Thursday, December 31, 2009

Won’t make 100 blogs this year

Even if this goal was stated in October with a known slim chance of occurring.  I tried, and fell a mere 4 posts short.  At least, I was able to double my output from 2008. 

Over the upcoming weekend, I will enter into 5 years of blogging greatness.  I can say greatness because I only have 3 loyal readers, and one of them is myself.  So, really, who is going to tell me otherwise. 

To a happy and healthy New Year!  Go M’s!

Here’s to 2010!

There has been a lot of discussion about how horrible the previous 10 years have been.  I would have to say it has been one of the more polarizing decades on the political landscape during my lifetime. 

However, this decade has been one of the more eventful ones for me in a positive way.  It all started when I had to work on 1/1/2000 for what turned out to be the biggest hyped waste in computer history.  I later met my wife and was married in 2002.  Moved twice, first to SLC then up to the great Northwest.  I think I had 5 jobs over the course of 10 years.  That does seem like a lot even considering that consumes 3 states.   

Also during the last ten years I achieved a childhood dream of owning a dog.  Of course, no one told me about the high maintenance price I would pay, just kidding. 

One of the brightest moments of the past 10 years was becoming a father.  Words cannot properly describe my joy. 

That is all.  Just wanted to say a few things on how the last 10 years has been a positive time in life with all this doom and gloom lingering around.  I do recognize the historical significance as well, and feel proud to have been around to live through every ache and pain as well as the triumphs.

So long “two thousand and”, onto the 20somethings.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Minor signings in Bard and Cordero

Nothing overly notable, but the M’s continue their offseason buying process.  They signed Josh Bard to a minor league deal and extended an invitation to spring training.  Chad Cordero we actually singed last year where he spent his entire season attempting to return to his all star form in the minors. 

If Cordero’s minor league rehab pays off, we could have a decent closer out of the chute.  Being the closer for the Nationals is a thankless job, but he was able to put up some decent numbers.  In 2007, he had 37 saves in 46 opportunities. not great but not horrible either.  His best year was 2005 with an ERA of 1.82 and 47 saves in 54 chances.  So, we know there is the chance for greatness.

Bard is a bit of a journeyman.  Starting off in Cleveland and now landing with the M’s, teams later.  I am sure they brought him in for his experience to help mentor Adam Moore.  His numbers are not horrible as far as Mariner catchers go, we did have Dave Valle after all.  I suspect we will once again carry three catchers on our open day roster.

Again, progress is good.  With all these moves we are going to have large expectations.  If anything, baseball magazines will start to put us in the post season before Spring Training even begins.  Now, back to get opening day tickets!

Monday, December 28, 2009

22 years and counting

On the December 24th, the 22nd annual football game took place at Whitaker Park.  This game deserves a write up in the Missoulian if you ask me, maybe for the 25th annual game.  Since moving out of the area in 2003, my attendance has been hit and miss.  We see, on average, about 8 guys that are ready to play and partake in the tackle football tradition.  We have 5 or 6 “key” players that attend almost every year, with usually a rotating selection of players to fill out the rest. 

This year, we had 10, and it was awesome.  Myself and the other self appointed “commissioner” tried to go flag football this year.  We were shot down as most see this tradition extending to the pain they have on Christmas morning and sometimes days beyond.  But, we brought some new weapons with us this year, plays.  Most years, the play is “just get open”.   But this year, we had a new wrinkle.  Thanks to my time in city league flag football, the concepts carry over to park football easily.  We had 3 core plays, that we later color coded during our successful run of a “no huddle”.  No one really keeps score, as the game ends on the common “next touchdown wins”, regardless of the pounding or lopsided score. 

All and all, a great game with great friends.  I raise my glass as the tradition lives on for a 23rd year. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bobby Hauck out as UM head coach

This article appeared on the Las Vegas Sun site. 

I still think it is weird for a winning coach like Hauck to be job hunting, but getting to D1 is probably everyone’s dream.  I am aware he came from D1 as a special teams coach at UW.  Now, with 7 years of head coaching under his belt, he can now afford to be a head coach at the D1 level.

This is the third time a UM coach has jumped ship for the big time.  Mick Dennehy left for Utah State and Joe Glenn left for Wyoming.  It will be interesting to see how Hauck does at the D1 level in a very competitive Mountain West division.

So, now what?  Who is going to be in charge of one of the best football programs in D1-AA?  I am not even sure how you would start.  I just hope that UM performs all necessary due diligence and brings in a person that can continue our winning ways. 

I am always a bit leery of change.  But maybe this change can actually finish the job and not be a brides maid two years in a row. 

Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays?

Apparently, this is almost final.  Morrow to the Jays for Brandon League and a prospect.  The prospect better be good as we still don’t know what Brandon can do, he is only 25. 

I am bit shocked by this move.  Again, this is looking  like the Bavasi cleaning house off season for the Mariners.  Morrow was our first pick in ‘06, just before UW grad Tim Lincecum…in case I have not mentioned that before.  The reason I am shocked because I do not know if the return is going to be worth it.  League’s numbers are not as impressive as Morrows, he has a higher ERA and a lower K/9 rating. 

The prospect is the hold out here. Currently, I do not rate this trade high as I think we could be making an early mistake with Morrow.  As I stated awhile back, trading Morrow at this point only eliminates the comparison to Lincecum. 

Good luck Brandon, I will continue to watch your career. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wow, Silva is gone!

What a great Christmas/Hot Stove this has been.  I have long not been a fan of Silva.  I did not tag him enough in my blogs, so I  don’t have a count of how many times I requested that his overpaid arm find a different team.  We traded away Silva for the board game manufacturer Milton Bradley.  Milton is a switch hitting outfielder that offers some depth for the potential vacant left field post. 

This move is a wash on the money front, but I would say it is money better spent.  Silva was a waste from day one.  A consistent .400 to .500 winning percentage pitcher with mediocre stuff.  Bradley comes with his own bag of issues too, his temper.  He has had a roller coaster career, but can produce.  It will be interesting to see how he does in Safeco. 

This Hot Stove as proven to be the “Anti-Bavasi” movement.  Here is a list of known Bavasi moves that are no longer with us: Beltre, Silva, Bedard, and Aumont.  If all these moves work out to make the Mariners contenders, this is going to kill any future Bavasi higherings.  I can see the interview process now.

So Bill, you were able to be the first GM with a team of over 100 losses and over a $100 million pay roll ($117.9 Million to be exact).   One year removed, Jack Z was able to win 85 games with a $98.9 million dollar payroll.  Two years removed, they made the post season.  Where do you see yourself taking our ball club?”

I was dancing today when I heard this news!   

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It is official, Cliff Lee is a Mariner

Title says it all.  What a great offseason, Figgins and Lee.  It is nice to see us be smart in the Hot Stove league.  Well, at least currently we are being smart.

The three prospects that we had to give up for Lee seem to be a perfect choice.  The one that you may want to keep an eye on is Tyson Gillies.  He played in the “Futures” game this past summer and has a lot of speed.  Perhaps a call up within two seasons.

As far as the other two are concerned, Aumont was turned from starter to relief and JC Ramirez can throw hard, but has control issues.  They are all young, so these issues can be addressed in time.  Plus, if Lee walks at the end of 2010 we receive two sandwich picks in the 2011 draft.  Not a bad way to go if you ask me. 

Now I am really excited for next season!  I have a sneaky feeling that we are not done.  I sense something still could happen to Lopez before we start Spring Training.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Figgins introduced today and other hot stove notes

As everyone waits on the official news regarding Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins was introduced as the newest Mariner.  Again, I cannot stress how pleased I am with this move.  I hope it pans out because it has the potential to be an interesting batting order.

Lackey singed with Boston and the Angels are getting Matsui and his bad knees.  It begs the question, what about Vlad?  So, now you have bad hamstrings with Vladimir, bad knees with Matsui which means two fairly high paid DH’s.  I wonder if Vladimir is able to go somewhere else, cheap. 

I am sure the Mariners are eager to finalize this Lee trade deal.  It appears that the “known” minor league players from Seattle to Philadelphia are Aumont and an outfield prospect in Tyson Gillies.  Toronto is set to receive a previous “untouchable” prospect in Kyle Drabek.  If all this prospect talent makes it to the show, it will be interesting to see who really benefits. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cliff Lee to the Mariners

At the time of this writing, it is not official.  Cliff Lee is rumored to be head to the Mariners.  He would be part of the first “three way” to not be associated with Tiger Woods this month. 

The Phillies would acquire Halladay, the Mariners Lee and Toronto something like four minor leaguers between the Phillies and Mariners.  From Seattle, it sounds like we are rumored to be sending Aumont back to his native land.  I am not sure who else will be leaving the Mariners organization. 

This move has questions.  Lee is eligible for free agency after the 2010 season.  So, the amount of talent leaving the station could come back to haunt us should Lee not sign a long term deal.  Of course, that long term deal would depend on how well he performs back in the AL.

Having a number 2 starter (an ace really) behind Felix is something that everyone should take notice of.  With a hard throwing righty in Felix, and a precision lefty in Lee, we could have one of the better 1-2 punches in the AL.  Oh, and don’t forget Ichiro followed by Figgins in the batting order.

Lackey is suppose to sign with the Red Sox.  With him out of Anaheim, this could bode well for the Mariners in the AL West race.  Of course, the Angels are also associated with rumors surrounding Matsui, yet another M’s killer. 

Look for details to come tomorrow once this trade is official and made public.  I did want to blog earlier, but work got in the way. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rule 5 draft pickup

The Mariners selected Kaneko Texeira in the Rule 5 draft last night.  Judging by the write up on the Mariner site, this could be a steal if it pans out.  Plus, it is always nice to rob the Yankee farm system of some talent.

He did pitch briefly in the majors, going 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA.  The record does not look well, but that ERA is a nice sign.  His minor league stats from this past season at Double-A Trenton are better.  He went 9-6 with a 2.84 ERA.  I am excited to see what he can offer us in the upcoming season.

No Rich Harden and other Mariner notes

Good day and good luck in Texas, Rich.  This high risk/high reward free agent is off the market, pending a physical.  We will see how he does in a hitter friendly park.  If he is “on” for an entire season, Texas would have a legit ace.  If he is “off”, Texas is out only money and probably the post season.  No chance for the Mariners to move forward with the Bedard of 2009. 

We are still in the hunt, remote if anything, for Jason Bay.  Since Harden was signed for $7.5 million for next year, that would indicate the Mariners did have about that much to offer him as well.  Now, they can put that money somewhere else.  Bay would be a great option, should they choose.  Bay did turn down a 4 year, $60 mil offer from Boston, so he is commanding a high price.  Perhaps higher than what he is truly worth. 

Another “Bedard-esk” player would be Ben Sheets.  Also, a player with some history with Jack Z.  Sheets has had some great moments, but also some pretty lousy ones.  The last two seasons of his career have been, what I would consider, solid.  Amassing a 25-14 record with an ERA hovering around 3.40.  This would make a great #2 starter to support Felix.  His strikeout count is not as that great as a healthy Harden, but I will take .7 K per inning average over nothing.   If the dollar figure is right, I am sure Jack will make the proper choice as the winter meetings comes to close.

As of now, Lopez is still a Mariner.  I have a sneaky feeling that this will change prior to 2009 coming to a close.  According to Scott BorASS, the Mariners are still talking about trying to bring Beltre back.  I don’t put a lot of stock in this, but we will see.  It is nice to have a versatile player in Figgins so there really is no pressure on what we would do.  If we do bring Beltre back, move Figgins to second and trade Lopez for your #3 starter, maybe #2.  Not sure if he alone commands enough for a #2 starter with only one good season under his belt on offense. 

Even with the winter meetings coming to a close, talks and negotiations will continue long into the holiday season. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Chone Figgins is a Mariner

It is official.  As of this afternoon, Figgins is wearing a Mariners jersey and will bat second behind Ichiro.  If Ichiro was not high on your fantasy roster, he should be this year with a patient hitter right behind.  The deal will put him in a Mariner uniform for 4 years with an option for a 5th.  He will be our everyday third baseman (at the time of this writing) since Beltre did not accept arbitration. 

I am beyond pleased with this pickup.  Between Ichiro and Figgins, I hope to see at least 75 SBs next year.  Now, lets see what the Mariners do with the rest of the batting order this week.  I am still holding out some hope for Jason Bay…some.   

No Greg Zaun, but still Figgins

Zaun signed with the Brewers late last week.  The Mariners have been linked to ex-Mariner catcher Miguel Olivo.  I am not a huge fan of Miguel, but perhaps he has improved, plus he should be fairly cheap.

The Figgins deal could be announced today.  He was supposedly in Seattle for physical yesterday.  Assuming that he passed, this will be made public later today, and a truly awesome signing by Jack.

There was mention of the Mariners being linked to Curtis Granderson trade talks, but I doubt anything will come about from that, just rumors.  That is one thing about the winter meetings, it can be hard to filter out the good rumors from the bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to add a hitter with triple and stolen base potential.  With Ichiro, Figgins and Granderson, we could be very dangerous with the small ball in a ball park that demands that style of play. 

Still waiting on what the rumors on from a pitching perspective.  I have not heard any updates on Harden.  We have also been remotely linked to Edwin Jackson out of Detroit.

So, that is day one of the winter meetings, I wonder what today will bring. 

Friday, December 04, 2009

Mariner Hot stove watch – Dec 4th

Well, the news just keeps getting better and better.  Apparently, the Mariners are “in the running” for what is being considered some of the top FA prospects.  I am bit surprised by this since most fans remember the signings of Sexson and Beltre.  Sexson became a complete waste of space.  Beltre, being a defensive marvel, never was able to achieve his MVP numbers with the Dodgers. 

Chone Figgins.  I love it when the Mariners go after players that kill them as opponents.  Figgins has been a career Angel, and would take a fair amount of money/persuasion to leave the defending AL West champs for a team trying to win that title.  He could do a lot of great things for us.  He is versatile both in the field and a switch hitter at the plate, a nice plus for a team that has questions marks at third base and second base.  I have yet to mention that he can also steal a few bases.  Between Ichiro and Figgins, we could have 100 stolen bases.  The more I look at this, the more I hope this happens!  Looking into my crystal ball, here is what I see as two possible situations.

1. Sign Figgins, trade Lopez for pitching.  With the numbers that Lopez put up last year, he could bring in a solid #2 starter.

2. Sign Figgins and lose Beltre.  Beltre will not accept arbitration, so that puts him out there on the FA market.  Signing Figgins puts less worry on losing Beltre as he can play third, just not as well.

Rich Harden.  Looking into his stats last year, I am bit concerned signing him.  However, his stats (as well as his shoulder and back) do make him an affordable option.  I stated yesterday why I think he would be a good addition to this staff.  I did not realize, but we have some history with Harden, we drafted him!  It was in the 38th round in 1999.  He decided not to sign, then ended up in Oakland two years later.  From an opponent standpoint, he has a 5-2 record with a 1.90 ERA against the Mariners.  As stated here, it would only cost the M’s money this time around to sign Bedard…I mean Harden.

John Lackey and Jason Bay.  Jack Z. strikes me as a “most bang for the buck” sort of a GM.  Lackey and Bay would be commanding large money, that I am not sure we are ready to go there.  Not only commanding large money, but can we compete in a bidding war with Boston, New York and the Philadelphia?  I cannot imagine Lackey not being back in an Angels uniform next year.  Bay is interesting has he is product of British Columbia and a graduate of Gonzaga.  His ties to the northwest is something the Mariners would be banking on to tug at his heart strings.  However, I feel he will go where the money is.   

It is rumored that Greg Zaun could sign by days end.  The four teams on his radar are the Brewers, Rockies, Rays, and Mariners.  This would be a nice affordable pick.  Once the news breaks, I will do what I can to post something.

This is just getting started, we are still a few days away from the start of the winter meetings.  Look for big news around Roy Halladay next week!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ruskell is out

At 10 AM PST today (December 3rd) Tim Ruskell will resign as Seahawks GM.  The fan base, and I am assuming, the organization is getting exactly what they wanted.  Not much else to say, but here is a local blog that talks about Ruskell’s 5 years history with the Seahawks.  Also, a great Seahawk blog can be found here.

I did not follow the GM hiring process for the Hawks like I did for the Mariners.  I had no idea what Ruskell brought to the table when he was hired in 2005.  Apparently linebackers are his specialty and that is about it.  Lofu was/is his prized draft pick from April of ‘05, time will tell us about Curry and Hawthrone.  Currently, Hawthorn leads the team in tackles (78) with Curry (54) taking up a distant third. 

Will Holmgren be in the running for the job?  Would he actually want the job?  We won’t know much until after this season comes to a close.  Look for an official announcement and full details from the Seahawks in a couple of hours.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

2 new rumors: Zaun and Harden

As I take a tour through the Mariner blogsphere, I have stumbled upon some nice rumors.  Apparently, we are going after an affordable veteran catcher in Gregg Zaun and what could be a surprise pitcher in Rich Harden. 

Gregg Zaun would be a nice addition.  I know I said in my previous post how I am not worried about the catcher position, but I do see a need for some veteran leadership.  Zaun is a switch hitter where Johnson and Moore are both righties.  He would be the third catcher and would probably be in Seattle for only one year.

Rich Harden, now this is interesting.  In my fantasy league several years back, I referred to him as the “Mark Prior of the AL”.  Ironically, he was traded to the Cubs and now the Mariners have their sights on him.  From the sounds of it, he would be affordable.  Almost an affordable Bedard if you will.  Same downside with injures, but a strikeout machine when healthy.  This could cost us about 6 mil a year, rather than 5 decent players.  (Yes 5 is what Bedard cost us, not to mention his overpriced salary).   However, the Red Sox are also in the running, but Harden is from British Columbia, so we may have some regional pull. 

Harden would fill the role as a solid #2, again, when healthy.  Zaun could be a great mentor to our top catching prospect in Moore.  We should know more on the Zaun signing by Friday.  I am not sure when we will know about Harden, but I will keep my eyes open.

Book/Author Review: Tana French

I have raved about my Kindle on this blog before.  I love it.  I am the type of person that needed something this cool to enjoy reading. 

My wife turned me onto a suspense/murder mystery writer Tana French.  She has two book currently out with a third on the way.  The two books I  have read of hers are “In The Woods” and “The Likeness”.  All of her books take place in or around Dublin.  Her writing style is simple and descriptive.  A fast read that allows you to get caught up in the lifestyle of her characters with little effort.  You can easily find yourself melting into the form of the narrating character as they tell the story from their eyes. 

“In the Woods” centers around a Detective Rob Ryan and his partner Cassie Maddox.  The story is told from the perspective of Detective Ryan and all the issues that he personally goes through as they solve the murder of a young girl.  “The Likeness” changes course and has Cassie Maddox take you on a thrilling ride on one of her murder cases.  There is a small presence of a timeline here, with “In the Woods” being her first book.  There are parts of “The Likeness” that could seem out of place without knowledge from the first book, just a small FYI.

Both books are without boredom and present you with the dilemma of when you should actually take a break.  For those loyal readers to this blog that need a little suspense in your life, take these two books for a spin.  I have a feeling you will not be disappointed. 

Payroll flexibility

Yesterday I stated that we would not do too much in the Hot Stove season, but apparently, this article has a different spin.  It brings up some interesting scenarios.

Jose Lopez, trade him.  This could be interesting and coming from the “sell high” strategy with his career numbers in 2009.  I would not be opposed to this as I did state I find his defense lethargic at times.  If we trade Lopez, move Tuiasosopo to second assuming we trade Lopez for a third baseman with some pop in his bat.  Not a bad choice.   

I do like Jason Bay.  We could use a hard hitting left fielder, and Bay could fill that void.  If he was our “prized” free agent, I would be happy.

Trade Brandon Morrow?  Wow, this could be an interesting possibility.  I don’t see this happening as Brandon has roller coaster stats that any team should be leery of.  His best game, was his last game of the season.  I am not sure what we would get in return.  Would be looking for quality pitching if we trade him?  Perhaps a solid 3 or 4 starter type?  Trading him would put an end to the Brandon vs. Lincecum debate.  Maybe we will go after the Cuban defector Noel Arguelles. 

A lot of people locally are concerned about the catcher position.  Rob Johnson, a Butte native, is having 3 surgeries this offseason and Adam Moore is too young.  I don’t see this as a concern as we have had many veterans in this post and still had issues.  At this point, what do we have to lose?  Rob states he feels great after his hip surgeries.  He should be ready to go by mid-March. 

Bring on the winter meetings, I want to get this show on the road.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

To Holmgren or not to Holmgren

It appears rumors are flying around the Puget Sound area about our lovely Seahawk GM, Tim Ruskell.  As the article indicates, Tim’s contract is up at seasons end, and there are rumors it will not be re-negotiated.  This, of course, opens the door to more rumors or Mike Holmgren coming back as the GM of the Seahawks. 

A lot of Seahawk fans would like to see Holmgren return to this organization, one he left not even a full year ago.  I think the run to Super Bowl 40 spoiled a lot of fans.  Since that big game, we have not had the success of that magical season and a lot of people are grasping for any answer as to why.  Many people feel that Holmgren is that answer.  I don’t think this is going to really make the “on the field” team that much better.  We had a bad season last year under Mike and we are having another bad season under Mora.  Changing out the GM could help, but we won’t know that affect until next season.  Or, until a combination of draft picks and free agent acquisitions start to right this ship. 

Blogger note:  Mike Holmgren has officially taken the place of Chuck Knox as the fan’s “Best Coach of the Franchise”.  However, this blogger still holds Chuck Knox high in Seahawk greatness. 

Bye bye Bedard and other arbitration news

The Mariners did not offer Bedard arbitration as the deadline came and went at 6 PM PST today.  This is of no surprise.  His time in Seattle has been spent where I predicted it, on the DL.  He did have a few moment of greatness, but the O’s are benefiting from that lopsided trade.  I should be a GM, I feel I could have made better decisions than Bavasi!

We did offer arbitration to Beltre, but he will turn it down.  He is a Scott BorASS client and he tells all of his clients to go free agency.  We could still resign him, however the Phillies and Red Sox are in the hunt, and we cannot compete with that money.  As far as third baseman go, he is second on the Mariners all-time list behind Jim Presley for home runs and RBIs.  (Jim managed the Osprey for the 2004 season).

As the hot stove league ramps up, it will be exciting to see what we plan on doing. In some ways, I feel our management would like to see Beltre go so they can acquire a nice sandwich pick in next summers draft.  Jack Z appears to be big on building a strong farm base, which I fully support.  If Beltre does go, what do the Mariners do?  I could see another free agent replacing Beltre as I feel that Tuiasosopo does not have what it takes.  That could change, but so far, I have not seen much from him.  Of course, he would be replacing a gold glove third baseman.  I did read that we are taking our number 1 pick, Ackley, and trying him at second base starting in January.  Would this mean a move of Lopez to third or first?  I am not a huge Lopez fan of his defense as his play appears to be lethargic at times, but his bat is necessary in our offense.

I predict that we play it fairly simple this off season.  Try to unload some wasted salary (Silva and Batista) and replace that with either farm products or low cost free agents.  How much longer until pitchers and catchers report?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Enjoying Win7 even more

This is a just a quick note on a few things I think Windows 7 does very well.

Home networking.  With the “homegroup” feature it is extremely easy for my work computer to share documents, photos and videos with my home personal computer.  It does not take a network certification to do this.  It is my hope that Windows 7 does not have any future security risks with this feature, as it is favorite of mine.  Especially since I have 3 computers at home that need to exchange files on a regular basis.

The divide screen for 2 windows.  I am not sure how to even describe this feature, I believe it is called “snap”.  I would almost go so far as to say you really don’t need that second monitor now.  When writing my blog, I like to have web pages next to my Live Writer program for stats and quick hyperlinks.  Now with these windows side-by-side, it makes it very easy to find and enter information.  This feature is used by dragging a window to the bottom right or left corner.  The window will scale to that half of the monitor.  Drag another program to the other lower corner and presto, a nice side-by-side view is presented.    The feature can be viewed at the 7 second demo page

The MAC ad about how things will be different this time, is the best ad they have right now.  But I have to say I am starting to feel that Windows has finally turned a page into the realm of a stable and functional operating system.  Perhaps we can thank MAC for this, as I am sure the competition and negative PR these ads generated did help. 

Congratulations Zack Greinke

Felix did finish second, as expected.  I know a few people out there wanted to see CC in the top 2, but I believe the voters got this one right.  It would have been great to have a Mariner win this award, first since Randy Johnson in 1995.  How did Felix from ‘09 compare to Randy of ‘95?

  W L ERA CG SHO K’s
Johnson 18 2 2.48 6 3 294
Felix 19 5 2.49 2 1 217

Not bad, clearly Randy had a killer year with nearly 300 strikeouts and 6 complete games.  Other than that, wins and ERA are basically even.  Overall, the numbers that Felix put up are decent and should be noted his career is just starting to take off at the age of 23.  One stat that I did leave out, Felix had 4 more starts than Randy, 34 to 30.  I did not take the time to find out how many of Randy’s were defined as “quality starts”.  For those of you keeping score at home, another favorite of mine, Verlander, came in third. 

What 2009 proved to me was that Felix is capable of being the go to ace the Mariner organization expected from him.  That is a lot of pressure but he rose to the challenge.  Now, if Griffey can just convince him to stay with the Mariners.  I believe he is under club control for at least the next two years if not for a third.  The rush to sign him is not there yet.  I have a feeling that Jack Z. will not be one of those GM’s that sits on his hands until the very last minute. 

Here is to a great 2010 for the King. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Playon for Wii

Playon is an interface application that allows your gaming consoles to access streaming content such as Hulu, YouTube, etc.  They have this now for the Wii…well sort of.

The way it works, you install a small client on your and PC and add the internet channel to your Wii console.  In the browser, you navigate to playon.tv and all works well.  The one time charge of $35 is required once your 14 day trial expires. 

The overall performance is somewhat slow, but it is still nice.  I had a little mouse tell that Hulu has a “plug in” to Media Center in Win7 which would solve my main need.  The problem, I do not have any more room in my living room for a PC.  Perhaps a nice NetBook would do the trick?  Bill A, care to comment?

Securing the shortstop

Again, no surprise.  The Mariners sign Jack Wilson to a two year contract.  He only played 31 games this year, but offers better defense that Yuni was able to offer.  I hope that he is able to bring up his average to around the .260 range.

Not much else to say on this signing but that I like it.  I hope that Jack can stay healthy next year.  I think securing up your center defense is key. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sesame Street…WTF?!

With all due respect to this American television treasure, what just happened?  We noticed on our Tivo that we finally had a 2009 episode of Sesame Street.  (Oh, I should note this is for my son, I don’t record these for my own enjoyment).  I was excited for fresh meat as I can only see Brian Williams report on the case of “mine-itis” or Fiest sing to the number 4 so many times before I grow bored.

The intro.  New graphics and characters playing different roles, not sure if I have seen enough of this intro to have a true opinion.  So far, neutral on this piece.

We have two of them recorded and I have only watched the first 30 minutes in one of them.  They appear to be going for a more “edgy” camera angle when filming these opening 10 minute skits.  Again, not sure how I feel about this.  It is nice to update this cinematography, but I am not sure if the extra close shot of baby bears face was really necessary to show his fear of bees.

The overuse of CGI.  I realize that CGI is in basically everything.  But we now have to contend with Abby’s “Fairy School” being completely CGI based.  Part of the joy and mystic of Sesame Street to me was the characters.  Having Abby go “digital” on us really stinks.  This is starting to bring back feelings that I have kept deep down inside about the “new” Star Wars prequels.  All sense of story, character development, and decent acting went out the window for annoying CGI characters as Jar-Jar and overly CGI’d fight scenes. 

Also, no more letter or number of the day.  In the episode I saw, Murray did some little ditty on “F”.  No real introduction to the letter or anything.  I loved the fact that episodes of this show were sponsored by letters and numbers and not Lucasfilms Inc..   

This blog post was brought to you by the phrase: “Dude, WTF?” 

3,000 hits?

So, what does this mean for Griffey?  He is currently sitting at 2763.  If we was to get close, say 125 away, does he really try to come back for a 3rd season?  If so, would it be with the Mariners? 

Griffey has never been one to show much interest in career numbers or milestones.  However, this milestone has a limited class size. 

Pete Rose 4256
Ty Cobb 4189
Hank Aaron 3771
Stan Musial 3630
Carl Yaz 3419
Honus Wagner 3415
Paul Molitor 3319
Eddie Collins 3315
Willie Mays 3283
Eddie Murray 3255
Nap Lajoie 3242
Cal Ripken Jr 3184
George Brett 3154
Paul Waner 3152
Robin Yount 3142
Tony Gwynn 3141
Dave Winfield 3110
Craig Biggio 3060
Cap Anson 3055
Rickey Henderson 3055
Rod Carew 3053
Lou Brock 3023
Rafael Palmeiro 3020
Wade Boggs 3010
Al Kaline 3007
Roberto Clemente 3000

Pretty interesting company.  Names that I somehow missed this career accomplishment, Rafael Palmeiro and Craig Biggio.  Just plain awesome to see Paul Molitor so high up on this list.  And good ole Honus Wagner, most people only know him as the expensive baseball card. 

It would be nice to be in this list, for sure.  Biggio. Boggs and Winfield did this at age of 41, Rickey at 42 and Cap at 45.  I would be willing to bet if he is close, he would have to return for yet another year. 

Of the names above, only 4 of them are also in the 500 Home Run club, Aaron, Mays,Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro.  Take Griffey and his (at the time of this writing) 630 HRs and that is a nice 5 member club.  Well 4, does Palmeiro really count?

In all honesty, with his current rate of play, this would take a pretty good effort.  Last year, he only was able to muster 83 hits.  The previous year between the NL Reds and AL White Sox, he grabbed 122.  That number would be about what he would need to average in 2010 and 2011 to grab an illustrious spot on the list above.  I guess, only time will tell.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One final year!

Welcome back Griffey!  I was surprised to see this announcement so soon.  Perhaps they wanted to complete this “sure” deal so they knew exactly the money pool they would be dealing with between free agents and arbitration.  Now I guess I need to live up to my promise of attending opening day and the last game of the season…shucks. 

Another reason could be free agent recruiting.  I would be naive to think that money does not play a major role in where a players lands.  But perhaps providing players the opportunity to play next to someone like a Griffey is what the Mariners are hoping to achieve.  Or, they want to attract a younger crowd to the organization.  “Come play in Seattle, be mentored by one of the best”.  I can already hear the critics about the lack luster stats that Griffey produced last season and how that will translate over into 2010.

I do not see us making it into October in 2010, but it would be nice.  Now, the rest of the free agent signings by Seattle will be interesting.  If Jack Z plays his cards right, we could contend for a wild card birth.  The potential is there.  The team in 2001 was really a bunch of no names outside of Seattle, and they were able to tie for the best record in the history of major league baseball.  Anything is possible. 

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hot Stove league

With the Seahawks tanking, this is a great time to start the process of the Mariners free agency offseason discussion.  Stay tuned to this website to track who signs and where. 

Big names for the Mariners are Beltre, Griffey, Sweeney and Branyan.  Or, that is how I see it.  I am not including Bedard or Batista as I see both of those guys pitching somewhere else in 2010. 

Beltre would be great to keep, even though he has yet to live up to those NL MVP numbers he achieved before signing in Seattle in 2004.  His defense is something that would be nearly impossible to replace.  Matt Tuiasosopo is not the next greatest third baseman.

Griffey and/or Sweeney?  The hometown would love to see Griffey back, but most baseball fans would rather have Sweeney in DH as he was able to produce in that role.  I see Sweeney going elsewhere and Griffey returning for a swan song of a season.  To show you what a class act Sweeney is, here is Jim Street’s blog

Russell Branyan had a career year, even though the last 2 months he spent most of his time day-to-day or on the DL.  Leading the team in HR’s should warrant a return trip to the Emerald City.  Ibanez did the same last year and was playing the World Series this year so who knows what decisions will be made.

Regardless of the fait of our free agent eligible players, we need to find ways to improve the offense.  We were dead last in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored.  That does not look good.  Especially when the top 4 offensive teams in the American league played in October.  Our pitching was good last year, first in ERA.  The trick will be raising the bar on offense without having adverse affects on pitching.

Here’s to an exciting hot stove league and I cannot wait for November 13th!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Poor angry ex-A-Rod fan’s

I fit into this category and our joy has come to an end.  We hoped and prayed that A-Rod and his greed would never see a World Series title, but that dream has come to end.  The Yankees, and their 3 pitcher rotation were able to out last the Phillies and their dry hitting.   Besides the fireworks in game 5, the Phillies seemed almost vacant in this Series compared to last. 

As far as fan base goes, I have to say I have new found love for the Philadelphia faithful.  The energy that was portrayed through the idiot box during games 3-5, was a nice change from the almost “crowd track” noise from Yankee stadium.  I know I am biased being anti-Yankee, but you get the point.

Seattle Mariner fans can move on with their hatred and dislike for A-Rod, only if they choose.  I actually hope to make the Yankee series next year as this team is full of hall of famers, whether I like that or not. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The front office

If your starting pitching breaks down, you have to out hit the Yankees.  That is exactly what the Phillies did last night as Chase Utley entered October lore by tying Mr. October for the most home runs in a World Series. 

So, what is aiding in making the Phillies so great of late?  Let’s take a look at the front office.  Pat Gillick has left his mark on this ballclub.  Wherever Pat has gone, so has success.  He led the Blue Jays to back to back titles in 1992 and 1993, took the Orioles deep into the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 then helped turn the Seattle Mariners around from 1999 to 2003.  All three of these teams have not seen the post season since Pat departed as GM.    The only caveat to this, he retired in 2008 from the Phillies and here we are 2009 with the Phillies in the World Series.  It appears the streak has been broken. 

Gillick was able to achieve success without the use of blank checks, such as the Phillies opposition.  It is interesting to see how successful ball clubs can be with a stable and visionary front office.  I do hope that Jack Z can bring that same level of success to the Seattle Mariners.  According to what we saw in 2009, we are headed in the right direction.   

Monday, November 02, 2009

Big D got the better of us and damn Yanks

WTF was that this weekend?  Talk about laying an egg.  Everyone around here wants the Seahawks to server up the GM’s head on a platter before Thanksgiving.  I heard some disgusting stat this past week.  Since the Super Bowl in ‘05, the Seahawks have gone 25 and 30, including this past weekend  Keeping in mind, 19 of those 25 wins came in the ‘06 and ‘07 season.  Meanwhile, the Steelers won another Super Bowl in ‘08 and still compete and scare opponents to this day. 

I know the fans want answers and they blame management at this point.  Between ‘07 and ‘08, we did not lose a lot of players to free agency.  In ‘07 we had 10 wins, in ‘08 we had 4.  People blamed the public retirement of Holmgren for that mess of a season along with a higher than normal injury count.  Now we have our new coach, still some injury issues, but have improved personnel overall with an equally bad result.  Perhaps the front office is full of football halfwits, but it is the same front office that was able to achieve a trip to Super Bowl 40.  Perhaps the old guard does need to go, but for what?  Holmgren as GM?  Making a change now, will have little to no barring on the rest of this season.  I know it seems like a long season, but really 16 games is a very short time to do much, let alone the last 8.  By making the change mid-season, it would demonstrate a desire to get back on track as soon as the season ends.  Hit the combine camps with some intensity and start looking for valuable free agents.  (Deon Branch was never considered valuable by this blogger). 

Moving on to the last game in Philly.  Come on Phillies!  This is becoming embarrassing.  Why do we not cover third on a shift?   Who forgot their assignment, Lidge!?  We always knew Lidge was bound to return to his Pepto-Bismol ways, and he did so last night.  I hate the Yankees for everything they stand for, even heads-up base running and 9 pitch at-bats. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

208 versus 111

That is the million dollar payrolls for the two teams that take the field tonight.  Guess which one is which?  This is a great article that talks about how the some of the players compare both in salary as well as stats. 

I am not a fan of either of these teams, but my second favorite team is anyone playing the Yankees.  I like the hitters on the Phillies, big fan of Ryan Howard, Werth and Vicorino.  Of course, having two of the three on my fantasy team also helps.  Pitching wise, the Yankees have the upper hand in the bullpen as you can never rely on Lidge.   

So, who are the losers here?  Game one features the last two AL Cy Young winners going head-to-head.  Thank you Cleveland.  And, how can we forget the Mets fan.  Not only is your “sister” team in the series, but also your most hated rival.  So, who do you vote for?

Here’s to a good series, go Phillies!  If you are curious how the other teams stacked up in payroll this year, here you go

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Giving credit where credit is due

I dislike the Yankees like nothing…well, except BYU.  But the performance turned in by CC on 3 days rest is something that needs to be recognized. 

I realize the Brewers ran the gas tank dry with CC on many starts with only three days rest last season.  This was his first with the Yankees so he was not worn out from the abuse the Brewers put him through.  To pitch 8, almost unhittable, innings is pretty good. 

I dislike A-Rod as much as any other player, but he is as unstoppable as herpes right now.  I think that basically sums up his performance this post season.

I am disappointed that the Angels are only going to last, at most, 6 games.  I had it in my mind that they were a team that could put the Yankees away.  Apparently I was wrong.  I know teams have come back from being down 3-1 before in the ALCS, but I don’t see the determination in the players faces as I do on the other side of the field. 

Not real excited about an east coast only series…go Phillies!  At least they have 2 decent Mariner alumni on their team with Moyer and Ibanez. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday night, what a night!

The Angels gave us a small glimmer of hope and the Phillies have all but closed the door on Dodger blue.  Angels fan or not, having back to back extra inning games is exciting.  Also, have back-to-back walk off hits in the same day in October really makes playoff baseball exciting.  Not to mention, the football game.  I tried to watch all three.

During Monday Night Football, I couldn’t help from noticing that Denver did not roll over and play the “Prevent to win” defense near the end.  They were coming after Rivers and crew up until the final whistle!  I hope that the Seahawks coaching staff was watching.  Denver “finished” that game, they did not let San Diego back in at the tail end.  I thought it was impressive, but than again, I am accustomed to seeing my team go “prevent” putting my heart in panic mode.  Maybe it is the young coaching staff or just the young head coach that is willing to take risks and has faith in his players. 

Josh Daniels is only 33, ugh!  I am now at the age where NFL coaches are younger than me. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dr. Seahawk and Mr. Seachicken

What a tale of two weeks.  I would blog about this, but this article really sums it up nicely.

Today, talk radio is all over the “blame the GM” game.   It is funny how a GM can be a hero one minute, and a goat the next.  I think it is fair to say that the negatives do outweigh the positives.  I find it hard to blame a GM for the 2-4 start.  I understand they help put players on the field, but he is not a legitimate reason in my mind.  Oh, and of course, people are once again calling for Matt’s head on a platter.

Funny, the same team that shutout the Jaguars the week before, can look like such buffoons the very next week.

Bye Bye Kenji and other M’s news of note

Not really a huge surprise, but Kenji Johjima is opting out of the remainder of his contract and returning to Japan.  It was rumored earlier this year that he was considering this option.  All of us as Mariner fans wish him luck

The 2007 first round pick Phillipee Aumont is playing the role of closer for the AFL Javelinas.  So far, he has only had one appearance and pitched a perfect inning.  He experienced some arm troubles in his starter role in “A” ball, so moving him to a closer/relief role could be a wise move.  He should receive an invite to Spring Training.

Josh Wilson is also on the Javelinas roster.  I am not sure what his role will become in the organization if he does not win the closer job someday.  My guess, if Aumont pans out, Wilson is traded for some offense.  Just a hunch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why are good TV shows hard to come by?

I learned today that one of my favorite shows, Friday Night Lights, is only showing on DirecTV starting on October 28th.  After the season completes, it will then air on NBC for us with just cable and/or digital rabbit ears.  Apparently, DirecTV has been the one funding this show so they get first shot. I find this horrible.  FNL is a great show, well written and tells a fun, adventurous story of life.  A show that I think should have staying power, apparently does not.  Rather, reality TV and some poorly written sitcoms seem to rule the roost.  (“The Office” and “30 Rock” excluded). 

I have tried to get into “Modern Family” but that seems to be missing the mark with me.  It is the dad in the “normal” family that I cannot stand.  It has great potential and could be a success, but needs to take a different direction and quickly.  I rarely find myself with a good belly laugh during most sitcoms today.  ABC has tried, but all the new shows are missing.  I have caught a couple of episodes from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.  This show is pretty funny and pushed the envelope in a “Family Guy” sort of way.  Perhaps I need to look elsewhere than the big 3 networks for humor. 

On a positive note, I am really digging “Mad Men”.  I would say that it lives up to the hype surrounding it.  Great character set with good on camera chemistry and well written.  I did not grow up in the time period depicted in the show, but the emotion from this generation is felt. 

Another show that I have great interest in is “Sons of Anarchy”.  A show that does a good job of putting you in the middle of the action.  I always have to watch a low key show afterwards to calm down from the emotional rollercoaster the show produces. 

I should try to write my own sitcom on what I think would be funny.  According to George Castanza, it should be easy. 

A reason to track the AFL

Dustin Ackley will be playing all the outfield positions during his time in the Arizona Fall Leagues.  He is playing for the Peoria Javelins and should see a fair amount of playing time over the next 6 weeks. 

I don’t think we will see him wearing a Mariner’s uniform next season.  If he hits in the minors like he did in college, I could see him being called up for the 2011 season.  He does have 4 years of college on his side, which could equate to a fast rise through the minor ranks.

As for Griffey, we may have a decision on his return by Thanksgiving.  It would be nice to know one way or the other.  If anything, it would remove the distraction and the story line entering Spring training.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leadership

On the field leadership is what the Seahawks needed this past weekend.  With the return of Hasselback, the teams confidence was restored. 

I only saw the second and fourth quarters yesterday.  In the second quarter, Matt looked as good as he has in previous seasons.  He led the Seahawks on two impressive quick striking drives and the team never looked back. 

Not only was the offense on a roll, the defense was unstoppable scoring two touchdowns of their own.  As of today Aaron Curry, the rookie LB, is leading the team in tackles.

This should quiet most Hasselback critics.  It was not more than two weeks ago that talk radio around here was asking for the Seahawks to draft a new quarterback in the April draft.  Saying that Hasselback was washed up and old.  He is only one year behind Brady in NFL career length and younger than Peyton Manning.  I understand that the Patriots and Colts have had more moments of success, but you don’t see these teams looking for new QBs.  Seahawks fans are fairly finicky, some may even say fair weather.  But now with a brilliant performance, the critics should be silenced for another week.   

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CRD update

It has been while since I talked about our diesel Jeep.  I have a killer gas app for my iPhone called Gas Cubby.  It allows me to not only track service and service reminders, but also MPG.  We did a pretty good trip this past July to Glacier towing our 18 foot (3000 pound) Jayco trailer.  Going to Missoula, we were sitting at 14.1 MPG on average.  Coming back was a different story, we averaged about 13.5 MPG due to a head wind.  To put this into some perspective, we are able to achieve about 20-21 mixed city and highway.  Our best highway mileage was 28. 

To optimize this engine, I have consider a couple of “mods”.  The first is by a company called Green Diesel Engineering (GDE).   Their Eco Performance kit retimes the turbo for increased fuel economy and a cleaner burning engine.  On average, people have seen a 3 MPG gain with this feature.  Also, on the discussion boards, owners rave about how well their Jeep tows after the Eco Performance kit.

Another mod is going to be the SAMCO sport turbo hoses.  These hoses are specially lined to not burst when saturated with oil, which happened to us on top of Snoqualmie pass a couple months ago.  When the hose burst, we lost all turbo power and had to limp home.  Replaced with stock hoses, so it will happen again, but hopefully not for a long time. 

Overall, a good vehicle for us and getting as good as MPG the 1989 SHO.  We sold the SHO about 2 months ago as it was starting to become expensive to maintain so now the Jeep is my primary vehicle.  I will keep you posted should I do any of these mods on my own.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A final update on Win7

I am sure you are getting tired of reading about this, but I want to show that Win7 does work on older hardware.  At least the Enterprise version.  I am sure with Ultimate and all that it packs, 1 GB of RAM would not even come close.  My machine meets the minimal requirements for Win7 32-bit in terms of RAM and I have yet to see this PC brought to it’s knees.  If I did this with Vista, it would have been a miserable user experience. 

The RAM on boot takes up about 605 MB or so.  Letting the computer idle down for a bit with nothing open, it will works its way down to only using 389 MB.  I do have an anti-virus program running, but have disabled active scanning.  I would define “a bit” being somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes, I have not timed that part yet.  I am using Live Writer for this blog, and since I booted up and typed the RAM in use is down to 440 MB and seems to have settled there with this one active application. 

It is very nice to see that we have a Windows OS that can replace XP.  Over the course of time, 95 was pretty good, 98 not bad, ME was a disaster, XP was great, Vista a complete bust and now 7.  Known only by the name George Costanza would have given it.  To be fair, we do have 2 MAC’s and 2 iPhones in the house, but I feel confident that Win7 will re-energize the business and home windows world.  Perhaps the “I’m a MAC” ad campaign was a motivating factor in putting out a solid product, who knows. 

Five minutes to under two

I am sure about 90% of that is tied to the fact that I cleanly installed Win7, but still that is a great improvement to me. The exact time for me when pushing my power button to an online desktop is 1 minute and 42 seconds.  

The entire install look just under 1 hour from start to online with Windows.  No need to search the internet for drivers, everything was there.  Again, pretty good for a 5 year old AMD 3200 (2.19 ghz) proc and only 1 GB of RAM.  Bill A, I did consider 64-bit, but figured this machine only has 3-6 months until a new cheap machine arrives, I decided to hold off. 

For those server buffs out there, I learned that Win7 and Win2k8 server are built on the same kernel.  Why is this a good thing?  I could see this lowering the application problems today from a server based deployment (Citrix and TS) to a PC based deployment.  Especially as things like VDI stir the pot in the IT world. 

Thursday, October 08, 2009

XP life is officially over for me

After a long internal debate, I have decided to upgrade my main home PC to Windows 7.  This machine is far from impressive with an AMD 64-bit processor and 1 GB of RAM.  But rather than put the $80 toward maxing out the RAM to 2 GB, I will purchase a new quad core tower for $450 with 8 GB of RAM sometime later next year.

Why upgrade?  5 years of patches and service packs have degraded my performance to a 5 minute boot time.  So, rather than just re-installing XP, we are going to run the latest and greatest.  I have had Windows 7 on my work laptop since the release candidate was, well, released in May.  This will be an operating systems that most if not all companies will move to over the next 2 years, just my 2 cents.

I will keep you posted on how my iTunes library and applications move over to my “new” old PC.  Before I did this, I also verified that TurboTax 2009 will be supported on both Windows 7 32 and 64 bit operating systems. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Injuries…really?

The Seahawks just released their injury report for Week 5.  It says, "See week 5 from 2008."

All kidding aside, I am growing tired of the Seahawks, or more accurately their fan base, putting all the excuses for a 1-3 start on injuries.  True, we are missing key players, but I am not sure if they suddenly return, they can turn things around.  Matt Hasselbeck was still playing when Frank Gore ran all over the field in the San Fran game.  Not sure if Lofu would have had much of an impact either.

From what I saw of the Colts game, I think a few key players were still on the bus trying to get to the game.  Again, I predict a crushing defeat this week at home.  I am going to go out on a limb and say we lose 28-10 and give up over 200 yards rushing. 

Monday, October 05, 2009

Close but no cigar

(Warning: this is a geek-filled post)

My team fell short during my championship battle for my third consecutive crown in Fantasy Baseball.  It proved to be a fun and stressful Sunday as my opponent won during the last game of the day between the Padres and Giants.  Damn you Pablo and your home run!

We are starting our first off-season of keepers.  It actually will be somewhat difficult to pick just two as I had a couple of surprise players.  I will make them a priority during next springs draft.  Only 5 more months than back at it!  I am already starting my draft board for next year while some of this information is fresh in my mind.

Congratulations to Steve L. for winning the championship out of the 4th place position. 

Sunday, October 04, 2009

And the winner is….

Come on Felix!  As he won his 19th game of the year, Felix has complicated the decision that voters will face for the Cy Young later this year. 

Apparently the race is between Grienke, Felix and a distant third, CC Sabathia.  Felix finished on a strong note, only .1 innings away from tying Halladay for innings pitched, and acquiring this career high 19th win.  Felix is behind Zach in strikeouts (242,217), complete games (6,2), earned run average (2.16, 2,49) and shutouts (3,1).  However, he is ahead of Grienke in wins (19,16), games started (34,33) and innings pitched (238.2, 229.1). 

One thing I have not heard anyone talk about is opponents average,  Felix leads this list of 3 with a .227.  C.C. Sabathia stands at .232 while Grienke falls in at .230.  I bring this up because I feel this helps strengthen his play and brings strong support to the “quality starts” statistic.  Felix had 28 quality starts while Grienke had 26 quality starts.  (For those of you wondering, a quality start (QS) is a pitcher going 6 innings or more giving up no more than 3 earned runs. 

No matter how you cut it, Felix deserves a shot at the Cy Young. 

Thank you Griffey!

While we wait and see what the offseason brings, the city of Seattle gave Griffey a great send off today.  A standing ovation for his last at bat, and a loud uproar for his routine base hit.  As he was replaced at first base with a pinch runner, you could see the tears in his eyes are he entered the dugout.  Later, a gaggle of teammates gave Griffey a shoulder ride around the ballpark during the team’s farewell tour to the fans.  That is why we love this guy so much.

Giffey’s stats are not something to to be overly proud of this year, but his timely hitting won many a game.  His value comes from the smile on his face and the charisma that has defined his place in history.  I was fortunate enough to be at the Kingdome when Griffey walked onto the field in 1989 against the Orioles and at Safeco when he hit a home run this past season against the A’s.  Not to mention many other memorable moments in between. 

Some additional notes on the stats.  The DH position (Sweeney and Griffey) for the M’s produced a combined 91 RBIs and 27 HRs.  Not bad for a position we have struggled with since the departure of Edgar Martinez.   

This fan is looking for one more year.  For the 4 faithful readers of this blog, please know that should Griffey return I will have tickets for opening day and the last game of the regular season. 

Saturday, October 03, 2009

4-0 Preseason, 1-3 regular season

A lot of people were falsely excited about our first 4-0 preseason in franchise history.  I am not a believer in having a strong preseason record, in football or baseball.  In fact, I want .500 or less.  That way, you show off all the errors and faults of your squad with the intent to change moving forward in serious play. 

I learned early on being a Mariner fan that there is was a direct correlation between a great spring training and poor season.  This year was not bad, we finished 2 games below .500 in spring training, and are now going to finish the season better than .500.  In 2008 the M’s finished at .500 then went on to have the first 101 lose season for a team with over 100 mil payroll.  My correlation is not bulletproof, but I hope you see the point.  We will have to wait and see where the Seachickens end up come December.

A lot of people blame injuries around here, and yes that does play a role.  However, it not something that you can always say is the cause.  Watching last weeks game, we left a lot of points on the field from missed field goals to overthrown open receivers. 

We now face Indy in Indy.  I don’t see us staying competitive in this game and predict a score somewhere close to 28-10 taking our start to 1-4.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Testing from iPhone

I don't use the iblogger app very often. Just doing a quick update.

If this works, this may help me pass time at the airport.

Green Uniforms…Seahawks, not Sounders

For those that watch the Seahawks leave about 14 points on the field last weekend, they should have also left the jersey’s. 

The Seahawks also have management ties to the Sounders.  My concern is that this “tie” is trying to build one “brand”.  Something I am totally against.  The Hawks have been around since ‘77.  Yes, not much to show for 30+ years of life, but I digress.  The Sounders are in their first year of MLS play.  I am not anti-Soccer or anti-Sounders, but do not blend the marketing message or colors.  I find this as a lame and stupid attempt to achieve whatever goal they are trying to achieve. 

Bring back the solid blue and grey pants from Zorn and Largent days.  I would rather go down the retro track than the soccer uniform track. 

Alex Smith update…

A long time ago, I stated it would take him 3-4 season to be an NFL caliber QB and later updated my prediction.

Apparently, I was way off the mark.  He is entering his 5th season and has yet to take over and keep the starting role.  Some of his career has been plagued with injuries.  For example, he did not play in 2008. 

I was fortunate to see him play while I was in Utah.  His last year at Utah is something to be amazed by with 2900 yards, 32 TD and only 4 INTs.  He obviously was a great QB at the D1 level, but continues to experience some obstacles achieving success at the NFL level.  He is currently the backup QB to Shaun Hill. 

.500

Whew!  And, in large part, thanks to Brandon Morrow.  He pitched 8 strong innings for the best outing of his professional career.  This is exactly what Morrow skeptics needed to see.  He was also able to get a little boost from Junior as he hit HR number 629 of his career. 

The latest talk on the airwaves has been about what a waste it would be to bring back Griffey.  As I have stated before, his stats are no better than our DH’s in recent seasons.  It is his clubhouse and bench vibe that will help mentor the younger talent that owns a majority of the Mariner population.  I also hope that Griffey aids in talking to Felix and providing him with the guidance to stay with the M’s for as long as possible.

Felix is having a Cy Young year, and would win it if it was not for Greinke.  The ERA that Greinke is producing (2.06) we have not seen since Pedro Martinez in 2000.  On that note, Felix’s ERA (2.48) is lower than the past 8 Cy Young winners in the AL:

2008

Cliff Lee

2.54

2007

CC Sabathia

3.21

2006

Santana

2.77

2005

Colon

3.48

2004

Santana

2.61

2003

Halladay

3.25

2002

Zito

2.75

2001

Clemens

3.51

2000

P. Martinez

1.74

What I find most interesting about this list.  With all the dominance that Halladay shows us year after year, he only has 1 award. 

The Mariners need to start positive communication with Felix between now and the winter meetings/next season.  I think he is eligible for free agency after 2010.  It would be a shame to have him up and leave Seattle, especially if we receive nothing in return.  I am for signing him, and doing so post haste.  Drop/trade Bedard, Silva and Batista.  The amount money tied up in these 3 individuals is astounding.

 

Games

ERA

Salary

Batista

53

4.19

9.5 Mil

Bedard

15

2.82

13.4 Mil

Silva

8

8.6

12.25 Mil

Felix

33

2.48

3.8 Mil

Pretty sad.  Our “ace” is the lowest paid player of the group.  I realize there are better stats to look at then just ERA.  Both Bedard and Silva have spent well over half of the year on the DL.  I realize the talent of Bedard, but his talent has a direct correlation to how often he is on the field.  I could tell everyone how great my fastball is, but if no one is going to see it what’s the point. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What can I get for a rib? And other noteworthy notes

Apparently, Seneca Wallace is what Seachicken fans can expect.  His current status for next week Bears matchup is “questionable.”  Perhaps it is my love of fantasy football, but there is not a more bullshit status than questionable.  Wasn’t Brady “questionable” for like 2 straight seasons? 

Griffey was able to do his part to win a meaningless series against the Yankees.  At least we helped out Red Sox nation as best we could by taking 2 out of 3 games.  Ian Snell, again a long time favorite of mine, has pitched very well for the M’s.  Snell’s line appears as such, 5-2 with a 4.53 ERA and 27 Ks over 51.2 innings.  So far in September, he has a 3.74 ERA which is good momentum to build from for next year.  I see Snell being a great third pitcher for us.  He is a hard throwing righty.  His K count was a bit higher in the NL, but I think once he becomes familiar with a catcher that will help.  Ryan Rowland-Smith, (seen here with a good fan in the back right corner, arms crossed,) will be a great #2 starter to Felix next year. 

After those 3, you get dump Carlos Silva.  This guys just came of the DL, a list he has been a resident of since May.  We have seen nice things from French and Fisterto fill the #4 role.  I see Luke French at #4 and the #5 spot is currently wide open in my book. 

Bedard is really the question mark here.  I am not sure if we even want him back after two injury plagued years.  When he is on, he is on.  But those moments seem so few and far between.  I say dump his salary, provide Felix with a reason to be a Mariner for life…or at least a bit longer, and build your base.  Jack Z has done a great job, in building our base for future growth.  He was able to dump players like Yuni, for better defenders like Jack Wilson and Bill Hall.  As well as make other minor league acquisitions that will hopefully will pan out, time will tell.

It is the hope of this Mariner fan that Griffey returns for one more year.  Sure, his numbers provide little excitement, but his presence is priceless.  Another reason would be the lack of tickets to the final home stand.  I would much rather purchase tickets for next years final home stand when his departure is certain, not only from the M’s but baseball in general.  The M’s will provide him the going away party that is deserving of the best thing to happen to the Mariner franchise.  Edgar was a great Mariner as well, but nothing compares to the excitement and fun that Griffey brings to the ball park every day. 

I feel that 2 streets should be renamed in Seattle, one after Largent (regardless of your political persuasion) and one for Griffey.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Damn Yankees

Well, apparently, Mariano Rivera is something like 29 out of 30 in save opportunities against the M’s. The last time he lost save opportunity against the M’s, was 1997. Yes 1997.

But way to go Ichiro, with a 2 run HR. Woohoo! Back to back night with Ichiro with game winners and we beat Mariano!

This continues the right for Felix for a Cy Young winner! I know that Greinke is just above him, but give me a break. Unless the Royals wins the Central, a Royal is not going to win the Cy Young.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Getting a bit tired of Web 2.0

(NOTE: This has nothing to do with the recent “Jackass” comment, something I have thought about for awhile)

What did it for me was in the trailer for “Fame”, a movie I have no desire to see.  A girl makes a comment that a scout saw her perform on YouTube, or something to that affect, and is offering her a shot at stardom.  Seriously?  Not only do we have YouTube, but we have movies  promoting it as a way of making ones dreams comes true.  Give me a break! 

What made me start to think was the amount of information that I am becoming numb to at any given time.  I do have a Twitter account, only to see road reports, and I refuse to “tweet”.  The only thing that I have found beneficial from Twitter is the use of it by idiots.  For those of you in competitive sales environments, you can search Twitter to see tweets related to how people view your products and your competitions.  Again, this does need to be taken with a grain of salt and I am sure many of these sources are as reliable a broken down Ford Pinto.  Why someone actually takes the time to tweet about random stuff, still amazes me.  I am sure many people feel the same about blogs and this blog in particular.  We now have professional athletes twitting and blogging.  I don’t mind blogs, since someone has to actually sit down and type something semi-thoughtful.  Tweeting seems like a trained ape can tell you they are “sitting on the patio”. 

As far as Facebook is concerned, you can be a fan of about anything.  From “having trouble sleeping” to the deputy chairman for insect control in Tallahassee Florida.   Overall, the avenue is nice but is overly abused in a lot of ways.  Well, maybe abused is a poor choice of words.  Misused? Overused?  It seems that humans do not have have the cycles to actually pay attention to an online life (not even talking about Second Life) and their home life.  How does one do it?

I still have not tackled Digg…end of this paragraph.

Kudos to those that can capitalize on the ADHD that we as webaholics seem to posses.  Anyone want to go ride bikes?  I would hope that someone has performed a study of how the amount of information (accurate or not) able to attain on the internet, decreased the amount of retention.  When I was going to school, you didn’t need to memorize everything, as long as you knew where to find the answers.  No ideas, that slogan has turned into “Google it”.   

A small aside.  This is written by someone that did not see the reason to send text messages.  I have since come around and avoid phone calls whenever possible.  Now, I need to stop texting while trying to have a real conversation with people.  For some reason, the person you are chatting with will just becomes annoyed then tweet from their phone “this guy is not listening to me”. 

Until this fad of an internet goes away, I guess I will just keep sitting here, waiting for service pack 2.1 to come out. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don’t forget Felix!!!

With 15 wins and an ERA now sitting at 2.52, he is making a late run at Cy Young contention. Felix should be considered an ace in today’s world and the M’s need to figure what they plan on doing with him very quickly. How does Felix look to the league?

1. 6th in Wins (15)

2. 4th in ERA (2.52)

3. 7th in K’s (193)

4. 2nd in Games Started (30)

5. 3rd in Innings pitched (207.1)

Tim Lincecum is having yet another great year, he is down in W’s this year with 13, but that is okay. He leads in K’s (233) and is second in ERA (2.34).

Another pitcher deserving some props would be Zach Greinke of KC. He had a hotter pace in the first half of the year, but is remaining strong overall.

In all likelihood, a member of the Yankees (C.C.) will probably win the aware in the AL, while someone from the Cardinals in the NL, probably Wainwright.

Chris Carpenter should win the Comeback player of the Year! He only played in 5 games in ‘07 and ‘08, and now is 16-4 in ‘09.

Here’s to an exciting September!

Ichiro!

9 seasons! First player in MLB history to have over 200 hits in 9 consecutive seasons. I would have to say this is pretty amazing. Since we don't have the playoffs to look forward to as Mariner fans, it is nice to see records held by local players.

So, what is in store for next year? If Ichiro is able to do this 10 years in a row, he will tie Pete Rose' s mark of 200 hit seasons (he only had 3 in a row). Due to Ichiro's age, we will not see him accomplish 3,000 hits, but he is still creating a nice niche in baseball history. (I could be wrong, but we will see).

He also was able to break over 2,000 career hits, becoming the second fastest in history to accomplish this feat.

Ichiro will never be know as a hitter that was feared. He is a successful small ball player. He does not have that ability to win a lot of games with the single swing of his bat. Rather, he puts himself into position (hits and stolen bases), so those more powerful can end games with one swing. A lot of people think home runs make or break the best hitters in the game. I understand this, but do not agree with it. Ichiro, most likely, will never play for a World Series team. This will make some people shy away from giving him the credit he deserves.

Think of the records he is breaking to give him proper credit. "Georgous" George Sisler had 257 hits in 1920. Willie Keeler's record of 8 consecutive 200 hit season was established in 1901. Now, a lot has changed since 1901, including the 162 game schedule. But keep in mind, the 162 game schedule has been around since 1961, when it was upped from 154, nearly 50 years ago. Even some of the great hitters from my early years in MLB (Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Robin Yount, George Brett, Paul Molitor, and Don Mattingly just to name a few) did not accomplish such feats. Gwynn had 5 seasons with 200 or more hits, Yount 1, Brett 2, Molitor 4, Mattingly 3 times...in a row, Boggs 7 times...in a row! None of those guys were able to beat Sisler's mark. (Boggs came the closest with 240 in 1985).

Powerful hitters strike fear in pitchers, Ichiro strikes fear in the left hand side of the infield.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NFL

Avoiding the obvious line from Hank Williams Jr.

Summer if officially over now with the NFL kicking off. The Seahawks came off their first undefeated pre-season. Big frickin' woop. Let's see how that carries over in the regular season. Honestly, I would much rather see an 0-4 pre-season, that way the "what we need to work on" would be painfully obvious.

We do have Jacob Green's son-in-law playing on our D-line, Red Bryant, wearing his old number of 79. Man, I miss those days where we had Joe Nash and Green ruling the middle line, Fred Young in the middle LB and Kenny Easley sitting in the free safety spot. The glory years, as I like to refer to them as.

To my faithful Griz fan readers (especially Ryan and Brandy night)...Go Griz.

Where in the world is Brandon Morrow?

Starting tonight against the Rangers, called up earlier this week. This is an interesting move since the Rainers are in the AAA playoffs. As we see yet again, Tim Lincecum have an outstanding year (back issues aside), it does make all of us wonder if Bavasi can sleep at night.

I talked to a friend of mine this past week in San Fran, who is a devoted Giants fan. They, the Giant fan base, seem to know nothing nor care about the the great Tim/Brandon debate that always hits the Seattle AM Radio sports talk airways when Brandon starts.

Calling him up does lead me to believe they could be building trade value? Not sure if that is true, but you do have to wonder. Brandon has shown moments of brilliance, but mostly just flames and not true fires of longevity.

The M's are obviously, totally out of the wild card race, and some may say, never were in the race to begin with. Both Sweeney and Griffey have opened the door to return next season. Griffey's stats are not one that a blind fan would want to return. However, his impact on the fan base (including tickets and mechandise) and the clubhouse are more valuable than those numbers provide. Thankfully, I kept my Griffey jersey's from his first tour of duty, saved me a lot of money this go around. Now, if I can just get some more mileage out of that Largent jersey.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Edge in a Hawks uniform

Apparently TJ Duckett is on his way out the door as I type.  The Hawks have singed once great RB Edgerrin James.  I liked him when he played in Indy, but he has aged since.  I am not sure what this will do for us in the long term.  It seems this brings more questions to our RB position than answers.  How good can someone be at RB with a sub-par O-Line?

We are 2-0 in preseason play, nothing to get too excited about expect this but we are seeing good progress under new coach Jim Mora Jr. 

First live game of the year, finally!

My wife and I, and a fellow couple, were able to make it to the A’s game last night.  Thanks to my wife for winning free tickets at the Ryan Rowland-Smith signing. 

The main highlight was Griffey’s homerun.  My first in Safeco, after seeing several in the Kingdome.  As always, I am thrilled to watch Junior in person.  Lopez also hit a home run, but the crowd reaction was not nearly as loud as it was from Griffey. 

Another highlight was watching Snell pitch.  For the past several years, I followed his progress through the Pirates organization and was thrilled he is now a Mariner.  He pitched well.  I had a small hope that his no-no for 4.2 innings would last, but my hopes were dashed. 

The M’s also won and the “DA” was able to hold onto the save.  All in all, a great night!  (But where was Ichiro?)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Been a long time….

No, I am not quoting a line from a Boston song, but it seriously has been a very long time since I updated my blog.  A lot has changed

Betancourt is gone to the Mariner Alumni team, also known as the KC Royals.  Washburn was shipped off to Detroit from some good/great pitching, French and Robles.   

We also received Ian Snell, a pitcher that I have watched climb the Pirate ranks for several years now.  He had a pretty decent debut, but the due to lack of runs and no help from the pen, Snell took the L.  Along with Snell came Jack Wilson, a defensive maniac and locker room rock.  It will be nice to have an actual defensive player in the SS spot.  We did trade over Jeff Clement, a Bill Bavasi number one pick from several years back.  I am not sure if Jeff will see major league baseball in the near future, but he seems to play very well in AAA. 

Bedard is still and M, no surprise since he was injured, but I am afraid Bedard will walk at seasons end.  I think we will receive some draft picks if he does, but no guarantee. 

The M’s appear to be losing a bit on the post season fight.  I hope they can turn things around in August and September to make some sort of exciting run.  I am not holding my breath, however.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gutierrez

I thought he was our best offseason acquisition, and I think most people would agree.  He has been on fire the past 3 weeks and is really showing his range in center. 

Best acquisition next to Junior, of course.

A close second is David Aardsma.  He has 2 blown saves, but have been rock solid.  Aardsma stability has given the M’s the ability to experiment with Morrow again in the rotation.  I am really enjoying see Jack Z’s vision come to life.

Been awhile…

It has been almost 2 months since my last post, I thought I should get back into it.

Yuni was traded today to KC for the best pitching prospect they have to offer, Cortes, the Royals minor league pitcher of the year in 2008.  He will be assigned to AA Tennessee for the time being, but don’t be surprised if he is invited to Spring training.  We also received Saito, an “A” league closer, whom I do not know much about.

I generally blog when the M’s are doing poor, but overall, we have had an impressive season, only 3.5 games back at the time of this blog.  Last night, winning in dramatic style with a 3 run shot in the bottom of 8th. Felix pitched a dandy of a game and is proving why he needs to be ace of this staff.  Pitching remains to be strong on the whole, leading the AL in ERA and tied for 3rd in the majors.  Hitting is another story, 10th in the AL for average, 17th in the majors. 

Of course, as I type, Morrow is blowing this game wide open by walking back to back runners and giving up a 3 run bomb.  That is right, Morrow is back in the starting rotation.  He has not been outstanding, but again, we have great expectations for him. 

I have not made a game yet this year, hope to change that in August.  I would like to see Griffey play before he has to make a decision to stay or retire at the end of 2009. 

As the trade deadline looms, we could be buyers by moving people like Silva, Washburn and/or Batista.  Chances are we will not do much for this year and work with the players we have.  I am sure this move today will not be our only move towards building for the future. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1-0, nice win

We stuck it out to the end.  Griffey being the only RBI of the night.  Our pitching has not been horrible, but our offense seems to be taking a dip. 

Tonight, we are facing a lefty in Saunders, which we tend to do well against lefties.  However, at the time of this writing, we are down 2-0 in the 7th with Morrow pitching.

Speaking of Morrow, it appears that he is out of the closer role for now.  He entered tonight's game after Bedard and his 95 pitches exited in the 6th.  David Aardsma is our closer for now.  I like the move.  If Morrow is suppose to be our closer, it is nice to give him some reps in the middle innings of close games to build up some confidence. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2 outa 3 from the Sox

We had a pretty good weekend series against the Sox, taking 2 out of 3.  We have carried that momentum forward losing on Monday to the Angels and playing a close game on Tuesday (at the time of this blog entry).  /subtle sarcasm.

The M’s showed some nice pitching and having the ability to take advantage of miscues.

Randy Johnson returns on Friday night.  I am willing to bet the fans give him a standing ovation.

Now, back to watching the game…

Twitter is overrated

I think web 2.0 has reached a saturation point with me.  I see the value in Twitter from a following standpoint, but not from a “I am going to do this” standpoint.  I “follow” a couple of state DOT sites in the West, but that is about it. 

The concept of Twitter is fabulous for the service industry.  Maybe your local DMV could Twitter the current wait time.  Bars and restaurants could Twitter upcoming specials and shows.  But when it comes to people I really don’t care.

I do the Facebook thing, but only check that once a day and on random occasions update the “what’s on my mind” portion.  I do like the wealth of information out there on FB, but I feel overwhelmed most of the time.  I also enjoy how many sites allow you to post to your FB profile with a quick click of the mouse. 

Overall, web 2.0 is nice, but I feel we are reaching the edge of the ledge.  I have no idea what the service pack 2.0.1 will bring.

WWRGD

What will Roger Goodell do?  He will not re-instate Michael Vick. 

I am all for Michael coming back into society and being a contributing member.  However, Roger has made a pretty good precedent that he will not stand for much in the way of poor behavior.  With that said, he will not re-instate Vick to the NFL.

There was a lot of talk around corporate news sites today about this and Vick’s upcoming release in July.  It is my opinion that Roger will do this because he has the chance to right a wrong.  Baseball and basketball have both made mistakes in regards to player gaffs.  The NFL has a golden opportunity to make a large statement. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

I love the Northwest

Only in Seattle does the first Copper River salmon have a red carpet entry to the city.  The new UW football coach, Steve Sarkisian, caught the ceremonial first throw. 

I have discovered that there is better salmon than Copper River, but we can keep that a secret. 

A quick side note.  I recently finished “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and I had no idea how often Missoula and/or Montana is referenced.  Even Robert Jordan is a Spanish professor at UM.  Thanks to the Kindle, I am now reading the classics.  Next up, “Pride and Prejudice”. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yet another “L” for Morrow

I think it is safe to say, we have closer issues.  Felix was able to pitch well for 7 innings, Aardsma was able to hold for the perfect 8th and Morrow blew it yet again in the 9th.  Morrow successfully gave up 2 home runs to Texas in the 9th while only registering one out.  I am starting to see what our July 30th trade deadline priority will be.

(Updating my post at 8:30 PM)

The top paragraph was probably not very nice to Morrow.  We do need to give him a chance.  Putz had his stumbles when he was first being called up to the majors.  As I have stated before, Morrow comes to the M’s will a lot of pressure to be successful.  Mostly placed their by the media and hard core fans.  Morrow should really be put back into a starter type of role, I do not think that closing is his cup of tea.