Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Ball Game Promotion

In honor of all major leaguers STUPID enough to slide into first base head first...I propose the following game day fan promotion:

This promotion will be open to all kids 12 and under AND adults with IQ's equal to or less than Josh Hamilton's 2013 extra base hit total (58).

Each eligible participant will get get to run from the batters box to first, sliding into the base face first, hands outstretched to the bag. For their efforts each runner will receive a simulated, but authentic looking hand and thumb cast with a picture of Curly, Moe, Larry and Josh Hamilton on it. They will also receive a simulated disabled list assignment, similar to the 6-8 week DL assignment Hamilton is on. Fans will NOT receive a facsimile of a $17 million contract like the real one Hamilton has for this year.

Yup, veteran and wealthy guy Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton slid into first base last night damaging his thumb to the tune of 6-8 weeks on the shelve. And no, he was NOT safe. If you wonder if Hamilton is really clued in at all just remember how smart he makes everyone else feel. If you are an Angels fan, you are excused. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I HATE REPLAYS !!!!

Home opener, Safeco Field, bottom of the fifth, Cory Hart at the plate, hits a medium depth fly ball to left.  Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton settles under the ball, makes the catch AND as he is taking the ball from his glove with his throwing hand he drops it. It was clearly a catch. Much of the sellout crowd of 45,000+ and all of the press box groaned as McClendon walked onto the field to contest the catch call. The replays clearly validated the call that it was indeed a catch and an out. But everyone went through the review process. And....after nearly FIVE MINUTES they got it wrong.

The correct call was reversed. This call was screwed up like a soup sandwich. It was the worst call in the history of calls! If this would have been a playoff World Series game the review official would be hung in effigy, then hung for real!

You know what I like about the instant replay?
Not a ^%$*#@ thing!!!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ENOUGH Russell Wilson!!!

Sorry folks. I have heard and read enough bout the Seahawks AND more than enough about Russell Wilson!!!!

Wilson apparently will throw out the first pitch at today's Rangers-Phillies game in Arlington Texas. THEN April 8 he will appear here at Safeco Field at the Mariners home opener. I assume Alaska Airlines is taking care of his  upgrades
.

My guess is that with Thursday-Monday  open Wilson will be having dinner with Obama one day then Putin the next.

This is baseball season. Focus fans, focus!!!!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014

Notes from Spring Training

 

Endy Chavez accepted a Tacoma assignment today. These decisions are usually based on several factors, primarily likelihood of a call up. Another factor nobody talks about is interest, or lack of but other teams


Lloyd McClendon notes

 Most of the regular press along with GM Jack Zduriencik and Lloyd McClendon were out to watch the Mariners AAA vs. AA game at noon. It was a bit of a show case for frontline pitchers Taijuan Walker, Brandon Maurer, Stephen Pryor, Hector Noesi and Fernando Rodney. McClendon shared Walker “looked good…a little rust but looked good” Walker threw 50 pitches, will throw again Monday, with pitch count increasing each outing. “Maurer was exceptional… has electric stuff”. McClendon was pretty strong in his view that Maurer just needs to do what he can do consistently. And he repeated “he has great stuff”.

When asked if the rotation decisions were easier (with the departure of Baker) he said “not really”. McClendon remains very guarded about revealing anything.  Asked if Hart could start the season on the DL “I hope not” was the answer.

Yesterday and today (Tuesday) were the two warmest days of the spring, mid to upper 80’s.

Monday, March 24, 2014


More Spring Training Notes March 24, 2014

11:30 am Hisashi Iwakuma

We had a brief conversation with Hisashi Iwakuma. The subject and interest obviously is his rehabilitee and recovery from the injury to his middle finger on his throwing right hand.


He said the ball felt good coming out of his hand. He added he “could feel his finger”. Sometimes, he said, when throwing a fastball the ball can slip a little coming out of his hand. His instructions were to throw six to seven minutes from about 45 feet.

 This was his first time out with a baseball so he took it easy. Full flexibility of the hand is not there. He does not have full range of motion. There is still soreness and stiffness as the finger was in a splint for 6-7 weeks.

Next steps are playing catch every day. He will throw a little farther each day throughout the next week. Next Monday he will take the tape off the finger and continue. In general, this is going well, but will go very slowly. Sounds like a couple of weeks until throwing from 60 feet six inches.


Peoria, Spring Training

Monday March 24, 2014

McClendon 8:00 daily talk

What can provide buzz or excitement around a major league spring camp?  A big name player or players are injured. Worse, long term (miss half or the entire season injuries) injuries happen. A player coming out of nowhere, getting red hot (Brad Miller, not from nowhere but very hot). A player expected to do great things instead struggles badly. In the distant past we even had fun off the field stuff. Like one of the M’s big free agent signees getting arrested for soliciting a lady (hooker) strolling the street.

This morning’s talk with manager reinforced how relatively uneventful this camp has been the last 10 days or so. The 20 minute session lasted barely half that. Not very many questions, short answers followed by long quiet gaps. Even McClendon smiled and noted “you guys are really struggling”…to come up with significant issues to ask about. For the most part, that is a good thing.


 After stating that Iwakuma was doing fine McClendon was asked about any setbacks. “With a tennis ball?” he responded. The manager has good naturedly poked at the medical staff for the tennis ball drill. He has made it clear he has no idea why the tennis ball.

Other pitchers on the mend all are doing well. Walker will pitch again Tuesday, three innings in the AAA game. Prized reliever Stephen Pryor also come through his one inning outing in good shape and will pitch again tomorrow. Brandon Maurer (SP) will throw one inning as well. All three will get their work in the AA game here in Peoria. The progress of all three of these arms will have significant impact on the overall performance and plans for the Mariner pitching staff. That includes the bull pen, rotation and starting pitching depth.


When asked, the manager shared that moves are coming but he will not divulge when.  Obviously the roster has to be down to 25 so moves are coming. McClendon says the last cuts are always tough. He has been through several final cuts, but it is always tough regardless of who is involved and how well or poorly they have played. He showed some real emotion describing that part of his job.


With the McClendon classic eye twinkle at full wattage he offered this “breaking news…Felix is opening day pitcher” and “Robby Cono will bat third…”.


More comments:

McClendon would “love to have three lefties in the pen… I’m just not sure that can happen.”  

The rotation is probably pretty set. McClendon stated it is “getting pretty late…” for pitchers to pitch themselves into or out of the rotation.


The Mariner outfield is “pretty well set” as well. The approach will be to try and play the backups as much as possible, especially early in the season. He also anticipates rotating positions a little. That means those that are capable (Saunders, Bloomquist, etc) will play left, right, center or all three.


 Elias will pitch again before the end of camp.  He could be the surprise starter.


Ordinarily we would think Baker would be

perfect but he has an out. If Baker is NOT put on the Mariners big team roster by this week he can opt out and go to another team. In other words, if he decides not to start the season with the Ms if it means getting sent down when Iwakuma / Walker return he could go now. A lot of that will have to do with what he anticipates from other teams.  Randy Wolf’s situation is similar.


When asked he would NOT state Miller is his starting shortstop He smiled at the question and simply said “he is today”.  

Saturday, March 22, 2014


March 22 Spring Training

Mariners vs. Padres AAA game  1:00


While the “big Mariners” were engaging the Rockies at their ball park a pretty interesting AAA game was taking place here in Peoria. The AA & AA games were actually road games, at San Diego. So that road trip consisted of walking about a half mile to two minor league fields over on the Padres side of this complex. The focus of interest centered on the two Seattle pitchers slated to pitch the first and second innings.

 

Taijuan Walker started the game pitching the first inning. He looked good but was hit pretty hard. The positive is he got through the outing in good health. No pain, no unusual anything.  

Walker was followed by hard throwing relief pitcher Stephen Pryor. He had better luck getting through the Padres order pretty quickly.  Afterward Pryor said he was excited but the arm felt right and things went well. He feels “back to normal” not thinking about anything but “getting outs”. He through mostly fastballs with a few sliders and change ups. Bottom line is Pryor felt as he would have had this been his first or second outing of the spring. No distraction no concern.

This was a big afternoon. Both Pryor and Walker are both prized Mariner arms. And this first step was positive for both.  


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