Archive: June, 2020

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Virtual Season: Murphy leads M's to victory in Boston

Tom Murphy led the charge as the Mariners squeaked by the Red Sox tonight 4-3. Murphy drove in all four runs, hitting a two-run homer over the green monster in the 2nd inning and doubling in two runs in the 4th.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Murphy leads M's to victory in Boston"...

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Designated Dumbness

The weird 2020 faux-season is scheduled to begin in a few weeks, and considering its various rule alterations and pandemic protocols, one issue continues to rankle me like no other, because it threatens to last a lot longer than this bizarre year of coronavirus: The "universal DH."I loathe the designated hitter rule. It was a bad idea when the American League implemented it in 1973 and it's bad today and it'll be bad tomorrow. It should not be made universal, it should be metaphorically burned with fire until no trace of it remains.

See full post: "Designated Dumbness"...

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Players start opting out as COVID-19 continues to rage

As tomorrow's deadline for players to report to preseason training camp approaches, four major league players have announced they will be opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns over the coronavirus.

See full post: "Players start opting out as COVID-19 continues to rage"...

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Virtual Season: Kikuchi dominates Red Sox as M's win 2-0

When the Red Sox last saw Yusei Kikuchi, on April 12th, they tattooed him for six runs. Today, a different story altogether. The Mariners' Japanese southpaw shut out Boston for eight innings despite giving up seven hits, pitching out of trouble on several occasions to give Seattle a 2-0 victory.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Kikuchi dominates Red Sox as M's win 2-0"...

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Virtual Season: M's blow lead in the 9th, win anyway

Yoshi Hirano was on in the 9th to close out a win for Marco Gonzales, but the Tampa Bay Rays had other plans and Kevin Kiermaier took Hirano deep for a game-tying home run and the Mariners would have to play on until they could win it 6-5 in ten innings.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's blow lead in the 9th, win anyway"...

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Virtual Season: Rays sink Mariners 9-1

The Mariners' bats apparently arrived in Florida with holes in them. Tampa Bay starter Brendan McKay and relievers Anthony Banda and Colin Poche combined to strike out 14 Seattle batters tonight as the Rays routed the M's 9-1 at the former Suncoast Dome.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Rays sink Mariners 9-1"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners lose first game of road swing to Rays 5-1

Tyler Glasnow had the Mariners tied in knots tonight. The Tampa Bay right-hander struck out ten Seattle batters in 71⁄3 innings on the way to a 5-1 Rays victory.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners lose first game of road swing to Rays 5-1"...

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Even in a short 2020 season the schedule will be f-ed

I wasn't in favor of Interleague play when it started, in 1997. I knew then that the novelty of it would wear off in a few years and that it did nothing good for the game, in fact it detracted from the All-Star Game and the World Series. (These things remain true, by the way.)

See full post: "Even in a short 2020 season the schedule will be f-ed"...

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Virtual Season: Rangers blank M's to snap streak; Seager traded

Lance Lynn, whose been a thorn in the Mariners' side for a few years now, pitched a gem for the Rangers tonight as Texas beat Seattle 4-0. The loss snaps the Mariners' eight-game winning streak.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Rangers blank M's to snap streak; Seager traded"...

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The COVID factor

Commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken: Major League Baseball will open a truncated season on July 23rd, with a preseason training camp to begin July 3rd after players report no later than July 1st. The season will last 60 games and end September 27th. So sayeth the almighty Rob.

See full post: "The COVID factor"...

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Virtual Season: M's feast on Texas pitching, win 8th straight

The Mariners took advantage of one of the American League's worst pitching staffs to continue their offensive explosion, scoring ten runs against the Rangers to beat their division rival 10-3.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's feast on Texas pitching, win 8th straight"...

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Details begin to emerge for 2020 changes

The players' union and Commissioner Rob Manfred's office have given up on arguing over economic matters for now, but they are still ironing out protocols for health and safety in the theoretically-upcoming abbreviated 2020 campaign. Some of those protocols will translate to rule changes on the field in the interest of player safety.

See full post: "Details begin to emerge for 2020 changes"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners beat Texas, extend win streak to 7 games

Tom Murphy and Mitch Haniger each homered and drove in three runs in the Mariners' 9-3 defeat of the Texas Rangers tonight at TMP.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners beat Texas, extend win streak to 7 games"...

mlbballnet

Commissioner announces 2020 season will commence

So. You know all that arguing and wrangling and bad blood being spilled and hostility being ginned up between ownership and the players' union over the past couple of months? Yeah, that was for nothing.

See full post: "Commissioner announces 2020 season will commence"...

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Virtual Season: Fraley, Walker shine as Mariners complete sweep of Royals

Taijuan Walker struck out a season-high nine batters over eight strong innings and Jake Fraley went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead the Mariners to a 2-1 win over Kansas City and extend their winning streak to six games.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Fraley, Walker shine as Mariners complete sweep of Royals"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners shut out Royals, win 5th in a row

Nick Margevicius pitched six strong innings and Mitch Hanger launched a late home run to help the Mariners to a 4-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners shut out Royals, win 5th in a row"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners win 4th straight, take over first place

The Mariners kept up their winning ways tonight at TMP, defeating the Kansas City Royals 5-2 behind a solid start from rookie pitcher Justus Sheffield. Every Seattle batter in the lineup reached base again tonight, via hit or walk.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners win 4th straight, take over first place"...

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MLB closes spring facilities, season negotiations stalled again

Surprising absolutely no one who's been paying attention, multiple major league clubs have reported COVID-19 infections among their players and staff and apparent outbreaks in their spring training facilities. MLB today ordered all spring facilities closed again, after several clubs shut down complexes on their own.

See full post: "MLB closes spring facilities, season negotiations stalled again"...

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Virtual Season: M's clobber Royals 9-2

Yusei Kikichi went eight strong innings and the Seattle offense continued its impressive consistency to lead the Mariners to a 9-2 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's clobber Royals 9-2"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Astros, close to 1 GB

Evan White and Kyle Lewis each hit home runs and eight of nine Mariners in the lineup had hits as Seattle beat the Houston Astros 7-4.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Astros, close to 1 GB"...

wainright

Latest on 2020 negotiations

Well, Commissioner Manfred's tactics seem to have backfired on him, as his office has resumed negotiations for a new agreement to open a 2020 campaign. It's not all good news, though it does appear that a deal will be struck now that the league has given up on trying to reduce player pay beyond the pro rata agreement already made in March.

See full post: "Latest on 2020 negotiations"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners edge Astros 3-2

Taijuan Walker pitched six strong innings and Kyle Lewis hit his first home run of the year to help the Mariners clip the Houston Astros 3-2 in Seattle.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners edge Astros 3-2"...

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Keep digging that hole

A little more than a week ago, I wrote that the Commissioner's office and the MLBPA needed to stop digging as they fell further and further into the hole they were creating for themselves with the general public. They didn't take my advice, of course, and today we have Commissioner Rob Manfred essentially threatening to pull the plug on a 2020 season that wasn't likely to happen anyway because of made-up offenses committed by the players' union.

See full post: "Keep digging that hole"...

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Virtual Season: Angels trounce M's to snap winning streak

Dee Gordon gave the Mariners an immediate edge with a leadoff home run today, but the Los Angeles Angels weren't fazed as they came back to wallop Seattle 10-1.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Angels trounce M's to snap winning streak"...

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Minor league life, getting drafted, and being a whole person

I became a big fan of pitcher Dirk Hayhurst because of his writing. The former minor- and major-leaguer, who had brief, middling stints with the Padres and Blue Jays, has written four books—all of them excellent—about his time in baseball. He also spent some time as an on-camera commentator/analyst with Sportsnet and TBS. He's a brilliant, thoughtful, articulate person with a lot of insight into the culture and the business of baseball.

See full post: "Minor league life, getting drafted, and being a whole person"...

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Virtual Season: M's survive bullpen implosion to win 6th straight game

The Mariners opened up a big 8-0 lead over the Angels tonight, then saw that margin narrow to one run when LA plated six runs in the 8th against ineffective Seattle relief pitching. But in the end, the M's prevailed in Anaheim by a score of 8-7.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's survive bullpen implosion to win 6th straight game"...

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Commissioner's Office fans flames of discord once again

It boggles the mind. Really. The actions taken by the office of the Commissioner of baseball, representing the ownership groups of the 30 major league clubs, in the ongoing "negotiations" with the MLB Players' Association regarding a potential truncated 2020 season, have been unbelievably foolish.

See full post: "Commissioner's Office fans flames of discord once again"...

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Virtual Season: Kikuchi leads M's to fifth straight win

Daniel Vogelbach and Mitch Haniger homered and Yusei Kikuchi went seven strong innings as the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 for their fifth consecutive victory.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Kikuchi leads M's to fifth straight win"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Jays with 5-0 shutout

Marco Gonzales went the distance to earn his first shutout and league-leading fifth complete game of the year as the Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 5-0 tonight in Toronto.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Jays with 5-0 shutout"...

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Virtual Season: White leads M's with three extra-base hits in 6-4 win

Evan White was just a single shy of the cycle in leading the Mariners' offense to a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays tonight in Toronto. The rookie first baseman doubled in the 3rd inning, homered in the 4th, and tripled in the 9th. He scored twice and drove in three runs.


See full post: "Virtual Season: White leads M's with three extra-base hits in 6-4 win"...

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Virtual Season: M's open series in Toronto with unusual game

The Mariners' series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto featured some oddities, including an inside-the-park home run and a game-ending pickoff.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's open series in Toronto with unusual game"...

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Virtual Season: Mariners at Blue Jays play-by-play "broadcast"

Behold the latest GSAU experiment: a radio-style play-by-play account of this evening's game between the virtual Mariners and the virtual Toronto Blue Jays from the Rogers Centre in virtual downtown Toronto. Please to enjoy.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners at Blue Jays play-by-play "broadcast""...

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Virtual Season: Mariners best Marlins in 2-1 pitchers' duel

Yusei Kikuchi and Caleb Smith matched wits today in Miami, each putting up zero after zero on the scoreboard through six innings of work. It was only when the bullpens got involved that either side was able to push anything across, and Seattle got two to manage a 2-1 win over the Marlins.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Mariners best Marlins in 2-1 pitchers' duel"...

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Virtual Season: Bullpen blows it for Marco, Fish win in 12

Jonathan Villar delivered the third of four consecutive hits for the Marlins off of Yoshi Hirano in the bottom of the 9th inning to wash away a two-run Seattle lead, and then Corey Dickerson drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th as Miami defeated the Mariners 6-5 today in south Florida.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Bullpen blows it for Marco, Fish win in 12"...

emptyballpark

Stop digging!

When you find yourself stuck in a hole, the first rule of thumb is to stop digging. Sadly, the Commissioner's Office, Major League club owners, and the Major League Baseball Players' Association can't seem to put down their shovels.

See full post: "Stop digging!"...

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Virtual Season: Seager leads M's in 6-0 win over Miami

Kyle Seager had three hits and Taijuan Walker pitched seven strong innings to lead the Mariners in a 6-0 shutout of the Marlins tonight in Miami.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Seager leads M's in 6-0 win over Miami"...

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Virtual Season: 5-run 4th gives Yankees 7-5 win over M's

Giancarlo Stanton connected for a three-run homer in a big 4th inning for the New York Yankees, leading them to a 7-5 victory over the Mariners in Seattle.


See full post: "Virtual Season: 5-run 4th gives Yankees 7-5 win over M's"...

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Virtual Season: Yankees power their way to 7-3 win vs. M's

Nick Margevicius surrendered four solo home runs to the Yankees tonight and was chased after just four innings as New York cruised to a 7-3 victory in Seattle.

New York set the tone early on, as leadoff man Brett Gardner greeted Margevicius (1-2) with a 450-foot home run on the third pitch of the game and Giancarlo Stanton topped that with a 453-foot bomb later in the inning.


See full post: "Virtual Season: Yankees power their way to 7-3 win vs. M's"...

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Virtual Season: M's shut out Yankees 4-0

The Mariners took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to score two 1st-inning runs against Gerrit Cole and the Yankees, then added two solo home runs later on to defeat New York 4-0 tonight in Seattle.


See full post: "Virtual Season: M's shut out Yankees 4-0"...