Saturday, October 04, 2003


So we all know the Huskies were outscored 39-0 in the second half of a 46-16 loss at UCLA. But what some of you may not know is what happened on a 56-yard touchdown play. I'll just tell you it involves South Kitsap graduate Jimmy Newell. And he wasn't playing offense; he was playing defense. Or was he??

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I love it, love it, love it when Michigan loses. Today, it was to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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Just to remind all of you, the Mariners finished the 2003 season by going 67-19 (.779) when they scored first. With an overall record of 93-69, this left them at a 26-50 (.342) clip when NOT scoring first. It's true; the Mariners lost NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THE TIME when they didn't score first. I remember I would always say that the Mariners (except the fluke that was 2001) were the type of team that had to score early and hang on. A record of 26-50 does not signal a team that came back when it was down.

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Even the loyal Husky fans don't care much for South Kitsap boy Jimmy Newell.

"The King of the 20-yard cushion". That's classic. Oh by the way, Bow Down To THIS!!!

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Eastside Catholic 34, Bainbridge 7. The BI hurry-up offense throws off EC for about a quarter. Then EC QB Todd Burnham went 5-for-6 for 110 yards in the second quarter alone. Some big plays and it was smooth sailing for EC. Bainbridge is 1-4.

Port Townsend 46, Klahowya 0. Complete domination by PT over the Eagles. PT had a running game of 437 yards on 41 carries. They've outscored their opponents 265-57. There's not much more to say.

South Kitsap 45, Olympic 6. SK backup RB Shannon Haney did nothing but lift weights last year and not play football. Jon Shepherd has sore legs. Haney rushes 22 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Olympic succumbed to all things South. Maybe they even snuck into the A&W on Mile Hill Road after the game for some postgame milkshakes of sorrow. I just couldn't find a way to slam South here. I couldn't.

Shelton 21, Central Kitsap 7. Shelton stud RB Isaiah Taito was pretty much held in check by the CK defense. In response, Shelton QB Jeff Kieburtz threw 17-for-21 for 224 yards. Shelton is tied with North Kitsap for the Narrows League Bridge Division lead, which leads us to...

North Kitsap 48, Bremerton 0. North is undefeated through five. Says NK coach Jerry Parrish, "I think when we held Bremerton out of the end zone in the first quarter, that was the turning point of the game." So basically the game was over after the first quarter. The score was 7-0 North at the end of the first quarter. The other three quarters were fun and games for the Vikings, as they still had 41 more points to score. The Vikings ground game: 317 yards, 5 touchdowns. "We improved greatly," [Bremerton coach Mike] McKnight said. "We haven't played like that all year." I hope one day, for their sake and the skae of the Knight faithful, that one day the better play results in some points. The Knights have scored 19 points all year in 5 games, and 13 of those were in the opener against Foss. In the last four games, they've scored a total of six points (touchdown against Port Angeles), and have been shut out in three of those four games. It hurts to think of Knightdom sometimes, it really does.

Battle of next week: 0-5 CK against 0-5 Bremerton.

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The Canucks lost their Northwest Division title in the last couple weeks before the end of last season. The chances of getting back there are, well, a little long. Why?

Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne (taking sizable pay cuts) are back together in Colorado. As the article says, here's the first two Colorado lines, with the blue line too.

Line 1: Peter Forsberg, Milan Hejduk, Alex Tanguay
Line 2: Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Joe Sakic
Blue line: Rob Blake, Adam Foote, Derek Morris

Ladies and gentlemen, that is what I like to call SICK AND WRONG. Sakic, Kariya, and Selanne? ON THE SECOND LINE?!! Good gracious!!

About the only questions on this team are how dumb Tony Granato can be as a coach and how good David Aebischer will be in the net.

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You know, it's always funny when I hear a good Siegfried and Roy joke, especially at the hands of Conan O'Brien. But you're gonna receive a "get well" from me if you get mauled by a tiger.

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For the Giants to lose 100 games and get ousted in the first round...that's almost like having your team tying a Major League-record for wins with 116 and getting your team's asses handed to themselves in the ALCS.

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Not only is Dontrelle Willis shutting down the Giants today, he's 3-for-3! He had just hit a triple in the 5th.

Yes, let it be known once again, that I used to go to school with the guy. This is great stuff. The Florida Marlins are everything the Seattle Mariners should be: a young, exciting ballclub.

A Marlins/Cubs National League Championship Series would be very exciting. Remember, Dontrelle was once a former Cubs farmhand. He was traded to Florida before the 2002 season in the Antonio Alfonseca deal, which had also sent Matt Clement to the Cubs.

It sucks hard that the M's aren't playing right now. But you can't help but love the way the Marlins play the game of baseball. There's nothing the Giants can do about it right now.

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All you need to know is this: Utah 17, Oregon 13!! LAUGHS ARE HAD!!

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Friday, October 03, 2003


I have noticed that Steve is now a legit member of the blog and has signed in with a username and stuff, because the one I gave him, "rockitslates," is not the one he's going with. Welcome, Steve.

Some of you out there may remember Litchfield, Minnesota as being the place where a farmer somehow fashioned his cornfield into a Twins logo, wooing aerial photographers from far and wide.

Anyway, it's good to have Steve, and he'll bring it, and he'll especially bring it during basketball season. Basically he balances out my baseball-geared mind. I played a ton of years of baseball, and Steve played a ton of years of basketball, so he knows what's up.

He'll also being a fresh sense of humor to the blog. Watch out for that, if there are indeed any loyal readers out there.

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Mark Prior has just two-hit the Braves in Game 3 of the NLDS. He beat Greg Maddux. The guy is good. And it's always good to see the Braves eat it.

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Tom Jackson would have left ESPN if Rush Limbaugh had stayed with the network after his comments on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, the New York Daily News reports.

Just another reason to hate the big, fat idiot known as Rush Limbaugh. Tom Jackson is the best thing going for ESPN today, and if he would have left, hoo boy. Let's face it, TJ brings it every Sunday during the NFL season. Who else could match his insight and intensity?

No one.

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The son of far-fallen former pitcher Dwight Gooden has been arrested and charged with selling crack. Luckily the spawn of Gooden had a great role model to keep him out of trouble. Yes, I'm kidding.

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Thursday, October 02, 2003


Dennis Erickson's no longer in Corvallis, but it's nice to know that his ways have not left the sleepy Oregon town.

2002 South Kitsap grad and current Oregon State redshirt freshman tailback Ryan Cole was cited for disorderly conduct early Sunday morning after punching a man at a Circle K store in Corvallis. This came after OSU's 45-17 victory over Arizona State Saturday night.

Cole told The Sun that he had acted in self-defense. It remains to be seen what will happen. But I can tell you this much:

HE'S A BEAVER NOW!!! Dennis Erickson would be very proud of him.

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I just have a strong feeling that the Red Sox will fire Grady Little after their exit from the playoffs.

Taking over for Grady...

His former boss in Cleveland:

Mike Hargrove. If I were Boston, I'd jump all over this. Maybe it's unfair to talk about this right now, but I just don't see the Red Sox coming back and winning three straight over the A's.

-- "Sexson in 2004: The M's were next to last in HRs in the A.L. That's not good" --

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to Billy Beane's powers.

I'm expecting "Moneyball to come to my doorstep within the next week from Amazon.com. And hell, it is only 14.97, hardcover style, right now. Not a bad deal at all.

By the way, I've only been halfway through "Out In Left Field", the new Art Thiel book, and it is definitely a must read. A few words to sum up my feelings about the book so far...


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It looks like Barry Zito has his playoff hockey beard going on here.

In other hairy news, Kid Rock's first single off of his new album, due in November, is going to be a cover of Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love". Hell Bob Richie, why not cover .38 Special's "Hold On Loosely" while you're at it? Things like this really make me hate the music business.

-- "Sexson in 2004: Chicks dig the long ball. And I like winning ballgames" --

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Charter Communications doesn't carry it on their cable, but Comcast does. I'm talking about the CBC, folks. And when you're watching the CBC on a Saturday night in the fall or winter, there will be hockey on. Yes, Hockey Night in Canada is back for year number 52. I'll be back to Bremerton a few times this school year, and when I go back I hope to get some dosage of Ron MacLean and Don Cherry tussling after the first intermission. "Kids, keep your head up and don't look down at youre stick when you're defending a breakaway, and don't keep your stick straight in front of you." I don't think that's the exact quote, but the motive is to make sure you don't get a puck off the stick right in front of you and have it ricochet off your face. As for keeping your head up, that's so you don't get Lindros-ed by a Scott Stevens-type.

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Now we knew Jim Moore of the P-I would win his bet against Jeff Cirillo, but we didn't know by how much. The bet was above/below .280. The outcome was .205. Yecch.

Cirillo made $6 million this season and stands to make at least $14 million over the next two years. But he's through as a Mariner. He knows it, and so does everyone else. They will trade him if there's a taker, or cut him and eat his contract.


"I'm not doing any soul-searching right now," he said. "I'm in a state of relief, to tell you the truth."

He is planning a family vacation in Anaheim in two weeks.

"How do you celebrate the worst season of your life?" Cirillo said. "I'm going to Disneyland!"

Well, happy trails, Jeff Cirillo. I wish you weren't a headcase.

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I haven't seen a team lose on a bullcrap play like the Red Sox did on that 2-out squeeze bunt since...well, since Carlos Guillen's bunt against the White Sox in the 2000 ALDS when he stepped on the plate but wasn't called for it and the Mariners won. October 1995 was the euphoric October, but October 2000 felt like this team belonged there and weren't messing around. Until Game 6 of the Yankees series and the Justice home run off Rhodes. Little did we know we'd be waiting three more years and counting for a playoff run that was as good as that one.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


Yep, Mike Timlin just let the tying run cross the plate in the 9th. Yes, it's true his career hit the fan after getting the final out in the 1992 World Series in Atlanta against the Braves. All downhill. Unfortunately, the choke circus had a brief stop in Seattle.

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Rincon gave up a 2-run go-ahead blast to right-center in the 7th to blow a 3-2 lead protected by Tim Hudson. The funny thing is, the very first thing I thought of when I looked up and saw that Rincon gave up that homer was that I could see Arthur Rhodes easily doing the exact same thing. Coincidentally, Dave Justice is in the ESPN broadcast booth tonight.

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In Oakland.

Loud, drunk fools.

That's the type of atmosphere Safeco Field could use. Unfortunately, it's a mausoleum. Hey, it's OK to cheer even when Garbage's "Cherry Lips" isn't playing!!!

-- "Sexson in 2004: It's as obvious as the stupidity of Howard Lincoln" --

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Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said on Tuesday that they were very close to two major deals before the trading deadline.

"Either one or both would have improved our team," he said. "For reasons not of money, just the vagaries of baseball, both of those did not come to fruition in the last hour or so before the trade deadline."

OK, enough of this wishy washy bullcrap. YOU MAKE THE DEAL OR YOU DON'T MAKE THE DEAL! Don't complain to the press about it AFTER the season is over, which is once again a premature ending for the M's.

In the short offseason so far, Lincoln has said that he has big plans to make this ballclub better. Well, TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS, HOWIE! Don't just talk the talk, you better walk the walk as well!

-- "Sexson in 2004: So David can enjoy the church-like atmosphere of Safeco Field again" --

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Since I have no other way of keeping track of it, the web counter is recording hits since right...NOW.

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Well, the big debate about the NHL goalie pads rages on. Now they're imposing a length limit to the pads, mostly to take away from the above-the-knee flaps. Skaters for the most part think this is okay because now the knee flaps don't block the five-hole. Goalies, needless to say, think it's phooey, especially if they take pucks at high speeds off their knees. Nonetheless, the NHL has put one guy in charge of the enforcement and there's a fine for whoever uses illegal pads. A couple busted knees and the policy will probably be rethought.

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The Art Thiel book is apparently "OUT FOR DELIVERY" according to my tracking notice. I've had stuff shipped to me via USPS, FedEx, and UPS before, but I've never had anything shipped by Airborne Home, whatever the hell that is. But if it shows up at my place or at my mailbox, then Airborne Home is all right with me.

Anyway, the Thiel book should give me some great reading material over the weekend whenever I don't wanna do my schoolwork, because let's face it, school just gets in the way of everything you want to do at the moment. And so does work. It's all about getting a job you love, I guess.

[ed.: now the tracking says that the book "ARRIVED AT USPS" in Yakima. Guess I'll have to wait a little longer.]

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Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Sure, Turner Field was sold out tonight.

But 10,000 of the 52,000-plus capacity crowd tonight were CUBS FANS!

12 straight seasons in the playoffs my ass. The Atlanta fans don't deserve ANY of the Braves success since 1991. And I'll tell you right now, the Braves are in trouble. The best offense in baseball can't even get more than 3 stinking hits in a playoff game? Yes, Kerry Wood was pitching. But so what. It's the playoffs, time to step it up, ATL!!!

Don't worry though, when the Braves are eliminated from the playoffs, the new Sevendust album, "Seasons", will be released to the masses.

Good night.

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Dany Heatley is on the cover of the new EA Sports NHL 2004 game, available now.

It's sad to think about, but if you were to ask 10 Atlanta natives who the heck Heatley is, I bet you 3 of them know who he is. That's how bad of a sports town Atlanta is.

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Pat Gillick is no longer the GM of your Seattle Mariners. This is a great deal for this franchise at this time. I'm not going to say that he didn't do a good job in his 4-year tenure, because he did do a good job. But the writing was on the wall.

I want Omar Minaya to become the next Mariners general manager. For those who say that he did a "terrible" job in Montreal, you don't know jack. You have to keep in mind that when he had to trade players such as Bartolo Colon and Cliff Floyd, he couldn't acquire players anywhere close to equal value, because of the ownership issue. Say what you will about the current Mariners ownership, but Seattle is a much better situation than Montreal.

If the Mariners gave a green Bob Melvin a chance to manage in Seattle, then they should at least try to entertain the thought of bringing Minaya into the fold. But who am I kidding? The M's will likely hire Lee Pelekoudas as the new GM. I won't be shocked at all if that happens.

By the way, warm up those Homer Hankies. It's only just begun...

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Kirby Arnold with some quotes around the Mariner season such as...

"I've had some coaches comment that the ball is jumping off my bat better." -- (Jeff) Cirillo, enthusiastic this spring at the improvement in his hitting.

Does anything better illustrate how misleading spring training can be? Cirillo's .249 average last year seemed glorious compared with the .205 he's at now.

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Do yourself a favor and go get the Art Thiel book entitled "Out Of Left Field: How the Mariners Made Baseball Fly in Seattle."

Today's P-I article features some comparisons between the Mariners and Giants.

It features such jewels as this excerpt...
In the Aug. 11 edition of Sports Illustrated, Giants general manager Brian Sabean explained the rationale for acquiring the best available starting pitcher on the trading block, Sidney Ponson, when the Giants were already ahead a dozen games.

"We owed it to everybody," Sabean said. "This is just a reward for how hard our players fought to get us in this position, and it's important to let them know we've got our eyes on the prize. It's an older team, and there's only so many opportunities to crest the wave."

Said the Giants' Marquis Grissom: "The move is outstanding. That's what good teams do, they go and get somebody even though they're 12 games up."

For anyone who has been around the Mariners, such a move by Lincoln would be considered virtually unthinkable.

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Dick Fain of KJR reports from the Frank Furtado Center that Sonics draft pick Nick Collison has sprained his shoulder. Not good for the Sonics frontcourt.

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Just heard it on the Softy show on KJR; Pat Gillick is officially gone (pending another GM hire) as general manager of your Seattle Mariners and will remain as a "consultant." Let the search begin. Among the big names on the replacement list are Omar Minaya of the Expos, Jim Beattie of the Orioles, and Lee Pelekoudas in house.

Now if Howard Lincoln could step down, we would have something big here...

So to recap: two days, two guys gone. Yesterday the hitting coach was axed, today the GM bolted. It's gonna be an offseason to remember, folks.

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After getting the ax in Colorado after a fairly successful tenure, coach Bob Hartley took his experience to a young up-and-coming Atlanta Thrashers team centered around the young stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley. But now there's a little problem. Heatley has been charged with reckless driving and has a broken jaw after a horrific Ferrari crash. In addition, passenger and teammate Daniel Snyder has a depressed skull fracture. This is not good at all, kids.

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The comments have been taken down because...

I'll make this quick. Something bad is happening with the comments where a virus has somehow attached itself in one way or another to the comments on your sites. I urge you to take the code down for now until I get the problem figured out. This will prevent you from infecting yourself and other people. Believe me, you don't want this on your machine. A reinstall is in order for myself tonight. I'll let you know what I have found today or tonight.

That's from Harry at Blogspeak, who makes the code for the comments and stuff.

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Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (about to be a guest on the Mitch in the Morning show on KJR in a short bit) has his postseason awards. His Cy Yuck (yeah, that's crappiest pitcher award) goes to Colby Lewis, who was 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Mariners (a weird 10-9 against everyone with a 7.30 ERA) and got a key stomach-punch victory against the Mariners in Arlington (6-4 score). The other two candidates shown are second-place Chris George (1-1 against the Mariners), and Joe Kennedy (two outs in a relief appearance against the Mariners). So the guys put together have a 3-2 record with a 7.82 ERA against the Mariners (the Mariners pasted George for 8 runs in 1 1/3 innings on May 27).

Of course, what's great about the column is that the AL LEAST Valuable Player (LVP) is Jeff Cirillo. Great job, Jeff! Note that Cirillo and Burrell are the AL and NL LVPs. Note the fake trade ("PIPE-DREAM NON-RESEARCHED TRADE OF THE DAY," Sept 26th at 6:20pm) I posted involving the two.

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Chuck Stark of the Sun was sent to the Willie Bloomquist lovefest and autograph ice-cream social at Today Chevrolet in the Town of B.

Bloomquist obliged a steady stream of fans, posing for photographs and signing hats, gloves, baseballs, cards, photographs and even copies of the sports section of this newspaper -- the July 14 edition that led with a screaming headline: "Willie goes wild."

How sad is that? Almost as sad as: .250 BA (196 AB), 1 HR, 14 RBI, 19 BB, 39 K, 4 errors (.975 fielding pct). There weren't many good things that happened to the Mariners down the stretch, but one of the good things was when Guillen and his bat were put at third and put up some worthwhile numbers.

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Monday, September 29, 2003


Just so we have it in our weblog for posterity, here's the columnist backlash from the trading deadline, also from a message board post of mine.
steve kelley goes friggin medieval.
the article features such jewels as --
"We'd have liked to have done something," said Gillick, who decided it wasn't important to be in Seattle this week and wrongly decided to try to deal from his home in Toronto.
Gillick tried. But then Jeff Cirillo tries, and he's hitting .210. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays try, but they've won all of 40 games.


"The players deserve more support from the front office. They deserve an ownership group that once, just once, agrees to go toe-to-toe with the Yankees to get a player. They deserve a front office that is as aggressive in the trade market as they are on the field."

"...the fans need to be rewarded as much as the players. The Mariners have a responsibility they often dismiss, to the fans who built and paid for Safeco Field. They have a responsibility to the more than 3 million fans who have filled it every season, who have paid $15 to $20 to park and who have spent hundreds of dollars nightly after they've entered the park."

dave andriesen of the p-i about the mariners possibly being thwarted by bowden's remaining front office cronies, bitter three years later over getting the bad end of the griffey trade.

lastly, if there's any one reason to hate howard lincoln, you'll find it in this art thiel article, which features such goodies as...

"We spent a great deal of money to get the team we have (in the off-season), and our need to make moves is much less," [Lincoln] said, sitting in his ballpark office during the game yesterday. "There's got to be some kind of discipline. You can't rise to the bait of, 'You've got to please the fans.' That's not the way to make sound business decisions."

**my note: actually, that is no way to run a business. to not have a contingency plan in place in case you find out you really need something is absolutely NO WAY to run a business. if you run a restaurant and somehow get so many patrons that you run out of clean forks or need to hire an extra dishwasher or something, do you just not hire a dishwasher or not buy more forks, and leave the extra patrons there waiting for stuff to get washed? hell no, you hire the dishwasher or buy more forks. sheesh, any bonehead knows that. if lincoln had no wiggle room at the deadline, they needed to do no more than to let dan wilson go last winter. they didn't truly NEED him, and ben davis is coming into his own. would have gotten them a few million right there.

more from lincoln...
"I have to look from season to season, and I'm not prepared to take inordinate risks. One thing I am not willing to do is put us in a position of an operating loss. I'm not willing to borrow, or ask owners for cash again. If I showed people how far we have to go, the danger points, and all the issues in 2004, I think they'd see why we have to be financially responsible."

**operating loss? you charge $20 for parking, $7 for a beer, $5 for hot dogs, you draw the most fans in the game, the fans are paying for your stadium, you have a sweet cable deal, and you reward the fans with absolutely nothing come july. you, howard lincoln, are a soulless bastard. oh, by the way, thanks for caring so much for us fans.

but the true jewel of this article is from art thiel...
"Once again, baseball can thank its monopoly stars. In most every other business, the customer is always right.'

preach ON.

here's to hoping the a's don't rip off a 43-12 streak like last year and bury the m's.
The A's didn't NEED a 43-12 rip to bury the M's this year. They just needed the Mariners (players and brass alike) to drink the lethargy Kool-Aid, and boy, did they pick their poison.

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This is a post I put on a message board on July 31st after the trading deadine had passed. On message boards and chats, I don't capitalize anything. I hope that's not too much of a burden for anyone, because this is going to be a straight cut-and-paste jobbie here. I threw in some after-the-fact stuff where I felt it was necessary. Here goes...
the 1pm trading deadline came and went today, and i was on edge as it was announced that pat gillick was holding a conference call within minutes. everyone thought it would be to announce a deal. the result? absolutely nothing.

for the fourth year in a row, the mariner fans have been slapped in the face once again. they blew it on the aaron boone deal, bob melvin is a tool who the mariners are winning in spite of (a monkey could have managed the team to the record it has now), there is no passion in this team. and where is gillick? he saw the stones concert (SARSstock) and is helping his wife move. in winter of 2001, he was in hawaii. how much does this guy really care about this team? is he even trying?

the sad thing...this was the last year of the window of opportunity. garcia will be gone, cameron will probably be gone, and someone out of the nelson-rhodes-hasegawa trio will be gone [Ed.: Nelson was shipped away soon after for popping off; little did we know Rhodes would later suck badly]. and edgar will retire because he's tired of this horrible lame management who has cared about the bottom line and NO MORE than that. edgar, olerud, and moyer should be given the biggest opportunity to win the world series that they so deserve. the mariners have a sweet cable deal, generate the most revenue in baseball, and draw the most fans in baseball. and how do the mariner fans get rewarded? with a swift kick in the pants. bret boone has already vented on this and you can bet your bottom dollar (m's management won't let you bet theirs) that the clubhouse is going to be irate tonight. rhodes, boone, and nelson will be the first to speak up. [Ed.: again, Communist management hears Nelson and ships him off.]

lou piniella is having a field day today in tampa bay...you can take that to the bank. he was all over gillick for a power bat after alex rodriguez left and he never ended up getting it. instead, gillick made piniella couch-surf the rule-v luis ugueto last year (good teams don't use rule v guys) and took away a coveted roster spot that piniella desperately could have used. [Ed.: Luis Ugueto and Charles Gipson were the same guy -- late-inning defensive replacement/pinch runner.]

and if i hear that the mariners were strapped at the deadline because garcia won his arbitration case in the winter, then this is absolute bull. howard lincoln was the first one to say that he would be strapped at the deadline. how dare these guys pinch pennies.

the management expects the players to bust their butts every day on the field... and it's the players' right to expect the management to bust their butts in the front office and fix the holes that need to be fixed. and when the players don't get backup...they can't help but feel betrayed or slighted.

even the easiest -- and CHEAPEST -- thing that could have been done (getting the lefty in the bullpen) WAS NOT DONE. the mariners missed the boat SIX TIMES on left-handed relief pitchers. it started with scott sauerbeck going to boston and it ended with gabe white going to the yanks.

and the mariners could have parted with prospects. they're PROSPECTS. they don't always turn out. as far as i'm concerned, clint nageotte, travis blackley, and rett johnson better all win 20 games in the season they come up. remember when roger salkeld came up through the mariner system and won the cy young award? oh, that's right...HE DIDN'T, and there's no guarantee that what the mariners have will pan out.

with this management, the mariners will probably end up like the braves or the cubs, for different reasons. the braves just choke every year, it's hard to get to the ballpark, and the fans are sick of them, so they don't draw well. the mariners could end up like the cubs because the management is penny-pinching and doesn't give a crap as long as the money is coming in (and in chicago, as long as the beer is flowing).

in all...this team is absolutely dead and will be on the outside looking in come october, and it hurts me to say this. oakland is poised to make their run, and the bottom line is that out of the four of oakland, boston, the yanks, and seattle, one of these teams will not make the playoffs. and i have a feeling it's that last team i listed that won't make it.

it hurts be to be yanked like a yo-yo by the mariner brass -- to be tempted into thinking the mariners have a chance, and then the ownership wants them to be good, but not great. i hate it. lincoln needs to go, and minaya needs to come in for gillick.

so much on my mind, and it all sucks.

Yes, the emotions are still ripe.

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As Bill Simmons of ESPN's Page 2 says, never ever bet against Brett Favre on Monday night. Especially when the other team has KORDELL STEWART as quarterback. He's so bad that Mr. XFLer Tommy Maddox was better than him in Pittsburgh last year. Yecch.

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I didn't like the Lamar Johnson hire from the beginning. He was canned less than a year after the Royals canned him. First of all, the teams with whom he was hitting coach all sucked. His tenures in Milwaukee (1995-98) and Kansas City (1999-2002) were marked by the complete opposite of success. Notice what happened to the Royals once they DIDN'T have him as a hitting coach? They sure had one hell of a turnaround. Milwaukee hasn't had a good year since 1992, when they won 92 games and finished four games behind the Blue Jays for the AL East title. You know, if they would have lost 93 games and finished second, that would sound very familiar... Anyway, Lamar Johnson wasn't there for that season, but rather the lean years in Milwaukee which are continuing.

Another thing about Milwaukee: that 92-70 season the Brewers put up in 1992 was Phil Garner's first season in Milwaukee. Garner managed eight seasons in Milwaukee and two full seasons in Detroit (and disgracing the Tiger organization, so say the Tiger faithful) before being axed after an 0-6 Tiger start in 2002. If you take out that first fluke season in Milwaukee, Garner's managerial record is a great, grand, and wonderful 638-759 for an awesome .457 winning percentage. The 1992 Brewers were his only team to have a winning record!! Of course, the connection here is that PHIL GARNER IS ONE OF BOB MELVIN'S BIGGEST INFLUENCES AS A MANAGER.

Bob Melvin was a bench coach for Bob Brenly. In Brenly's first year, the Diamondbacks won the World Series. I'm sure there's some credit to be given to Brenly, but if you have Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, any hitting at all (in this case, Luis Gonzalez), and role players off the bench that actually CONTRIBUTE (Durazo, Spivey, Counsell in 2001), A FRIGGIN MONKEY COULD HAVE MANAGED THAT TEAM TO THE WORLD SERIES. Brenly's 2002 team got to the playoffs and got swept soundly by the Cardinals. And that's how it should be. Brenly's 2003 team went 84-78. That's what happens when Johnson and Schilling get hurt, and then come back and don't do quite as well. Of course, Brandon Webb went nuts.

Though this year's Diamondbacks were hurt greatly by the injuries, I'm gonna try to draw a faint parallel here. Garner had one good season and then his teams went down the tank. Brenly had two good seasons and one bad one, who knows where the next Arizona season goes. These guys are two of Bob Melvin's biggest influences. Bob Melvin's team went 93-69 this year and missed the playoffs.

Here's to hoping the downward trend of Bob Melvin's influences doesn't rub off on him, small sample size of Bob Brenly's managerial career notwithstanding...

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American League Division Series
BOSTON d. OAKLAND in 5 games
--Keith Foulke's magic will run out in Game 5 when he serves up a meatball to Red Sox MVP David Ortiz. Remember last year, when Billy Koch coughed up the ALDS for the A's in Game 5 to the Twins? Don't be shocked to see it happen again, this time to Foulke.

MINNESOTA d. NEW YORK in 5 games
--Well, I like Homer Hankies. And I like to see George Steinbrenner in a pissed off mood. I'm being generous with the 5 games though, I hope the Twins sweep the Yankees. But even I'm not that stupid.

National League Division Series
--As long as my middle school classmate Dontrelle Willis can win Game 4 for the Marlins, then I'll be happy. Chipman Pride baby! (Chipman Middle School, Alameda, CA, where both Dontrelle and I went to school together from 1993 to 1995, when I moved from California up to Washington.)

CHICAGO d. ATLANTA in 4 games
--Yada yada yada. We've heard about how good this Braves offense is. But the Cubs pitching will shut them down here.

Get ready for the Hawks, Atlanta fans. Oh, my bad...

American League Championship Series
MINNESOTA d. BOSTON in 7 games
--Believe in the power of the Homer Hankies. As good as the Red Sox offense is, their bullpen is just putrid. You can't expect that putrid pen to take them all the way. It's a miracle that I even have them going to the ALCS at all.

National League Championship Series
--Sorry, Dusty. Great story with the Cubs, but the Giants are the better ballclub. Here's to Felipe Alou getting to his first World Series.

The Homer Hankies can only take you so far. Barry Bonds is due for a World Series title. It's high time for him to get it. Like him or hate him, the man is money. You can't deny that at all.

ALCS MVP: Shannon Stewart, Minnesota
NLCS MVP: Jason Schmidt, San Francisco
WS MVP: Barry Bonds, San Francisco

There it is, my 2003 baseball postseason predictions. Don't use them for gambling purposes, because quite frankly, I'll probably get one of these picks wrong.

But the postseason should be fun regardless of what happens. Enjoy it, even if you're a depressed Mariner fan like me.

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Lamar Johnson has been dismissed as the hitting coach of the Seattle Mariners. He has now joined the infamous list of former Mariner hitting coaches, which include Gerald Perry, Gene Clines, and Jesse Barfield. At least Johnson can sleep at night knowing that at least he was a better former M's hitting coach than Barfield.

Now let's hope Dave "I Like to Tear ACL's For a Living" Myers is next on the chopping block.

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On the Mitch show this morning, they had a Mariner roundtable with Mike Gastineau, Mitch, Steve Sandmeyer, Bill Krueger, Softy, and David Locke. I'll post more points as I remember them. I did email Mitch to ask if there was any way they could put the roundtable into RealPlayer or WinMP format so it'd be online and ready to listen to, as it was very informative.

Some points--

--If Jeff Cirillo walks onto the field next April as a Seattle Mariner, we will truly know how powerless Bob Melvin is. You know like hell that he doesn't want to play him. One quote from one of the guys, "if Cirillo plays next year, Howard Lincoln will have some players beating down his door like Lou Piniella never did."

--No real explanation was given for why the Benitez trade happened. He was put into one real pressure situation (what they supposedly got him for) the whole time (Texas game) and gave up a bomb to Palmeiro. They obviously had no confidence in him. And what went the other way in the trade? The guy with four World Series rings and some swagger and some attitude. Gas mentioned that what happened around the Benitez and the trade deadline have to be explained. Left-handed relievers were zipping around the country like nobody's business around the deadline, and the Mariners managed to not get a single damn lefty reliever. Softy also said that management told Gillick to be out of town during the deadline. Lots of stuff has to be explained.

--Whether Garcia comes back depends on what version of Gil Meche you think you're going to get; the one who was almost al All-Star in the first half, or the one that lost 10 of 15 decisions down the stretch. Also, there's NO WAY IN HELL that you're gonna get at least 180 innings out of FIVE STARTING PITCHERS. So with this logic, Garcia eats innings, so keep him. Of course, there's head games, we know that. Gas brings up that other than June (and probably another one of his good stretches), Garcia was 7-9 and crap.

--You're not keeping Sanchez.

--Bill Krueger did mention what kind of players the Mariners obviously cater to. The two players he mentioned as having a good possibility to be here: Kazuo Matsui, RICHIE SEXSON (the word is out, kids!).

--It's going to be hard to move Cirillo's contract. Bill suggested a Mike Hampton-type deal for the player they would get in return. The teams may match the salary in the first year, but the Mariners would take the salary the rest of the way. Krueger's possibilities included Cirillo and a young arm or something for...a Larry Walker or a Ken Griffey Jr.

I'll post more later if'n I remember stuff. Probably stuff about Cameron and the bullpen.

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Sunday, September 28, 2003


"The season starts Wednesday," A's manager Ken Macha.

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In their meaningless 3 game sweep of the AL WEST CHAMPION Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners scored 25 RUNS!

Nice to see the bats come alive.

Nevermind...I hear crickets out there.

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Some post-game quotes that were on KING 5 News in Seattle (via Michael King) that I tried to type up after I heard them. I got the gist of the quotes. They're NOT EXACT, however.

Howard Lincoln, asked if the management cares about the bottom line and not a championship --
"It's outrageous. Don't forget this ownership stepped up, and there would be no Mariners in Seattle if not for them. I'm as disappointed as hell that we didn't go to the playoffs. We're gonna do everything we can to get there."

Jamie Moyer: "I had some buddies in Oakland say when they got Jose Guillen it really put them over the hump. When I've been here, they haven't done that, so I can't relate to it."
David to Lincoln: Prove it. Show me. There's gaping holes in this team. Fill them and I will believe you. Until then, you are a marked man.

David to Moyer: I feel your pain, man. You gave your all this year and set a Mariners pitching record with 21 wins in a season. Dammit, you deserved more than this craphole of a team and Edgar deserved more than to retire after this craphole of a season.

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Now, Hunter vs. Cameron.

Torii Hunter 2002 (148 games):
.289 BA, 29 HR, 94 RBI, 37 2B, 4 3B, 35 BB, 118 K, 162 H, 23 SB, .334 OBP, .524 SLG
.992 fielding percentage with 3 errors and 7 outfield assists

Mike Cameron 2002 (158 games):
.239 BA, 25 HR, 80 RBI, 26 2B, 5 3B, 79 BB, 176 K, 130 H, 30 SB, .340 OBP, .442 SLG
.988 fielding percentage with 5 errors and 7 outfield assists

Okay, we all knew Cameron sucked last year; this is just statistical proof, even with the Metrodome/Safeco Field imaginary exchange rate. That batting average sucked. Striking out 176 times isn't too bad IF YOU'RE HITTING 40 HOME RUNS. His slugging percentage was way under Hunter's, though Hunter had one hell of a year. Sure, Cameron walked 44 more times than Hunter, but he struck out 58 more times. And the worst part about this is that I can't use Cameron's fielding numbers to defend him. He had two more errors and a lower fielding percentage.
Torii Hunter 2003 (154 games):
.250 BA, 26 HR, 102 RBI, 31 2B, 4 3B, 50 BB, 106 K, 145 H, 6 SB, .312 OBP, .451 SLG
.991 fielding percentage with 4 errors and 5 outfield assists

Mike Cameron 2003 (146 games):
.253 BA, 18 HR, 76 RBI, 31 2B, 5 3B, 70 BB, 137 K, 135 H, 17 SB, .344 OBP, .431 SLG
.992 fielding percentage with 4 errors and 3 outfield assists

Once again, Hunter strikes out less, hits for more power, and drives in more runs (this may be due to the Twins' offense being better and putting more runners on for him). Hunter's stolen base drop-off is quite curious though, unless he had some injury that I didn't know about. Another note about Cameron's walks and strikeouts. It's said he can be quite patient at the plate (though it seems that never happens at 2 strikes) as he does draw a pretty good share of walks. But this "patience" is the same patience that has him watch countless third strikes go by. It was a real big rally-killer down the stretch.

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I'm taking the most blatantly obvious one here, but here goes...

From 1998-2002, Preston Wilson had this line for a 162-game average (thanks to baseball-reference.com), all with the Marlins except for 8 games with the Mets in 1998. It's about four full seasons and 22 games in 1998. He averaged 143.5 games/year with Florida--

.262 BA, 28 HR, 90 RBI, 55 BB, 24 SB, 30 2B, 3 3B, 151 H, .333 OBP, .472 SLG, 166 K

One year in Colorado and Preston "I can hit way better and run way faster than Dan" Wilson did this (155 games)--

.282 BA, 36 HR, 141 RBI (led the NL, Carlos Delgado led the Majors with 145), 54 BB, 14 SB, 43 2B, 1 3B, 169 H, .343 OBP, .537 SLG, 139 K

Once again, let me note that the first line of stats is extrapolated over 162 games and Wilson averaged 143.5 games in his four years with the Marlins.

It's been said on a few occasions that this guy is basically the same as Mike Cameron. In some cases, it's true. In other cases, Preston Wilson is better.

But one thing's for sure while we're on the topic of centerfielders at the end of this post--
Torii Hunter's 2002 and 2003 seasons are what Mike Cameron's 2002 and 2003 seasons SHOULD have been. More on that later, I'm sure.

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Hopeful future Mariner first baseman and Brush Prairie, WA native Richie Sexson had an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .927 this year, good for 11th in the NL. That placed ahead of such luminaries as Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa. He was behind people like Edmonds, Pujols, Bonds, Thome, etc.

Put Sexson's numbers in the AL, and he would be 9th in the AL in OPS, and would give the Mariners three players in the top 20 in OPS (Boone 15th, Edgar 16th But considering Edgar won't be back next year (I don't think you say something to Gillick in that situation if you ARE coming back next year, more in a later post, I'm sure), getting Sexson would mean the Mariners would have two players that were in the top 20 in OPS in 2003. By comparison, the Red Sox had FIVE players in the top 20 in OPS. Texas had three. The "players with OPSs in the top 20" stat isn't all that important (Yankees only have two, Oakland has one), it just tells you how the Red Sox could hit the ball a ton this year.

Anyway, here's to hoping the future Mariner GM doesn't respond to a Sexson offer by saying "NOOOOOOOO!!!! TOO SEXY!!!!!"

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Pedrag Drobnjak has been traded to the Clippers for a second round pick. NO MORE VICTORY FOR SONICS!!!

Enjoy the Drobnjak site for a few minutes, or however long the Sonics decide to keep this up. We can only hope that the Clippers website keeps this tradition alive.

"Tonight your uniform will be wet with tears of sadness!"

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Milwaukee Brewers 1B Richie Sexson's season is officially over, with the Brew Crew's 8-5 loss to the Houston Astros. Here are Sexson's 2003 numbers:

.272 BA, 45 HR (tied his career high in home runs), 124 RBI, .993 Fielding Percentage (11 errors, but you can't expect everybody to be John Olerud)

Sexson will make $8.4 million in 2004, the final year of his contract. He is a native of the Evergreen State, Brush Prairie to be exact. If the Mariners are smart, they would do anything and everything possible to acquire the guy in a trade this offseason. Edgar Martinez is retiring after the 2003 season, and there's a hole in the DH slot. John Olerud's deal is up after 2004, and it is likely that he will retire after that point.

If Sexson were to come to Seattle for the 2004 season, put him in the DH role and then after Ole retires, Sexson is your everyday first baseman. As far as what the M's should give up for Sexson, I would give up one of the M's stud minor league pitchers (Clint Nagoette, Travis Blackley, or Rett Johnson) . I know that's crazy. But Sexson is an All-Star caliber player and you have to give up something to get something. And it's not like the M's can't sacrifice just ONE young pitcher.

If the M's want to draw over 3 million fans again, they have to make some big moves in the offseason. No more of the John Mabrys and the James Baldwins. Pardon the Seahawks pun, but it's NOW TIME. Season is over after today.

And the offseason begins tomorrow. Get to work.

"SEXSON IN 2004: Home runs aren't overrated"

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Anything to hold back a Seahawks division rival. The worse the 49ers and Rams play, the better.

And today, Frerotte and Moss are just ripping the 49er defense a new one...28-0? What do you think Terrell Owens will be saying after THIS game? One of the TD passes to Moss was just Frerotte lofting it up in the end zone and Moss just jumping up and getting it (semi-related: wouldn't the Seahawks love to pass to a nice tall target like Jerramy Stevens someday? To bad he's a degenerate).

Frerotte in the first half: QB rating of 155.2 (first half) according to the FOX guys, 13-16 (!!) passing for 188 yards and 3 TDs.

Moss first half: 5 catches, 93 yards, 2 TDs. He could have had a third but pushed off for an offensive pass interference in the end zone.

Anyway, anything to make the Seahawks division lead a bigger one is a good thing.

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So they decided to have that bastard Martin Gramatica in one of the NFL/United Way commercials. The one thing they did right is show the video game the kid made on his computer; a caricature of the kid blocks a field goal attempt by a caricature of Gramatica. Gramatica gets blocked in the Carolina game AND in a United Way ad.

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You may or may not remember much about the 1997 Mariners, but they were quite the team.

The Mariners had their own Big Three in the rotation--
Jeff Fassero: 16-9, 3.61 ERA, 189 K, 234 1/3 IP
Jamie Moyer: 17-5, 3.86 ERA, 113 K, 188 2/3 IP
Randy Johnson: 20-4, 2.28 ERA, 291 K, 213 IP

The Mariners could hit a ton--
Dan Wilson: .270, 15 HR, 70 RBI
(Wilson 2003: .236, 3 HR, 40 RBI)
Paul Sorrento: .269, 31 HR, 80 RBI
Joey Cora: .300, 11 HR, 54 RBI (17 errors)
Russ Davis: .271, 20 HR, 63 RBI
Alex: .300, 23 HR, 84 RBI, 29 SB (he had an off-year compared to surrounding years; not sure if there was an injury or if he was just really off)
Jose Cruz Jr. (49 games): .268, 12 HR, 34 RBI
Junior: .304, 56 HR, 147 RBI (DAMN!)
Buhner: .243, 40 HR, 109 RBI, 175 K
(Cameron 2003: .249, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 136 K)
Edgar: .330, 28 HR, 108 RBI

And with all that euphoria of the rotation and the hitting (remember hitting?), I've gotta take you down a notch...
Charlton: 71 games, 3-8, 14 Sv, 55/47 K/BB, 7.27 ERA (!!!)
Ayala: 71 games, 10-5 (what the hell?!), 8 Sv, 92/51 K/BB, 3.82 ERA
Slocumb: 27 games (with Seattle), 0-4, 10 Sv, 28/15 K/BB, 4.13 ERA

It should be noted that before Slocumb came to Seattle, Derek Lowe appeared in 12 games for the Mariners. He had nine starts and went 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA and gave up 11 homers. Jason Varitek went in the Slocumb trade too and never played for the Mariners. This was Jeff Fassero's career year (he would totally lose it in 1999). Say what you will about Mr. E-5 Russ Davis, but from 1997-99, he hit 61 homers for the Mariners. What has Jeff Cirillo done at the plate for the Mariners?

The playoffs came and...I'll just say Randy Johnson didn't stop sucking in the postseason until he went and won the World Series with Arizona. In the 1997 Division Series with Baltimore, he lost twice. Another contributing factor, though, was that he was up both times against Mike Mussina, who to this day OWNS the Mariners. Fassero had the lone win in the series for the Mariners, a Game 3 masterpiece over Jimmy Key in Baltimore.

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