Monday, May 18, 2009


You know what I hate the most about a Jackabauskas start? Hearing Rick freaking Rizzs say his name so deliberately, every last irritating syllable, over and over and over and over and over. Why can't we just call him "CJ" like I'm sure every other level of baseball back to t-ball did...


If I got paid to tell Rick Rizzs to shut up from my car seat, I'd be driving a really, really nice car.

Friday, May 8, 2009

.345, 27 HR, 106 RBI, 167 R, 16 SB

Adam Jones' pace. Reminds me of a commercial I once saw...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lopez: Can't or Won't Bunt?

It is really amazing to watch a major league hitter try to bunt and fail EVERY TIME. Has Jose Lopez ever successfully bunted a runner over? (I'm sure he has, but he fails every time I'm watching.) The latest fiasco was in the 5th inning of today's game vs KC. 2 on, 0 out. Great speed on the basepaths so all he has to go is bunt the ball fair. Lopez bunts the first pitch, an easy one to handle, foul. Then he watched a few more go by before eventually grounding into a double play. It would be understandable, considering their considerable power at the plate, if Branyan, Beltre and Griffey can't bunt. But Lopez and his non-bunting buddy Yuniesky Betancourt have no excuse. They have limited power and don't get on base very often.

While 60% of the blame has to fall on the players, the other 40% sits squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. If you have hitters as bad as Yuni and Lopez you need to make sure they can bunt. If that means 30 minutes of bunting practice a day until they can do it, so be it.

In the case of Lopez it appears something else is going on. He doesn't seem interested in bunting. He quickly draws a strike or two in order to get the green light to swing away (and ground into a double play). That begs the question: Is Lopez refusing to bunt in a passive-aggressive way? Lopez is such a bad bunter that a Google search for "Jose Lopez Bunting" returns a picture of Jose Guillen bunting in a Mariner uniform. How about we send them both down to AAA until they are able to do what little leaguers across the country can do: Lay one down and move the runners over. We've been waiting for 3 years for the 3-run homer to save us. Enough is enough.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rain On Yuni's Parade

Beltre was the only wet Mariner yesterday as he waited at home plate for the roof to close. Some people just don't have the sense to get out of the rain!
One guy that should have stayed home was Yuni. Another terrible game at the plate and in the field. Time to make a change before he costs the Mariners any more games.

The over on this game has to be about 17


In MLB's version of "The Biggest Loser" - who will emerge the victor?

Monday, May 4, 2009


Reading the news that Oliver Perez is headed to the bullpen for the Mets after signing his 3-year, $36 million dollar deal had me wondering just how desperate the Mets are for pitching coupled with just how frustrated they are by OP's performance.

Could they be frustrated and desperate enough to take Carlos Silva?

I haven't looked long and hard at the terms of the respective contracts, but the one Buffalo signed last year was 4 years, $48 mil - which means that both pitchers are owed virtually - or literally - the same number of dollars for the next two and 2/3 seasons.

I know I'm not a paid prognosticator, but Oliver Perez is twice the pitcher Silva is. Even if they both continued to stink - I'd much rather be paying OP to suck than paying Silva to suck.

So Omar, just how pissed off are you? We'll give you Carlos Silva, 180 lbs of food to feed him for the next month, and a bucket of piss for Oliver Perez, a wink, and a smile.

Friday, May 1, 2009

M's Overcome Hungry Buffalo

This game started out with Silva striking out two batters in the first inning, with some highly questionable calls - and I thought, "this just might be one of those magical, inexplicable nights where a worse-than-mediocre-pitcher pulls a masterpiece out of his ass." It kind of looked that way after two innings and then The Buffalo's water broke. For a guy who walked 9 batters in 188 innings pitched in 2005 (yes, NINE) - he certainly seemed like he didn't have a very good idea where the plate was despite the fact that Jim Joyce really didn't have an idea where the plate was either.

The hero was of course Lopez and the best at bat he's had in his professional career. 15 pitches and a line drive later, and Angie Mentink needed to change her drawers.

But to me, the MVP of the game was Kelley. He picked up the garbage left over by White and he suffered through some of the worst calls I've seen in recent memory to still blow away the Oakland hitters. Without Kelley in that situation, I really doubt the M's win this game.

Go to hell Silva. But Viva M's.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brilliant Analysis

Off Mariner topic, Scott Kazmir took an ugly loss today - a combination of bad location, several infield singles and bloopers, and a few well hit balls. Not his best day, but not a total disaster if you're Scott Kazmir. Anyway... reading some analysis over at CBS, one of their truly intuitive interns gave us this tidbit about Kaz:

"If he can ever become as dominant a lefty as Johan Santana, the sky is the limit."

Really? I mean, really? So if Jason Kubel can ever hit like Albert Pujols, the sky is the limit. If Carlos Silva can ever be as dominant as Roy Halladay, the sky is the limit. If I can ever solve the Riemann hypothesis, the sky is the limit.

Peas and rice - people pay for this advice! It just never ceases to amaze me when you read something so totally asinine that it makes you scream out loud like you just slammed your thumb in the car door of your SUV.

M's Avoid Swine Flu

The only thing that can possibly add up to a 2-1 loss facing Bartolo Colon is that they thought he was the grand master of all bacon, the King Pig himself, and they ran from his pitches like it was literally the plague in fear of swine flu. It would also explain why the hardest hit ball was by Rob Johnson, who - let's face it - is never going to be a charter member of Mensa.

But credit where credit is due - Jackabauskus pitched fantastic. Either that, or the White Sox really made his mediocre stuff look fantastic. Dude has a wicked curveball though - and he can pepper in a well located low-90's fastball. If I'm Rowland-Smith, I'm looking around for a pipe to Kerrigan that kid's ass.

Oh, and Felix is just ridiculously good. That game was over by the end of the second inning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thoughts on the Offense.

So the M's are hitting .241 as a team. They're 25th out of 30 teams. Their team OBP is .293. That's DFL, folks. Worst in the league. With an OPS of .645, their team line is starting to resemble an entire lineup of Jose Vidro's.

The offense has been horrible, not even living up to the very lowest of expectations.

Here's a reason to be pessimistic: The pitching is going to regress.

The bullpen has held opposing batters to a .218 AVG, good for 5th in the league and not sustainable at all. They've stranded 76% of base runners, which isn't ridiculous, but probably not sustainable. The fact remains that we have Felix and Bedard as co-#1 starters, and then we have a #5 in Washburn, and nothing else. We simply can't rely on our two-headed monster to go out there and throw gem after gem. They're going to lose some games. And no, we can't expect that Washburn will be good. He's not.

But here's a reason to be optimistic: We're 10-6. Dumb luck? Perhaps. Amazing individual pitching contributions? Yes. Fantastic defense? Assuredly.

But the horrible offense is really why we can get excited.

Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that Ken Griffey is going to hit .171 all year? That Beltre will hit .164? That Lopez will hit .196? Gutierrez .191? Save for the hot start by Endy Chavez, the best, it would seem, is yet to come from this offense.

Projections put Griffey in the .245 BA range with a wOBA around .338-.340.
Projections put Beltre in the .265-.275 range with a wOBA around .340
Projections have Lopez in the .280-.285 range with wOBA around .320
Projections have Gutierrez at .265-ish with wOBA around .320

Point is - the hits are coming. These four will regress to their collective means - by and large the heart of the lineup has yet to realize the season has begun. All the while, the pitching has picked up the slack and stuck them smack dab in first place.

So yeah, the pitching has performed above their abilities. The offense has performed below. When the two start to regress, that's when the proverbial rubber will meet the road and we'll see just what kind of team we've got.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm not a first baseman.

What the hell?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Note to GMZ

Trade Jarrod Washburn now.


His numbers look ridiculous. 1.71 ERA, 14 hits over 21 IP. 4 walks and 17K's. He struck out 9 tonight. He's the second coming of a 1997 Randy Johnson. His numbers will NEVER LOOK BETTER THAN THEY DO TODAY FOR THE REMAINDER OF HUMAN EXISTENCE.

You know how many times he's struck out more than 9 in the last 7 years? Once. You know how good Washburn really is? Not very. Now go out and fool someone, Z.

You know who looks pretty pitching starved right now is the Yankees... maybe we can right a wrong from about a year ago and get rid of this brutal contract while the gettin is good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

God Given

Talent, that is.

Was it just me, or did it seem like Brandon Morrow was just a little bit pissed off tonight? I'm sure the traditional media will say he was "focused" or "amped" or "pumped up". But from my seat, he looked downright pissed off. Like he'd just had it with his inconsistency. He'd had enough of worrying about his role with this team. Like he realized what gold he's got in that arm and he just blew three batters away.

They didn't have a chance.

He looked like a bona fide stopper.

Now, I realize his value is in the rotation and just about anyone can save 30 games. But regardless, it was a pretty welcome sight to see him come out of the bullpen with a sneer on his face and multiple 100 mph fastballs flying out of his hand. Check the graph, courtesy of Brooks Baseball and Pitch FX - he lived at 98+ save for one pretty wicked slider at 89. Go check out the rest of their awesome graphs to see that he peppered the strike zone with all but one pitch.

I'm no smart-guy-prognosticator, but if this is to be his role this year - then let's let it be this freaking bad ass and perhaps we can build his confidence, come up with a plan for his diabetes, and see if we can translate some of this success into the rotation in the future. But hey, I digress...

Brandon Morrow is a unique talent - and tonight, he just gave a big middle finger to the Tigers. It was an awesome sight.

8-3! Viva Mariners!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is stranger:

The Seattle Mariners start the season 7-2.

Someone named Jakubauskas is starting today.

Someone actually won that ridiculous "7 in the 7th" contest last night.

Shawn Kelley is looking a hell of a lot like JJ Putz.

Endy Chavez and Ichiro both go yard in the same game. Their combined weight probably isn't even as much as Silva weighs after 4 days on a treadmill.

Adrian Beltre appealed his own check swing for the second night in a row.

That Manager Cecil Cooper wants to monitor the playing time of Kaz Matsui because of his stints on the DL last year due to anal fissures.

Funny thing is, it's all true. Viva Mariners.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Shit

So, it seemed to me that the Mariners tried in every way to give this game away and yet, somehow the California-Anaheim-LA halo-angel-scioscia-babies seemed to just not want to win this game. It was the weird kind of crap that used to happen during the 116 win season where you just couldn't believe the M's pulled out a victory.

Beltre even appealed his own check swing again and lost.

I was watching the 10th inning at a pub, two beers in, and actually muttered to my 8-month pregnant, very uninterested and irritated wife, "what do you want to bet they lay down a bunt here and Shields launches it into right field."

She asked me, "why would he want to throw the ball to the right fielder?"

I bought 20 lottery tickets on the way home.

You know what, this team could play .500 ball for the rest of the year and they would still be in the hunt for the playoffs. Now that's something to celebrate. What a great start for a bunch of players I can't believe are in the lineup night in and night out.

Viva Mariners.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving On From Morrow Mess

It's too easy to fuel the fire this morning about Brandon Morrow's unfortunately choice to spend his career in the bullpen when his team desperately needs starting pitching. Calmer heads will focus on an unfortunate game that left an all-to-familiar bad taste in the mouths of Mariner fans. With 2 outs and nobody on base, and a 2 run lead, Morrow threw pitch after pitch off the plate in the same location. With no ability to make an adjustment, and no advice from his backstop or dugout that helped, 3 walks in a row and his night and the game fell apart. That is done, and we move on.

Two valuable lessons should be learned from last night:
1. When you have a young starter turned reliever who missed time due to injury and recently had command issues, you don't send him out on an island to fail. Simply put, someone should have been warming up in the bullpen. There is a show of confidence that managers have with established closers that keep them from warming someone up while they are on the hill in the 9th. Morrow has not earned this show of confidence. In addition, ALL of the Mariner arms are rested and ready to go, yet they sat in the bullpen as Morrow gave the game away. Batista didn't help the situation, but by the time Batista came in things were already out of control. Bring him in with runners on 1st and 2nd instead of the bases juiced and it probably would have been a different story.

2. Chuck Meriwether was horrible. He is to blame for the Mariner loss as much as Morrow and Batista.

From the Seattle Times: Bedard gave three runs back in the fifth — two on
Michael Cuddyer's two-out single after plate umpire Chuck Meriwether failed
to call a third strike on a 2-2 pitch down the middle.

Is anyone else tired of seeing pitches thrown belt-high or slightly above called balls? The vertical portion of the strike zone was around 12 inches tall at times last night, while balls off the plate were called strikes. Umpires like Meriwether are calling the game incorrectly. In this case it let the Twins back into the game.

(Photo: AP/Seattle Times)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reilly Points The Finger At Beltre

ESPN's Rick Rick Reilly has a funny piece this week about steroids and their impact on recent MVP awards. One of the players he calls out is Seattle's own Adrian Beltre.

Reilly writes:

"I have a U-Haul of hardware here for Jose Alberto Pujols Alcántara of the St. Louis Cardinals. You already have two MVPs, Albert, and you're about to get three more, since Barry Bonds ripped you off worse than Bernie Madoff to win the award from 2002 to 2004. You hit .335 and averaged 41 bombs those years and yet you finished second behind the clearly creaming Bonds in '02 and '03, and third behind Bonds and Adrian Beltre in '04. We're throwing out Beltre since, while he denies ever using PEDs, he fell off the face of the planet once baseball put in stricter steroid suspensions in 2005. If he wasn't cheating, I'm the Queen Mother."

On a side note, Beltre is seen here appealing his own check swing, which he does frequently. Nothing funnier than watching Beltre ask the 1b umpire to ring him up after the home plate umpire doesn't call a strike. Why doesn't someone with the Mariners explain to him that he is the only major league hitter (ever?) to do this and that it can only hurt him?

Back to the 'Roids. Beltre can prove in 2009 that he is not a cheater, and that he saves his best effort for contract years. Hit 35+ HR this year Adrian and we'll know you play for the cash and not on the juice!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Griffey Comes Home

The deal is done...finally! Griffey winds up with a $2 million contract that can balloon up to $4.5 million with incentives. The public relations benefits of bringing Griffey back are obvious for a team with plunging attendance. What isn't quite as obvious to many is the actual value Junior may bring to the team.

While his batting average is not going to be pretty, the key stats to watch are OPS (OBP + SLG), HR & RBI. He produced a .777 OPS in 2008 and .868 in 2007. Keep in mind the Mariners had only ONE player with an OPS over .800 last season, and he left in free agency (Ibanez). So by splitting the difference between his 2007 & 2008, Griffey could have an OPS over .820 and be the M's most productive hitter at a bargain basement price.

For some reason is it very difficult to score when you don't have any power hitters and nobody gets on base. Only TWO Mariner regulars had an OBP over .327 last year (Ichiro & Ibanez). Griffey has done that every year except for 2006 (his OPS was still over .800 that season).

Griffey won't make the M's a contender in the AL West, but he will make things more entertaining and hopefully will keep the M's offense watchable. Mariner fans deserved a feel good story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kelley's Take On Jr.

Good read from Steve Kelley on the Griffey situation: Article Here

Griffey Finds Leverage

With the Mariner deal nearing completion, Ken Griffey's agent earned his paycheck by getting another player in the ring. Reports keep mentioning Atlanta's proximity to Griffey's home as a major selling point. Sound familiar? What is it with Griffey's need to be close to home? He's on the road all summer anyway. I think he has enough cash to get a sweet pad for his family in Seattle during the summer.

My prediction is that the Atlanta involvement won't change Griffey's date with destiny here in Seattle. But it may result in some sort of 2nd year with a club buyout.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vote of Confidence

From the Times today, this tidbit that is somehow supposed to make us all feel better...

Cincinnati Reds team physician Tim Kremchek doesn't believe passing a physical will be problem for the oft-injured outfielder, who turned 39 in November.

"I can't imagine any problem," Kremchek said by phone from Cincinnati. "I've known Junior 10 years. I've operated on his right shoulder, his wrist, his right knee, left knee, his foot and hamstring."

What do you want to bet Kremchek owns a Land Rover and despite the fact that his mechanic sees it more than he gets to drive it himself, he thinks it's the "best car he's ever owned."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Bitch Is Back!

Well almost. Looks like the M's are about to make the 2nd best AL West free agent OF deal of the week. He's no Abreu, but the good news is that Griffey has demanded that Pokey Reese come to Seattle with him in a package deal. His dad says Pokey is the key to a championship.

One thing is certain, it should spice up a spring training otherwise dominated by such riveting questions as: Johjima or Clement? Branyan or Shelton/LaHair? Chavez or Balentin or Morse? Silva or Rowland-Smith?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Carlos Silva Trims Down

So word out of the M's luncheon today is that Carlos Silva has lost some weight. More than 20 lbs, according to trainer Rick Griffin - who himself probably weighs about 97 lbs., so you can understand why he thinks that's significant.

Looking at that pic - that only leaves about another 100 lbs. to get him down to playing weight.

I'll believe it when I see it, fat boy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

M's hire Woody Woodward

No, that's not a mistake. The very same Woody Woodward that set the organization back to the post-Pilot era with all the moves I don't care to re-hash here. They've hired him to scout - concentrating on the southeast.

My hope is they're actually talking about southeast Asia, unbeknownst to Woody, and they station him in freaking Laos where he can assemble the most bad-ass Laotian minor league squad and drive the team bus between Thailand and Myannmar looking for raw talent.

Oh, and I hope he gets a nasty case of the runs and gonorrhea while he's there. Yeah, that's for Lowe and Varitek, Woody. You're welcome.