The Next Series
Oakland begins +2 on the Mariners in the AL West
Seattle begins +1 on the Red Sox in the “wild card race”
Oakland @ Baltimore, Zito v Hentgen, 4pm
Seattle @ Tampa Bay, Pineiro v Zambrano, 4:15pm
Boston @ Chicago, Burkett v Colon, 5pm
Oakland @ Baltimore, Hudson v Lopez, 4pm
Seattle @ Tampa Bay, Garcia v Waechter (?) 4:15pm
Boston @ Chicago, Lowe v Buehrle, 4pm
Oakland @ Baltimore, Lilly v DuBose, noonish
Seattle @ Tampa Bay, Franklin v Sosa
We saw how bad Baltimore is, and Tampa Bay seems to give us fits (seriously, does Piniella know his old team or what? It’s like Gruden v. the Raiders in the last Super Bowl). The good news here, if you’re cheering for the M’s to make the playoffs any way they can, is that Boston’s matchups are much tougher on paper than the M’s face.
And I’ll say something else, while I’m up — we get a lot of flack for being overly critical of the M’s and not the kind of rah-rah mooning coverage you expect from, say, the Seattle Times (Stone excepted). But you will be hard-pressed to find people who watch more games, who have been Mariners fans longer, and who genuinely want to see the M’s beat their opponents so badly they’re forced to end series early and return home to their unnaturally attractive wives, crying, leaving the rest of their games forfeit and their confidence shattered on the field.
Boston fans like to believe their suffering was first sung by Homer, but I’ll tell you that we stood and cheered for the M’s when they had no chance at all facing Boston, when you hoped to be surprised by a good game, and every ticket you bought was a leap of faith that Alvin Davis might hit four home runs and pitch nine good innings, or something equally improbable would happen and the M’s would pull one out. Boston’s fielded winning teams since I was born, but the Mariners — to be a long time Mariners fan has required faith, and boundless hope, and a love for baseball, even bad baseball by a bad team in a bad dome, supplied by a bad owner.
If the Mariners come home in a week and they’re still in contention, someone is going to have to beat me unconscious and hold me captive on some remote island where I can’t swim back to North America to keep me from these games, and if I can talk the day after a game, it won’t be for lack of cheering the night before. Sure, I’m mad about the team. And still, I feel like it’s a family thing: we’re all happy to insult each other and make fun, but if someone else came in and said something about my cousin, it’d be a brawl before I took my next breath. I’m not going to miss a game, and even though I know it takes seconds for the signal to bounce around to my dish and my TV, when you hear someone screaming “Run, Cameron, run!” off in the distance as Mike legs out a double, that’s going to be me.
Hey, I may have just hacked RSS together for this bad boy. The RSS feed I did today’s sitting at http://www.blogstreet.com/rss/11328.rss so if it works, or doesn’t work, drop me a line. Thanks to Tim (of Mariner Musings) and Alex and — well, actually, I’m going to go see if this works or not before I start blowing kisses around. Okay, the trick Tim pointed me to didn’t work, so I’m going to give him an ‘E’ for effort.
Now I’m not sure if we push around the new URL, or what — put a link on the side that says “yo, stick this other URL in your content aggregator or whatever it is you do with it.” I honestly didn’t think I’d get this to work tonight before I got frustrated again and gave up. So now I’m going to give up and throw some more effort at it tomorrow. Suggestions, thoughts are welcome — RSS confuses and frightens me. I’m just a baseball writer from the 21st century, I don’t understand syndication and XML tagging for RSS.
John Hickey, of the P-I, has a Mariners notebook that is, well, it’s wrong.
First, though, it’s funny. Meche gets optioned to AAA (burning an option year, but anyway):
“They told me how it works, that they’re trying to set up for the postseason,” Meche said. “Whatever. I kind of understand it, but not really.” Well, as you’ve seen here, Meche is in good company.
Hickey’s thesis works like this:
This is how the team keeps a roster spot open if they make a trade after this.
Deadline for setting a roster is 9pm, Aug 31 (midnight MLB offices time).
Players on the DL as of Aug 31 are “special cases” and can be replaced come October.
This is, and I want to make this clear, absolutely not true, and the PI should hang their collective head in shame. I can think of no instance where a player acquired in a trade on or after 9/1 has played for that team in the post-season, and a couple instances where it would have been in the team’s interests to pull that off. For example, last year the Giants picked up Bill Mueller from the Cubs on 9/3, and instead of taking him into the post-season, they had to take Pedro Feliz.
No matter what version of the MLB rules you get a hold of, or what credible summary you read, the guys you replace post-season roster players who are on the DL with have to be in the organization on August 31st. Specificially, on the 40-man. This is why Francisco Rodriguez was cheating (or, since they weren’t caught, he was a piece of aggressive roster management)(or a special dispensation by Selig, though no one’s ever put that forward as an explanation). So Hickey’s wrong, unless the Mariners cheat, too — if they get Stairs today, they’re screwed, and it doesn’t matter who’s on the post-season roster and on the DL.
What this move was, and we won’t know until the list leaks or the M’s make the post-season, is that having Rett Johnson DLed and on the post-season roster means that the Mariners are able to hold off a decision on Sasaki versus ?? as the last man in the bullpen. Here’s how — they put Johnson on and leave Sasaki and Alternate Dude off. Then when it comes time to head to the playoffs, if Sasaki’s got his velocity and stuff back, they stick him in, and if not, Alternate Dude goes on.
Or possibly, Meche himself: that if Meche continues to wear, and the team wants to play Soriano in the rotation, they can make a move around him. It’s interesting stuff, and without knowing what the actual roster looks like, speculating on motives is tough.
Other news: as predicted here, Pat Borders will be a third catcher. Also as predicted, Borders got called up, and Sweeney, Putz, and Looper will all be on the expanded rosters.
And I’m trying to get my hands on a copy of the MLB roster rules, we’ll see how that goes.