g21 | missed the on-field sweep but, changes off the field . . .

Mariners 4 | Astros 7

Not Kuma’s night . . .
Way too many pitches and extra-base hits allowed (3 doubles and a homer)
FIVE innings ~ SEVEN hits ~ FIVE earned runs ~ TWO walks ~ SEVEN strikeouts

Bully . . . 
} Monty, Videl and Nick were great: combined for THREE.ONE innings of NO HIT relief
} Unfortunately, Mayckol didn’t even get out of ONE inning and gave up TWO runs

~ Plenty of hits (TEN) and extra-base hits (FOUR)
~ TWO doubles: Kyle and Seth, TWO homers: Robbie and Adam
~ but, that old RISP deal bites again (ONE fer TWELVE)

* Kyle with a great diving snare and throw to 1B for an out in the 6th
* a nice DP (Kyle to Ketel to Lee)
* an OF assist from Nellie (but also a fielding error)

tweets of the game . . . 


and, before the game, a big announcement!


the countdown begins . . .

Sadly, the gridiron season ended much too soon for Seahawks fans but . . .

the good news is those of us who also love the M’s can get back to that diamond focus!

Although, I must admit, my attention and heart has been elsewhere for the past month or so, as I became a first time grandma in December – and, so far, it’s been quite the journey (see my other blog: Letters from GiGi). Can’t wait to take my grandson to Seahawks and M’s games 🙂

Anyway, was listening to KIRO 710 on the way home tonight and caught most of the interview with new Mariners manager: Scott Servais. I was quite impressed. He’s fairly soft spoken but, very thoughtful and articulate. I’ve heard various concerns regarding the fact that he’s never been a field manager but, listening to his experience with scouting, in the front front office, his history of working directly with Jerry Dipoto as well as the experienced coaches he’s surrounded himself with, gives me confidence 🙂

And, he has a plan and a vision.

Yes, we’ve heard that before but, I’m drinking the kool-aid because both he and Jerry seem to go out of their way to ensure everyone knows that it’s not just a plan for the big club. It is an organizational philosophy that will trickle down and float up. A competitive environment and a winning atmosphere – from Everett to Seattle and everywhere in-between.

hmmm… that sort of brings me back to the Hawks . . .

sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?

If Scott and Jerry can come anywhere close to Pete and John’s success, we are in for a fabulous summer ride for years to come ❤



It’s baaaaaak . . . .

And so am I!

OK – I admit. I feel a just a tad guilty.

A few months ago, I hung up my compass and pulled ashore from the Mariners seas in favor of soaring with the Hawks and the twelves for the winter. And, as chronicled in previous posts ~ what a flight it was! But, after an exhilarating fling with my “first sports love”, I’m back from the “gridiron giddiness” and ready to get back to my “true sports love” 🙂

heart baseball

Seems I’ve got a little catching up to do . . .

From what little I’ve heard, sounds like Mac is well-liked . . .
and, above all, respected. He’s not shy with the media or his players – has strong feelings and opinions and isn’t afraid to voice them. But, he want’s to keep things loose. He and Jack Z even visited with Pete Carroll at the Seahawks training facility during practice (hey – not everything can translate from the gridiron to the diamond but, doesn’t hurt to associate with those of winning ways 🙂 )

Lloyd McClendon

As for Robinson Cano . . .
I’ve heard snippets of interviews with Brad Miller, Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak and they all rave about him. Not only because they are thrilled to have one of the best hitters in the game on their side now but -to a man- they are impressed with his work ethic AND his willingness to share his knowledge and experience. I have to say, initially, I was less than thrilled with the prospect of that HUGE contract but, if he can play for the M’s like he did in pin-stripes and help their young hitters to improve and, maybe even entice some other high profile free agents along the way, through the years – then, it will be worth it.

hello cano

So, anyhoo, there was a baseball game today 🙂
The Annual Charity Game between the M’s and Padres at the newly renovated Peoria Sports Complex they share.

Mariners 7 | Padres 1
Seems things went pretty well for the M’s first dip into spring, not so much for the Pads . . .

Welcome Back Baseball!!!

(I really did miss you, even though I had a tremendously delicious distraction for a time 😉 )

Russell and the trophy | Paul Sancya, AP


Tomorrow, Cactus League play starts in earnest.

Eric Wedge ~ apparently not “all in”

Well, didn’t exactly see that one coming.

Obviously, there’s been a lot of murmurings in recent weeks regarding the future (or lack thereof) for both Jack and Eric. Half of that wonderment was answered recently, at least in the short term, when it was reported that Jack’s contract had been extended (prior to the season) for another year.

Eric made it pretty clear in a pre-game interview a couple nights ago that he was not at all pleased with the way his situation was being handled. But, in the end, he said he really wanted to stay here and see through. So, when the news started trickling out that he had essentially turned in his resignation (though he would be in the dugout for the last three games) it came as a bit of a shock. Shades of Hargrove riding off in his red truck . . . although, Eric is a much younger man and will likely get another shot somewhere (despite his recent serious health issues, he swears that he is feeling great and has made significant changes to ensure that continues).

I have a pretty simplistic (likely naive) view of a baseball manager’s impact to overall team success. I think they get blamed WAY too much when things go wrong and, probably get a little too much credit when they are going good. That being said, it seems that when a team is as young as the Mariners have been over Eric’s tenure here,  there is a MUCH greater chance for the manager to make a difference. He has the opportunity not only to shape baseball players, but men. He teaches them how to grind through the ups and downs of a season and life. He has the opportunity to set the tone of a winning attitude to help them bond as a unit with one common goal while also working on individual progress, no matter the circumstances of the club at the time. I have no idea (having not been a fly on the clubhouse wall) how the individual players think Eric did in this regard – how / if he was able to recognize their individual strengths and short-comings and help them head in the right direction as much psychologically as athletically. I guess we may never know.

I am disappointed that Eric decided not to stick it out but, he has his reasons (and they apparently have more to do with a difference of opinion on how to rebuild effectively than with contract length). This young core now has had some significant major league experience to build upon and, what if Jack is able to make some key acquisitions in the off season (with all that $$$ coming off the books and the RSN looming) . . .  you just never know . . .

But, I do wish Eric the best where ever he lands, though there’s part of me that hopes he ends up regretting his decision – not to be vindictive, just that it would mean this team stayed the course and eventually found their direction.

In the meantime, somewhat lame duck GM Jack is left to search for a manager of a team in seemingly perpetual rebuilding mode. Never a dull moment. Onward and upward (we hope!)




Heal fast and well, Skip!

I mentioned it in the game post but, of course news like this deserves it’s own . . .

It was reported after the game today that the cause of Eric Wedge’s dizzy spells on Monday during batting practice, and his subsequent hospitalization, was a very mild stroke. The good news is that he is expected to make a full recovery but, he needs to rest and relax. So, that’s what he’ll be doing as the Mariners play their next TEN games ( home vs. the Twins and away vs. the Red Sox and the Orioles). Bench Coach Robby Thompson will be taking the helm in Eric’s stead.

Sometimes it takes an event like this to really understand the impact a player, coach or manager has on a team and from some of the thoughts in this great piece by Jerry Brewer, it sounds like impact-full is a bit of and understated adjective with regard to Eric Wedge.

He’s a patient taskmaster who has a feel for when to kick and when to comfort. He’s just as loyal to his players as he is demanding. And in an era of rampant second-guessing of the Mariners, he is their most voluble evangelist, preaching the virtue of this youth-based plan, sharing a vision that many are too skeptical to see, talking positive even during the gut-wrenching moments.

Consider Wedge in total, talk to people who work with him daily, and you’re left to characterize him not by intimidation but by the genuine respect he inspires.

And that’s why he is receiving a clubhouse full of prayers right now.

“We’ll be thinking of him,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said. “He’ll be with us.”

Of course, any compassionate colleague would say that, but the emotions behind the Mariners’ words were real. Isn’t that Wedge’s pet word — “real”? To emphasize the legitimacy of what the Mariners are building, he often says “It’s real!” as passionately as any man has ever spoken the two words.

In the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, the affinity for Wedge was definitely real.

“From Day One, when he took over, I feel like he’s had my back,” first baseman Justin Smoak said. “He has stuck with me, even when I got sent down to Triple A.”

“Eric is a very caring man and loves every one of those guys in the clubhouse,” said bench coach Robby Thompson, who is serving as the temporary manager. “I’m sure they return that to him.”

Eric Wedge | fangraphs photo

Eric Wedge | fangraphs photo

Mariners Milestones, Movement and M*A*S*H on a Monday

Some interesting milestones, in no particular order, are starting to stack up (courtesy M’s twitter unless otherwise noted) . . .


  • Mariners pitching staff tied a club record by recording TEN shutouts prior to the All Star Break (also done in 2002 and 2003)
  • First season since 1999 FIVE or more Mariners have at least TEN homers before the All Star Break (Raul-24, Kyle-15, Kendrys-14, Michael M-11, Jason-11)
  • Mariners are on pace to hit 197 homers ~ their record at Safeco Field is 198 in 2000, first full season there (via Larry Stone tweet)
  • Brad Miller’s SIX extra base hits in his first ELEVEN games ties him for 2nd all time in M’s history (Alvin Davis has NINE in his first ELEVEN in 1984)
  • Mike Zunino is the 3rd-youngest player in M’s history with a walk-off RBI (June 28th v Cubs)
  • Kyle Seager became the 12th player in M’s history to record 100 or more hits before the All Star Game
  • Kyle currently has a FOURTEEN game hitting streak going . . . one of THREE players in MLB that have had  separate hitting streaks of TEN or more games this season
  • Raul Ibanez became the 5th player in Mariners history to collect 200 or more doubles and 150 or more homers (joining Jr, Jay and Alvin)


up, down

July 8th
~ DFA’d Jeremy Bonderman (eventually signed a minor league deal w/the Tigers)
~ recalled Lucas Luetge from AAA Tacoma

July 11th
~ recalled Erasmo Ramirez from AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~optioned Carter Capps to AAA Tacoma Rainiers
July 12th
~ recalled Bobby LaFromboise from AAA Tacoma
~ recalled Hector Noesi from AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~ optioned Blake Beavan to AAA Tacoma Rainiers
~ optioned Erasmo Ramirez to A Everett (to ensure he stays “on turn” during the break)
July 15th
in an interesting move announced this afternoon, the M’s are swapping their AAA Tacoma (Clark) and AA Jackson (Bernard) pitching coaches (apparently to maintain continuity with all the promotions of late)



 15-day DL
* Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) will work out over the break then start a(nother) rehab assignment in Tacoma
* Michael Morse (quad) not yet ready for rehab
* Jesus Sucre (hand) way past his eligible return but, haven’t seen any updates

60-day DL
* Stephen Pryor (lat) pitched in a simulated game last week and will pitch one game for Everett this week and then complete his rehab in Tacoma (hopefully, all goes well as he will be a HUGE boost to the bullpen when ready)



October Ins and Outs, surgeries and awards…

And the coaching staff winners are….

Appears to be a good mix of experience and acquaintance – some with ties to the M’s, some with ties to Eric Wedge, some with ties to both … and one new guy.

“I think it’s really important that we had somebody within the organization, somebody outside the organization and somebody connected to last year’s staff, too,” Wedge said Thursday in a conference call. “We really tried to cover the bases.”

Hiring the coaching staff was the first major step for Wedge and Zduriencik as a team. Wedge was hired a little more than two weeks ago.

“We’re happy with the staff we were able to put together,” Zduriencik said. “Eric and I spent a lot of time together as we considered our needs and desires.”

Chris Chambliss * Hitting Coach

Chambliss, 61, played on four World Series champions with the Yankees and has worked 13 years as a major league hitting coach with the Yankees, Cardinals, Mets and Reds. He managed the past two years at Class AAA Charlotte in the White Sox organization.

“He’s a guy who really knows hitting,” Wedge said. “His experiences and his presence are going to be a big plus for us as we get our hitting program on track.”

Bench ~ Robbie Thompson
Bullpen ~ Jaime Navarro
Pitching ~ Carl Willis
First base ~ Mike Brumley
Third base ~ Jeff Datz

Welcome Skipper Wedge!

Well, since Lou left the M’s have had as their field manager a Bob, a Mike, a John, a Jim, a Don and a Daren.  Now, it’s Eric’s turn – here’s hoping that turn lasts a  l o n g  time.

Jack Z introduces another “W” (AP)

Official Press Release

Drayer | My Northwest.com

How did he get here? In lightening-quick fashion it turns out. Jack Zduriencik started out with a list of 59 names. He was looking for someone who had experience, someone who had won before, someone who had leadership ability and what he called a no-nonsense approach. He did his due diligence, spoke with trusted allies, former players and Wedge’s former general manager, Mark Shapiro. Then he spoke to Wedge himself. In addition to having the qualifications he was looking for, Zduriencik saw something else.

“When you’re sitting across from someone you want to see who they are, you want to feel the accountability, the work ethic, the passion and the character,” Zduriencik said. “Quite frankly, that is what I saw.”

Zduriencik added: “He’s not going to be me and I am not going to be him, but the passion I think is there for both of us. Where we are going, there is a process to get there. We both understand it. There are going to be times when I will judge him and say, ‘OK, I understand your point, we will go with it.’ There will be other times when he will have to say, ‘OK Jack, you have the bigger picture than I do. I get it.’ His experiences and my experiences are different and that’s good. He said that in the interview process that he did his homework on me, who I was, where I came from. Now, does it work? Is the ability there to come together? At the end you think it works and you go with it.”

LaRue | The News Tribune

“When Eric left to fly home, we talked it over and I called him just as he was walking in the door,” Zduriencik said. “I asked him if he’d enjoyed the visit, liked the city, had a good time.

“Then I asked him, ‘How would you like to be our manager?’ He said, ‘Jack, I haven’t put my suitcase down yet.’”

About to start his third year in Seattle, Zduriencik found in Wedge all the criteria he’d listed when the search began.

“I wanted experience, a winning track record. I wanted toughness, I wanted someone with discipline, a leader,” he said. “I was looking for the kind of leader to turn our players over to, and we found him.”

Wedge, 42, had interviewed with three other teams and was considered a finalist for two, but when the Mariners offered the job, he didn’t hesitate.

“For me, it just felt right. I can’t put it into words. It was just a good feeling I got here,” Wedge said. “I love the energy of the city, of Safeco Field. I’ve seen it from the other side. It’s electric.”

Brewer | The Seattle Times

The Mariners are finally committing to the kind of solid rebuilding plan that the people have clamored for forever, but they arrived at this eureka too late for anyone to acknowledge it. There’s a statute of limitations on doing the right thing, apparently. The Mariners are so tardy to the party that they’re forced to reason with a crowd drunk on outrage or, worse, apathy.

So, there has been only a tepid response to the hiring of manager Eric Wedge, even though his track record suggests he can develop those young players that fans are desperate to see mature. And general manager Jack Zduriencik, who just completed a bad but not devastating season, is a polarizing figure, even though he’s mostly building the team in the proper manner. And the Mariners will likely have one of their youngest, but most precocious, rosters in 2011, but assuming they don’t win a lot, it will be difficult for fans to chase their frustration with patience.

It ain’t fair.

They say, life ain’t fair.
I guess baseball isn’t either.

Today, Don Wakamatsu, was fired as the manager of the Seattle Mariners …
I know how it works.  When a team loses as many games as the M’s have, you can’t fire the whole team, and the manager is the one who is ultimately responsible for the team’s performance.

Doesn’t make it right.
Doesn’t make it fair.

I mean, there are just a FEW extenuating circumstances here…

  • an aging, future HoF’er as the DH to start the season who should have retired as he was carried off the field by teammates and cheered by adoring fans after the last game of 2009 but instead decided to quit in the middle of the season and seemingly leave a rift in the clubhouse something akin to the parting of the Red Sea
  • a starting left fielder (better suited to DH) also no spring chicken, who had demons to exorcise that had nothing to do with this team, yet they took him under their wing in a commendable show of support
  • another ‘elderly’ one who was great in the clubhouse and who tore it up in spring, but suffered from a balky back … and, how many DH/1B types can one team use?
  • a FA third baseman switching to second base (because the regular 2-bagger had limited range), not to mention second in the batting order, having a career worst year and taking it out on his manager in a very public display of insubordination
  • one catcher not ready-for-prime-time and another fresh off two hip surgeries, one wrist surgery
  • the regular second baseman switching to third base and, while the transition seemed to go OK defensively, his offense dropped off the map (and, he wasn’t the only one … the entire starting line up (as of mid-July) was hitting anywhere from 7-67points below their career average.

Those are just a few of the issues that faced Wak … one or two?
Maybe “over-comeable”
Everything at once?  Not a chance.

Many say Wak wasn’t tough enough, didn’t show enough fire …
Well, there were the “tie rules” and early indications last season that “slackers” would not be tolerated.  This year he was tossed three time (after 2009 where there was only one ejection all season – Ichiro) in support of his players, but he also, again, reiterated the necessity for effort.

I guess what hurts the most is the death of hope …
From the beginning of his tenure, I was impressed with Don’s story, with his demeanor
and that famed ‘belief system’.   I really thought, “they have finally found their leader.”

Needless to say, I’m very sad to see him go …
While he doesn’t need my pity, he certainly has my heartfelt gratitude for what he attempted to accomplish with this organization.  I hope that he learned a lot and had some fun along the way despite the undesirable ending.  I’ve no doubt he will manage again someday and, when he does, I’ll be rooting for him to succeed and I will always remember his calm and sincere presence in the dugout and behind the podium and will try not to dwell on “what could have been”.

Getty Images

Thanks again and Best Wishes, Wak
~ Rosy