OK, not the best game to get back in the swing . . .

Made the journey down to AZ . . .

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though I freely admit, M’s Spring Training was not the only thing on my mind . . .

After many months of house sale/house purchase, moving into a rental and finally, moving into our “forever home” and out of storage ~ all during one of the coldest winters on record and so far, one of the wettest springs ~  I was ready for a little rest, relaxation and sunshine!!!

As it happens, I was with two gals from Seattle (one a non-baseball fan; one who likes, not loves it) and another who is a passionate Indians fan (she hails from Ohio) AND Padre fan (currently resides in SanDiego) so, all this to say I only managed to see ONE Mariners game . . . 😦

Mariners 2 | Padres 12

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which I can’t say I gained any sort of reasonable data from (other than, the Pads can hit ’em out when the wind is blowing 😉 )

Just a few observations/predictions . . .

  • MOST IMPROVED: the fact that (at the time of this game) Mike Zu was leading the team in walks, is a very good thing!
  • BEST NEWCOMER: have since heard an interview with Mitch Haniger and (with the notable exception of his love for ‘Bay area sports” – yuk!) he seems as advertised in both talent and like-ability 🙂
  • COMEBACK KID: as I’m sure others were – so excited when I saw Smiley in the WBC and now, he’s down with “soggy” arm – not exactly encouraging words from the Skipper 😦
  • TEAM COMPONENT IMPROVEMENT: speed and great outfield defense may actually be a thing this season
  • UNSUNG HEROS; I’m getting really good vibes about the bullpen (and that was even before we signed old friend Mark Lowe!)
  • ACE IN THE HOLE: and then there’s Felix – seems more motivated than ever before (down season last year when we finally had a little offense) – methinks he’s gonna do good 😉

 

One thing’s for sure . . .

craziness happens at ST for the previous WS winner ~ the line at the Cubs/Tribe game was insane!

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On a non-baseball note . . .

I highly recommend two restaurants: Indigo Crow (Cave Creek) and Dick’s Hideaway (Phoenix)

FOUR MORE DAYS ~ Go M’s!!!

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Is this thing on???

Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time!

OK, not really lonely, just so many major events going on in my life the past year or so . . .

Not the least of which has been the joy of becoming a grandmother for the first time and the most recent of which was the huge life style change of selling our family home and moving to an island in the south Sound. My husband and I still have our same jobs but, wanted to downsize in anticipation of retirement but now, have an extreme commute. It’s all been good and all been worth it ~ just will take a bit of time to find a rhythm, adjust, adapt and fit everything in.

Can’t help but feel like a “bad fan” . . .

Not only for neglecting the blog but, also for my lack of keeping up with the news and notes on my favorite team. So, “whatever it takes” 😉 I vow to stay informed and provide some thoughts and feelings on a more regular basis from now on – starting tomorrow!

I’m currently in Arizona . . .

Needed a break from moving and unpacking so, decided to take a long “girls’ weekend”. I’m with more than Mariners fans so, we went to Giants/Padres yesterday, going to M’s/Padres tomorrow and Cubs/Tribe tomorrow night.

But, this trip is not only about baseball (gotta ease into it after so long) . . . .

So, it’s time for dinner and a casino 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll just leave this here . . .
(the view from out new home)

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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 ❤

 

 

1st 10 | of Spring Training stats and small sample sizes . . .

sample size

 

So, if there was ever reason not to put too much stock into EITHER Spring Training stats OR the first two starts of the regular season for the rotation, this would be it . . .

 

 

Taijuan ~ best spring, worst so far
ST ERA = 0.67 in 27 IP
1st 2 ERA = 17.18 in 7.1 IP

Felix ~ bad spring but, no one was really worried
ST ERA = 10.22 in 12.1 IP
1st 2 ERA = 3.00 in 12 IP

J.A. ~ surprise of the bunch! 
ST ERA = 6.11 in 17.2 IP
1st 2 ERA = 2.70 in 13.1 IP

James ~ behind in spring so, expected to start slow
ST ERA = 7.84 in 10.1 IP
1st 2 ERA = 5.11 in 12.1 IP

Kuma ~ decent but short spring, maybe the most worrisome of them all
ST ERA = 3.27 in 11.0 IP
1st 2 ERA = 6.55 in 11.0 IP

not so great tidbit from Gary Hill . . .

BUT, this is precisely why I’m not going to panic just yet – you KNOW the pitching will get better. It’s just in their DNA

As for the hitters
~ Nelson and Ack are really the only starters to have carried over a great spring into the regular season.
~ Robbie, Kyle, Brad and Austin are off to very slow starts after decent springs.
~ Poor Zu had an awesome spring but is really struggling at the plate (glad he is so great behind it)
~ LoMo didn’t have a great spring but, he is running into extremely bad luck so far
~ Seth is really the only one that had a marginal spring but, came out on fire

And the relievers
Trying to assess them in spring, other than health, is an effort in futility with the small amount of work they get. That said . . .
~ The Bartender is on the 15-day DL (due to come off soon – supposedly nothing serious – some sort of collision with Danny in stretching drills).
~ Here’s hoping that Nando got his bad roller coaster endings out of the way early!
~ The “young ones” (Carson and Tyler) are doing great and fitting in
~ The rest of the “old guys” (Danny, Yoervis, Charlie and Dom) are pulling their usual weight nicely

And, from Gary Hill again (always full of interesting tidbits!)

So, that’s the first TEN in a nutshell.
Here’s to much improvement over the next 152 and beyond 🙂

 

will he, won’t he . . . will he, won’t he . . . stand pat today?

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With the yearly trade deadline fast approaching, teams are deciding whether they are buyers, sellers or stand-patters.

The M’s players I have heard mentioned most in the “rumor mill” are . . .
Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, Oliver Perez and, to a lesser extent, Michael Morse and Tom Wilhelmsen

 

Here are my reasons for wanting to stand pat when it comes to Kendrys and Raul . . .

We FINALLY have seen the elusive “veteran presence” actually come to fruition ~ and be effective ~ in Seattle.

  • With Kendrys, there was good reason to expect he would provide a bit of a threat in the middle of the line up, and he has. What has been a somewhat pleasant surprise is the level of mentorship he has provided ~ reportedly, willingly sharing his knowledge and experience from the clubhouse to the dugout.
  • Then there’s Raul, who we knew would embrace the mentorship role but, the pleasant surprise with regard to him, has been the amazing production on the field. Due to the spate of OF injuries, he’s been pressed into way more regular service than was ever planned – man, has he delivered!

So, here we have two veteran players who are not only helping the team with their on field production (which is in turn helping the young players develop by taking some of the pressure off them) but, who are also providing mentorship so critical to a young team.

I think these two vets are worth way more to the M’s (even though, short of a ’95 miracle, they have no true hope of playing in the post season) than anything they might acquire in trade. Especially considering they would be “rentals” (due to their one-year contract status) therefore, reducing their value to other teams. Also, there’s the new qualifying offer deal that ensures the M’s would get some sort of compensation if they chose to become free agents at the end of the season.

As for Michael, Tom and Ollie . . .

I’m not really sure why Michael has been rumored in trade, since he’s currently on the DL (not yet even assigned to a re-hab stint).

I would be surprised if any teams were really interested in Tom, given the struggles he’s encountered this season. That said, I hope he can work through the funk he’s been in. He’s still young and there’s certainly nothing wrong with his velocity, seems it’s more of a location/confidence (or lack thereof) issue. What doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger, as they say – hopefully, if he can work all the way through this, he’ll be better for it.

It seems like Ollie is the most likely candidate for trade, as good set up guys are always in demand and the M’s could “reshuffle” the deck to replace him easier than they could the others – what with Stephen Pryor coming back soon and the fact that there are other arms down on the farm that might be ready for a cup of coffee. Just all depends on the quality of return.

So, tomorrow is July 22 ~ nine days and counting . . .

 

Homer Happenings

Here we are at the All Star Break and The King and Kuma are on their way to join in the festivities in New York.

In the meantime, I’ll take a look at the “1st half” highlights over the next couple of days – starting with the consecutive home run streak. Now, those who know me, know my love of defense and that my mantra has always been . . .

Chicks did the long ball but, REAL women love leather

That being said, even I must admit this little home run barrage the guys are on is pretty fun. I mean, it’s been more than a   L  O  N  G   while since the Mariners were tied for SECOND highest homer total in the MAJORS (115) at the break.

Here’s the distribution of the THIRTY-SEVEN home runs the Mariners have hit during the streak that started on June 20th in Anaheim . . .

  • Raul 10
  • Kyle 7
  • Kendrys 6
  • Justin 4
  • Jason 3
  • Nick 3
  • Michael S 2
  • Brendan 1
  • Guti 1

Multi-homer games
Raul and Kendrys each hit 2 homers in 1 game twice

Team breakdown

  • 1 homer – 12x
  • 2 homers – 6x
  • 3 homers – 3x
  • 4 homers – 1x

Here’s to the guys picking up the streak where they left it upon resumption of play on Friday!
and maybe Brad, Dustin, Endy, Henry and Mike Z can get on the board with a contribution or two 🙂

 

a long time comin’ ~ revelin’ on the road . . .

ahh… at last, a beautiful road trip!

California, USA

fUN wITH rOAD nUMBERS . . .

RECORD:  4-2

HITTERS
HOMERUNS:  11 (104 total tied for 5th in the bigs, 3rd in the AL and already surpasses entire 2012 total)
TRIPLES:  2 (both by rookie Brad Miller, in his first game at lead-off)
DOUBLES:  7
HITS: 57
WALKS:  23
RUNS SCORED:  28
STRIKEOUTS:  56 (ok  . . .  yuck!)

PITCHERS
HOMERUNS ALLOWED:  
TRIPLES ALLOWED:  0
DOUBLES ALLOWED:  12
HITS ALLOWED:  52
WALKS ALLOWED:  12
RUNS ALLOWED:  25 (take out the clunker in Cinci yesterday and it’s down to 12)
STRIKEOUTS:  34

Good to see that much of the production was from the kids (6 homers – 6 doubles – 19 runs – 16 rbi).
With the 5-4 loss in the third game in Texas  t   h   i  s  close to sweeping in Arlington for the first time since 2001.  But, even with the clunker in Cinci yesterday, M’s win in all differentials except hitters’ strikeouts and doubles. Baby steps, as they say. Even this pitching and defense lovin’ gal will admit that the homers have been an extremely fun but, while that ready-made “O” is great novelty, it is even greater to see the start of some manufacturing . . . get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in . . .  if they can just start doing those little things on a regular basis – it will go a LONG way.

Next up . . .
BO SOX for FOUR at THE SAFE
o Lester v Felix
o Webster v Kuma
o Doubront v Harang
o Dempster v Bonderman