After tonight’s 3-2 win over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays with our Ace Felix Hernandez taking the ball tomorrow, the question once again arises as to whether or not the Mariners can manage to finish the 2012 campaign at or above .500? With a record of 69-74 the M’s have already surpassed last year’s win total by two which of course is only a slight improvement but I’ll take it.
This season is winding down rapidly and with Texas and Baltimore up next on the schedule this could be the last time when we get to pat ourselves on the back for improving in 2012 and kick around the finishing at .500 concept, only time will tell. It is apparent that we have good starting pitching, great defense, and a solid bullpen going into 2013 but as usual the big question is the offense. Now don’t get me wrong we have improved slightly in the offensive arena, especially my guy Kyle Seager who went 3-5 again tonight and leads the club in both the home run and RBI category with 18 and 81 respectively. In fact Seager played only 8 games to many last year and had 52 to many AB’s or he would be eligible for discussion in the rookie of the year debate though it would be hard to imagine anyone beating out Mike Trout this year who also played last year but did not reach the 45 game or 130 AB’s threshold.
Overall this year has been easier to watch than the last two, though I’m thinking we still need to bring in the infamous “Big Bat” that we routinely howl for here in the Seattle during the winter months but usually end up without this elusive offensive piece we need to compete. I am hopeful that with the 18 million dollar salary of Ichiro’s off the books we may be able afford at least a mid-range veteran that could hit .280 and 25 homers next year to give Eric Wedge the ammo he needs to put a winning team on the field for us fans.
I want to mention that I will be in New York this weekend taking a bit of a holiday before heading to Casablanca for a Maritime conference and thus I am heading to Yankee stadium Sunday for the Yankees-Rays game. This should be quite a setting and for me it will be my first time at the new Yankee stadium. I will try to take a couple of photos and post them here or via my twitter account fo those of you who like myself want to experience a pennant race even vicariously!
I”m going to go out on a limb and say we somehow finish right at .500 this season and not making it till the very last game against the Angels on Oct. 3rd which I plan to attend…..What do you think? Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners are on their way back East to face the Detroit Tigers still reeling from a homestand that started out ok and ended-up being a blur of disappointment that has left may of us fans at a familiar place emotionally with this club. I did somehow manage to make it to the infamous game where the Mariners won 4-1 over the Indians yet drew the fewest fans in Safeco history last week which as it turns out was sort of a perverse high point of the homestand! From there of course it got worse with blown save by League in the ninth last Thursday after a valiant effort by King Felix, a couple of usual dull losses including yesterday”s game, and another stupid bobblehead night that didn’t even draw enough fans to give away the toys to the casual fans. And of course how can we forget the infamous “Perfect Game” that was thrown against us Saturday to mix into the smoldering stew of ineptitude.
I suppose you can see why I have not been posting on this Mariners Blog for a few days as just when I think I have gotten over one nightmare another one seems to surface even harder on the collective psyche of those of us who are true fans, or maybe true masochist’s.
Not much sense in reviewing who is doing bad vs. who is doing terrible this year as outside Felix and Ichiro none of our guys have been to impressive thus far. So what now? Is it going to be another long painful 100-loss season, or will Eric Wedge and his crew be able to manage some sort of miracle resurgence like they did last year to keep the natives interested until October? I have some hope, but judging from the people I talk to here in Seattle most folks simply don’t even care anymore. We are perhaps in the final stages of the grieving process so to speak where we all move to acceptance and stop fighting it anymore. But how do you listen or watch games every day during the only days of the year when the weather is nice knowing you are wasting your time and you should be out kayaking or swimming or whatever normal non-Mariners fans do in the NW summer? This next road trip could be the answer for many of us, stay tuned. Go Away Chuck and Howard! http;//jeffsmariners.com
By Scott Rinear
Happy 4th of July weekend! Hopefully most of you in the region were able to get out and enjoy a picture perfect summer day in the northwest, finally.
So in case you missed it, Seattle Mariners pitcher Doug Fister, who has developed the unfortunate and unbelievably frustrating reputation of being the tough luck kid because he pitches so well but never wins, lost another heart breaker by one run, a run that should not have scored. San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin walked in the 5th inning and scored the game’s only run. However, upon further review, it was discovered that the count was 3 balls and 2 strikes when Maybin jogged down to first base. A walk with only 3 balls. The fact that a run scored in this manner was the only run surrendered by Fister in 9 innings of work makes “tough luck” an understatement. There’s not much more to say…keep doing what you’re doing Doug! Your fortunes will improve. And for those of you wondering about protesting the game:
Rule 4.19 Comment: Whenever a manager protests a game because of alleged misapplication of the rules the protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch, play or attempted play.
Let’s take the positive out of this. Doug Fister is pitching out of his mind, and that is very promising for the future of this team.
As we pass the technical half-way point of the 2011 season and approach the All-Star Break, I wanted to weigh in and perhaps start a discussion about Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge. Sprinkled throughout the posts on this blog in 2011 have been some brief opinions, praise, and criticisms of the Mariners’ second go-around with a former Cleveland Indians manager, but I feel the man (Wedge, aka Mt. Mustache) deserves a little more attention and discussion.
The founding father of this blog, Jeff, and I, in our back and forth Mariner banter this season have long since come to the conclusion that Eric Wedge is The Man, plain and simple. “Fear the Mustache” is Jeff’s brainchild. It’s not about Wedge being a particularly scary individual. It’s about Wedge’s style as a manager and the respect he commands from his players and their opponents, and of course, very literally, his utterly fantastic mustache!
“Fear the Mustache” is also a warning. Wedge became the faltering Indians manager in 2003. The Indians moved up a spot in the final AL Central standings each of his first 3 seasons, and by 2005 they were within 2 games of the playoffs. Then, after a down year in 2006, Wedge lead the 2007 Indians to a 96 win season, a 4-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, and were one game away from reaching the World Series, losing the ALCS game 7 to the Boston Red Sox.
Wedge was awarded Manger of the Year honors for that 2007 season and I believe he’ll receive that award again, soon, as the manager of the Seattle Mariners. Think about it. The 2011 Mariners were “supposed” to be well out of the race by now. And on paper they probably should be. Through his managerial decisions Wedge has gotten the most out of a team offense ranked last in hits, runs, batting average, on-base %, slugging % and OPS. A team with numbers like that has no business anywhere but the cellar. Of course the Mariners’ brilliant pitching staff has a lot to do with their current “striking distance” position in the AL West, but I think a lot of the credit should also be given to Wedge.
I realize one half season might not be enough for some to reach this sort of conclusion, but for me it’s an intangible gut feeling that Wedge is finally our guy, and that he’s made it far enough into the building that he’ll avoid falling victim to the Mariner manager revolving door that was installed when Lou Piniella exited said building.
Eric Wedge was a catcher in his playing days, which included a College World Series title with Wichita State in 1989 and some time in the minors and a few stints in the majors. He and his wife Kate Wedge are very active in the community, both in Cleveland and in Seattle, giving a lot back and offering their help during a time when there a lot of people that need it.
So that’s my opinion and feelings about our new manager, but I want to know what other Mariner fans think of Eric Wedge at the mid-way point of his first season as our manager. Is he our guy? Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Today is June 17th and the Seattle Mariners are a half game out of first in the AL West with the powerful Philadelphia Phillies coming to town for a weekend series that could be the turning point for this season. Somewhere back in April I remember thinking about this series wondering if we would get to see Cliff Lee pitch and maybe catch a glimpse of Ryan Howard taking a few big hacks.But mostly I was dreading the thought of this media darling coming to town as we were floundering in the cellar of our little four team division and being forced to sit next to a bunch of loud Phillies fans with their bright red caps and East Coast accents right here in Mayberry with skyscrapers.
But somehow we find ourselves in an entirely different situation as Eric Wedge and his crew prepare themselves for a crucial series. If by chance we get swept by the new “Big Red Machine” most of the pundits both locally and on the National scene will be quick to dismiss our clubs surprising start as a fluke and deserving of the second tier status that us odd Northwest types almost seem to relish.
But then again maybe King Neptune along with the spirit of Dave Niehaus will continue to be on our side like they were Wednesday night when Carlos Peguero drove-in a pair of runs on a routine grounder that managed to bounce off second base enabling our boys to salvage the final game of the Angels series. This has been a fun season thus far and somehow I have a hunch that we may not have seen the best part yet.
It is funny to listen to folks around Seattle talk about the the Mariners these days as most are not really paying much attention or waiting for the other shoe to drop so they can resume the trademark passive-aggressive Seattle whining. But ready or not the Phillies are coming, and with the addition of Dustin Ackley to go along with our scrappy bunch of forgotten veterans and hungry youngsters I dare say that the Phillies may be in for a bit of a surprise this weekend. As a matter of fact I predict we will win this series and find ourselves in the limelight when we take over the lead in the AL West from the struggling Texas Rangers. The barometer is going to start rising this weekend with the summer solstice right around the corner and there is nothing like a pennant race to bring a city together, especially one as sleepy and hungry for a a winner as ours. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Well as you may guess by reading this post I did not make it to Buenos Aires this week, in fact after being on stand-by for a couple days I was informed by my boss not to bother trying to fly down there due to the volcanic ash spewing from a volcano in Chile. So like a good sailor I followed orders and rolled with the punches and went back to focusing on our second place Seattle Mariners. I actually even went to the game Monday and watched the game Tuesday night as the Halos took care of our boys. But unlike years past I had a hunch that the Mariners would take advantage of the Rangers loss and come through with a win tonight. And alas it was a fine game indeed with Erik Bedard dueling away with Ervin Santana till the bottom of the seventh when the Mariners drew first blood on a fluke 2-run RBI single by Carlos Peguero bouncing one off the bag at second to score Ichiro and Figgins.
Yes you read that right our top of the order guys (I know Figgins was batting 8th) set the table for our newest cleanup hitter Carlos Peguero. In fact both Ichiro and Figgins had a couple of knocks tonight signaling what could indeed be a major turn of events for the Mariners. As you recall it was only last Friday that manager Eric Wedge decided to give Ichiro a day off to collect himself, and since returning Ichiro has collected 10 hits including a pair of doubles tonight. As for the ailing and much maligned Chone Figgins, tonight’s lead-off double in the 7th looked exactly like the one he hit Monday night and perhaps indeed our top of the order is back. As a matter of fact after watching Brendan Ryan struggling in the two hole I wouldn’t be surprised to see Figgins moved back up there in short order if he continues to hit the ball.
Greg Halman added a mammoth home run in the bottom of the eighth to dead center to make up for the run that David Pauley allowed in the top half of the frame giving Brandon League all the breathing room he would need to get another save in the ninth. We lost this series just like the last one in Detroit but for some odd reason it feels like we won them by both just by avoiding being swept. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the Texas Rangers have been sputtering along lately allowing us to be a meager one game out of first place!
As we all know this season was supposed to be about letting the young guys play as part of our rebuilding project and any thought of contending was dismissed as foolish by all the scribes in the mainstream media and blogosphere. Well somehow Eric Wedge has managed to not only give guys like Halman, Carp, Peguero and now Dustin Ackley(called-up tonight) a shot in the bigs, but Wedge and crew have also figured out a way to play winning baseball much to the delight of us fans. Everything seems to be turned upside down this year and you can throw logic out the window (much to the dismay of the stat-geeks) and either get onboard the good ship Mariners or continue to sit on dock and wait for some future incarnation of this ship to appear. As for me I’m going to roll with the punches and enjoy this voyage for all it is worth as you never know when the volcano is going to blow! Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: eric wedge
Tags: eric wedge