ed-Gaaaaar!

Congratulations, Gar!
This honor is SO well-deserved and long-overdue!

Thank you for your amazing talent, fabulous work ethic and unending loyalty to our team and our city. The memories would have lived on forever in Mariners fans’ hearts and minds regardless but now, the rest of baseball can cherish them as well ❤

Spent a wonderful weekend on the coast with family celebrating my Father-In-Law’s 95th birthday ❤

But, was glad to be able to hear the entire Hall of Fame induction ceremony, including our beloved Edgar Martinez, on MLB Network Radio on the way home.

#EdgarHoF

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annnnnd . . . . he’s IN!!!

Edgar Martinez fina11y gets the call to the hall!

We’ve known it was coming, even before fun things like this . . .

Dear Edgar –

Thank you from the bottom of my Seattle Mariners’ fan heart for . . . 

  • the double
  • countless other at-bat moments in your momentous career
  • the light-bat and geoducks in Puyallup
  • your unassuming, humble nature
  • your unparalleled, loyalty to the team & to the city

Congratulations, Gar, on your long-awaited, much-deserved election to the Baseball Hall of Fame!

Cooperstown will have you forever but, Seattle had you first . . . 

Thank you for being ever, only a Seattle Mariner. 💙⚾️💙⚾️💙

Some of the MANY tweets . . . (see them all forever more at #EdgarHOF )

#24EVER ~ the ceremony to celebrate an unbelievable career

What a night, what a career, what a celebration!

Saying the Mariners do ceremony well is a serious understatement.
So easy to get engrossed in the moments, the memories and the emotions that you can almost forget that after the celebration, there’s still a baseball game to watch 🙂

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prepping for the ceremony

The M’s pulled out all the stops, deservedly so, for Junior . . .
from the 24 in center field, on either side of home plate and even flying in the sky to baseball 24’s in person (Rickey Henderson and Tony Perez) and other famous 24’s on the video screen (Jeff Gordon and Kobe Bryant)

from fellow Seattle Hall of Famers (Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Spenser Haywood and Gary Payton) to all of the current M’s wearing backwards caps and 24 jerseys during batting practice to video tributes from none other than Hank Aaron and Willie Mays and the announcement that Junior’s sweet swing will be immortalized in the form of a statue outside Safeco Field next season ❤

And, of course, Junior added an impromptu touch of his own with a call to Mr. Mays 😉

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And then, the culmination, Junior’s daughter Taryn helped unveil the ultimate 24

 

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am so thankful I got to see it in person with my Dad!

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tweets of the celebration . . . 

News, Notes and Quotes on an off-day . . .

the best Mariners news . . .
Eric will return to the dugout tomorrow night!

podcast: Skip talks about his experience and recoop with Brock and Danny

the most surprising Mariners news . . .
and I say that just because it was unexpected, not because I don’t think it should have happened
Jack Z through 2014 | Shannon Drayer

the scariest Mariners news . . .
D.J. Peterson hit in the face by a pitch | Ryan Divish

Minor League news . . . 
* Jesus Scure was optioned to AAA after completing his regab assignment with AZL
* Ji-Man Choi (who began the year in Class A High Desert, was promoted from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma on Saturday

MLB News . . .
Instant replay expansion | Greg Johns

Local News . . . 

No Hall, just yet, for Gar…

Congrats to Barry Larkin, the loan selection to the Class of 2012.

Gar was 7th with 36.5% as reported by Greg Johns of MLB.com
(an improvement over last year’s 32.9% but about the same as his first year – 36.2%)

Martinez received votes from 209 of the 573 BBWAA members who voted and finished seventh among this year’s 27 candidates, behind Larkin (86.4 percent), Jack Morris (66.7), Jeff Bagwell (56.0), Lee Smith (50.6), Tim Raines (48.7) and Alan Trammell (36.8).

Gar seems to have the right attitude about it all…
He knows, if it comes at all, it’s going to take some time.  Some balk at the late start that precluded 3000 hits and 500 homers.  Supporters point to the rarified air of career totals that exceed 300 homers, 500 doubles, .300+ batting average and .400+ on base percentage – that, by the way, he shares with only FIVE other major leaguers: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig. Shabby company, you do not keep, Gar.

Of course, there is the ever-present debate, that dreaded two-letter word: designated hitter
I find the argument that Edgar Martinez should not be ‘in the Hall” because he did not play “in the field” pretty silly.  I wonder if those same writers feel an American League pitcher should never be in the HoF because they do not hit?  I mean, let’s get real – if there’s any DH that should be in the Hall of Fame, seems like it should be the one who the freakin’ “outstanding designated hitter” award is named after.

I know, it’s rather ironic that a fan like me, who swoons watching stellar defensive plays, should stump for a guy who “only hits“.  
I guess that speaks volumes not only to Gar’s body of work but, to his quiet, unassuming attitude, his staunch work ethic and his ever-loyal, Mariner-only career.

You’ll get there one day, Gar….  
You may not be the first Mariner in the Hall of Fame – Junior is eligible in 2016 and The Big Unit in 2015   (whether RJ will go in as a DBack or a Mariner, is a whole ‘nother debate) but you’ll get there – we WILL see the Seattle Mariners one and only Number 11 in the esteemed places where it belongs – in Cooperstown, NY and, retired at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA.

Some of my photos when “the street” was named…

Catchin’ up…

Sorry excuse for a blogger am I.
What can I say?  Life happens.

As for the Mariners and this off-season (beyond the horrible tragedy of Greg Halman’s death) here are some of the happenings, to date…

Organizational Awards / Promotions / Changes
* Bob Engle, Mariners VP of International Operations, named a 2011 Scout of the Year
* Chris Gwynn hired as Director of Player Development (spent 27 years as a pro player and scout)
* Lee May, Jr. named as Minor League Hitting Coordinator (coached for the AAA Tribe last year)
* Roger Hansen (former minor-league catching coordinator) now Special Asst to the GM
* John Stearns will fill Roger Hansen’s old position as Minor League Catching Coordinator
* Gary Wheelock hired as Minor League Pitching Coordinator

No Gold Glover for the first time since 1987
and, as Larry Stone chronicles here, it was the longest streak in the majors…

The M’s streak of Gold Gloves began when Mark Langston was honored for pitchers in 1987. He and second baseman Harold Reynolds won in 1988, Reynolds won again in 1989, and then Ken Griffey Jr.came aboard. Griffey won in the outfield every year from 1990 through 1999, with Reynolds winning again in 1990, shortstop Omar Vizquel in 1993, and outfielder Jay Buhner in 1996. In 2000, Griffey was gone, but John Olerud won at first base. In 2001, Ichiro’s streak began, accounting for 10 more years of Gold. Outfielder Mike Cameron also won in 2001, Olerud and second baseman Bret Boone in 2002, Boone, Cameron and Olerud in 2003, Boone in 2004, third baseman Adrian Beltre in 2007 and ’08, and outfielderFranklin Gutierrez in 2010.

New CBA
Here’s an overview
Everything from expanding the playoffs (extra WC added) to blood tests for HGH to requiring players named to the All Star Game to play in it (unless suffering from injury) to expanding instant replay to include fouls / traps.  While the agreement has been widely lauded for coming to pass without a work stoppage (thank you NBA for showing them what NOT to do!) Shannon Drayer is one of several who are a bit concerned about the changes called for in the CBA with regard to International signings and the amateur draft.  More to come on that, as I delve into it a bit more…

New “kid” on the block!
The Astros will soon (2013) move to the AL West making all the divisions across MLB equal 5-teams and the Mariners are in full support of the decision as Larry Stone notes here

“Though much has been written about the change from four to five, we’re fine with that,” he said. “It’s better for the fans. They get to see another team come in. We play Anaheim, Texas and Oakalnd 19 times — fans can get tired of them. And in looking at several schedule drafts, it appears we’ll be traveling fewer miles, because it eliminates one trip back east. We’ll see how it actually comes out.”
They are adding another division rival in the central time zone, but he pointed out that if they combine the Rangers and Astros on the same road trip, it won’t be much of an added burden.

New home turf
Apparently, the Safeco Field grounds keepers are keeping busy in the off-season…
they laid new sod on the infield in October

I got to see it from a distance…
from the bullpen (while enjoying a little “Seahawk tail-gating” prior to the Seahawks game vs. the Bengals)

Unfortunately, the best part of that game was this…
Felix raising the 12th Man Flag

On this day…

To some, following sports is a trivial pursuit.

To others, like me, it is a fascinating, fun and fabulous activity.

As both the NFL and MLB take time today prior to their games to remember and pay respect their to the first responders who saved lives, all the brave men and women who lost their own trying to save others and the thousands of others who died or lost lost loved ones, I am also reminded how sports (especially baseball) played such a huge part in the coming together and the healing of a country, a state, a community, a city, a team and a family.

MLB remembers | MLB.com

Baseball and healing in a national crisis | HeraldNet.com

A tribute to heros | SoundersFC.com

Today, at Safeco Field…

Getty Images
Getty Images
via Shannon’s twitter page