Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Michael Morse Called Up 

In an effort to inject some life into the bottom of the order, Michael Morse has been called up from Tacoma and looks to be the starting shortstop for the foreseeable future. Interesting that the third piece of the Freddy Garcia trade gets the call a day after the second piece was sent down to Tacoma.

Thus ends the Wilson Valdez Era in Seattle, as the defensive-oriented shortstop has been designated for assignment. My ill-fated campaign to get him elected to the All-Star Game did not provide the proper motivation to Mr. Valdez' bat nor garner sufficient votes to land him in the Top 5 in AL All-Star Voting. It is quite possible that Valdez will clear waivers and be sent down to Tacoma. But it looks like he will join Ramon Santiago in the "unable to do much with my major league opportunity" bin.

So, what can we expect from Michael Morse? That is the question. My gut feel is that he will be similar to Jose Lopez last year. Occasional flashes of power with bouts of futility at the plate. Decent fielding, great arm, and every error will be discussed in length. This is a low-risk move by the Mariners as Morse can't be any worse than the Will ValBloomdezquist creature that had been flailing away out there recently.

Should be fun to see what the kid can do, and maybe he can help the M's win a game or two.

The next move needs to be moving Adrian Beltre down in the lineup. With Reed heating up, move him to third, and drop Beltre down to 7th. It worked great for the Dodgers in 2004...

Meanwhile... if you've ever wanted to run your own blog, but were intimidated by all the free tools out there like blogspot that make this real easy, then MLB is willing to take your money. Introducing MLBlog! Frankly I know little about it, but since MLB is already trying to corner all fantasy baseball sites, it is frightening to me that they are getting into blogging. Before you know it, they'll make me pay a fee for using "Mariner" in the title of my blog...

Just for grins, here's part of the pitch from the mlb.com site.
Best of all, for only $4.95 a month (with a 30-day free trial) or $49.95 per year, you'll be part of a constantly growing and eclectic community of people who already have thrown out the first pitches. We've assembled our own All-Star team of baseball bloggers that includes:

• People around the game like Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, Brewers broadcaster Daron Sutton and longtime MLB groundskeeping guru Murray Cook (think lawn tips), with lots of players and club personnel to come.
Woo Hoo! I started this because I wanted to be part of an eclectic community with Derek Zumsteg and Steve Nelson, but forget that! I could be with Tommy and Murray for $4.95 a month!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Rivera up, Olivo Down 

Its official. Miguel Olivo now gets to work out his problems in Tacoma. I hope he is able to break out of his slump, and soon.

Pat Borders ain't getting any younger.

More Borders, Less Valdez 

The Seattle press is abuzz with news that Miguel Olivo may be sent down to Tacoma, and that Willie Bloomquist may have taken over the starting shortstop job.

Neither Borders nor Bloomquist could possibly be seen as a long-term solution at catcher or shortstop, but right now, they are a vast improvement over Olivo and Valdez. Both bats are an improvement over what we are currently getting.

Bloomquist obviously comes with the price of poor defense, as evidenced by his blunder of a pickoff yesterday, and that is basic stuff. But this team is so desperate for an offensive spark, that we can take the risk. Hopefully, this is a short-term switch until Jose Lopez can return from sore hands that currently have him sidelined. Certainly a return to health for Pokey Reese will end the Shortstop Willie experiment.

With Bloomquist starting, our bench gets even weaker. A Chris Snelling callup to provide more outfield and hitting depth may be imminent.

Borders may be the best solution for 2005, though, if he can keep Aaron Sele and Jamie Moyer pitching strong. Any offense he provides is an upgrade over Olivo's .150 batting average. Unfortunately, Borders catching mojo seems to only work on pitchers close to his own age.

Another poor Joel Pineiro start yesterday, this time with Borders catching, and I'm officially worried. He has now given up a huge 63 hits in 48+ innings and only 27 strikeouts to 18 walks. That is approaching Evil-Sele-esque. Many are guessing that he is hiding an injury.

If Pineiro can't right the ship, will we see King Felix on the horizon? I hope so, but his 5 walk, 4 hit, 4 strikeout in 5 inning performance yesterday won't help force the hand of management. Perhaps the M's will give Jorge Campillo a chance before they run Julio Mateo out there again.

The M's have indicated that they are going to shake things up. Removing Valdez and Olivo from the starting lineup is a good start, but there are other problems to address.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

My apologies, Mr. Sele 

In recent entries, I have called for the dismissal of Aaron Sele, but it appears that Mr. Sele still has something left to give this team. What has changed?

Sele's first 40 innings...

17 strikeouts, 24 walks

Sele's last 17 innings

8 strikeouts, 1 walk

The strikeout rate still needs improvement, but may be the best we can get from the 87 MPH fastball.

But, if Sele can keep the walks away like this, he may be a viable #3 starter the rest of the year.

Friday, May 27, 2005

M's Playing Just Bad Enough to Lose. 

Yesterday, Jeff at Lookout Landing tried to dispel the notion that the M's pitching and hitting don't ever show up at the same time.

Jeff showed that the M's averaged 4.2 runs in the 15 games where the opponent was held to 0-3 runs, and that the offense averages 4.1 runs in the 30 games where the opponent has scored 4 or more times.

Jeff was trying to show that our offense has stunk whether or not the pitching showed up (and also that since our pitching gives up 4 runs or more in 2/3 of the game that the pitching stinks too). I disagree with the conclusion. I think it is very obvious that the Mariners ARE suffering from the fact that their pitching and hitting never show up at the same time. The averages that Jeff shows just prove that there are also times when NEITHER show up.

April 4 - April 29 (23 games)
Games won by 4+ runs: 4
Games won by 2-3 runs: 5
Games won by 1 run: 3
Games lost by 4+ runs: 4
Games lost by 2-3 runs: 4
Games lost by 1 run: 3

Games scoring 5+ runs: 11
Games scoring 4 runs: 4 (note that we NEVER scored 3 runs)
Games scoring <3 runs: 8

In the first part of the season, the M's were 4-4 in 4+ run games, 5-4 in 2-3 run games and 3-3 in 1 run games. About what you would expect in a .500 team.

April 30th - Yesterday (23 games)
Games won by 4+ runs: 2
Games won by 2-3 runs: 2
Games won by 1 run: 2
Games lost by 4+ runs: 5
Games lost by 2-3 runs: 8
Games lost by 1 run: 4

Games scoring 5+ runs: 8
Games scoring 4 runs: 5
Games scoring <3 runs: 10

Since April 30th, though, the M's have been close, but no cigar. Yes, they were 2-5 in blowouts. But in games decided by 3 runs or less, they were 4-12. This while the distribution of the M's offense has been similar (3 less games with 5+ runs).

This indicates that the last 23 games have seen the M's hitting just well enough to lose by 3 runs or less. The 3 game sweep from the Orioles epitomized the feeling of despair that seemed to come as soon as the M's fell behind by a single run. The game would quicken at that point. The M's seemed to go down without much of a fight as stretches of 10,15 hitters without a runner on base became common against the Wangs and Cabreras of the world.

Another interesting stat. Here are the results of games before/after April 30th

Never Lead: 10 / 7
Lost despite leading after 1-5: 3 / 2
Lost despite leading after 6: 4 / 2
Never Trailed: 4 / 7
Won despite trailing after 1-5: 2 / 3
Won despite trailing after 6: 0 / 2

Essentially, since April 23rd, we have only won 2 games where we ever trailed, and no games where we trailed after 6 innings. But our opponents have won 7 games where they trailed, and 4 of those they trailed after 6 innings. That's the kind of lifeless play that leads to 6-17 over 23 games.

Our pitching has done okay. The backend of our rotation has pitched better than expected while the frontend has pitched worse. The bullpen has had its ups and downs. But through it all, our offense seems unwilling to stage a rally to come from behind, our defense seems willing to make key mistakes to allow a team to beat us, or our pitching only throws well when we are comfortably behind.

The good news is that this is curable. A clutch hit here, a big strikeout there (instead of freakin' grand slams!) and the M's win 6 of 7 and put this stretch behind them. The bad news is that I don't know how to get that clutch hit. A spark from AAA is what I've been promoting, but I can see why the M's management thinks that the current group of players should be able to get it done. It looks like its up to Beltre to fix Beltre, and Olivo to fix Olivo.

Hopefully, they will fix it soon, before it is too late.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Left leaning ways 

I wrote most of this yesterday, but must have "Saved as Draft" instead of "Publish Post". Note that Hargrove has learned his lesson and pinch-hit for Valdez in the top of the 8th. Of course, he left Miguel Olivo in to hit with runners on 1st and 3rd and two outs, down two runs in the top of the 7th, but did pinch-hit Dobbs for him with no one on in the 9th.

That said, both pinch hitters failed yesterday. And this team obviously has much bigger problems than its late inning pinch hitters when it scores 3 runs in 3 games against the Baltimore Oriole pitching staff.

Anyways, read my thoughts on our pinch-hitters if you wanna, and lets hope we can win the series against the Devil Rays this weekend.


The last two games have seen the Mariners within 3 runs of the lead in the ninth inning. In both games, the Mariners have allowed Miguel Olivo and Wilson Valdez to bat against Baltimore's left-handed closer, B.J. Ryan. And, as you would expect, the Mariners lost.

Over the past three years, Miguel Olivo has put up his best numbers against lefties, so I can forgive that. He is slumping this season, but past history shows he is best against lefties, as you would expect from a right-handed hitter.

While Wilson Valdez is similarly right-handed, his 199/223/304 line against lefties shows that he should not be anywhere near the plate with the game on the line. Frankly, it is inexcusable to me that Mike Hargrove would allow him to be the final out in our last two games.

The one pinch-hitter we saw in either game was Willie Bloomquist (284/340/407 vs. lefties), who pinch hit for Jeremy Reed in the first game of the series. Willie got the job done nicely with a 2-out single to bring the tying run to the plate.

But why pinch-hit for Reed? Reed has hit 231/355/346 in 26 at bats against lefties this year. Not great, but certainly nowhere near the levels of Valdez. If we pinch-hit for Reed, then don't we HAVE to pinch hit for Valdez. At least to show we are trying.

Yet, we have TWO pinch hit specialists on the bench who are both left handed. Greg Dobbs and Dave Hansen. In his two years, Dobbs has been allowed to hit 4 times against a lefty, and has three hits in those 4 at bats. No matter HOW bad he is against lefties, he HAS to be better than Wilson Valdez. Ditto Dave Hansen, who has only seen 18 at bats against lefties, but still has a 417 OBP in those situations.

I can only guess that Mike Hargrove is completely enamored of the lefty-righty matchup. Because Dobbs and Hansen are left-handed, they simply cannot be used against a lefty, so Wilson Valdez, the right-hander should bat. But then, there is Pat Borders, who is right handed and has a 333/333/519 line in limited action against lefties. Again, all I can do is assume that Hargrove didn't want to use his bench because Borders might be needed in the 15th inning, or something.

Since Grover seems to have players pigeon-holed into roles, I believe it is up to Bill Bavasi to give Hargrove the tools for this situation, and that means adding another right-handed bat to the bench.

Unfortunately, our best choices from AAA are hurt. Bucky, of course, will not be available for at least another 3 weeks. Justin Leone would have been the next choice, but I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since he was hit in the hand by a line drive back on May 3rd. Chris Snelling and Aaron Rifkin are both left-handed.

So, what can we do?

1) Have faith in Jeremy Reed. We have two hitters in our lineup who are substantially worse in Olivo and Valdez, so save our pinch hitters for them.
2) Don't be afraid to pinch hit for Valdez with ANYONE late in the game. Maybe Hansen can coax a walk.
3) Bring up Jose Lopez as soon as possible. At least give us a chance to see a reasonable bat in there. If Jose screws up badly in the field, there will be plenty of time to send him back down and work on second base.
4) Scan the waiver wire for a right-handed bat off the bench to use until Bucky or Leone are healthy.
5) Bring up Bucky/Leone as soon as possible. Go to an 11 man pitching staff at that time.
6) Bring up Chris Snelling and put him into a rotation with Winn/Ibanez/Reed. Whoever is left out will certainly strengthen our bench.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


What a nauseating loss...

Take a 1 run effort from Joel Pineiro and waste it.

Ichiro on base every time - waste it.

The bullpen, defense (get the out, Beltre!), and a lack of clutch hitting all combine to cost the Mariners a game they should've won.

Wilson Valdez did his worst. Runners on 1st and 2nd, one out, he grounds into a double play. Jeremy Reed on first and no outs in the 7th, Valdez pops up the bunt. Bottom of the 8th of a 2-2 game he drops a pop up in foul territory. A couple of pitchers later the same batter hits a home run to give the O's a 3-2 lead. And somehow he gets to be the final out in the game on an inept attempt at a check swing. C'mon Grover, at least try! Send up Gil Meche to bat! Anyone! Ugh.

Jose Lopez, D'Angelo Jimenez, Pokey Reese, someone, anyone...

El Cartelua Throwing Gasolina 

Joseph Yencich has an excellent writeup of Felix Hernandez' latest mastery of AAA hitters over at Inside The Park.

He ends it with a translation from Daddy Yankee song "Gasolina"...

"Be prepared for what's coming, but don't expect to be capable of handling it."

The curve is now coming in for strikes, so hitters can no longer look for the fastball. That is going to lead to a lot of frozen stares at strike three in Tacoma.

His last 6 starts show there is still some room for improvement, but with the strikeouts going up and the walks going down, he is on the path to domination.

7.0 4 0 2 9 0
1.2 3 1 1 3 4
7.0 2 0 1 8 0
7.0 2 2 4 3 3
7.0 10 1 3 5 4
5.0 4 0 4 6 1
---- -- - -- -- --
29.2 21 4 11 28 11

It is time to bring up this Badass. He has made his adjustment to AAA, and its going to get ugly for opponents from here on out. What better way to ease him into the majors then three more starts against the AAA hitters from Tampa Bay and Washington. Three starts in the bigs is all I'm asking, Mr. Bavasi If he's not ready, move him back down to Tacoma, and I'll be quiet.

But leaving him down in Tacoma is doing a disservice to the 2005 Mariners and their fans. We deserve our best starting rotation. We deserve a pitcher who is flat out fun to watch. We fans are prepared for what's coming and can handle it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Quick Felix Update 

7 IP
9 strikeouts
3 flyouts
9 groundouts
2 walks
4 hits
0 runs


W's and O's 

Looks like we are coming to Baltimore at just the right time. The Mariners have won two in a row, and the Orioles are starting to struggle, having lost three of four to the Phillies and Royals, and given up 7 or more runs in 4 of their last six games. Here's a look at the pitching matchups coming up in this series.

It starts tomorrow as Joel Pineiro returns from his rehabilitation in parts unknown to face Bruce Chen and his surprising 5-2 start. Chen has been good for 6 innings and 3-4 runs each time out, with two very good starts mixed in. Pineiro has pitched poorly all year, with 6 starts giving up 3, 4, 4, 5, 6 and 6 runs, but he has at least eaten 7 innings or more in 4 of his 6 starts. We know what Joel is capable of, and a good start by Pineiro could lead to a great three-game set with the O's.

Game two features Rodrigo Lopez against Jamie Moyer in a battle of changeup masters. Lopez' fastball may reach Sele-esque 88 MPH on a good day, and like Moyer he relies on location and change of speeds. This is a battle of two pitchers whose season's started out great, but who have slumped since. After four games, Lopez sported a 2-1 record and a 1.91 ERA going 6+ in each of his four starts. Since then, he has an ERA of 8.00 spanning five starts, including two against the Royals. Moyer's story is similar, as he had a 4-0 record and 2.53 ERA after five starts, but in his last four starts, he has given up 23 runs in 14 innings. Ouch. The good news is that Moyer owns the Orioles to the tune of a 2.01 ERA against them in 50 innings over the last three years. This is where Jamie gets it turned around.

The final game in Baltimore sends Ryan Franklin to do battle with 23 year old Daniel Cabrera. Daniel is a fastball/curveball pitcher with a mid-90s heater and a sharp-breaking curve. The package is volatile as Cabrera averages about a strikeout per inning, and five walks a game. Cabrera has gotten out of the fifth inning in just half his starts en route to a 5.91 ERA. But he has been better in May, with three darned good starts before failing to get out of the 4th inning in his last start against the Phillies. Franklin got off to a hot start this year before getting shellacked in Texas. Since then, two bad starts (5 walks and 5 runs in each) sandwiched around two great starts against Boston. Franklin is currently second in the best in the AL in batting average against with a stingy .215 mark. This game seems to belong to the pitcher with the best control.

This is a big series for the 2005 Mariners. Big starts from Pineiro and Moyer could go a long way toward righting the good ship Mariner. A series win could propeacl them on a nice run with 6 games with Tampa and 3 with Toronto coming up next. Meanwhile, the Angels will be playing 9 of their next 12 against Sox of various hue and without Vlad or KRod. Great time to pickup some ground.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


user posted image

Well, shows what I know. I was invited to post my thoughts on how to Right the Mariners Ship on the new blog, Mariners Roundtable. Honored, I was. And so I went for the easy task and immediately called for the demotion of Aaron Sele.
To make room for Felix, say farewell to Aaron Sele, who has shown that he will not help the M’s to win a pennant.
So what does Mr. Sele do in response? Pitch a 4-hit, 1-walk shutout, for our second straight win over the Padres. I should have stuck with my first draft where I had Sele demoted to the bullpen because he obviously loved pitching from the stretch.

Congrats, Aaron on the great start. I hope that the light has come back on for you, and you can build off of this performance. Joel Pineiro returns Tuesday against the Orioles as the Mariners go for their second 3-game winning streak of the year.

D'Angelo Jimenez 

Derek at USS Mariner suggests picking up D'Angelo Jimenez, who was recently waived by the Reds, and using him in place of Wilson Valdez at shortstop. Jimenez would be a good offensive upgrade over Valdez (as would my cat), but it might cost us defensively.

Unless the Reds work out a trade with someone, he is going to be available to any team that wants him in another seven days.

For the Mariners to land him, would require either a trade with the Reds, or committing to giving him the starting shortstop postion. Other intereseted teams could include the Yankees (where he was a hot prospect once) and the Cubs amongst others.

He no doubt has talent, but I don't think the M's will bite, because it would certainly reduce the infield defense. Also, Jimenez was released in large part because he showed up in camp out of shape and failed to perform for the first six weeks.

Would I acquire Jimenez if I were the GM. I'd much rather see us give the shortstop job to a hot-hitting Jose Lopez, and reward a young player for hard work, then just give the job to Jimenez. And since that is what it would likely take to sign him, I would not see successfully being able to sign him.

However, I would approve a minor deal that landed Jimenez, if the only cost would be a fringe prospect. Then, we could be free to make Jimenez a bench player, and let him earn his time at shortstop, or at second in the event Bret Boone gets traded later this year.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bucky now 3-5 Weeks Away 

Bucky is sounding ready to go...
Bucky Jacobsen is finishing up his first week of rehab following exploratory surgery last week on his surgically repaired kneecap. And he said that so far, everything is going well. He said he plans to be in Seattle until June 8, when he will report to extended spring training in Arizona.

"I'll do that until they think I'm ready, then I'll go to Tacoma, and then who knows?" he said. "They said in four to six weeks I'd be back playing, so now that's three to five weeks. It feels good. It feels better already. I hope it's not just wishful thinking, but I think they fixed the problem."
Can't wait for Bucky to return! This team needs life badly. The article also talks about the return of Pat Borders, the eternal catcher, and the progress of Joel Pineiro.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Aaron Sele on the Tightrope 

I did some posting over at Sportspot tonight, and did my best to capture each inning that Sele worked. Unfortunately, I missed the first inning due to a bout of late night hunger from my five year old. So I missed a Jeter hit and Sheffield walk before Sele escaped. Here are my excerpts and thoughts as they happened real-time tonight...

Second Inning
Lets see how Aaron follows up his typical Sele-esque first inning (one hit, one walk, no runs phew!). He's got a 2-0 lad to work with. Here's a pitch by pitch look at inning two.

Tino Martinez up. 2-1 pitch, Tino swings over a high curveball and tops the ball for a routine 4-3 putout. Yankee announcers are ridiculing the state of the field ever since ARod slipped.

The hitter formerly known as Bernie Williams comes in. 1-1 curve juuuust misses low. 2-1. Ugly high (curve that doesn't break or change) to 3-1. Good pitch fouled off 3-2. Fouls off 85 MPH fastball. Shakes off Olivo twice to throw an 89 MPH just wide ball four. There's baserunner one on the inning.

Jason Giambi injects himself into the batter's box. First pitch up and away 87 MPH fastball and Olivo trots out to the mound to explain to Aaron that he is a curveball pitcher, don't try to break 85 on the fastball!. And that Giambi ain't what he used to be. "Quit shaking me off, meat, relax and throw strikes!" 84 MPH fastball down the pipe, strike one. Looked smooth. Pickoff throw not really close (does Bernie steal many these days?) 72 MPH curve that Giambi swings and misses badly on. Giambi fouls off a change. Big hook at 1-2 and Giambi almosts bites as ball dips into the dirt for ball two. 86 MPH fastball on the high inside corner taken for strike three. That was actually a heckuva pitch.

John Flaherty up and gets a first pitch strike down the middle. The hook drops below the knees for ball one. 1-1 pitch is a pretty curve that Flaherty looks at for strike two. That 12-6 dip is very pretty when its working. Almost works on a ball in the dirt as Flaherty checks his swing for ball two. Aaron throws a perfect strike three on the outside corner, but it is called ball three. 3-2 pitch in same location and Flaherty sticks a bat out and dunks a single to left field. John Flaherty is now 9 for 17 lifetime against Aaron Sele, and we now have our requisite two baserunners for the inning.

Derek Jeter up with 2 outs, runners on first and third, and my palms starting to sweat. First pitch is curve down, and second pitch is change low. 2-0 pitch to Jeter is a meatball that Jeter hits sharply right to Bloomquist and Sele is once again out of the inning.

Sele is actually pitching pretty well tonight. Moving the ball around, and facing a bit of a squeeze on the strike zone. The man CAN pitch, even as his arsenal is in decline.

Just not better than at least two players currently pitching in AAA.

Third Inning
Heading into the third and the big "A" has stranded 4 baserunners and thrown 22 of 41 pitches for strikes. Fingernails are dug firmly into stone and I'm not looking down!

"ARods Three Home Run Yankee ClassicJ" premieres tomorrow on YES.

Robinson Cano clues into the fact that Sele is trying to lay in an easy first pitch fastball for a strike and promptly crushes Sele's first offering off the base of the centerfield wall for a standup double.

Gary Sheffield gets a more careful first pitch, and, you guessed it, its a ball. Second pitch curve is in the dirt. Aaron is thinking "Robinson CAN NO just crushed a pitch off me, maybe my time is done. Time to nibble." Sure enough, he can't get Sheff to bite on a pitch just off the plate. 3-0 pitch and thankfully, Gary is taking a pitch down the middle for strike 1. 3-1 pitch and its another curve into the dirt and the second walk of Gary Sheffield.

First and second, nobody out, and Godzilla is up. Yikes. 84 MPH up the ladder and big swing and a miss! Sele needs to be ahead in the count. Ball one is 87MPH and tailing up and away like we saw in the second inning walks. Overthrowing again. 88 MPH fastball - yup - up and away. 86 MPH fastball low and away... no, caught the corner for strike two. Sele taking about 20 seconds between pitches. Inside fastball chopped toward second for the first out, but it moves the runners along.

And here comes ARod. The booing has to end someday, fans. 85 MPH fastball down the pipe and ARod swings through it. Phew! 0-1 pitch is the big hook diving into the dirt, but ARod lunges for it and pokes it foul to give Sele ahead 0-2. Sele's long stare has ARod calling for time, and now Olivo comes out to the mound. "Can we get this guy to chase another out of the zone?" Nope, fastball well away, and its 1-2. 87 MPH fastball down pipe, ripped hard to Beltre, and that will score a run. Its now 2-1 M's, runner on second and two out.

That brings up Tino, and they are going to take the bat out of his hands with an intentional walk. Interesting strategy call. Of course, its apparent that Aaron feels most comfortable with two runners on.

Here comes Bernie Williams who now feels dissed. First pitch breaking ball low for ball one. Uh oh. Fastball low - grounded to first and the M's escape the inning. Phew!

Sele's line through three innings... 1 run on 3 hits with 4 walks (one intentional). Another 10 strikes in 22 pitches gives Aaron 31 strikes out of 63.

Vintage Sele '05.

Fourth Inning
Strap on your safety belt, its time for another trip on Mr. Sele's Wild Ride!

Jason Giambi steps in and tries the Robinson Cano Method for Success by swinging at the first pitch. A Giambiesue dribbler to first.

John Flaherty (9-17 lifetime vs Sele). First pitch is a beautiful curve for a strike. Followed by a change? for ball one. Gets a 84 MPH fastball up and fouled off for strike 2. Sele moving relatively fast and lays in an 86 MPH fastball that Flaherty lifts up to Randy Winn for out number two.

No runners on, two outs? What's going on?

Derek Jeter up and goes for the first pitch inside. Jeter fists it over first base for a single. Ball one dunked in. Tough luck, Aaron, but that's what happens when you're this hittable.

Now, Cano steps in and again goes for the first pitch, but this time Sele is ready and throws it out of the zone. Sele stalls for time with a throw to first. Change juuuuuust misses outside for ball two. 85 MPH fastball that would have been ball two is fouled off. Next pitch, Cano sticks out his bat and pokes a soft liner right at Beltre.

See what Sele has done? By allowing Cano the leadoff double on the first pitch in the third, he now has the more inept Yankees swinging at the first pitch. Genius!

8 of 10 pitches for strikes in the inning keeps Sele's pitch count at 73.

Fifth Inning
Sheffield up and looking to walk again, takes first pitch for ball inside. 84 MPH fastball on inside corner drilled foul. Ugly breaking ball in the dirt goes 2-1. Wow! Made Sheffield looked silly on the hanging curve. Sheff looking for fastball misses with huge swing. Next pitch curveoutside, and then 85 MPH fastball is juuuuuuuuuuusssst a hair outside. Sele still not getting that call and Sheff gets his third walk of the game.

Matsui gets the slow-poke Sele treatment that makes Matsui step out of the batters box for what the announcers are saying is the first time this season. Sele dips a curve in for a strike. Fastball high through the zone is fouled back and its 0-2. DP ball anyone? First, a pickoff attempt. Sele's extra long delay pays off as Sheffield breaks early for second base. Sele eventually sees him, steps off the mound and throws to Sexson to get Sheffield in the rundown! Woo Hoo! 0-2 pitch is a curve in the dirt. 1-2 pitch is that 88 MPH fastball that tails up and away out of thestrikezone. 2-2 pitch is a curve that Godzilla rips right at Sexson, and its out number 2.

ARods up, and the booing comes out. First pitch outside, and the second one is that over-humped fastball tailing up and in for 2-0. Strike one is the 84 MPH fastball on inside corder. Strike two comes with 83 MPH at the knees. 2-2 pitch, and ARod calls time again. 73 breaking ball in the dirt is not even close. Shakes off two pitches, and ARod steps out yet again. Breaking ball low for ball four, and we have our requisite two baserunners on the inning.

Tino Martinez comes up and is unlikely to be intentionally walked again. First pitch Tino rips past a diving Sexson, and Arod holds up at second respecting Ichiro's arm. Might as well have walked him...

Here comes Bernie! Breaking ball for a strike. The humper actually stays down, and Bernie fouls off the 88 MPH offering for strike two. Let the nibbling (and stalling) begin! 83 MPH fastball high is fouled back. And Olivo comes to the mound to talk with Sele. They are not on the same page, or else the strategy is to dull the Yankee hitters. Sele puts a mistake in there, and gets away with it, as the ball is hit to Winn in left.

Three more baserunners, no more runs. Living on the Edge!

Sele has got to be the slowest working pitcher in the history of the game. At least tonight. He is boring the Yankees senseless. Sheffield got so bored he tried to steal second just thinking that Aaron had died.

95 pitches through five innings. Will we see Sele in the sixth? No mention of the bullpen from the Yankees announcers.

Grover was the "Human Rain Delay" in his time. If he stepped into the plate against Sele today, I believe they could have reversed time like in that Superman movie, and maybe spun the world back to the day when the M's decided to sign Aaron Sele. Would they do it again?

Sixth Inning
11 baserunners through 5 innings. 51 strikes in 95 pitches. And 110 minutes to get through 5 innings of 2-1 baseball where the opposing pitcher is cruising.

And he's back for the sixth. And happy to see Jason Giambi. First pitch ball, second pitch tails over for a strike. 1-1 pitch inside for ball two. 84 on outside corner is fouled back for strike two. Throws up a meatball down the middle, and Jason fouls it back. The big hook drops to the dirt, and Giambi graciously flails and misses, and Sele has his 3rd strikeout of the game (2 from Giambi).

John Flaherty looks at strike one, and then looks at ball one away to the backstop. Sele lays in an 84 mph fastball that Flaherty fouls behind him. Changeup tails back and juuust misses the stike zone. Sele goes with what worked last time and just lays up a pitch for Flaherty to hit a mile in the air to Winn... but it goes foul. Will he try again? Yes, but this time Flaherty levels his swing and lines it foul. 2-2 deja vu and Sele sends the old tantalizing slider(?) down and away, and Flaherty flails helplessly.

Sele is looking stronger, but that was Giambi, and a guy who hits AFTER Giambi. Here comes Jeter again. First pitch ball inside. Fastball fouled off, 1-1. 87 MPH fastball just off outside corner. No one is getting that call tonight. Fastball down pipe is fouled off, and now the crowd is actually getting into it, with a 2-strike count. Hangs the 12-6 but Jeter just fouls it back. 2-2 deja vu... another fastball just off the outside corner. Will he find the inside corner for strike 3? Down the middle 86 MPH fastball and Jeter swings... and misses!

Aaron Sele just struck out the side. Wow. If he left now, he would finish with a Quality Start - 6 innings, 1 earned run, despite 11 baserunners.

That inning may have earned Aaron a 7th inning of work (not like we need to save his arm).

The final tally is 6 innings, 6 walks (one intentional), 4 singles, 1 double and 5 strikeouts.

And after 115 pitches, the M's pull Sele just as he is looking his strongest.

In the next inning, Shigetosi Hasegawa stinks and loads the bases. George Sherill makes his major league debut and does the job inducing a double play ball that, first, Beltre doesn't take the easy play of stepping on third, and instead throws home, and then Sexson drops the relay from Olivo. Putz shows up and gives up a grand slam that barely clears Reed's mitt and the wall.

The Yankees lead 5-2 as I post this and the M's bat have been silent. This is an absolute nightmare for Mariner fans. We could lose to the Yankees AND still have to sit through another Aaron Sele adventure in five days.

Bucky Back in 4-6 Weeks? 

Dare to dream...
Bucky Jacobsen, one of the many walking wounded in the Mariners' clubhouse yesterday, said he and team medical director Dr. Larry Pedegana were encouraged by Friday's exploratory surgery on his right knee.

Jacobsen said Pedegana found that one of the plugs inserted into his knee last September had raised from its slot, so he shaved it down to make the bone flush. Other than that, Pedegana was satisfied with how it had been healing.

"Dr. Pedegana sounded happy, so that made me happy," Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen, who is on the 60-day disabled list, hopes to return in four to six weeks.
4 to 6 weeks - by then, the M's should be back in the AL West chase, and Bucky can lead the way to catching the Angels.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Mateo Gambit 

No, its not another Robert Ludlum novel from beyond the grave... its the Mariners creative idea to inject some life into a moribund rotation.

Joel Pineiro has been sent to AAA Tacoma, apparently because whatever is broken with his mechanics is too subtle to work on during major league games.

And, starting in his place will be Julio Mateo, uber-reliever who has started just one game in his major AND minor league career. It is an interesting maneuver from a team not known for thinking this far outside the box, and I really like it. We know what Ron Villone would give us, and certainly replacing Pineiro is only a temporary thing, but maybe Mateo will show that he could be a starter, and would give the Mariners another good option when we need another starter.
"He throws strikes, he has good stuff, he's kept us in ballgames," said Hargrove of Mateo. "We feel that we can get him up to at least 80 pitches, which will give us five or six innings."

Mateo is 1-0 this season and has given up just one earned run in 22 innings, giving him a sparkling 0.41 ERA. The righty's last start (his only start in 304 appearances) was in 2000 with Mariners Class A affiliate Wisconsin.

Hargrove said that the reason Mateo is starting Tuesday is to separate Aaron Sele and Jamie Moyer, who have pitched in back-to-back games seven times this season. Moyer was scheduled to start Tuesday, but he will instead get an extra day of rest and pitch Wednesday in the final game of the Mariners' homestand.
Ummm, Grover, why don't we try a different approach in separating Sele and Moyer, one that involves a DFA, and, if necessary, a restraining order.

This may just be a one time start for Mateo, as Pineiro is expected to be called up on May 24th to face the Baltimore Orioles. However, Hargrove indicated than anything is possible. "Everything’s on the table,” said Hargrove, when asked if Mateo’s start could turn into a full-time spot in the rotation. “He throws strikes, he has got good stuff and he’s kept us in ballgames.”

Coming up from Tacoma
George Sherrill gets a well-deserved callup to take Mateo's slot in the rotation. And he will likely be staying when Pineiro returns, so something has gotta give. Have I mentioned that it should be time for Aaron Sele and the Mariners to part ways?

Meanwhile, adding to speculation yesterday, was the fact that Jorge Campillo was pulled from his start in the third inning, for no apparent reason. Inside the dugout, handshakes were going all around, so it appeared that Campillo hadn't gotten called up to the big leagues. But no official word yet. Maybe the M's changed their mind and decided to inexplicably give Aaron Sele one more start.

Wiki Injury May be Serious
After starting out a white hot 6-16 with 4 doubles, new catcher Wiki Gonzalez was starting to get some press and consideration as the full time starter. But yesterday, Gonzalez was running out a groundout in the 7th, when he appeared to pull his hamstring. After the game Hargrove said that the physicians "think it is a significant strain." So, where does the Wheel of Catching land this time? It will be interesting to see what the M's next play at catcher is - Ryan Christianson? Rene Rivera? Benito Santiago? I hope Wiki gets healthy, because he was contributing with the bat, and we really needed it.

This may be a second bout of bad luck (or karma depending on your opinion of Wiki's work ethic) for Gonzalez in the past year. Last year, he had gotten called back up to Tacoma and was hitting .300+, only to wake up with a stiff knee that turned out to be an ACL tear (see Wilson, Dan).

Get well soon, Wiki! Now there is a statement I did not think I'd be uttering this year. Baseball is a funny game. I hope Wiki gets more time to take advantage of this second chance.

Jose Lopez Sighting
Another interesting development in the saga that is the 2005 Mariners is that Jose Lopez returned to Tacoma yesterday, going 2 for 4 with a walk. However, before we get too excited, note that Lopez was playing second base and committed an error. With the bats starting to wake up, and a Pokey recovery on the horizon, perhaps the M's will remain committed to Plan A of working Lopez as a second baseman for 2006. I sure hope not, because I'm not counting us out of 2005 yet, and I think young Mr. Lopez could be a vital cog in the resurrection of this season.

Ichiro in the (Sporting) News
Finally, before I sign off, let me point you Ichiro! fans to this excellent article on his adjustments that have him hitting over .400 since the All-Star Break last year. Ichiro in the Sporting News.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ugly Start, So What? 

For the first time this season, the Mariners got an Ugly Start from a starting pitcher, but still managed to win the ball game, showing off the offense we all knew would show up before too long.

The 14-7 win gave the Mariners 23 runs in their last two games.

This time, it was Joel Pineiro instead of Jamie Moyer with the ugly start. But Julio Mateo continued to flash his form of 2003, holding the Red Sox scoreless for 3 1/3 innings to pickup the win.

And, on a completely unrelated note, Luis Ugueto has been suspended for steroid use. I'm guessing every light-hitting middle infielder or outfielder is going to have a suspension before the season is over.

Friday, May 13, 2005

DGS Thru May 12th 

Yikes!!! Since my last update of Mariner "Darned Good Starts" on April 30, the Mariners have proceeded to turn 12-11 into 13-21. Suffice to say, darned good starts have been few and far between during this stretch. Joel Piniero had one in a 3-2 loss to Oakland. Gil Meche turned in a debatable one in a 5-2 loss to the Angels and a Quality Start in a 4-3 loss to the Yankees. Ryan Franklin's Quality Start won us our lone game. Jamie Moyer(3) and Aaron Sele(2) have become synonymous with Ugly Start in this period.

Pitcher (Darned Good / Quality / Ugly, M's record DGS , M's record QS, M's record US)
Ryan Franklin (4/4/2, 2-2, 2-2, 0-2)
Bobby Madritsch (0/0/1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1)
Gil Meche (4/3/3, 2-2, 2-1, 0-3)
Jamie Moyer (5/3/3, 4-1, 2-1, 0-3)
Joel Pineiro (3/1/2, 2-1, 1-0, 0-2)
Aaron Sele (4/3/3, 3-1, 2-1, 0-3)
Mariner Total (20/14/14, 13-7, 9-5, 0-14)
So, from having 16 out of 23 darned good starts, we have fallen to 20 out of 34. The totals truly indict the offense, in that we have not won a single game if the Mariner pitchers don't put in Darned Good Start, and even those we are only winning at a .650 clip (a little LESS for Quality Starts).

The good news is that Gil Meche seems to be turning his season around, and Ryan Franklin is doing a commendable job. With the slide that Moyer and Sele are on, it may be worth a rotation shakeup, if for no other reason, then to have these two avoid the Yankees and Red Sox again.

Bring up Jorge Campillo for a start, or heck, give Ron Villone a spot start. Another thing that would be nice is to change it so that there was someone who threw a little more smoke between these two. But please don't subject your fans to another Aaron Sele vs the Yankees matchup on Monday.

Frankly, its time for Aaron Sele to go. These statistics through seven starts are pretty telling.
IP: 35.2
H: 44
BB: 18

That is nearly two baserunners allowed every inning he pitches. Even his darned good starts have been fraught with peril. The Aaron Sele of 2001 left his stuff on an operating table. It is time to move on and see what the future holds. Both Felix Hernandez and Jorge Campillo have shown that they can handle AAA hitters. Campillo has further shown that he has mastered his control with 6 walks allowed in 36 innings, and with 27 strikeouts).

Call up Jorge Campillo for Monday's start against the Yankees, and designate Aaron Sele for assignment. Its time to move on, and get back to winning and Jorge Campillo is ready to help.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Adventures in Round Rock 

I was very excited to go to my first Round Rock Express game since Round Rock became a AAA team in the PCL this season. Since its inception it has been leading AA in attendance, and finally Nolan Ryan got his wish and turned it into a AAA club, moving the AA team down to a new stadium in Corpus Christi.

The ballpark at Round Rock is the "Dell Diamond", and is about 10 minutes away from the primary campus of Dell. Suffice to say, the stadium is top notch, seats 10,000+, sloped grass for picnicing in the outfield, several kid play areas, and even a swimming pool.

But, who really cares about the park. I got my tickets for two reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to get a good look at Felix Hernandez. Second, I wanted to cheer on the rest of the Rainiers to victory and see what the future held for the Seattle Mariners.

Felix was originally slated to go today at noon, but due to the rainout on Sunday, the Rainiers are pushing him back to start Thursday, with Rich Dorman going today. Not coincidentally, but Thursday is the one game that I CAN NOT ATTEND. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Very irritating, to say the least.

Luckily, my ten dollar tickets five rows behind home plate did not go to waste. For who should I see charting pitches two rows behind me. El Cartelua! Felix was a bit surprised to be approached for an autograph, but then he saw the Mariner hat, smiled, and gladly gave me a FH with a circle around it. Felix also was wearing some nice bling - this silver necklace and bracelet set and a very large gold watch. You couldn't look too long without going blind.

So, with an autograph from Felix out of the way, I settled in with my peanuts and beer to see how the rest of the Rainiers were looking.

Ex-Brave Damian Moss got the start, and he was rock solid for five innings. Other than a few balls that found the gap in the first inning, the Express were off balance all evening. Moss scattered four hits over five innings, walking one, grazing a batter, and striking out five.

The Express sent out two guys who were making their Round Rock debuts this year, after spending the beginning of the season with the Astros. Chris Burke was supposed to be the everyday secondbaseman, but got little playing time when Craig Biggio decided to reclaim his old stomping grounds. Luke Scott was an outfield replacement for Lance Berkman (go Rice!), but lost out his battle to stay in the bigs to speedster Willy Taveras. The other interesting player in the Express lineup was leadoff hitter and center fielder... Charles Gipson!

Yes, the Gipster is back in AAA with the Astros this time, and he looked completely lost out there against Moss, watching three straight strikes in the first. It was Burke who started the scoring for the Express by lining a double to the left field wall. Chris Snelling fielded the ball cleanly off the wall and fired a one-hop BULLET to second base that beat the runner, but apparently, secondbaseman Ramon Santiago missed the tag. A walk and a popout later, Mike Coolbaugh would do all the damage that was to be done off Moss by drilling a 2-run double into the right center gap.

Snelling got to show off his arm again in the third inning when DH Denny Klassen lined a shot over the third baseman's head that headed for the corner. Snelling took off on a sprint, slid into the corner as he cut off the ball, popped up, and threw a LASER right to Santiago that had Klassen beat by two steps easily. Unfortunately, Santiago dropped the ball in his haste to turn with the tag, and Klassen had a double.

But enough of the pitching and defense, lets talk about something that us Mariner fans don't get to see much of: Home Runs! By the good guys! In ther first five innings against former Astro Carlos Hernandez, the Mariners would score six runs on four hits, every one of them a home run. Shin-Soo Choo hit two nearly identical bombs to left field, both about 375 feet, Jamal Strong flexed his newfound muscles with a blast to centerfield that was 400+ feet. And Rainier home run leader Aaron Rifkin increased his homer total to 10 with a popup down the left field line that cleared the 330 foot wall.

The announced crowd was 7800, but looked like about 5000. Either way, the only noise heard during these home run trots was from a screaming Mariner Optimist. I've always enjoyed rooting for the visiting team, because the players can hear you. I counted three Mariner hats and one Ichiro! jersey in the stands, so most everyone was rooting for the home team.

Shin-Soo Choo was definitely the hero of the day. He added a 2-run triple in the sixth, this time to right field and finished 3-4 with a walk. His only blemish a caught stealing in the third on a swinging strike three to Ryan Christianson. Both Christianson and shortstop Michael Morse looked like they were caught up in the home run derby with outs that went a mile only to be caught by the second baseman as they returned to earth. Chris Snelling never got much of a chance to show off his bat, as he saw only two strikes in his first three trips to the plate on his way to three walks. But still, Yoda finished 1 for 2 on the day, and just looks like a player out there. Get this kid up to Seattle, quick!

After the scoring died down, the final Rainier highlight was the return to the hill of Cha Seung Baek. He looked smooth out there, but seemed to be placing balls right down the middle. The hardest hit balls from the Express came off of Baek as he gave up two runs on four hits in three innings with a couple of strikeouts. But a little rust is to be expected in your first game back. Jered Thomas finished out the game with a couple of hits and Ks in the ninth.

Other highlights for me included getting to dance the Chicken Dance AND the Cotton-Eyed Joe (during the 7th inning stretch after Take Me Out to the ballgame). And the 8-10 year old boy who was on the big screen being filmed dancing was hysterical. The hot dogs were good, the crowd was friendly, even to the opposition, and you can't beat 80 degrees and clear at 7pm.

Today, its off to the heat of the Texas sun, as forecast have the temp in the 90's by noon start time. No Felix today, and that's probably fine, as I'm also going to have my wife and three kids (ages 2,5, and 7), so I'll probably spend more time at the rock climbing wall then watching intently anyway. Either way, its a nice break from suffering along with the big league club.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Second Half Gil in May? 

After an abysmal start to the season, Gil Meche appears to have righted the ship. His last three starts have come against three of the most powerful offenses in baseball in the Rangers, Angels, and Yankees. Yet here is his aggregate line...

IP: 22.1
H: 18
BB: 3
K: 11
ER: 9

So, he's given up less than a baserunner per inning, struck nearly 4 for every walk, and has a sub-4 ERA.

Not going to win the Cy Young, but it seems to me like second half Gil is making an early emergence for your 2005 Mariners. Talk of his demise certainly appears quite premature.

I'm heading out to the Rainiers-Express game shortly, and tomorrow, I'll see the noon start with Felix Hernandez on the hill. I'll try to have a post up tomorrow night sharing my observations.

Until then... Go Mariners! Beat the GD Yankees!

Monday, May 09, 2005


Yes, Wiki Gonzalez gets his first start, promptly starts two rallies, goes 3-4 with two doubles, and the M's score 6 runs and finally end their brutal seven game losing streak.

The long-awaited shakeup of the M's hitting doldrums began in earnest yesterday, as Mike Hargrove addressed that enormous sucking sound to the south by benching Miguel Olivo and Wilson Valdez for Wiki and Willie Bloomquist.

Also, the long-awaited swap of Bret Boone and Raul Ibanez in the lineup occurred with Bret batting sixth.

The moves may not have ignited Willie or Boone, but at least we finally saw signs of life from Adrian Beltre, who had his first RBI in forever, and four hits total on the day.

I'm happy with these moves, even though the shortstop and catcher situations will remain fluid. There is no need to guarantee starting spots to non-performers. Is Wiki and Willie the answer? I seriously doubt it. Wiki has had major league talent for years, but a work ethic that is eerily reminiscent of Garfield. With Willie, what you see is what you get - scrappiness, speed, mediocre defense and mediocre hitting. But that mediocre hitting is a huge step up from what Mr. Valdez has produceed.

A couple of alternatives may be close by. The Pirates today released 40-year-old catcher Benito Santiago. Santiago hit .270 with 6 hrs and 25 RBIs in 50 games last year with the Royals before getting his hand broken by a pitch. Will be interesting to see if the M's have interest in having Santiago on the roster.

As for shortstop, the M's anxiously await the return of Jose Lopez, who should be less than two weeks away from returning from a broken hamate bone. Lopez would be an immediate improvement over Bloomquist offensively and defensively.

It is quite possible that if the M's sign Santiago, that they would wait until Lopez is back in the fold, and send Valdez to AAA (or release him outright) to make room for Santiago in the roster. If they can't wait, then Wiki would likely return to the minors. Of course, all the Santiago talk is complete conjecture on my part, so don't get too worked up about it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Dan Wilson Out for Year (Career?) 

What looked like a tweak of the knee as he turned to hustle back to first base on a flyout may be the final play in the long career of all-time Mariner catching great Dan Wilson.

The tweak, it turns out, was a tearing of the right anterior cruciate ligament. The Mariners responded quickly, putting Dan on the 60-day DL, and adding Wiki Gonzalez to the 25 man roster (and 40-man) in his place. Wiki Gonzalez will travel with the team to Boston and New York as the backup catcher to Miguel Olivo.

Long term, it is possible to envision this being the final play in Dan Wilson's career. It is unlikely that he would be back this season, and many thought this might be Dan Wilson's final year.

This obviously is not good for the M's, as they lose a fan favorite, and an excellent mentor for Miguel Olivo. In his place, they get the catcher known as the "laziest man in baseball." Lets hope that Wiki gets off to a hot start with the bat or else the intelligent Mariner fan base probably won't have much use for him.

It is hard to envision Wiki being with the big club for very long, but I guess stranger things have happened. I would watch the Tacoma squad closely to see if Ryan Christianson gets more time behind the plate, or if Rene Rivera looks ready.

Another possibility would be a trade with another club. The M's are rumored to be in discussions for infield and bench candidates, so why not a catcher as well.

Of course, I'm sure the Mariners already have Pat Borders on speed dial. Pat is sitting in the Brewers AAA club, and I'm sure the Brewers would let him go to the M's, just for old (very old) time sake.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jose Lopez Sighting 

The PI has an update on Jose Lopez status.

He has been taking ground balls for a couple of days, and began taking swings yesterday. Trainer Rick Griffin hopes that Lopez will be playing games within the next two weeks.

And when ready, the plan is likely going to be go stright to Seattle, do not pass Tacoma. This may depend on the status of Pokey Reese, who is getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews today. The Mariners medical crew believes that Pokey will need shoulder surgery that would likely end the shortstops season before it ever started.

Lopez is needed greatly, as the Mariners offense desperately needs a spark with Beltre struggling mightily out of the gate, and the bottom of the order doing their best imitation of Randy Johnson at the plate.

In short term, a juggling of the lineup may be in order to help jump start the Mariner offense. Neither the extra BP for Beltre and Sexson nor the hitters-only meeting before yesterday's game seemed to help. With Randy Winn heating up, I might propose moving Winn to third, dropping Beltre to 5th and Boone to 7th. Winn is not a traditional #3 hitter, but the more baserunners we can have on for Richie Sexson, the better.

The M's need to get untracked, and soon, before they let the Angels put much more distance between them.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Madritsch Update 

The PI has an update on Bobby Madritsch.

The shoulder is getting somewhat better, in that now when dye is injected into the injury it only drips out instead of pouring out. For now, he will get two more weeks of inactivity, and then they will look again.

The best part was Mad Dog's anticipation of being able to begin rehabbing the shoulder in a few weeks.
"Rehab stuff, I'm going to kick that in the face. I've dealt with that already. I'm looking forward to that. I just need the OK: 'Bobby, we can turn you loose. You can start going.' "
Unfortunately, it sounds like there is no chance of Bobby returning before July, and even that may be wishful thinking.

The Catch 

Ichiro Catch

Wow. If you haven't seen Ichiro's robbing of a Garrett Anderson home run last night, you can see it here on front page of MLB website.

Let me just say that it was much more impressive on a big screen TV in real time. Note the cleat mark on the "S" of the Washington Mutual sign.

Other than that (and a nifty Bret Boone snag in the first inning), there was not much impressive about last night's 5-0 loss to the Angels. The loss was the M's third straight, and dropped them 3 games back of the Los Angelinos.

Adrian Beltre's struggles continue as he leaves 6 runners on in an 0-4 night.

All I can say is that when Beltre snaps out of this slump, the M's are going to catch fire.

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