Well, that game was no fun. It’s not as if the M’d didn’t have chances to score; they went 1-13 with runners in scoring position. People tend to make a big deal about things like this — and along the same lines, runners left on base — but the good news is they tend to even out over time. Still, I can’t believe the M’s were shut down by Jose Lima. Lima Time is supposed to be fun time for opposing hitters, but instead he had that slider working and got out of a number of jams. Like when Bret Boone hit a leadoff triple but was left stranded at third. Nah, that wasn’t the least bit frustrating. Equally not frustrating is watching Raul Ibanez hit the you-know-what out of Mariners pitching. What on Earth happened there?
In any event, I don’t think Freddy pitched as poorly as the numbers might indicate. In KC’s four-run 6th, there were two balls McLemore should have had for outs, right after Aaron Taylor came in. The first was Angel Berroa’s infield single. It would have scored a run regardless, but a real shortstop makes that play without a problem. Instead, Berroa reached on what should have been the first out of the inning. The very next batter, Brent Mayne, hit a grounder up the middle that never should have made it up the middle, but hey, McLemore’s got no range so it did. Again, that would have scored a run regardless, but it also would have been the second out.
Finally, I’d like to relay two really annoying things I heard on the radio today, one pre-game and the other post-game. The first came from the mouth of Ron Fairly, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. On the pre-game show, Ron was asked wether or not he thought the M’s should be looking for another bat before the trade deadline, even with Colbrunn out at least a month. You can probably see where I’m going with this, but Fairly’s reply was that the M’s did not need another bat. After all, where would they put this bat? (In left field, dummy, or even on the bench.) Besides, he added, they’ve got a solid left-handed hitter in John Mabry sitting on the bench. Grr.
The second nugget comes courtesy of a caller to KJR’s post-game show. The had been discussing payroll, and said caller started off with a good point, that though the M’s have spent a good deal of money on this team, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve spent it in the right places. “You’ve got three guys on the roster sucking up money and not producing,” he said. OK, I’m thinking, he’s going to say Cirillo, Mabry, and maybe Dan Wilson? Bzzt. Instead, he lists Cirillo, Freddy Garcia and Mike Cameron. Mike Cameron?! Yes, Mike Cameron, because there’s no way he should be making $7M a season. Listen, bucko, get over your fear of strikeouts and wise up — Cameron’s a stellar defensive player and a pretty good hitter as well. Despite Safeco, he’s getting on base at a ~.360 clip and better than 40% of his hits have gone for extra bases.
I know quite a few people in this town are probably chuckling to themselves, but I’m not. I’ve never had any ill will towards Griffey, just as I’ve never had any towards Alex Rodriguez. I’d give him a standing ovation if he played at Safeco. Griffey gave the Mariners 11 great years, many of them at MVP/HOF levels, and put Seattle on the baseball map. When the team was awful and played in a terrible stadium, seeing him make a great catch or hit a long homer was worth the price of admission. I feel bad at the way things have worked out for him since he left Seattle, and I still hope he’s able to shake off all these injuries and get his career back on track. This isn’t Mo Vaughn we’re talking about; Griffey was a legitimately great baseball player.
Totally off-topic: Rusty Chef 2003
Allow me to go completely off the subject of the Mariners and baseball entirely for a moment. I promise, this won’t happen’t very often.
If you’re in the greater Seattle area and need something fun to do this Sunday evening that supports a great cause at the same time, how about checking out Rusty Chef 2003? Rusty Chef is an Iron Chef-style cooking competition between two home cooks, featuring a 21-item mystery basket of fresh local ingredients. Upon receiving their baskets, the two chefs — with the help of a sous chef of their choosing — will have 15 minutes to compose a three-course menu, then 90 minutes to prepare the food for a panel of celebrity judges including Jonathan Sundsrom (Earth & Ocean), Roger Downy (Food Editor, Seattle Weekly), Scott Samuel (formerly of the Herbfarm and the French Laundry), Chris Plemmons (FareStart) and last year’s winner, Shellie Slettebak.
Tickets to see the two contestants in action are $60 per person and include a full buffet dinner as well as a Washington wine bar. All proceeds benefit FareStart, an organization which works to improve the lives of homeless men and women through job training and placement in the food service industry. Last year’s Rusty Chef event raised more than $3900 for FareStart. There will also be a silent auction, in which you can bid for the final spot at the judges’ table!
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.RustyChef.com. I hope to see you there!
All hail King Felix. Hernandez worked five innings last night against Spokane, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out five. He also walked four, but it’s important to remember that he’s only 17 and facing much older competition, including some college players. I’m trying not to get too excited about him, but it’s difficult not to with the way he’s pitched so far.