Game Report, Rays over M’s 9-0

DMZ · August 23, 2004 at 11:11 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Overheard at the ballpark, 8-24-2004: the Ripkin-Costner story, which won’t die

Best crack of the night: Jason, when Bloomquist came up as “Rock You Like A Hurricane” played: “Hurricane? He’s not even a small craft advisory.”

First, the Mariners brought out their stupid beer-garden destroying stands for this homestand. I have no idea why. It’s not as if they needed the capacity, or there’s a marquee matchup this week. Why the team would destroy one of the only unique and cool things about the stadium in order to sell — what, 12 tickets? — is beyond comprehension. Attendance was announced at 34,000, but again, that has to be either sales (as opposed to gate) or a galling lie.

Second, and I’m going to be totally blunt about this —

anyone who thinks scorekeeping isn’t an issue isn’t watching games at Safeco. I’m entirely serious here: when we argue about the importance of runs versus unearned runs, and the issue of scorer subjectivity comes up, that is really important. Tonight there were several plays that should have been errors and in one case *was* an error where the scorekeeper made a different call.

For example: man on third. Jacobsen fields a weak hit to him and stares down the runner at third, who isn’t going but is clearly jerking Jacobsen around. Meanwhile, Boone doesn’t break to cover first but instead takes his time getting there. When Jacobsen finally turns to get the runner, Boone’s not there and… runner safe.

What do you score that?
I score it an error on Jacobsen. There was an out to be made and he didn’t make it. You could even argue an error on Boone for not getting there in time, which might have made up for it, but I think it’s an error on Jacobsen.

You might even argue it’s a fielder’s choice. With no runner on, it’s an out, with the runner on third, something happened… maybe.

What it’s not is an infield single. Which is what it was scored. My scorebook has two more errors than the official count. You can say that scorekeepers don’t score errors on plays that deserve them but certainly don’t score errors on plays that don’t deserve them, thus consistenly moving the bar one direction. And I would say “bah” to you, because that’s crazy. The Safeco Field scorer is so parsimonious with his errors you’d think he had to pull them out of his own wallet.

Madritsch had a great changeup I think may have been the best pitch of the game, thrown with the same arm motion and everything, but it came out at seventy-something and left batters trying to slow their swing while moving the bat out… it was nice.

So here’s my question to you, dear reader: what’re the Mariners going to call those awful seats that destroy the beer garden?

Outfield View Reserved?
Select Outfield View Bleacher?
Garden Club Outfield Centerfield View Box?

And where are they going to stick the next set of seats, and how will they manage to mess up something cool about the stadium?

Selling tickets to the Bullpen Pub
Building a stand of seats over the bullpens
Selling standing room only tickets (this *will* happen if we ever get to the playoffs again and advance)


Oh, Kazmir! Looked shaky. Throws fast. Some of his stuff looked good, some… not so good. He certainly wasn’t a flame-throwing, batter-roasting phenom, but his motion looked pretty smooth (note: my seats don’t have a particularly good view for judging that). He threw a lot of pitches. Looked much less comfortable with men on than with the bases clear, but then, that’s working from the stretch for you.


36 Responses to “Game Report, Rays over M’s 9-0”

  1. coov on August 23rd, 2004 11:39 pm

    I finally broke my boycott of actually attending games tonight (I decided to boycott during the offseason because of Bavasi’s idiocy, not after the train wreck). I wanted to see Edgar one last time, and it was an attractive pitching match up.

    Madritsch outpitched Kazmir the whole freaking game, but the pathetic M’s bats never took advantage of Kazmir’s wildness (Brett Boone, I’m looking at you). Bobby looks like a guy who could can be a solid starter, but maybe a spectacular reliever. He lost some velocity as the game went on, but if he only had to pitch one or two innings he might be unhittable with his change up. Still, at this point the rotation is the right spot for him.

    This was definitely a fitting game for my one game: no offense, the starter pitches well but has bad luck in one inning, Randy Winn misjudges a flyball, Bloomquist is 0-4, the bullpen was horrible. This one had it all!

  2. LB on August 23rd, 2004 11:45 pm

    Before the 1994 strike, baseball attendance figures were an actual turnstile account. Ever since, “attendance” has been the number of tickets sold, regardless of how many fans are actually at the park. In other words, yes, Derek, the attendance figures published are lies.

  3. LB on August 23rd, 2004 11:46 pm

    Of course, I meant “turnstile count,” not “account.” Sigh.

  4. IceX on August 23rd, 2004 11:50 pm

    The bleachers in CF are explained by the fact that the M’s expected that these seats would be needed, so they made it a permanent thing since June or something before the season… I can’t remember the specifics, but the Answer Guy in the PI answered it a couple of weeks ago…

  5. Bill J (not to be confused with that other Bill, whomever he is) on August 23rd, 2004 11:54 pm

    Couple of things, Derek: 1) Ripken-Costner still lives? Unbelievable – must have details! 2) No error on Bucky – the guy was out. And by out, I mean OBVIOUSLY out by a half a step in the replay. Not sure what the first base ump was thinking but it definitely didn’t deserve to be an E.

  6. Jason R on August 23rd, 2004 11:55 pm

    The seats in the beer garden have been there since at least mid-June for *every* homestand. I think they’ve been there the entire season but can’t recall. Last I knew, they were labeled as section 101 and considered “Lower Outfield Reserved” seats and cost $24 each.

    Personally, I like to call them “Outfield View Beerbox.”

  7. DMZ on August 24th, 2004 12:08 am

    Wow, I could have sworn that they weren’t their earlier this year, but I went back through my pictures this year and I can’t find one that doesn’t have them. I’m a little stunned.

    I would have thought that the seats were there to satisfy some lease clause requiring the team to offer at least x number of seats at $y or less, but if they’re inded $24 that doesn’t do anything for them.

    On the error on Bucky: the call at first doesn’t make it an infield single. Even if he got the out but the runner was called safe, he still should have gotten the runner by a much larger margin… and didn’t. Using the “average fielder” standard, and average first baseman checks third and takes the out at first. That out has to be accounted for.

  8. Jeff in Fremont on August 24th, 2004 12:13 am

    I don’t care if this team *miraculously* goes to the series next year; I will NOT attend a game until those stupid seats are taken out of the landing. That was the place to be, and from what I’ve heard the whole vibe of The Safe is dead. I am growing to detest the management of this team.

  9. Patrick R. on August 24th, 2004 12:20 am

    I’m no expert, obviously, but I was in a pretty good position to see Kazmir’s motion. He has a pretty high leg kick, and it really looks like his arm comes across his body at the end of his motion (he’s coming off the mound to the right side consistently). It starts off pretty smooth, and he then really accelerates through in the end, with some fairly violent actions in that phase (I swear it looked like he was hyper-extending his right knee half the time).

    I don’t know about the Bucky play. I thought it was pretty close. Didn’t see a replay, but I personally think the guy was out… Then again, I’m biased, of course.

  10. John Hawkins on August 24th, 2004 12:52 am

    Tino was out at first on the Bucky play – it’s pretty dreadful that the ump missed that call. Then again, this was the same guy who called a balk on Mads after the home plate ump called time. I forget who was on first, but it was pretty funny with two umps telling him to go different directions. One other thing, I think Bucky, after looking the runner back, looked at the pitcher, who wasn’t covering. I think that threw Bucky, because it just sort of stared at (I think it was Nageotte by then) for a beat or two before tossing the ball to Boone (who tagged the bag ahead of the runner). Yeah, it doesn’t make it an infield single. But Tino was out!

    On scoring issues, when Olivo came up for his second AB, the scoreboard listed his first AB as a “fielder’s choice.” I guess they meant that the fielder “chose” not to catch the ball, because Sanchez muffed a double play ball and let it roll into RF on Olivo’s first AB (memorable for Bucky’s slide into second trying to break up the DP that never was).

    One other ump question. Edgar’s double sure looked like it hit beyond the yellow – shouldn’t that have been an HR?

    Oh yeah, for any Dick V. fans, he was at the game tonight. I was never a big Dickie V fan myself, but I changed my mind tonight after seeing him in person. He was gracious and nice to the kids around.

  11. Paul Covert on August 24th, 2004 12:59 am

    Yeah, I’d like to know about the Edgar “double” too. I was eating at the local Red Robin at the time, and could see it on the monitors but not hear the commentary. The replay definitely showed it hitting something yellow at the top of the fence, and bouncing up; I thought that would have been a home run, but due to the lack of ensuing controversy am suspecting myself to have been mistaken.

  12. Kyle S on August 24th, 2004 3:55 am

    The short version of the Ripken/Costner story: one day in Baltimore about 10 years ago (give or take 5 years), Cal shows up to the park and says he can’t play. He purportedly caught his wife cheating on him which left him too distraught to play. Peter Angelos promptly schedules a blackout that affects a large portion of Baltimore and postpones the game until tomorrow, when Cal is ready. Supposedly, the man Ripken found with his wife was Costner, an old friend of his.

    It’s not true, though. Reference here.

  13. Coov on August 24th, 2004 8:55 am

    From where I sat, I agree that Tino was out on the Bucky play. Derek, generally errors are not given for mental errors. It seems to me that the biggest mistake was Clint not covering the bag, but I guess Bucky might have been able to take it himself if he had broke sooner. I think it should have been ruled a fielders choice personally.

  14. DMZ on August 24th, 2004 9:27 am

    On the Costner story — the problem was the lights in Camden, not a larger blackout, which did happen.

    Coov: Not giving errors on mental mistakes seems to me a needless arbitrary distinction. If a shortstop catches a ball and contemplates the ultimate meaninglessness of throwing to first, during which the runner gets to first and is called safe, how is that not an error when reacting immediately and heaving the ball into the stands would be?

  15. Ralph Malph on August 24th, 2004 10:05 am

    Nageotte looked like a deer in the headlights out there. Which probably has a little bit to do with not covering first. He looked so afraid of walks that he was just serving up pitches up and out over the plate. I’m afraid he needs to spend some time at AAA regaining his confidence.

  16. Jon Wells on August 24th, 2004 10:07 am

    I’d give Bucky an error on that play too. A major league first baseman has to get that out. Just another example of why Bucky is next year’s DH and his presence should in no way keep the Mariners from signing a free agent first baseman in the off-season…

  17. David on August 24th, 2004 11:20 am

    If Terry Mosher (former writer from Bremerton) is still the Mariners’ official scorer (I think he still is), Sports and Bremertonians assumes no liability for his actions and/or erroneous scoring decisions.

  18. Raymond on August 24th, 2004 11:38 am

    I always thought those seats in the landing in CF were for anyone to sit in for free…I’ve never inquired about them at the ticket offices though. And I hate them just as much as everyone else…

  19. G-Man on August 24th, 2004 11:39 am

    Some of the scoring conventions are silly, but at least they don’t directly affect the outcome of the game. Did you know that New York Vinnie is now one of the offical scorers at Safeco?

    With all due respect, Jon (I love the Grand Salami), I think Bucky is adequate at first, though we could do better. I’ll turn your phrase around: his presence shouldn’t keep the M’s from signing a DH. I’d rather have more free agent sluggers to choose from than limit them to first basemen, though I know that it isn’t much of a limit. Spezio can be a late-inning defensive replacement. No, we are not going to find anyone to take Scott off of our hands; the best we can hope for is to confine him to a bench role and keep writing paychecks. Actually, I will be hoping against hope that he rebounds next spring, since the team might not bring in solid starters for both 1B/DH and 3B.

  20. Eric on August 24th, 2004 11:40 am

    Uh I think the extra stands for this homestand are explained by tonights game, a tribute to a certain former Mariner:-)

  21. Troy Sowden on August 24th, 2004 11:43 am

    I’m with you Derek – exempting mental errors is pretty meaningless, not that there’s much meaning in the error rule to begin with, but since it’s such a part of baseball I too wish it would be scored more consistently. My biggest frustration is when OF’s who take circuitous routes to fly balls, lose the ball iln the sun while their sunglasses are on top of their hat, break back on a ball in front of them, etc. As a former OF, I’ve never understood why OF’s get exemptions for otherwise routine plays. It seems the only way OF’s can get errors is with outright drops or bad throws. To me, there’s way more to an OF’s defense than that, without even counting the obvious large differences in range.

  22. Gregor Nitsche on August 24th, 2004 12:00 pm

    Re: John Hawkins’ comment about the fielder’s choice on Olivo (Comment #10–this thing needs threading!): I believe that’s the correct call in this case. If the error wouldn’t have happened, the outcome of the play would have been a FC (you never assume the double play), so Olivo is safe on a FC and Bucky is safe at first on the error. Or am I wrong?

  23. Jon Wells on August 24th, 2004 1:47 pm

    New York Vinnie an official scorer? Where did you hear that? I didn’t know that. If true, that deserves its own feature article.

  24. Gregor Nitsche on August 24th, 2004 1:51 pm

    Of course, I meant to say “… Bucky is safe at second on the error”.

  25. Ralph Malph on August 24th, 2004 2:48 pm

    I thought the umpire was saying that Boone’s foot wasn’t on the bag. It seemed to me like it was on the bag, but if that was the call you can’t give an error to Bucky.

    I would call it a fielder’s choice.

    Although Bucky’s throw was a tad high, I would give the primary blame to Nageotte for not covering; it’s not really Boone’s play. It’s not Bucky’s fault.

  26. Pat Gillick's Hemorrhoids on August 24th, 2004 4:01 pm

    New York Vinnie an official scorer? Where did you hear that? I didn’t know that. If true, that deserves its own feature article.

    There was a story on one of the Mariner TV broadcasts about this. I didn’t get the impression that New York Ninnie was a regular scorer, but he had done it a few times.

  27. G-Man on August 24th, 2004 4:22 pm

    Yes, it was a TV feature I saw. NYV is on Channel 11 or 13 doing sports occasionally, so I think it was probably one of those stations. He described the thrill of being the OS his first game. I, too, don’t think he’s the regular one.

    Is there a site that gives the Official Scorer for each game? NYV held up a box score with his name at the bottom next to that title, right after the umps names and such, as if that’s included in box score data.

  28. Pete on August 24th, 2004 4:37 pm

    In defense of the CF bleacher seats — I sat in them to see the Yanks in May, they’re not a bad place to catch the game from. They’re overpriced, sure, and they don’t warrant placement on non-sellout nights — but they’re by no means as evil as this message board seems to think.

  29. coov on August 24th, 2004 4:48 pm

    Just to clarify. I wasn’t arguing that mental errors are not exempt. I was just saying that they often are not scored as errors. I think, more than anything, this just shows the incredible arbitrary nature of errors and why they are meaningless as a measure of defensive ability.

  30. Chris W. on August 24th, 2004 7:39 pm

    Regarding errors: there’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t give an error for mental errors, or, as the rule is strangely intepreted, for errors where the player making the (non)error didn’t touch the ball. A bloop that drops in while 3 guys that could have made the play watch: error. Pitcher forgets to cover first: error. Derek, that would be a neat little project… collect crazy nonsensical “rules” that have developed that completely contradict the actual written rules of the game. There are a ton of them in baseball.

  31. David J Corcoran on August 24th, 2004 9:52 pm

    I got this gem on the Mariners official board (never post there, you get sucked in…)

    “Willie’s a heck of a lot better than Lopez so I don’t understand your argument.”


  32. John Hawkins on August 24th, 2004 11:56 pm


    True, FC is the expected outcome (since we can’t assume GDP). But it still seems like E4 would be the most sensable scoring decision.

    I mean, with Bucky’s speed, would there really be a play at second.

    And then you look at the Olympic Athletic Dancing events and realize how lucky we are that official scorers in baseball don’t affect the final score. Only umps do that… which reminds me. When the ump blew the call on the Tino/Bucky/Clint/Boonie play, someone behind me yelled “hey Blue, whaddayathink, this is the Olympics?”

  33. John Hawkins on August 24th, 2004 11:58 pm

    Er, make that “sensible” scoring decision. What was that about not giving errors for mental mistakes?

  34. jeff on August 25th, 2004 6:51 am

    In regards to the center feild bleacher seats – they ARE as evil as this message board seems to think. Not because they are bad seats, but because they take away a “cool” fan-friendly feature of the stadium, and are in place regardless of whether the game is a sell-out or not.

  35. kevin andrews on August 25th, 2004 9:55 am

    What was the deal with letting Edgar remain on base and run after his single in the Tampa Bay game on 8-24? Boone’s double would have allowed a medium speed runner to score easily. Melvin apparently woke up when Jacobsen hit because he then did his best immitation of Sparky Anderson as Capt Hook and could get the Buck off the field fast enough. It kept getting worse…with Olivo now unavailable – he was running for Bucky – Bloomquist came up and ended the game as per the season. Which game was Melvin watching? What I saw was a sleepy manager put a slow now injury prone runner at risk. I wonder if Melvin and Howard are prepared to have Edgar’s farewell from a hospital bed where he is recovering from surgery for a leg injury. Those several ninth inning at bats described in a nutshell the ineptitude of Melvin’s managerial style. The guys in the tunnel behind home – not the Diamond Club guys, the guys in the tunnel that leads to the clubhouses were screaming at Melvin but Bobby as usual was asleep and waiting for marching orders from an upstairs source. God, its disgusting. I work about 75% of the games and what I see when the Mariner’s take the field shows a team mentally unprepared for games. Mariner baseball is a travesty.

  36. Ralph Malph on August 25th, 2004 10:32 am

    I agree, Kevin. He had Santiago and Bocachica sitting on the bench and couldn’t use either of them to pinch run? And then when he finally runs for Bucky, he uses the best hitter on the bench — Olivo — and his only spare catcher to boot?? Bizarre.