If they don’t win it’s the saaaaaaaaaaame…

DMZ · April 3, 2006 at 6:57 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Random notes from the first game of the year:
– Pre-game intros: among the non-starteres, huge pops for Bloomquist (expected), Felix, and Joel Pineiro. I understand Bloomquist even, but Joel? What for? As much as Felix? Really?
– Overheard at the ballpark, 4/2/2006: “Johnny Damon can eat those nuts.” — Fan on the presentation of the Gold Glove to Ichiro
– Seeing Johjima crank that home run was worth the ticket.
– Jeff and I are tossing ideas around for how we’d do a USSM podcast, since there appears to be some reader interest in this.
– Centerfield bleachers are back in Section 101. Hopefully they’ll actually be temporary this year.
– Announced attendance was 45,515. The Mariners didn’t sell out. I can’t remember the last time that happened.
– Petagine’s name was wrong when he came up (chock full of ‘i’s)
– Would someone please explain to Hargrove that if the game’s tied going into the ninth at home, there cannot be a save situation for your closer, and you might as well use him when it’s tied? A year of this is going to drive me crazy.


48 Responses to “If they don’t win it’s the saaaaaaaaaaame…”

  1. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2006 7:03 pm

    A female colleague assures me that Pineiro is a “hottie.”

  2. zzyzx on April 3rd, 2006 7:08 pm

    I posted my random thoughts on the game thread but that was at like 380+ posts when I did so I’ll put it here too. I have another one now anyway.

    1) A flyover isn’t very impressive when Safeco’s roof is closed. I mean, sure, we could hear it, but so what.

    2) On the first pitch thrown to Carl Everett, he lost control of the bat and flung it into the stands. I wonder if the person he hit was gay.

    3) Bases loaded, no outs in a tie game, you just have to score at least run. We win the game if we can do something there.

    4) The team is pretty fun. We might not win that many games but they’ll be worth watching.

    5) The hat trick was really weird. It was incredibly easy. The entire crowd was screaming that it was under hat 3. When they revealed it under hat one, I thought it was a return of the April Fool’s Day hat trick. I’m still not sure what happened there, but I’ve never heard the entire crowd screaming the same number like that (usually people scream different numbers, so it was weird)

    6) Speaking of the crowd, it was really unconcerned. Until the 9th, people couldn’t get any consistent cheers going. They’d try to cheer during crucial pitches but it would die out long before it was delivered. Even the scoreboard couldn’t fire people up.

    7) The rally time scoreboard thingie in the 9th showed classic M’s game winning hits instead of movie clips. I preferred that, but I’d like any excuse to watch Edgar’s 1995 hit.

    8) Fireworks after homeruns. I hope they keep that. Reminds me of the good ol’ Kingdome days.

    9) For a second, this game reminded me of opening day 2001. We were losing and doing little until a Japanese import got his first hit and fired the team up. If only we could have scored in the 6th…

    10) Seeing Moyer pitch again brought back all sorts of memories. I can’t believe that he’s the only player on the team who has been with the team constantly since the Kingdome days. It’s nice to have that continuity.

    11) Why can’t the M’s sell fitted star and trident hats that actually are the colors and style that they wore then? Who the hell is going to be so much of a geek that they want the hat the M’s wore 20 years ago, but doesn’t care that the logo is a horrid yellow instead of white or that it has racing stripes all over it. I had to go with the cheaper non fitted hat for this year’s hat which isn’t as nice.

    Don’t even get me started on the pink versions…

    Oh, you know what else would be nice? A mid level jersey at the team store. Maybe they have them at other times, but something like the $40 Seahawks jerseys that are nicer than a t-shirt but not completely insane like an actual jersey would be a good niche market. I’d like something between the t-shirts and the $170 actuals.

  3. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2006 7:10 pm

    It looks to me as if Moyer’s skills have narrowed to the point that he is an inch asway from getting killed at any given time. His location can’t be anything less than perfect for him to succeed.

  4. msb on April 3rd, 2006 7:12 pm

    I believe Joel is officially ‘cute’– were they high-pitched girly-sounding pops?

    R/L R/L R/L Argh.

    The guy next to us who knew all about baseball was surprised the Ms couldn’t do much with the Angels bullpen, and had no idea who this Petagine guy was.

    A grudging point given to Everett for being the first player off the bench and at the dugout step to congratulate Moyer when he came out of the game.

    The Yanks are crushing the A’s. The Angels will be leading the division handily unless there is a big comeback in Oakland.

  5. davepaisley on April 3rd, 2006 7:14 pm

    Was that meant to be “props”, btw?

    Main lesson from this game: Bill Bavasi’s WORST MOVE EVER was hiring Mike Hargrove.

  6. msb on April 3rd, 2006 7:15 pm

    oh, and I got home to the mind-warping sight of Harold Reynolds and Tino Martinez, your BBTN commentators.

  7. LA M's Fan on April 3rd, 2006 7:18 pm

    why wasn’t Soriano left in? In my book that was as inexcusable as not pitching Guardado in the 9th.

  8. Mr. Egaas on April 3rd, 2006 7:20 pm

    The “closer” thing has gone too far. As far as I’m concerned, your “closer” is your best pitcher and should be in a situation to get a win, such as today’s game. I have a feeling Guardado wasn’t put in because if there was a “save” situation tomorrow, Guardado might not be available. If that’s the reason, that’s a really bad reason. Not to say that Guardado can’t pitch back to back days, I’m sure it’s been done many-a-time before.

    Guardado is the best guy to go to, I don’t see why he wasn’t put in when the game was tied, “closer” or not.

  9. Edgar For Pres on April 3rd, 2006 7:22 pm

    Yeah when I was at ST, I was sitting next to a guy who’s wife let him go to ST as long as he got a couple pictures of Joel’s butt. I thought it was pretty funny. I don’t know if any other pitchers really have more female followers. At least they aren’t all going after somebody like Everett.

  10. zzyzx on April 3rd, 2006 7:22 pm

    Oh one more point I forgot about.

    We got in for free.

    It was weird. We went into the Team Store before the gates had opened so they didn’t scan us then and no one scanned the tickets going into the stadium from there. Hmmmmmmmm, perhaps games are free now…

  11. DMZ on April 3rd, 2006 7:29 pm

    Rafeal Soriano looked gooooood too. Happy to see it.

    “Pops” is a wrestling term. Sorry, hang around Jeff for a while and jargon like that starts to creep into your normal writing.

  12. dw on April 3rd, 2006 7:34 pm

    I was impressed with Beltre’s unwillingness to go after the outside pitch. It didn’t pay off for him, but just seeing him think about it and go, “No, I’m not going to bite, that’s why I sucked last year” made me feel like he’s going to have a much better year.

    Colon lived on that outside corner. Heck, he built a 4BR house with an indoor pool and wine cellar on the outside corner.

    The place was like a tomb today, though. Felt like opening day in the Kingdome.

  13. DCFan at GW on April 3rd, 2006 7:41 pm

    Didn’t get the chance to see the game (being out here in DC and all), but from the audio feed, the crowd sounded wretched. Where were the I-chi-ro chants in the 9th? We could have won that, and it was silent. Nevertheless, it was a good game, and it was great to hear Johjima get off to such a great start. I think this will be a much better season… but I say that every year.

  14. bongo on April 3rd, 2006 7:48 pm

    Some observations:

    a. What’s up with the Mariner Moose? I only recall seeing him make an appearance once during the game. We should have asked Bavasi whether there was anything to the Moose trade rumours.

    b. Why is Johjima batting 7th? At the very least, he should be switched with Carl Everett, but there might even be a case for him batting 5th.

    c. I think Putz is having a problem finding a consistent release point.

    d. Sexson and Beltre did not look particularly impressive at the plate today. Just the opposite of last year’s opening day.

  15. Gomez on April 3rd, 2006 7:49 pm

    The sound must have been bad. On KOMO’s audio I could hear the I-CHI-RO chants.

    However, by many accounts the crowd was dead for Opening Day this year. Perhaps a) the first pitch ball from Moyer and b) Vlad’s 2 run bomb deflated them.

  16. Deanna on April 3rd, 2006 7:53 pm

    I had a good time at the game despite the Mariners losing. Johjima and Petagine’s home runs really made me happy, and yeah, Beltre not going after terrible pitches, and Betancourt being AWESOME, etc. Watching my friends take such glee in having Carl Everett to boo was also pretty funny.

    The scoreboard had Beltre as #5 instead of #29 for a while. And Lopez’s first at-bat, they played the Ole Ole Ole song, which was pretty weird.

    But hey, the one benefit of having Cabrera, Izturis, Figgins, etc get on base and stand next to Big Richie is realizing that the Angels are still striving for an infield of midgets, despite getting rid of Eckstein.

    The free “MLB Opening Day” posters they gave out after the game were an unexpected surprise.

    Oh, and I ran into some pretty cool people on my way out of the park. That was also pretty awesome.

  17. zzyzx on April 3rd, 2006 7:53 pm

    It was the 6th that deflated people I think. There was some energy then but when no one scored, people got frustrated.

  18. wabbles on April 3rd, 2006 7:54 pm

    All in all, I enjoyed the shindig with Bavasi and company on Sunday much better. Can’t we turn back the clock to before the season started? When we didn’t have a losing record? When hope still sprung eternal? When we were having fun?

  19. zzyzx on April 3rd, 2006 7:56 pm

    wabbles – at least our game was competitive and exciting. Imagine being an A’s fan and having your team get destroyed on Opening Day and your shortstop gets injured during the game.

  20. msb on April 3rd, 2006 8:13 pm

    dang. all I got when leaving was being enveloped in a huge crowd who all lit up as they hit the staircase 🙂

    it was noisy down in 146 where I was….

  21. Zero Gravitas on April 3rd, 2006 8:15 pm

    The M’s played the Angels competitively last year too. But today we saw Lopez get a couple hits, Betancourt hit, Reed hit, and the added bonus of Petagine and Johjima going yard in their first games as Mariners. That left me feeling optimistic about tomorrow, until I remembered that Piniero was pitching. Now I just feel kind of anxious and uncomfortable about the whole thing.

  22. Benno on April 3rd, 2006 8:23 pm

    Derek, I love the idea of a podcast. I hope you are able to work it out.

  23. joser on April 3rd, 2006 8:39 pm

    Why is Johjima batting 7th? At the very least, he should be switched with Carl Everett, but there might even be a case for him batting 5th.

    Well, one game does not a season make. Though he certainly showed he had some pop in ST. I was wondering the same thing. It seems like he belongs cozied up closer to the big bats — assuming Sexson returns to form and Beltre has found his, or at least is no longer a sucker for that outside pitch.

  24. Zero Gravitas on April 3rd, 2006 8:40 pm

    Then again it was nice seeing the bottom of the order do some damage. I can’t imagine Beltre and Sexson will not hold their own this year in the middle of the lineup.

  25. John on April 3rd, 2006 8:45 pm

    How is Petagine pronounced anyway? Is it how Rizzs was pronouncing it: Pet-uh-gee-knee; or like this: Pay-tah-gee-nay?

  26. colm on April 3rd, 2006 8:51 pm

    I believe it’s

  27. davepaisley on April 3rd, 2006 9:12 pm

    That’s presuming Jean doesn’t mind…

  28. ConorGlassey on April 3rd, 2006 9:19 pm

    John – I believe it’s pronounced like what you do to a lamp when you find it on the beach…pet a genie! 🙂

  29. beachguy on April 3rd, 2006 9:31 pm

    Newcomer here, but not to the M’s. Shared season tix holder for years. Mistakes were made today, but I’ll take a close, stirring loss, right now. I’ll take — painfully, I admit — bases loaded and no one scoring, over no one on base most of the time. In 2004 I set a personal record for games left by or before the seventh inning. In 2005 I broke the record. The opener leaves me hopeful that I won’t be bailing this year out of pure boredom.

  30. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2006 9:48 pm

    Dave would be disappointed in me if I didn’t point out that Barry Zito started the season tonight with a 47.25 ERA, having been pounded for seven earned runs in 1 1/3 innings by the Evil Empire.

  31. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2006 9:52 pm

    First big media lie of the season:

    “Randy Johnson exhibited the dominant form he lacked for much of last season in a season-opening 15-2 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.

  32. Jim Thomsen on April 3rd, 2006 9:53 pm

    Uhhhhh … he struck out THREE batters in seven innings, got 13 fly-ball outs and just five ground-ball outs.

    The Big Unit is going to be in for a rough season, I think.

  33. Dave on April 3rd, 2006 10:02 pm

    You have a 12 run lead after four innings. If you’re going for strikeouts, you have issues. He was clearly pitching to contact, and had no problem letting the A’s hit the ball.

    And if by rough season you mean “all star caliber and possible Cy Young contention”, then we agree.

  34. Barking Pumpkin on April 4th, 2006 1:27 am

    Another vote in favour of the podcast guys!

  35. Ed on April 4th, 2006 1:49 am

    Are you implying there’s a chance Felix won’t win it, Dave?

  36. Jar on April 4th, 2006 4:13 am

    yay for podcast!

  37. Tim_G on April 4th, 2006 6:26 am

    Man, I agree. A tie game is an even higher leverage situation than a save opportunity. Can someone explain that to Grover, or do managers already know everything there is to know? Joe Torre uses Mariano Rivera in tie games.

    And was Lopez going for 2nd part of this new “be more aggresive on the basepaths philosophy? That was another costly mistake, which almost certainly cost a run in a game decided by one run. Losing because of bad decisions sucks.

  38. zzyzx on April 4th, 2006 6:48 am

    Oh, what was up with that article in the Grand Salami berating us for not acting like Yankees fans. Yeah, now there’s a model of intelligent fan behavior that we want to emulate.

  39. leetinsleyfanclub on April 4th, 2006 7:06 am

    A funny from yesterday’s game: After Crazy Carl flung the bat into the stands after swinging and missing on his first swing as a Mariner, a heckler yelled “was that the gay section?”

  40. Evan on April 4th, 2006 7:50 am

    ROFL – that’s a great heckle.

    I’d fire Grover for his bullpen management alone.

  41. Brian Rust on April 4th, 2006 8:03 am

    Perhaps Hargrove would understand that burning your closer in a tie game is not that much different than burning your slick-fielding shortstop for a pinch hitter. It’s even more worthwhile knowing you’ve got the decent lefty PH to bring in against K-Rod.

  42. Evan on April 4th, 2006 8:54 am

    Petagine’s HR is going to make Grover look smart, completely obscuring his lousy bullpen management.

  43. drewbie on April 4th, 2006 9:44 am

    39. “…was that the gay section?”

    Ha, that was me, 3rd baseline, row 7.
    My wife thought it was funny, my nieghboors did not.

  44. Evan on April 4th, 2006 10:19 am

    That was inspired heckling. I salute you.

  45. fanoliv on April 4th, 2006 12:00 pm

    How long does Hargrove’s contract lasts for? At least Bavasi’s doing some good things with the farm. What exactly has Hargrove done good since he’s been here? Come to think of it, he hasn’t had a winning season in how long?

  46. hans on April 4th, 2006 12:52 pm

    Was I the only one disappointed when Hargrove let Betancourt bat with only one out and the bases loaded? I was jumping up and down wishing he would bring in someone that can draw a walk and handle the bat (i.e. Petagine) who would give us a much better chance at bringing in a run and, better yet, leading to a big inning. Willie was available to cover short for the last few innings. It seems to me that the difference in D between Willie and Betancourt for 3 innings is not as great in the difference between Petagine and Betancourt in ability to draw a walk or hit the ball well for that critical at bat.

  47. leetinsleyfanclub on April 4th, 2006 1:18 pm

    Hey drewbie:

    Thanks for the laugh. One of the best heckles I have heard, especially at Safeco. Delivered at just the right time with just the right amount of biting sarcasm in your voice. You had our whole section in stitches.

  48. skyking162 » Blog Archive » Tie Goes to the Closer on April 5th, 2006 6:34 am

    […] Over the past two days, two of my favorite baseball blogs have pointed out managers failing to use their closers in ninth inning ties. First, Eddie Guardado doesn’t make an appearance in the top of the ninth at home against the Angels, and then Mariano Rivera’s passed over in favor of Scott Proctor in the bottom of the ninth at Oakland. (To be fair, Joe Torre usually does pitch Rivera in tie games.) […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.