from the grief of the grid iron to the dream of the diamond . . .

Being SO close to feeling, for a second time, the euphoria still simmering from the first championship only to have it abruptly snatched away in the final seconds was pretty brutal (to put it mildly). It’s going to take some time.

Luckily, there’s a cure . . .

the delicious distraction that is BASEBALL 🙂 – some catchin’ up to do . . .

The CY Award that wasn’t

Felix Facts | From the Corner of Edgar and Dave

Why Felix Hernandez (unexpectedly) lost the Cy Young Award | Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times

Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez not winning Cy Young Award is a Stunner | Larry Stone, The Seattle Times

 “Yeah, I did,” he said. “It was a great year. I think I pitched way better than 2010.”

Goodbye to some old friends, hello to the new

  • 1B Justin Smoak claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays
  • RF Michael Sauders traded to the Blue Jays for LHP J.A. Happ
  • Signed free agent LF Nelson Cruz
  • RHP Matt Brazis traded to the Cubs for RF Justin Ruggiano
  • RHP Brandon Maurer traded to the Padres for LF Seth Smith
  • Signed Guti and Endy to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training
  • Signed free agaFA 2B Rickie Weeks

A message from Michael Saunders to Mariners fams | Ryan Divish, Mariners Blog

Mariners sign Nelson Cruz to 4-year deal | ESPN.com

nelson

Gar continues to garner high profile support

Randy Johnson endorses Edgar for HoF | ESPN.com

tweets of the off-season

PLAY BALL!!!!

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g64 | of tributes, decent pitching and excellent DEE

Touching Tribute (the M’s always do “sappy” well ~ even a Yankee hater like me, had to shed a tear 😉 )

IMG_2006

Jay and Edgar were on, before the game, along with Robbie and Felix to bestore Derek w/gifts . . .
Jay presented Jeter with a seat from the Kingdome (the venue where Jeter colleted his first MLB hit) Edgar presented the 2B bag from the game (it would be framed for Jeter after the series), Robbie gave him an inscribed watch (Rolex, no doubt) and finally, Felix presented him with a check to his Turn 2 foundation.

Mariners 2 | Yankees 3

ON the MOUND
Kuma had an un Kuma-like start to his start . . .
giving up FOUR hits (3 singles and 1 double) and TWO runs in the FIRST. He then settled in and allowed only TWO singles and TWO walks through SEVEN with three credits on PO along the way. Seems Kuma takes PFP seriously 😉  he had a couple of come-backers and threw to Willie at 1B and then Willie made a great back-handed stop and a toss to Kuma at the 1B bag (I swear that’s gotta be harder than it looks). It was in the 8th that Kuma gave up his second double and eighth total hit ~ to Jeter of course ~
In any case a very respectable start, The Bear definitely kept ’em in it . . .
SEVEN.ONE innings ~ SEVEN hits ~ THREE earned runs ~ TWO walks ~ FIVE strikeouts

} Unfortunately, Charlie promptly gave up a hit and and RBI to a lefty 😦 and the Yankees took the slim lead (3-2) that they would not relinquish. He induced a DP to end the 8th and, despite a HBP threw a scoreless 9th

AT the PLATE
Some VERY hard hit balls were deftly run down and/or caught at the wall . . .
woulda, coulda, shoulda as it was, M’s only recorded EIGHT hits ~ TWO for extra bases (doubles by Mike and Robbie)

IN the FIELD
THREE DP’s tonight . . .
* See the Mound section for Kuma’s glove work on one of them
* and a strike ’em out “tag ’em out’ that was kind of comical

tweets of the game . . .

 

Media Day…

Lots of interesting “tweet tid-bits” from yesterday’s Mariners Media Day – good news such as…

14 + / –
~Justin Smoak has lost 14lbs and 4% body fat
~Guti has gained 14lbs of muscle (with no signs of stomach trouble)

Casper Wells has been working out regularly and has had no further equilibrium issues

710ESPN will broadcast the games in Japan vs. the A’s, as well as the exhibition game vs. Hanshin

But, the most eye-opening factoid was this…

Of the 65 invitees to Spring Training – 55 have less than five years time in the big leagues, 45 have less than one year.  Yowsa – talk about baby M’s!

Then, of course, there was everyone’s favorite photo of the day…

via TwitPic

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…

Tenders, non-tenders, and such…

The deadline for tendering contracts was 9pm tonight.

Tendered: Jason Vargas, Shawn Kelley, Brandon League (all three arbitration eligible)
No surprises there

Non Tendered: Dan Cortes, Chris Giminez
Now two members of last year’s bully gone (Lueke traded for Jaso) and seems that Jaso’s addition made Gimenez expendable.  Not so sure about that though – catching hasn’t exactly been a strong suit ro the M’s (in terms of talent OR injury-freeness) but … good luck Dan and Chris, wherever you land!

The complete MLB “non-tender tracker” is here..

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Unlike the “new” Marlins and the “shocking” Halos, the M’s were quiet at the Winter Meetings…

Recent additions…

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And, it’s that time of year again…

Get Edgar to the Hall!

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Down under goings on…

Denny Almonte and James McOwen selected to Australian Baseball League All Star Game

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And, last but certainly not least…

Since the Seahawks just beat the Rams on Monday Night Football, I couldn’t resist sharing some Mariner related Seahawks tweets (I just LOVE how he is getting so into the Seahawks!)

 Felix Hernandez 

 great win guys congrats
 Felix Hernandez 

 good game bro congrats
 Jon Ryan 

@
 thanks Felix. Always good to get the W. Especially on Monday Night Football.

Jaso and "Peggy" and ‘Gar, oh my!

Brock and Salk interview…
John mentions that Safeco Field has been his favorite field in which to play.  Despite the dimensions, he likes hitting there, loves the batter’s eye – interesting that he said the batter’s eye can make a difference catching too (makes sense, just never thought about it before).

Of course he’s anxious to learn Felix and Michael 🙂
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Carlos Peguero is leading the Dominican Winter Leagues in Home Runs, Runs Scored and Slugging %
(also strikeouts, but we won’t focus on that 😉
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Gar is back on the ballot….
Will third time be the charm???

Larry Stone’s thoughts on the matter…

‘Gar …. case for HoF


Elaine Thompson / Associated Press


I was listening to one of the national hosts on ESPN Radio earlier this evening (Brian Kenney, an admitted Yank fan) and he was, much to my surprise and delight, banging the drum HARD for ‘Gar.

He said, in his opinion, Edgar Martinez is a SURE FIRE Hall of Famer and sited some stats to prove his case. I’m going by memory, as I was in the car, so forgive me if it’s not totally accurate – he was looking at OBP, SLG and TB and pointed out that Edgar had at least 8 GREAT seasons where he was in the TOP 5 in those categories and 3 other seasons where he was in the TOP 10.

He also had two HoF voters on – Rob Neyer who thinks Edgar should be in and Joel Sherman who doesn’t. Sherman’s argument was the same-old, same-old, “he didn’t play defense” …. WEAK! Newsflash – Edgar was a DH – they don’t play defense. Last time I checked, AL pitchers don’t hit – we gonna leave them out too? It seems not uncommon for voters to refer to a particular player as the best “what-ever his position was” of his era. Maybe they should look up the DH position for most of the 90’s and into the early aughts … they just MIGHT notice ‘Gar’s name for more than several years…

The man has the friggin’ DH award named after him for cryin’ out loud!



Instead of looking at Edgar’s failure to reach 3,000 hits, I marveled over his staggering accomplishments. He was at an elite level when it came to the combination of getting on base and hitting for power.

There are numerous stats to choose from, but for the purpose of space, I’ll point out his .312 career average, .418 on-base percentage and .515 slugging percentage. Only 20 players in history have the .300/.400/.500 combination, and of the 12 eligible for the Hall of Fame, only Lefty O’Doul isn’t there (which is an outrage worthy of another column).

Martinez’s .418 career on-base percentage is surpassed only by Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle and Thomas by retired players since 1945 with at least 7,500 at-bats. His career OPS (on-base plus slugging) of .933 ranks 32nd all-time.

If you look at OPS-plus (the same stat adjusted for era and home ballpark), Edgar had eight seasons of better than 150, an epic total. As David Schoenfield of ESPN.com pointed out, only 24 players in history have done it that many times, most of them slam-dunk Hall of Famers like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Mike Schmidt. Alex Rodriguez, by comparison, has done it seven times.

For those who look past their prejudice against DH, Edgar Martinez stands out as a bona fide Hall of Famer.


An average well above average

Martinez is among six players since the 1940s to bat at least .320 in at least six straight seasons. The others are Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn, plus Todd Helton.

Beyond the batting average

Martinez is one of 20 players in major league history whose lifetime batting average is better than .300, on-base percentage is over .400 and slugging percentage tops .500. Of the players eligible for the Hall of Fame, only Joe Jackson and Lefty O’Doul aren’t in.

In the company of legends

Martinez is among five players in history with at least 300 home runs, 500 doubles, 1,000 walks, a .300 batting average and a .400 on-base percentage. The other four — Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams — are in the Hall of Fame.

OPS percentage equals greatness

Martinez’s on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .933 ranks 32nd all-time, and he had an OPS above 1.000 in five seasons and above .900 nine times. Mark McGwire and Lefty O’Doul are the only players with a better career OPS who are eligible for the Hall of Fame but not inducted. Martinez ranks eighth on the career OPS list among right-handed hitters, and all seven ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.

King of the DH

As a designated hitter, Martinez is unmatched in every major statistic except home runs. He has the highest DH average at .314 (Paul Molitor is next at .308), most RBI at 1,003 (leading Harold Baines’ 978), highest on-base percentage at .428 (Frank Thomas, .394), highest OPS at .959 (David Ortiz, .936) and most doubles at 370 (Hal McRae, 357). Martinez’s his 243 DH home runs are third (behind Ortiz’s 274 and Thomas’ 269).

He owned the Yankees

If the East Coast media wasn’t impressed by Martinez, they weren’t paying attention. He batted .317 with .423 on-base and .542 slugging percentages, plus a .965 OPS against the Yankees. The only team he hit better in his career was the Indians, with a .347 average. He also hammered future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera, batting .625 with .700 on-base and 1.188 slugging percentages, and a 1.888 OPS in 20 career plate appearances. Robbie Alomar, also on this year’s ballot, was one of the few others to handle Rivera, yet his numbers pale compared with Martinez’s — a .455 average, 500 on-base percentage, .727 slugging percentage and 1.227 OPS.