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.

st 27 | the FINAL spring tune-up

Mariners 7 | Rockies 2

Good on ya, Hector!
One of the best performances of the spring … 7IP – 7H – 1ER – 0BB – 3K
and good thing to – his next stop? Arlington.  Where he will make his Mariners debut vs. the Rangers and none other than the much hyped, Yu Darvish.

BP up/down…
~ George was up to his old spring tricks, giving up a run in 1/3 of an inning
~ Delebar and Luetge combined for 1.2 scoreless

Hits, hits and more hits!
~ all but a couple of starters had at least one hit and those that didn’t hit walked (four total)
~ how ’bout Figgy?!? TWO, count ’em TWO run-scoring TRIPLES!
~ Ackley and Jaso each had doubles (Jaso, btw, was 3/4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored)

And that’s all she wrote…
season RE-starts for real in Oaktown on Friday!!

st 26 | slugfest at Salt River Fields

Mariners 8 | Rockies 9

As ST winds down some who have had good-to-great springs (such as Ramirez, Wilhelmsen and League) are starting to falter (maybe just anxious to get the party started, for real!) and George Sherrill, who has had his typical sucky spring, is just rounding into form. Granted, today, THREE of the NINE runs allowed were UNearned – as there were FIVE errors (ugh!)

twitpic from Shannon Drayer

Even though it wasn’t enough because of the pitching struggles, look at those hitters hit!

  • Every starter had as least one hit – yes, even Carlos who had FOUR (including a 2-run homer!
  • There were also THREE doubles and TWO triples
  • Kawasaki continued to be TORRID – currently leads all of MLB in BA this spring

oh, btw ~ Jesus wasn’t in the game but, not to worry, we are assured that he is none the worse for wear after his “beaning” yesterday (whew!)

Here’s a bit of a shocker…
Shawn Kelley was optioned to Tacoma earlier this morning. Huh. He’s had a decent spring.

A tweet from Shannon spoke of Junior in the clubhouse giving Peggy a bad time for getting hit by Jamie, twice!


st 25 | the old(est) man vs. the King

Mariners 7 | Rockies 2

So, according to a tweet from Larry Stone, Jamie Moyer hasn’t faced the Mariners since May 21, 1996 while he was with the Red Sox.  He faced Jr, A-Rod, Edgar and Bone and only lasted 3 innings (in a 13-7 Mariners win). Oh, and Jose Canseco was in LF for the Sox.

OK – back to the present…
There’s been some hub-bub about Felix’s velocity (or lack thereof) this spring.  Read here about how he says it’s nothing to worry about and jokes that he was just trying to pitch like Jamie 😉 While today didn’t really do anything to quell the velocity concerns (he topped out at 90 or so) it certainly proved that what Felix is currently lacking in velocity he is MORE than making up for in effectiveness. He only went four today (that’s all he was scheduled for) in this, his last, springtime tune-up…

4IP – 2H – 0BB- 0ER – 6K ~ I think he’s “tuned”

Speaking of velocity, some funny tweets during the game comparing the two starters, including…

Gameday has Moyer’s 78 mph pitch as a fastball and Felix’s 89 mph pitch as a change up. Gameday might explode today.

The other five innings were a mix…
~ Iwakuma gave up another 2 runs in his 3 innings of work
~ Kelley posted 2 runs and 2 strikeouts in his scoreless 2IP

THREE HBP today…
~ Carlos Peguero was hit TWICE by Jamie Moyer (and stole a base one of his times on!)
~ Jesus Montero was hit IN THE HELMET by Edgmer Escalona.  Apparently, he was none too happy about it (who would be) though I don’t know that it was intentional. Wedge and Griffen had to hold him back. Luckily, it was an 83mph change up (instead of the previous 95mpg fastball) and it looks like he’ll be fine.

As for the O, another good day…
~ every starter (except Peggy) had at least one hit
~ Ichiro, Ryan and Kawasaki had multiple hits – each with a double and an RBI

Nice to hear that Jesus caught all four of Felix’s innings…
he did have a throwing error but, supposedly did really well behind the dish, catching all of Felix’s five pitches more than adequately (oh – and he had a hit, scored a run and drove in a run as well)

Saunders, Ackley and Sherrill have all been ill since returning from Japan but are expected to be back in action tomorrow.  Now it’s Hector Noesi who is under the weather…

st 24 | 12 hits, 6 runs, we’ll take it!

Mariners 6 | Royals 4

Blake was great through four, gave up a solo shot in the fifth and then fell apart a bit in the sixth…
5.1IP – 7H – 4ER – 1BB – 2K

Nice lock-down pen performance today…
Luetge, League, Wilhelmsen, Delbar combined for 3.2 scoreless innings to finish out the game (though a bit sketchy in the 9th when Steve got 2 quick outs and then walked 2 but got out of it via a K)

Bats got off to a bit of a late start with only 3 hits through 5 innings, and then…
FOUR singles, TWO homers (Miggy + Kyle back-to-back) and TWO walks – SIX runs in the SIXTH
All-in-all, FOUR players posted multi-hit games ~ Kawasaki, Smoak, Olivo and Montero

TWO dp’s including a really nice 3-6-3 DP (Smoak-Kawasaki-Smoak)

st 23 | old man and the kids…

Mariners 6 | Padres 1

Considering that they went up against mostly starters, I’d have to say that…

37 year-old Kevin Millwood can still get it done
7IP – 5H – 1ER – 2BB – 8K

and the “kids” are progressing well
(every other pitcher/player was born in 86 or later (1 in 86, 1 in 87, 5 in 88 and 3 in 89) 

All but two of the hitters had at least one hit, and three had multiple hits…
-Poythress – 3 hits and 1 rbi
-Romero – 2 hits and 1 run
-Sucre – 2 hits and 1 rbi
-Carol, Miller, Dunigan and Hicks all posted 1 hit, 1 run and 1 rbi

The young pen was impressive as well…
Capps and Pryor combined for a hitless/scoreless 2IP with 1BB and 4Ks

st22 | OK, so, what a difference a (nearly get-a-way) day makes

Mariners 8 | White Sox 13

As great as things went yesterday – quite the opposite today…

Felix said he’s fine and he’s ready, that the WS were just hitting everything. I’ll say – to the tune of 8 runs (7 earned) on 10 hits in 5 innings.  And, the bullpen did not provide any relief (combined to allow another 5 runs on 6 hits).

So, was it…

– the typical last start of the spring? (maybe)

– the unusual, “hey, I’m going to Japan tomorrow!” ? (possible)

– just one of those days (likely)

– an injury (nah…)

– the mighty WS extraordinary talent (double nah)

Despite the fact that most of the hitting came too little, too late, with unknowns on the mound – there were some notables….

– Liddi’s had 3 RBI (oh, by the way – he’s leading the team in nearly every offensive category this spring)

– Montero with another RBI (one of the few that he has over Liddi)

– Figgy walked twice (tied with Smoak for the team lead)


Leaving, on a jet plane (the M’s, that is – wish I were too!!! )



st21 | so THIS is what they mean by firing on all cylinders…

Mariners 8 | Reds 1

Yes, it’s still just Spring Training but…

Opening Day is only EIGHT DAYS AWAY!!!

And this is one of the first games where nearly everything went well…

starter (Millwood) went a strong FIVE

~bully (Iwakuma and Luetge) posted a scoreless FOUR

~ hits, runs and RBI up and down the lineup

~ nice D including a DP and an attempted thief gunned down (by Jesus!)

some of the stand-out hitters today…

  • Kawasaki with THREE hits
  • Seager with THREE doubles
  • Peguero with a homer and FOUR rbi

st20 | Jason gave up 7, the bats scored 7

Mariners 7 | Cubs 12

7 runs in 2/3 of an inning isn’t exactly a confidence builder for your last start of the spring…

Jason walked the first batter on 4 pitches (never a good sign) and ended up with 40 pitches, only 24 for strikes. He said after the game that he felt fine and really had no reason for his horrible outing other than “just one of those days” – said they were hitting good pitches and bad pitches.

Steve Delabar had his first rough outing and Charlie Furbush gave up his first ER of the spring.

On the pitching bright side – the two Shawns…

Camp and Kelley combined for 5.1 IP – 4H – 1ER – 0BB – 2K

Even though Kelley took the loss, the fact that he was able to pitch 3 full was encouraging

And, look, the M’s have bats!

I think they’d take 12 hits, 5 walks and 7 runs everyday and twice on Sunday!

  • Ichiro, Montero and Seager all with homers (Jesus and Kyle back-to-back to tie the game at 7)
  • Figgy picked up where he left off in the rain delay with 2 more hits (including a RBI triple)
  • Smoak was 3-3 with 2 walks (now the camp leader in OBP at .500!)

Sounds like the D was pretty impressive today…

  • Ackley to Smoak DP
  • Outfield assist for Figgy
  • Gold Glove play for Ryan

st19 | CANCELLED due to desert rain





This was only about the 3rd or 4th game slated to be televised so far this spring and, the first one that I was going to be able to watch the entire broadcast.

No box score (since none of the stats will count) but, here are some of the happenings…

  • Hector Noesi went 4IP – 4H – 2ER – 2BB – 1 K and threw 60 pitches, 33 for strikes.  He tossed a couple of wild pitches (that resulted in one run) and had just given up back-to-back singles when the game was called
  • Kyle Seager hit his 3rd homer of the spring to tie the game with his 6th and 7th RBI of the “no count” variety
  • Figgy had two hits and an RBI that gave the M’s the lead (again, they do’t count)

Mariners twit pic

 Prior to the game, Eric Wedge commented on… 

  • Brendon Ryan – doing better but still nursing a sore leg, gotta find a way to get him to stay healthy
  • Cuts coming – some may come down to the final day … can take 30 players to Japan
  • Beavan and Ramirez – both making VERY strong bids in the rotation competition
  • And, don’t discount the importance of a long reliever

Jack Z was interviewed during the game..

  • Hector Noesi a very important piece of the trade
  • Ramirez has been on the radar for awhile
  • Felix will pitch two of the “three openers” as the rotation ebbs and flows with the crazy schedule
  • Emphasized player attitude/work ethic and that NOBODY is guaranteed anything – so, they better come ready to play – especially, for a manager like Eric Wedge