Thursday, September 30, 2004

YES! Mike Cameron will make his return to Safeco Field next season! If you don't know, Cammy is my favorite player and I'm already stoked for June 17th - 19th. I'm going to buy front-row tickets in section 102 and I'll probably dork out and make a sign.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new strikeout king: Adam Dunn just broke Bobby Bonds' single season strikeout record with 190. A tip of the cap to Dunn and the Reds for allowing him to play in the final few games and finish his run at the mark. Even though the #%^$(@ @$) is killing the Cubs.

Did anyone else see the weird ending to the Giants @ Padres game last night? Giants OF Dustan Mohr injured his knee on the bullpen mound while fielding a foul fly ball in the bottom of the 10th inning and allowed the winning run to score. It solidified for me many thoughts that I’ve harbored for a long time. That is, all of the mounds and bullpens in the field of play need to be bulldozed, and that includes that monstrosity in center field in Houston! Most of the newer ballparks have understood this and built the bullpens out of harm’s way, where they belong. Unique aspects of ballparks are generally interesting and part of the game, but not if they pose a serious risk to the players’ health or to the integrity of the game.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Revile me, if you will, and stone me, if you must, but at this point in this train wreck of a season, I am hoping for the Mariners to lose 100 games. It's sick, I know, isn't it? I have been called a heretic before. Honestly, I have long term goals in mind here. I really believe that 100 games is the milestone of futility that no one can possibly ignore. I think that is the only way to possibly mandate some serious introspection and wholesale housecleaning! Four losses to go.

Friday, September 24, 2004

After reading the Post-Intelligencer this morning, and specifically two(!) columns defending MelBob, I have to go on the record. I believe MelBob should be fired immediately, or retroactively, if possible, for more reasons than I can enumerate here. The main one is this: Baseball should be entertaining at least, if not competitive. This team under MelBob has never been entertaining! Last year they were somewhat competitive, but still boring! His management style, as well as his interviews, are supremely dull and predictable. I'm still hoping for his termination at season's end (or before).
It really shouldn't stop there either. There is plenty of blame to go around. I believe Bavasi and Lincoln share in this big time! I'm reminded of the "groupthink" phenomenon from the national intelligence failures. There was a huge intelligence failure in Seattle during last year's offseason! If MelBob is fired, but Lincoln and Bavasi remain, does anyone have any confidence that they can right the good ship Mariner? I don't.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A blog with no fresh posts invites action, rather like a tattooed lady with a large expanse of bare skin.

A strange thing happened to me last night that hasn't occurred for many years. The Mariners played a game, and I not only didn't watch it, I didn't really care! Apparently, I didn't miss much. I read about it this morning; the Mariners haven't soured me on the sports page yet. Last night on TV, I did check in on the Red Sox and the Yankees. They both lost to teams out of contention. I am excited for next weekend's series in Boston, and I'm seriously hoping for a Red Sox and Cardinals World Series! Thanks to MLB Extra Innings, I will survive this season, as there is always someone playing good baseball.

Friday, September 10, 2004

In contrast to Bob Melvin, the Diamondbacks don't seem to have any issue with playing a AAA team against a contender, in this case the Giants. Their cleanup hitter is a 36-year-old with a total of 61 MLB AB's and a slugging % of .262. Four people in the starting lineup were south of .200 on the year, and only one was Randy Johnson. This might be the worst starting eight I've ever seen. If I'm the Cubs (and although I'm old enough, I'm not), I'd be pissed.

So in the eighth, Barry Bonds comes to the plate with two out and nobody on in a game they are winning 2-1. The D-backs don't give a shit, they're just playing out the string, so what do they do? Of course, an intentional walk. Bizarre.

Speaking of Bonds, can someone at ESPN please write a column about him that doesn't mention BALCO? In this year of accountable steroid testing, you'd figure a cheater would see his numbers fall off noticeably. Instead, in the same year he turned 40 and his dad died, he's put up arguably the greatest season in the history of the game. I don't know why I even still have that damn site bookmarked.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Mariners golden labrum award for the week goes to starter Bobby Madritsch. Tonight, he threw 126 pitches in a meaningless (for his team, at least) game. He's now averaging 114 pitches in his seven MLB starts. Granted, he's not a kid, and is maybe at lower risk of serious arm injury than he would have been five years ago, but still this raises a red flag. I haven't seen a Mariners pitcher not named Freddy Garcia put together this kind of workload since Bryan Price came on board.

By the way, he threw a hell of a game.

Compare and contrast section (would have looked even better if I got around to this before the game)
Willie Bloomquist: 1st 404 MLB AB's, 2 HR's
Greg Dobbs: 1st 6 MLB AB's, 1 HR
Chance Greg Dobbs gets enough AB's to catch Willie at two: about 75%
Chance Greg Dobbs should have been in the MLB long enough to get one: nil
Number of these two players who should be on the 40 man roster next year: 0

Niehaus quote of the year (as Jason Varitek strides to the plate): I wonder what Heathcliff Slocumb is doing tonight. Well, Dave, that makes one of you. Thanks for bringing it up.

We've discussed this here before, but it bears repeating. Ichiro doesn't seem to be the best team player. Runner on second, two outs, he tries to bunt for a base hit. That is not the kind of thing that wins games. Even if he is 100% sure he can get on (he didn't), that swaps out about (too lazy to look up) points of OBP in a scoring situation. Nice.

I think it is looking possible for Madritsch to have a nice few year run as a third starter based on what we've seen so far. With the rest of the pitching staff looking like extras from a WW1 movie (scars, slings, ancient, etc), this might be as good as it gets for a while.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Bob F Melvin was true to his word -- Jeremy Reed is not in the starting lineup tonight --- against the Cleveland Indians. Last I looked the Indians were about 9 games out in the AL Central and not even in the Wild Card picture. Yet apparently Bo Mel doesn't think it's fair to the Minnesota Twins to start Reed tonight. After tonight Seattle has a four game series against Boston -- will Reed be glued to the bench for all four of those games too???

Never mind that the people this bozo should be concerned about are the people in the stands at Safeco tonight -- all 20,000 (maybe) of them. Those are the people that are anxious to see Jeremy Reed, to get a glimpse of this kid the team got in the Freddy Garcia trade. But instead

This just in --- Rich Waltz just asked Melvin on the pre-game show on TV when we'd see Jeremy Reed in the lineup. Melvin replied "I'm not gonna tell you. I've got to tell him first.
The best I'm gonna do is you might see him in the lineup in the next couple of games." Then he went on to add, "with all these contending teams coming in, you're kind of under the gun to put your veteran lineup out there and put your supposed best lineup out on the field. You could see up to 2 kids in the lineup on any given day but we're not gonna put 8 kids out there against one team and not another." Who exactly is putting Bob Melvin "under the gun" not to play the orgnization's best outfield prospect??? What an idiot.

And finally, it looks like Greg Dobbs may get more playing time than Reed this month. More Melvin: "Dobber (Greg Dobbs) you might see a little more in that we don't have an everyday guy out there at third. " So I guess Melvin hasn't figured out that he has the option of moving Ibanez to first (he has played there before, both with KC and Seattle), a position where we don't have an everyday guy either (last I looked Wille F Bloomquist was starting 5 of the last 7 games at first base). With Ibanez at first, Reed could step in in LF -- but NO! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW! FIRE BOB MELVIN NOW!
First I would like to say that it's ridiculous for BoMel to think that he owes anything to the other teams. Um...I think you've given them enough already this season Bob! No worries... How about owing something to the fans? Does anyone really give a shit if Scott Spiezio plays or not? Will Joe Torre piledrive Bob Melvin if he starts Jeremy Reed against the Red Sox instead of Randy Winn? As a side note - I think the real reason Melvin wanted Mickey Lopez up is because his name already ends with an EY. I'll bet the front office didn't call Rene Rivera up just to save him the humiliation of being called "Rivey" for the next 3 weeks!

Anyway, the real reason I wanted to post was because I was thinking about the money that I won by betting my dad that Travis Hafner would hit a home run Monday night, and it got me to thinking...

On July 22nd, I tried to end the myth that it’s nearly impossible to hit home runs at Safeco Field. I know the announcers like to recite that and watching enough of "Wee-Willie Bloopquist" could certainly have you believing it. While I understand that Safeco Field is indeed a pitcher’s park, I have heard people hysterically calling KJR saying that the fences should be moved in and it provoked me to do a little research. I came to the conclusion that it’s not the stadium...(drum roll please)...it’s our weak-ass players! At the time of the initial post, the M’s were being out-homered at Safeco, 39-59. So, without further delay, I present...

Home runs @ Safeco Field in 2004 v2.0
Mariners: 61
Opponents: 93

As you can see, not a lot has changed in the past 5 weeks. The difference is still about 30 dingers, even though the M’s brought up Bucky and the first tally was right after the Indians went yard 8 TIMES in
one game!

I will post a more detailed analysis on hitting home runs at Safeco Field after the season.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

More Bob Melvin BS. The September callups aren't going to get much playing time because Melvin thinks the Mariners owe it to the teams that are in contention to play "the veterans". So instead of seeing Jeremy Reed in the outfield, Raul Ibanez moved to first, Willie Bloomquist on the damn bench and Greg Dobbs at third, we'll supposedly continue to see Ibanez in the OF, Bloomquist as the starting 1B and Reed and Dobbs in pinch-running roles and as defensive replacments.
Thanks to Trident Fever for the following unbelievable numbers:

Ben Davis
in 93 at-bats with Chicago

John Olerud
in 70 at-bats with NY

Rich Aurilia
in 62 at-bats with San Diego

OK, enough is enough. BOB MELVIN MUST GO! The man is an embarassment. Tonight he put in a new pitcher, George Sherrill for the ninth inning after Masao Kida pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Fine, no problem. Then, with two outs and a man on first and the M's trailing 5-0, Melvin comes out to make another pitching change, removing Sherrill in favor of righty J.J. Putz.

Why Bob felt it was that important to make a right-left switch with the club trailing by 5 runs in the ninth is beyond comprehension. What's his thinking? He wants the fans to feel that he still thinks the ballclub can win the game, so he's gonna manage right to the end? Or, "hey, if we lose 7-0 instead of 5-0 I could get fired"? One more thing -- if Melvin hadn't already lost the respect of the club (by all reports he has) , this probably did it. The players on the field, who all couldn't wait to get home, just had to be shaking their heads, thinking "What the hell is he doing! We don't have a chance in this game. Let's just get this one over and get this fucking awful season over!"

I caught the pre-game TV interview with Melvin tonight in which he said how happy he was for Mickey Lopez to get the call, because he goes way back with Mickey, to their time in the Milwaukee organization. Since there's really no reason to be calling up Mickey Lopez unless he's next year's Willie Bloomquist (he is better -- but who isn't?), it seems that Bo Mel had some influence here. If by all accounts Melvin is gonna be fired soon, why is he getting input on who the organization calls up for the final month? Firing Melvin and getting Dan Rohn in here as the interim manager can't come soon enough for me -- it should have happened in July or August...

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Moyer watch: Jamie is now 20th all-time in gopher balls in a season. He needs four more to hit the top five all-time. He projects out at 46, which would tie Bert Blyleven and Robin Roberts for third. This looks pretty achievable, given the upcoming schedule and the pace he's been on (11 in the last 6 games!). He'll likely fall short of the 50 required for the record, though. Sigh.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Leave it to ESPN.com to raise the bar for irresponsible journalism to a record height. Check the headline of this article: Giambi reportedly treated with steroids. Stop the presses - you mean Jason has been taking steroids to enhance his baseball ability. Uh, no, he's been taking anti-inflammatory steroids (probably Prednisone) to stop a dangerous swelling in his brain. These steroids tend to make people lose muscle mass and strength, as well as feel fatigue. Scanning the article, you also find the inevitable tie-in to whispers of anabolic steroid abuse - although no scientific evidence supports this assertion, anecdotal reports (i.e. this reporter would like you to believe) that this is related to his past abuse of performance enhancing drugs. Bullshit, there is no known or speculated link between pituitary adenoma and anabolic steroids, that I've ever been able to find. Prolactinoma and other pituitary tumors are a serious condition, and we shouldn't be taking this opportunity to pile on Mr. Giambi. If you want to do that, make fun of his deodorant commercials.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Did anyone else see this? It seems every time Mel Bob opens his mouth, out pops Blog fodder. His latest:

“For my money, Ron Villone is this team’s pitching MVP. Whatever we’ve needed him to do, he’s done.”

This is so insane on so many levels it hurts to contemplate. It screams incompetence! That comment alone is reason enough to fire him.

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