Five hundred. Fiiiiive hundred.

DMZ · June 20, 2009 at 10:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

34-34. Yeah, the offense is bad, and the pitching’s shaky and Bedard’s injured and our middle infield is hoooorrible. And yeah, there’s some luck here too. But folks —


Last year they’d lost 34 before May was out and didn’t win 34 until July.

It’s been a long, horrible year since they were legitimately .500 (this day in 07 they were 36-32), and as a bonus to seeing the team’s return to respectability, we’re seeing the foundations of a team that can win sustainably, too.

We don’t know what’ll happen next, if they’ll sell, or buy and sell, or how the season will go… but to see them claw their way back up after that May collapse makes me happy.


22 Responses to “Five hundred. Fiiiiive hundred.”

  1. The Hamms Bear on June 20th, 2009 11:11 pm

    Jojhima left the Rainiers game early tonight, did anyone hear why?

  2. Axtell on June 20th, 2009 11:15 pm

    Meanwhile, the Rangers have (predictably) crashed and the Angels had to win 7 in a row just to catch up to us, and they aren’t scaring anyone.

    Why not the Mariners? I suppose the 4 game set the first of July with the Rangers will tell the tale, however…

  3. justinh on June 20th, 2009 11:16 pm

    Indeed a beautiful night after that win. I had two heart attacks when Yuni almost took out our Centerfielder and when “T-Shot Russ” was pelted in the wrist. Other than that, it is great to see this ballclub have the fire in late June. It is exciting to be in the hunt. Jack Z picking up Branyon almost reminds me of Theo picking up David Ortiz five years ago. Same age, similar numbers, and let’s just hope he can be somewhat like Papi. Obviously we are only 40% of the way through the year, but our new players have really energized this club. When Junior hit that pitch hit HR last night I thought to myself, “This reminds me of of a certain day in August of ’95 against the Yankees.” I can only hope it is the start of something special because in no way did I believe we would be hanging around at this point. I am such a homer.

  4. diderot on June 21st, 2009 12:08 am

    I know it’s only a couple of games, but doesn’t Woodward look like the kind of middle infield stopgap we’ve been looking for?
    Unless he has to be the third base stopgap–did anyone say what happened to Beltre?

  5. Dixoner on June 21st, 2009 12:26 am

    Beltre had a stiff shoulder and was taken out as precaution. He kind of jammed it in yesterdays game when diving back into second base on the near double play. At least that is what Wak said during the post game interview.

  6. Marinerfan4life on June 21st, 2009 12:28 am

    Beltre has a stiff shoulder(the one that he had surgery on) from diving back into second on Thursday in SD. Griffey also had 60cc’s of blood extracted from one of his sore knees. Guess that really shows that Jr. needs to stick to being a DH…
    This is exciting. I think the M’s can be buyers and sellers at the deadline. Why not make a run for it??? This is the year to do it with the Angels looking the worst they have since 2001 and the Rangers sinking back to mediocrity.

  7. Marinerfan4life on June 21st, 2009 12:29 am

    Whoops I meant Beltre jammed his shoulder yesterday… We need his bat, hopefully the day off Monday helps Branyan, Jr., and Beltre.

  8. brian_sun on June 21st, 2009 12:30 am

    “we’re seeing the foundations of a team that can win sustainably”

    Sorry, I don’t see the foundation you are talking about. We still have no legit LF (unless you are talking about Dustin Ackley playing there in the future.) Our 2B and SS are horrible, and we have no ML ready players in those position. Beltre will be gone, and Tui still got lots of questions to answer before we give him the full time 3B job. Branyan is a FA after this year, and it’s hard for me to see Carp, Shelton or Clement can duplicate his performance this year. Other than a few bright spots here and there, Griffey and our DH spot has been disappointing. Pitching wise, after Felix, we will have Carlos frigging Silva as our #2 starter. Bedard is hurting so his trade value just gone down the tube. Washburn got an expensive contract remaining and no one will give you much for him for half a season. Vargas is a 5th starter in the major at best. Who knows when Borrow will be fully ready. Our best pitching prospect Phillippe Aumount is being growned as a relief pitcher in the minors. Are you telling me that your foundation only contain Felix, Ichiro, Guti and Ackley? That’s not going to win you a lot of games if that’s all you have.

  9. greymstreet on June 21st, 2009 12:45 am

    I’m confused. ’07 was two years ago. And they were .500 less than two weeks ago.

    And Brian, the foundation to win sustainably is less about the specific players and more about the organization’s new approach to finding them. Sure, a lot of the pieces are interchangeable, but Zduriencik has done a good job identifying undervalued players (Aardsma, Branyan), and trading overvalued ones (Putz) without overpaying for anything (Bedard, Silva, Batista). That is how you put together a contending team year after year.

  10. dw on June 21st, 2009 12:53 am

    So not only did I almost see Yuni take out Balentien at the game tonight, I also saw something the cameras didn’t pick up — on the way out of the dugout he almost collided at near full speed with Ichiro.

    In sailing there’s a term for a person who brings bad luck to a ship — a “Jonah.” It comes, of course, from the Book of Jonah in the Bible, where the ship was caught in a fierce storm and the sailors, having cast lots to identify which one of them was angering God, tossed Jonah overboard. Immediately the storm calmed.

    I’m thinking Yuni is the Mariners’ Jonah, and even if he isn’t really, maybe we should sell the idea that he is. He’s certainly bringing bad luck to the outfielders.

  11. Mariners in 07 on June 21st, 2009 1:05 am

    As in Jonah’s case, maybe Yuni should be sent back to the minors to work some things out.

  12. DaveValleDrinkNight on June 21st, 2009 4:16 am

    There’s a funny thing about this Team. Most likely they crumble again. But if for some reason we actually get, lucky/sacrifice enough livestock, and win the West, the rotation in the Playoffs ain’t bad at all.

    Felix/Bedard/Wash, is pretty solid.

    Couple that with pushing Vargas into the Pen for long releif, maybe you’ve got something.

    Imagine if we could hit!

  13. terry on June 21st, 2009 8:52 am

    The Ms started the season embodying accountability and it showed with a 12-6 record. Then the backsliding came. Thank goodness they (the Ms) had a team meeting or something on May 26th following a loss which included a selfish rbi single from Ichiro. Since then guys seem to be getting held accountable again. And it shows.

  14. Paul B on June 21st, 2009 9:12 am

    The Ms started the season embodying accountability and it showed

    You had me going, I thought you were serious. Until I got to the

    selfish rbi single from Ichiro

    which gave it away.

    I’m not looking forward to the road trip, which includes New York and Boston. And the M’s have a starting lineup with Johnson, Woodward, Yuni, Wlad, an injured Beltre who can’t swing the bat (at least, he looked sick on the 3 at bats he did have last night), and Sweeney hitting for a gimpy Junior against righties.

    Not pretty.

  15. joser on June 21st, 2009 10:06 am

    According to 2nd and 3rd order wins (which have some predictive value) in BP’s current Adjusted Standings, the M’s and the Rangers are essentially indistinguishable .500 teams, and the Angels are only a few games better. Of course you’d expect that Angels lead to double over the second half of the season (especially if you believe that their just-off-the-DL-and-pitching-like-it starters return to form). But that suggests two things: the M’s are a legit .500 team, and (baring unforeseen critical injuries) this is going to be a tight division right through the summer. And both of those constituted my best case scenario for the ’09 season, so I’m pretty happy at this point.

    (One interesting thing about those BP numbers: looking at third-order wins, it would appear the M’s have faced better-than-average pitching and worse-than-average hitting. So the offense may not be quite as bad as we think, and the pitching — especially the bullpen — may not be quite as solid as it seems.)

  16. SonOfZavaras on June 21st, 2009 12:25 pm

    We don’t know what’ll happen next, if they’ll sell, or buy and sell, or how the season will go… but to see them claw their way back up after that May collapse makes me happy.

    Me, too. This team has already provided about three times the entertainment value that the 2008 edition did. For me, anyway.

    I think it’s pretty clear the Rangers are anything but a lock for the division title this year. But then of course, the $64,000 question is to forego 2009 and sell off….or acquire young ML pieces to contend for this year and beyond.

    We may well want to go for it this year, simply on the grounds that the Rangers are about a year away from having a real shot to hold the AL West for a looooong time- that farm system of theirs is nothing short of stacked.

    Their offense on paper even now beats the living crap out of ours.

    The “Re-building by trading in 2009” option has been made more difficult in that there are injury concerns for virtually every piece we have to offer, with maybe the exception of Aardsma.

    Even if they prove to be rarin’ to go, those concerns dilute their value, and the return for them.

    Moreover, there’s about six teams that have already figured they’re not going anywhere in 2009, and have just as many attractive pieces to sell as we do, if not more.

    (For instance: The Indians’ Cliff Lee will be wearing a different uniform by August 1st, I’d put money on it right now.)

    With those things in mind, “going for it” seems the natural course.

    But going for it makes for a quandary or two: trading for players who are already in the major-leagues and who could contribute right now to the lineup…well, that might get expensive in terms of what you have to give up.

    Someone go ahead and tell me “yer wrong” if I am, but it seems to me that ML-ready talent has more value (and therefore expensive) than what raw, A-ball-level, “could-be-lightning-in-a-bottle” talent would be.

    One thing I’m reasonably sure on is that Zduriencik is still looking at all the options- there’s no definitive game plan yet.

    I just don’t think he anticipated the Rangers and Angels being this vulnerable, at this point in the season. I wonder how much it changes things.

    It’s dificult- but not impossible- to improve a ML roster and keep your young talent in the system largely intact.

    Jack Zduriencik has a few very important moments in his GM career coming up. Let’s hope the calls he makes are definingly good ones.

  17. Breadbaker on June 21st, 2009 12:34 pm

    The difference between 2008 and 2009 is that the team seeks to fix problems in a consistent way. This year’s team has had a remarkable amount of adversity, with four original staters going down for at least one stretch, three on the DL, two for most of the year, a closer completely blowing up, two DL stints by the starting catcher, even Ichiro missing eight games. They’re .500 and the manager doesn’t take crap from anyone. I like to watch them.

    So I’m heading down to Safeco. It’s Father’s Day and Felix Day, a perfect combination.

  18. joser on June 21st, 2009 1:02 pm

    Speaking of adversity, check out today’s lineup:
    No Endy; no Lopez; no Beltre; no Branyan; no Griffey; no Aardsma. (Griffey is available to pinch hit; Aardsma just needs a rest)

    So we have: Carp at 1st, Cedeno at 2nd, Woodward at 3rd. Betancourt is going to look even more bewildered out there than usual.

    One ugly thing that I hadn’t thought about until now: Endy was the backup CF. So anytime Gutierrez needs a rest (I don’t even want to think about him being unavailable for other reasons) Ronny Cedeno is your Mariners’ center fielder. Those of you wondering about him getting DFA’d, consider that his job security. Of course Ichiro could do it, but I don’t think that’s all that appealing to anybody either.

  19. dirk on June 21st, 2009 1:10 pm


    I. Suzuki rf
    C. Woodward 3b
    M. Carp 1b
    M. Sweeney dh
    F. Gutierrez cf
    W. Balentien lf
    Y. Betancourt ss
    J. Burke c
    R. Cedeno 2b

  20. wabbles on June 21st, 2009 1:32 pm

    Sweeney hitting fourth? Don’t you put hitters like Sweeney at eight or nine or on the bench and put one of your best hitters at fourth?

  21. Mike Snow on June 21st, 2009 4:20 pm

    So anytime Gutierrez needs a rest (I don’t even want to think about him being unavailable for other reasons) Ronny Cedeno is your Mariners’ center fielder.

    They did run Balentien out there in center last year. I know the Cubs played Cedeno for an inning in center once, but I’d be inclined to pick the guy who’s actually an outfielder.

  22. qwerty on June 21st, 2009 10:54 pm

    I’m still inclined to SELL/Buy. This team could get hot and contend into September, but they aren’t a playoff-caliber team. They really need to improve for ’10 and beyond. But if they get the right players in, they can keep their pace up. Dave’s written well about it.
    Bottom line: don’t Stand Pat!

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