Sweet, sweet Friday

DMZ · March 31, 2006 at 12:15 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Unnoticed as the televised match featured the M’s beating the Dodgers in Las Vegas (booth interview with some guy from the Chamber of Commerce or something, presumably hired goons had producer/engineer Kevin Cremin in the desert somewhere, with a gun on him) was the ugly performance of Pineiro, who went six innings, gave up ten hits, two walks, and got one strike out. Throw in a home run, and you’ve got yourself Ryan Franlin. Teams, btw, are required to have at least two starters in any split-squad game (so paying fans see someone they know). The Seattle @ San Diego game featured Ibanez and Sexson, and maybe you can excuse Bloomquist. Other than that:
C: Gregorio
2b: Bourgeois
3B: Brown
CF: Gary
RF: Wilson
DH: Sears

Even the serious Mariner fan would have difficulty recognizing these guys on the street. And the three — Sexson, Ibanez, and Bloomquist — came out after one plate appearance, presumably to catch a limo to the airport for their flight to Vegas, where they all played. The replacements for that talent-light lineup? Bunch of guys named Monzon, Rogelstad, Bubela, LaHair, Guzman, Schweiger, and Heid. At some point, it’s only the family members who can still pick them out.

The Padres treated the game only slightly more seriously, for the benefit of the 6,689 fans that came out: they played more starters (Mike Cameron!) and for a little longer.

Anyway, to the news!

Chaves is optimistic, and you should be too. [PI]

While the back of the bullpen may still be open to flux, the bench looks like

C: Rivera
Scrappy Doo: Willy Bloomquist
1B/DH/PH: Roberto Petagine
OF: Borchard

More stories as they’re posted.

Update! Portland M’s fans have a meetup going on down there before their exhibition game today, if you’re in that area.


38 Responses to “Sweet, sweet Friday”

  1. Red Sox Girl on March 31st, 2006 12:40 am

    How does this compare to other teams around the league?

    Also, I’m glad that Reed seems to be recovering, I just hope that he isn’t rushing it.

  2. Red Sox Girl on March 31st, 2006 12:43 am

    Sorry I tried to quote the story.

    The 10 pitchers on the roster, how does their ERA compare to other team roster ERAs?

  3. T-dawg on March 31st, 2006 1:31 am

    I’m kinda shocked… i wonder how much cash our Ransom rewarded us with? enough for one tank of gas for the team bus in case the tacoma game gets moved to Safeco?

  4. Steve Nelson on March 31st, 2006 5:55 am

    I suspect the Ransom deal is like the Mulholland deal with the Twins a couple of years ago – less than one hundred dollars.

    It’s nothing more than giving a guy who didn’t make your 25-man a chance with another team who does want him.

  5. pensive on March 31st, 2006 6:17 am

    Have not noticed Matt Morrison in any spring training broadcasts. Did he get released? That will add to my viewing pleasure.

  6. David J. Corcoran on March 31st, 2006 8:15 am

    You’re lucky you didn’t have to sit in the stands during this game.

    It involved Bloomquist, Sexson, and Ibanez hitting in the first inning and then leaving, not even taking the field.

    The stands were full of people who paid good monney to enjoy the seats to sit and watch guys that weren’t even prospects, and thus were whinging the whole game. It was by far the most boring baseball game I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching live, although I did stick through almost the whole game, through the top of the 9th.

  7. DMZ on March 31st, 2006 8:25 am

    It’ll be intersting to see if the MLB powers-that-be take any notice of this. Since the two-starter rule came in, they’ve occasionally slapped some wrists but there’s never been any serious attempt at enforcement.

    I’ve been at games where “starter” had a pretty elastic definition, and it was just like Corcoran reports — kinda uncomfortable.

  8. David J. Corcoran on March 31st, 2006 8:31 am

    Quiet fans, no interesting stuff, the players looked completely overmatched the whole game.

    I was sitting next to someone from Minnesota who was down here to watch all the really good players and came to this game just to see Ichiro, so he was angry.

    And when you’re charging $3.50 for a 12 oz water, fans are already mad.

    It was kind of fun watching Shawn Estes strike out 7 guys though in 4 innings. That’s the game of his life.

  9. David J. Corcoran on March 31st, 2006 8:32 am

    Budweiser was $5.75/ 12 oz, btw.

  10. DMZ on March 31st, 2006 8:35 am

    Yeah, there’s that too — every time I’ve been since spring training venues figured out they could charge MLB or near-MLB prices I’ve always been around people complaining about how high the prices are.

    I (and I feel old saying this) went even before that, and I’m not shocked. It’s like complaining about movie theater prices, if you took a flight and booked a hotel to get to the movie. Is the movie really going to cost $3 for long?

  11. argh on March 31st, 2006 8:37 am

    I did enjoy this portion of the article:

    “The numbers [the M’s horrifying pitching] are hardly the stuff of legend. In fact, they are pretty bleak. But they are Arizona spring numbers, notoriously unpredictable as forecasting tools.

    Perhaps the ultimate betrayal of the strength of Arizona numbers took place in 1990, when Oakland pitcher Bob Welch had a spring ERA of almost 20.00. He managed to put that behind him and go 27-6 en route to the Cy Young Award.”

    Hickey demonstrating once again: no challenge in baseball is so daunting that it cannot be vanquished by a deftly delivered anecdote.

  12. Zero Gravitas on March 31st, 2006 9:07 am

    One of my fave ST pitching anecdotes was from Ryan Franklin. I think it was last year and some opposing player took him deep in spectacular fashion. His quote was something to the effect of “well in ST I’m not going to show him how I’m really going to get him out during the regular season”. As if he had some amazing master plan of deception to conceal his really good pitches for the regular season. I always thought that was funny.

  13. msb on March 31st, 2006 9:11 am

    ok. rhetorical question. why would people expect to see the stars in the last spring training game before they are due to fly home?

    In the Chaves piece, ‘two sources’ say the M’s aren’t talking to P’burgh about Wilson (because Bavasi wouldn’t comment), the Times just says it’s unlikely, and instead leads with Harris’s hopes to make the roster, and the PPG now says that Bavasi denied offering Piniero…

    oh, and in OUR day, spring training was different…

  14. zzyzx on March 31st, 2006 9:20 am

    “I (and I feel old saying this) went even before that, and I’m not shocked. It’s like complaining about movie theater prices, if you took a flight and booked a hotel to get to the movie. Is the movie really going to cost $3 for long? ”

    My fear is that the teams prolong ST long beyond the point where it benefits players and managers solely because it’s such a cash cow. Teams have to love it; they charge full price but fans don’t care how bad the team does in the game. It’s the perfect scenario.

  15. G-Man on March 31st, 2006 9:31 am

    If they did want to pump ST for more $, I would think they’d just add more games (mainly ss). Then they don’t prolong the lenght of it, they just have more opps to stick fannies in seats

  16. DMZ on March 31st, 2006 9:39 am

    Dave’s right — it’s taking a long time, but it’s getting more and more like preseason football. Only the location change spares us the mandatory purchases.

  17. msb on March 31st, 2006 9:58 am

    #4– gee, and I thought for sure (just like Finny) that Ransom had a shot at the bench…

  18. Dave in Palo Alto on March 31st, 2006 10:05 am

    On ST (I’ve been a lot) — Florida ST was a lot more fun than Arizona, especially Phoenix area. Stadiums and complexes are old and funky, players park in the same lot you do, fields aren’t chained off. At Vero Beach a few years ago, players would sometimes pop into the stands after their work (near females, pretty much). A lot of the fun was the sort of insider feel you got from being there. I don’t get much of that in the cloned Arizona stadia.

    But Florida was a few years ago. Maybe its been CRM’d like AZ since.

  19. G-Man on March 31st, 2006 10:09 am

    Don’t give them any ideas about manditory purchases, DMZ. I wouldn’t put anything beyond them. If nothing else, they could stick us with a couple home games against the college varsity teams at Safeco with M’s lineups like this Las Vegas crew and trhe same prices as regular season games. Bud Selig monitors all sites like USSM, you know.

  20. Gomez on March 31st, 2006 10:34 am

    I recognize Hunter Brown, Sears and Bubela. Everyone else for the M’s in that Padres box score could be from a rec league in Phoenix for all I know.

    I love this bench. Last year, Bloomquist was arguably the best of a crappy bunch, and now he’s the speedy, weak utility bat on a bench that otherwise can mash.

  21. msb on March 31st, 2006 10:37 am

    Heid is Ted’s kid, and Monzon got a fair amount of playing time the last week…

  22. argh on March 31st, 2006 10:41 am

    The one thing I’ve seen in the spring televised games that seems definitely encouraging is the way last year’s weak hitters have not only been hitting but have been hitting to right. If it’s not just random walk time, seems like the new batting coach is doing some good. And (knocking frantically on wood) I think I saw Beltre dive for a down and away pitch only once since he got back from WBC. Now, about last night’s high fast balls….

  23. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2006 11:04 am

    …but Jamie Moyer said after his last crappy outing that it’s because ST isn’t long enough to really get sharp! Which is funny, because usually you hear players complaining that ST is too long.

    It’s not like Jamie to give such a Ryan Franklin-esque excuse. I guess they need to work on their interviewing techniques in ST as well.

    I agree with Gomez that there are some good bats on the bench for a change. The weaknesses are that none of them are right-handed, and Bloomie is the only backup infielder, both of which will limit Grover’s versatility a little bit. If he uses Bloomquist to pinch run he can’t pinch hit for Betancourt, for instance (without doing some double-switch type stuff). That is, to me, a significant weakness of this roster.

  24. ivan on March 31st, 2006 11:17 am

    I liked what I saw from Cruceta. What’s the deal with him?

  25. msb on March 31st, 2006 11:18 am

    actually he said (in answer to a question) “”Am I ready? I guess,” Moyer said. “Spring training isn’t quite long enough for anybody to be at a peak.”

  26. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2006 11:20 am

    I certainly didn’t mean to be critical of Jamie, I love Jamie. I just thought it was a little bit funny, but Jamie is honest as the day is long.

  27. Jim Thomsen on March 31st, 2006 11:32 am

    Matt Morrison was placed on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

  28. msb on March 31st, 2006 11:40 am

    have we heard this from anyone other than Jim Moore? I was waiting on it until I saw it someplace else than his brief note that “Brad Adam replaces Matt Morrison as pre- and post-game host on FSN broadcasts.”

  29. G-Man on March 31st, 2006 11:57 am

    I find it funny that TV news is always talking about this person or that leaving a job, a team, or whatever, but reporters can disppear with nary a mention.

  30. Brian Rust on March 31st, 2006 12:33 pm

    Speaking of Jamie’s honesty, you can’t beat this quote from an Oregonian article on Johjima:

    “He could probably catch me barehanded if he needed to.”

    And by the way, if any of you are enamored of the idea of Paul Allen buying the Mariners, the Oregonian site has a bunch of articles regarding another Allen business failure known as the “Blazers.” At this point the world’s seventh-richest man is seeking public assistance. The usual venue blackmail, only this time the venue is owned by the lenders he stiffed when his Oregon Arena Corp. declared bankruptcy.

  31. Gomez on March 31st, 2006 12:38 pm

    Given that Matt Morrison annoys me in a smarmy empty-headed goodie goodie talking head sort of way, I would not be sad if he were replaced on the pre and post game.

    As for the lack of infielder depth on the bench, Hargrove could go a long way towards resolving that by going with 11 pitchers and opening up another bench slot. For who, I’m not sure, as I wouldn’t want to see a talented minor leaguer like Cabrera called up just to waste 90% of the week sitting on the bench and maybe pinch running once in a while.

  32. msb on March 31st, 2006 12:45 pm

    if they did dump Morrison, it would be one of Fox NW’s rare good personnel moves…

    the M’s have claimed Guillermo Quiroz off waivers from the Blue Jays.

    from Rotoworld:
    “Even though Gregg Zaun’s going on the DL, the Jays chose not to keep the 24-year-old Quiroz, suggesting that they had lost all faith in his ability to play in the majors. We like the pickup for Seattle. Quiroz has more offensive potential than Rene Rivera, and he’s hardly a liability defensively. He’s not going to be a long-term regular for the Mariners, who have Kenji Johjima for three years and Jeff Clement on the way, but he could spend the year as a backup and then become trade bait.”

  33. DMZ on March 31st, 2006 12:47 pm

    I’m going to post on this a second.

  34. dw on March 31st, 2006 1:35 pm

    I’m seriously considering cancelling our Seattle Times subscription. The long simmering anger about them pushing the P-I out of business met with the white-hot anger of the editorial page blaming the victims of the shootings last weekend.

    I’ve been wondering if I was going to miss all the Times sportswriting by going online. Then this morning I saw this blurb above the masthead:

    Baseball launches steroid investigation”

    I realized that I had read the entire Steve Kelley column and never even had to look below the fold of the front page, much less fish out the sports section.

    So, hey, might as well cancel the Times when your writers suck so much you can summarize their entire column in four words. (Sideline Smitty excepted, of course.)

  35. vj on March 31st, 2006 1:49 pm

    Pushint the P-I out of business? I thought it was owned by the Hearst Corporation so if that’s true, who’s David and who Goliath, here?

  36. ivan on March 31st, 2006 1:52 pm


    In Seattle, the Times is Goliath. This situation is entirely of the Times’ making. Do not waste even a picobyte of sympathy on the Times.

  37. Ralph Malph on March 31st, 2006 2:29 pm

    Gomez’ post (#31) about another bench guy if they kept 11 pitchers brings to mind the perfect guy to fill an extra spot on the bench as a backup infielder, and I bet he’s available:

    Hole-Bear Cabrera (who, by the way, hit 297/360/405 with Fukuoka in 2005)

  38. Gomez on April 1st, 2006 4:27 pm

    Good idea, Ralph… though by all indications he is signed with Fukuoka through 2006 and has remained there for this season.

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