It’s been four years since this ad first hit the airwaves. I figured I’d take this opportunity to remind you of whimsical suckiness gone by.
The Double Play Twins. Sure, they couldn’t actually turn a double play. But they were pretty good at grounding into them.
On top of that, they did everything together. Brushed their teeth side-by-side, ate cheeseburgers with one another (Jose might’ve had one too many of those), played Connect Four, practiced the accordion, rode bicycles built for two, and probably Eiffel Towered the heck out of unsuspecting jersey chasers. High five!
Try not to let that cheery tune get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. (Jose and Yuuuuuuuuuni…)
And a special thanks to The Red Hydro for bringing this 2007 commercial to my attention. It takes a hydro to really remember the good ol’ days.
Filed under: Mariners
This is a problem.
You may notice that the above link takes you to Shannon Drayer’s blog at MyNorthwest.com. Shannon, as many of you I’m sure know, is the Mariners’ longtime beat writer who is more or less employed by the ballclub itself. Currently, she works for 710 ESPN Seattle, flagship radio station for the Mariners. Prior to this, she was on the payroll at KOMO AM 1000, the M’s flagship from 2003 to 2008.
Go ahead and read that post I’ve linked. Take your time. I’ll be here when you’re done.
Finished? That’s what she said.
If you managed to make your way through that entire Josie Slopez lovefest that Drayer just shouted from the rooftops, go ahead and give yourself a high-five. You’re a trooper! Feel good about it! Get excited! Okay, pull it back a bit. That’s too much excitement.
Now before we all weigh in on the ramifications of Drayer’s absolute lack of objectivity in that column (a function of her job, normally), let me start by saying that I never would have read that article if a friend hadn’t brought it to my attention. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t read MyNorthwest.com. I don’t. I’m not a big fan of the M’s propaganda machine, nor am I that crazy about 710 ESPN. Does that make me a bad person? No. Telling a panhandling bum that I’m worse off than he is because I owe people money while he’s just at zero makes me a bad person.
Here’s the rub. About halfway through Drayer’s article, I realized she was up sh*t creek without a paddle. You know that scene towards the beginning of Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise walks into the company office after sending out his “mission statement” and gets a standing ovation from his coworkers? You know which scene I’m talking about. The one that, two scenes later, culminates in Maguire’s firing at the hands of Jay Mohr, aka Bob Sugar. That scene. I pictured that while reading Misperceptions (the title of Drayer’s post, for the unobservant).
Why did you picture that, you ask? Well that’s a great question. Thank you for inquiring. I pictured that because here were all of Drayer’s real emotions put into written word (just like Maguire’s real emotions put into that “mission statement”) and I could see the backlash forthcoming (just like Maguire’s imminent termination after keeping it real). Now I’m not saying that Drayer is going to lose her job, nor should she. But let’s face it. In the field of journalism, you need to have some objectivity if you’re a true professional (like me…winky emoticon). Drayer had none of that whatsoever in her masterpiece. Everything she did goes against journalistic ethics, and I would hope that whoever presides over Miss Perceptions would step in and say something. Anything. Show signs of life, at the very least.
Here’s what Drayer did wrong.
First, she wrote an article professing her love for a ballplayer she is supposed to be covering in unbiased fashion. You can’t do that. Just cannot. It’s clear that she’s a little too close to the team right now, and that’s a problem.
Second, her reason for defending Jose Lopez can be summed up as follows: I love Jose Lopez, so you should too. That’s her argument. Because Shannon Drayer feels this way, you should feel likewise. Really? You don’t have anything better than that. You’re throwing punches like a drunk Screech Powers.
Third, the entire post from start to finish appears to be written in a huff. There’s a great deal of passion evident behind the words, no denying that. Unfortunately, that passion comes at a cost. Look at the writing. Look at the structure. Look at the punctuation. It’s all over the place. This is a professional journalist who put this together. For God’s sake, the phrase “heads upness” was used. Heads upness. My rich text editor won’t even let me type “upness” without giving me the red underline.
Fourth, Drayer cites a decent column by a well-respected ESPN journalist as being the “final straw” that led her to write this abomination of an article. Can’t help but shake your head at that one.
How. How did this happen? Yes, the wheels have fallen off the Mariners season, we all get that. But you don’t see other local beat writers like Geoff Baker, Larry Stone, or Ryan Divish sacrificing their reputations for blog entries like Drayer’s. There needs to be some accountability. I wouldn’t have published what Drayer wrote on these pages, which is saying something because I’ve published almost everything anyone has ever sent me.
Of course, at the end of the day, this is all the fault of Mariners’ ownership, am I right? They’re the ones letting Drayer get away with this garbage reporting. Chuck Armstrong, Howard Juntao Lincoln. Oh yeah, and our owner, Kirby’s Dreamland. We can just put the onus on them. It’s all your fault! Hell yeah.
Filed under: Mariners
The Seattle Mariners turned their first triple-play since 1995 in the fourth inning of their 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics to welcome their new skipper Daren Brown tonight. For Daren Brown and the rest of Mariner Nation today has been another emotional rollercoaster in a season that has been anything but boring despite a horrible record. Doug Fister who has been a tough-luck pitcher tonight’s victory pitched well to earn his first win since May 11th.
The Mariners jumped on A’s starter Vin Mazzaro early picking-up a couple runs in the first on clutch two-out RBI singles by both Lopez and Gutierrez. Mazzaro is another of the young pitchers that have carried the A’s this far despite having an offense that like the Mariners lacks power-hitters, outside of perhaps Jack Cust. Even though my Grandfather Gordon Rhodes pitched for the Philadelphia A’s in 1936 (see above attachment *) I have always enjoyed beating the A’s, and tonight was especially sweet given the upstart A’s are still technically in the race.
Of course the big news of this game was the magical moment in the top of the 4th when none other than Jose Lopez started a third to second to first (5-4-3) triple play to end an A’s threat and give the loyal fans at the Safe something to remember. As goofy as Jose Lopez is, it was nice to see him smile in the dugout after starting this play. In fact it is nice to see anyone smiling in the dugout including the big tall Texan “Downtown Daren Brown” who has suddenly found himself in the trenches of a season that everyone would like to forget. Daren Brown looks like a guy who isn’t going to take any lip from the players, veterans or rookies and he deserves our support.
In an odd way I have sort of already let-go of the whole Don Wakamatsu era after tonight’s game and I wish him well. It is not a good thing when as a fan you are starting to feel sorry for a manager like Wakamatsu who was obviously in over his head and had that “Deer in the Headlights” look lately. The debate around his departure has been heated online and on the air today with lots of accusations flying around. One of the most irritating is the continuous blame of all things bad this year on Ken Griffey Jr. I have come to the conclusion that there is a certain segment of the local media and blogosphere who are too young to remember the golden years for the Mariners from say 93 -02, or are transplants and thus are bitter at Griffey as a reminder that they missed the boat so to speak. It is quite irritating for me as someone who sat through the terrible 80’s before having a good stretch, and then to be stuck in this morass of endless rebuilding, to continue to listen to the bashing of the future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey.
I think it may be time to let go of the references to 1995, the Griffey bashing, and now the whole Wakamatsu era so that we can rally around Daren Brown and our team the rest of the way. We have been through enough as a fan base this year and somehow we need to move on. Just a note I will be talking about the Mariners on my first live podcast of the year with another member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance at 8pm Tuesday night at: the link to the show page. Feel free to listen in if the game gets boring and call in if you like! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tagged: Daren Brown, Don Wakamatsu, Doug Fister, Jose Lopez, Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners triple-play
When Jose Lopez tomahawked the living piss out of a chest-high fastball from Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain on Saturday night, well I’m not gonna lie to you, I nearly exploded all over rows 36 and 37 of section 132 at Safeco Field.
That would have been bad news for a bunch of self-proclaimed New York fans, who had been deposited in the seats in and around me by the Yankee bandwagon which happened to be rolling through town. Of course, knowing how classy most Yanks fan truly are, I’m sure most of those folks are used to getting jizzed on. And yes, I said jizzed. It’s my blog, I’ll do what I want.
Even in the midst of a lost season, the isolated incident that was Lopez’s game-winning grand slam home run could not have felt much better. That moment right there is what makes sports amazingly fantastic. It’s what we, as fans, live for. The unprecedented comeback, the euphoric celebration. It was great, just effing great.
And what can you say about Felix Hernandez? Throwing a 126-pitch complete game to shut down the best team in baseball is straight-up old-school nastiness. The dude was throwing 97 miles-per-hour after pitch one-hundred. He was working with video-game breaking balls. He struck out the side in the ninth inning. He was Chuck Norris and Mr. T rolled into one filthy Venezuelan superhero package on this particular evening.
Let me say this about pitch counts: there are certain guys who they should not apply to. Felix is one of those guys. The man could have thrown 150, 160, 170 with relative ease. He’s got the size and the durability to not have to worry about 10, 20, or 30 more pitches causing any harm to his bulletproof exterior. Let this guy keep going nine innings at a time. Turn back the clock with him. I want to see as much Felix Hernandez as possible the rest of the way, even in a season where the playoffs are an absolute pipe dream. Give me something. Felix is something.
On another note, a tip of the cap to Jack Zduriencik for, among other things, getting Felix locked up long-term before the year began. Think about it. If we didn’t have our ace (our one and only ace, these days) under contract for the next few seasons, we might be exploring the idea of trading him to a contender as the deadline nears. I’m just thankful we don’t even have to consider that at this point.
Allow me to wrap this up with a final thought. I am passionate about many things in this world. There are very few things, however, that elicit more passion from me than the Seattle Mariners. That is my TEAM. The first team I ever latched onto, from the time I could walk. I grew up with Alvin Davis and Mark Langston and Harold Reynolds and Jimmy Presley and Phil Bradley, and later on The Kid and Randy and Jay and Little O and Tino and Blowers and of course Edgar, both with and without the ‘stache. This franchise has been through some absolute sh*t in the past few years, but every now and then we get reminded of the future we have as a team. Saturday night, we saw that ability shine through. The potential was there. It’s just a matter of reaching that potential and consistently maintaining it.
Being at the ballpark, I can tell you that the atmosphere is still present, the crowd is still there, the fans are still there. As a fan base, we’ve been getting ragged on a bunch lately, by the media, by each other, by players themselves. It’s been tough being a Mariners fan, we all know that. But the tide is turning. It is. We might not see ideal results this year, but trust me, those results are on their way. Things are looking up. Saturday night was an indication of that. One day we’re going to be a contender. One day we’re going to make the playoffs again. One day we’re going to win a World Series. And when all three of those things happen, we’re going to remember games like these that helped kick off our transformation to greatness. We’re getting there, M’s fans. You and me both.
Filed under: Mariners
The Mariners snapped a 5-game losing streak tonight in a great game that featured great pitching by both starting pitchers in front of 42,558 fans at Safeco field. Felix Hernandez went the whole way tonight to get the win and Joba Chamberlain who came in to relieve Yankees starter Javiar Vazquez got the loss. Hernandez made it clear to everyone that he is the Ace of the staff after sharing that role with Cliff Lee who is gone. And to be honest as much as I liked Cliff Lee, The Felix Hernandez who I saw tonight pitched with more emotion and attitude than the departed Lee. Besides the 1-run shot he surrendered to Nick Swisher in the third, Felix was as tough and gutsy as they come.
It looked as if this one was going to be another outing where the Mariners would not back-up their warrior after being held in-check by Vazquez for most of the night including another bases-loaded situation in the 7th where we came away with no runs. However in the bottom of the 8th Jack Wilson lead-off with a single off of Chamberlain, followed by fielder’s choice by Ichiro. Chone Figgins slapped a single to left and Russell Branyan loaded the bases with a free-pass. This brought up Jose Lopez who on a 2-0 count tomahawked a line drive that left the park and cleared the bases for the Mariners. The rest was history as Hernandez came out and finished off the Yankees in the ninth still reaching 97 mph with his fast ball, striking out Curtis, Posada and Gardner. King Felix blew a kiss to the Yankees dugout after retiring the side as a way of saying “Ya you are going to the play-offs, but I still own you”. It was just what this team needed along with us fans that have been through the ringer lately with all the drama around Cliff Lee’s departure.
Justin Smoak arrived on the scene today donning the uniform of his new team and going 0-4 with three k’s. But tonight belonged to King Felix and his countryman Jose Lopez from Venezuela who delivered the fans in Seattle a great game. At this point in the season batting averages, standings and DL stints are not as important. We have reached a surreal sort of place where it is easy to just focus on the game at-hand and tonight we got a wonderful show. http://jeffsmariners
Tagged: Javiar Vazquez, Joba Chamberlain, Jose Lopez, Mariners, Yankees
The Seattle Mariners have begun the post Griffey era by taking three out of four from the Minnesota Twins, winning the final game tonight 4-1. Felix Hernandez pitched a gem, mixing a wicked curve-ball in with his 96 mph fastball to keep the AL Central leading Twins off-balance and allowing Felix to pick-up his first win since April 21st. Hernandez had his swagger back tonight and struck-out 9 Twins including a rare 4 strikeout inning in the 8th after Twins slugger Joe Mauer struck-out but reached first on a wild pitch. Felix came right back and struck-out Justin Morneau who was on fire this series and had a RBI single in the first to drive-in the Twins lone run.
The Mariners offense collected 9 hits and 4 runs on the night to go along with 5 stolen bases against Twins starter Carl Pavano. The red-hot Jose Lopez batting clean-up, and had the big hit of the night connecting for a 3-run homer in the 3rd putting the resurgent Mariners up for good at 4-1. Michael Saunders got the start in Left and looks like he may be up with the big club for good with a nice night at the plate going 2-3 as well as picking up a stolen base. Ichiro has been particularly pesky for opposing pitchers lately, and when he is not slapping base hits he is fouling off 10-12 pitches and running wild on the basepaths, picking up 3 stolen bases tonight.
The Paper Boy Josh Wilson continues to tear the cover off the ball and raised his average to .308 tonight with 2 more hits. I am not sure when and if Jack Wilson is coming back, but Josh Wilson has earned a spot in the line-up somewhere even if it means moving him to first for the struggling Kotchman. The catchers situation may be coming to a head soon with both Bard and Moore getting closer to being healthy.
The Mariners brought up Chad Cordero to fill the roster spot for Griffey. This move gives us 7 guys in the bullpen and some insurance in case Aardsma doesn’t come back to his 2009 form as the closer. Other than that we will pretty much have to work with what we have and actually this series showed a club on the upswing. For what it is worth after winning this series the Mariners picked up a game in the standings, and we are now 6 games back with the Angels coming to town for the weekend.
I want to thank everyone who has stopped by in the past 24 hours to read my post on Ken Griffey Jr. I hope you stick around, for though this past day has been an emotional one for us here in Seattle with the Ancient Mariner sailing away, it looks like the rest of the crew are sticking their oars in the water and giving it their best. I am hoping to put together a more in-depth article on Griffey and the team he lead in the 90′s. Love to hear any thoughts you may have on that golden era of Mariners baseball. And as much as I love good sea stories, lets not forget our new crew who deserve our support just like we gave the old salts. http://jeffsmariners.com
Since 1977 there has only been one month that the Seattle Mariners have played above .500, that month is JUNE! And tonight behind the strong pitching of Jason Vargas the Mariners started off the month of June with a 7-1 win over the Twins. And since it is June the Mariners bats right woke-up right on que and delivered 13 hits, including 3 by Ichiro who leads the AL All-Star balloting for outfielders. But unlike so many other games this year, Chone Figgins was right behind him with two hits of his own. Figgins is slowly bringing up his average and no longer looks like he is just trying to draw a walk.
Jose Lopez has been coming around as well lately and tonight had a couple of hits including a 2-run homer off a 3-2 fastball in the 4th inning. The Mariners were to explode for 4 runs in the 4th and gave Vargas the support he has been lacking most of the year. Vargas only gave up the one run on a solo blast to Justin Morneau, who is having a career year thus far and may find his way to the All-Star game if he keeps up his torrid pace, batting .374 after tonight.
Eliezer Alfonso got the start tonight behind the plate and picked-up a couple hits, and seemed to work well with Vargas. At the risk of repeating myself from earlier posts I have to say the Rob Johnson experiment has run its course. The only Mariner to not get on base tonight was Michael Saunders and I look to see Milton Bradley back in left tomorrow. tonight’s victory over the AL Central leading Twins was one of the better games on the year for the Mariners. We got to see great pitching, good defense, and a well-balanced offense.
Shawn Kelley continues to be the most consistent pitcher in the pen, and tonight was no different as he came into the game in the 8th and retired the dangerous middle of the order of the Twins. Garrett Olson got the ball in the 9th and put the Twins down in order to close the gate. Time will tell if Olson has improved enough to stick around the big club, but tonight he looked sharp in relief.
So June is here and the gloomy, painful month of May is behind us. We are 7 games back in the AL West with Cliff Lee then Felix Hernandez in line to take the ball and hopefully help get another little roll going. They say summer doesn’t start in Seattle till July 5th and this may be true, however June is the month that the Mariners traditionally warm-up and I don’t see any reason this year won’t be the same. http://jeffsmariners.com
Cliff Lee struck out 10 Los Angeles Angels tonight and pitched 8 strong innings as the Mariners won for the third straight game and now are 6 1/2 games out of first. Lee faced off against Scott Kazmir tonight, and outside of a shaky first where Lee committed an error there was no doubt who was in charge of this match between AL West rivals. Coming off two come from behind victories against the Tigers, the Mariners appear to be playing their best ball of the year recently. Tonight the Mariners were able to combine for 11 hits spread throughout the lineup, with everyone getting a hit except Mike Sweeney who has hit plenty in the current comeback for this club.
In the third inning Ichiro got on with a 2-out single followed by a walk to Figgins setting the table for Franklin Gutierrez who proceeded to drive in a run with a base-knock making it 2-1. Bradley came up with runners on 1st and 2nd and ripped a drive into left that Figgins and Gutierrez were running on, amazingly Guti scored all the way from first as Bradley was held to a single but got the runs in. Yesterday I mentioned the key to this resurgence was going to be Figgins and Jose Lopez and sure enough Lopez unloaded for a solo shot in the 4th to put the club up 4-2.
In the 5th inning the Mariners once again tore-up the bases on a line drive by Figgins to right that scored Ichiro all the way from first landing Figgins on third. Milton Bradley drove in Figgins with a sac-fly giving him a 3 RBI night down in Disneyland. The Angels managed to pick-up a run in the 5th off Lee but after that it was lights-out by the Lee as he dominated the Angels with pinpoint accuracy all night long.
The “Paper boy” Josh Wilson delivered again in the 9th with an RBI double to keep his hitting streak alive at 9 games. Having Josh Wilson producing at the bottom of the order has made a big difference lately as the Mariners try to claw their way back up to .500 by the All-Star Break. The AL West is wide-open this year and with a sweep in Anaheim the Mariners could find themselves back in business. Felix Hernandez will take the mound in the day game tomorrow, he is due for a dominant performance of his own. Lets keep our fingers crossed as this series is crucial if we are going get back in this thing. http://jeffsmariners.com