Saturday, September 20, 2003
Sidenote: when they added the word "Net" to their name, it was just stupid. History lesson: Prime Sports Northwest => Fox Sports Northwest => Fox Sports Net Northwest.
So I drove back to Ellensburg today with the Mariner telecast on.
I drove through some traffic crawls in Tacoma as Pineiro sucked horribly in the first and it looked dire. It sounded like Joel wasn't going to get past the 4th the way he was going early. I thought the Mariners were going to have to burn their bullpen when they didn't need to.
And another thing before I proceed here -- DAVE MYERS IS ABSOLUTELY NUTS. More on that later.
Joel threw 34 frigging pitches in the 1st and I said the F-word about 3494 times in the span of that half-inning. To me, that seemed like something that psychologically the Mariners could not come back from. Two runs had scored before he got the first out of the inning on the fifth batter, Scott Hatteberg, who bounced into a very-much-needed 3-6-1 double play. From there, Piniero caught fire like nobody's business. We all know the struggles that this guy has had in the 1st inning pretty much all of this year, and that this was no time to be having another bad 1st inning, but the way Joel didn't let it get to him today, and the way he kept the team in the game so they had the chance to score some runs, was amazing. Joel set down 15 of the final 16 batters he faced, as he somehow stretched out from looking like he would be pulled in the 5th to finishing out seven (six strong) innings. Joel's had a rollercoaster year, but he was great today. Three cheers for Joel Pineiro.
Now the offense. Ichiro won somebody a free year's worth of groceries (valued at $5200) from Safeway as a part of the $1,000,000 Baseball Magic promotion by getting four hits. Ichiro was 4-for-6 and finally stepped up in a way that we've expected him to.
In the 4th, Winn drew a key 9-pitch walk and Cameron (whoa, he DID something) singled on his second pitch. Sanchez bunted the runners over, which he would do another time in this game. Ben Davis quickly fell behind 0-2, but grinded out a nail-biting 8-pitch at-bat where he fouled off three pitches before whiffing. He'd contribute later. Ichiro -- who saw eight Duchscherer pitches while warming up in the on-deck circle; you can't tell me that didn't help him out -- then came up and singled on a 1-0 pitch to put the Mariners up. This was the game-breaker, and if not that, it was definitely one of them.
Ichiro's single was big. Then came the 6th.
Facing Mike Wood, Cameron doubled to left on the first pitch. Sanchez got his second bunt, moving Cameron to third. A sac fly here would have given the Mariners a 4-2 lead. Ben Davis was up, and Wood threw a wild pitch on 1-1. Cameron broke for home, and apparently the throw had him beat. Hernandez made a bad throw to Wood covering the plate and Cameron scored, then knocked Wood over. Point here is, as dumb as taking off is in that situation (especially since the throw had Cameron beat), Oakland didn't make the play. The Mariners were up 4-2. Davis then singled on the 3-1 pitch. On the next pitch, arguably the biggest emotional play in the Mariners season (or at least since the Winn grand slam) took place. Ichiro doubled the first pitch off the wall in right, Dye fell down but got back up and threw the ball in to Tejada behind second. Tejada relayed the ball home. Davis was steamrolling in from 3rd. Tejada's throw had Davis beat. Now Ben Davis may only be batting .244 on the season, but this play was big. Davis plowed into A's catcher Ramon Hernandez, who fell down and knocked over umpire Joe West in the process. Amidst all the mayhem, the ball was jarred loose and Davis went back to touch the plate. Ben Davis -- A CATCHER -- scored from first. Friggin amazing. Mariners 5-2.
Boone and Edgar hit RBI singles in the 8th to put some icing on the cake (7-2 lead), as Pineiro was cruising by this point. Ichiro then doubled again in the 9th to give the Mariners their final run at 9-2. Benitez gave up a 2-out RBI double to Mark Ellis in the 9th, but it was rendered moot. I have to say, a seven-run lead is EXACTLY the situation that I want to see Benitez pitching in for the rest of the year. I didn't want to see Rhodes in the 8th, but he only gave up a 2-out Tejada single rather than giving up a dong to the first batter, so it didn't turn out bad. I really loathe bullpen decisions when the only guys I feel comfortable with are not named Rhodes, Sasaki, and Benitez.
Okay, now to Dave Myers. I'm just assuming here, except for the first play I'll reference here. Last night, he sent EDGAR (yes, that's the Mariners slowest runner, in case you forgot) from second on a 2-out Winn single where the throw had him beat by a mile but Hernandez took his eye off the ball and lost it. Edgar scored. Today, he is in the coaching box as both Cameron and Davis (a CATCHER, and therefore fairly slow) are beat (but not put out) on plays at the plate. This is friggin crazy. I love the aggressiveness and all, and I especially love the fact that these guys scored, but man, Mariner fans are friggin going to hate it if one of these plays ever goes the other way. This from the man who is featured on the Safeco Insurance commercial but set back Chris Snelling's career by two years, and possibly a Mariner trade for Jeff Weaver or Bartolo Colon. Thanks, Dave Myers!
Anyway, big day for Seattle sports tomorrow. Let's hope it turns out okay.
Now, I noted earlier this week that the M's are notorious for going on their mini-runs in September when they are pretty much "out of it". But who knows, 2003 could be different. It's not impossible to think that the M's could win the AL West.
That would mean that they would have to play lights out baseball in the final week of the season. But it can be done. Look, if it so happens that the M's were to make it to the playoffs and get beat in the first round, that would be a hell of a lot better than not making the playoffs at all.
But let's think about it here. The American League is for anybody's taking. There is not a dominating team in the league this season. New York's bullpen other than Mariano Rivera is shaky at best. Boston's bullpen is even worse. Minnesota is being helped by the fact that the AL Central is mediocre at best. And this Oakland team is their worst of the millenium, even with their clutch play as of late, until this weekend.
This is why David, myself, and a few others around the land are always harping on the M's front office to improve this team, as well as wishing that the current lot of players play better ball. As far as I'm concerned, if the Mariners can get to the postseason, they have a shot. Their bench is not too good, but out of all of the starting rotations the M's have trotted out there in past Octobers, the 2003 version is the best one out of them all. That could be a key factor if the M's are to have any postseason success, if they get there at all.
Am I drinking the Optimism Kool-Aid? No. I'm just being realistic. Hell, I'm always realistic. Gil Meche vs Rich Cy Young Harden tomorrow. 3 PM for me on ESPN 2. I'll have the TV on, sound off...and listen to the Rams/Seahawks on NFL.com's Field Pass (7-day trial, I'll cancel my subscription this week so there won't be any charges accessed). Life is good, for now. And for ONE WEEKEND, the Mariners AND Seahawks will both win on the same day.
As for next weekend? The M's host the A's in Seattle and the Seahawks have a bye. So the theory goes out the window. Thank god for that.
Anyways, there's hope. Not a lot of hope, but Lloyd Christmas had a one in a million chance of bagging Mary Swanson in "Dumb and Dumber".
Friday, September 19, 2003
Franklin, born in Fort Smith, AR, raised in Spiro, OK, was money after giving up that solo job to Erubiel Durazo. Now, before we can all get excited about this, the Mariners are notorious for having a mini-run in the month of September, when their playoff hopes are slim and none. 1996 and 2002 are great examples of this. But if this is the start of something, then by all means, we must praise Franklin tonight.
10th win by Franklin, 10th HR from John Olerud, and the new A Perfect Circle album is a 10.
And one more thing, Korn's "Did My Time" is just brilliant. I'm a little late on that, I know. But I got the "Did My Time" CD single today, and good lord, it's just brilliant. Korn will release their new album, "Take A Look In The Mirror" in November.
Joel Pineiro vs Justin Douche Bag tomorrow in Oakland (it doesn't matter what Justin's real name is). Joel needs to be solid tomorrow. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
The Mariners finally got some bounces and somehow Olerud put one over the wall in dead centerfield.
Franklin pitched quite aggressively, owning the inside of the plate most of the night, though his pitches usually don't top out over about 93 mph.
I have to say, at the beginning of this year, I sure as hell didn't think Ryan Franklin was going to give this team 200 innings. Great job, and he's a likable guy; a total hick from Spiro/Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The only positive from the Mariners' 1st inning against Hudson was that they rushed up the pitch count. They didn't capitalize until the 4-run 5th inning, when the baserunners that were getting aboard were finally scoring.
Is the win tonight a good one? Sure, of course. Without it, the playoff hopes are dashed. There's a lot of good to to take from this. It was obviously Franklin's night and it obviously wasn't Oakland's night, though it looked like it might be after the Durazo homer.
The only thing about this is that the Mariners need FIVE games against the Oakland A's that are a lot like this ONE. The odds of that happening aren't too good. What would truly be bad is if the Mariners swept the A's and messed up in the Angels series inbetween and coughed it up in Anaheim as the A's tagged the Rangers, who will undoubtedly lay down for the A's, as the Rangers and Angels have done the last two weeks.
But anyway, the Mariners haven't faced Duchscherer or Harden before, so the odds are stacked against the Mariners. Hopefully Pineiro and Meche can bring their A-games.
What happens next? Erubiel Durazo SOLO HOME RUN, 1-0 A's.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ryan Franklin is getting screwed once again. Time for me to play some Madden. My franchise team? The Cincinnati Bengals.
Carson Palmer in virtual mode = Money.
And I don't get the Rams/Seahawks here on Sunday. Saints/Titans is the only FOX game for Little Rock on Sunday. Check this out: only FOUR PERCENT of the country gets the Saints/Titans. Eight percent get the Rams/Seahawks. Thanks to Fox Sports for the info.
Now this is sad. Sam Rosen and Bill Maas are the broadcasting team in Seattle on Sunday. Even worse for me: Ron Pitts and Tim Ryan are in Nashville on Sunday. Not cool.
Who knows, maybe the Red Sox have stolen signs, thanks to their TV in the bullpen. But you have no room to complain after getting your asses kicked in a 4 game series. If it weren't for Jamie Moyer Wednesday night, the M's would have gotten swept by Texas.
So the Mariners asked the Rangers to turn off their TV in their bullpen. That's just lovely. Now the M's are going to make excuses for their pathetic play in the 2nd half. Unreal.
As Dave Niehaus once said..."It just continues, MY OH MY!"
Bright spot right now: College Volleyball on Fox Sports Net. I'm in love.
Yesterday I brought up the Magnolia Moment of the Year. Today, this moment is brought to you by Bank of America Higher Standards:
"...if you want to hit it big, you'd better take a risk," Pat Gillick.
Wow Pat, too bad you didn't take your OWN advice! Although Beane will lose Miguel Tejada after the 2003 season and has lost many players over the past couple of seasons (Jason Giambi, Jason Isringhausen, Ray Durham, etc.), he takes risks.
The problem with the Seattle Mariners is that they have that holier than thou attitude of winning by "pitching and defense." Yes, those two things are important. But you have to score runs to win! (Fairly Fact of the Week right there) I'm not saying that a hitter acquired at the deadline would have made a huge difference. But the M's have been involved in a lot of close ballgames in the 2nd half, and you can't tell me that a hitter acquired at the deadline wouldn't have helped.
One more thing, you have to have a superstar to win. Don't drink the Howard Lincoln No Superstars Kool-Aid. You will harm yourself permanently.
The Mariners this season are 20th in team batting average at .261. Oakland for the season is 24th (this will soon be debunked) at .255.
We know what kind of team the Mariners are, and that they're apparently supposd to play small ball instead of sit back for the big home run. But the big home run is still occasionally supposed to happen, right? May you just get a bit lucky and have a ball fly out every now and then?
The Mariners this season are 24th in slugging percentage at .393 (YEESH!). Oakland is 18th at .419. The Mariners after the break are 26th (it can get WORSE?) in slug pct after the break at .381. Oakland is TENTH in slug pct after the break at .427.
Once again, kids, OAKLAND STEPS UP and THE MARINERS BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND AGAIN.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Now, the stomach punch for me in the article:
"Acquired from the Yankees last July in the three-way deal that sent Jeff Weaver from Detroit to the Bronx, Lilly is the winningest pitcher over the past five starts. He's 5-0 in that span with a 1.23 ERA, providing the top hat for Oakland's latest second-half rabbit trick."
TED FRIGGING LILLY, who has NO BUSINESS being in the major leagues, and who sucked immense amounts of ass in the Bronx is somehow making Billy Beane look like a genius. AGAIN. I bet this guy could have signed Bobby Ayala and Felix Fermin for the stretch drive and had them turn in a 1.20 ERA and a .539 batting average, respectively. It just friggin makes me sick.
Another thing in the "it doesn’t matter so who the hell cares" category, Jose Guillen has been shelved for a few days and will miss the rest of the regular season.
1st Half: 8 HR, 28 RBI, .352 BA, .865 OPS, 25 SB, 22 BB, 137 H
2nd Half: 5 HR, 26 RBI, .240 BA, .652 ops, 6 SB, 11 BB, 59 H
Batting average as of right now: .309
Bret Boone in 2003:
1st Half: 24 HR, 76 RBI, .313 BA, 114 H
2nd Half: 9 HR, 34 RBI, .250 BA, 55 H
Batting average as of right now: .289
These two guys were being considered earlier in the season as possible American League MVP candidates. Not anymore.
Not when the M's lose season series to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (4-5), Texas Rangers (tied 10-10), and Toronto Blue Jays (3-4). Oakland's record against those teams? 6-3, 12-4 (they play Texas at home next Monday-Wednesday), and 5-2, respectively.
And just reading about the antenna ball commercials gets me pumped up. I'll have to be on the lookout for those spots on Fox Sports Southwest. However, they will be Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans related spots. But it will definitely be funny nonetheless.
Scott Miller's lovefest with the Oakland Athletics. The headline calls the A's "overachieving". But this isn't overachieving. They have just played better baseball than the Seattle Mariners. They are 21-8 without Mark Mulder. That's CLUTCH!
Keep this in mind when you talk about the Seattle Mariners "success" in the new millenium. Oakland has won 2 AL West Titles, compared to the 1 West title the M's won in 2001. And the A's will probably make it 3 in a week or less.
388-390 wins, so freaking what!!! Nothing to show for it except a Field Day Banner. Sounds like a broken Loverboy record. But that's the bottom line. Not Howard Lincoln's Bottom Line, but MY Bottom Line.
Fast-forward to Howard Lincoln at a press conference this winter--
Lincoln: "I'd like to thank you all for coming to this press conference and without further adieu, I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the organization: our new general manager -- ANTENNA BALL."
Fans like me: "Why did we get him?"
What fans like me think management would say: "Because he's free."
5 games back of Oakland now. Do you really think that this team will get the brooms out in the East Bay? I don't think so. Remember, Ryan Franklin is pitching tomorrow, so chalk that one up as a loss. Not because of Franklin, but because of the pitiful offense that this organization has thrown out there for the past two seasons.
The season series between the Mariners and Rangers was tied in 2003, at 10-10. You can't feel good about that at all if you're a Seattle Mariner fan. I don't, and you shouldn't either.
Comedic Gold Moment of the Season: On Fox Sports Southwest' telecast, Rangers broadcasters Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve were just going insane on how the Mariners only had ONE LEFTHANDER in their bullpen. And as Grieve was explaining why they didn't have a LHP, he said that Kazuhiro Sasaki and Armando Benitez have been known to get lefties out.
As he's talking, FSSW pans the damn camera to PAT GILLICK, who's sitting near the Mariners dugout, wearing some kind of dumbass Hawaiian shirt. FOLKS, THAT'S YOUR MAGNOLIA MOMENT OF THE SEASON!!!
Bite me if you think that I'm giving up here. I'm a realist, and I'll say it again, if you can't win a season series with the Texas Rangers, you have no business being in the playoffs.
But hey, 3 MILLION FANS BABY! That's the spirit.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Every once in a while I go back to my preseason prediction. I thought the Mariners would finish 88-74 (they'd have to go 1-7 to get that, don't doubt these guys!) and be in third place (wrong there).
"King of Wishful Thinking", the song of the day for all the rose-colored Mariner fans out there who still believe. A classic track by the UK band Go West. Thanks to VH1 Classic for allowing me to see the video again for "King of Wishful Thinking".
By the way, drawing 3 million fans doesn't mean anything. The Anaheim Angels are on the verge of doing just that in 2003. And look where it got them this year. In related news, Barry Zito shut down the Angels, 2-1 earlier today. Not good times, really not good times at all.
But I did unleash Go West on some of yas today, so I guess these times are not as bad as they seem.
"And he doesn't seem like a rookie."
Impressive words from Hass. Keep the hits coming, Ken! I wouldn't mind seeing Torry Holt getting laid out on Sunday at Seahawks Stadium.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
And as Dick Fain was saying earlier, this team may win about 392 games in the past four years and what do they have to show for it? One division title. One Wild Card berth. Two ALCS berths in which the Yanks handed the Mariners' asses to them. Zero World Series in Seattle. Dick even asked ESPN's Tim Kurkjian whether he could think of another team that has had this type of a run and not gotten crap in terms of playoffs. He pointed out the Braves, but the Braves have had about a 12-year run, they NEVER MISSED THE PLAYOFFS, and THEY WON THE WORLD SERIES IN 1995, as much as I hate to admit they did. The point is, a team with this type of regular season run and having this type of postseason (or lack thereof) futility is UNPRECEDENTED. Ick.
And the WNBA is fannnnnnnnnnnnnnntastic! Not really, but the final minute of the final WNBA game of the year is just something else.
David Locke, coming into the studio getting ready to go on the air: "Oh look at Ruth Riley, she just went over that b#$*@ Lisa Leslie!"
I love it. Even though Bill Lambeer is the Detroit WNBA coach, I hate Lisa Leslie with a passion. You should too.
One more Mariner note before I go to sleep (I'm tired as hell, sue me): Julio Mateo is now relegated to garbage time. I hate our moron of a manager. Yes, there's a lot of hate in the world. But Blow-Mel deserves to be hated.
John Mabry is in the lineup tonight out in left field. Randy Winn is in center, and Mike Cameron is sitting out tonight, due to a lack of intestical fortitude.
Cameron is a great defensive ballplayer, we can't dispute that at all. But he just looks terrible at the plate at times, and he's been showing that a lot lately. Enjoy the final weeks of Cammy in Seattle, fools.
But anyway, chalk yet another one up against the possibility of big-money pro soccer in America.
Monday, September 15, 2003
90 Million Dollar Payroll: CHECK
3 Million Fans: CHECK
90 Wins: Negative. JUST FOUR AWAY.
Yep, this season is just about over. What a shame. I feel bad for The Edgar. It has to suck to be him right about now, broken toe and all.
Caller: There should be a Mariners commercial for next year where Pat Gillick announces a conference call at the trade deadline. He tells some nearby players, "I've got some good news." One of the players asks, "Did we get somebody?" Then Gillick responds, "No, but I did save a bunch of money by switching my car insurance to GEICO."
Simply a great call.
That's right, kids, GEICO, who can save you an average of $189 (in the state of Washington) when you switch your car insurance over to them.
Did I mention this shamelessly free plug of the day has been brought to you by GEICO?
STOP CARING ABOUT THE MARINERS.
Believe it or not, it's that simple! I did it tonight. How did I react to Teixeira's fly ball sailing over the centerfield fence? I laughed. I FRIGGING LAUGHED! I don't even care anymore! Can you blame me? Trust me, don't hold out and hope that these guys win; you'll be more satisfied when you expect them to lose and then they find new and creative ways to keep doing it when they absolutely need a win. It's great and I can't figure out why I have put down money against the Mariners yet.
As for game notes from the other night...I'm not sure if I even care anymore. I have the index card sitting right here with the game notes from the other debacle right here, but I'm not even sure I can get myself up to present them.
Melvin put on Anderson yesterday who was the go-ahead run, who later scored. Tonight, Melvin put on Palmeiro, who was the tying run, who scored on Teixeira's homer. Take from that what you will. To me, the way Melvin chose allowed the Mariners to dig a deeper hole for themselves, and it's things like that, my friends, that make Bob Melvin a total idiot.
IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!!
Here is my further amendment to the results. It has to do not just with the numbers themselves, but when they happened...
Now of course different Seattle teams have had different (and opposite) great stretches and the like. The Sonics had those two runs to the Finals against the Bullets early in the Mariners' existence, and had the runs with Kemp and Payton before the Mariners were truly cared about in Seattle. Likewise, the Mariners have turned it on the last few years and the Sonics haven't been quite as good.
However, some of the Mariners wins in April and May of the good Sonics years come on the same days as some BRUTAL Sonics playoff losses. For example:
-- on May 14, 1989, the Mariners beat the Red Sox 4-3 at the Kingdome while the Sonics got swept at the Coliseum by the Lakers in the second round 97-95.
-- On May 28, 1993, the Mariners beat Detroit 4-3 in 10 innings at the Kingdome while the Sonics lost Game 3 of the Western Finals at the Coliseum to Phoenix 104-97 (not the game where Barkley shot 6000 free throws), putting them down 2-1 in the series.
And in possibly the most painful of these so far (I wish it would have happened during the Nuggets series, but it didn't)
-- on May 9th and 16th of 1996, the Mariners won 3-2 at Kansas City and 7-6 against the White Sox in the Kingdome. The Sonics got whooped at the Coliseum 108-86 to stare down a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Bulls on the 9th and bowed out to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in Game 6 on the 16th 87-75.
That's to rebut the fairly constructive criticism (please leave your e-mail address next time; have some guts) of "high schooler," whose name just may be antagonistic in nature. If so, watch it.
That's Tampa Bay Devil Rays rookie pitcher Doug "Drabek" Waechter in the photo there. He, as well as the rest of the DRays youngins', had to dress in drag as part of the annual rookie hazing. Yep, that's the state of the Mariners this season. That photo should be posted in every Mariner player's locker to remind them that this season could be over in two weeks because they were horrible against a transvestite!
In 11.1 innings pitched this season against Seattle, Waechter is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00. He gave up only 4 hits, and struck out 10. The Mariners batting average against Waechter? A clutch .111.
I wanna throw up, just like a Toys R Us kid.
If I had to choose from that list, I would have Sabbath, Prince, Mellencamp, and Skynyrd. I would also have Van Halen there, but I guess they're not on the ballot. But even though Ozzy Osbourne himself has said that being inducted would be "meaningless", the RRHOF needs Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Prince is a no-brainer. The man is money. When you get past all of the symbol crap and the purple outfits, the man is a great musician. He has the ability to unite metalheads and hip-hoppers together, and that's not an easy feat.
Mellencamp has to be in because he's just a great singer. His songs are from the heart, and I'm never afraid to crank his stuff up, especially "Lonely Ol' Night" and "Cherry Bomb". He's one of the few pop stars that I actually care about, and that's saying something.
Lynyrd Skynyrd should be in because they were the true icons of Southern Rock. "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Freebird" are always great to listen to, no matter how many times radio plays them. To think what this band could have been like if Ronnie Van Zant didn't die that fateful October 1977 day.
As for the nominees that won't be voted in on my ballot, I think Jackson Browne is overrated. His only good song was "You're a Friend Of Mine", and that was with Clarence Clemons, the better half of that great track.
ZZ Top themselves shouldn't be in the RRHOF, but the ladies from their videos, circa 1983-1984, should be. Good times, very good times watching those videos.
The Sex Pistols...they are terrible. Johnny Rotten, whatever he calls himself now, is worse than rotten.
But since the suits vote on this stuff, expect to see Jackson Browne and the Sex Pistols in the RRHOF. Not fair at all.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
From my count, on a total of 325.5 occurrences (the Mariners had a doubleheader somewhere in the early years) of the Sonics and Mariners playing on the same day, the two teams have won on the same day 87 times, lost on the same day 75 times, and have split (one or the other, like the Mariners and Seahawks today) 163.5 times.
The percentage of when the Sonics and Mariners play on the same day and both teams win: 26.7%
The percentage of when the Sonics and Mariners play on the same day and both teams lose: 23.0%
And finally, the percentage of when the Sonics and Mariners play on the same day and the teams split: 50.2%
So to finally test the hypothesis for the same-day scenario, we add together those bottom two percentages and say:
if the Sonics and Mariners play on the same day, there is a 73.2% probability that some scenario will occur other than one having both teams winning.
I'll cram these things together with the Seahawk figures sometime, I just have to find a site that lists the dates of the Seahawks games.
Tomorrow, I blast the Mariners game today with the game notes.
And big kudos once again to the Ranger bullpen for coughing it up to Oakland again and basically laying down for Oakland so the Mariners have no chance in hell at the division title, and therefore the playoffs. Thanks a bunch to the Rangers. And they'll probably throw everything and the kitchen sink at the Mariners.
As the USS Mariner's David Cameron pointed out today (link on the right hand side), Do we need any more evidence that you don't win by building around "pitching and defense"? Or that "small ball" is code for "inability to score runs"? The M's have needed a power hitter for three years. You don't win with a line-up of slap hitters.
Damn straight, David. And Mike Cameron is as good as gone.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the power hitter the Mariners DESPERATELY need. Richie Sexson is a stud, and is David's favorite player of all-times. If Sexson were to come to Seattle, I don't think David would ever be the same.
He will be paid 8 million in 2004, the final year of his contract as Ken Rosenthal noted in his column. The Brewers will not re-sign him, so the M's should definitely try to get Sexson in the offseason. Olerud will likely hang it up after 2004, so Sexson should nab the full-time 1B job in 2005. Sexson would be one hell of a designated hitter in 2004, if that comes to fruition.
In 2003, Sexson is hitting .273 with 40 homers and 114 RBIs. He's an All-Star caliber player, but it isn't because he's a Brewer. It's because he can flat out play. Bring him to Seattle and I will definitely travel to Arlington next season to see the M's play the Rangers.
And yes, this probably won't happen. But Sexson is a Washington native. And you know how the Mariners love to get those Evergreen State boys...
And damn me to hell for noticing the trend years ago where no two Seattle pro teams can win on the same day. The Mariners had the lead for just over seven innings and lost it. I knew I couldn't have both. The Seahawks are (thankfully) absolutely pasting the Cardinals (though it should be worse), so at least we have a 2-0 football team on our hands that I'll probably divert more attention to rather than this chokefest of a Mariner team we have.
Oh, by the way, Ichiro went 0-for-4. WAY TO SET THE TABLE, YOU PIECE OF CRAP!!!! I think his batting average is under .310 now. Attaway. THAT'S what your MVP candidate can do for you. Great job. Way to step it up.
Not just him, though, the whole damn lineup sucked ass today. I'll grill them later with the game notes.
Now I'll soak upthe last few minutes of the Seahawks game and hope like hell that somehow Tony Mounce beats Justin Duchscherer in Arlington tonight (not likely).
Seriously, will the Mariners take advantage of ANYTHING??? Bueller??
In the 8th, Franklin strikes out pinch hitter Wilson Delgado, then gives up a double to David Eckstein. Chone Figgins pops out. At this point, Garret Anderson is coming to bat.
Blow-Mel decides to intentionally walk GA. Which is just absolutely STUPID AS HELL, because you have Rafael Soriano waiting out there to come in. Soriano is made to pitch against the league's best studs. But oh no, that would make too much damn sense.
Franklin is "forced" to IBB GA. Then when you think that Soriano would come in, Blow-Mel leaves Franklin to pitch to Tim Salmon. Franklin had 117 pitches up to this point. And what happens?
Salmon singles to right, and Eckstein scores easily from 2nd. It's tied up at 1. Just great there, because the M's never get enough run support for Franklin. So being the cynical Seattle fan that I am, I expect the worst. And I'm right.
Blow-Mel finally gets off his ass and takes Franklin out to bring in Soriano. Too late, Blow-Mel! Scott Spezio then doubles to right, GA scores and Salmon goes to 3rd. The Angels now lead, 2-1. Soriano gets the next two guys out, Jeff DaVanon and Rob Katherine Quinnlan.
If the Mariners go on to lose this game, Blow-Mel is to blame here. You cannot defend the moron anymore. I've stopped defending him since the Yankee series in the Bronx in late April.
It's still 31-0 Seahawks. Yep, the theory of how the Seahawks and Mariners can't both win on the same day may come true once again. This is a GOLDEN opportunity for the M's today, as Boston already lost today. M's win, they have a half game lead in the Wild Card.
Who am I kidding though?
All hail mediocre quarterbacks!!!
And it's 31-0 Seahawks over the Cardinals in the 3rd quarter. Good stuff.
- Arizona manager Bob Brenly, on speculation that he might be fired after his team's fade
Hey jackass, you have NEVER won the National League Manager of the Year award! The Phillies' Larry Bowa won it in 2001 and the Cardinals' Tony LaRussa won it in 2002. And quite frankly, it would be a great day when Bob Brenly is fired as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Don't put anything past Jerry Colangelo. I hate the guy, but he wants to win at all costs. He'll even put himself in bankruptcy to do it. If the DBacks don't step it up in these final two weeks, then I think Brenly should be fired.
If only we could say the same thing for Bob Melvin, Brenly's bench coach the last two years.
Did a Yahoo search on her and found her interview from ESPN's Page 2, about a year ago. Pretty interesting stuff here. David, I misspoke. De La Hoya never beat up Moakler, to the best of my knowledge. But he did cheat on her, that I do know.
6. How did it go wrong with Oscar?
Moakler: When he lost to Shane Mosley, things had a different feeling, but I never thought the problem was with our love and us. I thought it was more about his defeat. As a man, as a Mexican man, going through that ... I always thought it was just something he was working out. I thought the problem was the public humiliation of that loss. Before that, there were stupid little problems, like "Why didn't you call me?" or that he traveled a lot, but nothing serious. Naturally, there are going to be problems with a very conservative Mexican man being with a very independent woman. But there were never any problems where I thought we would leave each other.
De La Hoya was seen with another woman at the Latin Grammy Awards, Moakler said. They soon broke up after that. And Moakler sued De La Hoya for palimony (62.5 million) after they went their separate ways.
Anyways, "Pacific Blue" was an awesome TV show. Shanna Moakler and Paula Trickey: YEAH BABY!
And Oscar De La Hoya is a punk. But you already knew that.
It's 5-2 White Sox over Red Sox in the top of the 7th. If the Red Sox lose and the Mariners win today, the M's have a half-game lead in the Wild Card Race. But we don't care bout the Wild Card. Jay Buhner would kill us if we did.
Speaking of the word "tizzy," I'll throw in a mention of former NBA Sacramento King and Minnesota Timberwolf Wayman Tisdale. Remember when the Kings really sucked? Mitch Richmond and Wayman Tisdale were on some of those teams.
Well, the Mariners and Seahawks both play in about 45 minutes. As always, I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
I've watched bits and pieces of this very odd Steelers/Chiefs game. Lots of picks and lots of big-play catches. Very high-scoring deal.
So in the Seattle market, we get Chiefs/Steelers early and Broncos/Chargers late from CBS and we get Seahawks/Cardinals on Fox. The full slate of three TV games that we can only hope for when the Seahawks are on the road and therefore not blacked out.
On to the game…
Top 1: Eckstein took a first-pitch ball, got to 2-1 and 2-2 before whiffing. Figgins took a first-pitch ball then walked on 3-1. Anderson took a first-pitch ball, fell behind 1-2 then flew out to Ichiro. Salmon took a first-pitch strike, fell to 0-2 then Figgins was picked off (1-3-6), though I thought he was clearly safe. I’ll take it.
Garcia gets through unscathed. Garcia: 17 pitches, 10 strikes.
Bot 1: Ichiro took a first-pitch strike, then flew out to left on 1-1. Guillen took a first-pitch strike then fell to 0-2 before flying out to left on 2-2. Boone took a first-pitch strike then flew out to first.
Way too easy an inning for playoff choker Sele: 10 pitches, 7 strikes.
Top 2: Salmon took a first-pitch strike then singled to center on 1-1. Spiezio took a first-pitch strike then bounced into a 1-6-3 double play on 2-2. Davanon took a first-pitch ball then flew out to Guillen.
Fairly easy inning for Garcia: inn – 10 pitches, 6 strikes; tot – 27 pitches, 16 strikes.
Bot 2: Edgar took a first-pitch ball then got to 1-2 and full before flying out to right. Olerud took a first-pitch strike then doubled down the leftfield line. Cam got ahead 2-0 before getting to 2-2 then full then walking. Winn took a first-pitch ball then bounced out 4-3 to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Sanchez got ahead 2-0 before falling to 2-2 then full then whiffing.
Mariners blow it against Sele, with a runner on second in scoring position with one out: inn – 24 pitches, 12 strikes; tot – 34 pitches, 19 strikes.
Top 3: Kennedy took a first-pitch ball then got to 1-2 and full before singling off the first-base bag on 3-1. Jose Molina bunted foul and got back 0-2 before whiffing on a nice Garcia curve. Amezaga took a first-pitch ball before flying out to Winn. Eckstein got ahead 2-0 and fell to 2-2 before flying out to Ichiro.
Easy inning for Garcia, though there have been baserunners every inning: inn – 17 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 44 pitches, 27 strikes.
Bot 3: Borders took a first-pitch ball then flew out to center. Ichiro fouled off the first pitch then got ahead 3-1 and walked. Guillen fouled off the first pitch then flew out to center on 2-1. Boone took a first-pitch ball then got ahead 2-0 before falling to 2-2 and full then flying out to right.
Again, much too easy for Sele. It’s icky, especially considering the strike/ball ratio of the inning. Sele: inn – 18 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 52 pitches, 26 strikes.
Top 4: Figgins took a first-pitch ball then singled to left on 2-2. Anderson bounced into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to erase Figgins. Salmon took a first-pitch ball but then grounded to Sanchez for a 6-3 double play.
Freddy escapes again: inn – 8 pitches, 5 strikes; tot – 52 pitches, 32 strikes.
Bot 4: Edgar got ahead 2-0 and fell to 2-2 and full before bouncing out to second. Olerud got ahead 2-0 and hit a full-count single to center for the Mariners’ second hit of the game. Sad indeed. Cameron took a first-pitch strike then smoked the ball into Amezaga’s glove at third.
Olerud wasn’t in scoring position this time, but he was a runner on base with one out. Sele escapes damage again, though he would complain of back spasms and exit. Sele: inn – 16 pitches, 10 strikes; tot – 68 pitches, 36 strikes.
Top 5: Spiezio flew out to Borders in foul ground on the first pitch. Davanon took a first-pitch strike then got ahead 3-1 and walked. Kennedy got ahead 3-0 before Freddy battled back to a full count and induced a flyout to center. Molina took a first-pitch strike then bounced into a 6-4 fielder’s choice on 0-2.
Garcia erases the walk and gets through. Garcia: inn – 16 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 68 pitches, 41 strikes.
Bot 5: That nutty Ben Weber came in for the Angels. Now the Angels are crap and all, but that bullpen with the exception of Percival is fully intact, as the Mariners would find out for the most part tonight. Sanchez took a first-pitch strike then flew out to right. Borders bounced out (1-3) on the first pitch. Ichiro took a first-pitch ball then bounced out to the first baseman on 1-1.
The Mariners bow down to Weber. And I don’t like it. Weber: 6 pitches, 5 strikes.
Top 6: Amezaga took a first-pitch ball then got down 1-2 before singling on a pitch up in the zone to right. Eckstein took a first-pitch strike and Borders nailed Amezaga trying to steal second (DAN WILSON WON’T DO THAT FOR YOU). Eckstein singled on the next pitch. Figgins got ahead 2-0 then fell to 2-2 and full before flying out to Guillen. Anderson took a first-pitch strike then got to 2-2 and full (Eckstein stole second) before flying out to Cam.
Garcia has two baserunners, but escapes again. Garcia: inn – 18 pitches, 11 strikes; tot – 86 pitches, 52 strikes.
Bot 6: Guillen fouled off the first pitch then flew out to right on 1-1. Boone took a first-pitch strike then fell back to 0-2 before hitting a ball to Amezaga at third, who threw past Spiezio at first, allowing Boone to reach second. Edgar got ahead 3-0 AND CUT LOOSE on a pitch to FLY OUT TO RIGHT. Edgar would be forgiven later. Olerud was intentionally walked, probably because he already had two hits, and probably because of that lefty-lefty righty-righty crap, and probably because Cameron isn’t too hot lately. Cameron fouled off the first pitch then got to 1-2 and 2-2 before flying out to center.
The Mariners squander an opportunity to take advantage of an Angels error. Weber: inn – 19 pitches, 9 strikes; tot – 25 pitches, 14 strikes.
Top 7: Salmon flew out to center on the first pitch. Spiezio took a first-pitch strike then fell back 0-2 before flying out to Ichiro on 2-2. Davanon took a first-pitch strike then got ahead 3-1 before walking. Kennedy took a first-pitch ball then flew out to Guillen.
Again, Freddy dodges a walk. Garcia: inn – 14 pitches, 7 strikes; tot – 100 pitches, 59 strikes.
Bot 7: Francisco Rodriguez came in and made his first few opposing batters look like total crap as he had his slider moving real well, causing some poor-looking swings from some Mariner bats. Winn took a first-pitch ball then bounced out to second. Sanchez took a first-pitch strike then fell back 0-2 and whiffed. Borders whiffed at the first pitch then fell to 0-2 and whiffed.
Francisco dominates: 8 pitches, 7 strikes.
Top 8: I didn’t think Garcia was going to get through this inning, but Melvin left him in even when he was in trouble. Delgado took a first-pitch strike then fell to 0-2 before working a full count then whiffing. Amezaga took a first-pitch ball then fell to 1-2 and whiffed. Eckstein took a first-pitch strike then got ahead 3-1 then doubled to left. Figgins took a first-pitch strike then fell to 0-2 before working the count full and whiffing, which was a key out for Freddy.
Freddy didn’t bring his A-game today by any means. It was more like his B-game, which with this pathetic Angel lineup is enough to beat them. At least it is if your team actually scores any runs, which the Mariners hadn’t done for Garcia. Yet. Garcia: inn – 22 pitches, 13 strikes; tot – 122 pitches, 72 strikes.
Bot 8: It didn’t look good because Francisco Rodriguez looked every bit like the pitcher he was down the stretch and in the postseason last year for the Angels, even two outs into this inning. Ichiro bounced out to second on the first pitch. Guillen took a first-pitch strike then fell to 1-2 before whiffing. Two outs. It didn’t look good at all. Freddy was going to be the latest pitcher to get totally screwed by the Mariners offense. Boone got ahead 2-0. He got ahead 3-1. He had a full count. Boone walked. A runner on with 2 out. With the Mariners offense lately, you’d have to be surprised if that run crossed the plate, especially in a clutch situation. Cue Edgar. Edgar doubles on the first pitch, thankfully over Anderson’s head in left. Just barely; it looked like he had a great chance to catch the ball. Boone scored from first thanks in part to Garret’s throw sailing over the cutoff man. Strong pinch-ran for Edgar. Shig warmed up in the pen to prep for the 9th. Olerud was intentionally walked, probably to face Cameron again. Cameron took a first-pitch ball then was beaned (OUCH) with the 1-1 pitch. The bases were loaded with two out. Again, the Mariners have scored one run in this inning with two out; they can’t possibly score another run. They can’t be this lucky twice. Randy Winn was at the plate with the bases loaded and two out. He’s a slap hitter, hits the ball hard, sprays it, uses the whole field. He got a fastball from Francisco Rodriguez. HE ABSOLUTELY COVERED THAT BALL. No way, I thought. No frigging way. The ball landed in the terrace level next to the Hit It Here Café. That sure felt a ton better than a 1-0 lead going into the 9th, that’s for damn sure. Whew. Sanchez then calmed us down by taking a first-pitch ball then getting ahead 2-0 and 3-1 then falling to full and flying out to center.
Francisco Rodriguez shows some flaws in the armor, and they are much-needed considering Texas’ bullpen blew it against Oakland for the second night in a row. Rodriguez: inn – 30 pitches, 16 strikes; tot – 38 pitches, 23 strikes.
Top 9: It’s a 5-run lead and not a save situation. It seems like an ideal situation for Mateo or one of the Sweeney/Putz/Looper combo to come in and mop up; no time for the closer. Lest we forget, the manager is a moron. Shig comes in to hold a five-run lead in the 9th. Anderson took a first-pitch strike then lined a single off the first-base bag which Olerud couldn’t come up with in time to make an out on 1-2. Salmon took a first-pitch strike then got down 0-2 then got to 2-2 before singling to left. Runners on the corners with nobody out. Spiezio got ahead 2-0 and hit a ball up the middle which Boone went way to his right to backhand and make a nice off-balance throw to first for the first out. Problem? Sanchez was covering second and they clearly would have had Salmon at second, keeping the double play in order for Davanon. Anyway, Anderson scored on the play. Davanon bounced out to short on the first pitch as Salmon went to third. Kennedy got ahead 2-0 before bouncing out to Boone on 2-1. End game.
I’ve learned in the past two years with Sasaki that putting in the closer in a non-save situation doesn’t seem to work with the Mariners. It didn’t here. It should work, but it doesn’t. Foulke can do it; Shig and Kaz can’t. Why? I don’t know. But Melvin needs to notice this trend. Anyway, Shig nails it down, though with some turbulence. Shig: 18 pitches, 11 strikes.
After the game, a reporter asked Melvin why Shig was used in the situation. Melvin said Shig was the best guy for the situation; that they needed to nail it down, and that he wouldn’t have Shig warm up so he could NOT pitch. THIS MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL. Sweeney warmed up last night in the 8th JUST TO NOT PITCH THE 9TH and JUST SO RHODES COULD GO OUT THERE AND STINK IT UP. And yet I’m supposed to accept this rationale to explain why Shig went out there in the 9th? Bullcrap. Total bullcrap. If Hasegawa had thrown more than one pitch last night (he didn’t; one pitch and one out) I would be absolutely livid about this.
Mariners 1-2-3 hitters: 0-for-10 with 2 BB, 1 K, and 1 run scored
Sanchez 0-for-4 with 2 K
Cameron 0-for-2 with a run, a BB and 3 stranded runners
Winn 1-for-4 with the slam (4 RBI)
Olerud 2-for-2 with a double and two walks
Edgar 1-for-4 with the game-breaking double. Edgar, “is clutch and clutch is everything in life,” to quote ESPN’s John Buccigross.
Franklin and Gregg tomorrow. Problem here is that Gregg is some hack the Mariners haven’t seen. They must dispose of him, but we’ve seen otherwise in the past few weeks.
I have come to realize my theory that the Seahawks and Mariners (no two pro Seattle sports teams at any time) cannot both win tomorrow, except under extraordinary circumstances. I’m torn between the Mariners losing ground or the Seahawks losing to an absolutely pathetic Cardinals team in Tempe. Torn.