Game recap, M’s @ Rangers 9/24

DMZ · September 24, 2004 at 9:24 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Derek notes: this is a long, long in-game post on Friday’s M’s-Rangers game. The excerpt here starts out (as the game does) talking a little aboutt he pre-game, but it does follow the events of the game as they occur. It runs, and I’m not kidding, a couple thousand words. Just so you’re prepared.

Ichiro! trots out of the dugout at 5:03 and it’s time for the McDonald’s starting lineup. Here’s my problem with sponsoring everything: while I understand ‘the starting lineup, brought to you by McDonald’s’ which implies (falsely) that McDonald’s played some role in providing the starting lineup to you, the viewer, perhaps by giving everyone in the production crew a combo meal of their choice to make sure they had the energy to type in and display the graphic. But to brand the starting lineup itself doesn’t make sense. It’s like having the EA Sports sunrise time, or the Dell astronomical unit. McDonald’s doesn’t play any part in either the composition of the lineup ‘ unless Edgar got a bum milkshake last night, forcing him to sit out the game ‘ and they certainly don’t play a part in presenting it. A more honest presentation of this would be “the starting lineup, with McDonald’s logo”.

Ibanez hits fourth, our suddenly slap-hitting DH. Fifth is Jolbert Cabrera, who with his career batting mark of .257/.306/.362 seems like a strange candidate for that lineup position. However, when the rest of the lineup is Reed, Spiezio, Wilson, and Lopez, it’s not like the order of the outs matters much. Spiezio, I hear, is in the latest Sporting News, being called out by his teammates for having a terrible work ethic (last to arrive, first to leave) and generally being lazy. Which, if true, says something about Melvin’s powers of leadership and motivation, but also about the basic folly of investing in a player’s intangibles. People are whimsical things, and react in unexpected ways to situations like being on a terrible team.

Ron Fairly reads the scouting report and remarkably, paraphrases, then the defensive lineup. Then he reads some stats off the notes sheet. Joqain Benoit has some numbers, and has done some things. This is a perfect example of stats without insight: what does any of the things Fairly went through mean? How will they be important, or even not important, in the game ahead?

Fairly: “you kind of get the feeling Ichiro wants to have the team pitch him away, so he can slap the ball down and beat it out.”

I don’t get that feeling. Ichiro! grounds out.

Niehaus and Fairly discuss the Mariners traveling on an off day, or not traveling on an off day. Does Ron, who put in a ton of travel time, have anything to say about whether this is good, or bad, for the team? No. Ron says “well, yeah, normally” and then repeats what Niehaus says. Is it important in any way?

Winn grounds out. The Rangers covering look a little confused, as if they hadn’t practiced this play and weren’t sure who was supposed to go where.

Who cares about stats like hitting versus pitching staffs? Pitchers are unique beasts, with different pitches, they pitch with different hands. Hitters even in the same lineup may face dramatically different pitchers over the small number of games in a season. And yet, in another sense, hearing that someone hit well in their games against a team doesn’t annoy me.

Nice wave at that last pitch, Boone. In both lack of effort and in timing, it surpassed my expectations for apathy.

Commercials, and now we’re back to the McDonald’s starting lineup.

Madritsch is on the mound. Fairly can read off a monitor. Good job, Ron. If anyone is blind and listening to the TV instead of the radio, I’m sure they appreciate your efforts.

Bobby Madritsch visible tattoo inventory:
Neck, left side: feather in circle
Inside forearm, left side: lettering?
Outside forearm, right side: 1 large (intricate)
Outside forearm, right side: something long, skinny… it almost looks like the handle to something, or a staff?

Eric Young pops out on two pitches.

Blalock takes the first pitch and lines it down the right field line. Mistake by Madritsch, who was supposed to put a fastball low and down, and instead left it up over the plate at navel level. Even at 90, I’m shocked Blalock pulls it so severely: that’s bat speed.

Michael Young’s an interesting case for hidden indicators. Even when Young was struggling early in his career, I kept pointing out that he was the most annoying bad hitter in the league. For sucking, he saw an Edgar-like number of pitches, which I thought was a possible sign that his pitch selection was still good, even if he hadn’t figured out how to hit consistently at the major league level, and paired with his minor league lines, pointed to future goodness. I knew that only because he was on my Diamond Mind simulation team, and my record with infielders was terrible (in that draft class, I took Jimmy Rollins and Luis Rivas with two first-round picks, for instance), but Young has come around and I’ve always remembered that sometimes, paying close attention to players and looking for the why can lead you to interesting conclusions.

Madtritsch’s 78 mph change looked nice. I’ve heard you want to take 12 mph off your fastball, and Madritsch seems to be running about 93 on his fastballs.

Young drives the runner in. Teixeira is up, and Niehaus has some nice things to say about him. Teixeira pops out to end the inning.

Commercials. Apparently, you shouldn’t open Capital One mailings because they can destroy your house, though the poor victims seem pretty happy about it at the end.

The M’s haven’t fared well in their last 20 games at The Ballpark at Arlington. Which, given the vastly different compositions of the two teams over those 20 games, tells us nothing. I know I should write Ameriquest Field in Arlington, but I’m sorry, once you give me an unspoiled name to latch onto, that’s it for me. Also, doesn’t cross-promotion undermine team identity? Bob DuPuy said that one of the reasons outfield wall advertising was a good thing was that it made ballparks unique. But I grew up in Kent-Renton, and Southcenter Mall was in most respects the same as a mall you might have gone to in Indianapolis, or Atlanta. I didn’t gain any strong sense of identity from where I grew up, except that now I find it humorous to mention that I went to Kentridge, as if I feel strong ties to the school, or had a good time there.

My point being that if Ameriquest buys the naming rights to the Rangers, but also buys a lot of ad space at Safeco and pays (I hope) for the bell to ring after every inning the M’s score, once per run, then there’s not much of a local connection for any of us, is there? If some super-company could buy an outfield wall in every stadium (like Budweiser does where they can) that’s not uniqueness any more than seeing the 7-11 sign is. It’s a bland universal familiarity, and in a time when the public has built more unique stadiums in part to distinguish themselves and their cities, it seems strange that there’s little thought given to how devoting so much of their space to bland corporate advertising undermines that goal.

Ibanez hit a single and takes the base on Nix. And hey, he has the 2nd best average in the AL since August 13th, in our Arbitrary Endpoint Statistic brought to you by the Nail Polish Commission. August 13th, that’s a weird point to start– oh, he went 2-4 that day. I see. On an unrelated note, Iron Chef Chen Kenichi is undefeated in reruns I’ve watched this week, but Morimoto has not won any.

Cabrera bunts — bunts, yes — back to the mound. Ibanez, running to third, is out by a ways. This is the kind of bad execution of a bad plan that should get Melvin fired. Seriously, set aside the personality stuff that may actually get him fired: Melvin could be the most charming guy since Don Juan and we should fire him. This isn’t a bad decision, though, if he could count on a 100% success.

Runner on second, no outs: 37% you don’t score a run
Runner on third, one out: 35% you don’t score a run

What it does do, though, is dramatically limit your chances at scoring a lot of runs — of course, if you give away outs, it becomes much tougher to string together a rally. But with the guys coming up after Cabrera hitting so badly, and almost all of that bad hitting weak singles, maybe bunting Ibanez over makes sense, because he might be able to score from there, where otherwise the team might get nothing.

Jeremy Reed reminds Fairly of Johnny Damon. Well, um, they’re both white and left-handed okay, they hit the ball to different places, but — what? Reed flies out to left field on a ball that might have scored Ibanez if he’d been on third’ probably not, though.

Niehaus gets betrayed by his crew. “Here’s that young infield we’re talking about,” he says, as Blalock is pictured, “there’s Blalock”. Long pause. He’s clearly expecting to cut to shots of Michael Young and Mark Teixeira, which doesn’t happen. Camera cuts to Benoit on the mound. Niehaus, left trailing, finishes ” at third base…” then he continues on talking.

Spiezio’s chin hair-stripe with under-chin looks awful. That’s not relevant to anything, but as I’m sure you’ve noticed already, that’s not stopping me tonight. Spiezio swings at a pitch on his kneecap. Nice.

Cabrera steals second. Fairly rides him for not sliding, despite seeing clearly that there was no one on second to apply the tag, as the shortstop Young was moving towards first to make a leaping stop of the ball and Cabrera kind of had to slow and duck around Young to get to second at exactly the point he’d have started to slide if Young hadn’t been leaping. At that point, Cabrera’s probably thinking he might get a chance to round for third if it dribbles out to the outfield, and you can see him make the stutter-stop and look back to see if Young made the snag, itching to move for third.

Naturally, after this entirely rational heads-up if bad-looking play, Fairly rags on Cabrera for a good twenty seconds.

Spiezio waves at another breaking pitch way inside (which is not where it was supposed to be) and that’s the inning.

Commercials. The GMC Sierra has a super powerful engine for, presumably, towing or hauling things. It has 20′ chrome wheels available, for’ scratching up badly when doing heavy tasks that demand that huge, inefficient powerplant? I don’t get it.

First pitch to Mench is a fastball on the outside corner. Then they cut to a guy with a FSN microphone in an aisle, motioning for two rows of what appear to be good-natured 70-year olds to stand up. Why is he forcing these poor people to stand? Why are others nearby smiling, as if it’s funny that a guy armed with only a microphone should be able to make people stand and sit on a whim? I don’t think we’ll ever know.

Mench breaks his bat. This takes a couple minutes, and Mench is already a slow batter, prone to walking around. Fortunately, he flies to Winn, ending my fears of a 30-minute at bat.

Fairly comments that he’s surprised there aren’t more people at the game, and Niehaus reminds him about football on Fridays in Texas (Friday Night Lights, by Buzz Bissinger, by the way, one of the best sports books I’ve ever read). I’m surprised there’s anyone there at all.

Fairly talks about how the fastball touches 94 every once in a while, but rarely. We should remember that radar guns aren’t that accurate at measuring balls in flight, and given the variety of flight paths pitches can take, we should expect a little variance even if a pitcher repeats the same delivery over and over. So when you read a scouting report on someone that says ‘throws 92-94, touching 95’ consider that maybe his fastball’s 93 miles an hour.

And uhhp! Madritsch gets the swinging K on the fastball. Nice looking pitch.

Commercials. Those Money Tree ads get more hallucinatory every year. Who thought that advertising check-cashing and paycheck advance services, this era’s worst usurers, would be best accomplished by having people in face paint and worm suits talk about their fictional worm-lives and worm-problems?

Wilson singles. Bill Bavasi runs onto the field and signs him to a 2-year, $5.5m contract extension, desperate to retain a fan favorite in these dark times.

The other Young bobbles a double play ball, and Ichiro! is up. There are better times to make that kind of error. Ichiro! doesn’t have to wipe drool off his chin from salivating over this opportunity, because he’s far too cool to drool on himself.

Ichiro! softly taps it and flies by Teixiera, who attempts to apply a sweep tag to the cartoon-lettered ‘whoosh’ that trails Ichiro! by a couple of feet.

Deciphering the rolling signs the Rangers are using: it’s the last one, which is held for just a second longer than the fake signs. Winn singles. The Mariners are tied! Woo hoo! And Boone’s ‘ strikeout. Nice. But now we have clutch hitter Ibanez. Remember, he doesn’t waste home runs (as if home runs are ever wasted).

There should be ushers at every ballpark near the home-plate aisles. When someone walks down the aisle while talking on a cellphone, they should be zapped with a cattle prod. I’m serious. They’re on the phone with someone who is watching the game, and they’re walking to get on camera, so they can wave, or mug, or whatever. Texas seems to have a particular problem with this. Particularly during this at-bat.

Ibanez draws a walk on a close, close pitch. RBI walk. Nice. Cabrera bunts — wait, not with two strikes. Sacrifice flies, Ichiro! scores. Jeremy Reed has the highest batting average in the last ten games in another edition of Arbitrary Endpoint Statistic brought to you by the Nail Polish Commission. Reed, distracted by the statistic, grounds out.

Commercials. President Bush, who’s had control of the White House and Congress for four years, wants me to vote for him because he’ll implement health care reform if I give him a do-over. That’s not really a convincing argument for me. In my quest to be fair and balanced, I should note that the Democratic National Congressional Committee aired ads against Dave Reichert that provided a pretty convincing case to me that I should vote for him, while trying to raise doubts that he was ready for national politics (and who is, Patty Murray? Maria Cantwell? Can’t people be consistent in their arguments, at least?). If you donated money to these campaigns, wouldn’t you want it back?

Niehaus’ narration of the ‘we suck, but you’re great fans, and we’re going to try really hard next season’ commercial is a little — do you think he felt weird about doing it? He’s essentially promising something that’s out of his hands.

Woah, Reed’s leap was crazy — that’s a huge jump to elevate, and he does a belly-flop that almost takes his hat and pants off. I wrote belly-flop before Fairly comes out with it, by the way.

Seriously, cattle prods. There are some people that need electric shocking.

More information without meaning: Niehaus and Fairly discuss how deep Madritsch has worked into games. This obscures the fact that there have been times when that extra inning’s been needless and also that it’s gotten him into trouble, even as I acknowledge that Madritsch has generally been effective even when he’s high on the pitch count.

Also, to this point Madritsch has never gone 3-0 on a batter. He gets rocked on 2-0 but he puts that strike out there.

Okay, on the play at the plate: Ichiro plays the bounce off the wall perfectly, fires spot on to Boone. Boone’s relay from shallow right takes two hops to get to Wilson, is a couple feet up the line, and the run scores. A good relay by Boone, even a higher but just-as-far-off one that would have gotten there faster, gets Eric Young out at home and the inning’s over. Argh.

Wilson’s now been faulted twice for not ‘holding on to it’, even though the throw was bouncing and up the line and he was forced into making a desperate lunge.

Madritsch is unaffected by that, or the next hit, and gets the K to get out of the inning. Madritsch doesn’t have the stuff of say, Freddy Garcia, but you have to love that he also doesn’t get rattled like Garcia by a cheap hit, a cheap hit, an error. Madrtisch came right back at them until he got the out. He didn’t start arguing with the ump over strikes, he just got on with it.

Spiezio’s chin hair intercepts a communication and lets Spiezio know what’s coming. He singles to right. Melvin’s shown with a knee up on the steps up from the dugout, giving some signs. Oddly, the closed captioning translated it for me:
‘Send my resume to and also see if Brenley has any leads.’

Seems like a reasonable play to call. Wilson bites on a change.

Lopez ropes that ball, and Spiezio scores. The Mariners take the lead, but more importantly, Ichiro! is up again. Woooo! Notice that Ichiro! is tinkering with his stance again: look at the knees and position of the front leg. No hit, instead it’s a sac fly. Sigh.

As Winn works Benoit, there’s a shot of Melvin in the dugout, with a vacant expression on his face. Closed captioning actually read ‘I wonder if my resume is up already. Should I go check my email?’

Winn whiffs.

Commercials. If the auto dealer you’re going to is more concerned about providing you credit, you probably don’t want to buy a car from them.

Winn runs a long way to snag a fly and makes it look cool. As frustrated as I was with Winn early this season, as he started to hit and play center better I’ve really come around to acceptance. Weird check-swing single by Jordan.

Foul out. Walk. Then Barajas hits it to left, Winn comes up and tries to slide under it, catching it with glove pointed down, weirdly, and he almost snowcones the ball, but it comes off the crown of the webbing and it’s a single. Fairly wants to remind us how they (the broadcasters) frequently say that it’s important to put up a zero after you score a run. Well, jeez, obviously, you don’t ever want the other team to score, and — argh. Another hit and it’s tied. Madritsch gets the ball back, exhales, and goes after Blalock.

Another single to left. Winn’s getting a lot of work today. Melvin pulls Madritsch for Atchison. The crowd boos. Isn’t Atchison a Texas boy? I don’t know that I agree with this move. Generally, a guy gets slapped around, but he’s not giving up walks or home runs, I’m inclined to ride it out until they’re tiring or there’s something obviously wrong with the pitcher, neither of which I saw. But whatever, it’s a perfectly normal move.

Commercial. Cadillac has a ‘performance utility’ now, because I guess their line of SUVs weren’t dangerous and fuel-inefficent enough already. That’s just super. When did everything advertised become an SUV? Instead of compact cars, there’s the Ford Escape, the compact SUV. Instead of a sports car, now there’s the performance utility.

Atchison introduces himself to Michael Young by walking him. Teixeira does what one of the many guys to hit off Madritsch should have done, and lines right to someone.


Boone pops out. Showalter pulls Benoit for a lefty, because when you have 40-man rosters you can’t start playing these lefty-righty games too early.

Commercials. Again with the credit-as-item-you-buy commercials.

Tejera versus Ibanez in a gripping matchup. They’re doing the wave in Texas out of excitement. They can’t control themselves. Ibanez gets another single. Yay, he’s now tied the club record for consecutive hits.

Cabrera celebrates by popping out. Tejera celebrates by hitting Reed. Fairly says Showalter has a decision to make, whether he wants Spiezio batting lefty or righty. Since the more-deadly version of Spiezio (the lefty) only hits .214/.291/.355, I’d say it doesn’t really matter that much which way Spiezio hits. Spiezio, annoyed at this kind of talk, hits a single to score Ibanez.

Showalter brings in Wasdin to pitch to Wilson. The crowd yawns.

Commercials. Kitsap Farm Garden Tractor claims they ‘flat invented low prices’ which seems a little unlikely since at some point in human history there’s probably been a low price before.

Brian Jordan chases a foul into the stands and then looks at his glove, which he opens and closes.
‘Still nothing there,’ I tell him.
‘There’s nothing in there, Brian,’ Niehaus says. ‘Look again.’

Headline: Wasdin Walks Wilson! Wanton Win Wasting!

Nix runs a ways to make a forward leaping stab and gets out of the inning.

Commercials. Man, I’m tired of these things.

Headed into the bottom of the 5th and it’s time for that dreaded phrase: ‘Hi again, everybody, it’s Rick Rizzs along with Dave Valle” ugh. I complain about Niehaus and Fairly, but now it’s time to go get another beer, and a backup beer. I predict that updates will become much less frequent from here out as I nod off from boredom at the soothing insincere tones of Rizzs. Ahhhhh.


Sorry, fell asleep on the keyboard there. Hang on, I’m muting the TV — that’s better, K to end the inning.

Commercials. The same stupid commercials.

Ichiro! I’m awake, I’m awake.

249, folks. Hitting machine! Winn chops a single to left. Showalter’s on the bullpen phone, because with only five innings complete and 2:20 elapsed, clearly this game needs to slow down and take a breather. I love baseball’s clockless nature, but games should be three hours unless they’re extra inning games, and two hours and thirty minutes is even better.

Advance to second and third on a passed ball, Boone strikes out, Ibanez is — intentionally walked? Well, to get to Cabrera and righty-righty — but with one out? Cabrera sacs, and Valle starts into his ‘got to continue to add on’ — PITCHING CHANGE!! I’m so excited! I thought this game couldn’t get slower and it is! Buck Showalter is apparantly conducting advanced experiments in time dilation on behalf of the University of Texas.

Lefthander Erasmo Ramirez. They remove the graphic mid-Valle-read, and Valle’s forced to go ‘uh.. 5-3 record’ because his next line’s gone. Awesome. If I was a discontented production guy, I would do that all the time on Fairly and Valle.


Atchison played and beat Star Ocean: Till the End of Time on the clubhouse Playstation 2 during that inning, and emerges rested and with honed hand-eye coordination.

Rizzs/Valle remind me of the DJ 3000 on the Simpsons (‘It plays CDs automatically, and it has three distinct varieties of inane chatter.’)

And now Melvin gets into the action. ‘You want to see pitching changes, Showalter? You think you can play lefty righty matchups?’ he yells at the other dugout. ‘You haven’t seen anything. I’m crazy, I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ll pitch Ramon Santiago lefty and righty, and then bring in Bloomquist to spit the ball towards home plate.’

Randy Williams comes in.


This whole thing about ‘you can see’ as they read the stats is a toss-in to make it seem like they know how dumb it is to read the stats. But if they really were reading them for people with bad vision watching, isn’t that aside also insulting?

Melvin comes out, barking at Showalter. ‘Yeah, you like that? You like one pitcher a batter? I’ll go to one pitcher per pitch! I don’t give a crap, Buck!’ Williams leaves, Mateo comes on.


Valle believes Mateo’s ‘just off the disabled list’. It was a week ago, which puts it about mid-way through the fourth inning. Mateo gets an out to end the inning. Melvin brings in lefty Villone to walk off the mound for him.

Spiezio flies out. Showalter comes out, ignoring Melvin (who is yelling ‘you let that guy face two batters, you wussy!’) and Rizzs says ‘So Buck Showalter really using his bullpen tonight.’ Yeah. We’re 2:50 into this game in top of the 7th. You think?

Commercials. The same fricking commercials every fricking break.

Doug Brocail comes in. Valle reads his stats. Thanks, Dave. A fly out. Sweet relief. A shot of the Rangers bullpen, still stocked with fodder, and then of Showalter looking at what appears to me to be a large card with the names of each of his relievers, in small black pen lettering.

Ichiro! Be the ball, Ichiro! Ahh, Ichiro strikes out, but on the other hand, the inning ends.

On the first hand, it’s time for another commercial break. Look, if I wasn’t convinced to buy your stupid SUV the first 90 times you showed me this commercial, the 91st viewing isn’t going to break my spirit.

Mateo stays in the game. This has to be a trick. There must have been some kind of switch for a Mateo brother, like the Molina catching cadre in Anaheim.

Spiezio catches a foul, Jordan drives a home run to left. Valle starts to advance his controversial confidence-as-contagion theory. I look to more beer for patience. Beer provides. We’re tied again. If this game goes into extra innings I will have officially have chosen the worst game ever to try this experiment with. Fly out to Reed.

Commercials. I love that Ichiro! ad, I really do. It’s the standout of this season’s batch.

Brocail’s still in, so I wonder if Selig called both managers and told them to stop their insane reliever war. Winn flies out. Boone strikes out. Winn singles for the record for consecutive base hits– but he got a walk tonight. That’s not a hit. Is it hits-in-at-bats? Reaching safely in 11 consecutive appearances ties a record, and Cabrera flies out. I’m suspicious of this record.


New pitcher for the Mainers! The temporary truce breaks! Ron Villone comes into the game. He’s the Mariners MVP, I hear. Yup. He gets the strikeout. Popup and then one more — yes! The inning’s over!

More commercials.

New pitcher. K for Reed. Let’s not go to extra innings, okay? How about a HR for Spiezio. Spiezio gets a single. Willie Bloomquist makes his guest appearance, running for Spiezio. If memory serves, this means he’ll get picked off or caught stealing to end the inning. Let’s see what happens. Many pickoff moves. Because the game wasn’t slow enough. Ol’ hit and run gets Willie to third and Dan on first, and now ‘ holy mackerel ‘ Edgar’s up. Now there’s a pinch-hitter. Mound conference.

Cordero: Pinch hitters aren’t supposed to be the best hitters in baseball history.
Hersheiser: Relax, he’s having an off year.
Cordero: Easy for you to say, Orel. Why don’t you pitch to him?
Hersheiser: I would, but my shoulder’s been acting up..
Cordero: Then shut up already.
Hersheiser: Okay, okay, here’s how I’m thinking you pitch him…

Edgar strikes out. Dammit. They walk Ichiro, dammit. Come ooooooooooooonnn, Randy. Infield hit, run scores! Randy’s safe! Boone’s up’ ‘So, I see we have a rally going. May I… end it?’


Villone stays in. Defensive changes. Single for Blalock. PITCHING CHANGE!!! YAYYYY!!


J.J. Putz enters the game. Double play! Hooo-wah. Valle offers that defensive substitutions attract the ball, which if true is a revolutionary discovery about the forces that affect the way our universe works. Teixeira grounds out and that’s the game. Mariners win! The game is over! The Mariners win! And the game is over!

I’ve got to go ice my fingers down.


32 Responses to “Game recap, M’s @ Rangers 9/24”

  1. Laurie on September 24th, 2004 9:43 pm

    You should warn us to crack open a beer before we start reading that one…

  2. Chris W. on September 24th, 2004 9:55 pm

    Splendid. Thank you.

  3. The Cheat on September 24th, 2004 10:02 pm

    I started reading that on Friday. I didn’t finish until Saturday. It should be noted that I live in Chicago. Best 4,600 blog entry that I’ve read tonight.

  4. tede on September 24th, 2004 10:08 pm

    Agree with that the ushers need to block the cell users behind the plate. Hey, you’re distracting me from reading those nice roll up ads!

    Wow Boone’s arm strength (or the lack of it) reared it’s head on three plays tonight. (1) Not even attempting a relay throw to third on Hank Blalock’s triple (2)The relay described by DMZ that took several bounces to reach Wilson (3) in the 9th on the DP, Ramon Santiago basically pushing Boone aside to do it himself and avoiding the looping submarine throw to first. Oh yeah, Brett left 8 runners on base to top it off.

    Apparently there is a reason for the pep in the team on this road trip. According to the KOMO post game, Melvin (finally!) gave the “you don’t want to end up losing 100 games” speech prior to the first game in Anaheim which fired up the team. I read a quote from Jaime about 3 weeks ago where he said it didn’t matter to him – perhaps ducking the question but not the stuff you want to read.

  5. jack mc ritchie on September 24th, 2004 10:22 pm

    The best laugh I’ve had ALL Year. And believe me, this year a laugh is a real blessing. More! More!

  6. Pat on September 24th, 2004 10:26 pm

    You missed the absolute best line of the night. I quote: “Winn’s having a great season”.

    I can’t give you the details of who said it, except that it was the at-bat in the 8th, moments before he flied out.

    Frankly at that point I was trying to figure out how to use my Bic(tm) pen to pick the Kryptonite(tm) lock holding me captive in front of my Sharp(tm) TV set.

  7. Shawns on September 24th, 2004 10:40 pm

    That was accurate on so many levels, I’m impressed. Cell phones are going to trigger the apocylpse. I hate people that drive around talking on their phones (eraticaly speeding up and slowing down), I really hate it when people go into a store and talk on their cell phone while paying the clerk, completely ignoring their existence, I hate cell phones going off with their annoying variety of rings in public places… Anyway, You also hit on my exact feeling for Ron Fairly. I am continuily amazed at his insanity. Also, the repetition of the same 5 or 6 commercials for the whole game is unbearable, and the Money Tree commercials are the most sickening thing I have ever seen. The horrible cheesy voices and of course psychotic catepillar costumes (or whatever they are) causes me to dive for the MUTE button on the remote and avoid permanent brain damage.
    good work

  8. bigcat on September 24th, 2004 10:41 pm

    Seriously funny stuff Derek! Buck Showalter thinks he’s Alfred Frick’n Einstein, doesn’t he?!!

  9. Sriram on September 24th, 2004 11:27 pm

    A little time on your hands Derek ?

  10. Paul Molitor Cocktail on September 24th, 2004 11:29 pm

    The only technique that has ever worked for me when it comes to people being rude about talking (whether it be in a movie theater, or on a cell phone, or whatever) is to start listening and chiming in. Obnoxiously offer unwanted opinions until they shut up.

  11. Alon Lewis on September 25th, 2004 12:06 am

    That was extremely enjoyable. If you can do that again, I would very impressed. Thank you, that was very funny.

  12. Gary Bloom on September 25th, 2004 12:24 am

    Alfred Einstein”? Well, he just might be.

  13. JR on September 25th, 2004 12:26 am

    < >

    How many folks were in attendance Mr. Zumsteg? I bet the place was pretty close to empty. I do play-by-play on a TV/Radio broadcast of high school football games here in Texas for one of the state’s better teams and I live on the northside of Dallas and it’s all football all the time around this state. In all seriousness, I don’t think the Rangers or Astros should EVER have a home game scheduled on a Friday in late August-through the end of the baseball season because quite honestly no one is gonna show up to watch or tune in on TV for that matter. Give most of us Texans a choice this time of year between the Rangers or Astros in a pennant race vs. a high school football game and the HS football game wins out everytime hands down! Football is king around these parts as I’m sure you found out from reading Friday Night Lights.

    God Bless and I sure hope Ichiro breaks Sisler’s hits record so that something good happens for y’all this season.

  14. Roberto on September 25th, 2004 12:37 am

    Great post, very funny! On a non-humorous note, I noticed Ichiro did something in the 9th that I remember being mentioned somewhere, maybe on USS Mariner or or maybe at a game I went to. With the bases-loaded and two outs in a tie game in the 9th, Ichiro was on first. Winn hit that chopper up the middle and Ichiro ran right through the second base bag. This is a great play because, often-times, the fielder will take the force at second and the runner from first does a cursory jog and weak slide. But if the runner from first busts his ass to second and runs right through the bag to beat the throw at second, the run from third could score, even if the runner from first might then be tagged out to end the inning.

  15. Bill on September 25th, 2004 12:51 am

    ‘This stream of consciousness post was brought to you by Budweiser.’ Dang, Derek – I could count the beers by the end. You go, kid. 😉

  16. brain on September 25th, 2004 1:24 am

    holy crap. did someone run across the leftover blow? not that i don’t the like the extensive commentary, but, man, that caught me off guard.

  17. Adam J. Morris on September 25th, 2004 9:23 am

    I have to respectfully disagree with J.R.’s comments. To say that “most Texans” will choose high school football over the Rangers or Astros in a pennant race is asinine, and his assertion that no one is going to show up or watch on TV on Friday nights is equally absurd.

    Football is the most popular sport in Texas, but this isn’t nearly as monolithic a sporting community as J.R. would suggest.

  18. The Real Fake Slim Shady on September 25th, 2004 9:39 am

    I don’t know there is probably some goofy American consumer that will buy into the whole McDonald’s sponsorship of the starting lineups and go out and get himself a Big Mac. Ha Haaaaaa.

  19. Morisseau on September 25th, 2004 10:14 am

    Another gem from Fairly last night “Matsui has probably been the Yankees’ MVP this year…” Hey, Ron — ever hear of Gary Sheffield?

  20. Jeff McDougal on September 25th, 2004 10:29 am

    before you grace us with another endless blog, learn to write!!!

  21. JR on September 25th, 2004 11:18 am


    I’m sorry, but you can go ANYWHERE in the state during football season and quickly find out just just how wide the interest gap is between HS football and baseball from late August-through the end of the season is. This holds TRUE even in Houston and Dallas where the Astros and Rangers play. You link yourself to a Rangers blog that I’m assuming you write for, so of course you’re going to say what you said…There’s nothing wrong at all with being a big baseball fan as I’m sure everyone who reads this blog loves baseball as do I…Baseball however takes a backseat by a WIDE MARGIN in the state of Texas from late August until the season ends. Get clued in to how things work here in Texas when it comes to High School Football and just football in general. Baseball has its place in Dallas and Houston, but overall the amount of people who pay a good bit of attention to baseball vs. people who forget that baseball is still played after Sept. 1st due to football being in full swing doesn’t even compare. Personally I like baseball and love keeping up with Ichiro! and his pursuit of the hits record and I enjoy watching Blalock, Teixeira, and Nix as often as I can.

    These Mariner fans here are a pretty passionate group and they support their team a whole heck of a lot better than either Rangers or Astros fans do that I’ve run across around the state.

    God Bless and may Ichiro get that record!!!!!!!!He deserves it as do all his loyal fans!!!!!!!!

  22. Sane on September 25th, 2004 11:57 am

    When someone walks down the aisle while talking on a cellphone, they should be zapped with a cattle prod. I’m serious. They’re on the phone with someone who is watching the game, and they’re walking to get on camera, so they can wave, or mug, or whatever. Texas seems to have a particular problem with this.

    No doubt about that. Every time the M’s play in Texas I notice this. Is it something about the ballpark there, or is it just the Texas fans? I try not to find it annoying, but it’s hard not to. I noticed something related in one particular game awhile back. The same exact concession guy came down to that spot excessively throughout the game. I mean like two, three times an inning. Now unless the Texas concession routes are remarkably different from those at most other ballparks …

    They should do something about it. But then again, you still wonder why you don’t see this as much at other ballparks?

  23. Flavor Flav on September 25th, 2004 12:05 pm

    Whoa-ha haaaaaa

  24. sidereal on September 25th, 2004 2:37 pm

    What are you saying, DMZ? You can do Fairly’s job better than Fairly does?

    Oh wait. . you just did.

  25. Adam J. Morris on September 26th, 2004 12:34 am

    J.R. —

    I grew up in DFW. I live in Houston now. I’m pretty familiar with the fans in both areas. And it is simply not true that fans have no interest once football season starts, or that high school football takes priority over baseball.

    In Midland/Odessa, or other small towns, sure. And maybe in your circle of folks, given your involvement in high school football, that may be the case.

    But it is not true of the fan base as a whole.

  26. JR on September 26th, 2004 3:03 pm

    THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of people in the STATE OF TEXAS care more about football than they do a pennant chase that involves the Astros or Rangers…Neither team has a fan base like what the Mariners have and never will…Football is easily number one…Basketball is the 2nd most popular…Baseball battles it out with hockey, yes HOCKEY, for 3rd most popular pro sport in this state. That’s just the way it is…These Mariner fans are far more dedicated than any Ranger or Astro fan…

    You have next to nothing to back up any of your assertions…I can take you ANYWHERE in the state of Texas on a Friday night and you’ll see just how much more people care about a HS football game than they do about the Rangers being in a pennant race…Dallas, Houston, San Antone, Austin, El Paso etc…It’s a statewide thing and it’s NOT limited to the smaller towns and cities in the state although the smaller towns take it to a whole other level…Open your eyes and look at where the Number 1 team in the nation in HS football is at…Southlake Carroll! They’re a suburb in the DFW Metroplex and they draw LARGE crowds from all across the Metroplex and state on Friday nights. They, along with the dozens of other HS teams in Dallas who play on Friday nights, draw a lot of fans away from the Rangers on Friday nights during the fall. It’s just the way things are in Texas. Given a choice between the Rangers and their HS playing on that same night, fans simply make the choice to go watch HS football. You can attempt to beat a dead horse and try in vain to prove me wrong, but you just have to face facts that can’t be proven wrong about where Texans choose to focus their attention and spend their money at in the fall…HS football and football in general here gets the money and attention from folks from August on vs. spending it at a Ranger or Astro game on a Friday night.

    Mariner fans should be commended for their dedication to their team despite staring down the possibility of a 100 loss season. Y’all Mariner fans who use this board show so much more fanaticism in supporting your team through thick and thin than just about every team in the Majors…When the wins start coming again, y’all will surely deserve them!

    God Bless and just SEVEN MORE HITS to go for Ichiro! to break the record!!!! Should be an exciting final week of the regular season for Ichiro and the Mariners. I sure am pulling for him to get those 7 hits!!!!

  27. Adam J. Morris on September 26th, 2004 4:59 pm

    J.R., we’re going to have to agree to disagree. There are plenty of folks in Texas who will take the Astros or Rangers over high school football, and I don’t think your assertions that baseball is battling it out with hockey for the #3 sport in the state has any basis in reality.

  28. JR on September 26th, 2004 6:23 pm

    If by “plenty of folks” you mean a MINORITY of the population then you’re right.I have to agree with you on absolutely NOTHING and I have maintained the truth on this matter which is based in fact. I NEVER said 100 percent of the state chooses football over baseball on a Friday night. The majority of this state forgets about baseball and a small section of the population continues to follow baseball once they tee it up for football. I CAN PROVE that what I say is FACT and all you have to do is take up my challenge to travel around the state on Friday night…If you want to go somewhere where you can be amongst people who are more dedicated to baseball, try these Seattle folks or even the hated Yankees…In Texas you’re in the minority and have been for quite some time now…Your assertions have no basis in reality, but rather since you’re a big baseball fan you believe that what you think is true…I’m a fan of basketball, baseball, and football and have a wealth of friends who follow each sport…My contact is NOT limited to football alone. I coach basketball for cryin out loud so you can scratch off of the list that my “circle of friends” is just a bunch of people who like football. Like I said, you’re beating a dead horse and your assertions still have nothing to back them up as anything more than just that. Just stick with what you know about baseball because you’re in serious denial about what the MAJORITY of the state thinks about football vs. a Rangers or Astros pennant chase. Notice I said MAJORITY…Not all, but the MAJORITY…At least now with the NHL lockout, baseball doesn’t have any competition for 3rd place among favorite pro sports in the state…lol…

    Go ICHIRO!!!! 251 and counting!!!!

  29. Dave on September 26th, 2004 6:45 pm


    Let it go, man.

  30. JR on September 26th, 2004 7:11 pm

    My point has been proved and I’m through with it.

    God Bless and go Ichiro!

  31. Griff on September 27th, 2004 7:00 am

    Here’s a strange thought I had watching the 12 inning Orioles/Red Sox game last week.

    You want to talk about a guy you could bring in for one year, platoon him with Bucky at 1B/DH, who can hit the crap out of Safeco, and won’t command more than about 3-4 million a year(maybe lots less, as he’s old, and declining)

    Rafael Palmiero.

    He’s not a permanent solution, but he’s a stopgap till 2006.

    Just a thought


  32. Ralph Malph on September 27th, 2004 10:26 am

    Thanks Griff but no thanks. We already tried old and declining.