Check out the Rainiers

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 15 Comments 

Rainiers in Fresno… Robert Rohrbaugh vs. Victor Santos…. 7:05, and you get to listen to Curto

Ichiro quotes of awesomeness

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 38 Comments 

msb emailed us these PI quotes

Ichiro and Kenji

When Kenji Johjima stole third base without drawing a throw Tuesday night, the Red Sox weren’t the only ones he caught off guard.

McLaren and the coaching staff were equally surprised.

“I thought I saw the green light,” Johjima said of his first steal of third in two-plus seasons.

Hearing that, center fielder Ichiro Suzuki, sitting next to Johjima in the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, chuckled.

“Yellow light,” Ichiro said, drawing a smile from Johjima.

And his recollection of Bret Boone

“I don’t know if it’s a good memory or a bad one,” Ichiro Suzuki said. “But when I first came over to play in the United States, I had had a few teammates from the U.S. who had played on my team in Japan. So I had somewhat of an idea of what American players would be like.

“But when I met him, he was kind of a human being that you would never meet in Japan. So, whenever I was around him, I almost felt like I was witnessing a creature, not a human being. It was fun for me to watch him.”

The thing about the All-Star game

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 38 Comments 

I used to take voting standards quite seriously: I’d argue with people about how much you should weight season-to-date against season-from-All-Star-to-All-Star and career achievement.

I came around eventually to this: it doesn’t matter. Once you let the fans elect the players, whatever standards individual fans want to use is fine. It’s like any other democratic election: you can tell me what I’m voting for, and you can argue why, but I’m the only person who comes up with a basis for my decision.

And that’s fine. It doesn’t work that well, but neither do manager selections, and it means that sometimes Cal Ripken plays when he doesn’t reaaaaallly deserve to on any basis but “we want to see Cal Ripken in the All-Star game again”… but that’s fine.

It’s actually kind of awesome: we spend the whole season powerless as our manager plays Miguel Cairo and bats him next to Jose Vidro, and for once we have some small, direct, fractional say in whatever way we want.

Or, to shorten this: vote for Ichiro if you want to see him in the All-Star game, whatever your reasoning, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The problem, to harp on this one more time, is that the game, which is a staged pony show featuring ponies picked through a capricious voting method, has any affect at all on who wins the World Series. I blame Bud Selig.

Reader email of the day

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 23 Comments 

Offered without comment:

Hi, very infrequent commenter here (Isaac is my screen name). We’re liveblogging the spelling bee over at I wouldn’t bother you with this except that 11-year-old Karen Laska of Wheeling, West Virginia just correctly spelled “sabermetrics” in the first oral round, thus outdoing the entirety of the Mariners front-office staff.

Off-day discrimination at Safeco story has legs

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 110 Comments 

Yup. Story of the off-day. Regardless of whether this is part of the M’s general-if-oft-unenforced anti-affection policy or they’ve got a secret no-gay policy or it’s all exaggerated, this is a really, really bad story for the M’s and they’re handling it pretty ineptly so far.

update: Lauren points out how a classier organization handled a similar problem

Off-day pro-con

May 29, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 68 Comments 

Pro: Extra day to bask in series win over the Red Sox. The Red Sox!
Con: Would like to see team win 3-4 instead of settling for 2-3.
Pro: Vidro doesn’t pick up PAs towards his option vesting
Pro: Extra day to brace yourself for Silva start (have you considered investing in a quality neck brace?)
Pro: Entire day can be spent voting for you favorite Mariners in the All-Star balloting. Vote for deserving candidates like Ichiro! and Beltre, maybe. And, uh…

Game 54, Red Sox at Mariners

May 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 193 Comments 

A special dual-author game thread post!

Wakefield vs The Interview, 7:10 pm.

Thanks to reader Christian who sent this in. From today’s P-I notebook:

About three weeks ago, the Mariners were sick and tired of seeing a seemingly endless supply of short pop flies and soft liners fall in front of their outfielders.

They were particularly tired of seeing runners go from first to third when the opportunity was presented. So the Mariners did what seemed to be the logical thing — they started positioning their outfielders closer to the infield.

That worked well for a couple of weeks, but during the seven-game losing streak that the club carried into Tuesday’s game against the Red Sox, a number of balls have fallen behind the outfield.

“We’ve talked about it, and we’re going to split the difference,” manager John McLaren said. “I really can’t explain what’s happened. I’ve never seen anything like it. First, every ball was being hit in front of us. Then, when we brought the outfielders in, they started getting balls past us.”

Raises Hand: “Mr. McLaren, I can explain it. Raul Ibanez has the range of a poorly watered potted plant. You can move him around all you want, but it won’t matter. You could clone him, stick nine Raul Ibanezes in left field, and they still wouldn’t get to most of these lazy fly balls. You have a designated hitter playing left field. As long as you keep him out there, you’re going to have a serious problem.”

“That’s ridiculous, son. Raul works his tail off, shows up to the ballpark early, and we’re happy with his effort. I just don’t understand how the ball keeps falling in front of him, and then behind him, and occasionally next to him. It’s bewildering.”

Puts hand down, punches self in face “How did you get hired again?”

Derek adds:
More from the PI

Manager John McLaren talked about the energy he felt Miguel Cairo gave the club while playing first base, including making a couple of nice placeon [sic] defense and bunting the eventual winning run into scoring position Tuesday in the bottom of the ninth.

Cairo is an utter embarrassment. He has no place being on the Mariners roster. He does nothing that Bloomquist doesn’t do better, and Bloomquist is a fit as the last guy on the 25-man. Cairo stays on the roster while other players who are more useful to the team have been shuffled off. It makes no sense that he’s on this team in the first place, it doesn’t make sense that he’s stayed on the team..

That the team would start him as a reward for his “spark” is another indictment of McLaren’s incompetent management and lineup construction. We’ve seen this over and over again with this team, where whim and wishful thinking drive decision making, and this is one more in the never-ending series of decisions that make reasonable fans want to punch themselves in the mouth so they’ll feel something other than overwhelming frustration with this team.

Jeff Clement got sent down hitting .167/.286/.250, but Cairo, who can’t even manage that, who we have every reason to think is hitting to his skill level, is starting at first base. Willie Bloomquist, despite having a lower batting average, gets on base more than Cairo and plays better defense — and who we were supposed to see get more playing time because Cairo was on the roster — sits. Sexson, who at least provides power, sits. A defensively inept left-fielder who can hit plays the field while an offensive black hole occupies the “Doesn’t Hit” slot in the lineup. Our manager’s seen that the once-invincible closer, now clearly not right, needs to pitch more often. On and on and on.

In related news, tonight we’ll get under 250 plate appearances before Turbo’s option vests.

And the M’s still have the worst defense in the league.

USSM/LL Event Announcement

May 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 31 Comments 

You know what this season needs? No, not more frustration, losses, and hilariously bad baseball. No, this season needs a USSMariner/Lookout Landing get together, and so that’s what Jeff Sullivan and I are teaming up to give you guys. Details are below.

When: Saturday, June 14th, 1 pm to 5 pm
Where: Seattle Central Library on 4th St downtown.
What It Is: Four hours of baseball talk with Jeff Sullivan, Derek Zumsteg, Matthew Carruth, myself, and really cool special guests. You’ll love them.
How Much: $20 per person, registration limited to 100 attendees, includes light food.

If you’ve ever been to one of these before, you’ll know they’re a blast. We’ve had a great time at all of the past events, and I expect that this one will be no different. The Library has a great meeting room setup with theatre seating and AV equipment perfect for a Q&A session with the people we’ve invited (past guests include Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, Mariners scouting director Bob Fontaine, Rangers manager of pro scouting Josh Boyd, ESPN writer Jim Caple, Rainiers Broadcaster Mike Curto, and Aquasox Broadcaster Pat Dillon – you’re going to get cool people at the event, trust us). We’ll just spend the afternoon talking baseball and having a good time, and since the Library is conveniently located not far from Safeco Field, it’s an easy jaunt over to the park after the event is over if you want to watch the team play.

Food will be provided, but I’d suggest that you eat lunch before coming, honestly. We’ll have snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available for people to munch on during the event, but don’t skip a few meals in expectation of devouring free food for hours.

To register for the event, send an email to with the number of people you’re reserving space for included in the subject line and their names included in the message of the email. Your reservation will not be confirmed until we’ve received your payment, which we will accept via paypal or by check. Detailed information on payment and where to meet will be sent to you after you sign up via email.

Seriously, it’s going to be a lot of fun, so come.

DePodesta on the Baek trade

May 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 90 Comments 

If you’re not hitting your head on something while reading the Beane interviews, well…

– Find a nice solid wall. I’ve always found that drywall has a nice give to prevent serious injuries while offering a satisfying crunch
– Put two hands on the wall, shoulder height, elbows out, palms flat on the wall.
Read this
– Proceed

I’m not saying that the trade’s good, or bad, though I’m obviously not enamored of it — but the Padres are looking to stats like FIP to add information to their scouting evaluation. In the Beane interview, he talks about their use of internal and external defensive stats while talking about Barton.

What do you think the chances are the M’s do anything like this? 0%? Less than zero? Am I allowed to use negative percents? What about curse words?

Okay, yes, but you have so much else to live for

May 28, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 37 Comments 

Athletics Nation posted the other two parts of their Billy Beane interview:

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