Game 159, Rangers at Mariners

Dave · September 29, 2005 at 4:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Good news folks, it’s Ryan Franklin’s last ever appearance as a Seattle Mariner.

Adios, cowboy.


100 Responses to “Game 159, Rangers at Mariners”

  1. goodbye baseball on September 29th, 2005 5:51 pm

    Oh My God! Buck pulled Kenny! You Bastard!

  2. hairofthedawg on September 29th, 2005 5:51 pm

    I’d like to see him go to the A’s or Angels but not for the reason you mention

  3. Lokiforever on September 29th, 2005 5:53 pm

    Random Question, looking at Gameday and Morse’s 6 LOB. If one tends to hit into double plays more than strike out with runners on base, will this reduce the LOB statistic?

  4. Paul Molitor Cocktail on September 29th, 2005 5:56 pm

    Did I just see a tumbleweed in the stands at Safeco?

  5. Lokiforever on September 29th, 2005 5:59 pm

    Wait. Grover called in a lefty reliever to pitch to a right handed batter. Uh oh, something’s amiss at Denny’s.

  6. Deanna on September 29th, 2005 6:00 pm

    Eh? Teixeira’s a switch-hitter I thought. Blalock hits lefty.

  7. LB on September 29th, 2005 6:12 pm

    #53: Yes, if there is one out and your hitter grounds into a double play, there are 0 left on base for the inning.

  8. LB on September 29th, 2005 6:18 pm

    Re Mike Stanton: the only trustworthy LHP in the Red Sox bullpen was Mike Myers. He is abysmal against RH hitters, so he is useless in facing a LH hitter who will be pinch-hit for. He is also useless against switch hitters. And if the opposing lineup has RH hitters stacked between LH hitters who won’t be pinch-hit for, Francona has to decide when to use Myers for a single out and burn the only LHP in his pen.

    Stanton is far from great, but he may help with one or more of those problems this weekend, and the Red Sox are holding on by their fingernails. I think it’s a miracle they got this far without a healthy Schilling and Foulke, but I don’t think they have the pitching to go any farther. Once they get eliminated, my motto for October is, “Go Tribe!”

  9. mark from Oly. wa. on September 29th, 2005 6:24 pm

    Well, I am glad to see Franklin go. Not just for his performance on the field, but really for the ads that he is on. His radio ads always sound like he is crying, whining or something, at least to me.

  10. msb on September 29th, 2005 6:35 pm

    hey, you need to have those pitchers who can go out and just stop a losing streak like that by themselves 🙂

    btw, tonight is the night that Howard Lincoln will be on the post-game show

  11. msb on September 29th, 2005 6:38 pm

    oh, and Bavasi will be on after game 162…

  12. pensive on September 29th, 2005 6:44 pm

    Rodgers-Yes but he has thrown better than M’s have penciled in for a couple of years. His services should be reasonable.

    Should Front Offfice consider him rather than ??????????

  13. firova on September 29th, 2005 6:45 pm

    To think that Franklin came into this year with a career 4.04 era. Pineiro? 3.70. Seems like a long time ago.

  14. David J Corcoran on September 29th, 2005 6:47 pm

    I’d like to think that letting Franklin go is for the better. I hope he gets a nice pitching job with the Oklahoma Redhawks, and I wish him the best of luck with that.

    Na na na na…na na na na
    hey hey hey
    goo-ood bye!

  15. David J Corcoran on September 29th, 2005 6:55 pm

    Whoop. Make that the Tulsa Drillers. Unless Ft. Smith, AK, has a minor league team. Still, good luck Franklin in your Oklahoma/Arkansas pitching career!

  16. domovoi on September 29th, 2005 7:10 pm

    “Adios, Cowboy”

    Whoa, did you get that from Cowboy Bebop?

  17. dw on September 29th, 2005 7:14 pm

    Whoop. Make that the Tulsa Drillers. Unless Ft. Smith, AK, has a minor league team. Still, good luck Franklin in your Oklahoma/Arkansas pitching career!

    Do not mock the Drillers. Seriously. Do I sit around mocking whatever passes for baseball in Idaho?

  18. firova on September 29th, 2005 7:24 pm

    So Lincoln has ordered that Felix not be called “King Felix,” so as not to give the kid a big head. Hmmm. It’s all ussm’s fault.

  19. Jeff on September 29th, 2005 7:26 pm

    Cowboy Bebop’s signoff is “See you, space cowboy.”

  20. Knob on September 29th, 2005 7:26 pm

    Sorry I’m extremely uninformed. But has it been officially confirmed anywhere that Franklin is not coming back next year? Not that I want him back. Just want to know for sure that he’s gone.

  21. Spooky Mulder on September 29th, 2005 7:30 pm

    dw: former Boise Hawks currently in the major leagues:

    Garrett Anderson
    Troy Percival
    Jarrod Washburn
    and Dontrelle Willis

    The more you know

  22. David J Corcoran on September 29th, 2005 7:30 pm

    The Boise Hawks are awesome. Ditto the Idaho Falls Chukars.

  23. pensive on September 29th, 2005 7:41 pm

    #68 Did Lincoln really say ” No King Felix”? He must be worrried about the dollars he would perhaps deserve when vested?

  24. pensive on September 29th, 2005 7:49 pm

    Mr Corcoran..What grand festivities are you planning Sunday (King Felix pitches)?
    Many of us would come for Bud, Taco Bell, White Castle, and whatever you serve. Please play your newest favorite music as well. The bus is waiting.

  25. msb on September 29th, 2005 8:05 pm

    I was going to type up a Lincoln transcript– prob. way too long to post here, though… what would be the best way to get it out there?

  26. Dave on September 29th, 2005 8:09 pm

    Stick it here, msb. A game thread is perfect for that kinda thing.

  27. Zach in Spokane on September 29th, 2005 8:09 pm

    See you space cowboy…

  28. chris w on September 29th, 2005 8:12 pm

    If I had to pick 1 of Meche, Pineiro, or Franklin to keep, I’d pick Franklin. Call me crazy.

  29. Replacement Level Poster on September 29th, 2005 8:16 pm

    I’m watching Baseball is… on ESPN2 its a pretty cool special. I’m sure it will be on again, you guys should look for it, its really cool.

  30. Noel on September 29th, 2005 8:17 pm

    If I had to pick 1 of Meche, Pineiro, or Franklin, I’d pick the prettiest ballgirl and train her to throw knuckleballs. The place would sell out every time she pitched.

  31. troy on September 29th, 2005 8:20 pm

    chris w, so you’re saying you’d rather have A) the lying, whining, worthless pitcher with junk stuff who got caught cheating than B) the overrated, consistently dead armed pitcher with supposedly great stuff or C) the slightly less overrated, once horribly coiffed, pitcher with decent stuff who allegedly cheated to reach his formerly high status in MLB?

    Personally I’d take C.

  32. Noel on September 29th, 2005 8:23 pm

    Ouch. CBS Sportsline reports that the official attendance was just 19,781… first time ever that attendance was under 20,000 at Safeco.

  33. David J Corcoran on September 29th, 2005 8:30 pm

    I’m sorry, Pensive. The Nearest Budweiser is 10 feet away, so that could be arranged, but the nearest Taco Bell is 105 miles away and the nearest White Castle is approx 1500 miles away. So those ain’t coming. For Felix Day, I’m planning on watching the game in the comfort of my own home, by myself. None of you are invited, although I’ll use the game thread >:)

  34. Vin on September 29th, 2005 9:06 pm

    “Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
    Play the dead march as you carry me along;
    Take me to the green valley, there lay the sod o’er me,
    For I’m a young cowboy and I know I’ve done wrong.

    – From the ‘Cowboys Lament’

    Farewell Ryan, it was nice knowing you but then again it wasn’t.

    Hey David J Corcoran, did you buy something from ebay off me a couple months ago? I sold something to someone by that name and recognized it off here, so I addressed it like you would address any package to a loyal Bloomquist fan. If that wasn’t you, that guy probably thinks I’m a freak. Oh well, I haven’t seen any negative feedback.

  35. Adam T on September 29th, 2005 9:44 pm

    When I lived in Idaho Falls they were the Braves…then the Gems. Jose Canseco passed through there. I forget whom the other major leaguers where but there were more.

  36. Adam S on September 29th, 2005 11:36 pm

    it’s Ryan Franklin’s last ever appearance as a Seattle Mariner.

    On the postgame show, Dave Valle was asked if the Mariners should bring Ryan Franklin back (or if he thought he’d be back). He said he would because the Mariners don’t have a lot of starting pitching depth and you need a guy like Franklin. Also mentioned that Franklin wasn’t a free agent only arbitration eligible so he was sort of assuming he’d be back. Thank the Lord that Valle isn’t calling the shots.

    I heard the same thing on the post game that Lincoln asked the media to stop calling him “King Felix”, so as not to put too much pressure on him. I’ll add some other Lincoln comments after I see msb’s transcript. He actually seemed pretty reasonable.

    Actual crowd was much smaller than 19,000. I’d say 13-15 K. Even the good seats were fairly empty.

  37. Colm on September 29th, 2005 11:51 pm

    Vin: That lyric is strikingly similar to chorus of “The Green Fields of France” (aka “Willie McBride”) by Eric Bogle. Is it traditional?

    Sorry, that was well off topic.

  38. LB on September 30th, 2005 12:12 am

    #86: Yeah, but did Mr. Lincoln ask the M’s own scoreboard operator to stop heralding Felix’ K’s with Felix El Rey?

  39. GWO on September 30th, 2005 12:16 am

    That lyric is strikingly similar to chorus of “The Green Fields of France” (aka “Willie McBride”) by Eric Bogle. Is it traditional?

    Yeah. It’s one of many variations on a Scottish folk song that dates back (at least) to the 17th century. Scottish settlers took it to the Appalachians, where it became a staple of folk music there, underwent a couple of centuries of evolution through the oral tradition, later to reappear as “The Cowboys Lament”, “The Streets Of Laredo” and 2 or 3 other traditional country songs.

    And just to introduce some token baseball content, “Bang The Drum Slowly” is the second in the quartet of autobiography by LHP Henry ‘Author’ Wiggen of the New York Mammoths. It’s also the best known, but IMHO, ‘The Southpaw’ is the better book.

  40. msb on September 30th, 2005 12:35 am

    ok, here it is. After some jolly preliminaries about Mike Morse’s outfield catch, and chatting about having watched him tackle learning the outfield (‘the first couple of days I watched it, it was pretty rough’)….

    TG: what went through your mind today as you watched the smallest crowd in Safeco field history, first time you’ve had a crowd under 20,000

    HL: well, we knew that the crowd for the Texas games were going to be on the low side– it’s a weekday, it’s after labor day, school and whatnot, so we projected that kind of attendance and we got it. I expect we’ll have over 30,000 fans for friday, saturday, & sundays game, and finish about 2,725,000 fans, which will be the 4th best in the American League and that says a LOT about the fan support we have. We don’t take that for granted, we really appreciate our fans.

    [ok, the following is an example of Glasgow’s interviewing style, & after this I will trim down his questions ; Howard can be long as well, but he is more important here, so I’ll transcribe the whole answer. Blowers is easier 🙂 FWIW, anything I add will be bracketed]

    TG: Mike & have talked about that; I mean, it has been, frankly… for the product they’ve gotten the last two years… the fan support you’ve gotten, I don’t know many other cities possibly with the exception of you know, it doesn’t matter what the Cubs put in Wrigley Field that place is gonna be full, um, the loyalty at Fenway … so it has been, I think, above and beyond … so now, one of the questions is, you’re going to have back to back 90 loss seasons what type of impact is that going to have on season ticket sales, projecting ahead to next season, as you know, and you’ve heard it, there’s that mindset that, well, look, the Mariners believe that its the ballpark, they’re not overly concerned about the product because Safeco Field will keep people coming in, and they’ll keep making money, and so there you have it.

    HL: We don’t believe that for a second. I think we’re as disappointed as anyone with the fact we’ve had back to back seasons like this, we certainly anticipated, thought it would be a lot better this season than it has turned out to be. Let me speak about attendence first; we have talked to a lot of season-ticket holders over the course of the last year, and one of the things we hear consistantly is the following, we love this team, we love to watch major league baseball in Safeco Field, we appreciate the fact it is safe, secure, offers a family-friendly environment, and yeah, we’d like to see the team win (so would we) but nevertheless we like to come to Safeco Field. Now that doesn’t mean that we assume that fans are going to come regardless of the product, we have to put a good product on the field, and we have to keep doing the things that do bring our fans to Safeco Field and that is to provide 1st class customer service, a secure environment, a wonderful place to play baseball, great entertainment. I think we’ve executed on that second one, now we’ve got to execute on that first objective. But make no mistake about it, the number one objective of this ownership, and this franchise, is to bring championship play back here to Safeco Field, and eventually get this team to the World Series.

    TG: Is that goal more difficult than you thought it might be [snippage of no one expecting the total collapse of ’04, and the declared intent of ownership to get it fixed now, not in 5 years] Having now gone through 2 years of this, is your perspective somewhat different?

    HL: I think that you’re right, when we started the ’04 season, I don’t think any of us anticipated what was going to happen, and by the summer of ’04 we realized that we had to make some major changes, and we did in the balance of the ’04 season, but where we really focussed our attention was in the off-season and we put a lot of money on the table; $114 million dollars in one week, if that isn’t a commitment by an ownership group, I don’t know what is. And I think that we felt that with the moves we made in the off-season, including Beltre and Sexson and others, that we would go into ’05– I don’t think we thought we’d win the World Series, but I do believe that we thought we would be close to .500 and that type of a ballclub, and so we’re very disappointed that that didn’t happen. Yeah we had some injuries, but everybody has injuries, we had this problem and that problem, but the fact of the matter is we are disappointed that we didn’t do as well as we thought we should. However, I think we’ve laid a very solid foundation for the future, I’m very encouraged about the future and I think that if we can do some good things in the offseason this year, we can turn things around. I’m not making any guarantees, or anything like that– I’ve been in this business too long!– but I really am encouraged with some of our young players, Michael Morse is one we just talked about, we’ve got a terrific shortstop in Betancourt, we haven’t seen that kind of play since Omar was here, and we’ve got a great defensive centerfielder, maybe who needs to hit a little bit better [chuckles]; these kids are young, and they’re going to get better next year, and with the foundation of Beltre and Sexson and the leadership they can provide in the clubhouse I think we’re going to be better next year, and I know for sure that despite the win/loss record we’re a much better team this September than we were last September.

    TG: Your baseball folks just concluded two days of baseball meetings, I assume you were able to sneak in there on occasion, or at least have an idea of what went on, can you tell us basically what those meetings are about…

    HL: Actually it was three days, we finished today; they were long meetings, involving Bill Bavasi, Lee Pelekoudas, all of our baseball people who are headquartered here, everyone from Bob Engle our director of international scouting, Dan Evans & several other people who are assisting Bill at the major league scouting level… basically everybody in our baseball operations dept. was there. They were evaluating every member of the 40 man roster, certainly focussing on the major league roster, they wanted to make sure they got Mike Hargrove’s input so he was there and participated in all of the meetings and I think they came out of the meeting with a very good idea of what we need, what we’ve got,and what we need to get. I’m encouraged that we did this now, instead of waiting. We’ve got a lot to do in the offseason, and I think the way the meetings were organized (I did sit in for a few minutes) I think both Chuck Armstrong and I feel that it was a very productive session.

    TG: Is it fair to say this offseason is a critical offseason? They’ve got to get it right, creativity, aggressiveness, you’ve got to consider free agency, trades, whatever… it’s all got to come together for you to have the kind of team that you’d like to have next year, is that fair?

    HL: I think it’s fair to say that … quite frankly [rueful laugh] all of these offseasons, particularly the last two are critical. Certainly last offseason was critical, & I think our folks under Bill’s leadership did a great job of executing and a lot of the sports media reports commented on how aggressive & how creative Bill was. Certainly this offseason is critical, we’ve lost over 90 games again, we’ve had two seasons of losses, we have promised our fans that we’re going to turn this thing around as quickly as possible, and we’re bound and determined to do that. With that in mind, of course it’s critical.

    TG: As CEO, does it kind of tick you off to see Oakland do the things they do with the payroll they have, to see Minnesota accomplish what they do — now, neither of those teams are going to the post-season, but you know what I’m talking about… does it tick you off?

    HL: It doesn’t tick me off, it embarrasses me. And ticks me off. It’s very frustrating to see this, particularly when I know how hard our people work and how committed we are as an organization and as an ownership group to turning things around. It IS frustrating, it does tick you off, it does embarrass you, but, hey, this is part of baseball, it’s part of sports. As the players say, you have to tip your hat to Oakland, they’ve done a tremendous job, I think, in player development and in scouting, and that’s not to take anything away from their General Manager or what they’ve done at the major league level. They have excelled at scouting and player development and it shows. One of the things we are spending a lot of time and money and focus on are those backroom operations– namely scouting and player development — that’s the key to the future, to develop talent such as Felix Hernandez, and I’m very optimistic about what’s happened in the last several years with respect to scouting and player development. We’ve done a really good job at the draft, and we’re moving kids through the system better and faster, and that portends well for the future.

    TG: not a great free agent market … but people want to know will the financial commitment remain there

    HL: Yes it will. I think the biggest thing we can do to help the organization, we being the ownership group, is to maintain a high major league player payroll and we have done that the last two years and we certainly expect to do that in this coming year. We haven’t finalized our financial plan for the coming year (we go Nov 1 through Oct 31), but one thing is for certain, in that plan will be a very high player payroll, certainly in the top 10 in MLB.

    TG: Does declining attendence impact that payroll?

    HL: It can, it certainly can. This year, in order to maintain a high major league player payroll we began the season projecting a loss, and we were prepared to do that, and are prepared to do that again if necessary.

    TG: Will the team operate in the red this year?

    HL: It looks like it’s going to; we started out with a multi-million dollar loss, but because our attendance is higher than we projected, because the central fund revenues are higher than we projected, and because our revenue sharing commitment is lower than we thought it to be (that’s a cost to us) we’ll make a few dollars. Not much, but we’re in the black.

    MB: Howard, how flexible is that bottom line number you through out there as far as payroll goes? In other words, throwing a number out there, if it’s 100 million, and you are going through the process of getting your players, and in the end Bill comes to you with a player that is maybe a little over that, is the number flexible, or is it a hard number?

    HL: That’s a good question; you know, as a business person, you like to have people stick to their budgets– that’s the case whether it’s Bill or anyone else in the organization– but if you look at what we’ve done the last few years, we have always been flexible, and will continue to be flexible. So if Bill comes to me at some point in the season and says I’ve got to do this, or at the trade deadline, yeah, we have flexibility. Let me just say this, Bill is very good at operating to a budget, and I appreciate that. That’s his job. There is flexibility there– I can remember several July 31s [chuckles] ago where it was either Bill or Pat and we needed another million dollars for example, and we made that available. Plus when we make decisions like that during the season, we have a better idea how we are doing & where we think we are going to end up and so if there is something that needs to be done to push it over the top we are prepared to do that.

    MB: … last year, Bill was talking about there being room in the budget for the deadline, in other words he didn’t build the team to the very last dollar.. is that something the organization regularly does?

    HL: It really is up to Bill. It wouldn’t surprise me if that happened this offseason, as he moves into the regular season; he did hold a bit of money back, that’s perfectly permissible. [smiles] He doesn’t have to spend it all.

    TG: Your organization was hit this year with 3 steroid suspensions at the major league level, and numerous minor leaguers. Is there anything the organization can do above and beyond, there are probably restrictions… we had the testimony yesterday before the Senate Committee….

    HL: First of all, I strongly support what the Commissioner is proposing, and I hope that Don Fehr and the union will, with the Commissioner, reach an agreement to toughen the standards and to expand the scope of the testing and to get independent testing. In the case of the Mariners, it is really, really discouraging, and bothersome, and very troubling … particularly given all the work we have done with our players, especially in this last offseason and spring training. We went outof our way to educate, to try to educate our players to the danger of steroids, to the risk of what would happen if they were tested positive, to the fact that they should not take any supplements unless it was authorized by our trainers. We went through all of this, we even had one of the leading experts on steroids come to spring training and talk to our players. Every player before the end of spring training was talked to both individually and as a group, in English and in Spanish, and yet we had the results that we had. So, one of the things we decided to do in early September was to make sure that before the season was over, every single minor league player and every major league player at the time that they get their leaving physical, end of the season physical, every one of those players will be talked to, counseled again on what the major league rules are, the risk of steroids, the risk of testing, the fact that random testing is going to continue on during the off-season. We were disappointed in what happened, I thought that since I was at spring training and saw those presentations, I was quite surprised to see what happened. Having said all of that, I think progress is being made, because of the testing that has happened, because of the Palmiero thing, because if you are caught, you are essentially outed, that I think suggests that we are getting this problem taken care of, and the fact that the total number of players that have tested positive during the season is really really small, so I think most people have gotten it. Obviously a few must have been asleep in the presentations we made.

    TG: Donald Fehr would say, ‘see the program in place is working’

    HL: I think the fact that congress got into this, the fact that this became such a public issue, compelled the Commissioner to propose stiffer penalties, stiffer than what we had agreed to when we opened up the collective bargaining agreement for the very purpose of ensuring the integrity of the game. Yes, Don has come back with something that is not what the Commissioner proposed, and yes he took a lot of heat in congress, but the fact of the matter is, the players union has agreed to independent testing, they have agreed to include amphetemines, so we’re really talking about what is the appropriate penalty, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to get this thing resolved and amend the collective bargaining agreement and get on, and there will be a meeting of the minds with respect to the penalties.

    TG: How do you market this team, coming off 90 plus losses? … How do you give people hope?

    HL: We do it in a variety of ways; we have some outstanding marketing people, we’re marketing what we call Mariner Baseball, a particular brand. In the offseason we are constantly trying to communicate with our season ticket holders, with our key fans. We are trying to communicate with ALL of our fans through a variety of mediums, including KOMO and the offseason programs. We do it with our fans leading up to FanFest in January. With print materials, & with some advertising in print and some television we try to remain in the public’s eye. And some of the things we do during the offseason are critical to gettng people turned around. I think we do a good job of marketing the brand, and we remind people that at the end of the day., there is no greater place to watch major league baseball than right here at Safeco Field.

    MB: How involved are the baseball people (Mike, Bill, scouting) when you have something that you can certainly market, and that people are excited about in Felix, a 19 year old kid that’s going to be 20; I’m excited by what this kid is going to be able to do, but I think the people that have to handle this kid, and nurture him and bring him along in his career– sometimes all those big posters and things can be a detriment. How do you balance that, and how much imput will they have?

    HL: I think they’ll have a big imput; I think in the case of Felix, one of the things as you probably know, Mike, we asked everybody to stop referring to this kid as King Felix. We did that deliberately because we don’t want to get expectations too high, and we don’t want to get his head too big. Our baseball people do work hand in glove with our marketing people, in a variety of ways, and that’s going to continue. With respect to Felix Hernandez, I think we all recognize in the front office that we have a precious asset, and that we have to protect that asset, not only in terms of marketing and things like that, but we’ve got to make sure that this kid keeps his head screwed on; if we can do that, then we will more than likely be successful, but if we don’t or we leave it to chance, we won’t.

    TG: From Mr Yamauchi on down, how many members are in the ownership group?

    HL: 16

    TG: When you go through the challenges of the last year or so, does that create friction?

    HL: Well, we’re very fortunate that we have a very stable ownership group that thinks long term. It’s the same ownership group that came in in 1992, with one exception, and we have regular ownership meetings on a monthly basis, we keep our owners informed, and I’m happy to say that, sure, everybody has arguments and discussions in a group, but I’m pleased to say that we have never had in my memory a single instance where we had significant dispute at the ownership level. I think everybody thinks long term, our owners are disappointed as any of our fans that we’ve had these two losing season, they are as determined as all of us in the front office are to get this turned around. We are certainly blessed with a very stable ownership group.

    TG: [blathering on about the arc from 92 through 95, 2001, and then the last 2 years] Do you still enjoy doing this? You go from everybody loving ya, to everybody at the very least questioning what you are doing? [he then sidetracks into other cities with much longer losing histories]

    HL: You make a good point, the Red Sox, the White Sox, some of the team in the East have been around a lot longer than the Mariners… so, I certainly think that when you go to the AL championship series twice, or when you have the great ’95 season with Mike and Kenny, fan expectations here are going to be really, really high. We understand that. But we’re in it for the long term. Do I like what I’m doing? Yeah, I love what I’m doing. I know that every single guy that’s my age that’s listening to this program would love to do what I’m doing. It’s a lot of fun. It’s more fun when you win. I can tell you that one of the things that disturbs me more than anything is when we lose or when we lose when we should have won, when we have a could’ve or should’ve kinda game, we’ve had too many of those this year… but despite those losses, I feel very honored to be in a position to do this, and I’m going to do everything I can to get this thing turned around, to get this thing back to what we had in 2001 and go from there.

    TG: I know your dream scenario is to go to the World Series…

    HL: …and we came very close, a lot closer than I think people realised. I think, sitting in Yankee stadium, and having to go through two, two consecutive years of wandering down to George Steinbrenner’s suite, & shaking his hand and congratulating him, I don’t need any more of that. But we really did come close, and I’m hopeful that we can turn it around and get in the same situation, and you know, one of these days we’ll put it all together.

    TG: …. this weekend, at least two more compelling story lines, Dan Wilson on friday and Felix on sunday

    HL: Absolutely, absolutely. When you get to know these players, and that’s one of the neat things about my job, I get to know our players really well, and Dan just stands out as such an honorable, fine, decent human being, just a great guy, and sometimes, you know, people are not as they appear on television or whatnot, but Dan is the real thing, he is just a wonderful human being, and I am certainly hopeful that he will continue his association with the Seattle Mariners organization in one way or the other, and he certainly knows that our door is wide open.

    TG: a follow up to that… when a player is nearing the end, is it difficult to weigh popularity vs productivity. Can you talk about how that decision is made, some say that hurt the Mariners last year, waiting a year too long on some players.

    HL: Well, I think you try to strive for both– the number one objective is to get players that can play. We all know that players age, they come to the end of their careers, the trick is to try to match that so they still have a final productive season. And sometimes, even though you think that that’ll work, and even though there are incentives in the contract, and whatnot and you work around this and that, it doesn’t work and other times it does. It’s a risk that you have to take. Let me be very clear here, our job is to field a team of major league players who have the best chance of winning. That’s the number one objective, and that is the objective our General Manager and his baseball people have to focus on above any other consideration.

    [a few phone calls]

    Gina asks- season ticket holder prices, same or jacked up?

    HL: It’s a good question, and we really do appreciate our fans and particulary our season ticket holders. We have no plans to raise season ticket pricing for the 06 season whatsoever.

    Brent asks, after wandering a bit of onto the Huskies, is the farm system deep enough to pull off a trade?

    HL: I think so Brent; you’re right, from everything I’ve heard and seen this is not a banner year free agent-wise, but I think we will be ok, and I think we should be able to accomplish our goals, and we may well do that with a trade as opposed to a free agent signing, but you know it’s just speculation at this point. I think we’re ok.

  41. GWO on September 30th, 2005 1:43 am

    With all the anti-Franklin sentiment (and I’m glad he ain’t coming back too), it’s worth noting that his first 3 full seasons as a Mariner he had ERA+ of 118, 104 and 124.

    It’s only the last two seasons that he’s been awful, he was consistently better than average for three seasons before that.

  42. LB on September 30th, 2005 2:04 am

    HL: …and we came very close, a lot closer than I think people realised. I think, sitting in Yankee stadium, and having to go through two, two consecutive years of wandering down to George Steinbrenner’s suite, & shaking his hand and congratulating him, I don’t need any more of that. But we really did come close, and I’m hopeful that we can turn it around and get in the same situation, and you know, one of these days we’ll put it all together.

    Grrr. If he really believes this, HL needs to talk to Ichiro about the subject, or just read p. 46 of his interview book:

    Q: Looking back on the postseason play, how does it feel that you were just one step away from the World Series?

    Ichiro: It was more than just one step. We were still far from it.

    Red Sox fans considered their 2003 season a miserable failure, and they got within five defensive outs of the World Series. (Thanks for nothing, Grady. Go sit on a tack, willya?) How can HL understand what business he’s in if he thinks he “got close” to the World Series just because his team suited up for the ALCS?

  43. Jon Wells on September 30th, 2005 2:19 am

    #92 Not to say I was satisfied nor have I ever defended Howard Lincoln in the past, but the Mariners did get a lot closer to the World Series than you might realize, a lot closer than “just suiting up for the ALCS”. The year was 2000, not 2001.

    First they won Game 1 of the ALCS in NY and were six outs from going up 2-0 on the road and going back to Safeco. Then, they were leading Game 6 of that same ALCS by a 4-0 score, the game lost on Justice’s 3-run HR off Rhodes. 2 more wins and they’re in the Series. And those two games were crushin defeats. If they win both they’re in; if they win one they’re in Game 7 of the ALCS. That’s pretty damn close…

    They didn’t get close at all in ’01, they won one game in the series, the offense couldn’t score and Aaron Sele sucked ass (and chickenshit Piniella refused to start Pineiro over Sele because he was a rookie)…

  44. GWO on September 30th, 2005 6:16 am

    Red Sox fans considered their 2003 season a miserable failure

    Yeah, but Red Sox fans’ sense of entitlement is nearly enough to swamp that of the Bush clan…

  45. David J Corcoran on September 30th, 2005 7:36 am

    I’m not an Ebay user. Sorry.

  46. LB on September 30th, 2005 11:31 am

    > Red Sox fans’ sense of entitlement

    Manifested how? By the constant repetition of, “Oh, if they could just win it once before I die…” throughout New England for the last twenty-some years?

    And FWIW, I agree the M’s were a better postseason team in 2000 than 2001. Had Moyer broken his leg that year throwing BP…

    Anyway, crushing defeats late in the game are part of the deal in postseason play. Ask your favorite Yankee fan how close they were to the World Series in 2004: twice they had a lead in the deciding game with less than two innings to go and the World’s Greatest Closer(tm) on the mound. Ask an Angels fan how close they were in 1986: one strike away and their closer on the mound facing Dave Henderson with a one run lead. I just don’t think you’re all that close until you’ve actually won three games of seven.

  47. LB on September 30th, 2005 12:34 pm

    #96. Why can’t I proofread something properly when it’s in Courier?

    Try this: Had Moyer not broken his leg…

  48. msb on September 30th, 2005 1:14 pm

    #97– [pedantry alert] He was knee-capped. Hairline fracture in his left kneecap, when struck by a Chris Widger line drive on the last pitch of a simulated game.

  49. Tom on October 1st, 2005 4:53 pm

    Here’s what I take from the interview:

    -Lincoln cares mainly about money, and not about the team winning the World Series. He just thinks the World Series will come eventually.

    -He is 1/2 right about the fan support, yes the attendance was very high, and I think it will shoot right back up to 3 million when the team competes again. But man, if I had a buck for every time I heard about people giving away their tickets, I’d be a rich man.

    -Ticket and food prices will either stay the same, or go down ever so slightly.

    -HL is in denial that he doesn’t over enough financially flexibility at the trade deadline and other situations like free agency, which is exactly why the M’s are rebuilding right now, don’t have a World Series banner, and why Sweet Lou left. And this trend will continue.

    -Lincoln isn’t a boob, he knows it takes money to make money, which is why the M’s will spend in the offseason. But once the team gets good again, there is a VERY high chance that Lincoln will make the same mistake he made last time. And that is, not adding on when this team needed it.

    What does this mean?

    It means this is the same Howard Lincoln that we saw in the last of the Pinella years. He cares more about running a successful business than giving this city and region a World Series. And he thinks he will get lucky when the team gets good again, and will win a World Series. And he will continue to be very hands-off with this team.

    You would think 99 losses would be a reality check for Mr. Nintendo, but not a chance. I still think he’s the same CEO we’ve come to know and hate.

    You watch, when this team gets good again, he will not spend money, and he will deny it.

    If only he shared the same passion for winning and love for the game that Lou Pinella did. I think we’d be much better off if that was the case.

    To me, you must create a balance in an ownership of having a good business, and being fans.

    Lincoln is 75-80% about running a business.

  50. Rusty on October 2nd, 2005 9:01 am

    Tom, I agree with your analysis above about Lincoln, the man, and about what that means to the franchise. I made similar remarks on the next game thread before I knew there was a transcript of his remarks here.

    I was disappointed that none of the interviewers took him to task for the trade deadline non-activity in 2002 and 2003. Basically, authorizing $1M in extra spending doesn’t cut it. You might as well inform the GM to go out and get someone like Al Martin. If you’re not willing to take on $5, $10, $20 Million in future contracts, then you’re only paying attention to the bottom line. Gillick could have pushed harder. Lou couldn’t have pushed any harder. But the man responsible for lack of a decent deadline deal is Howard Lincoln. The buck stops with him.

    If he is embarrassed by the last 2 seasons, he should be way more embarrased of his own behavior in July 2002 and July 2003. I don’t get the sense he is troubled in the least about that.