#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 ūüôā

Processed with MOLDIV

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 ūüėČ



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!




tweets of the celebration . . . 

24 minutes with #24

I wasn’t able to attend but, from everything I’ve seen, heard and read, it was an absolutely incredible evening of celebration ~ not to mention a totally mutual love fest ~ as Ken Griffey, Jr. became the 7th inductee in to the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame, joining: Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson.

Thanks to all those who provided the following video clips, photos, links and tweets that captured the evening and almost made me feel I was there . . .


VIDEO TRIBUTES ~ memories of “the Kid”







Interesting to note that WHEN Ken Griffey,  Jr. is enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame . . .
LIKELY via first ballot, POSSIBLY via a unanimous selection and DEFINITELY the ONLY first round draft pick in enshrined in Cooperstown.






IS | game 3 and some other stuff

From the looks of the¬†boxscore¬†(courtesy “From the Corner of Edgar and Dave) looks like offense was the name of the game today…

a total of 20 hits and 9 runs 

So much for the pitchers being ahead of the hitters at this point (though they did only give up 3 walks)

  • Iwakuma had a rough “debut” – cruising through his first inning but unable to get out of the 2nd
  • Kelley’s line looks pretty messy too, thanks to Michael Saunders and his 3-run jack (also had a triple)
  • Vargas seems to be the furthest along, facing 12 batters through 3 full innings (4H – 1ER – 1K)

Besides Saunders’ really good day, other hitters who posted multiple hits:¬†Catricala, Figgins and Chavez

Speaking of Saunders, apparently he had a REALLY good off-season and is REALLY motivated for the upcoming season.  Hard to listen to this podcast and not be encouraged and excited about the possibilities.

oh – and, Jesus had his first hit in “game action” of the spring – a ringing double off the LF fence!

Bad, bad news of the day revolves around Guti’s pec muscle (or there-abouts)

The first I heard of it was via this tweet from Shannon …

Looking for more info on Gutierrez, everything I am hearing sounds like shoulder. Attempted 2 throws from of to 3rd with nothing on them

My reaction was audible for anyone who happened to be walking by my cube at the time.

Then there were reports of Franklin returning but, awaiting results of an MRI.

Here’s the latest from¬†Greg Johns | MLB.com. ¬†Here’s hoping we get encouraging news tomorrow…

On a lighter note, look who’s back….

                       Larry Stone | Seattle Times

Jaunt to Japan, agreement not arb, M’s HoF and some pitching lists…

Eric Wedge, Ken Griffey, Jr and Tim Hevly (Senior Director of Baseball Information) recently took a quick trip¬†to Japan to promote the upcoming MLB season opening games to take place in Tokyo on Marvh 28th and 29th between the M’s and the A’s. ¬†Ex-M and current Oakland manager, Bob Melvin was there as well.

One of the highlights of the trip for the Mariners contingent was a clinic they attended on Sunday at the Yomiuri training site, about an hour outside Tokyo, for about 110 kids from around Japan.“That was terrific,” Hevly said. “The passion those kids have for baseball was really evident. The amount of energy from kids between 8 and 12 years old was amazing. They were very attentive. They want to be better.”
Wedge and Griffey both offered tips on various aspects of baseball. Among the attendees were a group of 36 kids from Fukushima, which had been devastated by last spring’s earthquake and tsunami. They road a bus four hours to attend, and got a special “meet and greet” with Griffey and Wedge afterward, in which they received some Mariner gear the team had sent with the group. The other kids received memorabilia as well, and the Mariners posed for pictures with all the participants.
“It was fun to see how excited they were,” Hevly said. “It’s a reminder how resilient kids are.”

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

M’s came to agreement with all three of their¬†arbitration eligible¬†players prior to the deadline today. ¬†Brandon League, Jason Vargas and Shawn Kelley all have brand-new, one-year contracts. ¬†The M’s haven’t had to go to arbitration with a player since 2003 (Freddie Garcia).

Mark your calendars for July 28th as that is the day that the Big Unit and Dan the Man¬†will be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame. ¬†Fitting that Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson will go into the Hall together after their “special battery” of the late 90’s.


Last but not least –¬†a little something to ease the pain of losing Michael…
~ Hultzen and Paxton name to the TopTen LHP list
~ Walker is #8 on the TopTen RHP list

ST16 | vs. Brew Crew

Mariners 4 | Brewers 5

Pineda got knocked around a bit (TWO earned runs on SEVEN hits and ONE walk) but did record THREE strikeouts in his FOUR innings of work.   The rest of the staff combined for TWO earned runs on FIVE hits and ZERO walks.

only SIX hits and if it weren’t for Ryan’s THREE-run home run there would have only been ONE run from Cust’s double.

with a stolen base and TWO double plays but, also TWO errors and a caught stealing and Milton suffered his first ejection of the spring for arguing balls and strikes.


Melancholy Mariner Matters

Yes, it was indeed a backward season…

Unfortunately, being swept in the last home series was a fitting end to one of the worst seasons in Mariners history. ¬†There was so much hope after the rather remarkable turnaround last year from the 101 loss season of 2008. ¬†During the ‘winter of our content’¬†Jack Z snared Cliff Lee for a song, rid the rotation of Carlos Silva (even though acquiring Milton was a bit of a risk), signed Figgy who was sure to provide more speed on OBP at the top of the lineup. ¬†And then there was Junior – yeah, his 2009 season wasn’t great, but his presence seemed vital to the clubhouse kumbaya.

But then it all went horribly wrong… ¬†¬†
~ Cliff was out with an injury for the first month of the season and while they were able to tread water at 11-11 during his absence and fans and players alike were dazzled by his outings in his short but sweet stint with the M’s, run support wasn’t only hard to come by, it was nearly impossible – for Cliff and every other M’s hurler.
~ Milton’s emotional problems weren’t hidden for long and soon he was on ‘restricted status’ (a status few even knew existed) while undergoing therapy (meanwhile, Silva was tearing it up for the Cubbies) and even when MB returned, he was unable to contribute and was eventually placed on the ‘normal’ DL
~ Figgy’s bat dropped off the planet as it never had before and the dream of two lead-off hitters became a nightmare – especially after his blowup in the dugout when he was benched during a game vs. the Red Sox in which Wak didn’t appreciate the perceived lack of effort on a ground ball.
~ And, then there was the Junior situation.  It started with nap-gate and ended in a way no one could have imagined at the start of the season Рwith a call to Chuck from Montana on his way home to Florida Рfor good.
~ Then there were the many players who were playing so far below their career norms, it was unbelievable that the team collapse could be so … complete.
~ The bullpen dominos began to fall beginning with Mark Lowe (injury and subsequent surgery, then traded with Cliff Lee to the Rangers).
~ Fundamentals seemed to be a thing of the past – defensive miscues and base running blunders were almost the norm instead of the exception.
~ All this and then, firing of the manager.  The one who a year before was heralded for his calm, direct leadership and praised for his handling of superstars and rookies alike.

What a difference a year makes.

But, I wouldn’t be Compass Rosy if I didn’t point out that amid the horror that was 2010, there were actually some bright lights.

Our “King” is contending for the Cy Young award despite the abysmal performance of his team. ¬†It IS an individual award, after all. ¬†And, even some of the old school national guys are coming ’round to the the reality that “pitcher wins” are NOT the end all be all. ¬†In fact, wins are something out of their control – particularly Felix’s – as he had the LOWEST run support in the MAJOR leagues (93rd of pitchers with at least 160IP)

Another 200-hit season.
The first player in major league history to record at least 200 hits in TEN straight seasons.

While his bat wasn’t up to par, his defense shown more than ever.
He became the major league record holder for an outfielder with the most total chances (415) without an error.  Death to Flying Things, indeed.

Like Felix, Jason was not blessed with run support (he is 88th on that same list).
But, this was really his first full, healthy season in the bigs and seemingly he made great strides.  He pitched more than double the innings than ever before and gave a lot of credit to Cliff Lee whom he learned a lot from in the short time they were teammates.

Some parting photos of my last day at The Safe….

Goodbye Section 331, Row 8, Seat 15 – see you next year!
Filing out of Safeco Field for the last time in 2010
Our fair city from the upper concourse
please, Please, PLEASE, Jack …. get a supporting cast for these characters!

g41 | happy, happy, joy, joy

Mariners 4 | Blue Jays 3

TED S. WARREN / The Associated Press   AP
12:30pm on a weekday is a crummy time for a baseball game to start.

But, Junior finally reminded us of how great one can end.

At last … on the right side of a walk-off win!

Congratulations to Don Wakamatsu who notches his 100th win as Mariner Manager
(and gets tossed for the first time as a major league skipper in the process!)

g39 | lotsa good stuff, b u t . . .

Mariners 5 | Athletics 6

no “W” to show for it.

  • Figgy with two hits! (including a double and a run and an rbi)
  • Casey with two hits! (and two rbi)
  • Robby with a homer! (apparently, he likes hitting vs. Sheets)
  • Robby also throwing 2 runners out (we won’t talk about his out on the basepaths ;-(
  • Junior with a hit!
  • Mike with a pinch-hit rbi (that tied the game at 5 in the 8th)
  • Michael turns an AWESOME DP – shoes string catch and throws the runner out at 2B

10 total hits and 5 walks … THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Now, the bad part…
  • Felix wasn’t Felix but, although he had to work darned hard for it, he did leave with the lead
  • The pen, unfortunately, was “the pen” (as of late, they just can’t hold it late)
  • Guti hesitated on throwing to 2B on a long fly ball out that could have resulted in a DP
  • Rob thrown out at 3B (OK, so I mentioned it)

g29 | what’s with the crazy 8’s??

Mariners 0 | Angels 8
0-8 two days in-a-row?

The Canadian Press

And one with Felix on the mound?

The walks were killer (and not necessarily all Felix’s fault, seems there was NO help at all from the guy in “the other blue”). ¬†He settled down a bit after the brutal 4 run (34 pitch) first inning, but then gave up THREE home runs in the fourth… argh!

There was some speculation that Felix was still having back issues, but according to Shannon, it’s nothing physical. ¬†She went so far to say that “he’s lost his mojo”. ¬†Basically, she said that, even prior to this losing streak, Felix has not had his normal swagger in the clubhouse this season and the lack of same, seems to be carrying over to the field.

Who knows…. maybe he just has to have the requisite requisite sucky game vs. the Halos in May¬†before he really kicks it into gear.

Then there was the offense or, lack thereof. Jared Weaver had a no-hitter two outs into the 7th. Luckily, Junior singled to break it up.  Unluckily, they had only one other hit (double by Michael Saunders) and no runs.

The only positive was the bullpen – but, considering Mark Lowe is on the DL, that’s a pretty important positive. ¬†Jesus, Brandon and Tex combined for 5.2 hitless, scoreless innings.

Oh, there was one other positive from the game tonight.  I met a very nice lady (fellow Mariner fan, of course).  If you find your way here, Debbie Рjust wanted to say it was nice chatting with you!

Wak says no walks….

Now there’s a man after my own heart!

The M’s skipper obviously feels the way I do about pitcher’s walks (NOT a good thing) and is willing to scrape a little to come up with a positive from a somewhat less than stellar performance.

Actually, looks like Lowe, Pauley and Cordero faired pretty well in relief (only one earned run in 5 innings) and¬†Milton¬†laid down a bunt single AND didn’s get thrown out¬†(well, not by the umpire at least)

OK – that’s all the rosiness I can muster tonight … been a long day.

Oh, just a couple other things…