Opening Day Running Diary

Jeff · April 4, 2005 at 1:14 pm · Filed Under Game Threads, Mariners 

What better day than Opening Day to continue the running diary tradition?

Stuck at the computer doing some writing, I’ll offer occasional observations during the course of the game. Others may well drop by and offer their thoughts as well.

Jeff, 2:05 PM PST The highlights package reminds us, if nothing else, that this team has been through some extreme wardrobe changes.

Derek: Oh yeah, back when Griffey hand-picked the night’s uniform from a selection of uniforms he’d personally designed and sewed himself from textiles he’d woven from materials he’d harvested and processed.

Fans, don’t think about last year. Remember ten years ago — no, no, past 98-99… there you are. Ahhh, the 1995 Mariners. Think about thoooose Mariners.

Jeff: Perhaps he should have pre-woven some hamstring supports.

Derek: He was too busy hand-raising orphans.

Jeff, 2:15 PM PST Predicting a baseball season is like predicting where a hurricane will develop after the butterfly in your back yard flaps its wings. That said, I predicted the Twins to win the World Series in the upcoming Baseball Analysts roundtable. Looking at this lineup, I’m feeling all right about that. There are a lot of really promising young hitters here.

On the opposite side of the age equation, Moyer looked good in the first inning — changing speeds, hitting spots all around the strike zone.

Jeff, 2:32 PM PST If Jamie Moyer and Brad Radke switched uniforms, and you watched the game in a mirror, would anyone be able to tell the difference? Especially with the home run given up to Sexson and all.

Dave Not only is Jeff wrong about the Twins winning the world series, his clock is off.

And welcome to Seattle, Richie.

Jeff: Haven’t I told you about your linear time fixation, Dave? Plus, this whole “spring forward” thing is killing me.

Also, a pronunciation note: “Sexton” is the new “nucular.”

Jeff, 2:39 PM PST Two of the most enjoyable things about watching Moyer pitch for me are seeing how he works hitters, particularly young hitters, and seing him field his position.

On the first, he struck out Justin Morneau swinging on a pitch off the plate inside, and Morneau had a look on his face that said “yeah, he fooled me.” One the second, Moyer keeps himself in terrific shape, so he’s able to quickly grab come-backers and topped balls that dribble out from home plate. He’s somebody who maximizes the physical tools he has, and that’s easy to respect.

Jeff, 2:58 PM PST Three days ago, I would not have expected to see: Wilson Valdez starting at short for the Mariners; Luis Rivas getting the Twins’ first hit; or Bret Boone complaining to the umpires as of his first at-bat. Okay, I’m lying about that last one.

On the topic of Boone, did anyone else see him talking about how the lead-up to opening day was stressful since he had to get his hair done? Before anyone derides him, let me remind you that Spartan warriors prepared for battle by braiding their hair. In Ballard.

Okay, again, I’m lying about that last one.

Jeff, 3:03 PM PST Richie Sexson homer count: two. Announcer “Brush Prairie” count: one. I would not have bet on the first number being larger than the second at this point.

Jeff, 3:12 PM PST Another note on Sexson’s home runs. Strikingly, though you could tell they were gone off the bat, it didn’t look like he got all of either. When this guy hits it on the button, I’m gonna enjoy watching.

Also, Joel in the comments informs me that I missed two “Brush Prairie” references. (Lucky me). So the Brush Prairie count is actually, to paraphrase De La Soul, at three and rising.

Jeff, 3:22 PM PST Brad Radke is exactly the type of pitcher I would expect Miguel Olivo to struggle against — right-handed, relies on breaking and off-speed stuff — so let’s not get too down on him. Sexson won’t hit two homers in every game, and Olivo won’t wear the collar in every game, either. I hope.

Dave: Well, last year, we kept saying “Cameron would have had that” when a ball fell in the gap. That groundball up the middle? Pokey would have had it.

Jeff, 3:41 PM PST Say it with me: I-CHI-RO! I-CHI-RO!

Jeff, 3:50 PM PST Sportsline’s game summaries now include alleged radar gun readings for pitches. Moyer just served up the following junk to Torii Hunter:

Foul (69/slider), Ball (56/curveball), Ball (82/fastball), Strike looking (80/fastball), Ball (75/sinker).

Talk about changing speeds, eh?

Jeff, 4:01 PM PST We can close the book on Moyer, and though I’m not sure if Radke’s coming out for the seventh yet, let’s compare their numbers:

Moyer, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Radke 6 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Eerily similar, except for the obvious — Sexson’s two bombs. To oversimplify, Moyer pitched like 2003 Moyer today, and Radke pitched like 2004 Moyer.

Jeff, 4:16 PM PST Ron Villone enters the game. I can’t be the only person who just took a deep breath.

Jeff, 4:25 PM PST Don’t worry, I exhaled and inhaled again seven minutes ago. Haven’t passed out yet.

Nice of the Twins to put 42-year-old Terry Mulholland in the game. I bet Moyer doesn’t feel so old now.

Jeff, 4:28 PM PST A non-scientific observation: Jeremy Reed seemed a bit anxious today, which is understandable for a young guy making his first Opening Day start. He seemed to be reaching for pitches that he’d otherwise lay off. Hopefully, he gets that out of the way and the M’s come away with a win to start the year.

Jeff, 4:32 p.m. PST What’s up with teams putting their anointed magic game-closers in with relatively little risk of the other team coming back? Percival comes in with a huge lead, B.J. Ryan comes in four runs up, and now Every Fifth Day Eddie. At least Miguel Batista got a cheap save when the Jays put him in ahead by three.

Watch that hammy, Eddie!

Jeff, 4:35 p.m. PST And … turn out the lights and close the roof, the party’s over!

Nice way to start the season. Breathe deep, folks: baseball’s back, the Mariners are in first place, and all is right with the world.


163 Responses to “Opening Day Running Diary”

  1. Jeff on April 4th, 2005 6:26 pm

    dw, it’s cool, I love the Man In Black too.

    RE: #149, I stand corrected, thought they brought in Batista to pitch the ninth only. For obvious reasons, I wasn’t paying very close attention to the Toronto game.

  2. Ryan Carson on April 4th, 2005 6:30 pm

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but Safeco was minus the center field bleachers. I know that was a big issue last season, and I guess the fact that they were not there is an indication that the fans may have some influence on management.

    Also, I was in the terrace club today…..7.25 for a beer, 9.00 for a large…..ouch.

  3. Jon Wells on April 4th, 2005 6:32 pm

    Re: blackouts. It doesn’t go by the zip code on your credit card or
    your IP address. It goes by the zip code in the address you provide them. Yes, you can fool them by giving them a different address and get the games you want to watch rather than the games they think you should be allowed to watch…

  4. Ryan Carson on April 4th, 2005 6:36 pm

    Oh, and one more thing. Richie’s second homer was basically a 415 foot line drive over the center field wall.

  5. eponymous coward on April 4th, 2005 7:32 pm

    This just in: M’s magic number to clinch AL West down to 162…

  6. David J Corcoran on April 4th, 2005 7:34 pm

    Great game today. Glad I was there.

    Just a ?, do Grand Salami authors sell the mags, or are those other workers?

  7. Jeff Sullivan on April 4th, 2005 7:50 pm

    It’s funny, Corcoran – I emailed that same question to Jon Wells earlier today. I’m curious, because I’ll be writing for GS, and when I’m in Seattle for a week in June I want to know if I’ll be buying an issue from some guy or one of the other writers.

  8. edgarfan on April 4th, 2005 8:41 pm

    #150: Diamond Club seats are sweet, aren’t they? I go to one game there every year, and yeah, it’s a ‘gotta do it before you die’ kind of thing. I also, once, got courtside seats to a Sonics game. Not even close to as good an experience as the DC seats, and they cost about five times as much.

    In 2003, I got a great shot of Edgar high-fiving in the dugout after a homer. Yeah, IN the dugout. From where I was sitting, you could see all the way down.

    Oh, and Richie Sexson goes to 11.

  9. Deanna on April 4th, 2005 9:21 pm

    Huh, I thought I recognized Conor standing outside selling the Grand Salamis, but I also figured that the USSM meet was a bunch of months ago and maybe I’d forgotten what he looks like.

    Those are great pictures, FrayLo. I can’t wait until my new camera shows up — should be this week, and I’ll have to splurge on good seats to a game to test it out.

    Sexson’s second home run looked pretty good from where I was. So good, infact, that I (nor anyone near me) actually noticed Bret Boone grounding out to third after it.

    Then again, Villone looked good from where I was. Mauer got called out on three straight strikes and all I could think was, “Who is that guy and what’s he done with the real Ron Villone?” Of course, the next two pitches were balls, so it was all good.

  10. Pat K on April 4th, 2005 9:35 pm

    Did anyone else at the game today notice that it seemed very dim inside Safeco after the roof was closed? I think the sunshine visible through the left field opening and through the other openings in the stadium made the playing field seem very poorly lit. I kept thinking it must be difficult to hit, and the lack of hitting from both teams seemed to confirm that. Perhaps it was a sly move to close the roof once we had a five run lead. Yes our bullpen looked good, but perhaps they had a little help from the stadium crew.

  11. MackJohnny on April 5th, 2005 8:11 am

    Re: #151
    Heh. I’ll politely assume those obvious reasons to be two home runs by Richie Sexson.

  12. J.R. on April 5th, 2005 8:49 am

    Nice pics #150!

  13. Basebliman on April 5th, 2005 10:19 am

    Check out this line from the bullpen: 3.1 0 0 0 0 3, 41 pitches, 33 strikes. That’s awesome!