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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 5, 2008 11:00 AM

Horacio and Phillippe

Posted by Jose Romero

Both looked pretty good in the minor league game. I just got back from it. Aumont was dominant. He hit 94 and 95 mph with his fastball and made the Padres hitters, albeit minor leaguers, look bad. Aumont pitched one inning, struck out one, never allowed a hit ball out of the infield and threw 10 pitches, 8 for strikes.

Ramirez struck out six batters in three innings. He walked one but gave up five hits and one run. He threw 48 total pitches, 31 for strikes.

Jeremy Reed hit a home run. The M's were down 3-2 in the sixth when I left. Chris Reitsma got in one inning of relief work and his first pitch was hit out for a home run. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out one.

Lola: The bees were indeed the "super strange" thing going on at yesterday's game. It's in my story today.
Also, today Raul Ibanez was trying to teach one of the Japanese reporters how to say "I'm afraid of bees" in Spanish. It's an international game.

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Posted by Ziasudra

11:44 AM, Mar 05, 2008

I woundn't say those numbers for HoRam looked "pretty good," in fact, I'd say they looked pretty bad (against minor leaguers). Same for Reitsma. If all they were doing was getting in work, that's one thing.

Posted by scrapiron

11:50 AM, Mar 05, 2008

Ho-Ram had a WHIP of 2.00 in his appearance against minor leaguers. Not what you're looking for from last year's worst WHIP on the team. Dickey has struggled too. I sure hope someone steps up and earns the long relief role.

Great news on Aumont. It sounds like he's way ahead of schedule. Let's hope we see him in the Mariners rotation in 2009.

Posted by wabubba

12:02 PM, Mar 05, 2008

OK...so what does everyone think the "over/under" will be for the date that Mike Morse gets a shot to take over at 1B for the ever-struggling Richie Sexson. (Even McLaren will come around eventually after a couple of months of Ks and double play groundouts that gut rallies.)

My bet is May 27th.

Posted by Donovan

12:12 PM, Mar 05, 2008

I think that's a good date for purposes of argument, but I hope we never find out. Although I think Morse in LF and Raul at 1B is a far more likely (and better) revision to the lineup if Richie fails to improve.

Posted by PayClayBennett

12:14 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Everyone knows HoRam operates on the end result - that was 1 run. Anyone who expected him to pitch hitless/walkless/hit batterless baseball needs a urinalysis. The fact he is even wearing Mariner blue is a testament to the reprieved Bill Bavasi. Why is he reprieved? I don't know, he's continued to make stupid deals all the way into 2008 - one of them being HoRam.

Let's continue with that thought - Reitsma. What an absolute piece of garbage this guy is - worse than HoRam because he only gets asked for situational outs and his first pitch gets drilled over the wall - against minor leaguers. Why do some of these stiffs continue to try and hang on and why do dumb azz GMs like Bavasi give them contracts? Reitsma earned his way to retirement last season, despite his stupid injury, yet bozo Bill brings him back. This is the kind of crap I hate. Trade all the Jones' for all the Badards' you want - quit bringing in old, used up crap and hoping they will somehow find the fountain of youth. Arthur Rhodes, same category. Wilkerson, same category. Morse deserves the RF job - period. Wilkerson is a waste of money - even if he was $5 for the season. For F sake, Reed is looking almost worthy too - and we already had Reed and Morse - you telling me Wilkerson was going to be better than one of them? No chance - still no chance.

It's spring, early spring at that. Don't worry about long relief, someone will identify themself for that hole - for all of your sakes, let's hope it's not HoRam anyway. That trade will forever be one of Bill's all time stupidist trades - even if Soriano would have ended up being a bat boy for the Braves.

Honestly - for those whining about HoRam's numbers - what were/are your expectations? Same with Reitsma - what has either of these 2 scabs ever done to convince you they should be better than they are? Not a damn thing. Ever.

Posted by scottM

12:17 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Donovan, I like your suggestion about McLaren employing an aggressive rotation and regular rest for the starters from the get go this season. I also agree that, if Sexson wasn't going to be the regular starter at 1B this season, then he would have been traded.

Of course, without eating a bit portion of Sexson's salary, he wasn't tradable. At $15million, this team will not be sitting him much unless he seriously tanks.

Same with Vidro's $8million. He will be the M's DH this season. He was brought in because he was viewed as an excellent #2 contact hitter behind Ichiro. He will never have the power bat that most here crave in a DH, but if he can hit like the last half of '07, with a healthy share of Doubles, then he won't be the liability that most suggest he is.

Again, $23 million in '08 salary will not be sitting on the pines. All the talk about finding solutions for Sexson and Vidro is pointless right now. Save that discussion for late in the '08 season. For the M's to compete in '08, both of these guys will have to perform. Keeping the aging legs of the M's fresh with a healthy dose of Mike Morse makes great sense.

This $23 million of salary will be freed up in '09. That's when Bavasi can retool the offense for more everyday power and the defense for more everyday speed.

Posted by Ben

12:20 PM, Mar 05, 2008

I think we should all start pulling for Sexson. He's a decent guy and has a good upside if he pulls it together. He's not worth the money the mariners are paying him, but so what?

I like that McLaren is saying Sexson will win the come back player of hte year award this year. I think we should all give him the benefit of the doubt for a bit here. 2007 is gone. It's a new season.

Same thing for Jose Lopez.

As for Aumont - i'd like to see him play for the Rainiers this year and hopefully dominate. Getting him into the rotation for next year may be a bit premature - but if he can do it, that would be awesome. He's a beast.

Posted by Donovan

12:25 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Yowza Clay. I know it's a workday, but maybe you should have a beer anyway. Reitsma is on a minor league trial. He isn't going to be drawing ML salary this year. You are excited about him appearing in a MiL game? HoRam is still under evaluation, as he should be, since he is still under contract. Nobody has ever defended Bavasi for getting him though.

Big Richie just drilled one off the wall in the ML game. Let's hope.

Posted by Ziasudra

12:33 PM, Mar 05, 2008

To Pay CB - Don't hold back, tell us what you really mean!
In my opinion, when he gets healthy, Lowe is not only our 7/8 inning set up man, but the heir apparent to Putz. Huber will fit in nicely, too. I like Caesar Jiminez as Sherril's replacement - get the next best 2 or 3, and dump the baggage.

Posted by Ziasudra

12:39 PM, Mar 05, 2008

To Pay CB - Don't hold back, tell us what you really mean!
In my opinion, when he gets healthy, Lowe is not only our 7/8 inning set up man, but the heir apparent to Putz. Huber will fit in nicely, too. I like Caesar Jiminez as Sherril's replacement - get the next best 2 or 3, and dump the baggage.

[third post, this one will fail, since the captcha was not changed]
[I was right - here's #4]

Posted by youth coach

12:39 PM, Mar 05, 2008

bloggers - I'm a bb coach for a pony team of 13/14 YO. like you, they love the M's and bb. we've encouraged them to look at this website (blogging) for the vids & comments--good training reinforcement.

so, would you be so kind to cut down the swearing? i live in the real world and they do too, but please be a better example.
thanks
a coach

Posted by jujay

12:39 PM, Mar 05, 2008

I think the one thing we can all be thankful for is that when injuries or slumps do come, we know we have some quality people to call up. I like getting the k on hunter with how hot he's been

Posted by Gianni

12:50 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Coach, your boys probably use more that azz or crap in the real world.

Posted by youth coach

1:01 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Gianni, no doubt they do, but not on our ballfield! :-)

here's hoping HoRam is being showcased in the minors for another 3A team...

Posted by FJC

1:22 PM, Mar 05, 2008

FREE JEFF CLEMENT!!!

Posted by Buschleaguer

1:26 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Gianni,
Give the guy a break. I've been a youth coach for years and i'll tell ya: It doesn't have to be that way! If we teach them to be mature, respectful young men (like, i'm sure youth coach does), then maybe, just maybe we can make a difference and help put a few more respectful adults into the world. Don't give up on their swearing just because every one else does it youth coach!

Must agree with most that we need to accept the fact that Richie and Vidro are going to be in the everyday lineup come March 31st. I'd love to see a DH with more power also, but there is a reason Vidro's on the team. He is a fantastic #2 hitter and most teams get that from their position players. We don't really have anyone else that can do that. Anyway, here's hoping Big Richie bounces back in a BIG way! We sure could use it....

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:56 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Coach - thought I was actually being respectful - I have actually been very surprised to see the real words spelled correctly on here :-) While your "not on our field" is to be commended, I think we all that's not reality. I have young children as well and am concerned about outside influences, but it's the influences they get at home that I'm truly concerned about. I'm being sincere when I apologize - I will refrain from these references in the future.

Donovan - I'm as passionate about winning and bringing in good players as I am about dragging the bad ones under the bus. I don't care what deal Reitsma was brought in on - I would prefer he spent the spring in another team's camp - period. As for HoRam - he brought him in with two years minimum - I wouldn't have brought him in at all? Under evaluation? Seriously? We know what he can't do already - he will do nothing to change any of that now or later. Would Atlanta have parted with him if he was legitimate MLB starting material? Nada.

I don't like either of them and I don't like Bill if you couldn't guess. That's all - and they're performaces do nothing but reiterate my thoughts.

Question - if Aumont is one of the top 10-11 pitchers on the club - why does he not get that chance? If he's a stud, why do his innings need to be burned in the minors? That's the problem with the M's and why they get stuck with the likes of Sexson - they feel they have to have a vet and shell out $14M annually to them, then are obligated to play them - Morse @ 1st or left with Raul @ 1st would not only probably be more productive, but a heck of a lot cheaper. Is that an option? Not seriously with Richie's money.

I'll support Richie even @ .205 - but I'll know why people do boo him. He's the MLB ball player - he will be embraced if he has made the necessary adjustments this off-season. Still a lot of time to tell - but if he rolls .200 into May - he will be the goat. Like it or not, it will be deserved. He should be giving money back....if we have incentives, why can't we reverse them? No 25 bombs - you lose $2M. No 100 RBI, you lose $2M. Bat under .225 - lose $1M.....wouldn't that motivate him to make some contact for crying out loud?

Good chatter to all of you

Posted by youth coach

2:22 PM, Mar 05, 2008

PayClay - thanks and no harm. i've seen a lot worse here too & wanted to remind everyone kids read this too. i'm not a prude and agree the most important examples are at home.

re the M's: i agree there are some mediocre players still on this team. thank goodness it's ST. I'd love to see Morse, et.al., and not the retreads make the team.

Posted by wabubba

3:44 PM, Mar 05, 2008

I really don't care how much money Sexson makes and whether or not the Mariners have "committed" to him for the entire season due to that contract...the only thing that I care about is production and the guy hasn't gotten it done for two years.

In the investing world, when you make a mistake and buy a bad stock someone who is stubborn will compound that mistake by holding onto it. The other option would be to cut your losses and find another option (Morse) that at least gives you the possibility of production.

Difficult to see Sexson, at .205 (with multiple Ks and DPs), in any line up written by Piniella (or any other successful manager/organization).

Posted by Bucs59

3:55 PM, Mar 05, 2008

ok wabubba, i dont know where you get this "two" year crap. oh ya i forgot, .264, 34, 107 IS really bad. lay off sexson he had ONE bad year and he'll bounce back. maybe you're right, we should even bat morse in the cleanup spot.

Posted by Bucs59

4:08 PM, Mar 05, 2008

pay clay bennet, does the name francisco liriano mean anything to you? how about we bring up a nineteen year old who is a very raw pitcher and watch him miss two years with shoulder or elbow surgery before his arm is ready. that way we can piss away any chance of Felix and this kid ever pitching together. in an age where an increasing number of pitchers have arm trouble teams are being much more careful.

Posted by Bucs59

4:14 PM, Mar 05, 2008

pay clay bennet, does the name francisco liriano mean anything to you? how about we bring up a nineteen year old who is a very raw pitcher and watch him miss two years with shoulder or elbow surgery before his arm is ready. that way we can piss away any chance of Felix and this kid ever pitching together. in an age where an increasing number of pitchers have arm trouble teams are being much more careful.

Posted by PayClayBennett

4:16 PM, Mar 05, 2008

Hey wabubba - it's fine that you don't care about any of that management stuff, you don't sign his paychecks (you may contribute to them, but you don't sign them). You don't perma-bench a dude making $14M annually. If I know Richie like I know Richie, he could probably make that happen with another .205, but chances are slim he'll ride much pine - period.

Bucs is right - last season was only truly horrible season - for the most part he has been between .255 and .275 and productive...with a ton of K's :-)

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

6:15 PM, Mar 05, 2008

"Sometimes you just have to let the bee sting you".

Posted by Edman

9:10 AM, Mar 06, 2008

The odds of Morse taking over at firstbase for Sexson are BELOW zero. Until he can hit homeruns, he's useless there.

Posted by Edman

9:15 AM, Mar 06, 2008

Some of you just DON'T GET IT. Spring Training has NOTHING to do with stats. It doesn't matter what stats are achieved in a major or minor league game.......it has to do with how they swing and throw. And, unless you know what to look for and are there, you have NO IDEA how well someone is doing.

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