Saturday, June 12, 2004

It only took 29.67 innings, but the M's final scored a run to win the first game of a three game series versus the Montreal Expos. With the bases loaded in the ninth and Livan throwing his 135th pitch, (not a typo), Pat Borders singled in to left field to drive in a much to excited Bocachica. Why Robinson let Livan go that long is questionable, but whatever the case may be, it was to our benefit.

Franklin turned in the fourth consecutive quality start for the M's, going eight innings without surrendering a run. While I am not a big fan of Franklin, but the guy always seems to keep the M's in the game despite getting marginal run support. If Franklin continues to pitch like he has over the next few weeks, we may start to here Franklin rumors start to crop up, as teams are looking for an inexpensive fourth or fifth starter for the stretch run.

Livan Hernandez the Expo, is not the same Livan Hernandez the Giant. I'm not sure if he is happier in Montreal, or if he just had a rough stretch for a couple years, but Livan Hernandez has regained the form he once had when he was with the Florida Marlins. He was mixing speeds very well and the 60 MPH ninth inning pitch he threw to Edgar was ballsy, yet very effective. Although, the recently injured Tomo Ohka probably could have gone eight shut out innings as well.

And Melvin keeps on sac bunting. Don't know if I can necessarily blame him for trying to get a run across the plate, but save the sac bunts for after the sixth Bobby. Let the guys get their hacks in before you start wasting outs.

In other news from around the league ... Kansas City GM Allard Baird has called it a season and has made it public knowledge that he is open for business ... Mike Mussina left his start today after three innings due to a groin injury, meaning there will be a Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia rumor somewhere in a New York paper tomorrow morning ... Carlos Guillen leads all Major League SS in OPS, OBP, SLG, HR (tied with 10), RBI, R, and BB (tied)

Friday, June 11, 2004

The last term paper has been turned in and the last scantron question has been bubbled in, so summer is officially here, (at least for me it is). As most have witnessed this past week, the M’s are a lot like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One day, they look absolutely unbeatable, only to come out the next day and turn in a performance that would be deemed unacceptable for a high school team. While there is no simple answer to all of this, there is an underlying theme to what could turn out to be one of the worst seasons in Seattle Mariner history, age. This is not a new topic as it has been discussed to some extent since the off-season, when many of us thought getting younger was the more important than getting more nice veterans. I ran some simple calculations this afternoon to illustrate some of the current average ages of the roster:

Current average age of the 25 man roster = 31.64
Current average age of the 25 man roster (minus Santiago but plus Ibanez) = 31.96
Current average age of the normal starting line-up (with Ibanez) = 33.4
Current average age of the starting pitchers = 29.6
Current average age of the bullpen arms = 31.5

Obviously Moyer, Martinez and Borders bring those averages up, but the one that sticks out like a sore thumb is the average age of the normal starting line-up. Can veteran play with the same ability as young players, sure. But building a team around a core group of players in the twilight of their careers and long past their prime is just asking for trouble. Bavasi is getting a lot of the blame for the roster, but a lot of the blame needs to also be directed towards Pat Gillick, who wisely stepped down this off-season, obviously recognizing the impending demise of the team he helped design. It was Gillick who signed these aging stars to large multi-year contracts that would become next to impossible to move.

Tonight, the M’s take on the Montreal Expos, which promises to be as fun as watching paint dry. Both teams are near the bottom of their respective leagues and have struggled both offensively and have a lot to be desired pitching wise. The M’s are trying to break their current 21 inning scoreless streak, while the Expos are just trying to score runs. At least Nick Johnson is back and healthy and will at least provide someone to follow this weekend.
Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma beat up on Tucson, 13-8. Luis Ugueto had a huge day at the plate for the Rainiers smacking four hits and a homer. Justin Leone also homered and drove in two. Matt Thornton didn't have his best stuff, struggling mightily with his control the entire night. Scott Atchison picked up the "three inning" save. Oh, and Tacoma's bad defensive night (3 errors) was put to shame by the Sidewinders who committed five errors this evening...ouch. Notables:

Matt Thornton: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 3 K.
Jamal Strong: 1-5, 1 double, 1 BB.
Luis Ugueto: 4-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI.
Justin Leone: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Jose Lopez: 3-5, all singles.
Ben Davis: 1-4.

San Antonio was swept in it's double-header by Arkansas, 12-5 and 11-8.

Game 1: Juan Done was smashed and booted after only 3.1 extremely poor innings. Super creep Ben Christensen wasn't impressive, either (again). At the dish, Shin-soo Choo, John Lindsey and Hunter Brown all had multi-hit nights. Notables:

Juan Done: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 HR.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-4, 1 HR.
Hunter Brown: 2-4.
John Lindsey: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Christian Guerrero: 0-4.
Luis Oliveros: 0-3.

Game 2: It was Chris Key's turn to get lit up and Emiliano Fruto wanted in on the action too as both were head-shakin' awful. Hunter Brown, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Christianson and Shin-soo Choo all were multi-hit studs in the second game. Both of Christianson's hits were doubles. Notables:

Chris Key: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.
Emiliano Fruto: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.
Dustin Delucchi: 0-3, 1 BB.
Greg Dobbs: 2-4, 1 double, 2 RBI.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-4.
Ryan Christianson: 2-4, 2 doubles, 2 RBI.
Brian Moon: 0-3, 2 K.
Christian Guerrero: 1-3, 1 HR.

Modesto edged Inland Empire, 7-6. Another decent outing for Bobby Livingston who made it two-thirds into the 8th. All for naught as Cesar Jiminez couldn't get the job done in the 9th. Carlos Arroyo led the 66'er offense with a two doubles, two batted in and a couple runs.

Bobby Livingston: 7.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Juan Gonzalez: 1-4, 1 BB.
T.J. Bohn: 1-3.
Carlos Arroyo: 3-5, 2 doubles, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Brian Lentz: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.

South Bend at Wisconsin was postponed.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Writing Mariner game recaps isn't my thing. It tends to depress me even more than just watching them put on awesome displays of suckitude. However, I did attend the game tonight *dodges tomatos*, and instead of recapping the horrible on-field performance (complete with Aurilia throwing a temper-tantrum over the OBVIOUS foul ball, but only after he grounded into a double-play), I figured it would be fun to give everyone an insight into just how dense some Seattle "fans" are.

I sat next to two men apparently involved in the Seattle judicial system. We were in section 109, 4 rows up. Here are actual quotes overheard from the two self-proclaimed "lifelong" fans of the Seattle Mariners.

1. "This guy, Bagwell, I don't think he's ever had much success with that bizarre stance. How can he even hit the ball?"

2. "Freddy is purposely trying to pitch bad so they'll trade him."

3. "Ichiro has the best arm in baseball history and perhaps the quickest bat too."

4. "I'll bet it pumps the players up when they see the grounds crew dance like that between innings."

5. "Well, the Mariners are only averaging 0.6 runs a game, so I doubt they can overcome this one-run deficit."

6. "J.J Putz is what, 21, 22?"

7. "Dan Wilson is so consistently good."

8. "Jolbert Cabrera has never played first base, that's why Olerud has to be out there every night."

9. "It's FAIR! I knew it." (yes, that's in reference to Aurilia's foul ball)

10. "I agree with Bobby M! That ball was fair! He shouldn't get kicked out though, that would be bad for the team and would set a bad example."

I wish I was kidding.
Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma had the day off.

San Antonio got by Arkansas in extras, 7-5. Rich Dorman kept San Antonio in it by going five adaquate innings for the Missions. Greg Dobbs had a pretty good day at the dish and Vince Faison chipped in two hits of his own. Notables:

Rich Dorman: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
Greg Dobbs: 2-5, 2 RBI.
Vince Faison: 2-4, 1 double, 2 RBI.
Dustin Delucci: 0-4, 1 BB.
Christian Guerrero: 1-5.
Ryan Christianson: 0-5.

Inland Empire beat Modesto, 3-1. Juan Sandoval was excellent going seven innings and scattering seven hits and a single run and Tanner Watson came in to close it out for his fourth save of the season. Gary Harris put on the offensive show for the 66'ers as all but two starters collected at least one hit. Notables:

Juan Sandoval: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Juan Gonzalez: 2-4, 1 R.
Gary Harris: 2-4, 1 triple, 1 R, 1 RBI.
T.J. Bohn: 1-3.
Rene Rivera: 1-3, 1 double.

Wisconsin, like Tacoma, also decided to be lazy and take the day off.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Now it's my turn to apologize for the lack of baseball related posting for the past day or so. I have a double dose of finals tomorrow, so I have spent the better part of today studying for both tests. Tomorrow night I hope to have some new material ready, although with another final on deck Thursday, I'm not sure how much effort I will be able to put into it.

Anyways, Pineiro had a gem tonight spoiled by Dan Wilson's inability to hang onto the damn ball. That's back to back great outtings by the young guns, so it's something to at least look forward to in the future. Check USS Mariner for some draft coverage. David has done some decent work covering the key players drafted thus far.
Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma put away Las Vegas, 5-1. Gustavo Martinez pitched well for six and two-thirds as George Sherill came in to collect the save. Ben Davis and A.J. Zapp led the way for the Rainier offense with two hits and Mickey Lopez homered. Notables:

Gustavo Martinez: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
Jamal Strong: 1-4, 1 double.
Justin Leone (hitting the the 3-hole now): 0-3, 3 K.
A.J. Zapp: 2-4, 1 double, 1 RBI.
Ben Davis: 2-4, 1 double.
Jose Lopez: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB.

San Antonio at Arkansas was postponed due to rain. Game will be made up as a doubleheader on Thursday.

Inland Empire came back to beat Modesto, 3-2. Ryan Rowland-Smith had a strong start striking out seven in 5.2 innings of work. None of the 66'ers had a particularly good day hitting-wise, however, Matt Hagen did manage to drive in two. Notables:

Ryan Rowland-Smith: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.
Juan Gonzalez: 1-3.
Rene Rivera: 1-3, 1 double and a run.
T.J. Bohn: 1-3.
Hyung Cho: 1-3, 1 double and a run.

Wisconsin toppled Quad Cities, 8-3. Thomas Oldham got the start and while it wasn't his A-Game, it wasn't bad at all. Adam Jones, Chris Collins, Chris Colton and Justin Ruchti all had multi-hit games for the Rattlers. Notables:

Thomas Oldham: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
Josh Womack: 0-5, 4 K.
Chris Collins: 2-4, 1 double, 3 RBI.
Adam Jones: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB.
Chris Colton: 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI.
Wladimir Balentien: 0-4, 2 K.
Justin Ruchti: 3-4, 2 doubles, 1 R, 1 RBI.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I apologize for not posting last night's Minor League Wrap-Up. I ran into some major computer problems and wasn't able to get a connection to the web. I am posting this from an alternate location as I am still unable to get my primary computer up and running. So, without further ado, I present the June 7th version of the...

Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma split the doubleheader with Las Vegas, 3-2 and 0-1. Gil Meche started Game 1 but only threw one inning giving up three hits and a run. Travis Blackley then came in and had one of the best games of his season going seven and giving up only two hits while striking out eight. Jamal Strong and Ben Davis both had two hits and Justin Leone tripled. Notables:

Travis Blackley: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.
Jamal Strong: 2-4, 1 double.
Justin Leone: 1-3, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 K.
Greg Jacobs: 1-4.
Ben Davis: 2-4, 1 homer.

Game 2 was the Edwin Jackson show as he baffled the Rainier hitters. His control wasn't 100%, but it didn't matter. Not to be outdone, Jeff Harris had a great start and took the hard-to-swallow loss. Only Jose Lopez managed a hit, however, Jamal Strong reached base twice by drawing a pair of walks. Notables:

Jeff Harris: 5.1 IP, 3 H 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
Jamal Strong: 0-1, 2 BB.
Bucky Jacobsen: 0-3, 3 K.
Jose Lopez: 1-3.
Greg Jacobs: 0-2, 1 BB.

Frisco pummeled San Antonio, 11-4. TA Fulmer was rocked. Again. And the Mission bullpen should also be pretty embarrassed. Hunter Brown and Shin-soo Choo both had multi-hit games and Vlad's little cousin homered. Notables:

TA Fulmer: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
The Pen: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.
Dustin Delucci: 1-4, 1 BB.
Hunter Brown: 2-4, 1 RBI.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-4, 1 R.
Brian Moon: 1-4, 2 RBI.
Christian Guerrero: 1-4, 1 homer, 2 K.

Inland Empire had the day off.

Wisconsin blew it in the 9th to Quad Cities, 3-2. Nibaldo Acosta had a brilliant performance wasted as he and Brian Stitt couldn't close the door in the 9th. The Rattler offense was pretty anemic with Evel Martinez and Adam Jones having passable nights. Notables:

Nibaldo Acosta: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Adam Jones: 1-4, 1 homer.
Evel Martinez: 2-4, 1 double.
Wladimir Balentien: 0-4, 3 K.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The 2004 Baseball Draft up to this point, the M's have made two selections.



ROBERT JOHNSON U HOUSTON C R/R 6'1" 200 1983-07-22 4YR


Tuiasosopo is a very risky pick as he has said unless he is drafted in the first or high second round, he was going to the University of Washington. Since he was drafted by the Mariners, the chance of him signing with the home state team might be a little better if he had been drafted by another team.

Update: Tui was recently on KJR and has indicated that he was extremely excited when the Mariners notified him yesterday they were interested in him. Said he will make his decision tonight or tomorrow. Early indication sounds positive.
Couple quick notes:

~Stephen over at Mariner Wheelhouse has some links to articles regarding some of the rumors I talked about yesterday.

~Whatever happen to Maels Rodriguez?
Well after tonight’s dramatic come from behind win, I think the M’s may have earned one more use out of the defibulator, thus delaying the inevitable for a little while longer. To be honest, I turned the game at 6:00 PM to catch the early showing of the season finale of The Sopranos,(which after looking at the box score was the wise choice), and rejoined the game in the eighth inning. Melvin brought out the bag of tricks in the ninth tonight, as the M’s stole four bases and didn’t even have to bunt. Most of the credit goes to Billy Koch who, thanks to up close images of his face, looked like a deer in headlights.

Randy Winn had a hell of a game, the type of game that would make you ignore the fact he is a below average CF. Boone also contributed another solid performance tonight, finally showing some signs of breaking out of that mid season funk.

Allow me to clear a couple things up regarding the post I made yesterday afternoon. Understand that the comments I made are word of mouth and therefore are nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors coming from what I would call a reliable baseball source. Rumors in baseball circles tend to have the same result as an elementary school game of telephone, so take it for what it is worth.

I had a couple emails regarding the M’s internal discussions involving trading Ichiro. From what I understand, these discussions are common place, as a team tries to evaluate exactly where they stand with a player as they approach the trade deadline. You would have to venture that the only way another team would be able to pry Ichiro off our hands would be to offer a package that would be impossible to say no to and for the majority owner, who happens to be Japanese, to ok the deal. So Ichiro isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I’ll have to cut it short tonight, as I just finished a 15 page term paper outlining the importance of a thoroughly design facility management plan, which is about as much fun as writing on paint drying.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The M’s are going for win #21 tonight as they take on 21 game winner Esteban Loaiza. Moyer is going for his fourth consecutive quality start as the M’s attempt to win consecutive games for the ninth time this season.

Boone showed some signs of life yesterday with a two run moon shot that hopefully will be a sign of his bat awakening. Boone has had a tough season both mentally and physically and will be nice to see him start swinging the bat with authority again.

I recently spoke to a friend and acquaintance within the baseball industry and the topic of the Mariners futility came up in our discussion and he filled me in on some interesting tidbits. Bavasi, known for his calm and even keeled personality, may not be the dolt that I have made him out to be. Bavasi has reportedly put on his “we can still win” face in the public, but behind the scenes he is so fed up with the Mariners futility he recently had an outburst that made Theo Epstein’s exploding chair trick after the Yankees signed Contreras look like child’s play. Supposedly, the M’s upper management is fully aware that the season is a loss and out of respect to the veterans, have delayed the dismantling of the club for as long as they could, but the dismantling is about to begin and anyone is available for the right price.

Word is that the M’s brass may have also have discussed the possibility of trading insanely popular right fielder Ichiro and there are rumblings that even he may be shipped out as part of the rebuilding process, if the offer is right (at least one appendage should be included).

Couple tidbits from the conversation:
~Supposedly, the Yanks have offered struggling starter Jose Contreras to the M’s for veteran LH Mike Myers, (no mention of Garcia). The catch? The M’s inherit all of Contreras’ remaining salary. The M’s have put the trade on hold, as they are hoping to trade Myers for offense.
~Los Angeles is rumored to be interested in Bret Boone and the Dodgers may be willing to part with first baseman James Loney and catcher Dave Ross.
~Mets had interest in Raul Ibanez before he was injured and if they are still in contention after he returns, may make an offer.
~San Diego covets Gil Meche.
~Chicago Cubs are interested in Guardado, Ichiro and possibly Aurilia.
~He believes the White Sox will get Garcia, and if the M’s pay most of or all his salary may get a tremendous deal.
~Atlanta may have interest in John Olerud if they stay in contention.
Minor League Wrap-Up:

Tacoma hung on to beat Las Vegas, 11-10. The Tacoma offense was on fire the entire night as six, count 'em, six Rainiers had two or more hits. Justin Leone homered for the second straight night, as did Greg Jacobs in his AAA season debut and Jose Lopez contributed two doubles. Starter Matt Thornton got lit up and didn't last past the 4th and Craig Anderson also continued his struggles. Notables:

Matt Thornton: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K.
Jamal Strong: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI.
Justin Leone: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Bucky Jacobsen: 2-5, 1 triple (!), 1 RBI.
Jose Lopez: 2-5, 2 doubles.
A.J. Zapp: 0-3, 2 BB.
Ben Davis: 1-4.
Greg Jacobs (season debut in AAA): 2-4, 1 HR.

San Antonio beat Frisco in fashion, 9-3. Another strong start for Juan Done despite being a little shaky with his control (4:1 BB/K). Greg Dobbs had a superb night with the bat and Ryan Christenson and Dustin Delucci also added three baseknocks. Notables:

Juan Done: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K.
Greg Dobbs: 3-5, 1 triple, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-5, 2 R.
Ryan Christenson: 3-5, all singles.
Dustin Delucci: 3-5, 3 R.
Luis Oliveros: 1-4, 2 RBI.

Lancaster came back from a seven-run deficit to beat Inland Empire, 12-11. Bobby Livingston was knocked around hard for five innings and the bullpen didn't fare much better. The 66'er offense scored all eleven runs in the first four innings and then decided they had provided enough. Not quite, sadly. Five players had multi-hit games. Notables:

Bobby Livingston: 5.0 IP, 9 H 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR.
Juan Gonzalez: 0-6.
Jon Nelson: 3-5, 1 RBI.
Rene Rivera: 2-5, 2 R.
Matt Hagan: 3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI.
Hyung Cho: 3-4 with a walk.

Wisconsin lost to Quad Cities, 3-2. Ryan Feierabend took the tough loss after going six and a third while giving up only two earned runs. Wisconsin had a hell of a time trying to figure out Nick Blackburn. Chris Collins managed two hits as the sole bright spot for the Rattler offense. Notables:

Ryan Feierabend: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR.
Josh Womack: 1-4.
Chris Collins: 2-4.
Wladimir Balentien: 0-2.
Chris Colton: 0-4.