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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slate: Out at Home

Reds fans couldn’t help but think the Griffeys should’ve reunited in Cincinnati. Junior’s ancestral connection to the Big Red Machine explained a lot of the fervor over his eventual homecoming. Just as important was his star power, which transcended his sport in a way that doesn’t really happen in baseball today. (Try to imagine local news helicopters tracking the homecoming of, say, Dallas-born Clayton Kershaw.) Griffey had endorsement deals with Pepsi, Nabisco, and AOL; he had a hugely popular video game; he had a sprawling relationship with Nike, seen most famously in the ads that pushed “Griffey for President.” And yet, in an era when TV money had not yet semileveled the playing field, baseball’s most famous player chose to go to Cincinnati, one of the game’s smallest markets. To make that happen, Griffey agreed to a team-friendly extension: a nine-year deal for $112.5 million that made him just the seventh-highest-paid player in the game (And that didn’t even account for the fact that more than half of the money was deferred.) “If the player owns a Rolls-Royce and he chooses to sell it at Volkswagen prices, that’s his right,” agent Scott Boras groused. The contract’s details reportedly moved Bud Selig to the verge of tears.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 24, 2016 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ken griffey, jr., mariners, reds, trades

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cubs get Mike Montgomery in 4-player trade | MLB.com

The Cubs added what they hope will be a key piece to the bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery from the Mariners for Minor League prospects Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mariners, trade

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mariners notebook: Finally on Wednesday, it’s Happy Felix Day again | The News Tribune

Ace right-hander Felix Hernandez will be officially activated prior to the game from the disabled list after the Mariners make a corresponding space-clearing roster move.

“I’m ready, man,” Hernandez said. “I was going crazy (in the early) weeks when I wasn’t with the team (on the road). It was the worst time of my career. But I’m good now. I’m ready to go.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mariners notebook: Who loses out in looming shift to four-man rotation? | The News Tribune

Updates on some pending roster moves, including King Felix’s return.

The Mariners have Hernandez positioned to start the July 31 night game at Wrigley, which will be televised by ESPN. That will be the Mariners’ first appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball in more than 12 years.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How a young Big Papi beat Griffey, A-Rod in the greatest home run derby you’ve never heard of | ESPN.com

It seems almost inconceivable now, given the risk of injury and the overall unwillingness of most big leaguers to give up a precious day off. Back then, though, two years after a players’ strike wiped out the World Series, in-season barnstorming trips to minor league affiliates weren’t uncommon.



The Mariners, fresh off an appearance in the American League Championship Series in 1995 and contending again in ‘96, were set to play a doubleheader July 30 in Milwaukee. After wrapping up a homestand on July 28, they traveled to Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers had demonstrated their commitment to the Mariners by building a new ballpark two years earlier.

...

JOHN McLAREN, MARINERS THIRD-BASE COACH: The word was we weren’t going to be able to play but we’re going to try to give the fans something to grasp onto. Someone came up with the idea of doing a home run derby, so we went looking for hitters.

...

Rodriguez, who hit 14 homers in 248 at-bats in Appleton’s old ballpark in 1994, volunteered to participate. And by popular demand, Griffey was talked into competing, too. The Timber Rattlers countered with outfielder Luis Tinoco, hitting coach Joaquin Contreras and Ortiz, who was in the midst of a breakout season in which he batted .322 with 18 homers, 93 RBIs and a .901 OPS.

...

ORTIZ: I was hitting balls onto the highway, bro. Like, it was crazy. I could see they were impressed with what I was doing, and they were the guys in the big leagues. I was just playing A-ball. It was fun. I’ll never forget that.

...

[GARY HORCHER, TV REPORTER FOR WBAY, ABC AFFILIATE IN APPLETON]: Ken Griffey Jr. was standing by A-Rod when Ortiz started hitting his first couple shots. It was a different noise. Some guys, it sounds like a thunderclap, and other guys it doesn’t generate the same sound. This was like a hammer clattering against something really percussive. I remember everybody kind of winced. We looked over for Griffey’s reaction, and I remember Griffey kind of looking up and smiling. But A-Rod was going, “Oh my god!” I remember after one of Ortiz’s shots, A-Rod was like, “Look at that guy! I ain’t got a chance.”



RODRIGUEZ: I think we were all wondering why he wasn’t coming back with us to the Kingdome. We wanted to take him on the plane with us.

...

[MIKE GOFF, TIMBER RATTLERS MANAGER]: I can’t remember how many he hit, but I know he hit a bunch. He wasn’t just hitting them to right field. He was hitting them all over the ballpark, and it was a good-sized yard. It wasn’t a small yard. To hear that Alex said, “We should take him back to the Kingdome,” I think that’s bulls—- to be honest. I think some of [the Mariners] were embarrassed by what Davey did to them in that competition—and I loved every single minute of it.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Mariners prospect Tyler O’Neill all business at Futures Game | The Seattle Times

How’s his defense? He misplayed a Bregman single into a triple in the Future’s Game.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, prospects, tyler o'neil

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mariners acquire pitcher Zach Lee from Dodgers for Chris Taylor | The News Tribune

Two change of scenery players.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mariners, trade

Sunday, June 12, 2016

James Paxton could be key for Mariners’ staff | MLB.com

A friend was texting me during the game. He told me that Paxton was “hitting 98-100” every other pitch” and “he just threw a 92 MPH slider”. Of course, he finished with, “He’s still giving up hits. LOL.” Fangraphs discussed his increased velocity the other day. It looks like the velocity is sustainable, at least in the short term.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: james paxton, mariners

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beyond the Boxscore: The AL West doesn’t look like we thought it would.

With the AL West comes the payoff for this whole exercise, and, in a broader sense, this whole baseball thing: a division in chaos, and unlike the other divisions in chaos, chaos that looks nothing like we expected it to. On Opening Day, the Rangers and A’s had nearly identical playoff odds of about 19 percent; today, the Rangers are sitting atop the division, just over 60 percent, while the A’s sit at a measly five percent. The only team below Oakland is the team that began the season just above them, the Angels, but the loss of Garrett Richards and Andrelton Simmons have sent their playoff odds tumbling from 26 percent to three percent.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 10, 2016 at 02:04 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Monday, June 06, 2016

Lookout Landing: The King may be out longer than we thought.

en James Paxton was called up late last week, we weren’t sure at the time exactly why. We came to find out that the move corresponded with a 15-Day DL trip for Felix Hernandez. It was scary news, seeing as The King has only missed like one start in his ten-year career. With his velocity down more than one tick this year, and the command all over the place, Felix has looked…different than ever before in his career. Of course, that “different” isn’t the magical 2014 version, it’s a new, maybe scarier version. It’s still an absolutely fantastic pitcher. But, it’s a pitcher currently with a strained calf.

Finally a playoff hunt and the King is in the counting house.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 06, 2016 at 07:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, mariners

Mariners notebook: Cano’s bounce-back surge at one year and counting | The News Tribune

His decline will certainly come. For now, though, he’s back to being one of the best second baseman in baseball.

It was just about a year ago that Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, a perennial All-Star, bottomed out in the mid-.230s in a dreadful start to the season.

Criticism was sharp that Cano, then 32, had started an inevitable decline with more than 8 1/2 years remaining on his 10-year deal. He spent much of last June muddling along to get out of the .230s before putting on a closing kick.

Fast forward a year and check the numbers.

Cano posted a .302 average with a .355 on-base percentage and a .529 slugging percentage in 159 games from June 4, 2015 through June 4, 2016. He also had 36 doubles, 35 homers, 101 runs and 110 RBIs in that span.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Friday, June 03, 2016

Mariners react to historic comeback vs. Padres | MLB.com

My, my, isn’t this embarrassing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, padres

Monday, May 30, 2016

Cwik (BLS): A 92-year-old WWII vet threw our favorite Memorial Day first pitch

Rumor has it a Braves scout was checking out the southpaw.

While a number of our veterans acquitted themselves well when it comes to the national pastime, our favorite Memorial Day first pitch came courtesy of Burke Waldron. Waldron, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, threw out the first pitch prior to Sunday’s Seattle Mariners game.

As the Mariners announced just prior to Waldron taking the field, the 92-year-old navy veteran began his military service in 1943. He served at Pearl Harbor for some time, and retired from the military in 1946 as a petty officer, 2nd class.

Waldron is apparently 92 years old, but he could have fooled us. He runs better than most 42 year olds, and probably throws better than them too. We can only hope to have that much vigor at his age.

Oh, and in case you were still wondering, Waldron is 92 years old.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: May 30, 2016 at 10:53 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch, mariners, veterans, world war ii

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mariners Leonys Martin hits walk-off home run | MLB.com

Martin isn’t putting up M.V.P. numbers but if he can keep this up, he’s a valuable contributor.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2016 at 07:06 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: leonys martin, mariners

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Taijuan Walker Expects to Make Next Start after Leaving Game with Neck Spasms

HOUSTON – Taijuan Walker was removed from the Mariners game against the Astros after pitching just two innings with what was announced shortly after to be neck spasms. After the game, Walker said he believed that he slept wrong Thursday night and was confident he could make his next start.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 07, 2016 at 09:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Friday, May 06, 2016

We’ve Never Seen This Felix Hernandez | FanGraphs Baseball

Is he still the King or has he abdicated his throne?

We have a Felix who isn’t throwing as hard, and we have a Felix who isn’t throwing consistent strikes. Still, we have a Felix who’s remained moderately effective, so it’s not all bad news. He remains a difficult pitcher to square up, but with a reduced margin of error, it seems Felix might be trying to be more careful. That’s the somewhat positive spin. The more negative spin would be that better contact is coming, and maybe Felix is just hurt, plain and simple. I see it, and I get it. I always try to give ace pitchers the benefit of the doubt. Of course, at some point, every ace pitcher stops being an ace.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 06, 2016 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Record Setting Five Koreans Debut in Major League Baseball

When most fans of Major League Baseball (MLB) think of players from the Pacific Rim, players imported from Japan’s professional league tend to come to mind. Whether it be Ichiro or for a period Dice K Matsuzaka, there have been a string of high profile players coming from Japan to the United States. That perception may be about to change. While more Japanese professionals have played in the major leagues, players from Korea are increasingly making their mark in MLB as well.

Because of the thriving professional leagues in Korea and Japan, a posting system remains in place that limits the flow of talent to the majors from Korea and Japan relative to what the overall level of talent in either country would warrant than in comparison from Latin America. This has begun to change somewhat in the last decade or so thanks in part to the success of players such as Ichiro and more recently to Koreans such as Choo Shin-soo with the Rangers and Ryu Hyun-jin with the Dodgers.

In the case of Korea, this all began with Park Chan-ho. Park became the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he briefly made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, but would go on to become a star once he had established himself in the majors by 1996. Park’s success helped to pave the way for other players from Korea to come to the United States, with a peak of 8 Koreans playing in the majors in 2005.

While the number of Koreans playing in MLB tailed off after 2005, the 2016 season has seen a resurgence in Koreans playing in the majors. Five Korean-born players have already made their debut this season and the number of Korean-born players on MLB rosters is again at an all-time high of eight. However, if prospects such as Lee Hak-ju of the San Francisco Giants make their debut this season, 2016 could represent a high-water mark for Koreans in Major League Baseball.

The following is a brief look at the five Korean-born players to have made their debut this season in the majors:


Friday, April 22, 2016

New Bret Boone book: alcohol problem derailed stint with Twins - StarTribune.com

The Boones are baseball’s first family?

But in a new book titled, “Home Game: Big League Stories from My Life in Baseball’s First Family,” set to go on sale May 10, Boone reveals that it was more than a simple matter of aging that caused him to fall so fast. Instead, he writes, he was a “substance abuser” whose alcohol problem grew worse during that period.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: books, bret boone, mariners, twins

Monday, April 18, 2016

Felix Hernandez Is Not Right | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

If you are a Felix owner, he has done you all a great favor by not allowing a homer, posting just a .200 BABIP, and stranding over 80% of runners. All that good fortune has masked his poor pitching so far and given you a window with which to shop him. Surely someone in your league will stop at the 1.00 ERA, think all is fine, and be willing to give up a pretty good hitter, or even a comparable pitcher. How about Corey Kluber?

This may all just be an early season blip, and for all we know, Felix could be back up to 91+ mph, with improved control thanks to a mechanical fix. But the alarm bells are blaring and the risk is higher than ever that Felix is dealing with a serious issue. Better to reduce your risk and see what you could get for him, then hold and hope for the best.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2016 at 08:48 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mariners notebook: Lee added to 40-man roster; Montero’s status in doubt | The Olympian

First baseman Dae-Ho Lee’s quest to play in the big leagues moved a step closer Sunday morning as the Mariners added him to their 40-man roster.

“Dae-Ho has the history of hitting left-handers,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I think he’s given us reason to believe in spring training. He’s very prepared. He’s very calm in the batter’s box. I think he’s gotten better every step of the way.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise with the defense and, particularly, the base-running. He runs the bases really smart. His defense has been much better than we anticipated.”

The move effectively buys time for the club because Lee’s minor-league contract had an opt-out clause, effective Sunday, that permitted him to become a free agent if not on the 40-man roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dae-ho lee, mariners

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mariners’ Mike Zunino quietly trying to work his way back into being better at the plate | The Seattle Times

I hope he can put his offensive game back together.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2016 at 02:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carson Smith leaves game with forearm tightness - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

That’s not ideal.

Newly acquired Red Sox reliever Carson Smith left the game Monday with tightness and “a cramping sensation” in his right forearm, Red Sox manager John Farrell said. Smith was scheduled be evaluated further after he returned to the team’s facility in Fort Myers later Monday evening.

“I’m concerned,” the reliever said. “It’s my career. Everybody, when you feel something in your forearm, you’re going to be concerned.”

“There’s always concern,” Farrell said. “At this point in time of the year, (we’re) certainly not going to take any chance at all, so we backed him out of it. We’ll see what the evaluation produces.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, mariners

Monday, March 21, 2016


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