Special News Flash
Today Ichiro Suzuki left the Seattle Mariners for the New York Yankees in a trade for pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar with the Mariners paying $4.5 million of his remaining salary. Those are the raw facts of the deal but the emotional transaction that occurred today for the city of Seattle and us Mariners fans was probably more significant. Like most of you I had mixed emotions after hearing about this deal that has been in the works for several weeks after Ichiro told the Mariners through his agent that he would like to be traded.
On the one hand it is kind of sad to see him go after 11 1/2 years here, and on the other hand it was a relief to know that not only will Ichiro finally get a chance to play in the World Series with his new club but that our city would be spared the agony of another Ken Griffey type situation where an aging Super Star would hang around a little longer than he should resulting in an even more disgruntled and discouraged fan base.
I think Ichiro knew all this and he gracefully moved aside for the younger crop of players that the organization is trying to develop into a contender by asking to be traded. So after 2,533 hits as a Mariner Ichiro is going to finally get a chance to get a ring before heading into the Hall of Fame after providing our region with a Star that we never knew quite how to take, or appreciate after all these years. For me after losing Randy Johnson, Tino Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez to trades you would think I would be used to this sort of event, but I’m still grappling with the whole thing especially as I age and my window for seeing a World Series game here in Seattle get smaller and smaller.
Life sometimes seems to be stuck in one place for a long time but then one thing happens and all sorts chain reactions seem to follow. In this case it is hard to predict what will be the fall-out of this trade for our team, perhaps Carlos Peguero will blossom into a real power hitter after getting the chance to play every day in right field, or maybe the Yankees will have what it takes to go all the way now with Ichiro wearing #31 in the Bronx, or quite possibly some other strange event that before yesterday was unforseen will come about now that the stalemate has been broken. One thing is for sure the Seattle Mariners are a different team without Ichiro and that is a good thing and a sad thing all at the same time. http://jeffsmariners.com
The Mariners completed an eventful weekend of wheeling and dealing with a complex 3-team deal at the last minute which shipped pitcher Erik Bedard to the Red Sox. The Dodgers are also involved in the deal. Seven players in play in this deal. The Red Sox acquire reliever Joshua Fields from M’s also. The Dodgers acquire catcher Tim Federowicz, right-handed reliever Juan Rodriguez and right-handed starter Stephen Fife from Red Sox. The Mariners acquire OF Trayvon Robinson from Dodgers and OF Chih-Hsien Chiang from the Red Sox …
So at last the Erik Bedard odyssey has ended here in Seattle and from the looks of the package we may have come out ok as the two young guys we picked-up look to be promising. Erik Bedard did manage to finally show us why we traded for him to begin with this year but I for one am glad to see the injury-prone lefty go. As for losing the former #1 pick Josh Fields,the truth is he was slow in developing and the Mariners desperately need offense which Chiang and Robinson will get a chance to provide so this part of the package is a plus in my book.
Bedard in addition to being hurt for most of his stay here was also a bit too pouty and distant for my taste and gave the impression that he thought he was better than everyone else. Besides we gave up Adam Jones for him who certainly would have been a better center fielder than what Franklin Gutierrez has turned out to be. Jack Z. has stated today that these two prospects will be providing some competition for our current group of outfielders, which is a good thing though the battle for left and center continues to get muddled with these acquisitions.
As Far as the starting rotation is concerned I imagine Beavan has a spot now but the fifth spot seems to be a question mark that will unravel soon enough after the dust settles from this hectic weekend. If nothing else we have a whole new group of players to speculate on, get to know and perhaps get to like if they can produce here.The only real constant with the Mariners these days is change and change can be a good thing. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
One of the players the Mariners will face today when they resume Interleague play in Washington D.C. will be an old favorite of mine Mike Morse. Morse who was drafted in 2000 by the White Sox came over to the Mariners on June 27th 2004 along with Miguel Olivo and Jeremy Reed in exchange for Ben Davis and Freddy Garcia in a deal that never quite worked out for us. Morse always seemed to be on the verge of winning a spot with us and had some great Spring Trainings but was hampered by injuries at the wrong times and was finally traded to the National on June 28th 2009 for another journeyman by the name of Ryan Langerhans.
But at long last the 29 year old Morse is finally playing up to his full potential and is currently hitting .309 with 13 homers and 43 RBI’s. Morse who can play just about anywhere came up as a shortstop and is now settling in as the every day first baseman. Morse who believe it or not hasn’t had an error in the field since 2005 when he was playing shortstop with Seattle, has found a home with a Nationals team that may not draw a lot of fans in their new stadium but is only two games under .500 in the tough NL East.
I for one was disappointed when we traded Morse for Langerhans and recall there was little or no negative press about the trade at the time perhaps due to his suspension for steroid use that he admitted to back in 03, or the honeymoon period that Jack Z. was enjoying then. As it turns out Langerhans is down in AAA and the lanky Morse is getting his chance to shine after hanging in there all these years. Baseball is a funny game where 24 year-olds are called youngsters and 33 year old guys are considered washed-up these days leaving a small window for success. I am happy that Morse is getting his chance to shine, but I hope he has gotten over the raw deal he got here in Seattle better than me and doesn’t extract his revenge on us this week with his bat! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Justin Verlander pitched a great game tonight fanning 10 Mariners as the Tigers went on to win 4-1 despite another gutsy outing by Doug Fister who surrendered 4 runs in the fifth inning but pitched well otherwise. The Texas Rangers lost so the Mariners are still in second place 2 1/2 games back of the division leaders who lost to the Twins. The A’s lost their tenth game in a row and fired manger Bob Geren replacing him with ex-Mariners skipper Bob Melvin. And tomorrow on the radio, in the papers and around the local blogosphere all anyone will want to talk about is how bad Ichiro is…….Enough already give the guy a break!
This whole Ichiro bashing is starting to remind me of the build-up to get rid of another future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. resulting in the nasty nap-gate story put out by Larry Larue. What’s up Seattle? Ichiro is 37 years old, he is losing some of the skills that allowed him to get 200 hits a year for 10 seasons in a row and we are treating him like he just stole the Space Needle. Is there no room for respect in this game any more? I’m sick of it, and though I hope he does improve, I noticed he was not the only guy to go hit-less tonight so where is the outrage at Franklin Gutierrez or Luis Rodriguez and his .167 average?
No something deeper is going on here just like last season with the way Griffey was treated, it is a small group of hucksters and semi-journalists who never hit a line drive in their lives and were always chosen last on the playground teams, getting their revenge on great players out of spite and jealousy. It is a shame that instead of talking about Howard Lincoln or Chuck Armstrong and the absentee owner being responsible for the lack of postseason play here for the past decade, people instead are ripping the one guy who has produced year after year since 2001.
Yes I know he bunts in odd situations and swings at everything, but he also has brought joy to a lot of fans from across the globe during his stay here in Seattle and deserves some respect. How about rooting for the guy or hoping he turns it around so he can help us stay competitive the rest of the way?
We are better than this Seattle and deep down we know it, It’s time to show the compassion and humanity that separates us from the harsh towns like New York and L.A. and get behind our own players before we go down the same slippery slope as we did last year with Griffey. GoM’s http://jeffsmariners.com
Just thought I would throw my two cents in on all the latest whining going on in the blogosphere and the mainstream media about the problems with our Mariners. Maybe I’m missing something but I just checked the standings and we are a game and a half out of first with a 27-26 record! I have no complaints at this point and feel good about how Eric “Popeye” Wedge has molded this group into winners despite some obvious flaws. As a matter of fact this seems to be the best month of May I can remember in a long time and I am planning to go watch these guys Wednesday afternoon.
It may be the gloomy weather we have been having or just the inferiority complex that Seattle fans seem to be born with but this team is fun to watch and they are finding a way to win lately that defies explanation, so lets get over ourselves and start getting excited about this club they need our energy. If you happen to be a new fan who is jumping on the bandwagon, Welcome aboard we need all hands!
Sure Figgins and Saunders suck, but what about David Pauley and Jamie Wright? Lets talk about the hustle and heart that Miguel Olivo has displayed this year along with that kooky Brendan Ryan. These guys not only are winning but they actually seem to have some character that is worth investing the energy to create some new fan nicknames like they did in SF last year with “Fear the Beard”, “Kung Fu Panda” etc. The King Court section at Safeco this weekend was a good start, but we need to come up with more goofy things as our guys continue this improbable journey. Trust me the Giants players loved all the fan involvement last year, and we as fans have a role in creating the synergy between the players and us if we want to keep this thing rolling.
Now that Niehaus is gone it seems like the Mariners Broadcasters are seriuosly lacking in creativity so it may be up to us to do it. Are you up for the challenge? Ready to commit to becoming full-on Mariners Fans? If so I’d like to hear from you the fans, this Blog belongs to us and I am open to any suggestions for possible gimmicks, meet-ups etc (no more streaking though I just turned 53 today!). GO M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
All is quiet on the Northwest front as the surprising Seattle Mariners prepare for the huge three game series with the visiting New York Yankees. This series is where the rubber hits the road as far as the surging Mariners are concerned here in the young 2011 season.This series comes down to a classic David vs. Goliath match-up that should be fun, of course just bringing-up the New York Yankee name here in Seattle can evoke all kinds of emotions around the city depending on who you talk to.
We actually had a vital and energized rivalry with the Yankees dating back to the glory days in the mid-90′s highlighted of course by the 95 playoff victory by the Mariners over the Yankees at the Kingdome. As much as I like to bask in the glory of the infamous thrilling series here which I attended, the losses handed to us by the same Yankees in 2000 and 2001 in the ALCS still stick in my gut just as deep if not more.
For awhile they were selling “Yankees Suck” T-Shirts outside Safeco Filed until they were deemed inappropriate by the Family-friendly marketing folks for the Mariners who put the cbash on the wearing of these T-Shirts inside Safeco. Part of the angst around here also comes from our historic role out here in the NW as being the un-New York ie: mellow, polite and sort of non-confrontational (but still passive-aggressive). Of course it doesn’t help when 7-8 thousand Yankees fan show up at the Safe during the annual trips west by the Yankees.
For me it is a little tricky as my Grandfather Gordon “Dusty” Rhodes played for the Yankees from 1929-32 (pictured above second row up, third from left) and thus I have some emotional attachment to the Yankees.As a matter of fact a couple years ago I even jumped-on the Yankees bandwagon for the postseason when they won it all, much to the dismay of my friends here in Seattle!
But like them or hate them, the Yankees are in town complete with a long heritage of excellence coupled with a history of buying the top talent at whatever the price in order to win (A-Rod amongst others). And make no mistake about it though I have Yankees roots, my heart is with the Mariners this weekend even though I will be in Tri-Cities playing softball myself and won’t make it down to the Safe. But that doesn’t mean you can’t head down and make some noise for the red-hot Mariners in the biggest series of the year so far. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Well the Mariners have made some big moves in the last several hours that hopefully will get this ship sailing in the right direction again. I had it partially right in last night’s post calling for Wilson and Peguero to be brought-up, but I guess I was off on the Michael Saunders thing in that apparently the top brass is going to keep him around to play center at least until Guti is fit for duty. Instead the Mariners have Designated for Assignment (DFA) both Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans
But I will settle for going 2-3, and am relieved that the Milton Bradley era is over! Ryan Langerhans on the other hand is no major headline and I wish the veteran well where ever he ends up. I saw Carlos Peguero in Spring Training this year and was impressed with him though he did not overwhelm anyone when he was up briefly last month. Peguero along with Mike Wilson bring raw power to a lineup that is lacking in pop so this should make things interesting when the team starts the road trip in Baltimore tomorrow..
As far as Milton Bradley goes……well he got his fair chance here in Seattle and may be done with baseball for good now as I don’t see any other team taking a chance on him. Yes we will swallow his huge contract, but overall I think the Mariners are making the right decisions here and hopefully Peguero and Wilson can produce at this level.
I have included a quick video I shot in Peoria of Carlos Peguero who along with being an exciting player seems to be a friendly humble guy which will be a nice change of pace after the sullen and bizarre Milton Bradley who is getting out of town just in time. I am heading down to SF tonight for more work in Maritime assisting real life Mariners but will be checking in from the road as the week goes on. Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Check out what Jack Z. had to say about today’s developments :http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=&a=29007
I am thinking that an easier fix may be to finally come to grips with this whole “Safeco is a pitchers park” concept which has proved to be a real bummer for the team and it’s fans over the years.
Therefore I would like to propose that we move in the fences before next season starts. As we all know Safeco Field is considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark. In addition to the heavy moisture laden air, the fences as you can see on the left are deep. In order to entice a real Power Hitter to come to play for the Mariners it may help if we make it a little easier to actually hit 30-40 homers here. I have done a little research into the official rules for Major League Baseball and found the following under rule 1.04 The Playing Field : a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence.
b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such a manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.
So there you have it, we can indeed move in the fences as long as we follow the parameters contained in the above rules. I suggest we move dead-center into 400 feet and the left field foul pole into 325. This will enable the Mariners to take 8-10 feet out of the no-mans land in left center as well as moving in the fence in right center a little as well. The Mariners fans like fans everywhere love the home run, it is probably the most exciting aspect of the game of baseball. Yes I know bringing in the fences applies to both teams and the advantage is not strictly in favor of the home team, but the current mind-set of building a team around pitching and defense has proven to be a bust. Maybe I’m alone on this idea but I figure if we are going rebuild let’s do it right and start with the things we can control.
Now I’m sure Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong will say it costs too much. My response is that this project will probably cost about half as much as we spent on Jack Cust’s salary,if that. And since we most likely won’t be playing much ball in October, we could start drawing up the plans now and begin construction on September 29th. This article is a remake of a post I put up last season as I figured that a persistent push for a solution like this will have to come from us the fans rather from the Top brass, not that they listen to us much anyway…. http://jeffsmariners.com
I have been contemplating all day the meaning of yesterday’s record-low attendance at Safeco Field for the Mariners game which we lost 8-3 in sort of typical Mariners nightmare style. The 12,407 hardy fans who did show-up for this one can be broken down into four categories 1: The hardcore fans like me and you who love baseball and have been through the ringer but still hang in there 2: The casual fan who goes to five or six games a year and likes to win but is ok with just bringing the kids and making an event out of it 3: The oblivious types who text message the whole game and don’t have a clue about anything but the hydro races and bobbleheads 4: Fans supporting the visiting team in this case Canadians here rooting for the Jays.
While I can’t speak for the other groupings, I can say as a hardcore fan who loves baseball that after following the Mariners for 30 years it has gone beyond painful for me into a new realm where I no longer am planning my day around the game and I am ever more prone to be interested in teams playing in other cities. However I do know a lot of hardcore fans that are bitter and despondent over what has become of our once competitive franchise into it’s present manifestation as one of the worst teams in baseball perhaps a close second to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
I have written several posts about the negative impact of having an absentee owner ie: Hiroshi Yamauchi and how he has turned over the day to day operations of the team to Howard Lincln and Chuck Armstrong two guys who know nothing about baseball but rather are just a couple of lawyers/businessmen types who only care about making a buck.
But it looks like ” The chickens have come home to roost” as they say, and this year may be the first season since moving to Safeco where Howard and Chuck have to report a loss to our absentee owner which could make things interesting. With everything that is happening in Japan these days coupled with Mr. Yamauchi’s advanced age I can foresee this team being put up for sale sooner than later.
And maybe letting this ownership group “Hit Bottom” is the best thing that us hardcore fans can do with the hope that perhaps someone local will step into the void and start running a tighter ship. I feel bad for those players who give 100% on the field and new manger Erick Wedge who seems to be coming from the right place and has some fire in his belly. But mostly I feel sad for our city and the young fans who may never get to experience the sort of buzz that was in this Port between 1995-2001.
Having said all this I am going to turn on the TV to ROOT Sports and put in another shift as a hopeful fan as we try to win some games against the Kansas City Royals. But if you are one of those fans who can’t take it anymore I understand, maybe I will have to be the guy who has to turn off the lights at Safeco field….I hope not… GoM’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
Mike Sweeney retired today after 16 years in the Major Leagues including a couple seasons with the Seattle Mariners. Sweeney had been waiting around for the phone to ring with one last offer, but alas the call never came so the friendly veteran signed a one day contract with the Kansas City Royals (minor league deal) and then promptly retired.
In his years with the Mariners Ichiro Suzuki has shown a quiet but consistent sort of leadership that is more about setting an example than showing off. And like the true leadoff man he is, Ichiro today proved that he is indeed in a class of his own with his donation to the Japan Red Cross for $1.2 million. I tip my cap to you Ichiro for stepping-up in this great hour of need for the Japanese people.
Hello Readers, I just thought I would check-in as I am down in Oregon attending a funeral for my Aunt Nete and spending some time with family in these trying times. In addition to this personal situation it is hard to not also be concerned with all those people in Japan where one of our players Ichro hails from. The earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that hit our shores as well today kind of make it difficult to talk about Baseball for tonight.
Of course on top of these disasters we have tremendous turmoil both in the Middle East as well as in this country with the Labor troubles in Wisconsin and now on top of it all the NFL Lockout. These situations are troubling as well and I hope wherever you are you have time to reflect on what is important to you and perhaps try to be someone who can assist in any of these situations.
I will get back to writing about Baseball America’s Pastime soon, but for tonight I hope and pray that as Americans we can all step-up and show ouselves and the world the decency, strength and sense of fair play that made us a Great Nation
Tags: Special News Flash
In keeping with the “Family-Friendly” business plan that has proved profitable for the Mariners Organization up till this point, The Seattle Mariners will be hosting FanFest this weekend down at Safeco from 11-4 Saturday and Sunday. I will be attending a SABR meeting Saturday at noon at the Elliot pavilion and may pay my 10 bucks as well later in the day to support the team and maybe run around the bases or enter the home run contest.
Of course Jack Z, Eric Wedge, Felix and other big names in the organization will be there to sign autographs etc. in this sort of prelude to spring training and another season of Baseball here in the Northwest.
Apparently Brett Boone and Jay Buhner along with Dan Wilson will be roaming around as well. This may be a good chance to catch Buhner outside of his normal Northwest haunts over on the East Side, or hovering around the airwaves trying to get a full time job. As for Boone I’m not sure what they are thinking as far as “Family Friendly” considering this guy was pretty well-known to be a steroid user , as well as pretty much a loud-moth jerk in the clubhouse [ask Ichiro about this ]. But I guess Boone did make the HOF ballot this year and perhaps the Mariners are getting us ready for a season where they need to slip-in Josh Lueke and Milton Bradley into our annual summer mix of mediocre baseball and bland entertainment. To be honest I wouldn’t mind the focus shifting away from the whole artificial “Disney Land” experience, back to the basics of winning some ball games for the home fans.
Oh well what can we do, it’s the only game in town so to speak and football is all but over excluding the anti-climatic Super Bowl between the Steelers and Packers. Either way I am attempting to slowly come out of my blogger-hibernation period in order to get this blog rebuilt sometime in the next month or so, so as to have her up and running on all eight cylinders by opening day. Grab your cleats and ink pens and come on down to the “Safe” this weekend, as rain or shine the ” Show must go On”.http;//jeffsmariners.com
As we head closer to that special time of the year when we all do our best to be good and spread goodwill towards our fellow-man, I want to take the opportunity to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all those who have followed my humble Blog over the last year.
Tagged: hope for 2011 Mariners baseball, losing Dave Niehaus 2010, Merry Christmas Jeff's Mariners Fan Blog
I made a point of heading down to the Safe Saturday despite the monsoon conditions to be a part of ” A Celebration of Life for Dave Niehaus“. I am glad I did. As powerful and beautiful as the tributes were for Dave, I went to be there with, and for my fellow fans. I needed some healing and a start on some closure so I can try to move on, though things will never be the same without our old shipmate.
Rick Rizz did a marvelous job as the MC, sadly he broke down at one point in tears and looked back at a picture of Dave in centerfield, as if looking for back-up from his old reliable partner, before being surrounded by the strong arms of support from Dan Wilson, Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez who came up to the stage to support the grief-stricken Rizz. This was one of the powerful moments of the event, as perhaps it finally hit Rizz that his partner is really gone.
It was also very touching to hear from Dave’s children Greta and Andy as they described our Dave at home. And we all finally got to see his marvelous and strong wife Marilyn when the camera panned onto her off and on through the event. You could definitely see the resemblance between Greta and the old man and she went out of her way to let all of us know how much it meant to the family for us all to be there Saturday, along with all the support and messages of love the family has received in the past month.
There were a lot of funny stories and anecdotes as well from Jay Buhner, Ron Fairly, and Dan Wilson mostly revolving around some quirk of Dave’s, especially his old-school wardrobe. Dave represented not only the Mariners and our city, but a generation of Americans that were my father’s age and still thought Frank Sinatra was King. Dave I guess represented a Father to some, a Grandfather to others and most importantly a close friend to us all.
I grew to know and like Dave and his style after listening to him for 30 years through thick and thin dating back to the old Kingdome days, where I along with Dave were there when Edgar hit “The Double” in 1995. I ran into him only once at Boeing field, and yet like a lot of us I feel like I have lost a close friend and indeed someone I loved. I loved Dave for not only the wonderful announcer he was, but because he was a creative, funny and warm man.
I even was sort of able to come to a truce with Chuck Armstrong today after he announced that the Mariners will be wearing a patch on their sleeve next year for Dave and that there will be a statue created for Dave as well.
As the crowd cleared out in orderly Northwest Fans style, I could not help but linger in the barren stadium and look up at the announcers booth hoping to catch one more glimpse of my old shipmate perched up in his crow nest aloft the good ship Mariners. But alas he has sailed away never to be heard from again except in our imaginations, where he always will be with us as long as we can still believe in the magic of Baseball. Smooth Sailing Dave, Tugboat Jeff. http://jeffsmariners.com
Tagged: Celebration of life for Dave Niehaus