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Monday, June 28, 2004

The camera crew got a nice shot of Dave Myers standing with his hands at his sides while Jolbert Cabrera is trying to figure out if a blooper is going to make it past the shortstop. It didn't, and Cabrera came really close to getting picked off. If the third base coach can't be bothered to help with that play, he really shouldn't be there.
I swear watching the Mariners has gotten as irritating as watching Friends. Or even the Gilmore Girls. To whit:
In the second inning, the first batter draws a walk, the third free base of the game. Next hitter, Bocachica, goes 2-0. The second pitch is a wild pitch that sails behind him. What to do next? Of course! Bocachica bunts. Two more walks and a pickoff later, the Rangers are out of the inning. Did Melvin think that fourth run was going to hold up the rest of the game? That Bierbrodt would suddenly find the zone?

Mmmm. Bierbrodt. Named after two different food groups. Like Vegetablegrain, but it flows much better.

Now that the M's have a real live outfield prospect, can we quit screwing around with Jamal Strong, please? Bring him up, figure out if he can play, and then let him be a fifth outfielder next year. The crowd might like the hustling Bocachica, but he's not going to be a part of the next good Mariners team, even if it's next year.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

That was nice. Pretty shrewd of our boy Billy to pick on Kenny Williams for a nice bit of booty for someone who was going away anyway. And getting rid of the attention-challenged Ben Davis? Nice touch.

On the other hand, as they said in Pulp Fiction, let's not go sucking each others dicks just yet, gentlemen. While the PECOTA deal picks out Tony Gwynn and Don Mattingly as similar players to Reed (and even my main man Bill Buckner), there are a lot of Terry Francona / Rowland Office types on the list, too. Which I guess is a good way of saying that no prospect is a sure thing. But, hell, who's to gripe. I hope Billy has Minnesota in his sights for the next trade - wouldn't Bret Boone's Dick McAuliffe impression look better in the CorporateDonorTBA Dome in Minneapolis?

For those of you who think that Jamie Moyer is next... He's not, OK. C'mon, the guy is such a local institution that his frickin' wife is doing radio spots for car dealerships. Moyer, Wilson, and Martinez are here for good.

Finally, a hearty tip of the cap to Freddy Garcia. He's been mostly a hell of a pitcher since he's been here. He might not have ever become the ace that was predicted of him, but what he has been was often pretty damn good. We here at The Grand Salami wish you the best in Chicago, except when the Sox play the Cubs and the Mariners, at which times we hope that you suck.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Sorry, but our manager has got to be one of the biggest idiots in baseball history. In this quote from Friday's Seattle Times, Melvin says that "It was not the case at all that he (Ichiro) was supposed to produce runs in the three slot." WHAT?!!!??? Why the hell is he batting in the 3 hole, so he can make outs? He's not supposed to drive in runs? He's supposed to come up with runners in scoring position and strike out? Is that why Ichiro tried to bunt the other day with a runner on second and two outs??? Melvin is the worst manager in recent memory, possibly even worse than the infamous Maury Wills, who "led" Seattle to a 26-56 record in parts of the 1980 and 81 seasons.

Me, I was hoping that Melvin's blunder today, using up 5 of his 6 bullpen guys in the first ten innings, would lead to his firing right after the game, when the M's were forced to use Jamie Moyer for four innings after J.J. Putz, the last pitcher in the pen, couldn't go more than four. I was half expecting Melvin to say after the game that he thought he could bring back pitchers he'd used earlier if the game went longer than fifteen innings... Alas, it was wishful thinking -- this bozo is still the manager of the Seattle Mariners as of this writing.

Gee, ya think now that the Mariners have proven that they're no match for the Rangers, that the idiots running the organization will finally allow Bavasi to trade Garcia and anyone else that has value, like Guardado, Mike Myers, Dave Hansen. Spiezio and Randy Winn should be dealt if anyone will take them, even if the M's have to pay half the money on the remaining financial commitments to both players. I've been a Bret Boone supporter but even I have to say after watching him the last two weeks, that nobody is going to take Boone in a trade unless he gets hot. If this continues, the team is going to have to figure out how to bench him or put him on the DL so he doesn't get the 450 plate appearances he needs to guarantee him $9 million for 2005...

I heard the most insane thing ever on the radio yesterday --- one of the KJR hosts, after saying that Bill Bavasi had said that the team wasn't giving up on the season yet because of the fans, made a comment about the Mariner fans wanting to see John Olerud and how upset the fan base would be if he weren't playing the rest of the year. Yeah, there might be some grandmother in Puyallup who wants to see Olerud ground out to second base for the umpeenth time, but I have to think that most of the fans are wise enough that they'd rather see some hot young prospect get a shot...

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Now that Beltran has gone to the Astros (hopefully Jimy will still be able to keep the 'stros out of the pennant chase), anyone want to bet where Freddy is going? Somehow, I feel like come August, we'll all be longing for the days of Gillick's inactivity over watching us trade our best chits for a bag of beads. Plastic beads, bought at the mall.

Interstingly, Justin Leone has been back at short the last few nights for the Rainiers. This may be just to get Dobbs into the lineup, but maybe there is something afoot. A shortstop who hits like Russ Branyan would be an intriguing addition for the rest of the year. I might even watch a game or two to see him.
Want to know what killed the Mariners today?

Pitcher-----IP-----Batters Faced-----# of pitches
Villone------0.1-----------2-------------------6
Mateo------0.2-----------2-------------------10
Hasegawa--0.2-----------3-------------------8
Myers-------0.1-----------1-------------------7

I mean, that wasn't the only thing BoMel did wrong, but it sure didn't help. Maybe he'll learn his lesson, but probably not.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Wow. It's been a while since this has been active, as we've been out of the office on the last road trip. Apparently, the Grand Salami magic is still working, as it was the hottest stretch for the team in a long time. The fact the teams that they played sucked also helped.

Funniest comment from the trip: the Milwaukee parking lot attendant said that the Mariners were the worst team he's ever seen, and didn't they win 127 games a couple of years ago. It takes some doing to get the shell-shocked citizens of Milwaukee to notice brutally bad baseball.

Second funniest comment: The hecklers from Milwaukee who were riding Clint Nageotte about looking like a kid on the jumbotron. "He's failing algebra!" Good hecklers are artists, yet not appreciated in these parts, unfortunately.

Nice to see that the team has set a July 1st deadline for getting back in the race. So a perfect record until then would be just shy of .500. What then? Push the deadline back? Trade prospects for a hitter? Unbelievable. The season was over a month ago, guys. Make a move, before the bad Freddy shows up.

I love listening to the Yankees posture about their prospects - they really are masters. Well, we don't really think we want to give you Navarro for Freddy Garcia, because we want to save him for a big deal.... What the..?!? Their undersized, no power, hacking, average fielding catcher is much better than our modestly priced number 2 starter? Eventually, of course, we end up giving up Garcia for either the overrated catcher or a similar borderline prospect, and feel like we got the best of the deal.

Best news of the trip? We're not telling. You'll have to buy the next issue to read our interview with Howard Lincoln. Available at your favorite ball park in two weeks.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Chica means girl.
Those spanish-english online translators are pieces of crap. I think they're all created by high school foreign language teachers to catch students trying to cheat.
Here's a fun thing to do: Write a paragraph in english, have one of the online translators translate it to spanish (or french, german, whatever...) and then back to english.

Here's an example:
The Grand Salami is the best Mariners magazine ever. Randy Winn throws like a girl and I can't believe that John Olerud hit a triple. Bill Bavasi is an incompetent general manager and Bob Melvin is a public relations puppet. The sacrafice bunt is usually a horrible play, especially when Dan Wilson is at the plate. When will the unloading begin? Give the kids a chance!

to..

La Especie de salchichón Grande es la mejor revista de Navegantes jamás. El patán los tiros Ganados como una chica y como yo no puedo creer que ese John Olerud golpeó un triple. La cuenta Bavasi es un director general incompetente y Corta Melvin es un títere público de relaciones. El toque de sacrafice es generalmente un juego horrible, especialmente cuándo Dan Wilson está en el plato. ¿Haga cuándo el descargar empieza? ¡Dé los niños una oportunidad!

Which equals...

The Species of salchichón Large is the best magazine of Navigators never. The patán the Earned shots as a girl and eat I cannot believe that that John Olerud struck a triple. The account Bavasi is an incompetent general director and Short Melvin is a public puppet of relations. The sound of sacrafice is generally a horrible play, especially when Give Wilson is in the dish. Do when the to discharge begins? Give the children an opportunity!

Ok - so proper names give it the most difficulty. Although it's awesome that BoMel is now "Short Melvin," here's another example without proper names. Sorry this is so long, I find it really amusing (and it's a lot more fun than doing homework)!

New example:
I love baseball, although it has been difficult lately. My favorite team is struggling and will probably finish in last place. Horrible decisions were made in the winter and now the team is paying the price. Hopefully management will get their shit together and get us back on track for next season.

Becomes...
I worship the baseball, although have been difficult recently. My favorite team fights and will finish probably in last place. The horrible decisions were done in the winter and now the team pays the price. Optimistamente administration will obtain its together crap and will recover in the trace for next season.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

It is very entertaining to listen to the broadcast team (wow, never thought I'd write that..) fall all over each other in praise of the M's new centerfielder Hiram Smallmouth (or Bocachica in Spanish). It seems this Smallmouth has injected a fresh energy into the team by hitting a couple of singles and playing a passable center. I'm very disappointed that my original guess at the translation of his name - pretty mouth - was incorrect, as I figured that the intersection of the Mariners season and Ned Beatty's love scene in Deliverance could hold some sort of cosmic significance.

Also entertaining was Peter Gammons' personal attack on J.D. Drew in his latest ridiculous column. Maybe that old pissed off Bill Bavasi can round up some of the damaged and tainted goods on next year's free agent market and bring this team back to contention. I'd love to see him pick up Drew and Troy Glaus (victim of a similar broadside a few weeks ago) for the kinds of mid-level contracts they wasted on limited players like Spezio and Hasagawa this last off-season.
Lost in all the fuss about Dan Wilson losing the ball (or having it knocked away from him), is the fact that Randy F Winn caught the damn ball about 10 or 15 feet from the infield. No mattter who was running, no third base coach in the game of baseball would send a runner from third on any other left fielder except Randy Winn. While his throw was technically on-line, it was far from perfect; it was a high, looping throw and took way too long to get there. Bagwell should have been out by 40 feet with a decent throw from an average left fielder. Instead, the throw made it close and it forced Wilson to have to lunge to reach Bagwell, causing the ball to come loose. Sorry folks, but Randy Winn has to have the worst outfield arm in all of baseball...

And if Winn plays another game in center field for the Mariners, I'm gonna scream. Hiram Bocachica, a 28-year old journeyman outfielder ($300,000 salary), comes up from the minors and makes two awesome plays in center field, the kind of plays that we've come to be used to with Cameron out there, the kind of plays Randy Winn, making 12 times as much as Bocachica) doesn't make in his dreams. Yet Melvin keeps insisting that he only moved Winn to left because "Hiram was more comfortable in center". Melvin actually had the nerve to say the other night that, since the first couple of weeks of the season, Winn has been fine in center. Uh, Bob, no he hasn't. He doesn't get a good jump on the ball, he looks lost out there and even with his speed can't get to balls he should get to in CF because he takes the wrong routes...No more Winn in CF --- EVER!
Even though the M's lost - that was a great game. Pineiro kept up with Roger Clemens and if Dan Wilson didn't botch that play at the plate, it might have taken extra innings for the M's to blow it. But - when you have a runner on third with no outs (bottom of the 8th) and you don't score, that's just pathetic.

Here are a couple random thoughs from the game:
Thumbs up to Hiram Bocachica. That was a great play out there in CF and it almost ripped his arm off!
Attention Rick Rizzs: No ball hit to Randy Winn should be referred to as "An easy fly ball hit to Randy Winn."

And since we haven't done this for a while...
HERO: Roger Clemens. 9-0! To put that in perspective, Moyer, Garcia, Pineiro, Franklin, Meche and Nageotte have 13 wins combined.
GOAT: Dan Wilson. Yeah, he went 2-4, but a good catcher makes that play at the plate. And you can make the argument that if it wasn't Randy Winn in left field, Bagwell would have stayed at third - so maybe Dan and Randy can have one goat horn each...where they stick them is up to them!

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Mariners have picked shortstop Matt Tuiasasopo, a local kid out of Woodinville High School, with their first pick in the amateur draft, the #93 pick overall. Tuiasasopo, of course, is the brother of former Huskies QB Marques Tuiasasopo and he also plays football and is the top quarterback recruit this year of the University of Washington Huskies. The 18-year old Tuiasosopo has been ranked the #9 quarterback in the nation. He now has a choice between playing football for the Huskies (he's their top QB recruit this year) and accepting a rich signing bonus to sign with the M's to start in the low minor leagues. As many of you know Seattle forfeited their first and second round picks in this draft in order to sign Raul Ibanez and Eddie Guardado.

Tuiasasopo was on KJR-AM here in Seattle earlier today, where he said that he would not play both football and baseball and that he would only play one sport. He said he and his family had spoken with the M's, who were aware that he would only play one sport. He said that he would make his decision in the next day or two.

Obviously if Tuiasasopo plays football, this is another blunder by the Mariners. Hopefully they're prepared to offer him enough money to forego a football career. Tuisasopo is reportedly a powerful Jose Canseco-type (without the steroids) who projects to a corner position in the major leagues.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I should really stop reading MLB.com. Most of the time it just frustrates me. Take this article by Mike Bauman called "Pitch counts have become crutches" for example. In the article, Bauman says that Jason Schmidt's 144-pitch one-hitter wasn't dangerous because it was "brilliant" and "successful." While I agree that it was a very good performance from Schmidt, and it probably didn't get the recognition that it deserved because Randy Johnson threw his perfect game on the same day, it's a ridiculous statement. It's like a guy, after riding a unicycle around the rim of a volcano while juggling infants blindfolded, saying, "See! I TOLD you it wasn't dangerous!" My point is that things can be both dangerous and successful. It's articles like this that make me antsy for my copy of "Saving the Pitcher" by Baseball Prospectus' injury guru, Will Carroll, to arive!


In a long overdue move, Gil Meche and his 7.06 ERA have been optioned to Tacoma and Hiram Bocachica has been recalled from the Rainiers. Now I'm not sure how exactly Meche had an option but that's besides the point. This is another move by Bob Melvin and the M's that comes too late to matter. Not for Gil Meche -- hopefully he'll be able to bounce back and resume the promising big league career it seemed he had when he went 10-5 in the first half of 2003 (he's gone 6-16 with an ERA well over 6.00 since).

No, what I mean is that this move, like the delayed sending down of Rafael Soriano when it was obvious he wasn't ready to pitch at the big league level, is another move that proves that Melvin, et. al. just don't what they're doing. Meche has been awful for over a month, he wasn't giving the team a chance to win the games he was starting, but continued to pitch every fifth day because he was one of "our guys". Just like with John Olerud and Randy Winn, Melvin put Meche out there every fifth day because in spite of all evidence to the contrary, Melvin felt Gil Meche was gonna turn it around because he'd pitched well in the past.

The other reason it seems that the M's waited so long to make this move is because of the club's insane obsession with the record for the same 5 starters making all the starts. Melvin and the starters were all so proud of the fact that in 2003 they became the first team since 1966 to use only five starters over the course of a full season. Never mind that Meche had a 6.08 ERA in the second half of '03 or the fact that he should not have been starting in the pennant drive last September. It seems that record was more important to the club last year than actually trying to reach the postseason...

Now many would have expected the club to call up Jamal Strong instead of Bocachica, but Strong is still suffering from the effects of a hamstring injury and hasn't been stealing bases like he usually does (only 5 this year so far) so Bocachica was probably the better option at least for right now. Since Jamal Strong has very little power and his whole game is getting on base and running, if that part of his game is not 100% it's better that they wait until he's fully healthy to call him up. Let's hope the club uses this opportunity to insert Bocachica into the lineup to see if he can duplicate his spring training performance or whether he's the same guy who couldn't hit before with the Dodgers and Tigers. Give him a couple of weeks in the lineup, if he plays well then maybe they've found a cheaper, better CF than Randy Winn, with more power at the major league minumum of $300,000. If not, at least they gave it a shot and they can bring Strong up in 3 or 4 weeks...

By the way this move must have just been decided on, since I was down at the Tacoma game today, which began at 12:35 and Bocachica was in the lineup. If he's in the M's lineup tonight, will he be the first player to start for the M's and the Rainiers in the same day????

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