Saturday, September 13, 2003


No, John Ellis is not pointing to the light banks in this picture. He is pointing to the Mariners playoff hopes slipping away, all the while pointing up to that Field Day banner up in right field.

Anyways, there's no score after 4 innings in Seattle. Shocking indeed.

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Josh Towers, the no-name pitcher who shut down the Mariners in Toronto not long back, shut down other Mariner-beater Eric DuBose last night in Baltimore. But now Towers is 6-1. That's pretty good.

Now to bring us back down to earth, Gabe White (yes, that second lefty that the Mariners so sorely could have used) is now 5-0 for the Yanks out of the pen.

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Two great KJR numbers here before I get to Friday's local high school action (assisted by the BREMERTON, not "West Sound," Sun).

Dick Fain had a bumper playing the other day about how the Mariners brass doesn't care what happens as long as they get this ratio: 90-90-3. That's 90 wins, a $90M payroll, and 3 million fans. The rest is money in the bank and is all that they're willing to do.

Mitch Levy did a little research (and I'm checking it right now). He thought it seemed like Rhodes never gets out the first batter he faces in every appearance anymore. Since the break, Arthur Rhodes has had his first batter on base in 10 of his 19 appearances. Here's the scoring, I may be off: 1B (Jul 18), 9 (Jul 20), 4 (Jul 21), K (Jul 24), HR (Jul 28), looking K (Jul 31), 6 (Aug 3), E4 (Aug 7), BB (Aug 10), BB (Aug 12), 7 (Aug 14), 1B (Aug 20), 6 (Aug 23), 3 (Aug 25), 1-3 (Aug 26), 4-3 (Aug 28), HR (Sept 2), 1B (Sept 5), 1B (Sept 9). I counted 9 of 19 appearances. Eight were strictly his fault. So the opposition's first batter against Rhodes has a .421 on-base average (.353 batting average) against Rhodes with four singles, two walks, and two homers. That's not quite as bad as myself or Mitch thought, but it's still putrid. One of those homers is the Huff homer in Tampa Bay. The July 28 homer was a Palmeiro bomb.

Now, last night's local high school football scores...

Skyview 42, B-town 0. Sez McKnight: "I still thought we did a lot better offensively than we did last week, but we spent a lot of time playing defense." It should be noted that the Knights scored 13 points last week against Foss and played BETTER on offense this week by scoring zero. Such is how it usually goes in Knightville, when the story starts off with, "[t]railing just 14-0 at halftime..." By the way, Skyview had over 500 passing yards, and Bremerton had 120 TOTAL yards.

O'Dea 21, Central Kitsap 13. I have to say whoever is the AD at CK pulled a coup by somehow getting O'Dea on the non-league schedule. They lost an a late interception, but hey, they didn't get whooped.

Foster 12, Klahowya 7. Klahowya has put up some decent seasons the last few years since finally getting put into 4A-free (2A/3A) play. They lose a close low-scoring one here.

Bainbridge 21, Squalicum 18. After getting pasted by North Kitsap last week, the Island crew beats Squalicum, a high school of whose location I have no idea.

Steilacoom 60, Chimacum 0. Now we B-towners don't know a lot about Chimacum, but we really don't have a need to. SO all I'll say about this game is "OUCH."

Port Townsend 75, North Mason 9. Well, this puts a damper on the North Mason season, eh? Holy crap. This is a 2A team pounding the lights out of a 3A team here. PT racked up over 400 yards of offense. That's 100 short of Skyview against Bremerton though. Try again, PT.

North Kitsap 40, Kelso 14. Vikes QB Jared Prince threw for 200 yards and three TDs and Nic Stearns ran 19 times for 119 yards. They're sitting pretty and coach Jerry Parrish is on win #199.

And saving the best for last...

Snohomish 28, South Kitsap 26. South eats it. With a minute left in the 3rd, South was up 26-14. Jeff Rodland went nailed 6 of 10 passes for 170 yards and two tuochdowns IN THE FOURTH QUARTER. THAT is clutch by Snohomish (who had a HUGE fight in the lunchroom the other day, much bigger than any fight that I saw at Bremerton) and THAT is (dare I say it) a CHOKE JOB by South. And they needed one because they're probably going to pound the innards out of Bremerton next week on B-town turf. Again, such is the life of a B-towner...root for the other guys to lose because you're doubtful that your guys can win. Result: celebrating a South loss.

Garcia against North Kitsap choke artist Aaron Sele and his 0-for-career-in-the-postseason arm. Here's to the Mariners taking Sele to the shed out back. Cheers.

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The Mariners finally did what they do best in this game, which featured the main method with which they used to win night in and night out early this season. Moving baserunners, being patient at the plate, getting the hits when they needed them, and getting timely pitching and defense.

Steve Sandmeyer’s points include:
-Moyer got the job done with less pitches

-Lackey sucked

-Moyer had the circle-change going against lefties, which is good because opposing teams try to stack the lineup with lefties to take away the effectiveness on Moyer’s changeup

-Moyer’s early strikeouts (4 of first 5 batters) spurred some early Mariner momentum

-Moyer took advantage of an Angel team trying to be patient; he was more aggressive

-Moyer is slated to pitch only once against Oakland in the 6 games against them. Is this good or bad? Meche and Pineiro go twice each; Franklin and Moyer go once each.

-Rhodes was crap.

-Edgar got nailed by a foul ball in the toe in the 5th, hit an RBI sac fly, then was lifted for John Mabry (oh, how I loathe the Mariner bench)

-Ichiro may be showing signs of a breakout; he is giving more momentum to the top of the lineup.

-Starting pitchers in the past 8 games have a 1.72 ERA (10 ER in 52 1/3 innings). I believe the Mariners record in those games is 4-4.

-Moyer is 11-2 at the Safe this year and is 36-18 lifetime at the Safe (winning 2/3 of the time).

-Franklin may be the biggest part of this staff because he has been chewing up innings well.

-It’s no question that Edgar is the clubhouse leader.

Now, on to the game.

Top 1: Figgins took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 before whiffing on a low-and-away change. Owens took a first-pitch ball and bounced out to Olerud. Anderson got ahead 3-0 before whiffing on a breaking ball (Moyer battles back beautifully). Moyer: 12 pitches, 8 strikes.

Bot 1: Ichiro took a first-pitch ball then flew out to second. YAY! Guillen took a first-pitch strike then flew out to short. YAY! Boone took a first-pitch strike then bounced out to second on 1-1. YAY! Friggin easy inning for Lackey: 6 pitches, 5 strikes.

Top 2: Salmon took a first-pitch ball then was caught looking on 2-2. Wooten whiffed at the first pitch, then whiffed on 0-2. Moyer had struck out four of five batters to start the game. Quinlan got ahead 2-0 before lacing a single to left. Eckstein took a first-pitch strike before flying out to Ichiro. An okay inning for Moyer: inn – 13 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 25 pitches, 17 strikes.

Bot 2: The Mariner offense comes alive. This one’s a long inning. Edgar took a first-pitch ball then homered to right on 1-1 (SEA 1-0). The guy’s got a BROKEN DAMN TOE and he’s still contributing. Too bad Rhodes can’t do much with his injury. Olerud walked on four pitches. Cam took a first-pitch strike, got to 3-1 and full then bounced to third; Wooten threw to Kennedy at second but Olerud beat the throw, giving Cam and infield single. Winn took a first-pitch strike, fell behind 0-2 and 1-2 then doubled to right to score Olerud and move Cam to third (SEA 2-0). Mac got ahead 3-0 before falling to 3-1 and walking. Wilson was ahead 2-0 and 3-1 before hitting a sac fly to left to score Cam (SEA 3-0). Ichiro took a first-pitch ball and got ahead 3-1 before bouncing out to first, scoring Winn (SEA 4-0). Guillen took a first-pitch strike then got to 1-2 and full before flying out to center. Good inning for Seattle, crappy one for Lackey. And that’s the way it should be. Lackey: inn - 42 pitches (!), 20 strikes; tot – 48 pitches, 25 strikes.

Top 3: Moyer has a great inning. Kennedy takes a first-pitch strike and bounces out to short on 0-2. Gregorio takes a first-pitch strike before flying out to Winn. Figgins takes a first-pitch strike and falls behind 0-2 before whiffing on 1-2. Easy. Moyer: inn – 9 pitches, 8 strikes; tot - 34 pitches, 25 strikes.

Bot 3: Boone took a first-pitch ball before singling to left. Edgar took a first-pitch ball on which Boone stole second. Edgar bounced out to third on 1-1 and Boone held. Olerud fouled off the first pitch and was bounced out (3-1) on 1-1 as Boone went to third. Cam took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 before striking out (2-3 putout on catcher drop). Decent inning for Lackey: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 59 pitches, 33 strikes.

Top 4: Moyer gets into some trouble. Owens gets ahead 2-0 and singles into leftcenter. Anderson takes a first-pitch ball then flies out to Boone. Salmon takes a first-pitch ball then flies out to Winn on 1-1. Wooten gets ahead 3-0 (Owens stole third on the 1-0 pitch; nice arm, Wilson) and falls to full before singling to left to score Owens (SEA 4-1). Quinlan took a first-pitch strike then bounced out to Moyer. Moyer: inn – 16 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 50 pitches, 34 strikes.

Bot 4: Lackey gets an easy inning again as the bats cool off. Winn took a first-pitch ball before skying a ball to second on 1-2. Mac took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 before bouncing out to second on 1-2. Wilson took a first-pitch strike and whiffed. No arm and no bat for Wilson. Good job, Danno. Lackey: inn – 13 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 72 pitches, 44 strikes.

Top 5: Decent inning here for Moyer. Eckstein took a first-pitch strike then got to 1-2 and full before flying out to Ichiro. Kennedy flew out to Winn on the first pitch. Gregorio took a first-pitch strike and got to 1-2 before being beaned. Figgins flew out to Cam on the first pitch. Moyer: inn – 12 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 62 pitches, 41 strikes.

Bot 5: More trouble for Lackey and some pain for Edgar. Ichiro turned on the first pitch and homered to right (SEA 5-1). Guillen took a first-pitch ball then got to 1-2 and full before walking. Boone hit a first-pitch bloop single to center. Edgar took a first-pitch ball and the runners moved to second and third on the passed ball. On the next pitch, Edgar took a foul ball off his toe and fell to the ground. It was hard to watch. He stayed in. Edgar got to 1-2 and full before hitting an RBI sac fly to left to score Guillen (SEA 6-1). Edgar still forced a 9-pitch at-bat. Olerud took a first-pitch strike before bouncing out (1-3). Cam got ahead 2-0 and flew out to right. Lackey: inn – 24 pitches, 15 strikes; tot – 96 pitches, 59 strikes.

Top 6: A sort-of-rough inning for Moyer. Owens got ahead 2-0 before flying out to Cam. Anderson took a first-pitch strike and got to 1-2 and 2-2 before bouncing out to Boone. Salmon took a first-pitch strike before getting to 2-2 and full and walking. Wooten took a first-pitch ball and flew out to Cam. The Salmon and Anderson at-bats took a combined 15 pitches. Moyer: inn – 20 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 82 pitches, 52 strikes.

Bot 6: Chris Bootcheck takes the mound for the Angels. Winn took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 before singling up the middle. Mac singled to right (huh?) on the first pitch. Wilson flew out to right on the first pitch on an Owens diving catch to his right. Ichiro got ahead 3-0 AND SWUNG ON 3-0 TO FLY OUT TO SHORT. WHAT THE HELL?!!?! Guillen flew out to left on the first pitch. Some trouble, but a quick inning for Bootcheck: 11 pitches, 8 strikes.

Top 7: A little trouble again for Moyer. Quinlan took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 before flying out to Winn on the warning track. Eckstein took a first-pitch strike and singled to center on 1-1. Kennedy took a first-pitch strike and flew out to Winn. Pinch-hitter Riggs whiffed at the first pitch and singled on 0-2. Figgins took a first-pitch ball and THE ANGELS PULLED A DOUBLE STEAL ON THE NONEXISTENT ARM OF DAN WILSON. Figgins hit a ball along the third-base line that Moyer had to run to get and throw to first. Not in time (SEA 6-2). Owens lined out to Ichiro on the first pitch. Moyer: inn – 15 pitches, 13 strikes; tot – 97 pitches, 65 strikes.

Bot 7: Jose Molina came in to catch for the Angels with Bootcheck still on the mound. Boone took a first-pitch strike and fell back 0-2 battled to full before bouncing out to second. Mabry got ahead 2-0 before grounding out to first (YAY FOR THE BENCH!). Olerud got ahead 2-0 and 3-1 before falling full and walking. Cam took a four-pitch walk. Winn singled to left in the first pitch to score Olerud and cap the Mariner scoring (SEA 7-2). Mac took a first-pitch strike and flew out to center on 1-2. Bootcheck: inn – 24 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 35 pitches, 18 strikes.

Top 8: Moyer comes out for the 8th. Empty seats have appeared in the Diamond Club on camera behind the plate. Anderson singled to right on the first pitch. Salmon drove a first-pitch single to left to move Anderson to third. Moyer was yanked, but rightfully so. No complaints from me: inn – 2 pitches, 2 strikes; tot – 99 pitches, 67 strikes. Soriano in. Wooten got ahead 2-0 but whiffed on a 2-2 pitch. Pinch-hitter Spiezio took a first-pitch strike but was beaned hard on the arm with an 0-2 fastball. Brian Sweeney is warming up in the bullpen at this point. With bases juiced and one out, Eckstein took a first-pitch ball then fell to 1-2 and 2-2 before bouncing into a 6-4-3 double play in which he was BARELY out at first. Soriano gets out of the jam. Soriano: 13 pitches, 8 strikes.

Bot 8: Brendan Donnelly pitches for the Angels. Wilson fouled off the first pitch, battled from 1-2 to full then flew out to right. Ichiro took a first-pitch ball and fell to 1-2 before grounding out to second. Guillen hit a line drive speared by Kennedy, diving to his right. Donnelly was money: 12 pitches, 8 strikes.

Top 9: After Sweeney was warming up in the bullpen in the 8th and was ready for some more Major League action, RHODES INEXPLICABLY COMES IN FOR THE 9TH. Results? Kennedy takes a first-pitch ball and gtes to 2-2 before singling to left. Molina gets 2-0 and 3-1 counts and walks. Figgins takes a first-pitch strike, gets down 0-2, gets to 1-2 (wild pitch moves the runners into scoring position) and grounds out to Boone (SEA 7-3). Owens singled to center on the first pitch (SEA 7-4). Anderson flew out to left on the first pitch. SIDE NOTE: on the TV broadcast, Dave Valle was saying that perhaps Melvin wanted to leave in Rhodes and give Arthur a little confidence by letting him get the final out. Rhodes was yanked for Shig, and Valle’s hypothesis was soundly rebuked. HILARIOUS!! Rhodes: 18 pitches, 11 strikes. Salmon flew out to Cam on the first pitch. End game. Shig: 1 pitch, 1 strike.

I’ll come up with the Rhodes-and-first-batters-he-faces stat shortly.

Hudson goes for the A’s on Saturday against RA Dickey…not really expecting the Mariners to gain ground here.

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The biggest win of the day was in Austin, Texas, where the Arkansas Razorbacks upset the 5th ranked Texas Longhorns, 38-28.

It wasn't even that close. Arkansas dominated this game. And Mack Brown is the most overrated coach in the history of college football. Hook THIS, Texass!!!

Great win for Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. Now some of the zealots here in Arkansas can get off his back, because it is not easy to go into a hostile environment and win. Great job again by the Hogs.

Freddy Garcia is on the mound tonight...now's not the time to relapse.

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Friday, September 12, 2003


But what the hell was Arthur Rhodes doing out there in the top of the 9th inning tonight? You know J.J. Putz, Aaron Looper, and Brian Sweeney are out there just dying to get some Major League experience. Hopefully Blow-Mel will try to have some confidence in his callups next time around...

I didn't appreciate the fact that MAC FOOTBALL was more important than the Angels-Mariners game, but that's the Eastern Sports Programming Network for you. Again, not a whole lot to say, because well, there isn't a lot to say. Moyer pitched well, and Blow-Mel still proves me right when I think of him as a freaking moron.

Boston and Oakland won, so the Mariners didn't gain any ground nor lose any. But time is slipping away. Do it for Edgar, dammit.

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Well, the truck driver that crashed into the power pole at 4th & Industrial put a 34-minute crimp on this game, which may have been just as well because John Thomson was in a groove up until the power outage, and he got it back after he gave up the homer to Boone in the 4th.

This was Joel Pineiro’s game, however. He was left in even after throwing a ton of pitches. But he did have seven days’ rest. He ended up with 129 pitches, which is pretty steep. After having a short leash with Franklin the night before and leaving Pineiro in well past 120 pitches, one just has to wonder about what the hell Melvin was doing.

On to the game…
Top 1: Young took a first-pitch ball and got to 2-2 and 3-2 before grounding out to Mac. Blalock hit a first-pitch flyout to Winn. Alex took a first-pitch ball before singling to center. Raf took a first-pitch ball, got down 1-2 on a nice change by Joel then flew out to Winn. Decent inning for Joel. Pineiro: 14 pitches, 9 strikes.

Bot 1: Ichiro took a first-pitch strike then doubled over Jason Jones’ head in right. Guillen grounded out on the first pitch to second to move Ichiro to third. Boone took a first-pitch ball then grounded out to Blalock at third, who clearly could have had Ichiro at the plate but must have had his mind made up to go to first. Ichiro scored. Edgar took a first-pitch strike, got down 1-2 then bounced out to Blalock. Thomson gets through okay. Thomson: 9 pitches, 8 strikes.

Top 2: Teixeira took a first-pitch strike then fell back to 0-2 before looking at a wicked curve for strike three. Spencer took a first-pitch strike and fell to 1-2 before also being caught looking. Nix got ahead 2-0 then had 2-1 and 3-1 counts before grounding out (3-1 putout). Easy inning for Joel. Pineiro: inn – 12 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 26 pitches, 17 strikes.

Bot 2: Olerud got ahead 3-0 before falling back to a full count then walking. Cam fell behind 0-2 before flying out to center. Winn took a first-pitch ball before bouncing into a 3-6 fielder’s choice. Mac took a first-pitch ball, got to 3-1, looked at a strike to make the count full, and on the pitch Winn was nailed trying to steal second. Thomson: inn - 16 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 25 pitches, 16 strikes.

Top 3: Jones fell behind 0-2 before battling to 3-2 then bouncing out to third. Greene took a first-pitch swing for a strike then got to 1-2 before singling to left. Young got ahead 2-0 before falling back full then walking. Blalock took a first-pitch ball then flew out to Winn. Alex took a first-pitch ball then hit a ball to Guillen to force out Greene at third. Pineiro had a decent, though hard-working, inning. Pineiro: inn – 23 pitches, 13 strikes; tot – 49 pitches, 30 strikes.

Bot 3: Mac bunted foul then flew out to left on 2-1. Wilson took a first-pitch ball before being caught looking. Ichiro got ahead 2-0 and 3-1 before bouncing out to third on a full count. Easy inning for Thomson. Yippee. Thomson: inn – 15 pitches, 9 strikes; tot: 40 pitches, 25 strikes.

Top 4: Raf looked at a first-pitch strike then got to 1-2 and 2-2 before swinging over a low Pineiro curve. Teixeira took a first-pitch ball then bounced out to short on a 1-1 pitch. Spencer (see Palmeiro’s at-bat, minus the curve). Good inning for Pineiro: inn - 15 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 64 pitches, 40 strikes.

Bot 4: Guillen took a first-pitch ball then got to 1-2 and 2-2 (INSERT 34-MINUTE POWER OUTAGE HERE) before singling to left. Boone took advantage of Thomson’s post-power outage roughness to hit a homer to left on 2-2 after being down 1-2. Edgar took a first-pitch ball and got ahead 3-1 before getting a full count and hitting a flyout almost to the track in left. Note: all batters in this inning took a first pitch for a ball off Thomson. Thomson gets scathed. Thomson: inn – 27 pitches, 17 strikes; tot – 67 pitches, 42 strikes.

Top 5: Nix took a first-pitch strike then flew out to just short of the track in left. Jones took a first-pitch strike before bouncing out to third. Greene fouled off the first pitch and fell back 0-2 before flying out to Ichiro on 2-2. Easy inning for Joel. Pineiro: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 75 pitches, 48 strikes.

Bot 5: Winn took a first-pitch strike before fouling out to third on 1-1. Mac got ahead 2-0 before lining out to Jones in right on a running catch. Wilson bounced out to second in the first pitch. Very easy inning for Thomson: inn – 7 pitches, 4 strikes; tot – 74 pitches, 46 strikes.

Top 6: Young fouled off the first pitch before going 1-2 and full (8-pitch at-bat) then flying out to Ichiro. Blalock fell behind 0-2 and whiffed at an off-speed pitch. Alex took a first-pitch ball before flying out to Cam. Much easier inning for Joel if not for Young’s peskiness. Pineiro: inn – 13 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 88 pitches, 57 strikes.

Bot 6: Ichiro took a first-pitch strike before bouncing out to second on 2-1. Guillen fell behind 0-2 before getting putout (scored 3-1). Boone fouled off the first pitch before going 2-2 and bouncing out to third. Once again, it was an easy inning for Thomson: inn – 12 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 86 pitches, 54 strikes.

Top 7: Raf fouled off the first pitch then lined out to Winn. Teixeira grounded out on the first pitch (3-1 putout). Spencer took a first-pitch strike then grounded out to short. Joel is on at this point, having retired 16 Rangers in a row. Pineiro: inn – 9 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 97 pitches, 64 strikes.

Bot 7: Edgar bounced out on the first pitch to Alex at short, who made a nice play in the hole. Of course Edgar’s out on that play. Olerud fouled off the first pitch then fell back 0-2 before flying out to right (he pulled the ball?!). Cam took a first-pitch ball before going full and doubling off the wall in left. Thomson was lifted for Erasmo Ramirez. Winn took a first-pitch strike and got ahead 3-1 before lining out to left. Thomson: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 97 pitches, 62 strikes. Ramirez: 5 pitches, 2 strikes.

Top 8: Nix whiffed at the first pitch, fell to 1-2 then was caught looking on a sweet curve. Jones got ahead 2-0 and 3-1 before falling back to full and flying out to left. Pineiro had retired 16 straight. Greene whiffed at the forst pitch then singled to left on 2-1. Young took a first-pitch ball then hit into a 5-4 fielders’ choice on 1-1. I was surprised Joel wasn’t pulled by this point due to his pitch count and the short leash Franklin was on the night before. Pineiro: inn – 18 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 115 pitches, 75 strikes.

Bot 8: Mac fouled off the first pitch before working a walk. Wilson, the “best bunter on the team,” bunted a foul fly to the catcher. Ugh. Way to move the runner over, you piece of crap! Ichiro took a first-pitch strike before falling to 0-2 when Mac was caught stealing. Ichiro then bounced out to short. Blow opportunity for Mariner insurance runs. Ramirez: inn - 13 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 18 pitches, 10 strikes.

Top 9: Somehow Joel is still left in the game. Blalock took a first-pitch ball then bounced out to second. Alex took a first-pitch strike before falling to 0-2 then bring caught looking on a drop-down Pineiro slider. Raf got ahead 3-0 then took a gimmie for 3-1 before Joel got too much of the plate and Raf hit a bomb. He was bound to strike sometime. Teixeira fouled off the first pitch then whiffed on a 1-2 pitch to end the game. Pineiro: inn – 13 pitches, 9 strikes.

Yay. The game notes are done a few minutes before the game. But it’s the notes for the game from two nights ago. Oh well.

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Mark McLemore is getting the start AGAIN at shortstop. Now David and I really dispise Willie Bloomquist, but I've got to admit here that he deserves to start one of these days again. Did he steal Bob Melvin's Mike and Ikes? What exactly did he do wrong to deserve a load of pine?

I hate to say this, but he's a better ballplayer now than Mark McLemore. Then again, I think could be a case of Mac threatening to strangle Blow-Mel because he wasn't getting a lot of playing time. Hey Mac, go ahead and go home to Texas in 2004, you lazy bum!

By the way, it looks like that the Angels/Mariners telecast on ESPN won't be on time, because of the stupid Toledo/Marshall game. You mean to tell me that this football game couldn't have been on ESPN 2? Oh, I forgot...the WNBA Finals are on ESPN 2. Unfreakingreal.

But hey, it's 3-1 Texas over Oakland in the 6th. Hooray for TEXASS...for now anyways. Tomorrow afternoon, it will be HOORAY for Pig Sooie.

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I'm watching the Reds/Cubs game on WGN, and the Cubs had a 5-1 lead going into the 7th inning.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker brings in Antonio Alfonseca, and what do you know, the lead is gone, and it's now 6-5.

Inning over, they cut to "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", sung by some WGN radio guy. He said that "if any team can come back, it's the Cubbies!" Not with this freaking bullpen, jackass! I like to remind all the Cubs fans that read this that when the Cubs acquired Alfonseca, they traded Dontrelle Willis in the process.

And that's not the best part of this mess! During the fan cam, they cut to this woman who has an ANTONIO ALFONSECA jersey on under her poncho!!! If that's not high comedy, I don't know what is!

The West Coast Cubbies, your Seattle Mariners, play at 7:05 PT, 9:05 my time, tonight against those Anaheim Flukes. Jamie Moyer vs John Lackey. Lackey's Lack of Suckiness has escaped him in 2003, so you can expect him to pitch well tonight.

I'M JUST KIDDING.....these Flukes have given up already. There's no way that the Flukes can take this series from the Mariners. If that happens, then the season is really over.

Finally, the umps in Chicago have stopped the game because of rain. The game should have been stopped in the 6th inning, when it was raining. But the Cubs organization wanted to milk more concession money out of the fans at Wrigley, hence the game went on for another inning.

Unfortuntely, for the Cubs, they lost their lead. Not good times in Wrigleyville. Enough rambling for now....

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The fact that John Ritter is dead is just wrong on so many levels.

He was only 54 years old. He had a very successful sitcom on ABC with "8 Simple Rules for My Teenage Daughter". He had a wonderful career, with most people remembering him as Jack Tripper from the late 70s-early 80s hysterical comedy, "Three's Company". While I have watched "Three's Company" reruns over the years, I will remember Ritter as Ben Healy in the "Problem Child" movies. I'll never forget the sight of him walking into Junior's room in the first Problem Child movie and going insane. "Here's Daddy!!!"

That's what John Ritter was able to do, he was able to make you laugh. There are a lot of guys out there in the entertainment world who can't do that, i.e. Jim Bellushi. But Ritter did that, and a lot more. He will be missed.

Johnny Cash is also dead. Do yourself a favor today and listen to his cover of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage". Chris Cornell called it the "highlight of his musical career". That's powerful stuff right there, when you call somebody covering YOUR work the highlight of your musical career.

There will never be another John Ritter, and there definitely won't be another Johnny Cash.

RIP and condolences to their families. What a sad day, indeed.

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Oakland's magic number is 14. So, if (A's wins) + (Mariner losses) = 14, then Oakland clinches a tie for the AL West title. If it ends up tied, the Mariners won the coin flip, so a one-game playoff would be at the Safe.

In the NL, LA won ALL their coin flips, and Philly LOST theirs. No one-game playoff will be played in Philly.

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I know I don't have my game notes up for Wednesday's game yet, but I ran out of time yesterday because I was out having some semblance of a life, so I don't have game notes for yesterday's game. But the notes for the Wednesday game will soon be posted.

That said, it sounded like the first inning was pretty ominous. I heard from Sandmeyer last night that the edgy moment was when Teixeira hit a ball back at Meche with two on and one out. He threw to second for the double play but McLemore (in another defensive gaffe) wasn't covering, but Boone rushed over to block the ball and save a run.

Other than that, Meche was on. And Cameron got an RBI for the first time in over a month.

Get ready for Lackey/Moyer. Hoo boy.

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Two passings in American culture to talk about today.

Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, has passed away at age 71. We saw this coming. He died of complications with diabetes. He inspired a generation of talent and was quite the showman in a live setting. And that video for the cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails...haunting.

The one we didn't see coming, though, is this. Actor John Ritter, a.k.a. Jack Tripper from the immortal 1977 show "Three's Company," has passed away at the age of 54 from a "dissection of the aorta" which went undetected. A guy who made everyone happy, he will be sorely missed. In an equally startling fact, Ritter's co-star from Three's Company for six years, Don Knotts (Barney Fife from "The Andy Griffith Show") has outlived him by 25 years. I sure as hell didn't expect THAT.

Rest in peace to both.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003


Also reported on KJR's Baseball's Best Postgame show, the Mariners will have their 3 millionth fan walk through the Safeco Field turnstiles tomorrow around 5:30 p.m.

3 Million Fans, HOORAY!

No, it's nothing to be excited about. It doesn't make up for the fact that there's no World Series banner in the right field rafters yet.

I haven't seen the new "You Gotta Love These Fans" commercials yet (I'm in Arkansas you know) and David Locke says that Mike Cameron is not in them at all. Coincidence? I think not. Hopefully the Mariners MLB page will have those spots up, because I need to torture myself sometime tonight or tomorrow, whenever I see them.

And NO...YOU DON'T GOTTA LOVE THESE FANS! Enough of the lovey dovey crap, and just play ball. Seattle fans are far from the best fans in baseball, folks. More on this to come...

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On Baseball's Best tonight:

Jason Puckett's Gameball goes to the "lack of groundskeeper dancing" tonight.

David Locke is just rolling tonight. Calling the Mariners "the best marketed franchise in the history of baseball.....the fans believe that you don't have to have superstars to win!"

"I'm unbeatable at the hat trick!"

"Edgar is also training his eyes during the hat trick," Puckett said.

Sandmeyer: "Take Rainier Beach plus the points."

Oh, the Mariners took 2 out of 3 tonight from Texas. Gil Meche pitched 8 innings of 5-hit, 2-run baseball. Great to see, because the M's need him and Pineiro to step it up down the stretch.

The Angels are coming tomorrow night. I expect nothing less than a sweep. You can flame me all you want if that doesn't come to fruition, but let's be honest, this Anaheim team is pathetic right now. And quite frankly, the Mariners can't afford to lose any more series.

By the way, Go Texas this weekend...the Rangers over the A's, mind you. I don't want the damn Longhorns beating Arkansas on Saturday.

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The songs played during the 34-minute power outage delay were: Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen); Moondance (Van Morrison); Lights Out (Peter Wolf) and Don't Turn Out the Lights (Enrique Iglesias).

This is the earth-shattering news you get from MLB.com. What, you mean to tell me that they couldn't have played Journey's "Lights"? I'll give the M's marketing staff credit though, they didn't play Lisa Marie Presley's "Lights Out". Big props for that.

Anyways, the Rangers/M's game is on Fox Sports Southwest tonight for me and tomorrow night, the Angels/M's is on ESPN. Good stuff.

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In the "Tie Your Mother Down" department, if the Mariners and A's are tied at the end of the regular season for the American League West, the M's will host the 1-game playoff at Safeco Field Monday, September 29.

The same deal goes for the Wild Card, if the M's and Red Sox are tied. Hopefully it doesn't come down to a tie at all. But if it does, I hope it's for the AL West, because the winner of the West would get to host the first two games of the ALDS. If the M's were to win the Wild Card, they would have to travel to Yankee Stadium.

The AL West is all that matters. Don't give me this junk about how the Angels won the World Series with the Wild Card. Different teams, different situations. And do you really want to finish in second? I didn't think so.

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Now Vin Baker admits that he's a recovering alcoholic. Great. The doughboy said that he started binge drinking during the NBA Lockout, which happened after he had signed his big contract with the Sonics.

I'm not sounding heartless here at all, so here I go. The fact that this clown STOLE money from the Seattle Supersonics is inexcuseable. I can't wait to hear what KJR's David Locke has to say about this bit of news on the Baker front...

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All dreams have died along the way
I coughed up the price, I bought a cage
I've had a hell of a time since I went away
Don't know when I died or where to lay down

Gone, gone away
Yeah, gone, gone away

God knows I've tried, I'm dyed in pain
Strong yet simple drive, the freedom to say
I've had a hell of a time since I went away
Homing on traces of light, that distance fades

Repeat chorus

So they say with time we slowly heal
I caught a flash of your smile throught the fog of a dream
I'll have a hell of a time, I clearly see
I can't be by your side, I'll see you when I sleep

Now you're gone...gone away
Yeah you're gone...gone away

Jerry Cantrell, "Gone", featured on Degradation Trip Vol. 1 and 2

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I'm a frequent to Reuters' section of stories called "Oddly Enough." It never disappoints.

Two of today's headlines:

"Eat More Dogs, Cambodians Urged"
--This one...this just perpetuates the Asians-and-dog-eating myth, except in this case, IT'S FACT. I can't believe this is fact. Not all Asians eat dog meat, kids.


"Lawyer to Sue Jews for Biblical 'Plunder'"
--This is just so inane and nuts. Based on some Biblical verses of when Moses commanded the Israelites to "[ask] the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold, and for clothing," some Egyptian lawyers are considering that as stealing and want to sue the Jews over this.

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Two years after Sept 11, these words by Geoff Tate come to mind:

"So are we standing at the Great Divide?
Is there hope for America?
Take the flag we wave, the freedoms that we sing.
Without respect for one other,
it doesn’t mean a thing."

--Queensryche, "The Great Divide"

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John Hickey with some news about Arthur Rhodes not letting on the seriousness of his injury. That helps a lot.

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Some morning shorts here...

Mitch Levy of KJR asks, when was the last time the Seahawks were favored by 4 1/2 points on the road??
Sandmeyer of KJR jokingly responds, "Dave Krieg and Curt Warner go into Cleveland. Bernie Kosar is injured and an aging Don Strock is holding on to his career."

The Angels can't help out the Mariners last night. Why? Because they couldn't beat TED FRIGGING LILLY, who threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball. I hate it whenever this guy wins.

One look at the AL boxscores will reveal the no-brainer move of the season. Moving Johan Santana from the bullpen into the rotation. He is now 10-3 for the Twins.

Another look at AL boxscores will show that all-Mariner beater Jorge Sosa of the Devil Rays was tagged for 6 runs (5 earned) in 6 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays. Ugh.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Isn't it absolutely ridiculous that when the power goes out at the Safe, the lights that they need to play the damn game end up going out...but the lights behind ALL THE ADVERTISEMENTS stay ON??!!?!?!?! If THIS doesn't prove the Mariner brass is in it only for the money, I don't know what does.

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One last thing before I hit the sack here...

Magnus Arvedson has jumped the ship at Ottawa for the Canucks. It's time for me to like the Canucks again, even after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Minnesota Wild. I like this move.

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Well, the Mariners win a game they need to win just to keep pace with the Joneses.

I was very surprised that Melvin trotted Pineiro out there for the 8th, let alone the 9th. But he was on. His off-speed stuff was wicked all night. And the drop-down sidearmed pitch to catch Alex looking was golden.

I have to thank God that the power outage took place in the bottom of the 4th instead of the bottom of the 5th. Difference? Putting up with 34 minutes of stories from Niehaus and Fairly (tolerable) or Rizzitello/Valle (incorrigible). Fairly was reminded of a story where a player skipped town and had a semi truck drive through his hotel room. His manager was there waiting for him when he got back to spring training camp from Miami. They were looking for him when the truck crashed through his room. Anyway, big kudos to Dave and Ron for filling the power-out time very well.

There was some major symbolism going on the past two days. Last night's game was pretty much a microcosm of the entire Mariner 2003 season: take an early lead, tread water for a while, then totally lose it. Tonight, the power went out. The power in the City of Seattle was just the last to go out compared to the rest of the Mariners.

I'd type up the game notes now and stuff, but I was tired as hell on the couch and falling asleep between pitches, so though I was tired, I did get what I usually get.

I'll be back tomorrow with the detail.

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M's win 3-1.

Thanks to Rafael Palmeiro's solo job in the top of the 9th, Joel Pineiro didn't get the shutout. But kudos to BLOW-MEL for leaving him in, letting him get the complete game. The bullpen was able to rest tonight, and that's always a good thing.

I hope this power outage does something to the M's. What happened was a tractor trailor hit a power line in Seattle, causing the power to go out. David will definitely have more on this later, considering he's actually in the state of Washington right now.

Anyways, that's all tonight for me...good night, Shirley.

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Shirley Pineiro, the wife of Mariners pitcher Joel Pineiro, was just seen on ESPN 2's telecast. Orange sweater and looking fantastic as she always does.

And her husband is pitching an awesome ballgame. He retired 16 straight Rangers until giving up a Todd Greene basehit in the 8th inning. Way to be, Joel!

Not only are you pitching great tonight, you also have a lovely woman to go home to. Lucky fool.

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When the lights, go down, in the Safeco Field!

And the sun shines on the Bay...(Bay Area).

Oh, I wanna be there, in my CITY...


This whole power outage just made my year, folks. This is definitely the highlight of the 2003 Mariners as far as I'm concerned.

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The power just went out at Safeco Field.

Boy, what a tell-tale sign of the 2003 Seattle Mariners. No, seriously, the power DID go out at Safeco Field.

I've been watching both the Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN 2 feeds of the game tonight, and while watching FSSW, they cut to Mariners president Chuck Armstrong talking on the phone. Unfortunately, it's not with another team's general manager, because that time is long gone.

And more lights just went out. This is unreal. Freaking unreal. Maybe God is sending the Mariners a message and say, GIVE UP ALREADY.

Now Pat Gillick is in Armstrong's office...oh my goodness, this is just comedic gold!!!

Josh Lewin of FSSW, a guy who I really, really hate, is just on tonight:
"I love this...this is just so cool!"

Me too, Josh, me too!

Just occurred to me that the Mariners are becoming the West Coast Chicago Cubs. Now it's ALL DAY GAMES!!! Screw the lights, Armstrong must be thinking!

Howard Lincoln has entered the owner's box at Safeco. I'm just rolling right now. If you can't find the humor in all of this, then you are sad.


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So goes Tuesday’s undisputed death knell of the Mariners 2003 season. Like Steve Sandmeyer said, the Mariners were going along for 7+ innings winning the game like all Mariners fans were used to seeing the first few months of the season -- a few early runs, some great starting pitching, and then handing it over to the bullpen. That last part was the hang-up today though. It’s become pretty apparent to me that the Mariners can’t get it all together. SOMETHING has to go wrong, and something will go wrong. Something will not be dependable. If the hitting’s there and the starting pitching’s there, the bullpen blows up. If the bullpen and starting pitching are great, the hitting sucks. If the hitting and bullpen are great, the starting pitching had already dug a hole too big to come out of. They just can’t have it all going.

Two great voice mails on the KJR “Groz and Gas Mails” segment. One featured a guy who was hawking fake Mariner merchandise, featuring a Benitez bobblehead that would explode if within 100 yards of Palmeiro. Another piece of merchandise here was a tee-shirt saying “TWO ON AND NO OUTS…SO WHAT!!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Another caller posed as Rafael Palmeiro with a horrible accent. Actual quote: “I pound balls here at Safeco Field like I pound [my woman] with The Big Pfizer Riser.” Hilarious.

Now, to the game notes, aided by SportsLine where necessary.

Top 1: Young took a first-pitch ball, and got ahead 2-0. Franklin battled back to even the count at 2-2 before he whiffed Young. Blalock took a first-pitch ball, later had a 3-1 count, fell into a full count, then flew out to Winn. Rodriguez grounded out to Guillen on the first pitch. Decent inning for Franklin: 13 pitches, 8 strikes.

Bot 1: Ichiro took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, then flew out to Jason Jones in RF. Guillen took a first-pitch strike then flew out to Jones on 1-1. Boone took a first-pitch strike, got to 1-2 then flew out to Jones. In case you didn’t notice, all three hitters flew out to the rightfielder. Easy inning for Mounce: 11 pitches, 7 strikes.

Top 2: Raf Palmeiro took a first-pitch ball, got to 2-2, full, then flew out to Cameron on the warning track in right-center. Teixeira took a first-pitch ball then lined out to Cameron, who made a running catch. Nix took a first-pitch ball, got to 1-2, then fisted a single into rightfield. Jones took a first-pitch strike, then flew out to Winn. Good inning after battling with Raf; Franklin: inn - 15 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 28 pitches, 18 strikes.

Bot 2: Edgar took a first-pitch strike, got behind 0-2 then flew out to Nix in center. Olerud took a first-pitch ball, got a 2-0 count, fell back to 2-2, then grounded out to Young at second. Cameron took a first-pitch ball then flew out to Jones in right. Another easy one for Mounce: inn – 11 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 22 pitches, 14 strikes.

Top 3: Laird (who the hell is he) flew out to Boone on the first pitch. Clark (ex-Mariner Rule V-er) took a first-pitch strike, went to 2-2 and full counts then bounced out to Guillen. Young took a first-pitch ball, then bounced out to Sanchez on 1-1. Fairly easy inning for Franklin: inn – 10 pitches, 6 strikes; tot – 38 pitches, 24 strikes.

Bot 3: Winn took a first-pitch ball, got a 2-0 count, fell back to 2-2 then flew out to Clark in left. Sanchez took a first-pitch strike then bounced out to second. Wilson took a first-pitch strike then hit a single back up the middle. Ichiro took a first-pitch ball and hit a double into the left-center gap. Runners were on second and third with 2 out for Guillen. He took a first-pitch strike, got behind 0-2, battled to 2-2, then singled to rightfield to score Wilson and Ichiro, but got nailed trying to stretch it into a double. Mounce was in some trouble after getting the first two out. Mounce: inn - 18 pitches, 13 strikes; tot – 40 pitches, 27 strikes. SEATTLE 2-0.

!!!!!17543 in Atlanta Monday!!!!!
+++Paniagua released by Sox after flipping off ump+++

Top 4: Blalock hit a first-pitch double over Winn’s head in left. Cameron has that ball if he’s playing left. I guarantee it. Alex took a first-pitch strike, fell back 0-2, then hit a hard liner to Ichiro who almost overran the ball and had to jump to get it. Raf flew out to Cameron on the first pitch, as another sigh swept through the park. Teixeira took a first-pitch ball, got a 3-1 count then flew out to Cameron. Frankin does great, and strands Blalock on second with nobody out; great job by Franklin: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 49 pitches, 32 strikes.

Bot 4: Boone took a first-pitch strike, got a 3-1 count, went full and hit a hard single to center. Mounce had Boone picked off first, but Teixeira threw the ball into center field trying to nail Boone at second. Boone was credited with a stolen base and ended up on second. Edgar took a first-pitch ball then hit what looked like a lazy fly ball to rightfield, but it had enough carry on it to get over the fence. The Mariners have a 4-0 lead for the first time in forever, and it looks good at this point. Olerud takes a first-pitch ball, went to 1-2 then grounded out to second. Cameron took a first-pitch ball, then flew out to left. Winn took a first-pitch ball, went to 2-2, full and then hit a single to left to give himself a 5-game hit streak. Sanchez took a first-pitch ball then flew out to rightfield. More trouble for Mounce: inn – 25 pitches, 14 strikes; tot – 65 pitches, 41 strikes. SEATTLE 4-0.

Top 5: Nix took a first-pitch ball and got to 2-0 and 2-2 before bouncing out to Boone. Jones hit a first-pitch foul, got to 1-2 then doubled into the rightfield corner. Laird took a first-pitch strike then hit a single to center on 1-1 to score Jones. Clark got a first-pitch ball, 2-0, 3-1, and full counts before flying out to Cameron. Young got a first-pitch foul then singled to center. Blalock got a first-pitch ball, 2-0, 2-2, and full counts before bouncing out to Boone. Franklin has trouble, but gets out of it, though he threw way too many pitches. Franklin: inn – 30 pitches, 17 strikes; tot – 79 pitches, 49 strikes. SEATTLE 4-1.

Bot 5: Wilson took a first-pitch strike, got to 2-2 and full counts before flying out to right. Ichiro hit a first-pitch groundout to the pitcher (CLUTCH!!). Guillen took a first-pitch strike, fouled off the second pitch, then was caught looking. EASY inning for Mounce: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 76 pitches, 49 strikes,

Top 6: Alex took a first-pitch strike then singled to left. Raf hit a first-pitch foul, went 2-2 and full then bounced into a 4-6-3 double play. Teixeira flew out to Olerud on the first pitch. Nix took a first-pitch ball, got behind 1-2 then flew out to Winn. Franklin gets a gift from the defense and gets through unscathed. Franklin: inn – 14 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 93 pitches, 57 strikes.

Bot 6: Erasmo Garcia came on to pitch for Texas. Boone whiffed for a first-pitch strike, got down 0-2, and bounced out to second. Edgar took a first-pitch ball, got to 3-0 and 3-1 and walked. Olerud hit a first-pitch foul then flew out to center. Cam hit a first-pitch foul, then bounced a 1-1 pitch to Blalock who forced out Edgar at second. Decent inning for Garcia: 13 pitches, 8 strikes.

Top 7: Jones hit a first-pitch strike and got down 0-2 before bouncing out to Boone, who had to dive to make the putout. Great play by Boone. Laird took a first-pitch strike before flying out to Sanchez on 1-1. Clark took a first-pitch ball before flying out to Guillen in foul territory. Franklin: inn – 10 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 103 pitches, 64 strikes.

Bot 7: Winn bunted foul before flying out to right. Sanchez bounced out to short on the first pitch. Wilson took a first-pitch ball before bouncing out to third. FRIGGING EASY INNING for Garcia: inn – 5 pitches, 4 strikes; tot – 18 pitches, 12 strikes.

Top 8: Though I was surprised to see Franklin out there to start the 8th, I shouldn’t have been so surprised because he had thrown well over 105 pitches in quite a few of his recent outings. Melvin had a short leash on his pitch count in the beginning of the season, but it got longer. Young took a first-pitch strike and flew out to left on the next pitch. This is where it gets dicey. After 105 pitches (and with at least 10 or 15 left in the tank), Melvin pulls Franklin for Rhodes to face the lefty Blalock. Of course, hindsight says leave Franklin in. At the time, I think “God, don’t put in Rhodes.” Why? Can you remember the last time Rhodes came through in the clutch? Well, it wasn’t here. Franklin: inn – 2 pitches, 2 strikes; tot – 105 pitches, 66 strikes. Blalock took a first-pitch ball and FRIGGING RIPPED the next pitch into the corner in rightfield for a single, not a double thanks to Ichiro’s arm. Bottom line is, Franklin was told he was going to be pulled after the first hitter before the inning no matter what. Other bottom line: Rhodes’ only job is to get lefties out, and he friggin didn’t even do that. Rhodes: 3 pitches, 2 strikes. Hindsight again: if worst-case scenario happens and Franklin gives up a bomb to Blalock, the worst that could happen is Seattle 4-2, with one out and nobody on for whoever relieves him. Instead, Rhodes craps the bed and doesn’t get anyone out and is yanked for Benitez. Alex takes a first-pitch ball, gets down 1-2 then Benitez throws three straight balls. Texas has two on and one out for Raf. Raf takes a first-pitch ball then gets a 2-0 count. What do you think Benitez is going to throw here? His best pitch is the fastball. Before this pitch, I was thinking, “OF COURSE Benitez is going to groove this one.” You just knew it was going, and it did so to rightfield to tie the game. And of course, there’s the “where the hell was Soriano” question. I don’t know the answer to that one. He was well-rested and had only thrown 8 pitches on Sunday in Baltimore. Teixeira took a first-pitch strike, got to 1-2 and 2-2 then flew out to Ichiro. Nix took a first-pitch ball then took THREE MORE BALLS to walk on four pitches. Benitez was yanked for Mateo. Benitez sucked (18 pitches and SIX STRIKES), that can be said. But I’m not getting Rhodes get away with not doing his job either. He HAS to get Blalock out, and I’ve been pissed at this guy for three damn months, as well as this team’s performance as a whole. Jones took a first-pitch ball from Mateo then got to 2-0 and 2-2 before knocking Olerud off his feet with a line drive into his glove. This is easily the most demoralizing inning of Mariner baseball for the season, and it’s their death knell, as I said earlier. Mateo: 5 pitches, 3 strikes. More about this later.

Bot 8: Some stiff named Ron Mahay came on to pitch for the Rangers. Ichiro took a first-pitch ball, got to 2-0 and 2-2 then STEPPED UP and doubled to right field. Guillen (DUMB PLAY HERE) only has to bunt the runner over, and instead BUNTS THE FRIGGING BALL IN THE DAMN AIR ON THE FIRST PITCH. One out, just like that. Damn you to hell, Guillen. Fundamentals just go out the window with this damn team. Boone took a first-pitch ball, then got (hitter’s counts) 2-0 AND 3-1 before going full and lining out to left. Note: a good bunt from Guillen and Ichiro scores from third on this and gives the Mariners the lead. Edgar was put on base to face Olerud. Great strategy. Olerud takes a first-pitch ball then gets a 2-0 pitch and weakly flies out to left. FRIGGIN CLUTCH. Mahay: 18 pitches, 7 strikes.

Top 9: Hasegawa in for the Mariners, though you could just use Mateo and save Shig for when/if you get the lead. Why just use Mateo for one out when he’s primed for long relief? Laird bunt-flew the first pitch to Shig. Clark took a first-pitch strike, fell behind 0-2 then whiffed through a low-and-away breaking ball. Young bounced out to Shig on the first pitch. Easy inning for Shig: 6 pitches, 5 strikes.

Bot 9: Cam took a first-pitch strike, got to 3-1 then flew out to first. CLUTCH! Winn took a first-pitch strike, got down 0-2 then flew out to center. CLUTCH! Sanchez fouled off a first-pitch strike, then fouled a ball (barely) down the line on 1-1. On 1-2 he singled to center. Wilson fouled off a first-pitch strike, got down 0-2 and 1-2 before flying out to right. CLUTCH!!!! Mahay: inn – 16 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 34 pitches, 18 strikes.

Top 10: Blalock took a first-pitch strike then flew out to Ichiro. Alex took a first-pitch ball, got to 3-1 then walked. Then Raf took a first-pitch ball, then got ahead 2-0 and 3-0 before falling full and singling to center. Texas had runners on the corners with one out. Teixeira singled on the first pitch to score Alex. Nix fouled off two pitches, then grounded out to Shig on 1-2. Christenson took a first-pitch ball then flew out to left. Shig: inn - 20 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 26 pitches, 15 strikes. TEXAS 5-4.

Bot 10: Cordero pitched for Texas. The game was over by this point. Ichiro took a first-pitch strike, got to 2-2 then bounced to third. CLUTCH! Guillen took a first-pitch ball then got to 1-2 and whiffed. CLUTCH! Boone (see Guillen). GAME OVER.

I’d elaborate, but the game is in seven minutes.

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Last night's starter for the A's, Justin Duchscherer, pitched for AAA-Sacramento this season, and guess what? Sacramento is in the PCL PLAYOFFS!

Boy, you know, Sac-Town could have used Duchscherer in their playoff series. But the A's are smart enough to know that the minor league playoffs don't mean anything compared to the MAJOR LEAGUE postseason. Duchscherer was 14-2 for the River Cats in 2003, and was named the PCL Pitcher of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Mariners AA affiliate, San Antonio, are in the Texas League playoffs. I've said this all along, and I'll say it again: WHO CARES about the minor league postseason? Clint Naogette and/or Travis Blackley deserve a start with the M's. It's not a coincidence that Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro have struggled in the 2nd half. Skip Meche or Pineiro, and let Blackley or Naogette start. It may sound ludricrous, but those San Antonio fans don't deserve a championship.

Seattle fans DESERVE a championship more than freaking San Antonio! Remember THIS!

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The team you all need to watch this year is the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. They just upset North Carolina State this past weekend, and could very well challenge for the ACC title.

David and I saw the Deacs beat the living crap out of the Oregon Ducks last December at the now-defunct Seattle Bowl, and I was impressed by that squad. For the first time in a long time, the Wake football team has more promise than the basketball team. Good for head coach Jim Grobe and his players.

And the Wake mascot is the best live-action mascot in college sports. Book it.

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Before a stunned crowd that turned so quiet, you could hear a pennant drop.

McGrath sums up my feelings all too well. The Mariners season isn't over yet, but it sure seems like it. I wonder if BLOW-MEL has his Mike and Ikes in order tonight so he could put together a decent lineup.

It's September 10, and folks, we have a (expletive) moron for a manager. Do you want a (expletive) moron managing your ballclub in the pennant race?

Wait, this ain't no pennant race. This is a death march.

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The Portland Trail Blazers have brought longtime play-by-play man Bill Schonely back to the organization. The Schonz will host two pregame segments that will air on the Blazers radio and television networks. Too bad that he won't be doing the play-by-play on the TV side, because Mike Barrett was recently named as the TV PBP guy, since Pete Pranica was let go during the big Rose Quarter layoff earlier this summer.

But this is great news nonetheless! RIP CITY BABY!!!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Okay, my full game summary is coming Wednesday after I get off work. Until then, I took notes on the KJR postgame show.

Today's host was Steve Sandmeyer, a veteran postgame host, handling duties since Seth Everett left for MLB Radio after the 2000 season.

Sandmeyer: "This sucked."
-- They get the runs, and seem to get back to their recipe of winning games until the 8th.
-- The irony is sick when the Ranger bullpen throws 4 innings of scoreless ball and the MARINERS pen blows the game.

Caller: Benitez is always gonna groove it and blow it. Melvin didn't do anything different against Palmeiro. Would have cussed Benitez out if he was Melvin.

(-- Note: my dad says Benitez reminds him of Slocumb)

Sandmeyer: Franklin was cruising and had only 103 pitches, and had exceeded that (>105) in the past few starts -- count wasn't an issue. Also, where the hell was Soriano? He threw EIGHT pitches on Sunday, and was well-rested. Three, Benitez hadn't pitched in 6 days and was day-to-day yesterday with a stiff back. Four, Hasegawa doesn't need to only pitch one inning only to get a save (re: bringing him in for the 8th).

Sandmeyer: How do you come back from this? Devastating. They had this game in the bag.

Brian in Bothell: used to Lou's strategy, why not Soriano or leave in Mateo for the 9th? Walk Palmeiro in the 8th?

Sandmeyer: Blalock 0-for-2 against Rhodes, 6-for-9 (2 HR) against Franklin. Blalock up with BASES EMPTY, however. Even if he gets on, Franklin faces Rodriguez without a chance to tie the game.

Jim on a cell phone: (plays a recording of "Taps").

(That may have just been the greatest moment in Seattle sports radio. I know I was laughing)

Tim: second lefty in the pen for the second year in a row?

Sandmeyer: Mariners have no one to blame but themselves for this (second lefty situation).

Sandmeyer: This team is tired, old, and pressing. A loss like this has extra "stank" on it. Tomorrow: Pedro v Jason Johnson. Ted Lilly v Washburn. Thu: Shields/Harden.

Floyd: Cameron. Put McLemore in CF (this guy is nuts).

Kip: Starting pitchers facing the Mariners have sucked. New name: the Seattle Submarines.

Willie: bunting -- can anyone bunt on this team (Guillen in the 8th), pitching change, does this team not want to play for Bob Melvin (worthy question). Conspiracy theory: management says "don't win anymore. You've got 90, that's good enough."

Sandmeyer: they wanna play for this guy. Bunting is a worthy question. Fundamentals are lagging. They're tired/old. They'd rather not play for mgmt than Melvin. What will it take for mgmt to realize it should make an extra commitment? Even EDGAR said BEFORE the deadline that they could really use another bat. Players, owners, and fans want a move, only the owners don't.

Caller: once the score went 4-4, had no confidence in the Mariner bats to get another big hit when it's needed.

Mike: Where was Soriano?
Sand: (see above).

Melvin clip: this one hurts as much as any one this year. Benitez: "it happened." Franklin: wanted to pull with <110, had bad numbers against Blalock. Palmeiro hits better against lefties, so Rhodes wouldn't have pitched to him. Benitez "gets lefties out" but got behind the hitter and had to come in. Shig: tough sometimes for closers to come into tie games, but best option. Hits: we got them. Soriano: afraid Soriano would get tired, Benitez was rested. Need another lefty: not sure if you'd bring in another lefty to face Raf.

Norm (B-town): Franklin just got a hitter out on 2 pitches, and NOBODY'S ON!!
Sand: agrees. He'd given up only 2 XBHs all game long. Pitched >105 in over 15 starts this year. You don't worry about using guys too much -- THERE'S ONLY EIGHTEEN GAMES LEFT, DAMMIT! Shig hasn't forgotten how to go >1 inning.

Kevin: uses a broken boat and paddling to shore with oars analogy. Melvin played the numbers too much. Play the intangibles. No excuses.

Ryan: Can’t our starters be stretched out now? Isn’t it that late in the season?
Sandmeyer: Overreaction by Melvin to pitch counts. Ref. Game logs for proof. Again, why not leave in Mateo for the 9th? Do YOU trust Benitez out there? I don’t as far as I can throw him.

Stuart: Fate is killing us. Ichiro on with nobody out, not confident in his coming to score. Franklin in the dugout, head buried in towel even before Palmeiro homer.

Sandmeyer: players losing patience just like we are? They're human; they're seeing it and LIVING it. We gotta steal Raf's Viagra. I don't care what the players say tomorrow, but this one stings and this one will linger EVEN IF THEY WIN.

Caller: second guess Melvin, but Ichiro gets on, and the Mariners had 1-2-3 hitters up.
Sand: team can't move guys over. Guillen's gotta put the bunt down. Guillen and Cameron go 0-fer. Cam last RBI on Sept 9.

Caller: chin music to Palmeiro. You can't let him come into our house and tear us up.
Sand: you got two guys on, you can't afford to do that.

Dre: Piniella mismanaged this team last year too, ref. the sweep in Texas. The Jose Mesa of the AL is Wilford Benitez.

Puckett and Sandmeyer cross-talk...
Jason Puckett: I almost took a nap down there (clubhouse). Team mtg (35 mins) after game, just reiterating the point: 18 games left. Just friggin do it.

Sandmeyer: Cameron called, he's looking for his bat.

Puckett: Benitez hadn't been put in a pressure situation for the first time in a while. Rhodes has GOTTA get Blalock out. Nothing is wrong (injured) with Soriano or Mateo. Benitez "felt bad for the team" afterward, didn't mention any injuries.

Sandmeyer: Franklin knew (body language) that he shouldn't have been pulled out at that time.

Puckett: Colbrunn will be ready for spring training.

Sandmeyer: that really does us a lot of good RIGHT NOW.

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But to soothe my anger somewhat, I just witnessed one of the most unintentional comedic pieces of art I'll ever see in my lifetime. It's Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar's "attempt" at singing Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." when he was 18 years old in 1989.

It has to be a 98 on the UCR scale, just has to be. I've told David that Millar looks like Emerson Hart of Tonic. Look at his 2003 bio photo and you'll know what I mean if you're a fan of Tonic.

On that note, the Texas Rangers wanted it more tonight. Folks, this isn't just some Casual Affair. This has been the same ol' song and dance for days, weeks, months, and a few years here. Gee thanks Howard Lincoln and the rest of the brass for hiring Blow-Mel! Am I asking too much for the M's to at least TRY to put together a championship ballclub???

Oh, and watch the Millar video. NOW!

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Well, the Mariners always have to have one thing go wrong. Tonight -- the bullpen. More on this later while I write my stuff up.

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I hate our idiot manager. I would call him a drunk idiot manager, but the man doesn't drink I don't think. It would be hard to get drunk off of 2 percent Darigold Milk, you know.

If the honeymoon for Armando Benitez hasn't ended yet, well, IT IS SO OVER! You know, there's this guy named Rafael Soriano in the bullpen. USE HIM! Soriano has been the best Mariners reliever other than Shigetoshi Hasegawa in 2003, and you let him rot on the pine? I don't know, wouldn't you have loved to see Soriano pitch against Rafael Palmeiro? Gee, would have been nice. But that's life as a Mariner fan.

Earth to BLOW-MEL, THIS IS A PENNANT RACE!!! Oakland just won 8-1 over the Angels tonight and they had a ROOKIE PITCHER on the mound. And what is this? The Rangers just took the lead, 5-4, in the top of the 10th. Shigetoshi Hasegawa gave up that run, by the way.

There are 18 games left after tonight, and the M's are 3 outs away from falling 2.5 back of the A's in the West and 2 behind Boston in the Wild Card race.

This is absolutely disgusting, folks. Sure, if the M's don't make the playoffs, they'll likely have over 90 wins. That's not good enough. The only thing that's good enough is a World Series appearance and winning the damn thing. But the brass only cares about HAMTARO videos.

What is this? Empty seats at Safeco Field? Perish the thought? WOW. It's September 9, and there are empty seats. Hey, I know school just started, but maybe some of the people are getting the message that the Mariners are all about FUN AND GAMES. Word to the uneducated out there: If you want to watch B2K, watch BET. Sara Evans? CMT. And Hamtaro? Well, I don't know if I can help you on that.

And do you guys like my nickname for Bob Melvin, since the Seattle fans just love nicknames for their favorite little players? His new name is BLOW-MEL. It fits the man well, I think.

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Tony Mounce, tonight's Cy Young candidate, is a 1994 graduate of Kamiakin High School in the Tri-Cities. So you can damn well guarantee that he's juiced for this start tonight.

Dan Wilson just had the Mariners first hit of the night off of this hack, and it's the 3rd inning already. If only we had a team that could POUND THE HELL out of these no-name pieces of trash!

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It's always great to hate Texas, but this is one of those weeks.

Arkansas is playing Texas this weekend down in Austin, and these old Southwest Conference rivals will rev it up against each other for their first regular season meeting since 1991. They did meet in the 2000 Cotton Bowl, when the Razorbacks won 27-6. The CB is still etched into people's minds down here, because Arkansas coach Houston Nutt did the "Hook Em' Horns" sign DOWNWARDS.

And the Mariners are playing the Rangers in Seattle this week for 3. I get tomorrow's game and Thursday night's game here on Arkansas television, courtesy of ESPN 2 and Fox Sports Southwest. Yes, Josh Lewin is on FSSW. But it's not often the M's are on TV down here, so I'll take them when I can get them.

BTW, go Hogs. I'll say Arkansas will beat Texas 21-13 in the best game of the weekend. Don't worry though, I'm not a Hog fan now, I just hate Texas with a passion. Besides, Arkansas State University is looking better and better to me as the days go by. But anyways...


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Well, kids, it's Tuesday the 9th of Sept, and that means Iron Maiden's latest album, "Dance of Death," is on the shelves (at $11.99 at your western Washington lcations of Circuit City or Best Buy, I might add, which doesn't help Jeremy at all). I've heard the first four tracks, and they're compositionally complete, and they're an adventure. The third track was like around 7:30 in length, and there's two other tracks over 8 minutes. The album according to my CD player is 68:03 long. Yes, you will get your money's worth. I'm glad I've forgot how the metal world was without these guys cranking it out. Bruce Dickinson (cock of the walk, baby) hasn't lost a step.

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In his 8 starts with the Rangers, none after July 20 I might add, Mounce has pitched 36.2 innings, given up 26 earned runs and walked 22 batters. This guy was designated for assignment by the Rangers on July 22 because he sucked so bad. When you're designated for assignment by the RANGERS, you know you suck really, really bad.

But watch him go out there tonight and pitch 7 innings of three-hit baseball. And Rafael Palmeiro will go yard again. Such is life being a Mariner fan.

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Trade that MTV link for Warren Zevon in for this Letterman show link on Zevon's death. He filled in for Paul Shaffer 17 times.

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No kids, I ain't talking about Joey and Benji Madden from that god awful band Good Charlotte...

I'm talking about the music for Madden 2004. To my amazement, there are some pretty good songs on the in-game soundtrack. The same was true last year for Madden 2003, when OK Go's "Get Over It", Audiovent's "The Energy", and Quarashi "Mr. Jinx" were featured.

For the 2004 version, there are a few tracks you should check out:

Soil "Pride": I love the guitar riffs in this song. Sure, it could be "nu-metal", but who cares? Godsmack and Disturbed are classified as "nu-metal", and I like those bands, so sue me.

Serafin "Day By Day": A nice little 3 1/2 minute alternative rock tune. It's definitely better than the Trapt and Adema crap that has been shoved down my throat, that's for sure.

Jet "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?": This is probably the most synonomous tune for Madden 2004 so far, since this is the song that's being played during the Madden Playmaker spots. Australia has a knack for putting out good music, and Jet may be the next Aussie import.

Outkast featuring Big Boi "Church": Undisputedly the best hip hop/rap song on the game. Outkast always brings it. And "Church" is no exception. Keep bringing it from the ATL, fools.

Bone Crusher "Never Scared": The best line from any of the Madden songs---"IT'S FOOTBALL TIME! ONCE AGAIN, IT'S ON! Now everybody get out of your seats and start to get krumped! And tell em' tell em' we ain't never scared!" Great job, Bone Crusher man, whatever you call yourself.

Also featured in Madden 2004 is the new Blink 182 track "Action", which is going to be on their new record coming out later in the year, and Alien Ant Farm's "These Days".

And if you need a very good excuse to play Madden 2004, I'll say it once again: OWNER FREAKING MODE! I just moved the Indianapolis Colts to Little Rock, Arkansas, so now the Natural State has a professional sports team, in virtual mode anyway.

Rangers-M's tonight...PALMEIRO GOES YARD AGAIN. Book THAT, Danno.

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Well, I crossed something off my life's to-do list. I flipped it on Hollywood Squares during Monday Night Football last night and I heard the phrase "Corey Feldman to block." Also featured in the panel were Dustin Diamond (Screech) and David Spade, promoting some movie that will probably be crap.

Also, the Mariners finally found a way to gain ground against their rivals -- DON'T PLAY!!! THe Mariners are now 1 game back of the Red Sox and 1.5 games back of the A's. So all the Mariners need to do is get their next three (to tie) or four games (to lead) cancelled to retake the AL West lead. Wishful thinking, I know. It would rest their old guys.

Let's welcome Larry Henry, the latest to acquire the title of "Willie Bloomquist Apologist." That South Kitsap Kool-Aid mixed with that Mariner clubhouse blather found its way up into Snohomish County. Great.

And a case-by-case profile of the race in the SNOB division. Top three get playoffs.

Looking forward to a Mariner loss tonight against...TONY MOUNCE!!! Book it, Danno.

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Monday, September 08, 2003


Boomer Esiason used a phrase to the effect of "maybe it just beat the hell out of him." He quickly apologized (with "oops" thrown in there), as "hell" apparently is a discouragin' word over the MNF airwaves tonight.

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Sad day in the music world as self-deprecating musician and Paul Shaffer's stand-in on the Letterman show, Warren Zevon has succumbed to lung cancer. The link I got there was an MTV News link, which in a way makes no sense because people that give a crap abot Warren Zevon probably aren't the same ones that visit MTV online, and vice-versa. Anyway, rest in peace, sir Zevon.

The Dick Fain stat that is playing again and again on KJR bumpers is the comparison between the A's and Mariners records past August 15 in 2002 and 2003. Now I think the records used in the commercial are outdated, but since the Mariners and A's have been mirroring each other for the past 8 or 9 days, this is still true -- past Aug 15 in 2002 and 2003, the A's have been 19.5 games better than Seattle. Ouch ouch ouch ouch OUCH. Fain in the same commercial notes that the Mariners have a bunch of players in their regular offense over the age of 34 whereas Boston has one and Oakland has zero. Could they possibly be getting tired?

I think that mirroring stat of 9 days in a row was accurate. On the Mariner telecast yesterday, they mentioned that when Melvin was with Arizona, the D-Backs were behind the Giants and mirrored for about 17 days in a row. I could totally see this happening to the Mariners, and it is something they cannot afford in any way. Well, since Oakland does play tonight, I guess the gain/lose ground thing may end. But by the same token, if the Mariners gain ground today, it won't be because they won.

Another tidbit on roughly the same stat, this from Mariner P-I beat writer John Hickey --

Seattle's 2-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles yesterday marked the 24th consecutive day the Mariners failed to gain ground in the American League West on Oakland. To put that in perspective, when the A's won 20 in a row last year, the longest the Mariners went without gaining ground in the standings was just 21 days.

Yes, that is the sound of me vomiting. I'm literally sick of being a Mariner fan.

Say hello to another year of Monday Night Football. Not necessarily with the undisputed T&A hire of Lisa Guerrero, who had next to nothing in terms of live/on-scene experience (Locke and Woodward ripped her apart after the preseason game she did), but definitely with the CBS Radio crew of Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason. Marv was a great hire, and is better than Howard David was in the MNF booth. It was great last year when I realized it was Marv's voice on the radio, and it was great to hear his voice doing football. This was a great hire considering the MNF radio legacy held by (the late) Jack Buck and Hank Stram. Those two were great. I used to listen to them when KOMO was still idiotically tape-delaying the game by one hour. Stupid stupid stupid. It was a great day in Seattle (and Portland) when that finally got lifted. Fisher Broadcasting took away years of live MNF from my childhood. However, they did make it easier to coerce people into betting for/against a certain team when you could take advantage of the hour discrepancy, either with radio or my friend's satellite dish.

Another note on football coverage, I commented on Fox graphics with the other post, and now I'll remark about CBS. Now I wasn't stupid enough to watch their pregame show (who is), but I did notice the stereo sound and/or the crowd microphone kicked serious butt on my television. I also noticed that they changed the theme music and it's friggin scary. I don't know what to do with myself when there's a CBS NFL telecast now. I hide in the basement until the sponsors are read and the music is done.

Larry Bowa has gone nuts. He gon' get fiz-ired.

And if you haven't seen them already, take a look at San Antonio Missions mascots Ballapeno and Puffy Taco. Mascots bat 1.000 and never disappoint, unlike certain baseball teams I follow.

Bookending this post with music, there isn't a song right now that gets me pumped more than "Liberate" by Disturbed. I never thought that band would win me over, but they did.

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To mock Geoff Tate here...OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!! That was ONE HELL OF A HIT, kids!

Football is back. Thank God for that.

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Mock impression of him from KJR a few years ago:

"I-Formation, Watters in the backfield. Kitna hands off to Watters, and RUSHES FOR A TWO YARD GAIN!!! 2ND AND 8 SEAHAWKS!!!"

The blackout rule is the worst rule in all of professional sports. It is old and archaic. However, it doesn't excuse the fact that Seahawks Stadium wasn't sold out yesterday. After yesterday's performance, it should be sold out the rest of the season.

And I love the new Fox NFL graphics. My favorite part about them is that they now have the teams logos at the top of the scorebar.

New experience last night for me: The SNF game with Oakland-Tennessee didn't end until after 11:30 Central Time. I'm just glad my classes are later in the morning, not at 8 if you know what I mean.

On the Mariners, I had forgotten that Freddy Garcia was on 3 days rest. Too bad that he didn't get the win. But that would make too much sense. Well, the AL East is done and over with. The M's next 19 games are against the AL West. Time to put up or shut up.


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One thing I’ve learned in my trials as a Seattle sports fan: no two Seattle pro teams win on the same day. This is the way it is about 95% of the time. Between the Sonics, Seahawks, and Mariners, this is how it is. I can’t explain it, other than that we Seattle fans just can’t have it be good in more ways than one. We wouldn’t be able to take it, I guess. So when the Mariners lost, I had a good feeling for the Seahawks even before the opening kickoff.

By the way, it’s a shame the northwest region couldn’t have seen this game thanks to the NFL’s antiquated and idiotic blackout rule, but hopefully this result will do something to change that. By "that," I mean the sellout thing. The NFL's gonna get away with this blackout rule for as long as they possibly can.

I listened to most of this game, but once again am aided by SportsLine where I need help.

The tone was set defensively on the Saints’ opening possession, where Deuce McAllister was stuffed twice on a drive that resulted in one first down and a punt.

The Seahawks went three-and-out on their first two possessions and it wasn’t until there was :46 left in the 1st qtr when the Seahawks got their first first down of 2003. The Hawks defense also let the Saints convert twice on first down in the 1st qtr.

The Saints’ first drive in the 2nd qtr seemed score-worthy after a 42-yd strike to Joe Horn to the Seattle 37. Luckily, a Saints false start and a big sack on 3rd-and-7 (Tongue) killed the drive.

The Saints snuck a FG in the 1st qtr. Saints 3-0.

Then the Seahawks chewed up 4:23 of clock on the way to an 8-play, 89-yd drive ending on a Shaun Alexander TD up the middle. Hawks 7-3. The big play was probably Dale Carter getting whistled for pass interference on Koren Robinson, resulting in a 26-yd gain to the NO 31. From there, Alexander had all the positive yardage with 5 carries from that point.

Ken Lucas then forced a fumble on the next Saints possession. After Alexander scampered for three yards, Hasselbeck and Robinson connected for a 35-yd TD strike. Hawks 14-3.

The Hawks then executed the two-minute drill offense with 2:07 left in the half. Some big plays here. Mack Strong got a nifty 20-yd run on the first play of the drive. A pass to Darrell Jackson went for 19 yards. Hasselbeck took a keeper for 11 yards. The scoring play was a 10-yd pass to Alexander. Hawks 21-3. Great first half for the Hawks. 9 plays, 77 yards, 17 seconds to spare.

Now sure, the Seahawks only got two field goals the rest of the way and should have gotten a lot more. Sure, the Saints had a shotgun/no-huddle drive in the fourth that tired the Hawks defense on the way to a touchdown. Ironically, I figure no-huddle means you want a quick offense, but the 11-play, 84-yd drive ate 5:04 of clock. Seems like you’d want more clock. They only ran the ball twice. Maybe they had to wait for the chains to march up the field and stuff.

SEAHAWKS 27-10!!!

This was a must-win, and the Seahawks came through. That’s a breath of fresh air, because I’m used to that one baseball team that plays in Seattle across the street from where the Seahawks play – that baseball team seems to never win the games they need to win. Of course, if the Seahawks go to Arizona next week and stink it up, this could all be moot. But if they play anything like they did today, the Hawks will be 2-0 after next week. That, my friends, is a good thing, considering the Mariners will probably be 6 games back going into the first Oakland series by then.

One last thing. Good God, that Brian Davis. Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know this already, the Seahawks play-by-play guy is just nuts. He gets way too into it, but it’s funny as hell hearing him overreact on short little 2-yard gains. “And there’s a Good Guys first down!!” Yes, those are sponsored by the tech store The Good Guys.

Very lastly, I was alomst scared of the new Fox NFL score constant graphics. Holy crap! The only thing wrong with it is when the down-and-yardage thing disappears with a flash of yellow. It's visually distracting.

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Moyer got screwed Saturday by the Mariner offense. Today it was Garcia’s turn.

(Today’s stuff is brought to you for the first time by my own game notes from the FSNW telecast, in combo with pitch counts from CBS SportsLine’s GameCenter.)

Stats from Ron Fairly (adjusted to include this game)—
--The Mariners have hit four home runs in their last 13 games.
--The Mariners are 61-17 (.782 win pct.) when they score first, and 21-44 (.323 win pct.) when they do not. That’s right, everyone, the Mariners win OVER THREE OUT OF EVERY FOUR TIMES when they score first. The 61-17 record is comparable to two big Sonics teams of the 1990s – the 63-19 team that lost to the Nuggets in the first round, and the 64-18 team that got to the Finals and got Jordan-ed. When the Mariners DON’T score first, they lose WELL OVER TWO-THIRDS of the time. It’s pretty apparent the Mariners are a brutal come-from-behind team and need to score first to win. It sure as hell helps. I mean, when they don’t score first, it’s like they play .600-ball…except they’re LOSING more than 60% of the time. That’s sick considering the Mariners for a big part of the season were playing .600 WINNING baseball.

Stat from the AP wire story from afterward—
--The Mariners have scored first ONCE in their past SEVENTEEN games for a record of 6-11 (.353 win pct) in that span.

Weird stuff about the lineup today: Mabry at DH (ugh), Borders behind the plate. Niehaus and Fairly pointed out that the first thing Borders did was try to establish a rapport with Freddy on the mound by meeting with him right before Freddy had thrown a pitch. I don’t know what the guy said to him, but Freddy would throw a great game on three days’ rest.

On to the game.
Top 1: Ichiro tried to drag bunt himself on, not a bad idea. Mac got a first-pitch ball and flew out to the warning track in RF on 1-2, though the ball was breeze-aided. Guillen got a first-pitch strike and bounced out to second on the next pitch. It was a very quick inning. I can’t remember the last time the Mariners scored a first-inning run. Hentgen: 6 pitches, 5 strikes.

Bot 1: Roberts grounded out (rare because the Mariners couldn’t get this guy out this weekend) to Boone on the first pitch. Garcia threw a first-pitch strike to Mora, got him down 0-2, then whiffed him on a nice breaking ball. Ditto for Bigbie. Like Hentgen, it was a quick inning for Freddy. Garcia: 7 pitches, 7 strikes.

Top 2: Olerud got down 0-2, dodged being caught looking on a 1-2 pitch that apparently was low, then singled on a 2-2 pitch for a NINE-GAME HITTING STREAK?? Perish the thought. Boone took the first pitch for a strike, though it appeared to be down and away. He hit a hard single between 3B and SS on the next pitch. THIS IS A SCORING OPPORTUNITY: TWO ON, NOBODY OUT. Winn hit the first pitch back up the middle and RIGHT TO MORBAN, who caught the ball, stepped on second, and had ample time to nail Winn at first for the double play. THAT’S THE KIND OF CRAP THAT’S BEEN HAPPENING LATELY. So with a runner on third and two out, Cameron flies out on a 1-0 pitch. THEY BLEW IT AGAIN. Hentgen: inn – 11 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 17 pitches, 13 strikes.

Bot 2: Gibbons got a first-pitch strike, fouled a high breaking pitch on 1-1 that Freddy got away with, then grounded out to Olerud, despite Ole’s bobbling it. Batista took a first-pitch ball, and the count went to 2-2 before Garcia whiffed him on a slider. Surhoff took a first-pitch fastball for a ball, turned on a high breaking pitch (bad Freddy) and pulled it foul. The count went full before Freddy got a groundout to Boone on a low pitch. Freddy battled and got through it with a 1-2-3 inning. Garcia: inn - 15 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 22 pitches, 16 strikes.

Top 3: Mabry took a first-pitch ball, but then golfed a 1-2 curve for a flyout to CF. Borders took a first-pitch ball. According to my dad, he was crowding the plate on 2-2 and was caught looking. Given that, the ball was probably right under his elbows, and unless you’re amazing at turning on the ball low and in, it’s really hard to hit that pitch. Ichiro took a first-pitch strike, got ahead 3-0, then on 3-1 hit a one-hopper that Gibbons jumped to spear and step on first with. All three Mariners were ahead in the count in this inning. Result: 1-2-3. Hentgen: inn – 15 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 32 pitches, 22 strikes.

Bot 3: Freddy’s only misstep of the game came right here. Matos took a first-pitch strike, was down 1-2, then took three straight balls for a walk. Machado singled to CF, Cameron muffed the ball, threw it in, and then Mac apparently didn’t think Matos was gonna try to score and there wasn’t even a throw made. Cam got the error from the scorer on the play, but Mac makes just as big an error in my opinion in not being alert and keeping Matos on third and Machado on first. If he does, it’s possibly a whole different ballgame considering how crappy your offense has been and is still about to be. Instead, it’s O’s 1-0 and Machado on second. Roberts then got ahead 2-0, then singled to RF to score Machado (no throw from Ichiro) for O’s 2-0. GAME OVER!!! THAT’S ALL THE RUNS THEY’D NEED. Let’s rest the guys for the next six innings, because it ain’t gonna happen today. If you don’t wanna be ticked off for the rest of the post, you can probably stop reading it now. Mora swung at a breaking ball for a first-pitch strike, then flew out to Ichiro when he just missed on another high breaking pitch from Freddy on 1-1. With Bigbie up, Freddy caught Roberts leaning the wrong way at first. Garcia: inn – 17 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 39 pitches, 26 strikes.

Top 4: Mac took a first-pitch ball, then bounced out to SS. Guillen took a first-pitch strike, swung at and missed a nice breaking pitch on 1-1, then single to CF on a full count. Olerud took a first-pitch curve for a strike, got down 0-2, turned on a pitch (no, really, he actually did try to pull the ball) on 1-2 but it went foul, then flew out to LF. Boone took a first-pitch ball, took a nice curve for a strike on 1-1, somehow took a 2-2 pitch off the corner that was apparently a ball, then did an impression of Mac by flying out to the warning track on a full count. This team can’t buy a home run right now. Hentgen: inn – 20 pitches, 12 strikes; tot – 52 pitches, 34 strikes.

Bot 4: Bigbie took a first-pitch ball, then bounced out 3-1. Gibbons took a nice first-pitch curve for a strike, got ahead 3-1, then bounced out to SS. Batista took a first-pitch strike, then Freddy got away with a pitch that was up that Batista fouled off. The count went full before Batista was sawed off and bounced out to Guillen. Garcia: inn – 14 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 53 pitches, 33 strikes.

Top 5: Winn took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, then doubled down the 1B line to extend his hit streak to 4 games. Cameron bunted to move Winn to third. THE ONLY WAY THIS MAKE SENSE (bunting for one run when behind two), according to Dave and Ron, is that Cameron was trying to bunt somewhere between the pitcher and first, but in any event, NOT RIGHT BACK TO THE PITCHER. But anyway, THIS, TOO, WAS A SCORING OPPORTUNITY with a man on third and nobody out. Mabry took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, then hit a fly ball to CF. Matos looked like he was going to catch it, but slowed down and Bigbie didn’t have it either. Winn scored on what was ruled a Mabry double, and it was O’s 2-1. SPOILER: MO MORE RUNS WILL SCORE. Borders took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, and was walked on four pitches. Big deal. Ichiro was on with 2 on and 1 out, and grounded right to Gibbons at 1B, who stepped on first and threw to second where Morban laid the tag down on Borders. Note: Ichiro also grounded right to Gibbons in his last at-bat, in the 3rd. Hentgen: inn – 14 pitches, 5 strikes; tot – 66 pitches, 39 strikes.

Bot 5: Surhoff took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, then bounced out to Olerud. Matos took a first-pitch ball, then whiffed on Garcia’s 60th pitch of the game. Machado took a first-pitch ball, waved at a great breaking pitch on 1-1, worked the count full, and then walked. Bad Freddy. Morban then bounced out to Boone on the first pitch. Garcia: inn – 14 pitches, 8 strikes; tot – 67 pitches, 41 strikes.

Top 6: Mac took a first-pitch ball, then bounced out to 2B on 1-1. Guillen too a first-pitch ball, then golfed a flyout to LF. Olerud flew out to LF on the first pitch. Easy inning for Hentgen. Hentgen: inn – 9 pitches, 6 strikes; tot – 75 pitches, 45 strikes.

Bot 6: Roberts took a first-pitch strike, got ahead 2-0, then doubled on a 2-2 pitch. Freddy then buckled down. He threw a Mora a ball on the first pitch, but then got him to fly out to Ichiro, and Roberts didn’t break for third. Bigbie took a first-pitch ball, the count went full, then was caught looking on a pitch that looked up and in. Gibbons fouled off his first pitch, got down 0-2, then smoked one right to Olerud on the fly. Garcia: inn – 20 pitches, 14 strikes; tot – 87 pitches, 57 strikes.

Top 7: Boone took a first-pitch ball then hit a slow roller groundout to Hentgen. Winn took a first-pitch ball, then foul-tipped a 1-2 pitch into Machado’s glove. Cam took a first-pitch ball, then grounded out to Batista on 1-1. Hentgen: inn – 13 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 88 pitches, 54 strikes.

Bot 7: Batista took a first-pitch ball then hit a high 1-1 pitch for a single to LCF. Surhoff took a first-pitch strike, got down 0-2, worked the count full then flew out to LF on Garcia’s 100th pitch. Matos took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0, Batista stole second, the count went full, then Matos whiffed on a nice breaking pitch. Machado took a first-pitch strike, the 0-1 pitch was apparently just off the corner, the count went 2-2 then Machado whiffed on a breaking pitch. Garcia: inn – 24 pitches, 15 strikes; tot – 111 pitches, 72 strikes (SportsLine says 69 strikes). It should be noted here that Freddy needed 60 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings, and then needed 40 to get through the next 2 innings. Surhoff’s marathon 11-pitch at-bat didn’t help either.

Top 8: LAST GASP FOR THE MARINERS. Mabry took a first-pitch strike then got beaned on a 1-2 pitch, and Strong pinch-ran. Bloomquist ran for Borders, and his first bunt attempt was a fly ball foul along 1B foul territory. His second attempt got the job done, and the TYING RUN WAS ON SECOND WITH ONE OUT AND FLEET FEET. Ichiro took a first-pitch strike, then bounced out to second to move Strong to third. This is great and all, but dammit, WE NEED A HIT OUT OF ICHIRO RIGHT THERE. I sure as hell don’t expect this team to do anything with two outs anymore, and neither should you. Mac took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 3-0, then walked on 3-1. Guillen bunted the first pitch foul along 3B because Batista was playing back. I wish that would have worked. He took a 1-2 pitch just off the outside corner, and he was lucky with that call. There’s no way anybody should be taking that pitch with two strikes. But he did it again, and was caught looking. I’m not sure why that wasn’t a strike the first time, but I don’t know how ANYBODY can take that pitch TWICE for a strike. Hentgen: inn – 26 pitches, 14 strikes; tot – 114 pitches, 68 strikes.

Bot 8: Soriano and Wilson came in for Seattle. Morban took a first-pitch ball then whiffed on 1-2 high cheese. Roberts took a first-pitch ball then flew out to Guillen on a 1-1 pitch. Mora flew out to Ichiro on the first pitch. Soriano: 8 pitches, 6 strikes.

Top 9: Jorge Julio and Cruz in for Baltimore. Olerud took a first-pitch strike, went down 0-2, then hit a lazy flyout to CF. Boone took a first-pitch ball, got ahead 2-0 and 3-1, went full, then whiffed on a low-and-away pitch and I totally called it. Boone fouled off balls on both the 2-0 and 3-1 hitter’s counts. He just can’t jack the ball like he used to earlier this year. He’s off just a little, but the results are off a lot. Winn fouled off the first pitch, fell behind 0-2, then bounced out to short. Endgame. Julio: 17 pitches, 12 strikes.

Scribbled on my game notes after game: “SAME OLD CRAP!!!”

From the AP wire article, “Doubles by Randy Winn and John Mabry brought Seattle to 2-1 in the fifth, but the Mariners got only one runner in scoring position the rest of the way.”

My bashing for tonight: Ichiro was 0-for-4 and left 2 runners on base. Please tell me the MVP talk has moved away from him. Please. The Orioles leadoff hitter, Brian Roberts, went 9-for-14 in the series. THAT’s leadoff hitting. THAT is a tablesetter right there.

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Sunday, September 07, 2003


Great win by the Seahawks earlier today, demolishing the Saints, 27-10. If there was ever a season opener that they HAD to win, it was THIS GAME against the Saints.

17,000 empty seats at Seahawks Stadium??? Come on, Seattle, PICK IT UP! Sure, I know there's been a lot of ill will with the franchise over the past couple of years and well, they haven't won a lot of games. But dammit, LET ME PREACH HERE...I'm in ARKANSAS and was practically dying to see this game on TV. If I had the money, I would have flown back up to Seattle for the weekend to just see this damn game!

But I was stuck with the FALCONS-COWBOYS game on FOX, and it was not pretty. Best thing about that game was seeing Quincy Carter suck once again. I'll bite...Bill Parcells is not going to stay in Dallas after this year. He's too much of a pro to oversee that b.s. in the Metroplex.

I saw that hit by Ken Hamlin on Donte Stallworth while watching NFL Primetime.......OH MY GOD, WE GOT A HARD HITTING SAFETY!!! I remember all those years of watching Steve Atwater doing that to the AFC West while he was a Bronco and wishing that the Hawks had a guy like him. Well, after one game, I think we have an Atwater-type player in Seattle. And guess what? Hamlin is an Arkansas Razorback, just like Atwater.

I haven't been this pumped up as a football fan in a long time. The Seahawks have a real shot to make some noise in 2003. If only the people in Seattle can experience it...

So far, so good...my Super Bowl prediction of Buffalo-Seattle is holding up. Hooray for me.

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