Category Archives: Mariners

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Mariners Hoping Jesus Can Be a Prince

Make no mistake, I wanted Prince Fielder in a Seattle Mariners uniform.

Justin Smoak

That being said, I’m okay with Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik not opting for the big dough that snagged Fielder for the Detroit Tigers. I guess as a lifelong M’s fan, I’ve seen Kevin Mitchell not hit HRs in the Kingome, and Richie Sexton and Adrian Beltre never come close to the power numbers they displayed with other teams. Now Fielder may be different, but the reality is that I think it’s too high a price-tag. Fielder may have several good years in front of him, but a 9-year commitment and still needing to sign your own guys like Felix Hernandez in a few years leads to an awful lot of issues. I’m tired of hearing people say the M’s didn’t try to get him. They have no idea that’s true. It’s not like they can run to the store and pick him up! Outside of money, why would he want to be here? The Mariners are at least a couple of years away from contending again; they are young; the ball park is huge and hitting HR’s isn’t easy; the cold makes it worse for the first 3 months… You get the picture. In Detroit, they are already contending and they have a hitter friendly park. He may be there ticket over the top now.

I like Jesus Montero and I’ve never seen him play. The guys who know a lot more about baseball rave about him. Who cares if he isn’t that much of a defensive catcher. We haven’t had stellar backstop work since Dan Wilson hung up the spikes. The kid is 22 years old. As long as he can keep the ball in front of him, throw the ball back to the pitcher, and keep runners halfway honest, I can live with it as long as it comes with .330, 30 HR’s, and 120 RBIs! If Montero can be anywhere near the lofty status people project for him, comparing him to mashers like Frank Thomas and Miguel Cabrera, then the M’s may have their own “prince” locked up for the next 6 years. Time will tell.

At this point, I actually find myself excited to watch Montero, Justin Smoak, Mike Carp and Dustin Ackley for a full season. Spring always brings hope eternal, right? It just might need to be hope in 2013 or 2014. I’d settle for a anything better than a lousy .233 batting average and .292 on base percentage. THAT  would at least keep me watching more games. And, it would lead to more wins – something the Mariners organization, Jack Zduriencik, and Manager Eric Wedge desperately need!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


My Thoughts – Catching Up!

I’ve been challenged in blogging lately, but that should end today. I apologize to all my readers for being away, but in the words of that great philosopher Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’m Back!”

  • The Seahawks still have the inside track for the NFC West. With all teams losing last week, we just simply advanced a week on the schedule. The next two weeks are critical for the Hawks. They have home games against Kansas City and Carolina. I view these as “must-wins.” If they do, that puts them at 7 wins with division games against San Francisco (road) and St. Louis (home). A win against the Rams would put them at 8 wins and essentially give them the division. The loss against New Orleans didn’t hurt. The next 2 weeks may mean the season.
  • I have a funny feeling that Jake Locker and the Huskies will make the Apple Cup meaningful by beating Cal on Saturday. A road win in the Pac-10 is always tough, but I don’t think the Bears have shown a whole lot of mental toughness under Jeff Tedford. Take last year’s game at Husky Stadium. I’m looking for a close game and a Husky win at 24-21. If they don’t make a bowl game, they can look back at the Arizona State game at home as the season killer. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
  • Felix Hernandez unquestionably was the Cy Young winner. I am so pleased that the baseball writers got past the 13 win total. Had his mates posted another 13 runs cumulatively, he may have been at 21 wins! Next year will be no different unless we can get some bats. The hot stove league should be interesting this year.

Keep watching for me on Twitter – @DailyDanSports for daily updates. I will be tweeting on the football games tomorrow!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

My Oh My…So Long Dave

The voice of two generations of Mariners fans was silenced today.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus passed away in his home in Bellevue today after suffering a heart attack. He was 75 years old.

I remember vividly being glued to my transistor radio on April 6, 1977. Diego Segui threw out the first pitch against the California Angels and the Mariners eventually lost 7-0. I was transfixed by the voice of Niehaus. For 33 years I listened to games, most o them losses, but it didn’t matter because Dave Niehaus was in a league of his own. I am stunned and sick by his loss. Prayers are with his family, friends, the whole organization, and Mariner Nation. The best way I can memorialize him in this blog is to end with his most famous (and perhaps the most famous Seattle) call of all time. Game 5 against the hated Yankees on the American League Championship Series in 1995 (courtesy of ESPN)…

“Right now, the Mariners looking for the tie. They would take a fly ball, they would love a base hit into the gap and they could win it with Junior’s speed. The stretch … and the 0-1 pitch on the way to Edgar Martinez, swung on and LINED DOWN THE LEFT-FIELD LINE FOR A BASE HIT! HERE COMES JOEY, HERE IS JUNIOR TO THIRD BASE, THEY’RE GOING TO WAVE HIM IN! THE THROW TO THE PLATE WILL BE … LATE! THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO PLAY FOR THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP! I DON’T BELIEVE IT! IT JUST CONTINUES! MY OH MY!”

Friday Night Lights Recap

I went 7-2 on my Kitsap Sun picks last night. I pretty much knew Port Angeles was going to beat North Kitsap, but I couldn’t in good conscience sit in the press box, call the game, and much on pizza knowing I had “betrayed” the home team. Let’s just say I took one for the team!

I also didn’t do my homework on Port Townsend. Had I known they were 0-6 heading into the game, I would j=have had a different pick. My bad going with the home team.

Now I need a BIG effort form Jake Locker and the Dawgs against Oregon State. I truly believe this is a bounce back game for UW and it’s their modus operandi (MO in sports jargon).  We shall see tonight.

P.S. So, Eric Wedge is the next Mariners skipper. What do you think? From the list they compiled, he is probably the best option. If he can bring a clean-up hitter with him, that would help.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Monday Morning QB – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Let’s start with the “Ugly” and work backwards. I like ending on a high note…

High School Football – I was at the North Kitsap – Bremerton game Friday night. Bremerton dominated. RB Kyle Kennedy (amended) reminds me of John Riggins. They trounced the home-standing Vikings and deserve accolades for the win. Why is this an “Ugly?” Because Bremerton coach Nate Gillem allowing his team to humiliate an opponent is totally classless. Bremerton intercepted a Viking pass on their own 3-yard line with only a couple of minutes left in the game. They were winning 35-7. Game over, right? Wrong.

After getting out of the shadow of their goal line, Bremerton preceded to pass the ball downfield (with their starters) to attempt to score again. They threw long, they ran trick plays, as NK coach Steve Frease screamed at them from the other side of the field with his finger pointing to…the scoreboard.

With seconds to go, Bremerton ran a reverse play to score a TD. Not an off-tackle, not a dive, but a reverse. Thank goodness they were called for holding, so it didn’t stand. They then kneeled down to end the game, but the damage was done.

Gillem explained they needed the win (already firmly in place by only 4 tD’s). He also said he let his players call the plays. Great. So that’s why every coach on your sideline was encouraging the players to score. Sportsmanship needs to at least stay in high school sports. In an era where parents are out of control on expectations, and kids are being wooed by colleges at younger and younger ages, you’d hope coaches would at least show some measure of respect and charity. I’m all about winning. I’m not about humiliating kids and coaches in front of their fans. Coach Nate Gillem was way over the line and should be reprimanded. His players should have been in the spotlight after the game. Not him.

Bad – the Seattle Seahawks offense. Fortunately for them, the “Ugly” went to someone else. Special teams won the game the previous week. No such luck in St. Louis. Coach Carroll has 2 weeks to figure out a way to make first downs, much less touchdowns. This is getting to be as anemic as the Mariners offense. And they at least had Felix Hernandez to help them out every 5 days. Oh, wait. They never scored runs when he pitched. Never mind.

Good – Spectacular – Tremendous – Jake Locker was left for dead by the national media and even members of his local media and fans. Like the Phoenix, he rose from the ashes and single-handedly led his team to a huge victory in Los Angeles over USC. Nebraska? A distant memory. 1-0 in conference and one win closer to a bowl game. If it took the Nebraska loss to catapult them into a positive Pac-10 season, I’ll take that loss every time. That could very well be a season-defining win for this team.

P.S. My daughter and I tied for the Fantasy Baseball bragging rights. I guess we will have to break that tie next year!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Next Year’s Mariners Lineup

It’s time to call a spade a spade for the Seattle Mariners.

This year, we were filled with hope coming off an 85-win season. We added Cliff Lee, Milton Bradley, and Chone Figgins and hoped that we would get decent performances form the offense so that we could pitch and play defense into the AL West crown. Obviously, that didn’t happen…in a BIG way.

It’s time to admit we are rebuilding and get some of the kids down in the minors a chance to play, fail, and ultimately see if they are the guys who can bring us back into being a contender. We keep hearing about how great the farm system is since Jack Zduriencik came in and started doing his thing. As an old Seahawks motto from days gone by once said, “It’s NOW Time!”

Here’s how I’d like to see the starting lineup look for next year…

C – Adam Moore       He’s played pretty well of late and he was supposed to be our savior at the position. We’ve got to let him play every day.

1B – Justin Smoak    He was the prize jewel in the Cliff Lee deal. Time to deliver.

2B – Dustin Ackley   Our #2 overall pick is playing well in Tacoma. Time to see what he can do in the bigs.

SS – Josh Wilson      A better bat than Jack.

3B – Matt Tuiasosopo Has been great the last few days after being bad for a couple of years. He needs reps and consistent play to see if he can play at this level.

LF – Michael Saunders    I’ve been impressed with this guy. I think he can have a break-out year in 2011.

CF – Franklin Gutierrez   Duh!

RF – Ichiro Suzuki    I hear the rumblings about trading him. No way. This guy is a future Hall of Famer and a 200-hit a year guarantee. We need him at the top of the lineup.

DH – Russell Branyan   A veteran leader with pop in his bat. Good guy in the clubhouse.

Chone Figgins needs to be traded to a team that will contend. We can free up that money and continue to work on the areas of weaknesses. Milton Bradley – see ya! The pitching staff is pretty deep and I like the young arms. We may need to find a closer, though.

Bottom line – It’s time to move on. This is a project to be contending in 2012. To do that, we need to find out who is good and who isn’t. The only way to do that is to let them play. We may not win a ton of games, but at least they should be fun and exciting.

P.S. We’d better hire a manager who knows how to handle young players.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Don’t Look Now, But…

The Mariners are 4-1 under new skipper Daren Brown. What if he goes 30-13? Is he a consideration for the permanent job? I know it’s early, but just saying…

My call for the PGA championship….Dustin Johnson. He learned from a horrendous U.S. Open Sunday. He’s a big hitter and if he can find his putter, watch out.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Now What for Mariners?

Well, Daren Brown is 1-0 as Mariners skipper. Maybe he should quit while he’s ahead.

I’m sure Brown is an excellent choice to finish the season. He’s managed some of these guys at Tacoma and it makes sense. Unless, the M;s go 31-12 or something silly like that, I doubt he will be considered for the job long-term. So that begs the question – who?

I don’t like Bobby Valentine as an option. Yes, he’s had success but he’s 60 years old and I think this club needs someone who will be here longer than what Valentine may be able to offer. I’ve heard the name Joey Cora. He was a finalist when Wakamatsu got the gig and he would be a fan favorite. Willie Randolph is a good candidate because of his pedigree. Here are two guys I would have a lot of interest in…

1 – Ryne Sandberg is the odds-on favorite to replace Lou Piniella (ther’s some irony) in Chicago. In fact, Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith said in the USA Today today that the Cubs should hire him. Hes managed at all levels of the minor leagues and is the right kind of manager for a young club because he’s played at the highest level and that will breed credibility . He’s also a Spokane native.

2 – Don Mattingly – This guy was a tremendous player for the Yankees and has since worked with Joe Torre in New York and Los Angeles. Everything I hear is that Mattingly is going to be a tremendous manager and is being groomed to replace Torre eventually with the Dodgers. How about here in Seattle?

Both these guys (and I would toss in Randolph) have credibility as a player; something Wakamatsu didn’t. If you can’t come in as a big-name manager like Piniella did, you’ve got to have some stripes as a player to make it work in this situation.

Your turn – tell me some names you’d like to see. But please, don’t say Ken Griffey Jr. (he’d be horrible); Jay Buhner (no experience); or Edgar Martinez (ditto).Tell me who would work here and why…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Breaking News: Don Wakamatsu Fired

Don Wakamatsu was fired today as Mariners manager – Read story from ESPN

Blows my mind. Last year, he was the shining star leading this team to 85 wins after a 100-loss season. Today, he’s the goat of the franchise. According to ESPN’s Rob Neyer, he lost control of the team. Really? I guess a 42-70 record will do that. He’s had public spats with Chone Figgins. He’s had clubhouse issues with people talking about Ken Griffey Jr. and “sleepgate.” Bottom line – he’s had a team that should be at least 20 wins better than it is. Still, I thought he would get another year. I’m shocked.

Pitching coach Rick Adair is also out. He was credited for getting Jarrod Washburn to pitch well last year. He also went from a savior to a goat, primarily because the bullpen went to pieces.

I know it’s about winning. Daren Brown from Tacoma will take over for the rest of the year. Don’t count on him being the replacement. Look for the M’s to do the same thing the Seahawks did after abruptly axing Jim Mora. They need to make a splash. They just saw Baltimore get Buck Showalter (who would have worked here). What other big names are out there? Looks like it will be an interesting off-season.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Wak and Figgie – Go to Your Corners, Round 2

So now it’s come to this.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Chone Figgins was benched last night in the 5th inning by Manager Don Wakamatsu for not backing up the cut off man and allowing Mike Cameron to go to 3rd base on a double. Figgins became irate in the dugout and players needed to get involved to avoid any escalation. So much for all the clubhouse harmony from last year.

I saw the play. Figgins was at fault. Had he made an effort to back up Michael Saunders overthrow, Cameron would not have mafe a bee-line to third. However, Figgins probably feels singled out. Let’s face it, there are other guys on this team who continually make huge errors. Jose Lopez has been a disaster on the basepaths and on the field. Why has he not been benched.

This team is in complete disarray. Figgins and Milton Bradley are headed the way of other big free agents signings of th past, Carlos Silva and Jeff Cirillo. They are terrible and we are stuck with them or their salary for several year. We have three first baseman who can’t play other positions. Our pitchers continue to throw great games with no run support (except for Ryan Rowland-Smith who gets lit up every time he pitches).

This latest episode is indicative of losing. The “harmony” that Wakamatsu apparently brought last year looks like an aberration. Jack Zduriencik had better make some moves to turn this around. For now, I believe Wakamatsu is safe. He won’t survive another first half like this next year, though.

Now is the time to see who can play. I’d like to see them recall Matt Tuiasososopo and play him at third every day. He was a high draft choice; let’s see what ewe’ve got. Trade Lopez for whatever you can get. Continue to play Saunders every day in left. Play Justin Smoak at first every day. When Branyan returns, he’s your DH. Release Milton Bradley….the experiment is over. Stop sending Rowland-Smith out there just to spot the other team 6 runs. See what you’ve got down in Tacoma.

By the way, does it make you angry that we’ve been watching Adrian Beltre and Bil Hall beating us with their bats over the past 2 days? These guys were both on our team last year. I’d trade Hall at 2B and Beltre at 3B for Lopez and Figgins in a heart beat.

Well, at least I will say this – Wak and Figgie gave is something to talk about other than a 2-1 loss.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved