Credit Where It’s Due

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · 41 Comments 

We’ve given Mike Hargrove a lot of crap this year, and honestly, he’s deserved almost all of it. His bullpen usage has been horrible, his lineups mindnumbing, and his dedication to managing by the book has been utterly predictable and hard to watch.

So tonight, I say kudos to Mike Hargrove – you earned it.

In the top of the seventh inning, you started warming Mark Lowe up, even though Washburn had only allowed 1 run through 6 innings and still had a pitch count below 90. When Ronnie Belliard doubled off the wall to put runners on second and third with one out, even though Washburn was just at 96 pitches for the night, you yanked the veteran and handed the ball to the kid with nine major league innings.

After he made you look like a genius by getting Jhonny Peralta out with a steady dose of nasty changeups, Eric Wedge sent left-hander Todd Hollandsworth to the plate. Hollandsworth can’t hit lefties to save his life, and you hadn’t used George Sherrill. You decided to leave Lowe in, and even though I wouldn’t have walked Hollandsworth to load the bases, you deserve credit for not going for the easy lefty-lefty matchup there.

Then, when Shin-Soo Choo popped out of the dugout to pinch hit, you again resisted going to Sherrill. This despite the fact that you knew Choo was useless against lefties, and you’d seen his haplessness first hand. You trusted the guy with ridiculous stuff, and it paid off.

Then, you sent Mark Lowe back out in the 8th inning, despite having the top of the order coming up, which included all-star lefties Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner. You got to watch Mark Lowe strike out the side in one of the most impressive performances you’ll ever hope to see.

You didn’t stick with a veteran. You didn’t get seduced into playing matchups. You let your newly crowned relief ace work multiple innings. You let him face perhaps the best hitter in the league, who swings from the left side, in a one run game.

I have no idea what got into you, but that was a well executed usage of the bullpen. Please, please keep it up.

Oh, and it’s good to be back.

Soriano on the DL, Green leaves the DL

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · 17 Comments 

Soriano’s been placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder “fatigue”. The move is retroactive to July 20th, the day after he last appeared in a game, which means he’s eligible to come off it next week. Supposedly he’s been feeling better when throwing, but it can’t be that good if they threw him on the DL.

Green’s back. That’s a drop in quality, obviously, from a healthy Soriano, but from the out-of-whack one, it’s not that big of a deal. Green’s a perfectly adequate reliever in the M’s pen, and with Putz and Sherrill both pitching well and Lowe just shredding opposing batters, there’s no need to throw him to the wolves as he comes off the DL.

Game 103, Mariners at Indians

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · 146 Comments 

Only the daring life is worth living, so here’s a game thread on the new box.

LHP Jarrod Washburn vs RHP Jake Westbrook.

4:05. KSTW-11 for your local TV needs.

Division race news: Angels lost to Boston. Oakland’s beating Toronto, and Texas gets the night off, facing Kansas City.

Your lineup tonight:
RF-L Ichiro!
2B-R Lopez
3B-R Beltre
LF-L Ibanez
1B-R Sexson
DH-L Broussard, in his M’s debut
C-R Johjima
SS-R Betancourt
CF-R Willy “The Ignitor” Bloomquist


So then the bench is OF-R Jones, C-R Rivera, 1B-R Perez, 1B/3B-L Dobbs. Bloomquist has to move in to cover a middle infield need, and then Jones would have to play an outfield position.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is interesting

CF-L Sizemore
LF-R Michaels
DH-L Hafner
1B-S Martinez
RF-R Blake
2B-R Belliard
SS-R Peralta
3B-R Marte
C-R Stoppach

Both catchers on the field. I wonder who their emergency catcher would be?

Why David Corcoran Destroys Everything He Touches

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Why David Corcoran Destroys Everything He Touches 

or, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

A brief and vastly over-simplified summary of USSM’s technical dilemma.
Read more

Don’t call it a comeback

July 29, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Don’t call it a comeback 

We’ve been here for years.

So — this is the new box. And things are… sketchy? Unstable? Rickety? We’re working on it. In particular, you may see a really weird looking site and get page load errors until the name records get to you. Comments are going to be off for a little bit.

And still… I feel like crying for joy. Been a long, exhausting couple of days here at USSM Labs. Thanks much for all your support. Three days almost exactly from server down to letting the world onto the new server is a long time to be out.

I’ll be trying to fill in the posts from the temporary site now. If things go well, we may attempt a game thread today.

What happened, how to help

July 28, 2006 · Filed Under Site information · Comments Off on What happened, how to help 

Wednesday we got overwhelmed by a traffic spike at least 50% off our normal traffic, which is already shockingly large. We blew up our web and database servers (and that’s “the massive shared servers our generous host had us on”) For a couple of hours, we were showing a version of USSM that was the last thing the web server managed to generate: a text-only version of USSM with no formatting, where every link led to a file not found error (because they’d been blown away).
This meant that while I was on the phone with our host, discussing what in the world we could do (because bringing the site back up only to get destroyed under the load again made no sense) we got high-quality emails like

What Happened to the USS Mariner web site today?
New format is awful. . .and nothing about trade that just came down
with Indians

No really, someone looked at that broken, formless thing and thought we were redecorating.


Probably… 95% of the email that’s come in has been requests to help in different forms, and particularly, requests to accept donations. Some of them were rather angry about not having that option. We’ve resisted this in the past, and now we relent:

And also this.

Amazon Honor System

Click Here to Pay Learn More

Wow, that Paypal box is way smaller. Oh well, there’s not a lot of time right now for tweaking and formatting.
Paypal (now a part of eBay) is, admittedly, uh, not the finest company, but they do charge us a little less compared to Amazon (PayPal is, I believe, 30c+2.2% while Amazon is 30c+ 2.9%) PayPal’s a little bit better, but Amazon is likely to be much easier for you if it was up, which it hasn’t had much luck at today. If any of our fine readers at Amazon want to kick their box in the hind end for us, that’d be helpful.

I fully admit that we don’t know what we’re going to do with the money right now, but the top candidates are:

  • We port the site to use Movable Type, which I believe may be far better at handling the kind of loads we see. MT requires money
  • Putting a box on a rack which is not hand-assembled by me with a Will Clark sticker on the case (for luck)
  • Bribe our host

I would say right now that I’m 100% certain that we won’t be using the DMZ-built box as a long-term solution: either we’ll move to MT and solve the load issue that way, or we’ll be forced to buy or hire our own server. I promise not to buy my weight in Anchor Steam and try to forget all this when we’re up and stable. Unless that’s a request. Because I could do that.

Some people have suggested Google’s ad program — we’ve been down that path before, and it didn’t do it.

Friday’s news

July 28, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · 1 Comment 

4:00 pm. Bad news, bad news: Brandon Morrow, the M’s first round draft pick, isn’t pitching. “Sore elbow.” Yup. Update: just as the AP story on that came out, he threw two innings in the Arizona League (box score)

On the game thread front: we’re up on Marbledog again. Be good.

Player acquisition news: Cuban players SS Eduardo Paret and 3B Yulienski Gourriel have both defected in Columbia. Both were on the Cuban WBC team. Gourriel, whenever he can get his passport/etc straightened out, will get a massive deal.

1:00 pm. Texas beefs up. They get LF-R Carlos Lee and prospect OF-R Nelson Cruz (and a PTBNL) in exchange for CF-L Lance Nix, OF-R Kevin Mench and RP-R Francisco Cordero. Nice little deal for the Rangers. I’d have thought the Brewers would be more focused on getting future value.

So Doyle comes up, Dobbs DHs that game (and hits well, because he always hits well in games I attend — his agent should buy me some nice Tacoma and Seattle season tickets, because they’ll get their money back tenfold). Then Doyle’s put on the DL with a shoulder impingement and sent down to Tacoma — where he DHs.

From what we know, it looks like he’s just not going to play the field for a little while, but we really don’t know what’s wrong yet, and whether there are longer-term implications for his playing time, either there or here. I also don’t entirely understand the implications of the move, or Doyle’s option status for this year. I’d puzzle it out but there’s a lot going on here (sorry).

Thursday’s news

July 27, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Thursday’s news 

A cruel and vindictive deity continues to persecute Snelling and, by extension, his fans

The M’s just put Snelling on the DL with an “impingement in his left shoulder”.

As if I wasn’t in a spectacularly crappy mood already.

Go to a game to see my favorite Mariner reappear, but nope, Dobbs starts at DH and after the game, Doyle’s sent back down. Thanks!

Broussard news catch-up

July 26, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Broussard news catch-up 

Choo’s been traded to the Indians for Ben Broussard. Team link.

First story I think that mentioned the M’s have now bought both halves of the Indians platoon.

Doyle for Everett would have been a nice, if overdue move, especially since it would mean that you could put Doyle in LF and DH Ibanez, which would help out on the defense, too, but if they’re going to play Broussard at DH v RHP, then Doyle’s not going to get playing time, and he’ll probably go back to Tacoma so he can get his swings in. Bavasi’s not going to have our boy up if he’s not going to play.

An interesting possibility is that Broussard means a Sexson move is more likely, which if true… wow.

Also, as Jim Thomsen notes, “We get, in my opinion, the best musician in baseball. Broussard is a great guitarist who writes quality songs.” Enjoy the musical stylings of Broussard at his site.

Stone on Everett DFA

July 26, 2006 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Stone on Everett DFA 

Larry Stone: “Bare bones with bat led to Everett’s extinction“. Note Stone here cites the never-before-revealed vesting threshold at 500 – we’d pegged it at about 450. The Times Mariner notebook “No hard feelings

Disappointing headline for Thursday: “Leben, an Everett fighter, is top contender in booming sport”. Turns out that Leben is from the city of Everett, and the booming sport is ulimate fighting. I know!

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