Saturday, June 19, 2004


September 12, Seattle at New Orleans

Donte better be ready. Or else Ken will Rocky Top his head off again.

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I picked up the 2004 Sporting News NFL Football preview issue today and imagine this:

A national magazine has picked the Seattle Seahawks to play in the Super Bowl.

The Sporting News has predicted that the Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. However, the magazine picked the Broncos to win it all. I guess the Seahawks will just have to prove them wrong.

Of course, preseason hype doesn't mean a whole lot. But the 2004 Seattle Seahawks are going to be great to watch. Believe it. Hell, give me a playoff win. Something.


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The numbers work out one more time for your Seattle Mariners.

The M's beat the Pirates 5-1 tonight at PNC Park. I didn't follow the game at all, but it sounds like Joel Pineiro is starting to pitch well again. Good deal there. Too bad that it's June 19 and the M's are in a deep hole where all the great pitching in the world wouldn't help this ballclub right now.

As far as the numbers go...

The Mariners have now won 3 in a row. According to Lou Brown in "Major League", that's a winning streak. Woohoo.

The Mariners scored 5 runs tonight against the Pirates.

And since I'm a huge "Celebrity Jeopardy" fan, that qualifies as THREEVE, a combination of three and five.

Of course, Spiro's own Ryan Franklin is here to enlighten us with his chickenscratch.

Simply stunning.

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Friday, June 18, 2004


Two isn't a magic number.

But two works here in two ways.

The Mariners have won two games in a row.

Jason Bay hit two home runs tonight.

But the Mariners hold on for the 5-4 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park. Jamie Moyer pitches 6 strong innings of 1-run ball, giving up just 3 hits. Ryan Vogelsong picked up the loss for the Pirates, as he's now 1-7. And Eddie Guardado gets his 13th save.

Moyer didn't just pitch a good ballgame, he also drove in two runs. Score one for A.L. pitchers batting in N.L. parks! Or two! But as always, we like to be realistic here. The 3-4-5 guys, Ichiro, John Olerud, and Bret Boone, were a combined 0-for-11 (see the post below).

Tomorrow is a 6 p.m. CDT start with Joel Pineiro going for the M's. The Pirates will trot out Kip Wells. Can the M's make it threeve in a row?

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Mariners 5th
Ryan Vogelsong pitching:
Randy Winn: Ball, Winn singled to center.
Jolbert Cabrera: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Cabrera singled to left, Winn to second.
Ichiro Suzuki: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Suzuki popped out to third.
John Olerud: Ball, Olerud grounded out to first, Winn to third, Cabrera to second.
Bret Boone: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Boone grounded out to pitcher.
End of Inning (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)

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It's Friday. It's warm. It's humid. I'm fired up.

--- So Howard Lincoln is speaking to the media. Of course, it's Jim Street who's doing the interview. There's really nothing new from this piece, considering that Lincoln has used this same material for the last 4 seasons.

Ho hum.

--- What might have been if Eddie Guardado had been a Mariner before this season?

--- Carlos Guillen has to be the American League's starting shortstop in the All-Star Game. A few weeks ago, I would have said Miguel Tejada. But it's hard to ignore Guillen's numbers.

Unfortunately, it looks like Derek Jeter will be voted in instead. Just another example of how dumb the fans can be sometimes.

--- If the Tigers finish the 2004 season above .500 or near .500, Alan Trammell has to be the A.L. Manager of the Year. The Tigers are a nice story, folks.

--- I commented on Tuesday that I wouldn't be surprised to see Freddy Garcia in Detroit in 2005. But if he were to become a Tiger before the deadline, I sure as hell hope that the M's don't acquire Brandon Inge for him.

--- I'm afraid of what Bill Bavasi has in store for this ballclub.

--- Condolences go out to Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan today. His wife, Bobbye, died today of cancer at the age of 61.

RIP, Mrs. Sloan.

--- "Dodgeball" is in theaters today. Unfortunately, the game of dodgeball is dying a slow, quick death. As far as I'm concerned, the kids of America should be allowed to play dodgeball. But in this age of political correctness, the game of dodgeball is being eliminated from school playgrounds. A damn shame, that's what that is.

--- The College World Series has officially begun.

As of the time I'm posting this (3:00 CDT), Georgia was leading Arizona 7-6 in the 4th inning.

To be on the good side of Arkansans who read Sports and Bremertonians (I'm not sure how many), I hope Arkansas wins the CWS. But watch out for South Carolina. The Gamecocks won the SEC, which features 4 teams in the CWS (Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina). That's half of the 8 team field in Omaha.

Anybody but Texas.

--- A few musical selections for this weekend, i.e. music that should be cranked up.

Dropbox "Wishbone"

Lo-Pro "Sunday"

Jimmie's Chicken Shack "Falling Out"

(Yahoo account required to see videos)

--- --- --- --- --- ---

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Thursday, June 17, 2004


Red Sox 7th
Denny Hocking in left
Kevin Jarvis pitching:
Mark Bellhorn: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Bellhorn walked.
David Ortiz: Ortiz homered to deep right, Bellhorn scored.
Manny Ramirez: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ramirez flied out to left.
Nomar Garciaparra: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Garciaparra tripled to center.
Trot Nixon: Intentional ball, Intentional ball, Intentional ball, Nixon intentionally walked
Gabe Kapler ran for Trot Nixon.
Jason Varitek: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Varitek grounded out to second, Garciaparra scored, Kapler to second.

Pokey Reese: Reese grounded out to pitcher.
End of Inning (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)

Red Sox 8th
Kevin Millar hit for Derek Lowe
Kevin Jarvis pitching:
Kevin Millar: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Millar doubled to deep right.
Johnny Damon: Strike looking, Choo Freeman in center, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Damon doubled to right, Millar to third.

Mark Bellhorn: Ball, Ball, Ball, Bellhorn walked.
David Ortiz: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ortiz doubled to right, Millar and Damon scored, Bellhorn to third
Dave McCarty hit for Manny Ramirez.
Scott Dohmann relieved Kevin Jarvis.
Dave McCarty: McCarty hit sacrifice fly to center, Bellhorn scored.

Kevin Jarvis vs Boston today
1+ IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 3 BB

The Rockies were only down 3-0 when Jarvis was put into the ballgame in the 7th. Clint Hurdle decided to throw in the towel. The Red Sox would go on to win 11-0. Derek Lowe allows 4 hits in 7 innings, picking up his 6th victory of the season.

I guess you can say the Red Sox got all of that!!!

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...the Seattle Mariners managed to avoid a sweep in Milwaukee today, defeating the Brewers 6-3.

Scott Spiezio considered himself useful today, hitting a solo home run in the top of the 8th to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead. The Mariners have hit 48 home runs in 2004, the lowest total in the American League. At Miller Park today, the M's hit 3 home runs. Jolbert Cabrera had a 2-run bomb in the 4th, Spiezio's tiebreaking HR in the 8th, and Randy Winn's 2-run HR for insurance in the 9th.

"Three home runs is a great thing," said Seattle manager Bob Melvin, whose team hit three for the first time since defeating Cleveland 7-3 on May 26.

It's not great. It's not encouraging. It's not a big deal.

It isn't a big deal, because this Mariner ballclub is still 11 and a half games back of Oakland in the AL West. Sure, Bill Bavasi still thinks this team is in it. Of course, he would know about teams coming back, since the M's came back from the dead in 1995 to overtake his California Angels.

Here's the deal though. The 2004 Mariners are nothing like the 1995 Mariners. There's no power in this lineup. Ken Griffey, Jr., Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez? They could get all of it in 1995. But the only "getting all of it" that involves the M's in 2004 is when Randy Winn grounds out with the bases loaded on the first damn pitch, ending the so-called rally.

Anyways, Ryan Franklin pitched 6 and 1/3 innings today, getting a no-decision. He gave up three runs on nine hits, walking four. Instead, Mike Myers got the victory, getting the final two outs in the 7th when he took over for Franklin. Every Four Days Eddie Guardado got the save, his 12th of the season.

Nice little victory by the M's today. They're headed to PNC Park in Pittsburgh for three games. Jamie Moyer vs Ryan Vogelsong tomorrow night. Tomorrow is also the start of the College World Series. Arkansas will face Texas at 6 Central tomorrow night on ESPN2. I'm not a Razorback fan, but go Hogs. Anybody but Texas.

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By the way, if you have any suggestions as to what this sign should say, leave them in the comments box below. I'm sure y'all can come up with some good stuff.

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Today's Mariner lineup, brought to you by Rick Rizzitello's Cowboy Saloon

Mariners (25-38)
R. Winn LF
J. Cabrera 1B
I. Suzuki RF
B. Boone 2B
S. Spiezio 3B
H. Bocachica CF
D. Wilson C
R. Santiago SS
R. Franklin P

What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?

Yes, I've mentioned that classic Pet Shop Boys track here before. But it fits, doesn't it?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004


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"Its easy to talk about, its easy to sum it up when you just talk about practice. We sittin' in here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin' about practice. I mean listen, we talkin bout practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We talkin bout practice. Not a game, not a, not a, not the game that I go out there and die for, and play every game like its my last. Not the game. We talkin' bout practice, man. I mean how silly is that? We talkin' bout practice. I know I'm supposed to be there, I know I'm supposed to lead by example. I know that, and I'm not shovin' it aside, you know, like it don't mean anything. I know its important, I do. I honestly do. But we talkin' bout practice, man. What are we talkin' bout? Practice? We talkin' bout practice man. We talk... We talkin' bout practice. We talkin' bout practice. We ain't talkin' bout the game, we talkin' bout practice, man. When you come into the arena, and you see me play, you see me play, don't you? You see me give everything I got, right? But we talkin' bout practice right now. We talkin' bout practice. (crowd laughs) Man look, I hear you, its funny to me too. I mean, its strange, its strange to me too. But we talkin' bout practice man. We not even talkin' bout the game, the actual game, when it matters. We talkin' bout practice."

--- Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers point guard

I wonder how Iverson feels right now about Larry Brown winning a championship in Detroit. Maybe Iverson will take a good look at himself and realize that yes, practice is important. But at the same time, it's not like the 76ers are close to contending for a championship in the first place.

And quite frankly, I don't feel sorry for Iverson at all.

Practice, son! Practice!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004


If there's one thing I can take out of the 2003-2004 NBA season, it is that Karl Malone did not win the NBA championship.

Before the start of the season, it was assumed that Malone would win a title with the Lakers. Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone on the same damn team. Those four guys together couldn't lose, right?

Well, Malone was in STREET CLOTHES tonight in Auburn Hills. The Detroit Pistons are your 2003-2004 NBA Champions. And Karl Malone?

He's still without a ring. God Bless America!!!

BTW, Robert Horry 5, Karl Malone 0

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Brewers 3, Mariners 0

2 hits.

2 f***ing hits.

If this ballgame didn't prove how inept this offense is, I don't know what will.

The Mariners get their two hits in the 2nd inning from Bret Boone and John Olerud. Boone tries to stretch a single into a double, but is thrown out at second. Olerud doubles, which could have possibly scored Boone, had he still been on base.

From that point on, the Brewers didn't allow a single runner to advance past first base. For the 156th time, a no-name pitcher shuts down the Mariners. Tonight's star, Victor Santos! Santos went 7 innings, allowing just 2 hits. He struck out 6, while walking one.

Freddy Garcia gets screwed, again. Garcia gives up 3 runs on 8 hits in 7 and 2/3 innings, striking out 8, and walking 2. This man deserves to be in a pennant race this season with the way he has pitched. Unfortunately, it won't be in a Seattle uniform.

Lyle Overbay was 2-for-4 with a double that scored Junior Spivey and Geoff Jenkins in the 3rd inning. His hitting streak is now at 12 games. Earlier in the season, Overbay had an 18-game hitting streak. Lewis County Pride!!! Geoff Jenkins hit a solo home run in the 8th inning to make it 3-0. Aww hell, Thurston County Pride as well!!!

So there you go. Two Western Washingtonians were responsible for the runs scored tonight against the Seattle Mariners. But hey, we still have Willie Bloomquist. Wolf Pride my ass!!!

Gameball: Freddy Garcia. Who else?

Goat: The entire Mariners offense. The sausages could have provided more spark tonight.

Clint Nageotte makes his second career start tomorrow against Doug Davis. 7:05 Central start tomorrow night at Miller Park.

These aren't the Expos, Mariner fans. And before I go, sorry Corey. No 5-game winning streak for you, bro.

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Guillen finds joy in Detroit

Carlos Guillen is having a career year in his first season with the Detroit Tigers. He's currently hitting .325 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI. The Tigers, who lost an American League record 119 games in 2003, have improved in 2004. Going into their series at Philadelphia tonight, the Tigers are 29-33, 5 and a half games behind the White Sox in the AL Central. Guillen is one of the main reasons for the Tigers revival, if you can call it that. It certainly beats 2003 and the past decade, that's for sure.

No fan of Seattle

What Guillen is not shy about saying is how much he resents Seattle. He talks about "excuses" the Mariners’ front office made — although it is more likely a man still learning English means "criticisms."

He felt as if Seattle had branded him. He was injury prone. He needed to watch his weight. He was more likely a third baseman. He was this. He was that.

In fact, the Mariners had decided Guillen was risky, in great part because of his health. He played in 109 games last year because of an inflamed pelvis. He missed almost all of 1999 because of a torn knee ligament.

He was also a free-agent-to-be heading into 2004.

Seattle had traded him to Cleveland last off-season, in a straight exchange for shortstop Omar Vizquel, until Vizquel flunked his physical and the deal was called off. But the Mariners were determined to move Guillen and to hire a new shortstop for 2004. Seattle finally found its man in Rich Aurilia, a free agent whom the Tigers had tried to sign.

Once Aurilia joined Seattle, the Mariners couldn’t trade Guillen fast enough. Detroit got him at a discount — in a trade for shortstop Ramon Santiago and minor-league prospect Juan Gonzalez.

"They traded me because they didn’t want me," said Guillen, who wasn’t bothered that Detroit had also decided, at one point, that Aurilia was the better catch.

"We were always in first place when the trade deadline came, but they didn’t want to compete," he said, teeing off again at Seattle.

"Here they want to win."

Numb is when you can't feel. Ber is when you're cold.

It would help if we break it down, so let's go ahead and do that, shall we?

Rich Aurilia SEA --- 55 GP, .231 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI

Carlos Guillen DET --- 61 GP, .325 BA, 10 HR, 40 RBI

I'll be honest, I wanted Miguel Tejada to come to Seattle in the offseason. But of course, that didn't happen. I would have been fine with Guillen coming back to Seattle in 2004, especially considering Aurilia's horrid start so far. Again, this is not to be.

As for his comments about the Mariners front office not wanting to win, he's right. 100 percent right on the f***ing money. I've told Mariner fans this for the past 4 seasons, it is important to win now, meaning that the front office needs to make a deal or two to improve the ballclub at the deadline. But some fans have said "we can't mortgage the future".



The future that has Carlos Guillen tearing it up in Detroit while Rich Aurilia tears my baseball soul to pieces.

As for Freddy Garcia, I can definitely see him in Detroit in 2005. We all know that he and Guillen are friends. Don't think for a second that Guillen won't try to sell him on the Tigers. Comerica Park is a pitcher's park, just like Safeco Field. The Tigers also have Ivan Rodriguez, who can definitely sway a guy like Garcia.

I just love stories like this. Way to go, Carlos.

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Monday, June 14, 2004

RALPH WILEY 1952-2004 

Sports journalist Ralph Wiley has died at the age of 52 of heart failure.

Wiley was one of the original ESPN Page 2 columnists and a former senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He also wrote many books, including "Best Seat in the House: A Basketball Memoir" with Spike Lee. I read "Best Seat In The House" when I was in high school and it was a great look into Lee's mind about the game of basketball.

I didn't always agree with Wiley's views. But the great thing about journalism is that there are many great writers with different views. I respected Wiley because he wouldn't back down from anybody.

As a journalism major, I try to read as many articles and columns as I can. Wiley was one of the many journalists whose work I have read regularly. He will definitely be missed.

RIP, Mr. Wiley. I'm sad that I won't be able to read his post-NBA Finals column this week.

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Man Nearly Knocks Down Boy, Keeps Ball

Rangers color analyst Tom Grieve on the jerk

"Yeah, you got the ball, buddy. Nice going, you took it away from a little kid. Hold it up, you should be real proud of yourself," Grieve said during the televised broadcast. "Go to a sporting goods store and buy a dozen baseballs if you want them that bad."

"You know, there is a jerk in every park, and there is the biggest jerk in this park," Grieve said while the camera was focused on the man.

Exactly, Tom.

If I catch a foul ball, I would give it to a little kid. The ball would mean much more to a kid than it would to me. If I want a ball, I'll just pay 12 bucks to get the same damn ball at the souvenir stand.

(I've never caught a ball during a game. But I have caught one during batting practice. However, I never tried to knock down a little kid to get that ball.)

Watching the highlights of that Cardinals-Rangers game, I have a feeling that the jerk's girlfriend is not going to be with him for very long. She sure as hell didn't look happy to be with him after his little stunt. The jerk left The Ballpark in Arlington (excuse me, Ameriquest Field) after the fourth inning.

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Bob Finnigan does it again
It can be significant: Anaheim beat up bad teams in 2002 to turn around a slow start and win a world championship. But Seattle so far has wasted one potential turning point after another.

Through 61 games, the Mariners are 25-36, 12 games back of Oakland.

Through 61 games in 2002, the Angels were 37-24, 1 game back of the Mariners.

This isn't the first time I've seen a comparison between the 2002 Anaheim Angels and the 2004 Seattle Mariners. Every time I see something like this, I get dumber for reading it.

Here's the deal, folks. This ballclub is not going to make a run. The master of the obvious, I know.

Mariners. Brew Crew. Tuesday. Drink up.

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I don't have much time here because I have to get up in about five hours.

I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have read our weblog; it makes what we do that much more gratifying. With this post, I am signing off temporarily as I've warned our readers a few times over the past year; the time for the six-week geology field course has come, and the time is in 15 hours, when I have to be ready to go in Mitchell, Oregon. About seven hours of driving lie ahead of me tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Gameball: John Olerud. 2-for-3 with the homer.

Goat: Willie Bloomquist. An RBI, walk, strikeout, stranding two and going 0-for-3.

Graduation on Saturday, two hours of sleep last night amidst cleaning, a horrible checkout process on Sunday, and seven hours of driving later today, followed by six weeks of geology nihilism. Does the fun ever start?

With this, the material of Sports and B's lies solely in the hands of Jeremy (unless I manage to hijack a computer at a public library in Oregon on an off day or something), and I'm glad I have that fallback here. In a way, this will be like when Jeremy was gone for a couple days last month and I helmed, except the writing style will be different and likely more concise and to-the-point, and this will be for six weeks instead of a few days.

Stay safe out there, and I'll be back here as an overtanned, withered, bitter sports-deprived man in six weeks. I'll miss this dearly and I'll miss all of you who make it worthwhile. Thank you.

Nine Central Washington Wildcats. Sixteen Oregon State Beavers. Fifteen hours.

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Sunday, June 13, 2004


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While we're on the topic of the 1993 Seattle Mariners, I'll bring up the one and only MLB game I attended that season.

Sunday, August 15, 1993
California Angels at Seattle Mariners

I was visiting my relatives in Washington for a couple of weeks during the summer of 1993. My uncle took me, my brother, and my cousin (my uncle's son) to the Mariners game that Sunday afternoon. It was a 3:05 start because of the Old Timers' Game that took place before the game. Those were the days!

I can't remember every single player that played in that game, but I remember Gaylord Perry and Julio Cruz. Our seats were in the second deck in left field. I just thought it was so cool to see Perry at the time. During the early 1990s when Perry played in these old timers games, he would have a jersey that had every single team he had played for on the front. For trivia purposes, he played for the Giants, Indians, Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Braves, Mariners, and Royals during his 22-year career.

What pissed me off about this game was that Ken Griffey, Jr. didn't play. He didn't play during the Angels series because of his knee. I was disappointed, because I had come up from California expecting to see Griffey play. I didn't get the chance to see the M's play in Oakland in 1993, so for me, this was my only chance to see the M's play in person.

The pitching matchup that day was Phil Leftwich vs Tim Leary. Leary couldn't get out of the second inning, giving up 7 runs on 8 hits. He would retire from baseball in 1994. Thank God.

We've complained about the lineups that Bob Melvin has trotted out in the past year and a half. But the lineup the M's had on August 15, 1993...YIKES!

Bret Boone 2B
Dave Magadan 3B
Edgar Martinez DH
Jay Buhner RF
Dann Howitt CF
Greg Pirkl 1B
Mackey Sasser LF
Dave Valle C
Omar Vizquel SS

Boone went 0-for-5, Edgar was 3-for-4 with a home run (the only Mariner highlight that day), and Greg Litton would hit a pinch hit home run (he took over for Vizquel in the 7th).

The Angels routed the Mariners 14-2. The Angels had 22 hits in the ballgame. They got all of it that Sunday afternoon in the Kingdome.

The attendance in the Kingdome on August 15, 1993?


No Griffey, but I still had fun that day. Of course, I was 11 at the time and I was just thrilled that I was going to a Mariner game on my summer vacation. Hopefully next summer when I hope to visit my relatives in Washington I'll get to see the M's play.

But not in the Kingdome, of course. Thank God for that.

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Some may remember this photo from 11 years ago; yes, it's the front picture I had on the front of my 1993 Mariner schedule. Lou Piniella is on the front looking quite dapper, though his cap has a more curved brim than the flat brims we were used to seeing from him. We accuse the Mariners of being overly corporate and of having three-hour-long advertisements disguised as broadcasts of games. But if you look closely (and if the scan came out clearly enough), you can see that the name tag of "Sweet Lou" has the logo of an entity that is sure to have merged countless times, Seafirst Bank (long name: Seattle-First National Bank). Corporate back then, more corporate now.

The quirk about this schedule? The season started on April 6 that year in the Kingdome on a Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. As you may have noticed about the Mariners over the years, they usually have a couple of warmup games in bigger-than-spring-training stadiums between breaking camp in Peoria (might have still been Tempe for this particular year) and playing the first regular season game. In 1993, the last exhibition game was on Sunday, April 4th, against the Detroit Tigers at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Yes, this game was the one that changed the career of Edgar Martinez forever. He would go on to play only 40 games that year after tearing his hamstring. I seem to remember Edgar lying on the turf in pain, though the images are vague. I also seem to remember some kind of really weird rundown play in the same game, though I'm not sure if it involved Edgar. Can anyone help me piece together my memories of this game?

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Do you know how much it sucks to walk in a graduation ceremony when the only thing you can think about is that you have to move everything out of your apartment and clean it by 12:30pm the next day? It saps your emotions, let me tell you. But enough about being on a football field with a gown and a cap sans tassel on (I lost the damn thing) for three hours in fairly hot weather, there was a Mariner game tonight.

The Mariners found the elixir to cure their scoreless innings streak last night, and tonight they were able to squeeze hard to get the last of the toothpaste out of the tube.

What am I really trying to say? The way to get by with an anemic offense is to match up against one that's worse. This Montreal team is absolutely brutal on offense.

Another funny thing is that before the series, it looked like a matchup between two of the worst teams offensively in the Majors, and really, we've got everything we expected to see. Usually when people bring up teams as depicted "on paper," they usually follow it up with "that's why they play the games." Well, with these two teams, I'd rather they just took three days off and played the games on paper, or maybe with that Classic board game from the early '90s (my dad has one somewhere back home) that was an AWESOME board game, by the way. Or Bill Bavasi can match up against Omar Minaya using those old Topps cards back in the day that had the dice game on the back of them. Bavasi wouldn't have to use any thinking at all, and it'd be based purely on dumb luck. It'd be great.

However, the game really did go on as planned today. Since the final score was 3-0, and the Expos were involved, there weren't a lot of scoring opportunities for Montreal. In fact, their only runner in scoring position the whole night was Jamey Carroll in the 6th, who got there with one out on a Jose Vidro single and busted out his lawn chair as the next two hitters flew/lined out. Thus, Jamie Moyer didn't have too much resistance, with his only real enemy being deep counts, and even then, he only walked one batter (struck out seven).

Then there was the Mariner offense. That lineup that Bob Melvin promised a lot more of back in spring training finally showed up today (sans Raul Ibanez, of course) with Ichiro batting third. Randy Winn led off, and Rich Aurilia was curiously placed in the 2-spot. How did this all work? Well, both Winn and Aurilia went 0-for-3. Winn got walked in the first for his only on-base appearance, and scored on a Dave Hansen sacrifice fly. So, the non-Hiram Bocachica productive parts of the lineup (we'll get to that later) were Ichiro, Bret Boone, and Dave Hansen, who combined for a line of 3-for-9 with a run, an RBI, three walks, a strikeout, and three stranded runners. Not too shimmery indeed.

Then there was Hiram Bocachica. I guess the funny thing about his homer in the 2nd was the way he tossed the bat away and ran to first -- he did it like he hits 30 homers a year or something. That was Hiram's first homer since 2002 with the Tigers. There was some swagger to that home run, and sue me for being a little punk, but if that display was a little more overt, he's getting a sly little brushback the next time he gets up. All in all, though, it was a nice home run; nice sound, nice arc, nice landing spot.

The saddest moment of the game? John Olerud's sacrifice fly. I forgot whoever it was in the blogosphere (I can't remember) who saw Olerud hit in person earlier this year. John appeared to have belted a pitch as hard as he possibly could, and it didn't leave the yard. The Olerud sac fly for the Mariners' third run was exactly the same situation. I knew how bad Olerud had been doing this year, and even still, I thought John had gotten a hold of that pitch enough to drive it out. That ball didn't even get to the warning track in rightfield.

After an 8th inning of Ron Villone and Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Eddie Guardado pitched a quick 9th for his 11th save, ending with Juan Rivera getting nailed at second by Ichiro while trying to stretch a single into a double. Eddie Guardado's ERA is now 0.92. Is it a coincidence that the offseason move paying the highest dividends is one that doesn't have Bill Bavasi's fingerprints on it?

Gameball: Hiram Bocachica. Power! 2-for-3 with the homer

Goat: Scott Spiezio. 0-for-4 with a hat trick, stranding SEVEN. Seven runners is a lot to be stranding.

So, which would you rather have? A meaningless series win between two abhorrent offenses, or a series loss against a team whose centerfielder was the best athlete your city has ever seen, the same athlete that is currently chasing 500 homers?

Armas. Nageotte. ~Thirteen hours.

[Edit ~12:14a -- "Forgot" is now in place of "forgive" in the Olerud paragraph, so forgive me for forgetting proper grammar. This from someone now with a college degree.]

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