Devil Rays in four out of five games. The three also used the segment to talk about the SA Missions' mascots, Jalapeno and Henry the Puffy Taco. I think Dave said Henry the Puffy Taco has no face. That's gotta scare the kids.
So Manny has been sit down as a healthy scratch for the Red Sox. It's kinda fishy. Apparently he caught Pedro's pharyngitis but was caught chilling with Enrique Wilson when he was supposed to be sick in bed. Add to this that Manny is grossly GROSSLY overpaid. But as long as that bat is out of the lineup, it's better for the Mariners' assurance (what very little there is) of a playoff spot.
Fifteen minutes from the Mariner game here. Gonna go gear up.
This was Walter's THIRD holdout in his seven year career so far. You know, there are about 5 million men out there who would have LOVED to have had the chance to collect a paycheck or two during training camp, Walter. Is training camp that bad where you can't even show up for it? Please. Walter Jones has no sense of reality at all. That also goes for his scumbag agent, Roosevelt Barnes. Those two for all I care can take their tired act and get the hell out of Seattle.
And here's a piece by the News Tribune's Dave Boling on the lack of respect suspended Seahawks right tackle Chris Terry has showed toward his teammates and the fans.
And did you know that there are 21,000 seats still unsold for Sunday's home opener against the Saints? I doubt this would happen, but if you want to pay for my airfare up to Seattle from Little Rock, I'd love to go the game on Sunday. It would be my only chance to see the Hawks play because the Little Rock FOX station will have the Falcons-Cowboys game on at 3:15 here. Yep, the first of 16 Cowboys games that will be shown on Arkansas Fox television. Great. Just great.
HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS????? Well, they are terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible!!! Have fun, Parcells...and you can go shop for your groceries too while you're at it!
Monday, September 01, 2003
As I say ouch on that Seahawk note that Jeremy posted before me (Chris Terry just lost $250k on Labor Day...that's gotta make his wife happy), KJR (hey, they get me through work every day) is STILL lamenting about the Husky loss on Saturday. Everything's getting questioned; playcalling, substitutions, Neuheisel's crappy recruiting on the way out, etc. The aforementioned David Locke dug up a stat: in the Huskies' last 10 games, they are averaging a scant 2.3 yds/carry. OUCH!!
Tomorrow at 4:15 PT, Pineiro against Vic Zambrano (the guy who walks people like crazy). If I had my way, every Mariner batter would take the first pitch (and possibly the first strike) the first time through the lineup. Make him throw a strike.
And I have just heard that Drew Henson has apparently seen the light and will ditch baseball for the NFL? I'm glad he finally came to this realization after the Yankees gave him a big huge middle finger with the Aaron Boone trade.
Locke and Elise Woodward are loaded with facts tonight. They're going over Eric Gagne's sick stats. Gagne is making $550k this year. Elise comes up and says "[multiply] that by 16 and you get Kazuhiro (Sasaki)." Locke says "a little more and you get Benitez." Life just isn't fair.
Walter, get your sorry arse back to Kirkland ASAP!!! Things like this really make me wonder why I even think the Seahawks will play well in 2003. September just got a little more harder than it already was. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!
If this is your first time to Sports and Bremertonians, welcome to the most entertaining Bremerton-related show you've ever seen or heard. David and I are just two hardcore sports fans who like to vent and rant on anything and everything. This isn't just a Mariner blog, as we do talk about other things going on, especially music-related stuff.
So welcome to the show. If you've come to hear some sugarcoated opinions, you might as well read the Mariners Fan Forum on seattlemariners.com. That being said, welcome. Enjoy our blog. Waste a few minutes today scouring the archives of the stuff you've missed...and come back everyday, we'll always have something to say.
Sunday, August 31, 2003
So Borders and Brian Sweeney are definitely up, and Putz and Looper will be up. Ugueto and Strong may be up.
Sweeney with the great quote here: "I was supposed to start (today's season finale) for Tacoma. I'll miss that for this. No problem."
If they all feel that way, I want Leone, Madritsch, and Blackley all up to the big club, and fast. Madritsch is your second lefty in the pen, and Mabry can sit.
Also, a couple of days ago, Yakima-born switch-hitting catcher Mitch Meluskey completed his long way back to the Majors as the Astros called him up for a second chance. Meluskey had a good run for NL Rookie of the Year in 2000, but got injured down the stretch and had since only played in a mere 8 games for Detroit last year, after being out for 2001 following the Brad Ausmus trade. If healthy for the past three years, this guy would have been an absolute stud. Possibly better than Varitek. The guy can hit the ball a ton.
In Seahawk news, Marcus Bell was cut, and the Hawks ordered burritos but no Tacos, as Taco Wallace (if you ask him why it's Taco, he won't tell you, and he'll get defensive) turned in his playbook, uniform, pads, and pride. Okay, maybe not the last one.
Lastly, Jon Kitna was asked about his CWU team's choke job from not long ago. Such a question was posed to him after Central lost the other day.
Mariner off-day tomorrow. I think the only thing I'd really talk about would be September call-ups, in a tad more detail. Seeya tomorrow.
Obviously, the Marlins have a worse record than the Mariners, but it doesn't excuse the fact that Gillick could have gotten a bat for the bench over a month ago. He knew that Greg Colbrunn was going to be out for the season and he has to know that Edgar Martinez' hamstring (or toe, hell, any body part) can perform Operation:Shutdown at any time. Nobody can argue this point at all, because there is no argument. Boy, I'm really looking forward to having 87 year old Pat Borders on the bench...why not give Kelly Gruber a call while you're at it, Pat?
Hell, for entertainment's sake, call George Bell. We need a DJ in the clubhouse, you know.
Which brings me to my next point: I'm not shocked at all that the Mariners didn't make a waiver wire deal for a bat. Why should I be? The track record always backs up my pessimism. I want to be happy about the M's sweep over Baltimore, but come on, they should be sweeping teams like Baltimore.
Rich Brooks is in for a long season at Kentucky. Let's remember here, folks, Brooks only had one good season of coaching in his life, 1994. And that got him the honor of Autzen Stadium's field being named after him. The only thing he will be named after in Lexington is "down time" before the basketball season if things don't get better.
Sure, the M's have played well this weekend. But tomorrow is September, Crunch Time. If this team doesn't make it to October, ownership has a lot of explaining to do. There's no excuse for them not playing in October...no excuses at all.
(Side note #1: the Mariners added bleachers onto the LCF landing. I don't know if I like this idea at all. I don't think I do.
Side note #2: every time Jose Morban comes up, his last name reminds me of Fabius "Fab" Morvan of Milli Vanilli fame. Does anyone else have this problem?)
Moyer and Jason Johnson were locked in quite a duel, though Johnson had allowed baserunners in each of the first four innings, and the Mariners let him get away with it. Luckily the Mariners were able to hit the pay station twice in the 6th as Guillen and Olerud had RBI singles. Mac also had a bases-loaded single in the 8th off Kerry Ligtenberg to drive in the third run for insurance.
From there, it was all Moyer. He gave the Mariner bullpen a big break today, going 7 2/3 innings before yielding to Armando Benitez with two on and two out in the 8th. I was surprised Melvin ran Moyer out there for the 8th after having already thrown 103 pitches through 7. Melvin left Jamie in there as long as he possibly could, and he came out to a standing ovation.
Some questionable calls. Guillen bounced one to Olerud on which Olerud clearly was pulled off the bag at first, but the runner was punched out. Somewhat questionable call when Boone got nailed at 3rd on the Guillen RBI single, but Batista may have gotten Boone's hand. Luis Matos was hung out to dry on a pickoff throw from Olerud to Sanchez, but it looked like Matos beat the throw to second but was called out anyway. Other than those calls, Moyer was squeezed on at least seven or eight pitches trying to paint the corner. Moyer had the brunt of most of these squeezings, but the Orioles had their share too.
A quick look at the boxscore shows that the Mariners got one hit each from Sanchez, Edgar, Mac, and Wilson. The Mariners got two hits each from Boone, Guillen, and Olerud. Cameron hung up an 0-for-1, but walked three times. So who is the goat of the lineup, you ask? ICHIRO went 0-for-5 with a strikeout. Let's go over his at-bats: whiffed on a 1-2 pitch to lead off the game (1st inning); got ahead 2-0 in the count before flying out on a 3-2 pitch to left field with Wilson on first (3rd inning); bounced a ball right to Conine on a 2-1 pitch with one out (5th inning); grounded out to second on a 1-2 pitch in the 7th; flew out in foul ground (thanks to a diving catch on an 0-1 pitch with the bases juiced and two out (8th inning). The Mariners have won these last three games with most everything turning out right. Ichiro made one great contribution in yesterday's game. Other than that, there's gonna be a bunch of times from this point through the rest of the year where the Mariners are gonna need this Ichiro guy to jumpstart the offense like we expect him to. Ichiro has got to step up because time is running out and this team needs him to perform to his capabilities at the plate, and going 0-for-5 and stranding four runners on the bases is not the way to do it. Come on, Ichiro. Show us what you're made of.
Oakland won today, their 9th in a row, and it's entirely possible they may not lose a game for the rest of the season. Usually I'd be very ticked off about the fact that they're getting wins out of hacks like John Halama and Ted frigging Lilly. But after the horrible losing streak the Mariners were in, I'm just glad for now that the Mariners have found out how to win again. They're not completely out of it, but they're showing great progress, and this sweep today was a big step in the right direction. Here's to a 6-0 Tampa Bay/Baltimore road trip and taking back the division lead. Is it wishful? Yes. But we can dream, can't we?
I really, really hope this isn't a big omen staring Seattle fans in the face once again. I guess we'll find out next Sunday when the Seahawks open up against the Saints. Here's hoping that the Deuce won't run loose...
Nice little pitcher's duel we have in Seattle today between Jason Johnson and Jamie Moyer. 0-0 Top of the 6th. No black jerseys though for the M's today...it was Moyer's choice I think. And it's now 4-3 A's over Devil Rays, Top of the 6th.
You heard it here first: Joe Glenn will get the Wyoming Cowboys into a bowl game this year. Glenn is a solid coach, bottom line. He came from Montana, where he won a Div. 1-AA title in 2001. And Wyoming football deserves to be good again. Face it, I like Wyoming. Traveling through Wyoming on my way to Arkansas, I just started to like the place, biono.
Go M's...SWEEP BABY.
I'd like to start by saying the Buckeyes won 28-9, and therefore covered the 9-point spread. Also, the Cougars won 25-0; IDAHO BEAT THE SPREAD (28 points) without even scoring a single point themselves. I was watching that Cougar game on Fox Sports Net and it had RICK RIZZS and Cleet Kasper on the call. Weird stuff. Anyway, the Cougars were nowhere near as dominant as the score indicates. Idaho had six points taken away from them because the Cougs have some tall leaping guy on field goal unit that blocked two kicks. I think the Vandals could have easily scored 21 points, but they either made a stupid penalty in or near the red zone, or the receivers dropped passes from Michael Harrington. Yes, Michael Harrington. So the score basically indicates how crappy and incomplete Idaho was; it definitely does not indicate how good Wazzu is -- they're not that good. But they'll rush for more yards than the Huskies this season, that's for damn sure. Reality will set in next week after the Notre Dame game.
The Huskies just plum got manhandled. Seven yards rushing?? Ouch. No real big-play catches out of Frederick and Williams. No big catches and no running game...I don't have to tell you how this game ended up.
ALSO, nice cover-up job by the Bremerton Sun today; this is seen in the "Quick Slants" section of the Husky notebook: "Jimmy Newell, junior free safety from South Kitsap, started and finished with seven tackles. Newell also recovered a fumble on a kickoff late in the fourth quarter." YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!! No mention at all how Newell was absolutely posterized by Lydell Ross, something that made the highlight reels ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. So if for some reason the Sun is your only source of college football highlights, you would never know that Newell got cleat marks imprinted into his jersey by Ross on the way to a Buckeye touchdown. It's too much fun slamming South, and I'm not gonna stop anytime soon. I think the only guy from South that I won't slam is Benji Olson. He's just too good, and he's proven himself. Though he's from North, I won't ever hesitate to slam Aaron Sele, Mr. 0-for-life in the postseason. Easy target, and there's just too much ammunition and material to work with.
While I'm on college pigskin, Locke and Fain of KJR had an "oh, come on" moment earlier this week when they saw an ESPN headline earlier this week reading "Oregon's Fife in Nike Unitas campaign." They and I had the same reaction. Jason Fife isn't even the number one quarterback (thank you, Clarence Clemens) ON HIS OWN TEAM, so why the HELL is he in the Nike campaign for the Unitas award? Makes no sense at all.
Jason Johnson (10-5) and Jamie Moyer (16-6) this afternoon. If the Mariners just get a couple of breaks, they'll have this game. And they could really use the sweep. September call-ups coming tomorrow. Edgar's been playing on a broken toe since the Boston foul-off. More on all this later...