Mariners Turn Ghostbusters on Yankees in Extras
Well, I never thought I'd see that again.
Mariners snubbed (for now) with All-Star selections
Major League Baseball announced the reserve rosters for the All-Star teams yesterday, and they included a few surprises. The biggest being the absence of a certain Tyler Lawrence France.
Going back to my teenage years, I've indulged in an annual exercise to select the All-Star teams in advance of the official announcements of who makes the cut. It was a fun intellectual game I played and it was always enjoyable to see how I was "smarter" than the ASG managers and the Commissioner's Office.
M's Beat O's in Fun Fashion, and How OBP Can Be Lower than BA
Last Wednesday I saw my first in-person M's win of the season (I was 0-3), and it was pretty definitive, 9-3 over Baltimore. All the damage was done in two innings.
More Sam Haggerty
My formative years as a baseball fan were in the 1980s. I specifically liked the Whitey Herzog style of managing, as typified by his teams in Kansas City and St. Louis that won six division titles, two pennants, and a World Series—a style that eschewed the home run and relied instead on contact-hitting, fleet baserunning, and defensive excellence. That's my jam.
I always look forward to Marco Gonzales' starts for the Mariners. Even though Logan Gilbert is the most consistently impressive pitcher in the Seattle rotation thus far in 2022, Marco remains my guy—the crafty lefty that barely cracks 90 on the radar gun, spots pitches with precision, and has a gritty tenacity that usually gets him out of trouble the relatively few times he finds himself in a jam.
Buxton 0-5, Twins 5-0
I went to the Mariners game yesterday, a Wednesday afternoon getaway game against the Minnesota Twins, expecting not to see Byron Buxton.
Some not-very-organized musings on the Mariners after today's 6-5 loss to the Red Sox in Boston, a game in which the M's led 5-0 and the result of which puts Seattle seven games under .500 and nine back of the division-leading Astros, a half-game better than last-place Oakland.....
A tale of two ballclubs
The season-opening road trip for Your Seattle Mariners showed us a 2022 team very much like the 2021 version. The just-concluded home-opening series vs. Houston showed us what a new ’22 Mariner club could be instead. Distinctly different outcomes from what would appear from the outside to be distinctly different offensive approaches give credence to the theory that relying on home runs is for chumps.
The new normal: CBA changes leave a sour taste
The lockout is over. Yesterday the negotiating parties—Commissioner Manfred and the Major League Baseball owners on one side, the MLB Players' Association on the other—signed on the dotted line and enacted a new collective bargaining agreement that will be in place for five years. Opening Day will be a week late, but we will get a full 162-game season, COVID-era rules are gone (i.e. no more free baserunner in extra innings and no more 7-inning doubleheaders), and all is once again right with the world.
Solving the lockout: CBT
Right now the negotiations continue late into the night between the MLB ownership cabal and the players' union as they allegedly try to come to agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement and end the owners' lockout. Commissioner Manfred has declared that if there is no agreement by morning he will cancel more games and push the start of the season back even further.
Hello, baseball fans. It's been a while.
Expanding playoffs again is a bad plan, but here's an OK way to do it
Commissioner Rob Manfred and the Major League Baseball Players' Association have a lot on their plate right now. The lockout continues with no apparent progress and the matters under alleged discussion are many. One of those matters is the structure of MLB's playoffs.
Solving the issues around the Lockout
Commissioner Rob Manfred and the ownership groups of Major League Baseball have officially imposed a lockout of the players, the first work stoppage in the sport since the catastrophic 1994-95 players' strike.
What will MLB look like in 2022?
The World Series is over and the bad guys defeated the worse guys four games to two in one of the more forgettable Fall Classics in history. It's now officially the offseason, one that figures to be significant for Your Seattle Mariners. But more on that in a future post.
2021 World Series: Cheaters vs. Chops
A few quick thoughts before Game 1 of the 2021 World Series.
The 2021 World Series begins in a few hours, and for the first time in a long time, the rooting interest is vague at best.
So, that happened
Both the American League and National League Championship Series ended in six games, with the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves emerging victorious. Houston’s win, achieving their third pennant since coming to the American League in 2013 and fourth overall, was less surprising that Atlanta’s.
Well, that was brutal.
Random thoughts: playoff race, schadenfreude, oddities
My brain is kind of all over the place this afternoon, so without much thought to structure here are a few disjointed observations and tidbits.
M's keep on being relevant
I still don't think they're going to do it. I still think they're too flawed, too raw, and too poorly constructed. And I still see the obstacles in their way to be, while not insurmountable, significant.
The most Mariners ninth inning ever
If ever there was a single inning that encapsulized what it feels like to be a fan of Your Seattle Mariners in long standing, it was last night's bottom of the ninth.
Benchless in New York
The Mariners are off today, getting a breather before starting a homestand tomorrow against the Rangers and Blue Jays. They seem to need the break—their just-completed 4-6 road trip was exhausting just from the fan's point of view, one wonders what the players themselves feel like after:
My dad forwarded me a Washington Post column by George Will yesterday. Politically, George Will and I don't see eye to eye and I rarely find myself in agreement with him . . . unless he's talking about baseball. On that topic, George Will and I would probably get along famously, it's a subject upon which his conservatism is a virtue.
Contenders or pretenders?
The trade deadline has come and gone and the stretch run is upon us. Aside from the Central divisions, there are close races for division titles and Wild Card berths and there's a lot of meaningful baseball to come in these final two months of the campaign—for some. The question is, will Your Seattle Mariners be among those playing for more than pride as the season winds down?
The 2021 Mariners Hit Parade, Singular
Yesterday I went to my fourth Mariners game of this hopefully post-pandemic season but I didn't stay until the end. Sat in the usual seats, 300 level behind home plate, but my friend Jim was bothered by the overloud sound system, which both discouraged our conversation and hurt his ears, so we left after seven with the M's down 4-1. By the time I got home, the game was done, 7-1. That top of the ninth must've been brutal: infield single, walk, single, single, sac fly, passed ball. Death by a thousand cuts.
All-Star rosters announced and the M's get just one
The All-Star Game rosters were announced today, a week before the end of the unofficial first half of the 2021 season (the mathematical halfway point was passed during this past week). It's the first year for the new voting procedures for starting lineups and it worked out reasonably well.
The TMP experience, 2021 style
Tonight I went to a baseball game in person for the first time in two years. It's been a long absence from the ballpark—and from most other social and cultural aspects of life—thanks to the COVID pandemic, but with vaccinations becoming common, life is starting to approach normalcy again.
Servais does nothing wrong in Mariner win
The last couple of days here on GS.net the lead posts have been about how the manager of Your Seattle Mariners, Scott Servais, tends to screw up, fail to act, or otherwise make unforced errors in strategy during everyday in-game circumstances. Yesterday's was a rant based on merely theoretical suppositions from personal observations regarding closer Kendall Graveman, and I caught a bit of flak for it over on Facebook (always on %&@#ing Facebook) because it was just me observing things that seemed to go unnoticed by Servais, not something backed up by data.
Does Scott Servais even want to win games?
The headline above is in jest. Sort of.
M's can't get to first base
I saw my first in-person no-hitter earlier this month, and even though it was against my team, and thus involved massive mixed feelings, it still felt like an event. First no-hitter! Woooo! Two days later, Wade Miley of the Reds no-hit the Indians. Then during my week in Minneapolis (my first vacation since the COVID pandemic began), there were two more, including another one against the Mariners. That makes six no-hitters this season against three teams: Seattle, Texas, Cleveland. The record for a single season is the seven no-hitters thrown in 1990. We seem destined to smash that mark.
M's continue to fail in all kinds of ways
Note: I'm still out of action on the bereavement list as well as the dental IL, but so much has happened this week a few brief remarks are in order.
Unearthed Mather video shows intent for M's to screw fans
Kevin Mather may be gone, but he won't be forgotten for a while yet. The former President and CEO of the Mariners was fired for saying the quiet part out loud one too many times last February, but a newly-uncovered recording of Mather speaking in the months between last year's World Series and the talk to the Bellevue Rotary Club that got him canned spilled the beans about some plans he had that will further alienate the Mariners' fanbase.
The impatience gambit
If you follow various Mariner-boosters on social media, you've undoubtedly come across—or generated yourself—demands from fans that the Mariners promote their top prospects to the big leagues. Calls from the peanut gallery to have Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert, in particular, take the field at TMP immediately if not sooner have only been more prevalent with the team plodding along with an historically bad offense and two vacancies in the starting rotation.
Means to an End, or My First No-Hitter
We noticed how good he was immediately. First Mariners batter in the bottom of the 1st, Mitch Haniger, whom we’d just seen in a between-innings video talking about his first call up to the bigs (in 2016 with the Diamondbacks), as well as his first hit (a 2-run triple off Noah Syndergaard), saw three pitches and sat down. Then Ty France got to 3-2 and K’ed looking. Then Kyle Seager with a dribbler to first.
The Mariners' anemic lineup
You might have noticed something while watching Your Seattle Mariners play baseball this year: They don't hit much. In fact, the M's are 29th of 30 MLB teams in batting average, with a whopping .207 mark. Taken as a whole, the Mariners are basically Mario Mendoza.
The Curse of Section 120
A hearty GrandSalami.net welcome to Rob Hill, our own version of a non-roster invitee, if you will. We connected with Rob via Facebook, where he's a member of the Seattle Mariners Fan Group, and he was kind enough to share this post with you all here on gs.net. Hopefully we'll hear more from Rob as the season continues on.
Mariners Fancare: That's a Problem
I'm part of a season ticket group at Mariners Field (formerly Safeco, currently TMP, should be Griffey Park), and because of You Know What I haven't seen a game there since Sept. 2019 (M's over Reds, 4-3); but last month, the man who runs our group, Stephen, told the group there would be a season-ticket presale for socially distanced games in April. Anyone in? Some were. I considered it but decided not. I'd been vaccinated but I tend not to go for April games anyway. It's a time of high hopes but low temps. This year's beautiful April notwithstanding.
‘The Handshake’ on Jackie's 100th
This post originally appeared on January 31, 2019, at eriklundegaard.comToday, Jackie Robinson would've been 100 years old. He was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, and moved to Pasadena, Calif., at a young age. He died at 53. I’m older than he ever got to be. One wonders how long he would‘ve lived if he hadn’t had to endure, and swallow, so much.My friend Jerry, a great writer and better person and huge baseball fan, recently pointed me to this song by Chuck Brodsky called “The Handshake.” It's worth a listen or two or 12:The song is about April...
Manfred's mark is a bloody stain
The Mariners won their fourth game of the young season this afternoon in Minneapolis, overcoming another blown save to earn a 4-3 victory in extra innings against the Twins.
Baseball for first-graders
The 2021 baseball season started yesterday, and from Miggy's home run in the snow to the Mariners' eighth-inning comeback against the Giants (which our closer gave back on four pitches in the ninth), there was much joy in Mudville, particularly after last year's pandemic-shortened, fan-free season. But a few things could still use fixing. I'll start with the easy one first.
Mucking about with the rules (again)
Rob Manfred cannot leave well enough alone.
Quiet offseason ends with another Mariner self-immolation
Greetings, baseball fans. There hasn't been a lot of activity here on GrandSalami.net over the winter—none, really—but Spring Training is here and the 2021 season looks like it'll get started more or less as usual after last year's COVID-19-disrupted parody of a campaign. It's not that there hasn't been material to cover or discuss during the offseason; just because Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto didn't go on one of his trading binges doesn't mean everything stayed completely static. But there were other things going on—a critical election campaign, more pandemic drama, an attempt to violently overthrow the American government by...
Manfred threatens to continue expanded playoffs past 2020
The current Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, is "a fan of the expanded playoffs." He's repeatedly spoken about expanding the playoff format, even before this season, and said during a Hofstra Universtiy event that "there’s a lot to commend [the 2020 postseason format] and it is one of those changes that I hope becomes a permanent part of our landscape."
We've now passed the two-thirds mark in the 2020 miniature schedule, and so far Your Seattle Mariners have done a fairly OK job in achieving their goals in this bizzaro-not-really-a-season. There's been good, there's been bad, and because this is the Mariners, you know there has been ugly. But on the whole they've done all right; thanks to the pandemic and the short schedule and the lack of minor leagues and all the rest, 2020 has been first and foremost about evaluation. Winning will resume as a priority next year (fingers crossed).
Believe it or not, we are now halfway through the season. With a miniaturized 60-game schedule, 2020 was always going to feel weird, and it's been interesting to notice how both expectations and attitudes about the campaign have evolved as that weirdness settled in.
I am genuinely surprised. The blowback on MLB generally and the commissioner's office specifically over the Miami Marlins' COVID-19 outbreak has actually resulted in Commissioner Manfred taking the Marlins off the schedule for the time being.
"MLB’s worst nightmare"
Pay particular attention to the transaction wires today. Specifically, the Miami lines. Look for anyone going on the injured list for "unspecified reasons." Check the Phillies, too.
Game One thoughts
What do you know. The season really did start. Three weeks ago I'd have put money on it not starting, but then I should have had more faith in the abilities of Commissioner Manfred and the other Major League Baseball powers that be to ignore anything that might get in between them and money. Pandemic, shmandemic.
More 2020 logistics as MLB rolls the dice with 2020
Make of this what you will—the District of Columbia gave the Washington Nationals an exemption to its COVID-19 isolation policy, saying players may forego the 14-day quarantine if they become infected so long as they restrict themselves to Nationals Park and their residences/hotels for the two-week period, while the Canadian federal government has denied a similar exemption to the Toronto Blue Jays, so there will be no games played in Canada and the Jays have to find somewhere else to call home for 2020.
Will 2020 be baseball's Titanic?
I heard the various preparations of sports leagues to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic described today as being akin to "a press release at the launch of the Titanic." It's not my phrase; I think it was Chris Hayes who coined it. But whomever gets the credit, it's certainly apt.
The reward of a functional society
Preseason training camps are in session and the season is still scheduled to begin in less than three weeks, but Major League Baseball's preparations for play in the age of COVID-19 are proving to be, well, less than robust.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
If I were Commissioner
There is a lot of disagreement among baseball fans. Is the DH a good thing? (Answer: no.) Is it better to hit 50 home runs or bat .350? (Answer: .350.) Do newfangled sabermetric stats like WAR mean anything? (Answer: sort of.) Views on these and many other topics big and small will differ and be fodder for arguments in the bleachers until the end of time.
The next team to relocate
The Major Leagues have been pretty stable over the past few decades. Though there were plenty of threats by a few ownership groups, the only team to shift from one home to another in nearly 50 years was the Montréal Expos, who moved to Washington to become the Nationals in 2005. But for a stretch of time, teams were hopscotching all over the country.
Commissioner's Office issues another half-baked plan for 2020
Another week, another silly conversation about starting up the 2020 Major League Baseball season. It was already tiresome, but I guess we'll keep doing this.
Plans for a new Opening Day are foolhardy
Sigh. It's like there's a new one every week now: A "plan" to start the Major League Baseball season in some fashion amid the coronavirus crisis.
Home runs are boring
Those that know me well know that my favorite ballclub of all time has nothing to do with the Mariners. Long before I became a Northwesterner, way back in the pre-Internet days, I followed the Majors the best I could from a minor-league town. We had the newspaper box scores. The NBC Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons and Monday Night Baseball on ABC. Cable TV was a novelty, but my mom splurged for it so I had access to a few "superstations" that carried National League games from Chicago, Atlanta, and New York and our local radio carried...
Dylan Moore, the utility man currently competing in spring training to reclaim his bench role with the Mariners, is out of action observing concussion protocol after an injury suffered in last Wednesday's exhibition game against the Reds. Moore clocked his head against the knee of Reds infielder José Garcia while diving into second base, attempting a steal.
Manfred is bad for baseball
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred held a press conference today from the Atlanta Braves' spring facility that addressed the ongoing fallout from the Houston Astros' cheating scandal. It did not go well for Mr. Manfred, for Major League Baseball, or for the concept of justice.
Quit Screwing With My Game
As you may have read elsewhere, Major League Baseball is considering yet more changes to be implemented in 2022. This is in addition to the changes already enacted last year and several that will begin this coming season. And I'm getting pretty damn tired of it.
My Hall of Fame ballot
Ballots are cast for inducting new members to the baseball Hall of Fame by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. I don't get a vote. But if I did, I would take the privilege seriously and try to be dispassionate in my selections. Meaning I would even vote for Jeter.
End of season potpourri
Well, that was a fun World Series, eh? The Washington Nationals won their first championship (as either the Nats or the Expos), the Astros were denied bragging rights, and weirdness abounded—the road team won every game (unprecedented); the umpiring was comically bad at times; an assistant GM got fired; Gerrit Cole lost a game; Justin Verlander lost two games; and on a team with Cole and Verlander, the best start for Houston came from a rookie most of us had never heard of.Solid. Too bad it was one of the lowest-rated ever in terms of TV viewers. People missed out.
Game 2: The schizophrenic game
For six innings, Game 2 of the World Series was much like Game 1: a tight, well-executed battle between two outstanding pitchers and pennant-winning defenses. With the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros tied at 2-2 since the first inning, every hit was tense, every baserunner potentially pivotal, every defensive play important.
World Series primer
And then there were two.
Player of the year
Last week, the Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers of America tweeted their award winners for the Mariners' 2019 season:
2019: Actually not that bad
It's over. The long slog of the season, the Dog Days of Summer, the grind of 162 games. Done for another solar orbit. For the 18th year in a row, Your Seattle Mariners head into October as spectators for the playoffs, adding another number to their ignominious total of years as the only American League franchise never to reach the World Series.
M's Playoff Drought Reaches 18th Year
Yeah, not exactly news. We knew it in March. Or at least by the time the Mariners turned their shocking 13-2 start into a 20-23 deficit a month later. We were 11 games over .500 on April 11 and 11 games under .500 by May 30. Quick work. Hopes dashed. See you next year. Or the year after. Or...
Kyle and the Kids Take One from the Reds
I'm part of a season ticket group that meets every March to divvy up the season's games and talk about the year ahead. Mostly it's gallows humor. It's a good bunch of guys, with good humor and a deep knowledge of baseball history. I tend to buy tickets to 10 Mariner games, and last night was my last for the season. It was also the first time I ever saw the Cincinnati Reds live. I think. I grew up in an AL city.
Yanks Use Former M's to Crush M's on a Beautiful Sky-Blue Day in Seattle
So after the M’s managed to tie the game in the bottom of the 4th with a 2-run homer by Kyle Seager that eked out over the outstretched supertall glove of Aaron Judge in right field, making it 2-2, and the teams switched sides, I wondered how long before the Yankees retook the lead.
New Yankee Stadium
Getting back to the digression from a few weeks back, when I took off on a week-long east coast non-Mariner road trip, a look at new Yankee Stadium. This is out of order, as we went to Philadelphia before New York (and after Washington), but I still don't have my Philly photos available, so I'm shuffling the deck a bit.
Hey Jack Kerouac, I Think of Lopes' Homer
Last Tuesday, after Omar Narváez lined a single to right in the 7th inning, breaking up Dinelson Lamet's bid to become the first pitcher in San Diego Padres history to throw a no-hitter (the only MLB team that doesn't have one), and after the Padres scored 3 more in the top of the 8th, making it 8-0, there didn't seem to be much for a Mariners fan on a lovely Tuesday Seattle night to root for. But then baseball happened.
This week's non-Mariners road trip began with two games at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Both games were against the Atlanta Braves and both were won by the visitors, though the home Nats did make things interesting at the end of the contests.Some thoughts on Nationals Park as a facility:
I wasn't supposed to be at tonight's Mariners-Angels game. In my season ticket group's draft, this game went to another guy, Grant. But Grant decided to head to Cooperstown to see Edgar Martínez get inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, so he put tonight's tix up for grabs and I said, sure, I'll take ’em, even though it is the frickin' Angels AGAIN and not even a Marco Gonzales game.
The "opener." The "headliner." You may have heard these terms being bandied about lately on Mariner and other Major League teams' broadcasts or read them elsewhere in the baseball press. It refers to a fad—some would charitably call it a "strategy"—that has become increasingly popular among big-league managers this season and that has infected Scott Servais and the Mariners over the past couple of weeks.
OK, we can give up hope now
Remember back when the Mariners were taking baseball by storm, the early surprise in the Majors with a 13-2 record that was this close to being 15-0? Yeah, fun times. It might seem now like those days were back in 2018, but really it was just a little over a month ago. Mariner fans were riding high, thinking this whole "step back," "sort-of-rebuild year" thing was just unwarranted pessimism.
Don't despair (yet)
Last month I said don't get happy. The hot start for the 2019 Mariners was likely a mirage, but there was still real hope that it might not be. The offense was really cooking in the first couple of weeks and the only concerns were that the bullpen would blow up and that the defense would give way too many runs. Was it sustainable? Probably not, but still...
Don't Get Happy (Yet)
Don't look now, but Your Seattle Mariners are the best team in the American League.
Changing the rules
Major League Baseball is once more tinkering with its rules. Is that a good thing? Bad? Just weird? Grandsalami.net's Erik Lundegaard and Tim Harrison try to sort it all out.
With the Mariners opening the season in Tokyo and playing a couple of exhibitions against the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants beforehand—M's 2, Yomiuri 0, thank you very much—I thought it might be fun to take a look at not only those Giants, but the Japanese Majors in general. In this modern Internet age, it isn't terribly hard to follow Nippon Professional Baseball during the season, though it does help if you can read a little Japanese—at least enough for the box scores. Some games are even "televised" online, though one would have to do a little work to get around a...
Change of Clothes
Looking at the Mariners' new spring training duds and the new uniform set the Marlins have this year got me to thinking about the Mariners' history of sartorial styles. The current uniform concept is, aside from some minor tweaks in the wordmark and number outlining and an early addition of the compass rose on the road jersey, unchanged since it was introduced in 1993. Which isn't bad. It's a nice design, and light-years better than what came before it. But might it be time for something new?
The lack of activity around baseball this offseason has generated a lot of fretting and anxiety with the Major League Baseball Players' Association, with some voices alleging collusion among clubs not to offer high-priced free-agent contracts. Though the current collective bargaining agreement between the MLBPA and ownership, represented by commissioner Rob Manfred, is in place through 2021, some in the players' union are already talking about a strike if negotiations on the next CBA don't go their way.
On the Eve of Destruction: Universal DH proposed
Acouple weeks back, we noted that Major League Baseball had proposed some small rule changes for next season and beyond, tweaks to do with time a player would have to spend on the disabled list and time necessary to spend in the minors after being optioned down. Now, according to a piece by Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic, the players' union has responded with a counter-proposal that expands on MLB's change ideas and adds an explosive to the conversation.
Manfred's wish list
Unable to leave well enough alone, the powers that be at Major League Baseball are seeking more changes to the league rules, according to a source that spoke to the Associated Press this week. The proposed changes just heard about would be in off-field rules concerning the Disabled List and minor-league options, and they're not necessarily bad ideas, but these days when I see "new rule coming" I immediately become suspicious.
"Thank you, sir"
He had to wait 10 years, often with low vote totals, before a push of SABRmetric dudes, the Mariners organization and its fans, and, maybe most importantly, the pitchers who faced him...
No one in the wings
If Edgar Martinez worked a corporate 9-to-5 job he’d be the guy who arrived early, performed, excelled, was slapped on the back by the boss, and when the time came for that big raise or promotion … someone else would get it.
With General Manager Jerry Dipoto on another of his trading benders, the Mariners' roster is undergoing some stark change. Though Dipoto is by no means done tinkering—as we'll see, there are still some holes to fill—if games had to be played tomorrow, how things would look on the field?
The Five Stages of Being a Mariner Fan
This article originally appeared in the July 2008 issue of The Grand Salami.
Dodging the Draft
This article originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of The Grand Salami.
By Any Other (Corporate) Name
We've known for a while now that the Mariners' home field would get a new name by next season. Safeco Insurance's deal for naming rights to the stadium expired at the end of the 2018 season and they were up front about not being interested in extending their association with the facility, so the speculation began in earnest last spring: Which corporate behemoth would step up to replace Safeco and brand their identity all over our beautiful ballpark?
Paxton Trade: Passable or Pox?
I keep going back and forth on the Seattle Mariners trading ace James Paxton to the hated New York Yankees.
Having two Game 163s to watch Monday was supposed to make for a great day, but it turned out to only be half a great day. Yeah, I have rooting interests, and they were only half met on Monday, but regardless of favored teams we saw one outstanding game with lots of drama and one snoozer with none at all.
Wait 'til next year
We all knew it was coming, but the Mariners were officially eliminated from playoff contention last Friday when the Oakland A's won their game against Minnesota. The promise and giddy joy of the first half of the season, slowly ebbing away since the loss to the Angels on the fourth of July, irrevocably crushed under the cleats of Matt Chapman and company.
I didn't go to any of the three Dodger games at Safeco Field this past weekend. I had other things going on and no affinity or special dislike of the Dodgers, plus I knew the ticket pricing would be exorbitant, so I skipped the series. This turned out to be a good choice.
Two in a row is a start(?)
The Mariners are on a winning streak. Not an impressive one, sure, but two games is technically a streak. And with the way the M's have performed since they broke their last actual win streak—eight games—on July 4th, two in a row feels like a notable achievement. We all hope this is the beginning of the resurgence Seattle needs to reclaim its playoff standing, but a win like tonight's doesn't do much to calm the nerves of the Mariner still-for-now-but-for-how-much-longer-faithful.
When the Royals were last in town, I was offered a ticket to my choice of one of the three games in that series. I looked at the schedule, saw that the Saturday game had the fun "Turn Ahead the Clock" promotion and nearly picked that one, but then I looked at the pitching rotation and saw Marco Gonzales' name for the Friday game. "Friday," I told my friend with the ticket connection, "no question." The King still reigns and Big Maple is the undisputed ace, but the guy I want to see pitch is Marco.
So, the fans, the players, and the Commissioner's office have spoken. Only three Seattle Mariners have been selected for the 2018 AL All-Star team: Edwin Díaz, Mitch Haniger, and Nelson Cruz. Something is broken.
Tom Hutyler is Bad at His Job
I've got a few pet peeves when it comes to the ballpark experience at Safeco Field. Aside from what the Mariners do on the field, I mean.
The Balancing Act of an MLB Schedule
Is it just me, or does anyone else think the Mariners' schedule is a bit wack?
In the first of what I hope will be a lengthy series of reader-submitted columns, Matt Estrada tells of his introduction to Mariner fandom and how Ichiro Suzuki became a favorite in the Estrada household.
PEDs: Make 'Em Pay
I was traveling yesterday and thus unable to write or post anything about yesterday's big news, the 80-game suspension of Robinson Canó, until now. I was, however, able to listen to sports radio as I drove and absorb what reactions the news was generating among the Mariner fanbase and mediascape. It was interesting.
This was the profile I wrote about newcomer Ichiro Suzuki for The Grand Salami back in the spring of 2001:
New Minor League Rule Goes Too Far
Commissioner Rob Manfred and baseball executives in general have had a bee in their bonnet about "pace of play" for some time now. They think baseball is allowing games to take too long, that fans don't have the patience for a three-hour game in this modern age of short attention spans and digital distractions.
How Much is a Mariners Game Ticket?
Determining the price of a Mariners ticket is a complicated matter these days.
The King and the Commoners
King Felix stepped onto the castle balcony and gazed out at his kingdom, taking in the beauty of the white-capped mountain ranges on both sides, the sparkling blue waters stretching toward the ocean and the green forests spreading to the horizon. He also carefully averted his vision from the eyesore of the nearby tunnel-digging project, still stalled and going nowhere (why had he listened to his advisers on that idea?).
Secrets of a Successful Street Vendor
Hours before the crack of batting practice bats, Safeco Field’s ancillary businesses quietly prime for the harried hours leading up to the first pitch of the day. Service workers clad in Mariners gear jingle keys and talk on cell phones as they walk to jobs at nearby restaurants. Parking lot jockeys cordon off the ideal spot to work from while flagging down the day’s fares.
Scalpers Shake Up Image
It was time to get ready for work, so Mac McCool excused himself from his lunch at FX McRory’s in Pioneer Square. Up from Portland on business, he was heading back to his hotel to get changed out of his Seahawks sweatshirt and grab a quick shave. After work, he thought he might try to catch a Mariners game. And that maybe his son, also in Seattle on business, would join him.