I took a trip down to Safeco Field today and was rewarded with not only a semi-sunny day and a big crowd but a decisive 6- 1 Mariners win over the visiting Oakland Athletics to win this series. Since it was Mother’s Day there are a lot of moms out with their kids enjoying the popcorn, peanuts, and baseball right here in Seattle. Of course I couldn’t help but think about my own Mom Suzanne seen in the picture above with her mother, my Grandma Leah and her sister Patsy as they too went out to the ballgame and watched their dad my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes play ball. Today’s post is for all you mothers out there who work year-round to raise families, support kids in various sporting activities, and be the rock for players to fall back on when the going gets tough.
But for today our Mariners looked like champs, as Joe Saunders continued his roll at Safeco Field to get the win even though he looked shaky at first against the Athletics. Kendrys Morales hit a three-run homer in the first to set the tone, and as it turns out that was all the support Joe Saunders and the Mariners were going to need today even though they tacked on three more runs including a solo homer by Jason Bay in the seventh which was also his fourth dinger of the year. There isn’t much more of an American event than going to a baseball game on Mother’s Day and though it’s oftentimes awkward being a single guy around all the families and kids I thoroughly enjoyed myself down it Safeco Field today.
The Mariners get a day off tomorrow before heading to New York where the surprising Yankees have managed to put together a winning season despite the fact that a lot of their veterans are dinged up. In many ways New York is where it all started for baseball and my family as the Yankees was the team that brought my grandfather up in 1929, and my mother was born in New York City as well. As usual when the Mariners play the Yankees I root for the Mariners despite all the nostalgia involved.
The Mariners now stand a game and a half behind the Athletics in the AL West with an 18- 20 record, and our boys are playing the kind of ball we were hoping for this year, meaning competitive though perhaps not dominating the league type baseball. There was a good crowd of over 27,000 on hand today which was nice given that the Mariners are going to be on the road for much of the rest of the month and it was good to show our team that we are behind them.
In another interesting development I received an email yesterday from a distant relative that found me on the Internet due to this Mariners blog, here is what he had to say:
My name is Jeff Barker, and I think my grandfather’s sister (Louise) was Dusty’s mother. I am not much for researching family history, so here is what I know.
My father, William Barker was the son of William Barker (my grandfather). He (my grandfather) was the captain of the USS Pennsylvania, and attended a game where Dusty was with the Yankees. Apparently Dusty gave my grandfather a baseball signed by several of the Yankee players, including Babe Ruth. Other players’ signatures visible include Allen, Ruffing and Johnson which leads me to believe it was during the (early) 1932 season.
I did some online research to see about perhaps auctioning off the baseball, and ran across your blog page. If my information is correct, Dusty’s mother’s maiden name was Barker.
I hope you find this interesting and enlightening- I know I have!
Best regards, Jeff Barker..
As you can imagine I was quite excited to receive this message from Mr. Barker andhe just forwarded me his phone number so I will be calling him tonight hope to connect to reminisce about the good old days and perhaps make an offer for that baseball to complete my Dusty Rhodes collection. Baseball once again has proven why it is the Great American pastime today bringing families together to follow current teams, and sometimes even past eras of this beautiful sport. Go Mariners! Htpp://jeffsmariners.com
Since the weather is starting to turn, and it appears as if the Mariners luck is beginning to turn as well, I decided to head down to Safeco Field last night to watch the Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of their three-game series. As it turns out Brandon Maurer the young rookie pitcher got clobbered for four runs in the first inning by the feisty Orioles and the Mariners were never able to catch up, and went on to lose 7- 2 in front of 13,000+ fans at Safeco Field in Seattle.
By now I sort of have a system as far as procuring tickets parking, food etc. when I head to Mariners games. As usual I talked down one of the scalpers outside into giving me a box seat at a good price, in this case 25 bucks for a seat that was 12 rows back in section 125. As it turns out I was seated next to a guy who has been a season ticket holder since 1977, we chatted a bit but he was kind of a grumpy guy as one could expect from attending so many Seattle Mariners games over the years. In the box seats you generally get a little bit better of a baseball crowd or at least more dedicated than in other places in the stadium such as in the outfield drinking holes where the youngsters go to be seen, and have frat parties etc. Having said that the fans at Safeco as we all know are pretty dead. It is rare to hear our fans let out any catcalls, booing, or even talking about the game and paying strict attention to what’s going on the field versus their cell phones which doesn’t even driving crazy anymore I’ve gotten used to it. Or perhaps is the old Pink Floyd song goes I’ve just grown comfortably numb.
As you can see by the photo above the crowd really thinned out in the late innings of this one, and I swear to God that by the time the eighth inning started we were down to three or four thousand fans at Safeco Field. During the game the usual occurrences happened such as the goofy Hydro races, the casual fans insisting on doing a wave which is another one of my pet peeves along with that stupid find the ball under the hat game. For whatever reason unlike in Oakland, Boston, or New York our fans are pretty self-contained though I did hear several whistlers trying to outdo each other throughout the game last night which was somewhat amusing and different. As it turns out I kind I got a little goofy last night and started yelling stuff at the players, the umpire and even the bat boy who wouldn’t throw me a ball! It was fun and I know I was amusing some of the fans around me who were left, and some of them were also letting loose with some catcalls all in good fun and supportive of our local club. To top it off I led a cheer right before the start of the bottom of the ninth and for a minute had a couple hundred fans letting out a mighty roar that must have caught the attention of the players and media as otherwise it had gotten to the point where you could hear individual conversations around the stadium!
As you can see I haven’t been writing this Mariners Blog that often but I felt somewhat motivated after last night’s game in the comfortable feeling of being at my home ball field watching my home team after all these years whether they lose or not. In the final analysis when they say take me out to the ballgame, and I don’t care if I ever come back, I suppose they were talking about guys like me the infamous hard-core fan. You can tell the types like me to it are kind of odd and a little too focused on the Mariners when you look around the crowd, lots of times we are alone, or with a radio headset, or wearing old gaudy Mariners regalia. I suppose at this point my life I’m not going to change much and I am grateful to live in a city that still has Major League baseball, even though the ownership group knows that the Safeco experience is primarily for the casual fan not the infamous hard-core goofballs like me. Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
The Seattle Mariners are flying back home tonight after dropping the final game of a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox 4 to 3 in the bottom of the 10th inning after Cameron Lowe served up a walkoff home run to Viciedo in what was almost an expected outcome in the Wind City. I have watched parts or all of this week’s games and have mixed emotions about our prospects for 2013. The bright spots are Michael Morse who has five home runs already, Kendrys Morales, who had three hits today including a home run and Hisashi Iwakuma who has pitched two great games, including today’s eight inning outing. Michael Saunders and Franklin Gutierrez are both ready to contribute with their bats along with a resurgent Brendon Ryan who is contributing not only with his glove as usual but with his stick so far this year too.
But despite the power surge provided by Morse and Morales, Mariners still stranded seven base runners in both today’s and in yesterday’s losses to the White Sox. This looks so much like what we have seen for the past three years that it’s grown commonplace around here which is unacceptable. However I do have faith that Eric Wedge and Jack Zdurierncik, along with the Mariners ownership group understand that we Mariners fans are ready to compete now, and won’t be rushing down to Safeco Field after Opening Night to spend our hard-earned entertainment dollars and a losing team anymore. I could be wrong but I doubt Justin Smoak or Dustin Ackley or anyone else for that matter, will get a free pass to flounder in the Major Leagues indefinitely like they have in the past when we have so much talent in the minors itching to come up. In the pitching area alone we have the big three: Hultzen, Paxton, and Walker down in the minors as well as Jeremy Bonderman and Erasamo Ramirez all close to being ready to go, and after watching the back three of our rotation all looking shaky this first week I would imagine they won’t be given more than four or five starts before someone is called up.
It gets a little more interesting with Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak, especially Ackley who had a rough sophomore season and so far is only one for 20 with his new batting stance that looks even more awkward than what he was using last year. Somehow it seemed that Dustin Ackley was considered untouchable no matter what he did but now with Nick Franklin and Brad Miller down in the Minors looking good I think that mentality may be shifting. As for Smoak Initially it seemed he had a new approach at the plate, but the past few games he’s look awkward, nervous and just sort of “Rookie Like” which we have been watching for three years now and it’s getting really old. I saw him today in the seventh inning try to stretch a single into a double and get thrown out by 5 feet and then follow that up later in the game swinging at a third strike that was way outside of the strike zone in a key situation, this sort of looks like the same old Justin Smoak of the past so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kendrys Morales get a few more days starting at first base especially in light of his big offensive outing today.
But having said all that it will be nice to have our boys back home here at Safeco taking on the hapless Houston Astros for three games starting Monday night. I have been to opening-night before and enjoy all the pomp and excitement, but I will be taking a pass this year and instead I am planning on head down to the Safe on either Tuesday or Wednesday night to catch a game. With the soggy weather outside it really doesn’t feel much like baseball season here in Seattle but I needed to put a post on this Mariners Blog for my few loyal fans out there who read me on a regular basis. As usual there is an open invitation for any of you fans of: Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog to post articles yourself. If you feel like writing here, send me an email or a comment and we can work something out. Because after all this is the Mariners blog where the Fans call the Plays! Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
The Seattle Mariners continued to roll today down in Peoria thumping the Texas Rangers 8- 6, putting on another wonderful display of power today for the fans down in Peoria. Today’s heroes on the offense side were Jason Bay who hit his second homer of the year, Mike Morse who broke out for his first dinger, the lanky Michael Saunders who clobbered one and none other than Carlos Peguero who hit his third home run in two days down in the desert. As you can see by the clip above the Seattle Mariners are starting to create a little buzz down in Peoria as Eric Wedge in the final year of his contract seems to have been finally given some offensive tools to go along with the Mariners strong defense and pitching from the last couple years.
Carlos Peguero is a guy that people love to hate, the local media and bloggers have all but written off the big kid due to his weak plate discipline over the past couple years. But it looks as if Carlos has a better approach this year and is being a little bit more selective of the pitches he is seeing as evidenced by his three home runs in two days. As for Jason Bay the aging veteran, his second home run of the spring certainly doesn’t hurt his chances to make the club as the crowded outfield competition continues down in the land of sun and dreams. It was good to see Mike Morse get his first home run of the spring as well along with Michael Saunders who appears to have tweaked his swing once again in the off-season thanks to his personal batting coach.
Young Brandon Maurer got the win today pitching two innings of two hit ball to keep his earned run average at zeros for the young spring. Maurer is a guy to keep your eyes on as despite all the hoopla around Hultzen, Paxton and Walker people down in Peoria are saying that Maurer perhaps has the best chance to crack the starting rotation of any of the youngsters when the club breaks camp.
After today’s home run derby down in Peoria, coupled with the fact that the fences are moving in at Safeco Field this year I’m starting to get a little hope that maybe we can indeed put some runs on the board this year. Of course it is hard to tell what is really happening down there as I get my news from listening to the games, talking to my friend Rob who is down there and promises to send some photos up, and whatever else I can pick up on the Internet. But rest assured if this new offenses rejuvenation is for real I will be paying a lot more attention in 2013 to our Seattle Mariners and will bring you the latest here at this Mariners blog. If you haven’t subscribed via email now is your chance to do that or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Brandon Maurer starting rotation, Carlos Peguero third Home Run, Eric Wedge Mariners, Jason Bay Home Run, Mariners Beat Rangers 8-6, Mariners Blog, Mike Morse home run, Seattle Mariners Peoria, Spring 2013, Uncategorized
Another season of Mariners Baseball is about ready to come to a close after a couple more lightly attended games here at Safeco Field (see: StadiumJourney.com ) this week against the now eliminated Angels. I suppose one could say they played about as expected this year with a few bright moments mixed-in. As you know I have not been writing about the club on my Mariners Blog every day as I did the last few seasons due to my own apathy about the team and some other interests such as work and my own softball career which concluded this year with a state championship in the CSSA.
Outside of Kyle Seager, Tom Wilhelmsen and John Jaso I was not overly impressed with the 2012 gang and one can only hope that the declining attendance due to fan apathy and a beautiful summer may finally prompt the ownership group to spend some of the money saved from trading Ichiro on a couple of quality bats. When you look down the coast at the amazing season the Oakland Athletics are having with the second lowest payroll in baseball it is obvious we don’t need to sign Josh Hamilton or some huge free agent savior this winter , but we could sure use a couple solid veterans.
I know our young guys needed experience at the Big League level, and they got it day after day in this long season, but we need to get real at some point with some of our AAAA type guys and let them find other homes. It will be interesting to hear how Jack Z. spins things in the offseason, though I have a hunch it will be the usual frustrating droning about rebuilding, not so young players developing etc.
I am excited about the playoffs coming up and may even slide down to the inviting open arms of the half-empty Oakland Coliseum next week to watch the A’s if they are still alive in order to get my baseball fix for the year. I was planning on heading down to the Safe tomorrow for the final match-up on Wednesday but am having trouble finding the enthusiasm, and sadly the Mariners ownership doesn’t seem to care about all of us discouraged fans who are drifting away to other interests. But then again there is always Spring Training when hope springs eternal! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
This is a terrible time of the year to be a Mariners fan, but a great time of year to be a fan of the game of baseball as evidenced by the amazing Oakland Athletics who completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners with a 5-2 win down at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s sent our boys home today in their usual fashion of late-inning drama utilizing the long-ball, today coming off the bats of Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick in the eighth inning in front of 21,057 crazed A’s fans who are enjoying a magical ride into October.
I have officially made the A’s my bandwagon team this year for the playoffs despite the fact this is a Mariners Blog for a host of reasons. Of course first is the fact that my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes pictured above finished his eight year run in the Majors with the A’s in 1936 when they still were in Philly, but also because they are scrappy, underdogs, exciting and they aren’t the Rangers or Angels plus they are from the West Coast!
And don’t look now but the A’s could possibly win the AL West if the Rangers lose again today to the Angels which would put the A’s only one game behind the Rangers heading into the final three-game series between these two rivals starting tomorrow in Oakland! Now the fact the A’s have 91 wins so far is mind-blower by itself, but if they manage to overtake the fading Rangers then I believe ex-Mariners skipper Bob Melvin deserves the Manager of the year award for sure and I may even fly down there to watch a couple playoff games myself!
Meanwhile the Mariners are finishing off the 2012 campaign looking weak, vulnerable and out of gas….Oh well who cares I’m on the A’s bandwagon now and there is plenty of room folks….All aboard! http://jeffsmariners.com
People around Seattle and the rest of the Baseball Nation are buzzing today about the “Perfecto” that Felix Hernandez threw yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays on another beautiful NW day slightly cooler than today’s gem. Most of the time the Seattle Mariners are a source of pain for those of us who are part of the dwindling “hardcore fans” group, but I the King indeed gave his subjects something yesterday that we have not felt in a long time: HOPE.
The kind of hope I feel today after the dust has settled is not the dumb naive kind that one brings to Spring Training each year just because it’s spring training , but a more measured yet buoyant type that feels real however faint. I have been trying to keep the faith on this Mariners Blog for the past three seasons and as you may have noticed even my spirit has been weakened over the past few months as evidenced by my lax reporting for my small but loyal readership base.
But I’m not sure what it is, perhaps seeing those players in AA Jackson celebrating after Felix fanned the last Ray, or maybe the coverage by ESPN with a humble yet likable Felix Hernandez front and center at last on the National Stage, but something has changed inside me after yesterday and I hope it has for all of you as well. Would love to hear back from any of you out there who still read Jeff’s Mariners Fan Blog on how things have or have not changed for you given the magical performance that King Felix has provided for us loyal subjects here in Mariners Nation. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
I almost went down to Safeco field today on this perfect day here in Seattle to watch the Mariners play the Tampa Bay Rays but instead stayed home to catch-up on some work and listen to the game from the other room. As it turns out I missed the chance to witness history in the making as Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game to lead the Mariners to a 1-0 win in front of an excited group of 21,889 lucky fans.
As painful as it was to listen to Dave Sims jinx the King starting in about the 4th inning, I even started enjoying the exuberance in his voice as this game developed. Felix Hernandez is now the first pitcher in Seattle Mariners history to throw a perfect game which we all knew was going to happen eventually. To show my age I remember when Randy Johnson threw a no-hitter on June 2, 1990 against the Tigers as well as the Chris Bosio no-no on April 22 1993, but this one was a perfect game which is even more of a feat!
It was quite a site to see King Felix getting mobbed on the mound after pitching the 23rd perfect game in major League History today and I’m still shaking as I write this! Somehow I know Dave Niehaus is up there watching this moment in Mariners history after it took 35 seasons for a Mariner to throw a perfect game! The 26 year-old Hernandez had the Rays off-balance all day getting 12 of them to fan in the process.
After the game Felix said he threw this one for the fans and had throwing a perfect game on his mind all day and gave props to John Jaso for calling the game, a class act all the way! Im glad I have this Mariners Blog to be able to share this moment in history with all of you, wow I cant believe this just happened it feels surreal! Go Ms! http://jeffsmariners.com
I took a break from the summer Olympics this morning to watch Felix Hernandez turn-in a Gold Medal performance in his brilliant 1-0 shut out of the Yankees in what looked like his best performance of the year to me. I guess I haven’t been giving the King his due on this Mariners Blog in the past so I just want to say that I agree with Mike Blowers who said that King Felix is the best in the game. And today he proved it holding the powerful Yankees lineup to only two hits by setting-up hitters, moving the ball around at will and doing it all with a composed yet commanding style.
Our Mariners needed this win after having their seven-game win streak snapped last night as they try to go .500 or better on this tough road trip. The only negative of this game was watching Brendan Ryan get plunked on the elbow in the seventh inning perhaps out of retaliation for the three Yankees (including A-Rod) we beaned here at Safeco a week or so ago. Hopefully the slick fielding Ryan will be ok and we wish him well.
But this day belonged to Felix Hernandez who has been hot lately, in his past 10 starts he has gone 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings. His ERA has dropped from 3.70 to 2.63 in that span. One has to wonder how many wins the King could put together in a season once the young hitters mature, 20? 25? ……
I’m fortunate to have been able to visit the old Yankee stadium where my Grandfather Gordon Rhodes pitched for the Yankees from 29-32 and I’m looking forward to visiting the new stadium on Sept. 16th when I’ll be in NY on business for a Rays game. I always root for the Mariners when they are playing the Yankees, but I am not one of those who hate the Yankees as I respect the organization and the way they go about things. I’m sure there will be renewed cries coming out of the East Coast media for the Mariners to trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees after today’s stellar performance in front of almost 48,000 fans. But alas Felix Hernandez is ours and we are indeed lucky to have the King of the hill on our team as today’s Gold Medal performance proved! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Wow what a game! I just got back home after attending the final game of the three game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and I haven’t felt this good about the Mariners in three years! In case you missed it our boys beat the Jays tonight 5-2 for their seventh straight win which is the longest win-streak since 2007. The sweep tonight would not have been possible were it not for the strong outing by Blake Beavan who went 7 2/3 innings throwing only 82 pitches, 64 of which were strikes.
Beavan gave-up a couple of dingers early to Colby Rasmus and Kelly Johnson much to the delight of the Canadian fans who were onboard tonight to cheer (and drink) at Safeco field making-up a good share of tonight’s crowd of 22,537. Of course a lot of them knew about Eric Thames who was just traded to the Mariners and so they gave him a big cheer when he was introduced in their polite, provincial way. But by the time this one was over Eric Thames proved he was a Mariner making a great catch out in left early on and providing the biggest blow of the night with his huge 2-out, 2-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game a three apiece.
We have seen an endless stream of young players/prospects out on the field in the past few years and we are due for one of them to prove he belongs in the Majors. Thames brings the extra electricity of a Big Leaguer when he steps into the batters box, and tonight he looked every bit the part with his play in the field and huge homer.
The Mariners also got a couple more runs on a clutch 2-out single by John Jaso in the sixth to drive-in Michael Saunders and another in the next inning off the bat of Dustin Ackley to bring home Brendan Ryan ,giving the Mariners a 5-3 cushion which proved to be enough on this wonderful night at the ballpark.
The Mariners now move to 50-57 on the campaign and have some momentum on their side as they fly to New York to begin a tough road trip which may determine if our guys can claw their way back to .500 before the season ends. I gotta say I’ve been pretty hard on Jack Z. and his rebuilding plan on this Mariners Blog, but ever since the All-Star break this club has been fun to watch.
The Mariners since the break are actually scoring some runs on a regular basis and the pitching staff has been unbelievable setting a monthly club record in July with an MLB-best 2.73 ERA., and it seems like the guys are actually starting to gel and feeding off each other’s energy. Who knows if this will prove to be the high point of the 2012 season or not, but from my vantage point it is long overdue and looks like there will be more wins to come. Go M’s http://jeffsmariners.com
Well the All-Star game turned out to be one-sided in a 8-0 blowout by the NL so there is no need to go over that situation except to say it was nice to see Chipper Jones get a single in what will probably be his last Midsummer classic.
So now it is time to focus on the second-half for our heroes the Seattle Mariners…..uugh…So much has been said about the terrible ownership group, the weak fanbase that seems either apathetic or clueless, and finally some heat on Jack Zduriencik that I suppose I will skip all of that dribble and talk about our actual players.
In year four of the new “Mariners Rebuilding” project things are as dismal, if not worse than the last two shipwreck seasons. The “Young Guys” are proving to be a bit overwhelmed with the “learning on the Job OJT” strategy that we have been sold and yet any threats to ship guys to Tacoma seems rather shallow as there just isn’t too many answers down in the AAA recycling bin. I mean who really wants to see Luis Rodriguez again or Mike Wilson? Perhaps swapping Justin Smoak out for Mike Carp at first may be a good move but will it create wins or put people in the stands now that we have other options like camping, boating, and swimming in our brief summer? Probably not, but to hear Eric Wedge talk it sounds like something is going to happen one way or the other.
My gut tells me that about the only moves coming are the annual shipping-out of pitchers like Kevin Millwood or Tom Wilhelmsen to contending teams for another batch of unproven “Prospects” that will further erode our shaky position as a genuine MLB team.
It is a sad situation folks and I have decided to not wait till the playoffs start this year to start following some of the hotter club as well as the young phenoms like Mike Trout to try and get my baseball fix this year. One of the biggest regrets I have about being a 35-year loyal Mariners fan is that I have spent so much time and energy following my home team that I have neglected the other great teams and unfolding drama’s around the league like this year’s Pirates and Nationals.
So though I will check in now and then with this Mariners Blog, don’t expect any daily reports as I just can’t take it anymore……http://jeffsmariners.com
Well for some reason I decided to write a post about the Seattle Mariners after taking a month off and enjoying the summer while maintaining a distant relationship with our bumbling heroes. Not much has happened on the good side since we last conversed outside of the emergence of Tom Wilhelmsen as a legit closer and perhaps signs that Casper Wells is the real deal.
Interesting to gauge the response around the Mariners Blogosphere in regard to the return of Carlos Peguero to the big club after knocking 18 dingers down in Tacoma. I love watching Peguero swing and just hope he can lay off some of those low inside pitches that make him look so bad and feed the stat-geek blogs with more ammunition as to why the big slugger will never make it in the Show.
Also it is time for the annual “Trade Felix” articles to pop-up around the country which is depressing as usual, though I hardly pay attention to them anymore.
I am pleased that after agitating for years on and of my Mariners Blog to try to get the fences moved in at Safeco that perhaps after a dismal first half in which we batted under.200 as a team at home, the top brass may be listening and Eric Wedge will not have to pretend that Safeco is a great ball park anymore.
I’m starting to think that someone may get fired here pretty soon from the coaching staff to take the heat off Jack Z. who created this mess aided by a weak and pathetic ownership group. I also think that Chone Figgins won’t be around long whether the Mariners can find someone to pick-up his salary or not which is sort of anti-climatic at this point.
Other than that my rec softball team won a tournament last week which gives me even more initiative to hang-up my cleats after this season. I’ve had a 45 year relationship with the game of baseball and in an odd way I’m grateful to the Mariners for sucking so bad in the past three seasons in order to make it easier to move on to another phase of my life. Go Away Chuck and Howard! http://jeffsmariners.com
I played softball in a tournament over the weekend and therefore missed most of the Mariners five-game losing streak. As a matter of fact for the first time in over 30 years I didn’t even check on the scores for a couple of days and felt no guilt or remorse. As a matter of fact I didn’t feel anything one way or the other when I found out the Mariners got swept by the Angels.
Perhaps this is what apathy feels like. It’s not the same as being excited about your team as I was from 95-2002, nor is it anything like the pissed-off feelings I have had since then at the ownership group for selling us out. Actually apathy is kind of nice, for instance last night I was listening to the game while I was working in my office and I only came in to watch bits and pieces including the wonderful eighth inning where we scored six runs then went about my business. I know I’m not alone in this state of mind and perhaps I will snap out of this once the never-ending rebuilding process finally gives us a competitive team, or maybe I’ll be forced to become a soccer fan….uugh…
As you may have noticed I have not been posting on my Mariners Blog much lately either but did get inspired to write today on my apathy, now that is sad! APATHY:
After 35 years as a Mariners fan I have implemented a new strategy in order to keep my sanity. I decided this year I would only write my Mariners Blog when I felt like it, and instead of setting my schedule around the games I would go ahead and watch or listen to games as long as I didn’t have anything else better to do. So tonight I clicked off the game in the top of the ninth with runners on first and third and one out in a 1-1 tie in order to go to a meeting followed by a dinner.
As it turns out I did the right thing as I had a productive meeting followed by some great Chinese food at Louie’s in Ballard and the Mariners went on to lose not only the game 3-2 in 12 innings but also Miguel Olivo who came out with a groin injury right when his bat was coming to life. You can say what you want about Miguel Olivo but he is one tough fortune cookie and I doubt any of his vicious detractors in the Blogosphere or on Facebook would dare to say half the stuff they write about him to his face.
No tonight the haters will probably have to settle for new targets such as Michael Saunders who made the decision on his own to try and bunt Kawasaki home in the ninth rather than swing away, or Brandon League who wasted a homer from Jesus Montero in the 11th and blew another save tonight. While just like Eric Wedge I don’t agree with Saunders decision to bunt in that situation I am not going to turn on Saunders so close to his big night in Toronto recently, and though I’m worried about Brandon League I have faith he will find his killer splitter soon and get back on track.
The first eighth innings tonight was a re-run of the all to familiar movie where Felix Hernandez pitches his heart out and his team only gives him one or two runs to work with.Tonight it was only one run a solo shot by Olivo in the second off Tampa’s Jeremy Hellickson who is no slacker himself picking-up right where he left off last year when he was the AL Rookie of the year . Hellickson had the Mariners under control all night and it is no wonder that with his stuff that he has allowed only two runs over the last 23 innings. Brendan Ryan had another bad night fanning three times and now finds himself hitting only .136 and looking worse every night. But Ryan isn’t the only Mariner struggling on offense as the club is now 0-25 with runners in scoring position after going 4-0 to start this road trip.
At long last the untimely groin injury to Olivo is going to bring about a couple of things, 1: John Jaso will get some starts at catchers and 2: Mike Carp will be joining the club to fill Olivo’s spot on the roster while he is on the DL. As for the shortstop situation we may see Kawasaki get a few starts in a row there to see if he can produce or possibly even Kyle Seager there if Wedge decides to start Carp in left and move Figgins to third. We still are 4-3 on this road trip and it would be nice to win one or two of the remaining games so as to not negate all the positives from the first four games.
Either way since tomorrow is May 1st otherwise known as May-day or International Workers Day I may join my fellow workers in a rally or march downtown tomorrow and thus get on with my life no matter what happens with the Mariners, it takes a while for things to sink in for this old Merchant Mariner but once I get something it usually sticks.Go M’s!http://jeffsmariners.com
As we all know Canadians love to brag about their healthcare, hockey teams, solid economy and anything else to let us Yanks know they really exist and they don’t think much of us. I’ve grown used to it over the years and still have a soft spot in my heart for our friendly neighbors to the North, at least when they are sober. But tonight I just watched a game in Toronto where the people are quite a bit more intense and more like East Coast folks than our neighbors in B.C. and they showed their true colors when the booed there Toronto Blue Jays after what has to be the biggest choke in recent history for them. And of course what made it even sweeter was that the main hero of the game was from Victoria Canada ie: the “Condor” himself Michael Saunders!
Any of you who read my Mariners Blog will recall how down I was on the “Condor” last season though I have since come around, and after tonight I may be quite possibly “Cuckoo for Condor”. Saunders hit a solo homer in the ninth tonight that closed the gap to 5-4 and at the time I remember saying to myself “Well at least they fought back tonight” little did I know that the humble Canuck wasn’t done yet. Of course Michael Saunders would have never got the chance to be a hero tonight were it not for his fellow Canadian Brett Lawrie who threw away the third out in the ninth on a routine play allowing Kyle Seager to reach first before being replaced by pinch runner Munenori Kawasaki who went a little cuckoo himself tonight. Kawasaki is a strange bird himself though not quite a Condor, more like a Hummingbird with his little antics on base which eventually irritated the Blue Jays so much that they tried to pick him off and instead threw a ball into the right field corner allowing the pesky Kawasaki after being screamed at by Mike Brumbley to scoot all the way to third. I’d like to think the “Hummingbird” created that situation with his huge leads, fake steals and other irritating gimmicks straight out of my Little League days!
But enough with the Hummingbird and the Condor for now as there was another hero tonight that seems to have gotten lost in the drama, and that would John Jaso the lonesome one….Jayso came in to hit for a struggling Brendan Ryan in the ninth after Ackley walked and came up with a clutch 2-out, 2-strike single to center that tied the game at 5-5 and darn near scored Dustin Ackley all the way from first in another dramatic moment. Tom Wilhelmsen and Charlie Furbush dispatched the Blue Jays handily in the ninth extending this surreal battle into extra frames which I’m still not sure if I’ve come to terms with.
You see being a 35-year Mariners fan I have gotten so used to disappointment that I usually expect the worst lately, but somehow our big lumberjacks in the person of Smoak, Montero and Liddi all hit back-to-back singles in the top of the tenth after Ichiro made the first out setting the table for the “Condor”. Now though I have forgiven Saunders for his past sins he still hasn’t hit a clutch homer for a long time so when he did somehow lift one out of the park to right and clear the sacks as Rick Rizzs was doing his Dave Niehaus imitation of the famous ” Grand Salami” call, I was stunned. As a matter of fact I think I still am after watching this thrilling comeback for the Mariners fourth win in a row.
I know this has been a rather rambling, incoherent post (Whats new you say) but something is stirring inside me after this one. It may be the long forgotten memories of the magical “95″ season, or just a ghost of that epoch run. Whatever is happening with our boys I hope it keeps happening, this is fun! GoM’s! http://jeffsmariners.com