Saturday, May 15, 2004
But they held it. Eddie Guardado got a win and felt useful for once. The Yankees lost their first game this year when scoring five runs or more. The Mariners ran their record in such situations to 6-11. Sparkling.
Of course, this win, though they blew some leads in the game and Jamie gave up four bombs, is something. At the very least, it's something. It was a long battle, and they beat the Yankees. If this doesn't spark them, nothing is.
The Mariners' problem? They're facing Kevin Brown tomorrow. Here's my bet of $50 of fun money that Raul Ibanez strikes out at least twice. The slider should be NASTY.
This recap is going to be short. I've got a ten-page project draft due Monday, and, well, I'm still sort of in the data acquisition stage and I think "conclusions" is a section required in the draft. Not good.
Anyway, I've still got the abridged game notes, followed hopefully by some wizardry and commentary on my part, then the standard gameball and goat.
top 1 -- Ichiro 1-1 1B CF; (Mariners 5-11 when scoring 5+) Winn 0-2...1-2 FC 5-4; Edgar 0-1 8; Spiezio 1st-pitch 8 -- Ichiro left on
bot 1 -- Jeter 1st-pitch 1B CF; Williams (lineup has hit 15 HR off Moyer) 1-1 DP 5-4-3; Rodriguez 0-2...2-2 1B LF under Spiezio; Giambi 1-1 (Rodriguez SB, Wilson throw into CF)...full 4-3 -- Damage control. Double play helped.
top 2 -- Cabrera 1B LF; Ibanez 2-0 2B RCF gap (SEA 1-0); Wilson 1-0 6-3 (could have had Ibanez on the play); Olerud 1-1 HBP; Aurilia 0-1 broken-bat bloop 1B LF (SEA 2-0); Ichiro 2-0...2-1 diving 1-3; Winn 1st-pitch E5 (ate up Alex, SEA 4-0); Edgar (Winn PO 1-3-4) -- Four runs?? Holy crap!!
bot 2 -- Sheffield 1st-pitch HR LF line inside pole (Jamie's 10th HR this yr); Matsui 1-0 4-3; Sierra 3-0...3-1 1B LF (Spiezio somewhat eaten up); Flaherty 2-0...2-2 look K; Cairo 2-0...2-2 1B CF (E8, Winn overuns, tries to barehand, Cairo to 2nd); Jeter 2-0...2-2 5-3 -- Damage control again. Only the Sheff homer. Is Moyer getting squeezed?
top 3 -- Edgar 1-0 lineout 6; Spiezio 1-2...6; Cabrera 2-0...2-1 1B RF (7-for-16 on road trip); Ibanez 1-1 7 -- Commerical break music starts before the fly ball is caught.
bot 3 -- Williams 2-2...full BB (Moyer talks to 2B ump after pitch); Rodriguez (1-0 and Wilson gets ticked on way to mound, Melvin gets tossed) 3-0...3-1 HR dead CF (SEA 4-3); Giambi 3-1...full swing K; Sheffield 2-0...3-1 BB; Matsui 2-0...2-2 DP 3-6-3 -- Only the Alex bomb. And some stuff where Melvin got ejected.
top 4 -- Wilson 0-2 (Dan doesn't use bad language --Niehaus)...2-2 6-3; Olerud 0-1 1B CF; Aurilia 0-1 DP 5-4-3 -- Olerud got a hit.
bot 4 -- Sierra 1st-pitch 5; Flaherty 1-0 4 shallow CF; Cairo 2-1 5-3 (nice play Olerud, staying on bag) -- low-pitch inning for Jamie
top 5 -- Ichiro 1-2...2-2...5-3; Winn 0-2 8; Edgar 2-2...full 8 -- Nothing
bot 5 -- Jeter 1-2...2-2...swing K; Williams 2-2...(Moyer ticked) full 4-3; Rodriguez 3-1 HR LCF (TIE 4-4); Giambi 1-0 1-3 -- Tie game!!
top 6 -- Spiezio 0-1 2B LCF; Cabrera 0-2 1B CF (Spiezio to 3rd, hit too hard); QUANTRILL IN; Ibanez 1st-pitch HBP; Wilson 0-1 2B LCF gap (SEA 7-4); Olerud 4-pitch BB; Aurilia 1-0 SAC 1-3; Ichiro IBB; Winn 1st-pitch 6-3 -- One clutch hit, with another non-clutch Winn at-bat.
bot 6 -- (HASEGAWA WARMING) Sheffield 3-0...full IF 1B (Spiezio hit ground, nearly had him); Matsui 1-2...2-2 HR RF (13 for Moyer, off upper deck facade, SEA 7-6...Moyer shaking head); Sierra 0-2...1-2...look K; HASEGAWA IN; (Bob Sheppard has Hasegawa in top 5 all-time fun pronounced names) Flaherty 1-2 7; Cairo 0-1 5-3 -- Mariners somehow ahead.
top 7 -- Edgar 1-2 track 9; Spiezio 1-2 6; Cabrera 1st-pitch line 9 -- no groceries for Janice Pelletier
bot 7 -- Jeter 1-0 near-track 8; Williams 2-0...(MYERS, GORDON WARMING) 3-1 HR RF (TIE 7-7); Rodriguez 1-2...2-2 near-track 8; Giambi 2-1 U3 -- It's tied again.
top 8 -- GORDON IN (PUTZ WARMING); Ibanez 2-0 4-3; Wilson 0-2...2-2 8; Olerud 4-pitch BB; PH HANSEN 1-2...swing K -- nothing
bot 8 -- SANTIAGO AT SS; Sheffield 3-0...full 9; MYERS IN; Matsui 1-2 swing K; Sierra 2-1 4-3 -- Nothing much.
top 9 -- Ichiro 0-1 1B CF under Cairo's glove; Winn 1st-pitch SAC 1-4; Edgar IBB; (GUARDADO, PUTZ WARMING) Spiezio 2-2 swing K; Cabrera 0-1 5 (no groceries) -- two left on base.
bot 9 -- PUTZ IN; Flaherty 1st-pitch 2B LF line; Cairo 1st-pitch bunt IF 1B (Wilson's throw to 3rd not in time); Jeter 1st-pitch 1-3; Williams IBB; (announcers note that Ibanez and Winn are playing way too far back; Niehaus "couldn't throw ME out") Rodriguez 1-1 IF fly 6; Giambi 2-2...(CLOSE)...full 4-3 -- Putz gets out of it. Hats off.
top 10 -- RIVERA IN; Ibanez 1-1 6; Wilson 0-2...full 9; Olerud 0-1 1-3 -- Way to rally!
bot 10 -- Sheffield 0-1 5-3; Matsui 1-2...full deep 8; Sierra 2-0 track 8 -- end the game already...
top 11 -- Santiago 1-1 1-3; Ichiro 0-2...IF 1B (Alex barely late); (GUARDADO WARMING) Winn 2-0...(Ichiro SB#7) 2-2...hard 1-3; Edgar IBB; Spiezio 0-2...1 -- Ichro and Edgar stranded
bot 11 -- MATEO IN; Flaherty 1-2 6-3; Cairo 0-1 1B LF; Jeter 0-2 swing K; Williams 1st-pitch U3 -- ARRGGHH!!!
top 12 -- WHITE IN; Cabrera 1st-pitch 9; Ibanez 0-1 1B RF; Wilson 1st-pitch 7 deep; Olerud 0-2...(Ibanez 2nd on PB) look K -- nope
bot 12 -- GUARDADO IN; Rodriguez 2-2...full BB; Giambi 2-0...2-2 swing K; Sheffield 1st-pitch 1B LF line (Rodriguez to 3rd, Sheffield to 2nd on E8); Matsui (Winn/Ibanez still too deep -- Fairly) 0-2 FC 4-2 (Alex out at plate even with jump, Dan blocks); Sierra 1-2 swing K -- Eddie being Eddie
top 13 -- CLARK AT 1B; Santiago 2-1 2B LCF gap; Ichiro IBB; Winn 0-1 SAC 1-3; Edgar IBB; Spiezio 0-1 2B LCF gap (SEA 9-7); PR MC CRACKEN (Edgar); (MECHE WARMING) Cabrera 4-pitch BB; Ibanez 0-2 HBP (SEA 10-7); Wilson 2B CF (SEA 13-7); Olerud 1-2...full 7; Santiago 1st-pitch 7 -- WHAAT??!
bot 13 -- Flaherty 1-2 4; Cairo 2-0...2-1 1B RF; Jeter 1-2...2-2...FC 1-4 (Jeter beats out DP); Williams 0-2 swing K (put the Sinatra record on -- Niehaus)
Did anyone else get that feeling when the Mariners had their four runs in the early innings, they were still behind? I felt this way as Jamie was laboring out there on the mound, and I do believe he was getting squeezed out there, or at least squeezed compared to what he's used to. Every time Jamie doesn't get calls, I think immediately of whether QuesTec is negatively affecting Jamie. Granted, it usually doesn't happen this badly, but today it was pretty bad. There's certain pitches that Jamie absolutely has to have to be successful, and in this game, he certainly wasn't getting many of them, if any at all. I'd have to watch game tape to see whether Jamie was establishing (or getting the opportunity to establish) his strike zone in the first couple innings, but in a sense, one could argue he was completely helpless out there. So what does Jamie have to do if he can't nibble on the corners? He's got to come in to the hitter. What happens when you have to do that against the Yankee lineup when your best fastball is 88? Four home runs.
As for the Mariner offense, they made mince meat out of Donovan Osborne early, and out of Gabe White late, and capitalized when Alex got eaten up on a ground ball in the 2nd, letting two runs in on a ball that should have ended the inning. On a day in which Jamie faltered, the offense kept the Mariners in it, and ultimately won them the game. Of course, JJ Putz getting out of his own jam in the 9th didn't hurt either. He pulled the rabbit out of the hat in the 9th.
I haven't surfed the blogosphere yet, but I am guessing that the more esteemed David was fuming when Randy Winn was bunting against the lefty with nobody on in the 13th.
I need to see some replay because I'm not so sure Alex's foot didn't push Dan Wilson's foot out of the way in the 12th.
Gameball: Dan Wilson. The dude got six RBIs. Savor this. The guy is going to drop off eventually, so savor this for what it is.
Jamie only got through 5 1/3 innings the day after Gil Meche couldn't get out of the 1st. The bullpen then had to bail him out, then pitch four more innings when the game went to extras. With the day off tomorrow, part of me wants Gil Meche to be the first guy out of the pen. Whether it's his fault or not, Jamie has sort of put the Mariners in a place where they're depending on Joel Pineiro to get deep into the game so that the bullpen can get some shred of rest from the last couple days, though they do have an off day Monday.
But Jamie's still not the goat. No way.
Goat: Randy Winn. Two bunts today are all he was good for. 0-for-5 otherwise, stranding 5. It's days like this that make it so Ichiro can have a 3-for-5 day, walk twice, and score only once (Edgar's 0-for-4, but with 3 walks also a culprit to a lesser extent).
Stranger things have happened, but I'm all but chalking up an L for tomorrow with the Mariners facing Kevin Brown. Why? For one, it's Kevin Brown. Furthermore, the Mariners just had a big win that they should use to try to right their ship. It's a scenario they've had work against them a few times this year. I'm betting on them losing tomorrow, in what will probably be a low-scoring game. All bets are off if Kevin Brown gets hurt in the early going though.
If the schedule makers were nice enough and scheduled the Yankee/Mariner series a little later, maybe there'd be a chance the Mariners could face Tanyon Sturtze, who sucks, but was picked up by the Yankees for some very odd reason. The way it goes, though, he'll probably light it up for them. Everyone's better in pinstripes (except Chuck Knoblauch).
Pineiro. Brown. Ten hours.
Here's a quote I dug up in the archive in one of Jeremy's posts.
- Detroit Sports Net has just received a tip from a source close to Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez that the catcher has plans to sign with the Seattle Mariners. The source claimed that “the deal is not official, but everything from this point forward is a technicality”.
Ah, yes. I'd link to the Detroit Sports Net page, but it'd tell you that "This account is currently deactivated. Please contact 'Billing' or 'Support'." So, all the DSN quotes I can get would have to be dug for, whether it be through Google or through our archives.
Anyway, I'd been wondering for months about what's happened to Justin Spiro since. I looked through the referrer logs, and saw that someone had searched us for Justin Spiro. In the same search, a post appeared in the Top Forum by poster Justinizcool89, who did a little investigation of his own...
- Remember the reporter that had Pudge Rodriguez going to the Seattle Mariners this past off-season??? His name was Justin Spiro, and he went into hiding for several months after his report fell through.
We all waited for an explanation from him and never got it. I did some digging and discovered that Detroit Sports Net, the former home of Spiro, went defunct soon after Spiro's report fell through. Spiro had become famous in the local Detroit area for having reported the Jason Johnson and Fernando Vina signings with the Tigers, as well as the Miguel Tejada to Orioles deal.
The Pudge report was the first to hit a national scale, though. As we all know, he led us to believe Rodriguez was all but signed to a contract with the M's. As it turns out, Spiro is known as a phenomenal writer over in Michigan and had a reputation for being credible. Sounds like a bunch of BS to me.
Either way, Spiro has made his comeback. He is now a contributing editor at MOTOR CITY SPORTS as well as the Editor-in-Chief at MILE HIGH SPORTS
Usually I stop short of posting random message board stuff, but the links check out. Unfortunately, the same links don't match Spiro with the titles that the poster is tacking to him; I've found him only as a assistant/contributing editor to both MCS and MHS.
Yes, there is hope for all of us. Justin Spiro has a job, even after the fiasco last winter. Even though I'm probably not going to be a getting-paid writer, I think there is hope for all of us if we screw up that badly or trust the wrong people a little too much. Of course, one could say that Detroit Sports Net was sunk because of him. I think it's a fair assumption.
Friday, May 14, 2004
The Mariner offense put six goose eggs on the board on the same night in which they lost their sixth game in a row, hence the post title.
It started out with some fairly good signs for the Mariners, as they managed to put up a run for Gil Meche before he stepped to the mound. Of course, Ichiro didn't score on a hit. The Scott Spiezio single moved him to third, then Edgar hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mariners an early lead. People have been talking about how with the Mariners' penchant of singles hitting and their lack of speed, it takes three hits in a row for the Mariners to score a run. In this case, it took three balls in play to get Ichiro to second and score him.
Then Gil Meche came out to the mound. There were runners on the corners with two out (Alex got aboard on a double to the gap in leftcenter which Raul Ibanez took his eye off of...$13.25M/3yrs), and I thought, man, if Gil gets out of this unscathed, it'll be amazing. I had a feeling he actually would, despite Raul's boneheaded play. What happens next? Four walks, three runs across. I thought he was throwing a lot of pitches BEFORE he walked the first run in. It was almost disheartening to see Gil Meche wilt on the mound in the Bronx. This is probably a tarnish on his career doings in the Bronx, is it not? I think I saw on Baseball Tonight that this was the first time a Mariner starting pitcher didn't get past the first inning since July of 1997. What happens if Raul is actually a competent leftfielder and actually catches that ball? I know as well as anyone that Jose Cruz Jr. had a horrendous 0-for-32 slump (something brutal) earlier this year, but he won a Gold Glove last year and is making $6M over 2 years, and he and Ibanez are probably an offensive wash right now anyway, if Cruz isn't better (he might be by now). [Edit ~9:33 -- DAMMIT! I'm wrong. Cruz was batting .200 going into tonight. Ouch.]
Ron Villone came in and Miguel Cairo (a former Mariner who sucks...Bavasi is probably on the phone right now with Brian Cashman) swung at the first pitch and flew out to end the horrific first inning. Even after the carnage, the Mariners were still within striking distance -- the Yankees had scored all those runs without a hit, and left the bases loaded. The way they scored the runs was disturbing, sure, but the score was still only 3-1. To help his cause, Villone would not allow a baserunner to the 4th, retiring seven straight.
As Villone was setting down the Yankee hitters in the 2nd and 3rd, the Mariners were scratching out some hits. Ichiro had doubled in the first and later scored, and in the 2nd and 3rd, the Mariners hit three more doubles. Of course, they didn't manage to get an extra-base hit after the 3rd inning.
Also in the 2nd, Dave Hansen pulled a double into the corner. Dan Wilson hit a single to centerfield, but it wasn't enough to push Hansen across. It just has to be something, right? Hansen never scored that inning. In the 3rd, the Mariners actually did score, and Randy Winn got aboard on a double, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on a Spiezio sac fly. It just can't be an RBI single, can it?
That's what the 4th inning was for. Dan Wilson had the third of three straight singles to tie the game at 3. Ramon Santiago bunted the two runners into scoring position (might as well, he can't hit anyway so make him useful). Ichiro then worked the count full and singled to get the Mariners a 4-3 lead (seemed a leap away from the first inning) on a play in which Dan Wilson couldn't score from second. He'd score on Randy Winn's single though, which gave the Mariners the 5-3 lead. If you already know what the final score was, you know the Mariners would not score for the rest of the game.
Final fact for now for the Mariner offense: they didn't put a runner into scoring position after the 4th inning.
Ron Villone came into the bottom of the 4th having retired seven straight. Against the 7-8-9 hitters of the Yankee lineup, he yielded two singles and a sacrifice bunt. It only got worse with the 1-2-3 hitters of the Yankee lineup. Derek Jeter nubbed one right back to the mound, and Villone muffed it (Ron Fairly then went on another jag about wishing the pitchers wouldn't barehand the ball so much), loading the bases. Villone then walked Bernie Williams to get the Yankees within one. Alex Rodriguez just got under his pitch for a home run, which instead was a game-tying sacrifice fly. None of the Yankees' first five run-scoring plays involved a base hit. Three came on Meche walks, one was a Villone walk, and the 5th run was on Alex's sac fly.
In the 5th, Gary Sheffield led off with a single, then Hideki Matsui flew out. Villone tried to snap throw to first and was way off. Sheffield went to second and scored on a Tony Clark single. You know it's bad when you're putting your crap against their crap, and you realize Tony Clark is coming out on top. 6-5 Yankees.
That was basically the game, as Mike Mussina shut down the Mariners in the 5th and 6th, and Paul Quantrill (who the Mariners used to just blister once upon a time) and Gabe White (part of Jeremy's Mariner offseason plan from last winter) took care of the rest.
The Yankees tacked on some more carnage. They loaded the bases with nobody out against Julio Mateo in the 7th. JJ Putz's second pitch to John Flaherty was a curveball very low and very away that found the backstop. And what a feeling it must be when you can afford to rest a Jason Giambi for most of a game and bring him up off the bench when you need him, and still have Tony Clark go 2-for-2 in his place. Giambi was given a free pass, and Putz whiffed Jeter. But Bernie Williams drove in the final two runs with his single. 9-5 Yankees.
How quietly did the Mariners go offensively in the 8th and 9th?
-- 8th inning
Cabrera flew out on an 0-1 pitch (3 pitches)
Hansen grounded out on 2-2 (5 pitches)
Wilson flew out on 0-1 (2 pitches)
-- 9th inning
Santiago flew out (1st pitch)
Ichiro bounced back to the mound on 0-1 (2 pitches)
Winn was beaned on 1-1 (3 pitches)
Spiezio bounced out to Alex on 0-1 (2 pitches)
Congratulations, Gabe White! You set down the 6-7-8 hitters of the Mariner lineup with 10 pitches, nothing astounding there. Buuuuut, you DID set down the 9-1-2-3 hitters in the Mariner lineup on EIGHT PITCHES, even after you beaned one of the hitters. Anyway, six outs on 18 pitches for Gabe White.
Gameball: Dave Hansen. Why the hell not? 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, starting at first base in an amazing infield of Spiezio/Santiago/Cabrera/Hansen. My apartment has brick walls, and due to the strength of brick-and-mortar, my apartment has not shown any structural damage from repeated instances of cranial impact.
Goat: Raul Ibanez. 0-for-4, stranding three, and letting Alex Rodriguez's fly ball drop for a double. Was the game over at that point? Heck no, as we figured out, because the Mariners ended up taking the lead. The way the Mariners have been going, though, you knew the Ibanez ball would lead to something bad. If Ibanez catches that ball, it's possible Meche doesn't lose his mind. If the Mariners didn't have every Monday off this month, I'd say their bullpen would have their arms fall off within the next few days, especially knowing that Freddy Garcia isn't pitching in the Yankee series. Luckily for them, the off day buys some time to rest the bullpen arms. You know, it's like I'm not even having to stretch to goat Ibanez anymore.
Finally, how fitting is it that the one time the Mariners finally get to Mike Mussina, they manage to scratch out eleven hits against him (four doubles), score five runs, have him only in the game for six innings, and lose?
Six in a row. Will the Mariners make it seven in a row against Donovan Osborne? If they don't, it'll be eight in a row after Sunday, because I don't see any way in hell the Mariners beat Kevin Brown unless he overtorques his body from his pitching motion either sometime between now and the game or during the game itself. Raul Ibanez has a chance to look VERY stupid on Sunday.
Moyer. Osborne. Tomorrow.
By the way, I'd like to thank whoever thought of making the Brewers wear their Milwaukee Braves uniforms in a game at home against the Atlanta Braves. Thanks for messing with my mind, whoever you are.
[Edit ~10:13p -- I've gone through in the last hour and discovered a ton of spelling mistakes which hopefully I've nailed down. For what it's worth, I scored a verbal 580 my first time taking the SAT, and then dropped 40 points on verbal the next time I took it (math gains helped offset the blow). I took a GRE prep test last week and sucked to the tune of something like 480, though I did take it fairly cold. I actually pride myself on spelling, and usually a spelling mistake will stop me dead in my tracks and I'll go back and change it as soon as I find it. As for the test scores...I can spell and stuff, but if you give me an analogy that says "duct tape is to remote control as orange circus peanuts are to ____" and give me choices like index cards, Dixie cups, a can of Spam, and bubble wrap, I'll never know what to choose. And yes, that sample question was severely dumbed down as I didn't use any SAT vocab words like "insouciant" and "egregious."]
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Of course, I had class at 11am and went to lunch afterward, completely forgetting about the game. However, I'll do the best that I can using the AP wire blip, the box score, and the game logs.
With just one look at the score (1-0), one can tell that the Mariner offense was probably crap, and that whoever the starting pitcher was got screwed. Not that we aren't used to that anyway.
Ryan Franklin was the starting pitcher du jour to get the shaft. Franklin allowed three runners to get into scoring position the entire game. In the 2nd, Mike Cuddyer's RBI double (i.e., all the runs the Twins needed) scored Lew Ford from first. In the 5th, Shannon Stewart got aboard on an infield single with two out, pushing Luis Rivas to second. In the 6th, Jacque Jones hit a one-out single to push Doug Mientkiewicz to second. Needless to say, no one scored in the latter two scenarios. Semi-disturbing is the fact that Franklin allowed baserunners in all innings except the 3rd and 7th (a nice five-pitch inning). Jeff at L43 (this recap is made before I've looked at the other blogs' postgame reactions...) and others will have some nominal work to do in the realm of calculating Franklin's balls-in-play statistics, as he allowed seven hits, walked one, and struck out three of the total 28 batters he faced (seven innings, 105 pitches). Hey, Ryan Franklin didn't even give up a home run today; I'll be damned. Mike Myers and JJ Putz handled the Twins 8th inning, with Myers allowing the lone baserunner (Cristian Guzman leadoff single).
This brings us to the Mariner offense. Eight more singles. Yippee!! I know it's Johan Santana out there, and he's not chop liver by any means, but over the course of the entire game, they had seven runners in scoring position (only five of them are truly vital to me though) and pushed exactly zero runners across the plate.
Mariner RISP situations today...
4th: Edgar moves Randy Winn to second with a groundout (RISP #1). Raul Ibanez flies out and Scott Spiezio lines out to end the inning.
6th: With Ichiro on first and one out, Randy Winn singles Ichiro into second (RISP #2). Ichiro gets nailed trying to swipe third, and Edgar bounces out to third.
7th: John Olerud draws a two-out walk to push Scott Spiezio (aboard on a one-out single) to second (RISP #3). In a play that was probably the absolute death knell of the game, Dan Wilson hit a single into center. Dave Myers waved Scott Spiezio around; no surprise there. Rarely playing centerfield as of late, Torii Hunter fired a strike to home plate on which catcher Henry Blanco cut off the short hop and reached back to tag Spiezio coming in from third. In a year where everything has gone wrong, why not just add another thing to the pile? I guess John Olerud counts as a RISP on the play (ticky-tack RISP, #4), because he did reach second safely.
8th: With Terry Mulholland now on the mound, Ichiro singles to move Ramon Santiago (aboard on a leadoff single) to second (RISP #5). Randy Winn bunts the runners into scoring position (RISP #6). Edgar is intentionally walked because after all, Raul Ibanez was on deck. JC Romero was brought in to face Raul. Ibanez swung at a 2-2 pitch and bounced into the ol' 5-2 fielders' choice that scores nobody (RISP #7, ticky-tack because it's a different runner). Scott Spiezio got down 0-2 in the count right away, and got a seven-pitch at-bat out of it. Of course, the outcome was a strikeout.
Scott Spiezio, on his at-bat against JC Romero to end the 8th, "I'll give him credit. I saw a lot of pitches in that at-bat and he didn't make one mistake."
Can we all agree that the lineup was basically punting again today (as if it wasn't bad enough already)? The high-octane offense up the middle (Jolbert Cabrera/Ramon Santiago) combined with Pat Borders behind the plate? I'm past the point of saying that this team is dead without Bret Boone. They were dead WITH Bret Boone. That's no knock on Bret Boone, that's a knock on this pathetic team as a whole. Healthy Bret Boone or not, just having him back isn't going to make a whole lot of a difference. There's a laundry list of things wrong with team right now. We knew that an inordinate amount of things had to break the Mariners' way if they were to have a legitimate shot at a playoff spot this year, and quite frankly, the Mariner brass didn't equip this team well enough to better their chances. The brass relied way too heavily on the past successes (and a few times, anomalous successes) of their veterans to basically happen all at the same time to carry them where they wanted to go. It's like they wanted 2001 to happen again, except with older players.
--WARNING: 2000 Mariners nostalgia tilt coming...--
The last time the Mariners reached the playoffs with a non-crazy team (i.e., pre-2001) was 2000, a year in which they won 91 games. Jamie Moyer had his season ended on a line drive off Chris Widger's bat in a rehab simulation game and ended the season with a 5.49 ERA (remember the August game in Chicago where Lou left him out there to rot). They also managed to get by with John Halama going 14-9 in 30 starts with a 5.08 ERA. Yes, that's two starters with ERAs over 5. Also, Freddy Garcia was hurt much of the year, appearing in only 21 games. Paul Abbott made 27 starts and went 9-7, leading me to wonder exactly how he got 11 no-decisions. [Edit ~8:20p -- Paul Abbott did have eight relief appearances, so the no-decision number as a starter might even be bigger.] Aaron Sele went 17-10 and had a 4.51 ERA; the most dependable pitcher that year on account of a couple of rotation injuries.
Naturally, the 2000 team had to get by with offense. Remember offense? Think hard, you might be able to visualize offense (Ryan Franklin mentioned visualization in one of his postgame quotes today). John Olerud (103), Alex Rodriguez (132), and Edgar (145!) all eclipsed the century mark in RBIs. Olerud (102) and Alex (100) managed to draw at least 100 walks too. Olerud had 14 more doubles than Edgar that year (45 to 31), if you can imagine that now. Throw in Jay Buhner's 26 bombs and 82 RBI, and Mike Cameron's stellar defense, and it makes the following things tolerable: Dan Wilson hitting .235, Mark McLemore hitting .245, David Bell hitting .247 (I liked the defense though), Alex's 121 strikeouts, and Mike Cameron's 133 strikeouts.
Another thing of note about the 2000 team: Rickey Henderson was brought on in midseason because Mike Cameron (it was him, right?) wasn't clicking in the leadoff spot. Comparisons here...
Rickey 2000: 92 games, .238 BA, .362 on-base, 63 walks, 31/40 on steal attempts
Ichiro 2002: 157 games, .321 BA, .388 on-base, 68 walks, 31/46 on steal attempts
Ichiro 2003: 159 games, .312 BA, .352 on-base, 36 walks, 34/42 on steal attempts
Sorry 2004: what the Mariners are headed for. Also a horrible song sung by Ruben Studdard.
Needless to say, I'm not trying to argue who was the better hitter -- it's Ichiro, no questions asked. I'm just trying to point a couple things out. Look at what Rickey did in just 92 games. Sure, he hit for crap, but that on-base clip is better than Ichiro's from last year. Rickey stole 31 bases in 92 games. Rickey walked 27 more times in 2000 than Ichiro did in 2003, and with 67 less games. Rickey didn't hit well, but do I dare say that his tenure in Seattle was greatly underrated? How many bases could Rickey have nabbed in a full season?
Okay, I've totally gone nuts with this post. I'm sure it's lost all coherence, and it's quite possible because a fellow geology cohort came into the geology undergrad room here at Lind Hall and we talked baseball and the Mariners for about 45 minutes or so. So this post might have been choppy and the ending is definitely sudden.
Gameball: Ryan Franklin. No hitter deserves a gameball today. It's that simple. Ryan pitched a hell of a game, and got screwed. I'm sure he's numb to it by now, though.
Goat: Raul Ibanez. 1-for-4, stranding four. I could have easily given this to Scott Spiezio, not for getting nailed by Torii Hunter at the plate, but for going 1-for-4, striking out once, and stranding five. But...Ibanez has some responsibilities as a cleanup hitter. Behold the Mariners' first offseason priority of the winter of 2003-04, Raul Ibanez, he of the grand .248 average, 6 homers, and 15 RBI. Also note 11 walks and 24 strikeouts. An on-base percentage of .312, a slugging percentage of .472 and and OPS of .784. This guy hasn't truly hit the skids yet, and since I don't think he can keep this pace up, I don't think he'll reach the 29 homers and 74 RBI he's on pace for. The 118 strikeouts is something I think he can definitely reach though.
Can the Mariners make it six tomorrow? To Gotham, Batman!!
Meche. Mussina. Tomorrow.
(Why does Blogger keep jacking up the times on my posts? It was off by two hours and I have it set to Pacific time and everything...)
[Edit ~9:10p -- I HAD to go for the Ruben Studdard joke. Had to. I don't know why I didn't think of it right away.]
[Edit Fri ~2:30a -- Fundamental flaw corrected. Ichiro now moves Ramon Santiago along in the 8th with a single as opposed to vice-versa. With such rationale (Ichiro as leadoff and #1 hitter), Randy Winn would have been hitting 3rd on the lineup card. Sorry if that scared anyone.]
And guess what? They get to go to the Bronx to face the Yankees this weekend. BRILLIANT!
I speak for most of the blogosphere when I say that I knew this team wouldn't be as good as it was in previous seasons. But I didn't think it would be THIS bad. But I'm here, a broken and miserable Mariners fan.
I wonder how Eddie Guardado feels after TODAY'S game...
I just read David Cameron's assessment of today's Everett Herald quip about Eddie Guardado saying that he wouldn't have signed with the Mariners if he had to do it over again.
I don't blame Guardado for feeling this way one bit. One, this team is a trainwreck. Two, the man steering the trainwreck is a moron. Three, Guardado isn't being used enough.
IS THIS THE EVERYDAY EDDIE WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE?
He hasn't pitched since May 7. In laymen's terms, that's LAST FRIDAY.
This is the closest I'll ever come to being labeled a "stat geek", but the fact is, Guardado is the best pitcher in the Mariners bullpen, bar none. USE HIM, DAMMIT!!! HE'S CALLED "EVERYDAY EDDIE" FOR A REASON, BOB!!!
As for possibly trading Guardado, as "the other David" suggested, if the M's can land Michael Cuddyer, great. But what makes anybody suggest that Bill Bavasi is smart enough to do that?
Just watch, the M's will deal Guardado to the Giants for Lou Seal. Why?
I don't need to answer this, do I?
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
About patience paying off, Edgar wrote the book on it. No, really. He did.
Edgar's 300th career home run provides the bright spot tonight as Freddy Garcia pitches well and gets screwed again, not only by the impotence of the offense, but also by his defense.
Brad Radke was spinning a fairly nice game after getting into a couple of early semi-jams. The first inning was a certainly not a good one. Ichiro led off with a single, Jolbert Cabrera got on, and the Mariners had runners on the corners and nobody out. Scott Spiezio struck out. Then wouldn't you know it, Cabrera was picked off first on the fake-to-third-throw-to-first play which never works. It did this time. Olerud bounced out to make sure Freddy wasn't staked out to a lead before he took the mound. Edgar singled to lead off the 2nd, and walked to lead off the 4th. He scored neither time. A Dan Wilson double-play ball killed the rally in the 4th. From the 5th through the 8th, Radke faced the minimum 12 batters (tack Wilson and Rich Aurilia on from the 4th and it's 14). Hell, maybe I should have just said that Radke retired 13 of 14 during that span.
Other than the futility/non-clutchitude from the first four innings, the Mariner offense did absolutely nothing until Scott Spiezio and John Olerud singled (imagine that...singles) and were driven in by Edgar's bomb over the baggy in rightfield. Alas, there would be something to cheer about.
Bret Boone may be down a couple days with the back spasms, as he was tonight. Jolbert Cabrera filled in at second base. Dave Niehaus was dead on during the radio broadcast when he said that the Mariners can't afford to have Boone out for a long period of time. Though Boone hasn't been hitting too well, having his glove off the field hampers this team even further. Offensively, we may see horrible things such as John Olerud hitting cleanup, as Jeremy noted.
Oh, and how can we forget Cabrera's glove? In the 2nd, Torii Hunter was beaned and Jacque Jones hit a double-play ball to Jolbert Cabrera. Cabrera booted the ball. Zero outs instead of two. Lew Ford was the next hitter, and he grounded out. Mike Cuddyer and Matt LeCroy reached on outfield and infield singles, respectively, but the inning should have been over. Freddy should have been out of it with zeroes still up on the board.
In the 3rd, Cristian Guzman singled to lead off and Doug Mientkiewicz blasted a ball into the upper deck in right, scoring the two fair runs against Freddy tonight. Freddy ended with a line of 7 1/3 innings, 3 earned runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 118 pitches.
Gameball: Edgar Martinez. 2-for-4 with the three-run jack and a walk. Three hundred taters. Three cheers once again for Edgar. 300 bombs, 500 doubles. Freddy pitched well tonight, but Edgar saved this night from total crappiness.
Goat: Jolbert Cabrera. I hate to go obvious here, but even though he was 2-for-4 (one strikeout), that boot of the double play ball really really REALLY did not help. Couple that with falling for the fake-to-third-throw-to-first play in the first inning, and you get my goat for tonight. Of course, I must mention that Rich Aurilia had a quiet 0-for-3 and stranded three the night after I gave him the gameball.
Four Ls in a row. Tomorrow the Mariners can get the trifecta, as Jeremy would say, and get their third five-game losing streak of the year.
I left the corporate postgame show on after the game (too lazy to turn on KJR on the computer), and the first caller actually said that he was "tired of the complainers," that he was a "Tigers fan" and that he's actually "really excited about this [Mariner] team." Seriously, I didn't know whether to be disgusted or to soil myself laughing.
Franklin. Santana. Tomorrow morning.
Jolbert Cabrera 2B
Scott Spiezio 3B
John Olerud 1B
Olerud is batting cleanup.
Yes, things are getting so bad that I'm even quoting Neil Sadaka in my post titles...
Dan Patrick: Is the Seattle Mariners' run as an elite team over?
Jeff Brantley: Yes.
There's two ways to attack this...
-- Argue whether the run is over or not, and back up your point, or...
-- Argue whether or not the Mariners were truly elite.
Don't get me wrong, the Mariners since 2000 have given us some good times (most notably 2000-01). But given the results (or lack thereof), can we really call this team an elite team over this time span?
I know I've said this a couple times on the site, but I'm going to say it again. If you would have come up to me after the Mariners were eliminated in the 2000 ALCS and told me that the Yankees wouldn't win the World Series in 2001, 2002, or 2003, you damn well better believe I would have thought the Mariners would have at least gone to one of those World Series. That's the confidence I had in these guys BEFORE the 116-win season. I knew there was a chance Alex would go (and he did), but I figured they'd have enough pitching to get them by. Of course, 2001 came and many things came along that we'd never expected. I expected good pitching, sure, but did I expect Paul Abbott to go 17-4? Heck no. Then the hitting...no one knew Bret Boone would do that. No one could solve Ichiro, which provided some consolation at the time for not having the power of Alex (as did the crazy numbers of Boone). Who can forget the play of Stan Javier, light years away from the bench of today, and miles away from the benches of 2002 and 2003.
Then came the realization in 2002 that there wasn't a power bat to replace Alex. Then the league started to catch up to Ichiro. Then the brass decided to let Aaron Sele go (smart) and sign James Baldwin in his place (not smart...two words: Jason Schmidt), not far departed from shoulder surgery. Then came the realization that no, you can't blow a fastball past Major League hitters when it tops out at 89. Then came the realization that this team was almost dead without Edgar, but could stay afloat for half a season with a stopgap Ruben Sierra. Lou Piniella realized he was playing with a 24-man roster because of Pat Gillick's perpetual love affair with Rule V prospects (Luis Ugueto, Baseball Prospectus' Running Joke), not good when you realize Ugueto and Charles Gipson were the same guy -- late-inning defensive replacement. Who can forget Dave Myers throwing up the stop sign about three seconds too late in Anaheim and tearing Chris Snelling's ACL, something that has set Snelling back at least two years and should be considered grounds for firing (they canned Johnny Moses instead)? There went a big piece in any midseason trade possibility. If I remember right, that was the year where all of a sudden everyone wanted position players instead of minor league arms. Or maybe that was last year. It's all a blur now.
So we don't just have Pat Gillick to blame for deadline inactivity in 2002, we have Dave Myers too. But remember, there's always the waiver wire!! You had to love those late-season acquisitions of Jose Offerman, Doug Creek, and Ismael Valdes (the most solid of the group). I forgot exactly why Offerman was brought on, but I'm guessing they sold some line of veteran experience off the bench with a little skill with the bat. Valdes apparently plugged the hole left because Baldwin blew. Creek apparently was to fill the role of second lefty in the bullpen, but apparently no one in the Mariner front office could find the answer to "why wasn't this guy good enough for Tampa Bay, and why would that make him good enough for a team contending for the playoffs?"
Okay, enough spiel from me. I need a nap.
I think the Mariners from 2000-2003 were a pretty good team with a nominal run. I hate the Atlanta Braves to death and I loved to call them chokers every chance I get, but like it or not, I have to hold back because they won the World Series (1995). They got the job done. The Mariners were good, but not good enough.
For me, the peak of the Mariner franchise was the instant right before David Justice hit the home run in Game 6 of the 2000 ALCS. I know Jeremy ranked Game 4 of the 2001 Yankee series as his worst moment as a Seattle sports fan, but 2000 ALCS Game 6 Rhodes/Justice is right up there at or near the top for me with Dikembe Mutumbo cradling the ball on the floor of the Coliseum in glee as my worst Seattle sports moment(s).
Still though...can we really call this team "elite"? We're getting into some of the type of talk they have in Vancouver about the Canucks, except even that team just won the division.
Talk amongst yourselves...
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
In his best start of the season, Joel Pineiro got screwed. I'm not sure of myself as to whether he was the pitcher of record after the Mariners scored their four runs in the 8th or not, but either way, he got screwed. Joel ended up with a line of 2 runs, 6 hits, a walk, three strikeouts, and the Torii Hunter bomb on 109 pitches (39 balls, 70 strikes) to lower his ERA to 6.75. His only run-allowing hiccups were letting two get aboard in the first (Corey Koskie drove the run in with the groundout) and the one pitch to Torii Hunter that ended up deep into the stands in left. In the 5th, Joel cut through the top third of the Minnesota lineup after Luis Rivas (who somehow was a homer short of the cycle in this game) hit a leadoff triple. He also had the help of a double play in the 2nd.
So the Mariners got solid starting pitching. The hitters fared pretty well, if you like singles (17). They scored their first two runs with two out. All their runs in the 8th were scored with one out. Everyone in the starting lineup got a hit, and even Jolbert Cabrera got two hits off the bench. The Mariners pounded out 18 hits. That's a lot (a lot of singles too). Only one hit came in the extra innings (Cabrera) though.
Where did it all go to hell?
The Mariners entered the bottom of the 8th with a 6-2 lead. Shigetoshi Hasegawa was summoned in from the bullpen. I figured he hadn't sucked too much lately, and I figured he'd had it turned around to the point where there was no way he could totally blow up again, at least for a while. I was dead wrong. Four pitches, two singles. Five more pitches, a walk. Exit stage left, Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Needless to say, the best way to protect a 6-2 lead is not to load the bases before recording an out. Shig then walked Torii Hunter. Then Mike Myers came on in relief (never something I'd want, especially in this situation...also see other Dave campaign for Guardado at this moment), and I'd figured maybe I'd been hard on him, trying to anticipate something bad happening every time he got called in from the pen. On this night, I was wrong. One pitch, and it connected with Jacque Jones' leg. [Edit Wed ~8:50a -- I originally had Shig not walking in any runs, and Myers beaning Hunter instead; that's me misreading the game log.] At least he didn't hit a homer, I guess. Yes, Mike Myers is worthless. So much for that idea of him pitching three-quarters to the righthanders, huh? Enter JJ Putz, who hadn't been bitten by the bug that's gotten to everyone else in the bullpen. There was only so much he could do, though he did get tagged pretty well. The Lew Ford sac fly made it 6-4, and the Rivas single tied the game. Jose Offerman nearly got the Twins the lead with first and second with one out, but proved to only have warning track power. Yet another brutal night for the Mariner bullpen.
How did the game end?
Suppose you're the third-base coach of a team facing the Mariners...
Q: Do you send a runner home from second on a shallow base hit to centerfield on which Randy Winn is charging forward?
A: Hell yeah. Take those odds and run with them.
End result -- Dan Wilson blocks the plate, but can't come up with the ball. Shannon Stewart flops over him and touches the plate. Game.
Gameball: Rich Aurilia. Joel's the obvious choice, but it's encouraging to see Rich scratch a couple hits for at least one night. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and a sac bunt, raising his average to a grand .230.
Goat: Shigetoshi Hasegawa. I've given Mike Myers his share of goats this year, and he did run away with the crap-per-time ratio. But here, loading the bases with nobody out takes the cake. Shig is now boasting an ERA of 7.04.
If not for the Yankees, every non-Mariner team in the AL West would have won tonight. Still, the Mariners are 12-20 and lie 9.5 games back of the first-place Angels, 8 games back of second-place Texas, and four games back of the third-place A's.
KCYU Fox 41 Yakima carries the Mariner network telecasts here in the Yakima market, which I've bitched about many times when the games run concurrently with NASCAR coverage or NFL coverage (when KSTW is still beamed to Ellensburg and theoretically could show the Mariners in Ellensburg). Running across the screen tonight was a notice basically saying that American Idol would be broadcast in its entirety after the game. Yes, in the Yakima market, the 12-19 (at the time) Seattle Mariners pre-empted American Idol. Ha ha HA!
Garcia. Radke. Tonight.
---No World Series championships or appearances
---The Seahawks haven't won a playoff game since 1984
---No NBA championship since 1979, i.e. the Bird/Magic era
Anyways, my list of tortured Seattle sports moments...
10. The 1992 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks were 2-14 in 1992. They had the second pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. However, if they would have lost to the Patriots during the 1992 season, they would have had the #1 pick overall in the 1993 draft. Guess who was the first pick of the 1993 draft?
Walla Walla's Drew Bledsoe. And who did the Seahawks get?
Notre Dame suckass Rick Mirer.
9. UConn's Richard Hamilton beating Washington on a buzzer beater in the Sweet 16
I'm not a Husky fan, but this was painful to watch. College basketball success in the Evergreen State is hard to come by, especially from the boys on Montlake. But in 1998, the Huskies advanced to the Sweet 16. They took on UConn, a veteran of NCAA Tournament play.
Rip Hamilton nails a buzzer beater to knock off the Huskies in Greensboro Coliseum 75-74. UConn would go on to lose to North Carolina in the Elite 8, but would win the National Championship in 1999.
The Huskies would make an apperance in the tournament in 1999, but lost in the first round to Miami-Ohio.
8. Jim McIllvaine signing with the Sonics in 1996
No need to go into details here, because it's a waste of time.
McIllvaine ended Shawn Kemp's career. That's it, that's the list. (Not THIS list, mind you, but Kemp's career.)
7. 1993 Western Conference Finals, Sonics vs Suns
SIXTY-THREE FREE THROWS.
SIXTY-THREE FREE THROWS.
Well, at least NBC got their much desired Jordan vs Barkley NBA Finals...
6. Randy Johnson winning the World Series in Arizona
This is a byproduct of the 2001 Mariners (more later). Seeing The Big Unit win a World Series somewhere other than Seattle makes me bitter to this day. Sue me.
5. Vinny Testaverde's "Touchdown"
December 6, 1998
This "touchdown" cost the Seahawks a playoff berth in 1998. It probably cost Dennis Erickson his job, even though I would have fired him regardless of whether the Seahawks had made the playoffs.
Phil Luckett is a stupid son of a bitch.
4. Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb
You tell me who would be better to have behind the plate right now, Dan Wilson or Jason Varitek?
I rest my fricking case.
3. 2000 ALCS, Games 2 and 6 Mariners vs Yankees
I hate David Justice.
Sadly, I hate seeing Arthur Rhodes pitching in Yankee Stadium.
2. 2003 NFC Wild Card Playoff, Seahawks at Packers
"We're going to score!", Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
Al Harris 52 yard INT returned for a TD.
That dreadlocked bastard...
AND NUMBER ONE...
1. 2001 ALCS, Game 4 Mariners vs Yankees
My take on the events of October 21, 2001
Enter Sandman. Mariano Rivera.
What does the most clutch player in the history of baseball do?
John Olerud. Grounds out to Tino Martinez.
Stan Javier. Grounds out to Alfonso Soriano.
Mike Cameron. Pops out to Tino Martinez.
Three pitches. Three outs. End of the %@$#%&$ season.
Honorable mention? How about the 2004 Seattle Mariners?
That's my list. Comments in the box below if you care to.
(The songs that I hate on this list will be in Italics)
50. Celine Dion -- ``My Heart Will Go On''
49. Right Said Fred -- ``I'm Too Sexy''
48. The Beatles -- ``Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da''
47. Bryan Adams -- ``The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You''
46. New Kids on the Block -- ``Hangin' Tough''
45. Ja Rule featuring Ashanti -- ``Mesmerize''
44. Meatloaf -- ``I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)''
43. Uncle Cracker -- ``Follow Me''
42. Simon and Garfunkel -- ``The Sound of Silence''
41. Billy Joel -- ``We Didn't Start the Fire''
40. Color Me Badd -- ``I Wanna Sex You Up''
39. Ricky Martin -- ``She Bangs''
38. Rednex -- ``Cotton Eye Joe''
37. Gerardo -- ``Rico Suave''
36. Master P. featuring Silkk, Feind, Mia X and Mystikal -- ``Make Em Say UHH!''
35. R.E.M. -- ``Shiny Happy People''
34. Dan Fogelberg -- ``Longer''
33. Aqua -- ``Barbie Girl''
32. Will Smith -- ``Wil 2K''
31. Crash Test Dummies -- ``Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm''
30. Whitney Houston -- ``The Greatest Love of All''
29. Deep Blue Something -- ``Breakfast at Tiffany's''
28. John Mayer -- ``Your Body is a Wonderland''
27. Europe -- ``The Final Countdown''
26. The Doors -- ``The End''
25. Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 -- ``I'll Be Missing You''
24. Five For Fighting -- ``Superman''
23. Corey Hart -- ``Sunglasses at Night''
22. Toby Keith -- ``Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)''
21. Spin Doctors -- ``Two Princes''
20. Lionel Richie -- ``Dancing on the Ceiling''
19. Mr. Mister -- ``Broken Wings''
18. Chicago -- ``You're the Inspiration''
17. Hammer -- ``Pumps and a Bump''
16. 4 Non Blondes -- ``What's Up?''
15. The Rembrandts -- ``I'll Be There For You''
14. Bette Midler -- ``From a Distance''
13. Genesis -- ``Illegal Alien''
12. The Beach Boys -- ``Kokomo''
11. Clay Aiken -- ``Invisible''
10. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder -- ``Ebony and Ivory''
9. Madonna -- ``American Life''
8. Eddie Murphy -- ``Party all the Time''
7. Bobby McFerrin -- ``Don't Worry Be Happy''
6. Huey Lewis and the News -- ``The Heart of Rock and Roll''
5. Vanilla Ice -- ``Ice Ice Baby''
4. Limp Bizkit -- ``Rollin'''
3. Wang Chung -- ``Everybody Have Fun Tonight''
2. Billy Ray Cyrus -- ``Achy Breaky Heart''
1. Starship -- ``We Built This City''
A few notes after finally seeing "the list"...
---Jim Morrison is OVERRATED. Denis Leary said it best:
"You want the life of Jim Morrison? I'll give it to you in fifteen seconds: I'm drunk, I'm nobody, I'm drunk, I'm famous, I'm drunk, I'm f*cking dead."
---Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" has to be higher than 50th. Has to be.
---Aqua's "Barbie Girl" is the posterchild of TERRIBLE mid-to-late 1990s European dance pop music.
A plug if you will. VH1 will air a special on Blender's list tomorrow evening. Check your local listings.
Here's my worst songs ever list, from a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy.
I issued a challenge to myself...create a quick storyline involving as many Almost Live! elements as possible.
A man from Kent wearing a Stihl trucker hat was walking through a park on his way to his office temp job. He accidentally walked through and interrupted a croquet game and was chased down by Billy Quan, who malleted his head for the victory. After coming to, he crossed a street to get coffee but was plowed by a car traveling 10mph in the wrong lane; a car driven by a student of the Ballard Driving School. He stepped on a slug and was witness to a speedwalker and a cross-dressing speedwalker who appeared to be the same person. "They must be from Fremont," he thought. Suddenly the sounds of Bobby Tango singing the "Chariots of Fire" theme entered his head. Seeing as to how he'd had his head malleted and he'd been hit by a car, he saw no reason to go to his temp job today. He returned to Kent, and after being stopped by the Kent PD (public urination in highway ditch), he returned to his wife, who was dressed to kill, wearing beercan earrings, a skanky perm, high heels, and many applications of BLUE-blue eyeshadow. He also returned home to his daughter, who had just discovered her pet slug, Sluggy, had slithered away and was nowhere to be found.
I think this might be my weirdest post ever.
Am I led to believe that the Mariners think their bullpen is deep enough to warrant not bringing up a pitcher after Soriano was placed on the DL? They thought the bench didn't have enough bodies? The Bloomquist injury really hampers them that badly? I'm kind of perplexed.
Just beautiful. Now, I don't know if this is a byproduct of winter ball, but there is reason to be concerned here. Should Soriano just go on the shelf for the rest of the season? I don't know about that, but hell, he would be saved from watching this trainwreck of a roster this summer.
It's May 11 folks. I'm not buying the "it's still early" bullcrap. This is a bad baseball team. And quite frankly, it didn't have to be that way.
But this is what the front office deserves. Do they still like their ballclub? Do they still know what they're doing?
Oh, Ramon Santiago is called up INSTEAD of Justin Leone?
Just wondering here...is this a byproduct of the injury in spring training, or is it a byproduct of throwing all winter?
[Edit ~2:09p -- Further wire verification here...and it's a sprain in the article, not a strain as I originally posted. The move is retroactive to yesterday (Monday).]
Monday, May 10, 2004
-- Am I wrong to think Alex Rodriguez's collision on the basepaths with Alex Cora on a sunny summer day in 2000 may have screwed him out of being a steady basestealer to the tune of 25 bags per year?
-- This whole Raul Mondesi thing is weird. Being ordered to pay $640k to a guy in the Dominican for improving baseball skills? There's got to be some uniquely Dominican stuff I don't know about in terms of tangible contracts for guys that improve the baseball skills of young'uns. Still, with all the money Mondesi's made over the years...this is a battle over principles, right? Surely it can't be because Mondesi will go broke if he has to pay this guy? I won't say he would have raked against lefties or anything (judge for yourself), but the guy was only due $1.15M this year. Sure, no one knew Mondesi would up and bolt, but there were worse options this offseason for the Mariners, and they have a few of them on roster right now.
-- I wish Scott Spiezio's name wasn't weird for my left hand to reach over to the Z key on the keyboard. I wish Dwyane Wade's name was spelled like every other DwAYne on the face of the earth. I wish Marco Scutaro's surname was stressed on the second syllable (Jeff at L43 sympathizes with this). I wish the K in Nikolai Khabibulin's last name wasn't silent.
-- Names and languages here...Remember Andy Stankiewicz, former Yankee? His name was always pronounced by announcers as STANK-uh-witz. The last seven letters in his last name coincide with a certain Doug Mientkiewicz, yet no one sees his name and says it as MENT-kuh-witz (which would be much easier). Of course, the age-old "what the hell?" goes to Mike Krzyzewski. See, I can explain the last two syllables of his surname to myself, but I can't point to any other instance in my life where I've come across a name beginning with a K that somehow got an "sh" sound out of it.
-- Language-related again...I wonder how many stateside students have gotten through entire years of high school French class based solely on what they learned watching hockey games?
-- Who brainwashed who in Boston to think that Byung-Hyun Kim could do well as a starter?
-- Probably the funniest thing I heard all day was that Johnny Damon was going to shave his beard to benefit Boston-area tutor and reading programs. A nice quote is also in the blip about his spring training regimen. "Once a car starts coming, I'll just race it to my house. I scare the cars to speed up a little more, seeing a caveman-looking guy with long hair running at 10 or 11 at night."
-- The ever-quotable and newly shafted now-former Canuck GM Brian Burke had his farewell press conference on Friday in Vancouver. On his firing, "...I don't know whose decision it was, I'm not interested in analyzing it. I know I'm out of work. To be fair to Stan [McCammon, Canuck CEO], he started to offer some words of encouragement and I said I didn't need them. So, maybe I cut off the explanation I would liked to have gotten. It doesn't matter, anyway. I've never been fired before, and it's a kick in the ass. Even when you think it's coming, it's still a kick in the ass. ... I believe this decision was made some time ago, despite what anyone says to the contrary. The fact there were no discussions after the first of November is a pretty good indicator. And when they come out and announce in February that they were going to deal with this after the season, it's a pretty good indication that as soon as the season ends, you're going to get a size-12 boot in the ass. And that's what happened."
Brian Burke will be missed.
-- Whether you're a Husky, Cougar, or neither (that covers the whole spectrum, I think), keep former Husky coach Jim Lambright in your thoughts. He's going in for surgery to remove his bladder and prostate, after being diagnosed with bladder cancer.
However, he's now on Fox Sports Net with his new show, "I, Max".
But I'm not going to talk about Kellerman right now. There's even bigger news to come out of the first episode of "I, Max" than Kellerman himself.
The Disembodied Voice is no longer "disembodied".
His name is Bill Wolff. Simply unbelievable.
I feel like the thousands of fans who were listening to "Solider of Love" in the late 1980s who then come to find out that the guy singing the song was none other than Donny Osmond. Thanks to VH1's "Behind The Music" for supplying me with this little bit of knowledge.
Point being, "Around The Horn" is officially dead as of May 10. Now, it's already dead to me once the Disembodied Voice/Wolff left ESPN. But "officially", it's dead.
Michael Holley quit his columnist gig at the Boston Globe to join the "I, Max" crew. He represents "the world" to Max's "me". You know, the whole "me against the world" deal.
My grade for "I, Max"? 2.5 out of 5.
My suggestion for the show is to include more beat writers from around the country. But then again, I guess that would be called "Around The Horn, Fox style".
Anyways, I'm just shocked by the "unmasking" of the Disembodied Voice. Chilling.
---David, in no way shape or form do I feel demoralized after the Sharks Game 1 loss. Besides, as a Sharks fan, I know the feeling of being "demoralized". And it certainly wasn't yesterday.
The Sharks should be fine. Hell, they got 52 shots on goal on Miikka Kiprusoff. If they can keep up the traffic in front of Kiprusoff, no doubt in my mind they win this series. But Calgary is a solid team. They will not go away easily.
---I'm in the process of moving to a new house (just across town), and I found my San Jose Sharks Pepsi collectors' bottles from 1994. The occasion?
"1993-1994, the biggest breakthrough season in NHL history"
The season before, 1992-1993, the Sharks had a grand total of 24 points (11-71-2). In 1993-1994, the Sharks had 82 points and earned the 8th seed in the Western Conference. They pulled off the biggest upset in hockey history that season, defeating the Detroit Red Wings in the first round.
I remember the first three seasons of the San Jose Sharks vividly, since I lived in Alameda during that time. I was never able to go to a game (tickets were simply too hard to get), but I did go to the 1992 All-Star Superskills Competition at the Cow Palace. Yes kids, the Sharks haven't always played at San Jose Arena. The Sharks didn't move into the San Jose Arena until the 1993-1994 season.
But anyways, back to the Superskills Competition. Many Sharks players were signing autographs that day, and I was lucky enough to get autographs from Doug Wilson and Jeff Hackett. I still have both autographed pictures in my collection. I've always remembered what Wilson put on his picture:
"Jeremy, All the best. Doug Wilson."
He meant it too. Wilson has always been one of the classiest individuals in all of sports. He's currently the Sharks general manager and served as director of pro player development for five seasons before taking the GM position.
Wilson never won the Stanley Cup during his career with the Chicago Blackhawks and Sharks. There's a few former Blackhawks left in this year's playoffs, including Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, and Alexei Zhamnov. But the one Blackhawk that deserves the Stanley Cup is Wilson. Of course, he won't be on the ice to earn it. But he's done plenty to deserve it as a member of the front office.
Doug Wilson is the man. Nobody will ever change my mind on this.
---Game Two, tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. Pacific on ESPN. The Shark Tank will be rocking, as it always does.
A split is needed, plain and simple. The Sharks simply can't go to the Saddledome down 2-0.
Former Seattle Mariner suckass pitcher Kevin Jarvis has signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies. He will be assigned to Triple A Colorado Springs.
Too bad that the Mariners couldn't have dumped Jarvis BEFORE the season started...
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Okay, not exactly.
Jeremy posted his recappish post below, so that kind of eases the burden on me, as I don't have to go through much of that and I can attempt to pick on the finer points.
-- How many times can you imagine the Mariners this year erasing a 6-0 deficit with three long balls?
-- Jason Giambi absolutely smoked that ball. The one today went back about 8 rows or so somewhere very close to the Boeing sign, if memory serves me right. It was in right-center, if I'm wrong about the sign.
-- After two games in the series, the Mariners appeared to be in an okay position. The only shutdown pitcher they drew in the series was Mike Mussina. No Javier Vazquez, no Kevin Brown. They took the game they were supposed to take, they lost the game they were supposed to lose, and they had Donovan Osborne to face today. They put up six runs against him.
-- None of the Mariners' starting pitchers recorded an out in the 7th inning of this series. Luckily there's an off day tomorrow for the Mariners to rest the arms in the bullpen.
-- Were there any exit polls taken to gauge fans' reactions after the game?
Gameball: Dan Wilson. 2-for-3 with the 3-run bomb. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.
Goat: Bret Boone. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, stranding two. I'd like to know how bad these back spasms really are.
I left Bremerton at 5pm today. There's a number of reasons I might have left late. It wasn't right after a meal. It wasn't right after the Mariner game. It was so I could soak up as much CBC coverage of Calgary/San Jose Game 1. Needless to say, the Canadian network is partial to the Canadian team. Don Cherry was decked before the game in a typical plaid suit with a Calgary hard hat on. Ron McLean talked on the phone to Darryl Sutter's mother before the faceoff while they showed live video of the Shark mascot getting the crowd revved up, which was more than working because the place looked absolutely nuts. The crowd microphone is a ton louder on the CBC than it is on ESPN, which to me is a big factor. Back when NBC and CBS did NFL games, NBC didn't have Bradshaw, Summerall, or Madden, but they did crank the crowd mike way the hell up. It just helps me get into the game, what can I say. For me, it also helped the announcers get more into it, too, as some even felt they had to get louder so the home audience could hear their voices over the crowd.
Anyway, I was somewhat surprised to see the word "demoralized" in Jeremy's post and not see a thing about the hockey game. Jeremy has felt the pain that I already have. Probably the only surprise today was that it wasn't Martin Gelinas scoring the OT goal. What a botched play that was. Horrible line change. The CBC had Steve Montador on afterward, and he basically said Jarome Iginla had the puck into the San Jose end when Montador discovered himself wide open. Montador then yelled at Iginla and banged his stick against the ice to get Iginla's attention. He eventually did, and it seemed like Montador just waited and waited as long as he could before he roofed it. Calgary took this one, but if the Sharks can manage to keep getting shots through to the net as much as they did today, they should do just fine.
So ends the semi-obligatory hockey diversion to this post.
Now begins the Blogger-related diversion to the post...
WHAAAAATTTT???!!!?!!! The one thing I enjoyed about my Blogger interface that I had before today was the fact that I could use the bottom half of my screen to scroll through the last 50 posts on the page. This made it easier to reference anything we'd posted in case we needed to be refreshed for some material or if we wanted to use some past material in a post. Now I'm posting on a screen singularly devoted to posting. I don't like it. If someone knows how I can get the half-screen thing back, PLEASE let me know because this is really getting on my nerves. It's getting on my nerves more than the busted mouse on my parents' computer. That was an Alt+Tab fest and even that isn't making me as mad as this new Blogger deal is. Bring the old stuff back!! Please!! Of course, there may be a positive out of this...there's a chance we could take our colors and adapt it to a new template. Who knows. The Sports and B's Board of Directors shall discuss such a thought.
So ends the Blogger-related diversion of this post.
Pineiro. Silva. Tuesday.
So ends the post.
The Mariners lit up the former St. Louis Cardinals hack Donovan Osborne for 6 runs in the bottom of the second inning, including a 3-run home run by Dan Wilson. A 3-run home run by Dan Wilson that wouldn't mean jack in the long run. Osborne lasted an inning and a third, his shortest outing as a starter since 1993.
Then the Yankees bats woke up...
Alex Rodriguez hit a solo shot in the 4th inning to shut up the sheep at Safeco Field. Jason Giambi then GOT ALL OF IT in the 6th inning with a 3-run bomb into the right field seats to make it a 6-4 ballgame. And in the 7th inning, Derek Jeter hit a 2-run shot off of Julio Mateo to tie it at 6-6. Hideki Matsui would hit a sacrifice fly in the 8th to give the Yankees a 7-6 lead, which they would not relinquish.
Jamie Moyer pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits. He struck out 5 while walking none. But in the end, it was a no decision for the crafty lefty.
What a demoralizing loss for the Mariners. They had an opportunity to take 2 out of 3 from the Yankees and blew it. Folks, when you are an under .500 team like the Seattle Mariners, it's imperative to win these types of series, especially when you have a 6-0 lead against the New York Yankees. This reminds me of the jackass with the "6-0, SO WHAT?" sign at the Safe the day after the M's beat the A's in Oakland back in June 2001.
The New York Yankees, even with a less-than-stellar starting rotation than usual, are still the New York Yankees. The Seattle Mariners?
Anyways, my posting has been sporadic, thanks to finals. My usual posting patterns should return to normal this week. And what a week it should be, capped off by the Metallica/Godsmack concert Saturday night.
(Blogger's so fresh and so clean clean...I don't know what to think about this.)
Let's look at the first two innings (computer's in a different room at the parents' house. Mothers' Day, y'all)...
In the first, Ichiro and Bret Boone had singled their way on and manned the corners with one out. Raul Ibanez was never behind in the count in his at-bat, but struck out on the 2-2 pitch. Edgar got down 1-2 and bounced into a 5-4 fielders' choice.
In the second, the ever-patient John Olerud bounced out to Derek Jeter on the first pitch. Rich Aurilia singled his way on and Quinton McCracken drew a walk. Enter Ichiro with two on and two out. He got down 1-2 much like Edgar the inning before, but Ichiro whiffed, which of course looked like crap because the logical end to Ichiro's swing is some sort of movement toward first base. When he's swinging and missing, he's not running to first, so it looks weird. It looks more like he's going to corkscrew himself into the dirt or something.
Mussina then mowed down 14 in a row from the second inning into the seventh, when John Olerud actually was patient and walked on five pitches with one out. Mussina went twenty batters without giving up a hit (Aurilia single in the 2nd, Ichiro single in 8th). The Mariners didn't have a baserunner in scoring position after the 2nd inning. Yes, the crowd was out of it for the game, save the Mariners failed oportunities in the first few innings and some strikeouts of Alex Rodriguez. Mussina finished with 123 pitches over his eight shutout innings of four-hit ball and probably would have had a complete game if not for the jams of the first two innings.
I haven't gotten to the pitching yet. Gil Meche kept the Yankees off the board through the first five innings. However, he got into a ton of deep counts, as I've counted 11 batters out of 24 faced that saw five or more pitches from Gil Meche. A look at Gil's line shows two walks and six strikeouts, and simple math says that the walks and strikeouts would have taken at least 26 pitches (4 pitches/walk, 3/strikeout). Thus, the Yankees ramped up Meche's pitch count early and often.
Still, Meche's only real trouble of the first five innings occurred when Kenny Lofton hit a one-out double in the 5th. He then got Derek Jeter to fly out and Bernie Williams to strike out.
Then the wheels fell off the wagon in the 6th. Alex fouled off three pitches in his at-bat (watching three) before doubling to lead off. Jason Giambi then doubled on an 0-2 pitch to draw first blood for the Yankees. Then Gary Sheffield smoked the first pitch he saw into leftfield. I don't know what Raul Ibanez was doing on that ball; it kind of looked like he fidgeted with the glove or something, but the ball was well within reach. Remember, he dove AFTER he missed the ball, so no style points there. It was 2-0, and it's safe to say the game at that point was all over but the shouting. Just for good measure, Jorge Posada took Meche to a full count and roped a double to score Sheffield. Meche finished with 105 pitches.
Ron Villone (I've called him Vanilli, but I guess if I actually liked the guy, I might call him Rovo) cleaned up Meche's mess in the 6th, but he came out for the 7th. He gave up a one-out single to Bernie, but struck out Alex and was one out away from ending the inning and keeping the score at 3-0. Jason Giambi (he does kind of look smaller to me, but maybe that's because my mind was looking for it) had something to say about that, smoking an 0-1 pitch about 10 rows or so back into the section just to the left of the rightfield foul pole. Consecutive doubles by Gary Sheffield and Jorge Posada gave the Yankees their final tallies, making it 6-0.
After the game, I realized I didn't have my radio at home with me, so I couldn't listen to KJR's postgame without hopping into my car. So, I was subjected to Rick Rizzs and Dave Henderson on FSNNW, who I tried to tune out until Bill Krueger came on. Bill's explanation as to why Meche fell off the face of the earth in the 6th? He thought the Yankees were stealing signs from second base. Well, I guess if they actually were stealing signs, second would be a likely place to start, given the visibility of the catcher's fingers from that vantage point, and also the fact that the Yankees hit four straight doubles in that inning. Bill tried to cite his experience with the apparently sign-stealing and hard-hitting 1993 Tigers as grounds for saying this. Meche did get pounded suddenly, though I think this is kind of a stretch. Maybe the Yankees just have good hitters? Bill thought the hitters batting after Alex's double looked like they knew what was coming. I guess there might be a little merit to this conspiracy theory, but I think it's kind of a stretch.
Gameball: JJ Putz. The guy's been solid. Six batters tonight, five strikeouts. After the game, Bob Melvin mentioned him as a pitcher up from the minors in the same vein with Rafael Soriano and Julio Mateo. Of course, Melvin is a guy we can partially thank for repeatedly squashing the chances that any of these up-from-the-minors guys might one day be left-handed.
Goat: Raul Ibanez. 0-for-4 with a hat trick, stranding two. Don't forget the fly ball that he just plain missed in the 6th that scored the second Yankee run and breached the dam, opened the floodgates, (insert sudden disastrous happening involving a large volume of matter here), etc. I've been hard on Raul this year, no doubt about that, but he deserves it tonight. I don't care if he was facing Mike Mussina tonight. He put up the above line tonight BATTING CLEANUP. Did I mention he's making $13.25M over three years? Everyone knew the Mariners were sacrificing defense a little, and they certainly knew that tonight. However, lots of guys worse than and including Mike Cameron could have done what Raul Ibanez did at the plate tonight. Of course, a lot of those same guys would have also caught that ball off Sheffield's bat in the 6th.
By virtue of the Mariners scratching out yesterday's win against Jon Lieber (and frankly, rocking him more than I thought they would), the Mariners still have a chance to win this series. If there was one game out of the three that they were most likely to lose, it was definitely this one. The Mariners absolutely lucked out by not drawing Javier Vazquez or Kevin Brown along with Mussina in this series. If they did, they'd definitely be staring at a series loss, no question about it.
Osborne. Moyer. Tomorrow.