Thursday, June 12, 2008

Putz Hurt, Again

Well, here we are again. The Mariners are started to win after taking two of three from the Jays. But they lost a big one in JJ Putz going down to another injury.

Putz suffered a rib injury back in April, and it's not been said yet if it has flared up again. The M's say that they will be playing it day by day.

Just a heads up, I've started a new sports blog called Tyler's Take, where I take events from the sports world and give my opinion on them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yeah

Finally the M's can pull one off. It took ten innings, but hey, a win is a win. And win it's the Mariners, they have to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Vidro hit a nice two run bomb four pitches in to the game off of Toronto's Jesse Litsche. But that was it for the Mariners offence untill number ten. The M's got a huge oppurtunity in the tenth, and Miguel Cairo dropped a perfect squeeze bunt to score the winning run. It got tense in the bottem of the tenth when the Jays loaded up the bases a couple of times, but luckily for the M's, they held off the Jays.

Posting has been down lately, and I apologize for that, but right now, I'm not sure about what I'd like to do with this blog. I was thinking of maybe oppening this blog up to more baseball, not just the Mariners, or starting up a general sports blog with more opinion included in it. For right now I'm just going to keep going on with this.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

!@#$%^&*()

That's about it. I probably would've use better terms, but Geoff Baker does a good job with this one.

"We're playing our (bleep) off every day and got nothing to show for it. I'm tired of (bleeping) losing, I'm tired of getting my (bleep) beat, and so have those guys. We gotta change this (bleeping bleep) around and get after it. And only we can do it. The fans are (bleeped) off, and I'm (bleeped) off, and the players are (bleeped) off. And that's the way it is. There's no (bleeping) easy way out of this, can't feel sorry for ourself, we gotta (bleeping) buckle it up and get after it. I'm tired of (bleep) losing this, (bleeping) every night we bust our (bleep). It's gotta be a total team (bleeping) effort to turn this thing around, and that's it."

MLB Draft Day 1: M's take Georgia Righty

Day one of the MLB Draft took place today. The Mariners held the 20th pick in the first round. With that pick, they took 22 year old right hander Joshua Fields from the University of Georgia.

The 6'0" 180 pounder was a second round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves a year ago, but Fields and his agent Scott Boras failed to agree on a contract with the Braves, so he rentered the mix for this year.

Taking a look at the scouting report for Fields, I find him to be fairly close to major league ready, and he looks like he could be a dominent pitcher in the future. He has a 92-95 MPH fastball that he can through consistantly at 94, and a very good curveball with excellent break that he throws at about 80 MPH. I'll look in to this guy a little bit more over the next little while. Geoff Baker has Bob Fontaine answering questions about their first rounder.

66 Overall; Raben, Dennis; U Miami; RF; L/L; 6'03"; 220; 1987-07-31; JR
98 Overall; Pribanic, Benjamin; U Nebraska Lincoln; RHP; R/R; 6'04"; 200; 1986-09-01; JR
132 Overall; Hensley, Steven; Elon U; RHP; R/R; 6'03"; 195; 1986-12-27; JR
162 Overall; Lorin, Brett; Cal St Long Beach; RHP; R/R; 6'07"; 245; 1987-03-31; JR
192 Overall; Burgess, Jarrett; Florida Christian School (FL); RF; R/R; 6'02"; 1990-08-10; HS

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Well, What Now?

I have to admit that Tempe Diablo Stadium is a real nice Spring Training location, but the scoreboard looks like it's going to fall over. As I've mentioned I will be included Spring Training pictures in my posts for the next little while.

As for the lack of posting. No excuses. I have been busy with other things, but I've started about five posts in the last week that never got finished, so there you have it.

You Know Your Not Doing Well When...
Kind of an old saying, but when your team is looking to start it's own club, and not a good one, you are not doing well ---holy crap. 5-3 the M's are coming back. Some clutch hitting and luck pulling through---. I hadn't heard of the 100/100 club before, and I wasn't sure of what it would be. Now that I know---5-4, another botched play---I don't really want to keep going. Yes, $100M should buy you more than 60 wins a season. In that respect, $200M should buy you something close to a World Series, and $22M should buy you a top five pick in the June draft. It's starting to look like a backwards year. The Mariners set to compete for the AL West, the Tigers ready to dominate, the Yankees spending a lot of money and still never winning more than the first round of the playoffs, and the Marlins only a couple games out of first place.

Yes, these times aren't very good. I guess we can find a brightspot in, uhhhh, the light above my head. Yeah, that looks pretty bright right now. Not too harp on the Mariners, but when the 2008 Mariners are doing as well as they are, heck, why not trade for Babe Ruth?

Lowe of the Derek Variety
Derek Lowe getting interest from the Mariners? Yes, the link says that scouts watched him, but why would you scout someone if you weren't interested in that player? Maybe he could help the M's out a bit.

There is Always Someone Worse Off
Big Papi won't be so big for the next little while. He'll be out anywhere from three weeks to the end of the season after having surgery on his wrist, more specifically a tendon. Not a pretty thing. Although you can argue that the Red Sox are still in a better position than the M's are, imagine the M's without Ichiro.

Big Unit Passes Big Mouth
Randy Johnson has moved past Roger Clemens for second on the all time strikeout list after whiffing his 4,673rd batter tonight. The future Hall of Famer and former Mariner, still has Nolan Ryan above him, but the Rangers' something-or-other looks a bit out of reach.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two in a Row

Now that I've finally gotten my Spring Training pictures somewhat up, the Mariners won their second game in a row. For the first time in a long while, it looks like the Mariners finally woke up a bit.

Erik Bedard gave it a solid seven innings. He's starting to find some form. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a homerun, the only run of the game.

Mariners Shopping Batista, Washburn?

Jayson Stark says that the Mariners are expected to be interested in atleast 'window shopping' Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn. Both have had not the greatest starts to the season and are under contract untill 2009. But there is no chance that they would trade Erik Bedard. Not unless 'they fire the general manager'.

Scott Hatteberg Getting Interest

It looks like Mr. Hatteberg is starting to pick up some interest around the league. The Mariners appear to be actively pursuing the first basemen. Miguel Cairo has been playing some first base of late. Sexson is starting to ride the pine more and probably should be doing so.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back to Reality and the Mariners Inability to Win Much

Life and the Mariners not winning have kept me away from this blog for a while now, and after their win last night, I feel inspired! Okay, not really, by the win, but probably more so by Ichiro's Griffey-like catch the other night.

Last night's victory snapped a losing streak of a number not worth thinking about. Jose Lopez has to be the Mariners most underrated player so far this season, although he has struggled at times, in terms of clutch performance. A crucial base hit to end the game ninth and give JJ the win was his accomplishment for last night. Manny Ramirez and his long (can you call it hair?) dreadlocks hit number 499. The M's are up 1-0 on the Red Sox right now, so no number 500 for Manny, yet.

I'm going to wait a little while longer to make a mid season report card for the Mariners, but as of right now, I don't see many getting too many votes for the trip to the Big Apple for the last All-Star game at Yankee Stadium.

In other news, Cha Seung Baek is now out of the Mariners organization after, well, what did he do here again? He was shipped off to San Diego for right hander Jared Wells. Not sure of any relation to David Wells.

Maybe Bavasi's job is still pretty secure. According to president Chuck Armstrong, Bavasi will not be let go of any time soon. It's not like he's done anything to get fired, but how much has he done right?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going, Going, Gone

As I mentioned, I'm going away to Seattle this weekend, I will be catching an M's/Pads game during the weekend, and won't be back untill Monday, so probably no posting.

Off day for the Mariners today, and I would've liked to have a little bit more up, but time is a bit of a factor in this. I'm populating the 'Mariners Blogs' list, so if your blog isn't up there yet, don't worry it will be there soon.

Peace.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Problems

Sorry, but right now I'm experiencing problems with my computer and this Blogger stuff, so posting may be down for tonight and maybe tomorrow. I will be going away this weekend, so I'll try and get something up tomorrow for the weekend.

Money Not an Issue

It looks like Ken Griffey Jr.'s contract won't be an issue for the Mariners.

That should come with some relief. Maybe it won't take as many prospects to get Jr., because the M's probably won't ask for money in a potential deal. ProspectInsider looks at Adam Moore in this week's Farm Report (in the PI), and how he could become a better player than Jeff Clement.
Back to the Griffey stuff now. He has about $8M left for this season and a $16M option with a $4M buyout. This season's money probably won't matter that much, but it was thought that the option would become an issue. Ken Rosenthal dissmissed that. As of know, we can pretty much only do some educated speculating. Something that I was doing, but without the educated part.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Late Inning Dissapointment

Unfortunately, the Mariners couldn't complete their ninth inning heroics. It was a better effort, and they did score 12 runs, but it was the starting pitching that killed them.

I'm not going to harp on Erik Bedard, but he was awful. Six runs in two innings isn't the kind of quality that we need from Erik "The Interview" Bedard.

Overall, the team looked somewhat alive out there. Obviously there didn't quite make Jabu happy enough to get a win. At least Cha Seung Baek kept them in it with three scoreless innings of relief. I can't quite say the same for Mark Lowe though...

Ichiro pulled a nice 1-6, and so did Jose Vidro I think. It might have been Pepe out there, but I wasn't sure. Joh had a nice day, 3-4 with four RBI's and his first home run of the season. Wlad also hit a home run, number four of the season. Rauuuuuuuul Ibanez continued his underratedness (I did just make that word up) with a 2-5 performance, including a homerun, number seven, three RBI's and two runs. Seven homers and 28 RBI's. He may not be up there with the top of the pack, but he isn't that far behind them. Jeff Clement also had a couple hits.

Brandon Morrow did blow it, but he did strike out the other four batters that he faced, so does that even out the loss. Maybe yes, maybe no, but at the end of the day, the M's didn't come out with a win. It would really be nice to see this team have a late summer rally. Let's try and take the good out of this one, if possible.

News and Notes

A little bit of randomness before I wrap up the Mariners probable loss to the Rangers.

Mac held another team meeting today. If it hadn't helped the M's break out of their slump a while ago, why would it help them now? Whatever, if it works, you don't ask why or how, you just go with it.
Jarrod Washburn has started to work on a splitter because 'he never had an out pitch'. Personally, I've always liked the splitter. It comes in as a fastball than completely sinks. It's effective when you've got something good. JJ Putz has a nice splitter. I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head who throws a really nice splitter.
The Mariners had sent Duane Shaffer, Bavasi's 'special' assistant to New York to watch Ken Griffey Jr. play at Shea Stadium this weekend. I briefly and SPECULATIVELY looked at the possibility of a reunion with Jr., that I don't really want brought back up again... John Hickey looks at the Mariners need for a left-handed power bat for the middle of the lineup, and the fact that the M's have drawn some their worst crowds lately, and how Jr. would take care of both. I'd like to see Jr. back here, but not at the price of Jeff Clement.
The Mariners have tied it up in the ninth. Once again, I should probably be negative more often. There has been a little bit of mouth battling going on tonight. Nothing has resulted from it as of yet. I'd like to see another brawl.. Give the M's one more excuse not to play Jose/Pepe Vidro. Just don't let Felix try and get in the middle of it this time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Series Preview: SEA @ TEX 5/12-14/08

Sorry but I'm not up for much blogging tonight, so this will have to do for a series preview.

Not Sure of What to Say

The Mariners won today, 6-3 over the White Sox, and I'm not that sure what to say about it.

The offense showed up, the pitching was good, and the bullpen was very good. I don't know what else to say right now.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ok, Ok

Alright. Time to clear this up.

I was mentioned in MLBTR, blah, blah, blah. Ok we got that. What I don't get is all the crap being thrown at me for what I said. Here's what the post was about. I was briefly, not in depth, going over what the Mariners would have to give up to land Ken Griffey Jr. Pure speculation on my part. I went with what I knew. I knew that the Reds needed some help at catching, so I threw Jeff Clement's name out there. I'm not an idiot, and if you think that Jr. will only cost you Miguel Cairo and Rob Johnson, I'm sorry. The reality is that in this market, if you want something you have to give up something for it in return that is valuable to the other side. Clement would be valuable to the Reds. Am I endorsing trading Jeff Clement, no. I said that Clement for Jr. straight up would make sense. nothing more. And it would in more ways than one. That's where this Rene Rivera crap comes in. How was I comparing Clement to Rivera when I said that I didn't want to see Clement end up like Rivera: a wasted prospect.

Naturally when you are talking trade the high end prospects come in to play. Carlos Truinfel and Phillipe Amounte. I put there names out there because that could be something of the asking price. Can anybody see in to the future and predict exactly what the Reds want? No. Do the Reds even know what they want for him? Probably not. Have they even decided that they where going to trade him? We don't know that yet. I threw out names that I thought could make sense in a Jr. trade. I used the knowledge that I had, and didn't look up anything. In hindsight I probably should've done more research, but I wasn't expecting to get mentioned in MLBTR, and was unaware of all the crap I was going to get because of it.

There are more people out there who would like Griff back in Seattle, including the Mariners. It just so happens that all the haters show up and voice their displeasure with trading for Griffey. Did anyone complain when the M's trading Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Chris Tillman and Tony Butler for Erik Bedard? Not really. It's amazing how Mariners fans would rather trade a boatload and a half of highly talented prospects for a pitcher that has had one amazing year, and other than that a mediorce career, but can't come to terms with giving up a, that's one, top prospect for a player that has probably meant more to the franchise than anyone else.

I can't believe all of the negative feedback that I've recieved on this. I expected their to be some against acquireing Griffey, and that's what I had expected, but come on. How would you like it if you said a couple words and everyone shot you down because of them. Especially WHEN I WAS FLIPPIN SPECULATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How do you figure that I think Cork Gaines is a 'god'? Unbelievable what the people of today can come up with. What's next, because I don't care to hear it, unless it has something positive in it.

Close, Kinda, but no Cigar

Another dissapointing loss for the Mariners. 4-2 was a better effort than what we've seen, and the bullpen didn't even allow a run. What went wrong this time...

Carlos Silva is now 3-2 after a great start to the season, and a not so nice last few starts. He let in all four ChiSock runs on eight hits and two walks. That isn't a terrible performce, but when you get two runs of support, it looks awful. The bullpen was almost perfect in two innings. Sean Green and JJ Putz each gave up one hit in an inning pitched each. Green had one strikeout. I doubt that they were playing Thunderstruck last night. I haven't heard that in a while, but when you've gone something like 1-9, your closer doesn't get too many chances.

Wlad Balentien was sort of a bright spot. He hit a homerun, showing his excellent power, and had one outfield assist, showing that his defensive abilities are inproving. He struck out once and left four men on base, and finished 1-4. Nice to see the power and fielding, but you can't be that productive when you leave four on. Jeff Clement's line looked alright. He caught last night, and went 1-3 with a walk, but struck out twice. His .154 AVG so far this season isn't that nice, but he's still learning. Ichiro's still getting closer to that .300 mark. He went 1-4 with a stolen base and scored the Mariners other one. Adrian Beltre stole his fifth of the season as well.

What can I say? It wasn't great, but atleast it was only a two run gap this time. There has to be a better effort put out there, or this ship wil continue to go down.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Felix Fined Too

I just finished on Richie Sexson's suspension, and when I went over to the Seattle PI's website, I noticed that King Felix was also hit with a fine.

Back to the Caffeinated Confines post:

1. If you’re a key pitcher, especially the staff ace, and you are not the one actually throwing the pitch, do not get involved in the fight. Felix Hernandez–stay in the dugout.

No info on the fines for you as of yet, and those amounts may never be known. What exactly was Felix thinking out there? He's been having a great year, why do something stupid like that?

Poll Results: What's Your Opinion of the Kenji Johjima Extension?

Our latest poll brought in the highest total of votes ever for Mariners Central, 31. Here's how they went down.

What's Your Opinion of the Kenji Johjima Extension?

Great. Lock up a great catcher for a reasonable price. 4-12%
Terrible. Clement is ready and he shouldn't be blocked. 18-58%
Status Quo. 9-29%

Seems like not many of you liked the signing, or thought whatever. Personally, I was on the statas quo wagon. Right now I'm not going to complain, but we'll see a few months or years from now.

If you have any ideas for polls that you would like to see, hit me up at marinerscentral"at"gmail.com.

Sexson Hitting the Pine, But Not Till Later

Richie Sexson was slapped with a six day suspension and fined an undisclosed amount for his actions in last night's bench clearing brawl. Sorry I didn't have this up earlier, it was started but not completed but I thought that I'd get in up.

Sexson is appealing the suspension and is playing in tonight's game. Why do athletes have to appeal their suspensions? And it's only really in baseball. In hockey, your suspended and that's that. I'm not a huge NBA or NFL guy, but I think that you can appeal in that. The fine won't matter. It's like me seeing a nickle on the ground; I'll probably pick it up, but I don't need it. I probably shouldn't pick it up. The six day suspension won't make a huge difference, although he is in a contract year. The suspension could end up as a bit of the problem considering the potential 30 AB's or so that he'd miss, but it shouldn't matter too much.

Caffeinated Confines has a few rules for us to abide by for brawls. USS Mariner looks at Bryan LaHair, a left handed first baseman, and how he could be a replacement for Richie Sexson. I see him as a fit. I'd look at a replacement if it was more in the 10-15 day range for an absence, but for 6, I think that I'll have to pass this time.

Series Preview: CWS @ SEA, 5/9-11/08

Wanted to give you a heads up about the Mariners next series before the first game starts. Not much commentary from me this time though. I'll save that for my post game remarks.

May 9
CWS: Jose Contreras, RHP, 2-3, 4.08 ERA
SEA: Carlos Silva, RHP, 3-1, 4.20 ERA

Scouting Report

May 10
CWS: Javier Vazquez, RHP, 3-3, 3.30 ERA
SEA: Jarrod Washburn, LHP, 2-4, 4.81 ERA

Scouting Report

May 11
CWS: Gavin Floyd, RHP, 3-1, 2.50 ERA
SEA: Miguel Batista, RHP, 2-4, 5.66 ERA

Scouting Report

Mentioned in MLBTR

As many of you may know, Mariners Central was mentioned in Cork Gaines' latest 'Baseball Blogs Weigh In' post over at MLBTR. Cork linked up my post about Ken Griffey Jr. and what it would take to acquire him.

Mariners Central speculates on some of the names that it might take to land Ken Griffey Jr., noting that the M's are not likely to part with either of their top two prospects, Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement.

Glad to see that this blog is starting to go places. This link from MLBTR has brought visitors from all over the world. Right now at about 300 and counting. We are also looking at a record for votes in a poll as we are coming up on 30. Although some of the comments to the Jr. post weren't very nice, I would still like to thank MLBTR, Cork Gaines, and all those who commented on the post and voted in the polls for their supprt which is much appreciated. Keep on reading. I see biggish things in the future for this blog.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5/7 Game Thread

Time for a little play by play from me.

8:41 - Mariners down 2-0 going in to the top of the seventh inning.

8:45 - Bedard getting up over the 100 pitch mark. One on, one out.

8:53 - Bedard strikes out two to end the inning. His night in probably over with 109 pitches thrown. Mariners turn to try and get some offence going.

8:57 - Ibanez battles through six pitches for a walk

9:00 - Beltre battles through six pitches for a walk. (not a typo)

9:03 - Jeff Clement strikes out looking

9:10 - Wlad strikes out swinging to end the minimal Mariner threat

9:21 - Back from a break, Author Rhodes takes over for Bedard, gets two outs but know has walked the bases loaded.

9:27 - Sean Green replaces Aurthor Rhodes

9:32 - Green gets a flyout to right, ends the threat

9:36 - Padilla replaced by Benoit; Burke walks but Cairo (why is he still here) flies out

9:43 - Ichiro flies after a ten pitch AB. Nice work

9:46 - Jose Lopez flies out to end inning. Morrow coming in

9:57 - Catalanotto on second, two down

10:03 - Top of the ninth over, so am I. Hopefully the Mariners can pull out some runs...

5/7 Ranier Watch

Time to look at a couple players making some noise in Tacoma.

Jeremy Reed-OF
AVG: .362 H: 42 2B: 8 3B: 1 HR: 5 RBI: 19 BB: 13 K: 11 SB: 6 OBP: 423 SLG: .578

Reed has played well so far this year, and probably will get a call-up some time or later. He is out of option.

Oswaldo Navarro-SS
AVG: .307 H: 24 R: 15 2B: 5 3B: 0 HR: 0 RBI: 9 BB: 12 K: 13 SB: 0 OBP: 411 SLG: .373

One of the Mariners underrated prospects, if he still is. Looks like a mostly career backup, but could get a chance sooner or later. If Yuni and Cairo fall, so if Yuni falls, he could be on his way up.

Ryan Feierabend-P
W-L: 3-1 ERA: 1.70 IP: 37 HR: 2 K: 27 BB: 10 AVG: .227

Feierabend is a guy that I've always liked, but never hasn't seemed to have gotten a chance. He's been dominating AAA for the last year plus now, and deserves a call-up.

RA Dickey-P
W-L: 1-4 ERA: 3.25 IP: 36 HR: 1 K: 21 BB: 5 AVG: .294

Dickey has gotten a couple shots, but the M's keep sending him down. I like him more than Baek, but maybe once he evens out the record and gets the AVG down he'll be back up here.

The Nasty Attendences of Late

Barely getting over the 15,000 mark, which is great for a hockey game, or for the Florida Marlins, but for a Mariners team that was suppossed to be raking in the wins and putting bums in the seats are doing much of either. A little bit from the PI:

''You expect some ebb and flow,'' Armstrong said. ''The weather hasn't been good. We haven't played as well as we wanted. And this is the worst schedule ever.

How much effect will the whether have when you play in a stadium with a retractable roof? I guess the whether would have an effect on those travelling to the game, but it shouldn't be that significant.

''I'm optimistic, but when you see 15,000 against a division rival, yes, you are disappointed.''

Of course you should be dissapointed. If those are the lame crowds you'll pull in come September when the Angels come to town? I hope not. I see these points as an arguement for the fans who don't show up:
  • When your team isn't doing very well, you probably don't want to go and watch that team. I understand that, but when everybpdy else thinks that you might want to pull out that fifty and go support your team.
  • It is May and some people have jobs to do that might not allow them the oppurtunities to go to the games that they might have during the summer months.
  • School. My excuse. It's still Spring and people still have to go to school. Homework and that garbage takes up more time than it should. Also those with kids in school will likely find it just as hard to get to the game as those in school for six hours a day learning stuff that they will probably never use.

Now that my points are out there, it's time for my points that the fans who show up will say.

  • Support your team. Thirty bucks for a decent seat isn't bad. Four bucks for a Coke is.
  • Get away for a few hours and hang with your buds at the ballpark.
  • It's usually fun, and when there's nobody there you can sneak down to better seats!!

Atleast there will likely be more than 15,000 next Friday night seeing as it's JJ Putz Bobblehead night.

Junior and Seattle

Ken Griffey Jr. has been rumored to be traded for a while now, and the rumors of him returning to Seattle are heating up.

Personally, I've always like Griffey, as a player and as a person. He was a termendous player who would likely be chasing down Barry Bonds right now if it weren't for all of his injuries. Not to say that he was or is injury prone by any means, but when you break your wrist jumping in to a wall to make a catch, that shows who much you're willing to wisk for your team. That's the type of player Griffey was with Seattle and will always be.

Back to the trade rumors. The money could become an issue at one point. Jr. is owed $12.5M for this year, and has a $16.5M option for 2009 with a $4M buyout, which makes his option worth $12.5M (in a theory that I don't feel like explaining right now). The M's are throwing $16-something-M at Richie Sexson this year, I'm sure that they would spend that on one of the franchise's greatest players. Richie Sexson's contract comes off of the books, and Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro will become free agents, although Vidro has a vesting option, giving the Mariners two places where Griffey could play easily. Or switch Wlad in to left and insert Griffey in to right.

What it's going to take to get Griffey over here is the biggest question. Would the Mariners give up Wladimir Balentien or Jeff Clement? I don't know. The Mariners would probably be hard pressed to part with their top prospects. Other than those two, guys like Phillipe Amount and Carlos Truinfel come to mind. Cha Seung Baek and Jeremy Reed apear to be extra parts, and are still young and have some potential, so maybe Baek, Reed and another high-ish level prospect would get the job done?

Would there be any liklihood of the Mariners sending Richie Sexson or Jose Vidro over to the Reds in a potential deal?

.......................

Yesternight's game was one worth forgetting. Miguel Batista would happily agree with that statement.

I'm having a hard time finding positive things from the last couple Mariners 'games'. Jose Lopez and Wladimir Balentien both had a couple of hits, and Wlad scored the Mariners only pathetic run. Ichiro stole number 13 of the season.

Cha Seung Baek comtinued to prove his imprtance to the club giving up four runs in 4.2 innings of 'work'. I don't see why he is here and RA Dickey isn't. It would make more sense to get rid of Baek and call up someone half way effective. On a positive note, Mark Lowe and RRS each pitched a scoreless inning. RRS looks like he has figured a little bit out as of late. What I mean is that he hasn't been as awful lately. The M's need to do better tonight. I expect more than the pitiful crowd of 15,818. Do we need to send 40,000 out there every night for the Mariners to win?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Slump Breaker

Now I can be happy! Maybe not as happy as Ichiro is, or Lookout Landing, but the final outcome is better than the last little while.

Jarrod Washburn did what he needed to do, sort of, enough. You can't give him the wrong side of the (insert word here because I can't think of one right now) because he left the game due to an injury. He made it through six, enough for the win on 87 pitches, so seven innings had to have been in the equation had the injury not occurred. He let in three runs on four hits and struck out three. A pretty good night by Washburn standerds. The bullpen was great again. Sean Green pitched two scoreless, and JJ finished off the ninth, but didn't earn a save.

The bats decided to come out tonight. A couple in the first innings, and then a four spot in the third got the job done. I'll take them if they come in bunches. Wladimir Balentien hit his second homerun of the year, hitting in the nine spot for some reason. He finished the night off at 2-3 with three RBI and one strikout. Jeff Clement went hitless, again and struck out a couple of times. Richie Sexson hit number 301 and has picked up a little bit lately. Ichiro went 1-4 with a double. He didn't steal any bases tonight though. Joh even had a couple hits and a couple runs.

Overall the team showed up really nicely and made me feel proud to be a Mariners fan. I wouldn't expect them to choose Kevin Millwood to be their slump buster, but whatever works. The only complaint I have is that only 16,637 hauled their butts out to the game. That's it? How come there's all of these small crowds showing up lately? I guess that the M's are stil doing a long shot better than the Marlins.

Just keep it up!!

Norton Now a Brave

This one took me a couple minutes or hours to put up, but the Atlanta Braves have acquired Greg Norton from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations. Nortan was DFA'd along with Brad Wilkerson five days(ish) ago.

Unfortunate is a word I want to use but can't - I just did - because Norton didn't really deserve to get dropped, but at the same time he didn't prove that he would be more valuable than Wlad Balentien or Jeff Clemnt. Jason Churchill wants enough money to cover Jose Vidro's contract for 2008 to make this trade worth it. I have to say that I agree with him. Why is Miguel Cairo still here?

Maybe I Should be Negative More Often

A lovely picture of Ichiro from Spring Training (taken by me) to get me in a happy mood.

It looks like the negativity from one of my latest posts has paid off. Not only did I get a mention in AngryBeltre (a solid M's blog btw), but the M's scored two runs in the first inning tonight! Maybe I should be negative more often.

I'm not a negative person, but when you have your aces on the mound and they only get one run of support each...wouldn't you be a little ticked off too? Hopefully Texas will give us a boost back up to the .500 mark.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Series Preview: 5/5-8/08

Time to take a look at the series ahead when the Rangers come to town.

May 5
TEX: Kevin Millwood, RHP, 2-2, 3.86 ERA
SEA: Jarrod Washburn, LHP, 1-4, 4.86 ERA

Scouting Report
Wash looks to clean up the mess by Seattle starters after this weekend. He could really use a good performance to get his mind set on excellence. I'm not seeing much of that 'contract year really good playing' yet. Manny's even turned it on. The bats have to come out and get more than one run. Four of five would be good. Three might even suffice. Washburn will also need to get fairly deep in to the game after five innings of bullpen work in Sunday's game.

May 6
TEX: Sidney Ponson, RHP, 1-0, 1.35 ERA
SEA: Miguel Batista, RHP, 2-3, 4.41 ERA

Scouting Report
The Mariners were rumored to be interested in Ponson a while back, but nothing turned out from it. Time to see what could have been. Same thing as I mentioned earlier: innings from the starter and runs from the batting order.

May 7
TEX: Vicente Padilla, RHP, 4-2, 3.50 ERA
SEA: Erik Bedard, LHP, 2-1, 1.82 ERA

Scouting Report
Mr. Erik will need to pick up the pieces from his last start and try again. His first loss as a Mariner was his only poor performance so far this season. He'll hope to rebound and pitch at the Cy Young level that he is capable of.

Swept out of the Bronx

Even without this moron the Mariners still managed to get swept by the Yankees (sidenote: I said that A-Rod wasn't a bum mainly because I want him to break Barroids HR record, he sort of sucks as a person).

After another terrifac pitching performance from one of the 'aces' of the staff, the M's still managed to lose 6-2. Alright, enough bashing for this paragraph.

Carlos Silva looked alright, other than the forgetable third inning. Six runs isn't very Silva-like. As I've mentioned soooo many times, I'm a fan of the off day, but why do three starters decide to take theirs all on the same weekend? I'm going to have to get back to you on that one. Adrian Beltre hit a nice two run shot for the Mariners only runs. They got as many runs today as they did in the first two games. That's terrible. Ibanez woke up and got a couple hits. Ichiro stole number 12 on his single.

On a good note, the bullpen was very good. Even Mr. RRS pitched two scoreless innings walking and striking out one while giving up only one hit. Mark Lowe, Brandon Morrow, and Aurthor Rhodes each pitched a scoreless inng. That's about the only bright spot from today's game. Other than that it was terrible. Except for Ichiro's stolen base of course.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Maybe a Roster Shakeup?

Maybe it's time to shake up the lineup a bit. Maybe not in terms of players, but where those players are playing. In wake of Raul Ibanez' heroics in the outfield today, I realized that Ibanez isn't much of an outfielder anymore, and that Lookout Landing has been right when they put LF next to Raul's name in the lineup like this "LF".

WARNING: What I'm about to tell you completely makes sense in my mind, and probably my mind only. What I say may not be possible, but when your losing like this, you'll probably try anything.

Scenario 1
First thing to do is to get Ibanez out of the outfield to either first base, or DH. For this scenario, we'll have him at first. Call up Jeremy Reed and have him and Richie Sexson platoon in left field untill Sexson figures out what is going on and can play full time in the outfield. I thought that I'd heard Mac say something about Sexson playing in the outfield a little while ago.

Scenario 2
Ibanez is at DH, and Sexson is in the outfield doing the same thing mentioned in Scenario 1. Have Kenji Johjima play first a little bit, or Jeff Clement and try to turn one of them in to a Victor Martinez.

Scenario 3
Trade a package of mid-level prospects, not that we have any left, or somebody useful, maybe Baek and Reed to the Reds for Ken Griffey Jr., and have him play in left or right, depending on what you do with Wlad.

What do you think would be most likely to happen? Personally, I see the acquisition of Griffey being the most likely, but would the Mariners have the pieces? I mentioned Reed and Baek being spare parts, but it would likely take a little bit more than that to get Jr. back here. I'd like to see him retire as a Mariners and don an M's cap in to Cooperstown. I probably will look in to the possibility of Jr. coming back in the next couple months.

Mac Rips M's, I might Too

After a terrible performance, manager John McLaren went off on the team after watching the bats go cold, again, and their record slipping to 13-18.

What happened to Felix out there? Six runs over 5.2 innings. He gave up 12 hits and he walked three!! I don't care if he struck out 40 when the end result is that terrible. Yes, everyone deserves a break at one point or another, and Felix deserved better with no thanks to his team, but Felix dissapointed me this afternoon. I guess you can say that I've gotten expectant of Felix, but how can I not? He's pitched amazing so far this season.

Once again, where the heck was the defence? Another two errors, and even one by... I can't say it...Ich----... I can't say it ICHIRO! There I said it. Yes he deserves a break after going like three years without commiting an error, but he could've picked a better night to make a blunder. Like if Felix pitched a shutout, or he hit an inside the park homerun, or more importantly the team won. He still went 2-4 with an RBI, and was pretty much the only Mariners who knew what they were doing out there. Johjima was the other guy awake out there, he went 2-4. What a dissapointment Clement was. 1-4 with three strikeouts and three men left on base. Nasty. Maybe Mac should consider Vidro for the DH position again. Betancourt and Ichiro each stole a base. Ichiro is up to 11 now to start the season. Mac wanted him to run, and he is.

What happened with Raul Ibanez out there? Was he mad at the ground or something? Actually, what happened to him period? He was looking really good for the first couple weeks of the season, but lately has plummeted to a .295 AVG, still good, but looked better two weeks ago. Ibanez had a single and a walk, so he was doing his job of getting on base, but didn't do his job in driving in runs.

All in all, poor performance. The M's made Mike Mussina look like a Hall-of-Famer out there. Although the Mariners did get to the bullpen after six innings, a good sign, they still lost two of two to the Yankees. All we can do is hope for a better performance tomorrow.

Hasegawa Influenced Kuroda?

It's ok if your not Japanese enough to read the title, but former Mariners closer Shigatoshi Hasegawa was rumored to have been an influence in Japanese starter Huroki Kuroda's decision to sign with the LA Dodgers over the Mariners. We find out today, that he was not.

"It was not my decision, of course, and until the last one or two days, when he decided to go there instead of Seattle, I thought he would sign with the Mariners," said Hasegawa, an analyst for NHK television, which is televising this weekend's Mariners-Yankees series in Japan. "I don't know why he changed his mind -- that's none of my business -- but I heard his family thought Los Angeles was the best place."

I hadn't heard of this before, but I think that he was genuine about it. Shigi had some great success in Seattle, and with Ichiro and Kenji Johjima - both Japanese - already in Seattle along with the Japanese ownership and such, why wouldn't Kuroda want to come to Seattle? It would only make sense for us to jump to the conclusion that Shigi had something to do with it.

Instead of signing Kuroda, the Mariners decided to go after Carlos Silva, who they signed to a four year deal worth $48M, eight days after Kuroda signed a three year deal worth $35.3M with the Dodgers. So far this season, Silva is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 42 IP, while Kuroda is 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA in the same number of starts, six, as Silva. Looks like the Mariners made the better choice.

Some Days/Weeks it Sucks to be a Mariner Fan

What the heck happened out there? All I can say is that it's too bad for Erik Bedard.

Even Roberto Luongo felt that crap. Hey, the M's are kind of reminding me of the 2007-08 Canucks: a team with a star doing everything (this game it was Mr. Bedard) and a team around him doing nothing.

If the Mariners want to win again they will have to put in a nine inning effort. Bedard pitched seven innings giving up only ONE earned run and struck out six. Pretty darn good performance if you are asking me. Bedard shouldn't havc a 3 in that R column. What happened to our amazing defence? Our Gold Glove 3B Adrian Beltre made a fielding error. The 'Magician' Yuiesky Betancout made his FIFTH error of the season. HIS FIFTH!!!!!! I thought that this guy was suppossed to be one of the best. Jose Lopez misses a catch, his third error of the year. And the cherry on that crap cake was Jamie Burke comitting his first error of the season. I don't care if it's May 2nd, but you can't make that many errors in a game.

The bullpen was once again terrible. Ryan Rowland-Suck gave up another two runs in a third of an innings work. Why is this guy pitching still? He can't do anything!!! Atleast Sean Green looked alright in two thirds of work.

Two walks and four hits won't do it against the Yankees. The Marlins maybe, but not the Yankees. Ichiro was probably the only batter genuinely interested in earing his paychek last night. He went 2-4 and scored the team's only run. Ibanez drove Ichiro in on a double. He finished 1-4. Betancourt got a single, and both Burke and Clement walked. What happened with Wlad and Clement last night? Both go 0-3, striking out twice and leaving a man on each. Could Brad Wilkerson and Greg Nortan have produced better? Perhaps we will never know.

The Yankees are good. Do you want to know why they are good? Because they can spend a bajillion dollars on their team of overpaid losers (except for A-Rod, Jeter, Hughes, Joba, Rivera) that are aged, injured, crappy or all three. I don't expect a 40-0 win for the M's in all three of the games, but I need a better effort than what they showed me last night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sexson hits #300

Although he is still a long ways away from getting near Barry Bonds' record, Richie Sexson hit his 300th career homerun last night in the Mariners extra innings loss to the Indians. Sexson is now up to six homeruns on the season, and has produced alright so far this season. His .230 AVG is better than what he did last season, but through the first month of the season (and a day) he has six homeruns and 17 RBI's. Pretty good power numbers, let's just see the average bump up to around .250. But, still I want to congraudgulate Sexson for the accomplishment.

Buzzie Bavasi 1914-2008

Our condolances go out to the Bavasi family after the loss of the late Emil Joseph "Buzzie'' Bavasi who passed away yesterday in his California home after battling a short illness.

Buzzie, the father of current Mariners GM Bill, had been a key part of the Mariners organization for many years. He will be missed by many.

Series Preview: M's @ Yanks 5/02-04/08

Time to look at the Mariners next opponent, the New York Yankees. Tonight, Jamie Burke will complete one of his dreams by starting at Yankee Stadium.

May 2
SEA: Erik Bedard, LHP, 2-0, 2.04 ERA
NYY: Chien-Ming Wang, RHP, 5-0, 3.23 ERA

Scouting Report
It's a battle of unbeaten aces tonight. Bedard is looking to build off of some success. The Mariners will have to rebound after last night's heartbreaker, and will need innings from Bedard because of how much the bullpen was used last night. The offence was sort of there, but will need to show up earlier for the Mariners to have success against a top groundball pitcher in Wang.

May 3
SEA: Felix Hernendez, RHP, 2-1, 2.22 ERA
NYY: Mike Mussina, RHP, 3-3, 4.73 ERA

Scouting Report
Felix continues to impress after another dominent start against Oakland, untill the eighth inning that is, and will need another good performance. Moose hasn't done that well so far this season, and the Mariners will have to hit him hard and early. The Yankees have a good bullpen with guys like Joba and Rivera in the backend, but could falter in middle relief work. If the M's can put up a few runs early and hold the Yankees offence off, which is weakened without A-Rod in the middle, they could be in line for a win.

May 4
SEA: Carlos Silva, RHP, 3-0, 2.79 ERA
NYY: Darrel Rasner, RHP, -----------

Scouting Report
Silva has been a great surprise so far this season and should continue against the Yankees. He's been able to pitch deep in to games and give the bullpen rest, something that should come as a relief. The Mariners bats are facing the new guy, replacing Phil Hughes in the rotation. Rasner had been pitching extremely well with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AAA) going 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA in five starts. Getting to him early will be huge.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30; Balentien Shines, but That's It

Boxscore.

Another loss for the Mariners, this time 8-3 to the Indians. Jarrod Washburn had a poor performance, giving up six runs, five earned in only 4.1 innings of something that you couldn't really call work. He struck out seven, but does anyone care? Cha Seung Baek came in and pitched 2.2 innings to give up two runs. I don't really care what RRS did in his inning of work.
The bats were there from their new guys. Wladimir Balentien hit a three run homerun and finished the day 2-4. Jeff Clement pinch hit for Clement and hit a single. The rest of the offence was dormant. Ichiro went 0-4 and saw his already poor average drop to .252. Vidro went 1-4 and struck out twice. He also left three on base. Clement will probably be playing tomorrow. Can't say that I'm really happy with this result. I would've liked to see the Mariners do a bit better in wake of getting rid of Brad Wilkerson.

Wilkerson, Nortan DFA'd

Brad Wilkerson and Greg Nortan were both designated for assignment today to make room for Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement. Wilkerson's locker was emptied out today before the announcement, which arose the suspision that Wlad and or Clement would be on their way up after both were absent from the Rainiers lineup last night.

Wilkerson getting the boot couldn't be that unexpected. He'd been hitting .232/.348/.304 in 56 AB's so far this year. He signed a one year deal worth $3M with $2M in incentives.

I can't really see why Nortan was designated. He'd been hitting .438 in 16 AB's. Nortan isn't sure of what he'll do, meaning that he isn't sure if he'll accept a minor league assignment. Nothing from Wilkerson yet.

As for Clement and Wlad, Balentien will become the starting right fielder for the Mariners with Wilkerson gone. As for Clement, he'll get playing time mainly at DH and some time catching. McLaren wouldn't say that Clement and Vidro would platoon, but Geoff Baker thinks that it will be Vidro against the lefties and Clement against the righties. Johjima and Burke's playing time won't be affected, but Vidro's probably will. Bavasi said that he didn't want to regret not calling them up sooner, so they brought them up now, hopefully for the better.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4/29 Wilkerson Drinks a Red Bull

Boxscore.

Carlos Silva had another great outing going 7.2 innings, and giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk. He even struck out three. Mark Lowe cleaned up Author Rhodes' mess to get the win. The Mariners beat up Carmona enough to get him out of the game after only six innings. They were able to get to the bullpen early, and put the beatdown on him.

Bead Wilkerson went 3-3. He even walked once. Although he had no RBI's or runs... Adrian Beltre went 2-2 and drove in three. He also hit the key three run homer to put the Mariners over the top. That's producing, Wilkerson got three hits, that's great, but he didn't do anything on the scoreboard. Jose Vidro had a 2-4 night/afternoon and drove in two runs. Production from one of the two is a start.

Clement and Balentien Coming Up Soon?

After hearing yesterday that Jeff Clement was going to be called up soon, today we learn that Clement and Wladimir Balentien could be coming up soon. Can't say that either of those two being called up soon would not be expected.

One problem that had come up was when Jeff Clement's service clock would start. If the team waits untill May 7 or later, than Clement won't reach one full service year in 2008, or something like that. Bill Bavasi says that that won't be an issue, and if the club needs Clement they would call him up. He also said that when both were called up, they both were going to play.

USS Mariner comes in telling us that both Balentien and Clement were not in the Rainiers lineup tonight, and we should do the math. Would the Mariners call up Wlad and Clement tomorrow? Afterall, they pulled Adam Jones out of Winter Ball, like a month before the Erik Bedard trade was completed. Geoff Baker tells us that Wlad was scratched to rest an injured knee, but no excuse for Clement.

No point in trying to make heads or tails of this right now. Both players will be called up sooner than later, and if the Mariners can continue to put up seven runs in a game, there probably isn't too much of a rush to get them up here, but if Wilkerson and Jose/Pepe Vidro can't produce, than they will be up here sooner than later. Seriously sooner than later.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Clement Call Up Soon?

John Hickey is telling us tonight that Jeff Clement may be getting called up to the MLB sometime in the next week.

The move would come as relief to a struggling Mariner offense that is failing to score runs. None of Jose Vidro, Richie Sexson, or Brad Wilkerson are hitting well, or at all, and Vidro is the only one losing playing time because of that. Clement would presumably take over some of the DH duties, and possibly push Vidro even further down the bench behin Greg Nortan, who has hit well in the last couple of games that he has played. Maybe Vidro's time is up here. Designating him for assignment, or just flat out releasing him could be the best option. I'd like to see Clement come up here, but would the Mariners carry all three of Kenji Johjima, Clement and Jamie Burke on their active roster?

That's the question. Clement could back up for Joh and get most of his AB's at DH. But where does that push Jamie Burke, who has been a solid backup to Joh the last year and a month? There's no reason to get rid of him, and if there was, where would he go? To Tacoma? What team would want him? Maybe the Yankees would have interest with Jorge Posada on the DL. Although the Yankees would probably prefer a more glamorous option...

Then there's always the carry two and a half catchers approach, where Joh is still the full time catcher, and Clement is jsut inserted in to the lineup at DH or pinch hitting as much as possible. We'll have to wait a couple more days to see how this turns out.

Joh's Extension Influeneced?

Geoff Baker comes in with this line from his latest post.

Why did the team extend Kenji Johjima for three years? Beats me. Either it has absolutely zero clue about timing, or, as has been suggested to me repeatedly this week, this was a call made by the ownership in Japan.
That made me think too. Bill Bavasi probably has enough brains in him to realize that Jeff Clement is ready to hit at the major league level. But with one year left on his contract, wouldn't he want to make a good impression on his bosses, who are Japanese? This one will be up for debate. Of course Bavasi won't come out and say that he didn't want Joh for the reason mentioned. This will just have to be one of those things that may not get solved anytime soon.

Hatteberg a Fit?

MLBTR: One first baseman who doesn't hit righties well is Richie Sexson. Hatteberg could be a good fit in Seattle.

Would Hatteberg be a fit (1B Scott Hatteberg of the Reds)? Sexson doesn't hit righties terribly well, and Hatteberg has a little bit of pop against them, so of course it's going to seem like a good fit. Any 1B that could hit lefties well would be a good fit. Greg Nortan is a switch hitting 1B who has a .667 AVG against lefties so far this season. Hatteberg is hitting .000 against lefties. He sure is smacking the ball against lefties.

Stats aside, the Mariners are going to have to give up something to get Hatteberg. Greg Nortan is already in the organization. Imeadiate advantage to Nortan. I'm not against Hatteberg, but why give up a mid-prospect for something that you already have?

Poll Results: Which Potential Mariner Free Agent Would You Most Like to be Brought Back?

Some results from our lastest poll for you.

Raul Ibanez 4-57%
Kenji Johjima 3-43%
Jose Vidro 0-0%
Richie Sexson 0-0%

Joh will be back next season, and it looks like most of you would like to see Ibanez to be back also. I'd say that Ibanez stands a chance. Wladimir Balentien would likely take over in right field, leaving left field open. The DH and 1B spots should be open for 2009 also. There's room for him if the Mariners want him back.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Series Preview: SEA @ CLE, 4/29-30-5/1/08

I'm not going to dwell on the past Oakland series because I really don't want to remember much of it, so right on in to Cleveland. Hopefully no snow this time around.

April 29
SEA: Carlos Silva, RHP, 3-0, 2.83 ERA
CLE: Fausto Carmona, RHP, 3-1, 2.89 ERA

What to Watch
Carlos Silva left his last start because of hamstring tightness, but says that he's good to go. He's been the Mariners most consistant pitcher this year other than Felix. If he can continue what he's done then the Mariners should be good. He'll be one of the keys to Tuesday's game. Fausto Carmona will also be the key to an Indians win. He has struggled a bit with control so far this season and will need to find it soon.

April 30
SEA: Jarrod Washburn, LHP, 1-3, 4.03 ERA
CLE: Cliff Lee, LHP, 4-0, 0.28 ERA

What to Watch
Again, starting pitching is the key. Washburn needs to be better, and I don't think that Lee could be. He, like Zach Greinke of the Royals is off to an amazing start. Wash needs to start strong and get back on to the right track. It hasn't seemed like Washburn has had the best of times here in Seattle. Lee has had some success against Seattle, so the Mariners will half to get to him early and often. Two runs won't really cut it. The Indians have an explosive, and probably underrated offense that can't be overlooked.

May 1
SEA: Miguel Batista, RHP, 2-3, 5.26 ERA
CLE: Paul Byrd, RHP, 1-2, 4.85 ERA

What to Watch
Batista left his last start early after a mild groin strain and needs to get back on to his game. Byrd on the other hand is healthy but has had his struggles. If the Mariners can jump on him early, and get moderate success out of Batista, they should have theirselves a win.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Aftermath

What's going to happen now that Kenji Johjima has signed his three year extension? Where does that leave Jeff Clement?

Let's start it off like this: Extending Joh isn't a terrible idea. The money may seem a little high. Jorge Posada signed a four year contract worth $52.4M last Winter. Posada is a few years older than Joh, and is quite a bit better. Posada isn't really a fair model based on that information, but that's about the best that we got. $8M is a lot of money, not much in baseball nowadays, has Joh proved that he is worth that much? I think that he might have. He has a career line of .289/.327/.442 alongside 32 HR and 137 RBI. That would be in 991 AB's over the past two seasons. Pretty decent numbers for a catcher. He also set the record for most hits by a rookie catcher in 2006 with 147. The offense is there. Joh has only comitted nine errors over the last two seasons, only 2 in '07. Not bad defender. One of the most important things in my opinion, is that he knows that Mariners pitching staff.

He's spent the last two seasons catching for pretty much the same crop of pitchers, and have created some chemistry. He knows the pitchers well, therefore he can comunicate with them well. Brining someone new would axe all of the chemistry that has brewed. Even Jeff Clement wouldn't be able to adjust quick enough (if he were to start right now).

Know that I've proved Joh has value, it's time to look at what he takes away from the club. The biggest issue surrounds Jeff Clement. He's ready to hit in the MLB. He might not be quite ready to field and all that, but he can sure hit the ball. It's been widely believed that Clement would take over for Joh after this season. Now that Joh is locked up, presumably in the catcher's spot, for three years, where would Clement play? The Mariners haven't been very fond of moving him to first, an option that makes sense. Bringinig him up to DH would take away AB's from Jose Vidro, which might not allow his option for '09 to vest. Morphing him in to a 1B would be perfect, but I wouldn't want to do that because of the high level of prospect that Clement is as a catcher, something rare, and highly sought after. Clement popped up in trade rumors for Johan Santana and Erik Bedard. I'm sure that he could fetch a high price. Trading him would be a tough pill to swallow, especially after losing another blue-chipper in Adam Jones would be incredibly tough to swallow. Bleeding Blue and Teal brings up Adam Moore, a young catcher with promise, that could be ready come 2011, or '12. The same time that Joh's deal dries up. I like the idea of Moore taking over in a few years, he is solid defensively, but how good defensively does he have to be to even up with Clement's offensive upside? My guess, pretty good. Right now, Moore for Clement doesn't look like a good tradeoff, but would Clement would be able to bring in to the organization would determine that. He definitly could replinish the young pitching prospects lost in the Erik Bedard trade. Or he could get you someone for now. He might be able to get the Mariners a player like Jason Bay of the Pirates. About the same offensive potential as Ibanez, but with better fielding abilities, wayyyyy better, and some speed. Not to mention that he's younger.

Overall, there are mixed reactions to Joh's extension. No matter which way you look at it, there's going to be people unhappy and happy. Let's just try and look at the fact that the Mariners lock up a solid catcher for three years at less than he probably would've commanded on the open market.

Joh Gets Extension

Earlier today, as reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners were giving Kenji Johjima a three year contract extension. Now, Geoff Baker comes in to tell us that the three year extension is worth $24M. No discount there.

Personally, I thought that the Mariners would play Joh out this season and hand over the catching duties to Jeff Clement for next season. I guess that I was wrong. Where does this signing leave Clement? The Mariners don't want to turn him in to a first baseman, although now they might have to now. I don't want to see him wasted as a DH next season. Then again, there's always the option of trading him...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/24 Game Thread

Time for another Game Thread. I'm actually starting to like this idea.

8:31 - Top of the fifth, Mariners up 5-1. Washburn pitching against Melvin Mora

8:34 - Mora is at third now after the Nick Markakis single. Washburn's starting to get in to some trouble. Thrown 92 pitches in 5 plus innings

8:38 - Millar grounds in to a double play, Mora scores. 5-2. Aubrey Huff grounds out to end the inning. Washburn's night in probably done

8:41 - Ichiro and Jose Lopez both ground out. Two down

8:43 - Ibanez doubles to center

8:44 - Matt Albers replaces Randor Beird for the Orioles

8:48 - Adrian Beltre walks

8:50 - Vidro grounds out to end the inning. Roy Corcaron comes in to replace Washburn. Him and his nice 0.93 ERA

8:53 - Jay Payton singles, Ramon Hernendez grounded out

8:54 - Payton steals third with Adam Jones, who? Adam Jones, who? batting

8:56 - Jones singles, scoring Payton. One out still, but it's 5-3 now. I also have to mention that Corcaron's ERA just jumoed to 1.80 after that run

8:57 - Nice double play turned, top half of the sixth over

9:00 - Sexson strikesout swinging. What else is new?

9:02 - Joh pops out, Willie grounds out. Inning over

9:06 - Aurthor Rhodes come in to replace Roy Corcaron and gives up a single after an eight pitch battle

9:10 - Rhodes gives up another single to Melvin Mora, and then Nick Markakis gets walked. Rhodes is looking pretty shaky

9:12 - Mark Lowe comes in to replace Rhodes. Probably from crap to crap

9:14 - Mac just got tossed. Would've loved to have seen it!!!

9:16 - Millar hits a sac fly to score Brian Roberts. 5-4

9:18 - Huff hits a single and Mora scores to tie the game. THE MARINERS BULLPEN IS BLOWING EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:21 - Payton flies out, Markakis tagged up to move to third. Two down

9:24 - Lowe walks Hernendez

9:27 - Jones doubles and scores two runs. 7-5 Baltimore. Sean Green is taking over for the ineffective Mark Lowe. Another one blown by the bullpen

9:30 - Luke Scott pinch hits for Brandon Fahay

9:32 - Scott grounds out. Finally one of the worst innings of the season is over, well, half of it anyways......

9:34 - Yuni lines out

9:36 - Jamie Walker replaces Matt Albers for the O's

9:40 - ICHIRO HOMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7-6

9:45 - Lopez singled, but Raul grounded in to a DP. Chad Bradford replaced Walker

9:46 - Beltre strikesout. Inning over

9:49 - Roberts hits a homerun. 8-6. I can't do this much longer.....

9:52 - Mora grounded out, Markakis flies out, two down in the top of the eighth

9:57 - Vidro flies out, one down in bottem of the eighth

9:59 - Sexson lines out. Two down, and I'm done for the night. Goodnight everyone, and hopefully the Mariners can pull something off...

Series Preview: A's @ M's 4/25-27/08

Time to look at the Mariners next series against the Oakland Athletics, and their newest member; Frank Thomas.

April 25
OAK: Dana Eveland, LHP, 2-1, 1.90 ERA
SEA: Miguel Batista, RHP, 2-2, 4.38 ERA

For the Mariners
Watch out for Thomas. He's returning to Oakland, and has some dignity to regain after the Toronto fiasco. He could be a huge threat. Dana Eveland has also looked decent so far this season. He's another one of the young guns showing up early.

For the Athletics
Batista is off to a shaky start, and if they can jump on to him early, than they can get to the used up Mariners bullpen. Batista not getting in to atleast the sixth could be the difference.

April 26
OAK: Justin Duchscherer, RHP, 1-0, 1.80 ERA
SEA: Erik Bedard, LHP, 1-0, 3.27 ERA

For the Mariners
Erik Bedard. Can he come back and be effective? That will be the game decided right there. If he can come out and prove that he is alright, then the M's should be fine.

For the Athletics
If Duchscherer can give them another good start, then they could be set up nicely. If they can get on Bedard early, same thing as if they can get to Batista early. The Mariners need solid production from their starting pitching.

April 27
OAK: Joe Blanton, RHP, 1-4, 4.32 ERA
SEA: Felix Hernendez, RHP, 2-0, 1.67 ERA

For the Mariners
King Felix is close to the throne. He needs another good start to prove it. Joe Blanton is off to a bad start, and the Mariners need to take advantage of that. If they can execute, they will be in a good position to get the W.

For the Athletics
They need a good start from Banton. Nothing good from him, probably no A's win. They will also need to be able to dethrone Felix if they hope to win.

Who would have thought that the A's would be off to a 15-9 start?

Trainer Works #4000

Mariners trainer Rick Griffin will have reached a milestone after tonight. Griffin will spend his 4000th game in the dugout for the Mariners.

Griffin was brought in back in 1983, and 25 years later is still at the same helm that he was at when he started. During his tenure, he has only missed three games. Dave Neihaus is the only person that has seen more Mariners games then Griffin has, and will be inducted in to Cooperstown. Will Griffin?

Thomas Signs With A's

It didn't take long, but Frank Thomas has signed with the Oakland Athletics. He will become the team's DH full-time this season. He signed a one-year deal worth a measly $337K. I guess he doesn't need the money after his payout from the Blue Jays. I'd say that the only reason that he signed for so little with the A's was to finish his career better than what it would have been. Also he signed a wickedly low deal with A's in 2006, and flipped in to 39 homeruns. We won't have to wait long to see him. Hopefully he won't return to that form for the Mariners sake.

Silva Alright-Ish

After leaving yesternight's game, Carlos Silva appears to be alright.

It's not bad,'' Silva said. "It's hard to come out of the game, but sometimes you have to be smart. It's only my fifth start. There's a long way to go.''

McLaren said: "It's nothing serious. He felt something in his leg driving off so we took him out. It doesn't seem to be serious at all...I'm hearing good things from the training room."

Hopefully he's fine. He's been one of the Mariners top pitchers so far this season, and I wouldn't want to see him go down especially this early.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Debate: Should the Mariners Sign Frank Thomas?

Frank Thomas was believed to be close to signing with Oakland, and then a mystery team came in to the picture. That mystery team could be the Mariners, and should it?

How much upside does Thomas bring to the table compared to Jose Vidro, or maybe Jeff Clement? Thomas brings power and patience. That's it. Vidro brings a .290 AVG. That's about it. Clement brings both power and average, but hasn't developed his skills as much yet.

Thomas can still hit the ball hard, but hasn't found much consistancy so far this year. Vidro is only hitting about .200, Thomas .167, but Thomas has been able to provide more power than Vidro has.

Bringing in Frank Thomas makes sense, in the sense that he'll add power that Richie Sexson hasn't. He doesn't have 40 HR power, but 30 looks like a decent number to shoot for. The money won't be much of an issue. He gets paid off like $8M bucks from the Jays, so he'd probably settle for around $5Mish. If Thomas can come in and hit the ball hard and give the Mariners some baserunners, then he's a good signing. Probably the best reason not to sign him is the New York Yankee approach: Get the player so your rivals don't. The A's are known to be interested, and the Rangers are rumored to be. Thomas could add a power boost to either of those two clubs, giving them an advantage that could allow them to gain some ground on the Mariners early.

If Thomas comes in, where does that leave Jose Vidro? Thomas didn't put forth a good enough batting average, the reason for his release used by the Blue Jays, although everyone knows they released him so his option for 2009 wouldn't vest. Could the Mariners say that same thing about Vidro? He has a vesting option for 2009, and I doubt that many would want him back. Maybe releasing Vidro and signing Thomas would be a great move. It would allos more playing time to guys like Willie Bloomquist pinch running. I'm starting to like the idea of Frank Thomas coming here.

April 23; Game Thread

Time for another Game Thread. Yesterday's can be viewed here. It's the top of the seventh, Sean Green is pitching for the Mariners and the score is 2-2.

8:49 - Sean Green strikes out Adam Jones. One down.

8:51 - Green strikes out Ramon Hernendez, two down

8:52 - Green walks Luis Hernendez. Brian Roberts steps in

8:58 - In an 11 pitch epic battle, Roberts grounds out to end the inning.

9:02 - We find out that Carlos Silva leaves the game with an injured leg. I found it funny that he only threw 85 pitches. Richie Sexson struck out again, something different.

9:03 - Joh follows Sexson's suit and strikesout, two down

9:04 - Willie Bloomquist flied out to Nick Markakis to end the inning

9:09 - After an eight pitch battle with Melvin Mora, Green draws the ground out to K-Man (sexson)

9:11 - RRS replaces Sean Green

9:12 - Didn't take long. First pitch seen by Markakis is taken over the right field wall. 3-2 for the O's

9:13 - Kevin Millar grounds out, two down for RRS

9:16 - Luke Scott will strikeout swinging to end the top half of the eighth inning

9:20 - Yuni flies out, Ichiro pops out, two down

9:22 - Jose Lopez flied out to end the inning

9:24 - Huff grounds out, and the coach is visiting RRS

9:27 - Brandon Morrow replaces RRS

9:29 - Morrow strikes out Jones, two out

9:30 - Hernendez grounds out, three down. Mariners losing 3-2 going in to the bottem of the ninth

9:33 - Our old buddy George Sherrill comes in for the save.

9:35 - Raul hits a single. One on for Beltre

9:38 - Beltre lines out, one down

9:40 - Jose Vidro or Pepe struck out, two down

9:42 - That's all folks. Sexson pops out to end the game. Mariners lose 3-2 to the Orioles.

Daniel Cabrera W, 2-0, RRS L, 0-1, George Sherrill S, 7

Morse Done for Season

Mike Morse had "shoulder reconstruction" surgery yesterday morning to repair his shoulder, after getting injured on April 13.

In the meantime, Brad Wilkerson and Willie Bloomquist will split the right field duties for the time being. However, Wilkerson is a little dinged up, meaning that Willie will be getting more playing time. Nothing yet on who will take Morse's roster spot.

Silva Leaves Game

Carlos Silva left his start Wednesday after seven innings and 85 pitches, with tightness in his right thigh. We won't find out untill after the game as to the extent of the injury.

Latest On Thomas

The biggest reason that we've been discussing Frank Thomas so much here, is not only because the A's were close to signing him, but rather the Mariners could be a mystery team with an offer extended to Thomas. This may be cleared up by the morning.

Johjima vs. Clement

Time for another player battle. A while ago, we looked at Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement to see who was a better prospect. I came to the conclusion that Clement would ultimately become the better player. Now that Jeff Clement has proved himself down in AAA, it's time to look at if it will be better to have him up here catching, or to stick with Kenji Johjima.


Jeff Clement is one of the better catching prospects in baseball right now. He is starting to prove that he is good enough defensively to be an everyday catcher in the MLB, but might not be quite ready to take that leap. He is good defensively, but you'd want him to be great defensively, wouldn't you? I wouldn't expect Clement to win the Gold Glove every year, but I'd like him to be better than average. He has a decent arm, and can get down and block the plate pretty well, but I might be being too critical of the situation.

Kenji Johjima has proven during his two years in the bigs that he is a top end catcher. He has comunicated terrifically with the Mariners pitching staff, been a solid consistant hitter, and played solid defence. Joh is pretty much the complete package. He can't run that well, but how many catchers can?

Clement is hitting the cover off of the ball so far this year at AAA. He's hitting .367 in 60 ABs with four HR and 13 RBIs. Joh is hitting .205 with no HR and 5 RBIs in 58 ABs with the Mariners to start the season. Obviously Clement would be the better choice offensively, but the other element, communication is a factor. Joh has worked with the majority of the Mariners pitching staff for the better part of two years now. Clement hasn't. If the Mariners wanted him to catch everyday come tomorrow, then they would be out of luck. Clement has limited catching experience with anyone on the Mariners staff. I know that if you give it a few minutes then he'd be able to pick up on what the pitchers are doing, but why break up what Joh has going with the Mariners pitchers?

The other element that I've mentioned was defence. As I said, Clement is improving and will hopefully become a solid defensive catcher for the M's. Right now, Joh has the upper hand in the defensive category. Now time to debate.

The fact is this: Jeff Clement is ready to play in the Majors. Kenji Johjima is currently struggling. Calling up Clement makes sense, but what will happen once he's up here? Maybe he comes out and is lights out. Which would be a good thing, but would Joh be happy with a backup role? I doubt it. And what if Clement does terrible? What would that do for his confidence? Keeping him at AAA for the time being is probably the best choice for now. Come August/September he should get a call-up, but for now the Mariners should stick with Joh and hope for the best.