August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Congrats to Brian Sweeney on a successful Major League debut this afternoon: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. He doesn’t light up the radar gun — I think he topped out at 91 MPH — but he did a nice job keeping the hitters off-balance with his changeup. We had wondered if he might head to another organization after this season, but now that he’s on the 40-man roster there’s a decent chance he’ll stick around. Sweeney could easily be Ryan Franklin: cheap, servicable and capable of starting or working out of the pen.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Moose Fugitive on the Loose

A U.S.S. Mariner Investigation

Between innings today, the big screen showed a shot of an aisle on the lower deck, first-base side. A vendor (V) was moving down the aisle between sections 120 and 119, hawking something (peanuts or those mini-Crackerjacks). Then from the concourse, the Moose came down, and took the tray from the vendor and fled down the aisle onto the field. The Moose then proceeded west along the M’s dugout, throwing the stolen food items into the crowd (at locations marked X), and turned north to continue distributing his goods.

The vendor pursued the Moose down the aisle and on to the field, where a security dude (S) stopped the vendor from chasing the Moose. The vendor faked out the security guy only to be stopped by a uniformed Seattle Police officer (C). By this time, the Moose had gotten rid of almost all the evidence. The vendor got by the cop and made for the Moose, who grabbed a red bucket of water (B) and doused the vendor.

After a moment, the stunned vendor pursued the Moose down the tunnel at the front of aisle 135.

This incident raises a number of disturbing questions:

  1. Why did the security dude and the cop stand by with the Moose on the field distributing stolen goods?
  2. Why did the security dude and the cop prevent the victim from trying to prevent the destruction of evidence and the escape of the perp?
  3. Did the camera know the Moose would be stealing from vendor (perhaps employing some kind of ‘Minority Report’-style crime prediction system), and if so, doesn’t their failure to alert authorities and prevent the crime make them accomplices?
  4. Since there is usually not a red bucket full of water just outside the visiting dugout, were the Red Sox aiding and abetting the flight of a criminal by providing it to the Moose?
  5. Will the fans who received and enjoyed the Moose-stolen-and-tossed items be prosecuted for receiving stolen goods?
  6. How come a nude fat man gets chop-blocked and gang-tackled by security guys almost immediately, but the Moose, having stolen from stadium personnel, is allowed to wander unmolested on the field for several minutes?
  7. How did the Moose, having committed several crimes in front of a crowd of over forty thousand people in one of Seattle’s best-policed locations, manage to escape capture and re-emerge later to be shown with the Fan of the Game?

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

What Derek failed to mention is the woman who had a witty one-liner whenever the baby would start crying. For example:

Mark McLemore strikes out.

Baby cries.

Woman: “My sentiments exactly.” or “I feel the same way.”

(As if the baby is crying because McLemore sucks. But hey, maybe he was.)

As you can imagine, that didn’t get old at all after the first five times.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Today’s crowd featured a woman who had a baby that started crying loudly throughout the 9th inning, and for whatever reason, she would not get up and take the kid on the concourse. Because you know what fans want when they’ve sat through a long, tough loss? A baby screaming in their ear. Had this baby not been there, I would found an usher and asked them to locate a screaming child and re-seat them near me.

I’m sure, as an aside, that a child growing up with such a considerate mother will be a fine and outstanding citizen, and won’t be keying my electric car sometime in 2017.

Red Sox fans are next to Yankees fans as the most obnoxious in baseball. They’re poor losers and loudmouthed braggarts in victory, and the share the same sense of superiority, as if their fandom was worth more, and more deeply felt, than yours could possibly be. The only difference between the Red Sox fans and the Yankees fans is that the Red Sox fans pretend their long-suffering is of epic importance, while the Yankee fans are arrogant in their belief they’re entitled to a yearly championship, and all of their players are surely the best — otherwise, why would they be Yankees?

A pox on both your houses.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Dug up this tidbit while replying to an email just now:

Dan Wilson hasn’t thrown out baserunners at a rate league-average-or-better since 1997.

Ben Davis has been league-average or better the last three years (and before that, was bad in 38 games in 2000 and better but still not good in 74 games in 1999).

Just in case anyone harbored a belief that Wilson was having bad luck, or an off season, or something like that.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The Mariners have been in Seattle since 1977. During that time, you’d think they’d have seen a ton of rain, acquired some kind of tolerance to it, like every other person in Western Washington after a month: a brief shower, no big deal. It’s a downpour before most people get out the umbrellas or heavy jackets.

Instead the Mariners have to be the most paranoid franchise in baseball when it comes to closing the rain. I’ve been at the park when it has started to lightly sprinkle from a mostly clear sky on a nice day, and boom, here comes the roof. It’s as if water from the sky might contaminate their precious field.

Tonight, at ten, heading into the top of the ninth, I was sitting in my seat in my shirt and shorts and I felt something. I looked up into the sky to see in the heavy lights of Safeco, tiny specks of rain. I could have gone three hours in that kind of dusting and not gotten significantly wet. I mentioned it to my dad, who hadn’t realized it was raining, and it had already started to ease even further — I could see a third as many specks in the light as before.

So they closed the roof. Nice comfortable night, couple of minutes left to go in the game… no. After the game, it’s clear. Clear on the ride home.

Wimps. If I wanted constant protection from the elements, I’d live in a bunker.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

We’re getting a lot of questions about the injuries to Chris Snelling and Rett Johnson. There is no official word as of yet, and the M’s are saying that they haven’t received the results from the MRI’s. From what I understand, Snelling’s injury isn’t expected to be serious, and the Rainiers have chosen not to put him on the disabled list. Johnson was placed on the 7 day DL and will miss at least one start. I’m more concerned about Johnson’s injury, but we should know more by tommorrow. If we hear anything, we’ll post it here.

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The A’s designated 1B/OF Adam Piatt for assignment in order to send him to the minors, but he’ll have to clear waivers before they can do so. Piatt is no great shakes, but he’s got some pop, will take a walk and would be an immediate upgrade to the M’s bench — he’s certainly more useful than the likes of Chad Meyers or Pat Borders. Piatt’s minor league career isn’t too shabby either, so it’s not crazy to think he could hit fairly well given some regular at-bats. Heck, you might even luck into next season’s 4th outfielder if everything breaks the right way. In any event, I’m advocating a waiver claim (though the A’s would probably pull him back rather than let their division rival have him).

August 16, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Fun game tonight, even if it was a bit on the longish side. I think the term “playoff atmosphere” tends to get overused, but it was certainly there tonight. Much of that comes from the large number of Red Sox fans in the crowd, which always makes for a fun time (especially when the home team wins).

Boston’s offense is scary good. I’ve talked about this with other people, but I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it here — in the past year, the Red Sox basically went out and acquired all the players about whom statheads have been saying for a few years, “You know, a smart organization would snatch this guy up on the cheap.” Check out the list of names (OPS): Kevin Millar (.859), Bill Mueller (.958), David Ortiz (.910), Todd Walker (.719, but career .775), and Gabe Kapler (.860). And remember, they added these guys to Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez. Throw in career years from Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek and you’re looking at one heck of an offensive machine. The P-I notes (scroll down) that the Sox are on pace to break MLB’s team marks for slugging percentage, doubles, extra-base hits and total bases.

Box Melvin misused the bullpen pretty badly tonight. I liked that he trusted Mateo to come in and bail out Moyer in the 6th, but why not let him pitch the 7th as well? He’s been too good this season to be wasted on a lone hitter (he threw all of two pitches in case you’re keeping track). Instead, Box went to Benitez in the 7th. That’s fine; you have to get him his work, and he retired the side in order. But why send him back out there for the 8th? This is a guy who for his entire career has worked one inning stints almost exclusively — heading into the game, he had worked 573 1/3 innings in 552 appearances. Like I said, he’s used to one-inning outings. Not surprisingly, Benitez faltered in the 8th, prompting Melvin to go to his closer, Hasegawa, with the bases loaded and five outs left in the game. Fortunately Shiggy was marvelous and picked up the save, but all this could have been avoided. Let Mateo work the 7th, go to Benitez in the 8th, then do what you like in the 9th, be it Hasegawa, Rhodes or the newest Mariner, Brian Sweeney.

I think what we saw from Melvin tonight was in direct reaction to how good Boston’s offense is, though. Even that four-run lead (Ichiro!) wasn’t safe, so he was trying to do whatever it took to hold them in check. This is probably also why he had Rey Sanchez bunting with runners on first and second with a three-run lead in the bottom of the 8th.

Looking forward to Saturday’s game: Pedro vs. Piniero. Ooooh boy, should be a good one. I’ll also be at the game Sunday, making this the first time in ~five years I’ve been to all three games of a weekend series. And that was vs. Kansas City in the Kingdome, so it hardly counts.