• joined Mar 20, 2008
  • last login Aug 30, 2014
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  • MLB Seattle Mariners
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Larry Stone talks to Brian Cashman about the attempted Cliff Lee trade


Brian Cashman talks about almost having a deal and why it fell through. The trade talks seemed to have gone pretty well. It looked like there was a fit, something happened to one of the trade pieces, couldn't agree to an alternate deal so Zduriencik went with Texas.


Thoughts on our Draft Pick position

It's been a while since I've done a fanpost. Forgive me if I have made any mistakes.As we march into the final series of the season I find myself thinking about the one good thing that comes out...

David Aardsma improves season by throwing fewer fastballs


Per Geoff Baker ------------------------------------ After a disappointing first half to this season, Mariners closer David Aardsma was called in for a chat with his boss. Former manager Don Wakamatsu asked Aardsma to look deep within himself to figure out whether he was doing all he could to remain an elite level closer. When Aardsma replied that he wasn't, the two men broke down all the elements of his outings and determined Aardsma needed to throw his fastball less often. "I was throwing a lot of fastballs," said Aardsma, who threw a major-league high 87 percent fastballs last year, but is now down to 77 percent and using his splitter and slider more. "I was trying to attack guys with fastballs and trying to beat them with fastballs constantly when I have several other pitches that can be successful. And make my fastball better." ..... On Sunday, Aardsma got his 31st save in 36 opportunities with two weeks left. Last year, he had 38 saves in 42 chances, meaning he's blown only one more save this season despite his admittedly poor first half. "Every day, after I get done throwing, I throw a bunch of off-speed stuff," Aardsma said. "And then, I get in the game and it's like 'Oh my god, I'm throwing more strikes with it and I've got better stuff. Why didn't I do that all year?' " But the game, he said, is about making continuous adjustments. Aardsma felt too many hitters were sitting back waiting on his fastball, to the point where they could foul off even his best strikeout pitches. "If I didn't make that adjustment, I might not have been around too much longer," he said. ------------------------------------

Shannon Drayer does better: Inside the Mariner Front Office


Shannon Drayer has an excellent article in which she gathers information from former front office employees (none identified nor quoted) as it relates to just how much "meddling" Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln have done. In short, less than what the general Mariner fan wants to believe. Perhaps even significantly so. The article also includes a few tidbits on the Bill Bavasi and Pat Gillick regimes.

The semi-charmed life of Felix Hernandez (Includes who to kill for naming him "Fifi")


Despite being on a crappy team, Felix seems pretty happy for the most part. And won't you be thrilled discovering which two players started the whole "Fifi" nickname! It somehow stuck around for four years. He is also going to have to figure out what to do instead of messing around with Lopez and soon.

Mariners knew about Josh Leuke's past?


Bored with the Mariners. Good news! Geoff Baker has an article for you. Mariners says they didn't know about Leuke's past. Rick Adair say he actually informed Zduriencik ahead of time before the deal was completed. Rangers GM Jon Daniels comments on his side of the story. Chuck Armstrong demanded a substitute for Josh Leuke. Zduriencik has implemented google search policy in wake of this issue. Josh Leuke just wants to move on. Controversy!

You're a bad influence on Felix. Plus you're too fat.


Larry Stone presents: Carlos Silva "In Seattle, people were worried more about my weight than anything else," he said. "Here, people were worried about how to get me back on track. Since I got to spring training, they don't even talk about my weight. They say, 'You've got to do this and this to get you ready for the season.' "In Seattle, the only thing I hear is my weight. 'You're out of shape.' Even when I was on the DL, they say, 'Don't go on the road trip because you're out of shape.' What do you mean, out of shape? I'm not even pitching right now. How do you know if I'm in shape? Stuff like that makes you mad, angry." -------------------------- "There was one thing that made me so crazy in Seattle," he said. "Pretty much they wanted me out of Seattle. It was very clear they were saying I was a bad influence on Felix. "I'd say Felix needs a bad influence, because if I was a bad influence — Felix won 19 games. I don't know how he didn't win the Cy Young. To me, he was the best pitcher and the most consistent pitcher in the whole league last year. And they say I was bad influence?" Asked to specify who "they" was, Silva said, "I don't say names. Some people on the team. That was driving me crazy. If Felix had someone who was always trying to keep him on line, that was me. I feel I was a good influence."

Brandon League uses splitter as his "last resort" pitch


Geoff Baker asks Brandon League why he doesn't throw that unhittable pitch more often. Last year, League apparently had trouble spotting his two-seam fastball (sinker) which made him use the splitter more (the stats have been well documented). So why did he go splitter-crazy in Sunday's game vs. Cincinnati? "That was a last resort,'' he said with a laugh. "They couldn't score there or it was a tie game. I had to get a strikeout.'' League's fastball currently sits 1.4 runs above average vs. 3.1 below average last year. Guess we'll see how this goes.

Bavasi traded Shin-Soo Choo/Astrubal Cabrera because...


"We were on strict orders when I got there that we were not going to tolerate any five-year plans," said Bavasi, now a special assistant with the Cincinnati Reds. "They felt that five-year plans usually turn into seven- or eight-year plans, and it’s true. That made sense — just keep getting better — but that also brought with it different pressures." ---------------------------- "We just didn’t have a chance for him to play at that time," Bavasi said. "We looked at his tools and makeup and thought he would be a pretty good player. But every number he’s put up is a little bit better than what we anticipated."

Baker: Milton Bradley on why he asked for help


Geoff Baker provides a hefty article on what lead to Milton Bradley seeking help for his personal demons. Between this and the upcoming ESPN.com Interview, I imagine there will be plenty of talk about Bradley during the off-day.


4/19: Weekly Open Baseball Thread

Cause we need a thread to talk about non-Mariner games without dragging other threads off-topic.  And I need a place to talk about Bill Hall playing center field for the Red Sox. Holy crap, Bill...

Jim Moore (Seattle PI) interviews Milton Bradley


I'm trying to imagine myself hating Milton Bradley. It's not working. Maybe I should try loving him instead.

Ichiro makes awesome catch in Spring Training (3/23) (With Video!)


That is simply ridiculous! Ichiro just defies everything. I'm still trying to figure out how he did that!

ESPN Interviews Milton Bradley (who felt like a prisoner in Chicago)


More Milton Bradley stuff. Also with video! Just because...

I love Johjima!


Kenji Johjima is comfortable back home in Japan - by Brad Lefton "Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins?" [Johjima] asked with surprised delight. "Wow, the Mariners really made some bold moves. I'll bet everyone in Seattle is pumped up for the season." ------- "Seattle will always have a place in my heart," he said. "When I'm finished with baseball, I'd like to go back to Safeco Field and enjoy a game just sitting in the stands drinking a beer. It was a great place and that's a nice dream." Really good article. I miss him already.

Chris Antonetti in '11? (For the Indians)


Press conference at 1:30pm ET (10:30am PT). Apparently, they're expected to announce that after 2010, Mark Shapiro will be promoted to Team President of the Cleveland Indians. Chris Antonetti, meanwhile, will moves from his long-time assistant role to the GM slot. If it goes down as expected, I can't wait to see the Indians' 2010 offseason. As a quick refresher, Chris Antonetti represents the type of GM we really wanted to have after the Bavasi era finished (See Dave Cameron's "Antonetti in '08" profile from 2006). And as yet another reminder, Jack Zduriencik became the type of GM we really wanted to have after the Bavasi era finished. Go, Indians!

Young execs waiting in GM wings (And so it begins)


Doug Miller (Pravda) provides a list of young potential GM candidates. Some are familiar of course, but they've pointed out some new ones. Jeff Kingston Current job: Assistant GM, Seattle Mariners Age: 32 The latest: Kingston joined the Mariners last September, replacing longtime assistant GM Lee Pelekoudas, and made a big impact this winter, being a key operator in the negotiations that ultimately led to the signing of staff ace Felix Hernandez to a five-year contract extension. The resume: Kingston graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in 1999 with a degree in economics, started in baseball when hired by Epstein as an intern for the Padres, and spent the last nine seasons working his way up through the San Diego baseball operations department. Kingston was named the Padres' director of baseball operations in November 2002, a title he held until being hired by Seattle. While in San Diego, he was primarily responsible for assisting former GM Kevin Towers and assistant GM Fred Uhlman Jr. in all player acquisitions as well as roster, payroll and budget management, contract negotiations and salary arbitration efforts and overseeing statistical analysis and scouting efforts. Quotable: "I am excited to add Jeff to our front office staff. He assisted in several capacities with San Diego, and his skill set and diversity will aid this organization as we move forward." -- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik when Kingston was hired


Why our Front Office is awesome: Tony Blengino

This would be a nice headline for a series.  Unfortunately, all I'm here to do is point out an interview that Larry Stone conducted with Tony Blengino several weeks ago that he's just now springing...

Yet another Jack Zduriencik article!


Can't get enough of Jack Zduriencik? Here's another article, this time from Jim Street (Pravda). ----------------------------- So much improvement has been made in such a short time in fact, that "In Jack We Trust" has become a popular slogan in the Northwest. "It's flattering, but I blush when I hear that," Zduriencik said. "This is not about me. I am the front guy in the baseball department, the guider of the ship, if you will. But this is a team effort, from ownership on down." -----------------------------

Prospectus Q&A with Don Wakamatsu


Another awesome interview with our lovely manager. My favorite part: DL: Given the strides you made last year, and the acquisitions that Jack has already made this off-season, the Mariners are going to be a sexy pick for a lot of prognosticators going into spring training. What message will you be communicating to your players when you get to Peoria? DW: My first message is going to be that two years ago, they picked that team to go to the World Series and they lost 100 games. Picking somebody, or having your vision on something that you haven't even come close to getting to yet, is a waste of time. Our focus is going to be, and it's going to start in spring training, to try to accomplish absolutely the most that we possibly can and come together as a team, and also to get guys prepared to come to battle. The rest is going to be series to series. We had a lot of success doing that this year, and it's probably going to be more critical as labels get put on our club. We'll be prepared to talk about that on day one of spring training.

Fox Sports West fires Angels' Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc

"We are going in a different direction next season and will use single announcing teams on TV and radio that will include Rory Markas and Mark Gubicza on Fox Sports West and KCOP and Terry Smith and Jose Mota calling the action on radio (KLAA AM 830). We believe this approach will create greater consistency on our telecasts, as well as a deeper familiarity with fans and viewers. We would like to thank Rex Hudler and Steve Physioc for their contributions through the years and we wish each of them well." Maybe now I can start watching the Angels feed again.

Baseball Replays Would Make Umpires ‘Robots,’

"Using video to review plays such as tags and whether a ball is fair or foul would interfere with the pace of games and turn umpires into "robots," according to Lamell McMorris, chief negotiator for the World Umpires Association." Getting warmer...

Mariners 2010 Schedule Released


They've decided to let us face the St. Louis Cardinals this time (June 15, 16, 17).

This is our manager.


This is our manager.

Blue Jays release B.J. Ryan


And he still has one more year to go in that 5-year/$47 Million contract where he'll be paid $10 Million in 2010. Long-term contracts for relievers = GOOD IDEA!!!

Announcers lambast umpires for making correct assumption


Bobby Jenks (White Sox) throws inside to send a message to Texas in the 9th inning (5/9). Home Plate Ump issues a warning. Ken Harrelson says they should get some umpires who know what they're doing.

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