Well that was a depressing way to finish the game watching Chone Figgins taking three called strikes to complete his 0-4 night and allow the Washington Nationals to squeak out a 2-1 over the Seattle Mariners. Erik Bedard pitched another nice game but our offense looked more like the 2010 version of futility than this years scrappy version.
Eric Wedge did let Chris Ray come in to pitch in the 8th and he did a fine job so hopefully Wedge learned from his odd pitching decisions from the night before that he needs to trust Ray and Grey and not overuse his fab four relievers every night. I’m still reeling from last night’s game and it looks like the rest of the AL West teams have started winning on a regular basis now. In 24 hours we have gone from a team that was looking like it was going to be in first place to a club that is fighting to hold onto second with the red-hot A’s on our heels too.
I thought I would post this fun video featuring Justin Smoak spoofing an old Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water”. My friend and fellow Mariners fan Rob Raine who I met this year in Peoria put this together and hopefully it will help cheer you all up.Early game tomorrow then back home where perhaps we can make up some ground with the Florida Marlins. 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
Erik Bedard showed us tonight why the Mariners have been so patient with him over the past few years, going eight full innings allowing only three hits and no runs while fanning nine Padres down in San Diego. Bedard looked like he was in charge all night throwing his curve for strikes at will against a Padres team that looks a bit underwhelming after losing slugger Adrian Gonzalez to free agency. The Padres are coming off the huge letdown of losing the NL West crown last season in the final game of the year, and look ready to assume their normal position as an also-ran in the NL West.
For the Mariners this was a big win as we go to 20-24 in the campaign and now are only 2 1/2 games out of first after Texas lost tonight and it is May 20th! My new favorite Mariner Carlos Peguero played his brand of exciting baseball tonight complete with an RBI triple, a great catch over the fence to rob the Padres of a homer, and some real hustle on the bases narrowly missing out on a couple of infield hits. Peguero is blossoming right in front of our eyes and even looked good on a bizarre play in the ninth where he almost caught a ball off the bat of Ryan Ludwick in what turned out to be an RBI and an out by Ludwick for touching another Padre on the base path in what looked like a Little League play.
I have never been a huge fan of inter-league play despite the efforts by the media to hype-up supposed natural rivalries with teams like the Mariners and Padres. But try as they may I can’t muster-up the energy to have any sort of anger at the fine folks in San Diego and their Padres. It is always kind of fun to watch the Mariners pitchers try and hit when playing NL teams, and tonight Erik Bedard managed to get a single himself though he looks awkward swinging the bat. I am looking forward to seeing big Michael Pineda not only pitch tomorrow but take a few big hacks. Perhaps Pineda can take some lessons from Peguero who certainly doesn’t get cheated on his swings. In fact Peguero seems to go all-out in whatever he is doing adding an element of excitement to a team that is starting to develop a bit of a scrappy personality.
Speaking of characters, Brendan Ryan is quite electric/eccentric both on and off the field and he had a couple of RBI’s tonight as well as playing some interesting defense despite muffing a sure double-play in the 9th with Chris Ray on the mound. Ryan looks to be the guy at short and it appears that Adam Kennedy will be getting most of the playing time at second these days at least until Dustin Ackley comes up, leaving Jack Wilson as the odd man out.
Miguel Oliva had a solo homer tonight and it was fun watching him and the finicky Bedard trying to agree on which pitch to throw in various situations. Bedard at one point shook his head no on seven consecutive pitches late in the game before finally getting the sign he liked and then promptly gave-up a single. This odd display of pitcher-catcher communication was noted by Dave Sims and Dave Valle tonight as these guys get pretty excited when anything unusual happens, unlike the milk-toast Rick Rizzs who seems to take everything in stride, or maybe just doesn’t want to make waves and thus keep his job for another 10 years!
Anyway I digress, the Mariners played a fun and interesting game tonight that had a little of everything and most importantly resulted in another win, the fourth in the last five games. I wrote earlier today about which Mariner was going to get hot with the bat and though nobody went 4-4, we did get some big hits from Peguero,Olivo and Ryan tonight to support the brilliant outing by Erik Bedard. Baseball is fun….Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
I love this team. Don’t get me wrong. I just happen to hate this version of this team. It’s like when you’re a kid and you screw up and your parents get mad at you. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you anymore. They’re just upset for the time being. That’s all it is.
On paper, the 2011 Seattle Mariners are grosser than a Brendan Fraser movie. They’re flat boring. Brendan Ryan? Adam Kennedy? Jack Cust? Eh. Let’s be real here. None of those guys get you excited about the future of this team. They just don’t. But at least we got rid of Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Minus. Addition by subtracting the Subtraction. Though I suppose we could reacquire his goofy didgeridoo ass since he was just cut by the Houston Astros. Seriously. And he spent his entire offseason doing MMA workouts with Jay Glazer, too. Gee, I don’t know how that didn’t lead to success.
Anyway, here’s the thing about this year’s Mariners. The real media is obligated to make you believe in ‘em because currently they’re tied for first place with the best record in the league. Me, on the other hand…well, let’s just be honest, I have absolutely no obligations to anybody. So I’ll give it to you straight. Don’t think of this as a preview of the season. You would never read that garbage. Treat it as a heavy dose of reality.
Point No. 1: Everyone get off Tom Wilhelmsen’s dick
Tom Wilhelmsen. If you don’t know who he is by now, Google him. Every beat writer and columnist in the entire frickin’ world has written about Wilhelmsen and his quote-unquote story. Story, my ass. Let me give you the real Tom Wilhelmsen story, free of charge:
Athletically gifted dude gets paid a lot of money at a young age, blows said money on weed, wastes his talents, smokes aforementioned weed, quits job, goes AWOL, realizes he’s doing jack sh*t with his life, kicks weed (supposedly), puts talent to good use, gets a job. End of story.
But the way the scribes tell it, Wilhelmsen is a GDMFing hero. Why? Because he stopped smoking pot? Tim Lincecum started smoking pot and became better at his job. So suck on that.
The reality of Tom Wilhelmsen is that up until a year or two ago, the dude was a lazy motherf**ker. That’s not a knock on the guy. Hell, there are millions of lazy motherf**kers in the world. Most of them can’t throw a baseball 95 miles per hour, however. Wilhelmsen can. That doesn’t make him Mother Theresa.
I can’t fault Wilhelmsen’s plan. It was genius. Set the bar ridiculously low for yourself, then hop over it…hero status. Way to go. We wish we could all be the benefactors of our own shallow expectations.
I’ll still root for the guy. Not because he’s a hero now or whatever. I could care less about that. I’m intrigued by the fact that he was so passionate about life that he up and quit his job to pursue, well, nothing. More people should do that, and I’m dead serious. We tend to wait until we’re old and decrepit before we really enjoy life. So good for you, Wilhelmsen. Even I can applaud that.
Point No. 2: You better not screw this up, Bedard
You know the crazy girl you used to date but keep messing around with on the side? The one who you have no foreseeable future with, who you kind of hate, who your friends don’t like, but who has mad skills in the sack? That, my friends, is Erik Bedard.
Bedard is the most frustrating player in the history of baseball. He’s talented as all hell, but he can’t stay healthy. And yet we keep giving him chance after chance after chance, and what does he do? He tantalizes the fan base. He’s the world’s biggest cock tease. The hot actress on the cover of the magazine with her own hands covering her boobs. Just splay your fingers or something. Christ.
So what if we’re not really granting Bedard much of a salary anymore? He’s basically working off commission at this point, anyway. The money doesn’t matter. It’s the way he plays with our emotions every year. Pitching lights out when he’s on, stagnating on the DL when he’s off. And now here he comes with this phenomenal spring. Getting our hopes up one more time. For what? To let us down again? Is that how this will all play out?
I can’t do it anymore, Bedard. You’re the Jerry Maguire to our Dorothy Boyd. We want to believe in you, to complete you, to trust you, to love you, but it’s such a freaking struggle.
I hope this is the year. I really do. Don’t screw it up, Bedard. We need you.
Point No. 3: Milton Bradley is your starting left fielder
I mean, I don’t even know what to say really. Just let that sh*t sink in. Milton Effing Bradley. Unbuckingfelievable.
Point No. 4: Brandon League is your closer
God, I hate Brandon League. I do. I really do. There’s no other way to put it. The guy is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. He’s Bobby Ayala 2.0. And the thing that really bugs me about League is that so many people think he’s good. Okay, yeah, whatever.
Sure, the dude throws hard. I get that. We all do. But unfortunately he has the mental fortitude of a kindergartner. He crumbles under pressure, inflates his numbers in garbage time, and all in all becomes an average major leaguer when you take everything into account. He’s basically the Ricky Davis of baseball. Again, if you don’t know Ricky Davis, much like you may not have known Tom Wilhelmsen, please Google him.
It was bad enough last year when League was our top setup man. Now he starts this season as the team’s closer because David Aardsma has Bo Jacksonitis or something.
How’s League supposed to protect a one-run lead? Huh? Riddle me that. Because there were moments last year when he seemingly wasn’t capable of protecting the world’s tiniest penis. He’s like a perforated Trojan Mini. Good luck with that.
I don’t know, League. I wish I could like you, but I just don’t. Maybe one day after you give up baseball and go become a hair stylist for the blind I’ll learn to appreciate you more.
Point No. 5: Where the sh*t is Dustin Ackley?
I don’t care if he’s not ready. Billy Downtown Anderson wasn’t ready in Major League: Back to the Minors, but what did Roger Dorn and the Twins do? They called him up anyway. To sell tickets. And breathe some life into a moribund franchise. That’s what they did. And did it work? No, it didn’t. But who cares. At least they had the moxie to pull the trigger on the move anyhow. You have to like the attitude.
I don’t care if Ackley still needs seasoning in the minors. I want to watch him play. Now. Yes, I realize how selfish this is. But the dude was the No. 2 overall pick a few years ago. People want to see this man in a Mariners uniform!
Prove to me he’s not ready. You’re paying him millions of dollars to do his job, why not make him earn it a little bit? That’s all I ask. Bring him up here, install him at second base, ship Jack Wilson down to the Caribbean so he can hang out with Jack Sparrow, and let’s do this. Ackley ain’t getting any younger and you already poached him from the college ranks, so his body clock has to be ticking. Sh*t, if he was Dominican you would’ve had him up here two years ago. But then again, he would have told you he was like 18 back then when in reality he was really 34 or 35. That’s the thing about Dominicans. They use a different calendar than we do and hence don’t count the years the same way. It’s the metric system is what it is.
All I’m asking is for a little excitement. And Ackley brings that. Excite me, Mariners. This is going to be a long season. I’d at least like to see more than frumpy stopgap veterans slogging their way through the tail ends of their careers. We deserve better. Let’s make it happen.
Filed under: Mariners
Just thought I would give you something light on this grey Monday morning to try and cheer you up as you slog through your week. This fun video clip was put together by another quirky fan like myself named Rob R. whom I met while I was down in Peoria. FYI I am always open to contributions from you the readers in keeping with my slogan of Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog “Where the fans call the plays”. Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners beat the Cleveland Indians today 7-2 and got another brilliant outing from Erik Bedard as he continues his improbable voyage back from being lost at Sea with injuries for what seems like forever. Unfortunately for the Mariners the victory also cost them sorely with an injury to Miguel Olivo who suffered a groin injury in the third inning running home. While the Mariners still have Josh Bard and Adam Moore, the loss of Olivo for any extended period of time could prove costly to Eric Wedge and his crew.
The Mariners move to 3-3-1 in Cactus-league play with the win and the two innings of shut-out ball pitched by Bedard including fanning the side in the first, is certainly something to take note of. I know it is difficult to get to excited about a team that lost 101 games last year and is playing 1200 miles away in the desert, so I am going to keep this post short but wanted to touch base before I hit the sack.
I do appreciate all the positive feedback I have received from my loyal readers about the Spring Training reports and the whole new look with my blog. I realized while I was down in Peoria this year that the whole point in this sort of endeavor is to create community around something the blogger has a passion for. It has been trying at times to forge ahead with this project on my own dime, and time, with no apparent goal or destination( outside of the long-shot chance of the Mariners making the play-offs), but I am feeling more centered about this Mariners Blog and think we may just be able to have some fun this year. As usual I am looking forward to hearing from all of you, so feel free to leave any thoughts or suggestions on the course I am taking this year with this ship, after-all it is only Spring Training and now is the time to make mistakes and try new things! Go M”s! www.jeffsmariners.com
Tags: erik bedard
This hasn’t happened yet, as far as I know. But I figure if our favorite French-Canadian fireballer can get sidelined by stiffness in his shoulder, there are a handful of other stiffness-related ailments that could prevent Monsieur Bedard from taking the mound.
I don’t mean to make light of Erik Bedard’s situation — he is recovering from serious shoulder surgery, after all — but come on. You gotta come up with something better than “stiffness” to miss a start. I’m pretty sure the M’s front office has exhausted an entire thesaurus trying to find nice ways to describe the southpaw’s relative softness.
Remember a couple years ago when the guy was dealing with “impingement” in that same throwing shoulder? I just Googled “impingement synonyms” and here are a sampling of the words that associate themselves with this painful ailment: “kiss,” “thrusting,” “unlawful entry,” “whomp,” “ramming,” “rub.” So Bedard experienced a shoulder kiss. And went to the disabled list.
I don’t know, folks. As much as I want to believe Bedard, as much as I want him to succeed (and I do), and as much as I sincerely wish he’d turn himself into a bona fide ace, I just don’t see the boy who cried wolf ever becoming a fixture in a Mariners uniform. A fixture on the team’s training table, perhaps, but in a jersey? Not so much.
The Ontario native has lost all credibility with the fan base when it comes to injury. You can only excuse yourself from work so many times before it becomes a habit that ultimately ingrains itself in your reputation. We’ve all worked alongside individuals who call in sick with extreme frequency. After they’ve stayed home for the fourth or fifth time in a month, we become a little skeptical of their reported illnesses. And when they really are sick? By that time, our collective ability to sympathize has long been destroyed.
That’s kind of where we’re at with Bedard. He might really be in pain. But even if he is, our patience for this sort of behavior has worn thin.
We’re more accustomed to watching ballplayers tough it out. Growing up in this country, toughness is preached to young athletes. We’ve grown up understanding how to be tough. When I was 14 years old, I was taught the wrong way how to throw a curveball. I pitched an entire season of games with a dead arm and never returned to full strength until I was 16. I didn’t tell anyone until now. It was just something I learned to deal with. And that’s what we expect from our professionals.
Sure, we all have our breaking points. But it seems like Bedard breaks easier than a paper-thin hymen. And yet we’re paying this guy to use the organization’s medical insurance. Like getting free health coverage plus a million bucks on top of that. Must be nice.
Will Bedard ever become the pitcher we know he can be? Who knows for sure. All I know is that my back is stiff, my shoulders are stiff, my knees are stiff, my whole body is stiff and I’m still going to work this morning. I’ll probably play basketball today, too. And I’m not making a fraction of the money that Bedard is. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem right.
Filed under: Mariners
Tags: erik bedard