Thursday, August 04, 2005

You knew this was coming 

From the
New York Daily News

SELE ON DECK? The Yanks haven't been afraid to pick up discarded players this year (see Al Leiter, Alan Embree and Hideo Nomo) and GM Brian Cashman is considering doing it again. Cashman recently spoke with Aaron Sele's agent, Adam Katz, and while no offer was made, the Bombers do have some interest in adding the righthander. Sele was an All-Star in 1998 and 2000 but was designated for assignment by the Mariners after struggling to a 6-12 mark this season.

As with Nomo, the Yanks are interested in signing Sele to a minor league deal and seeing if he can pitch his way back to the majors at Triple-A Columbus.

You can smell the desperation emanating from the Bronx. Ahhhhhhhhh....

How to Watch King Felix Today 

Felix Hernandez makes his major league debut in less than 2 hours, but if you are in the Seattle area there is no way I know of that you will be able to watch it. There is no television coverage from either Seattle OR Detroit, so don't bother calling your local sports bars.

If you are not in the local Seattle area, you can watch the game on MLB.tv. This is NOT available in the Seattle local viewing area unless you know how to get around MLB.com's ability to block IP addresses. If you are purchasing mlb.tv just for this game, you have two options to pay for it.

1) You can pay $3.95 for the day (or more for monthly or annual subscriptions)
2) You can follow this promotional link and sign up for 4 trial issues of Sports Illustrated and get two weeks of MLB.tv free. You do have to remember to cancel your Sports Illustrated subscription or else you will be paying $49 for a year of SI.

According to the Tribune, FoxSports tried to get this televised once they heard who was pitching but could not line up sponsors in time.
NO FELIX ON TV: Today's Felix Hernandez start, probably the most anticipated pitching debut in Mariners history, must be enjoyed the old-fashioned way (in person, on the radio) or in a very new-fashioned way (MLB.TV, via MLB.com), without an option in between.

With an unappealing 10 a.m. Pacific start time -- on a Thursday -- Fox Sports Northwest had no plans to televise the game. Neither did Fox Sports Detroit, presumably for a similar reason.

That left FSN officials working feverishly after the announcement that Hernandez would make his debut.

"We spent the last day or two working with the team, trying to get enough sponsorship and move programming, but the logistics were too difficult in the end," said Mark Shuken, FSN's vice president and general manager.

"It was on the schedule as a 10 a.m. game, and it was just too late to put everything together."

The Mariners should have sponsored the entire game as a treat for fans who have had to suffer through the 2004-2005 seasons. They could have just run all their commercials from the past 10 years, mixed in with highlights from the 1995 season. Would have been a PR coup. Sigh.

I live in Austin, where I will be watching on mlb.tv. If you are looking for a running commentary, I will be joining a thread at Sportspot, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Come Watch These "Kids" Play!!! 

Wow, what a game! The Mariners beat the Tigers 4-1 to start the post-trade-deadline era at 1-0. And the game was just full of energy.

First, Jorge Campillo gets his major league debut, and promptly goes out and "tweaks" his elbow. He is now going to return to Seattle for medical tests and the early word is that Clint Nageotte is going to get called up in his place.

However, I would guess that Nageotte gets the call as a reliever, because 30 year old journeyman Jeff Harris was rock solid in his major league debut, shutting the Tigers down easily for four innings. Harris looks like Ryan Franklin without the contract or the steroids. He probably is best suited, just like Franklin, to be a swingman providing long relief out of the bullpen, or getting an occasional spot start, but the M's may reward him with his first major league start for this performance.

Adrian Beltre does what we paid him for, providing the M's an early run with a home run.

Of course, he also has a defensive lapse as a ball caroms off his chest for an apparent error.

That is, until Yuniesky Betancourt comes over, picks the ricochet out of the air and guns out the baserunner by two steps in a play that is now running on the MLB website (8/2 clips at about 1:54 mark).

And this after Yubet knocked in the winning run with an RBI double as part of a 3-run 7th.

The inning was sparked by something I've rarely seen. Our DH, Dave Hansen, was sacrifice bunting with Jeremy Reed on first, and laid a nice bunt down the third base line. Jeremy didn't hesitate at all at 2nd and just kept on chugging, and barely beat the throw back to third base where catcher Pudge Rodriguez was covering. It was a pure hustle play, and the kind that can spark not only wins, but winning streaks.

I think this team is going to be a blast to watch for the next two months, as youthful energy (and probably youthful mistakes) take over and all veterans know they better put up quick or be sent down.

And, of course, El Cartelua makes his major league debut for the Mariners on Thursday. I can't wait!

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