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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 27, 2008 1:55 PM

Peoria finale

Posted by Geoff Baker

finalday 009.jpg

I know some of you want the blow-by-blow of this afternoon's ultra-meaningless game in Peoria. Most of the Mariners side consists of guys who won't be in Seattle when the season begins. I've got tons of work to do today, finishing up our weekend package of baseball treats for all of you. Then, I'm packing up shop here and heading on back to Seattle. No trip to San Francisco for me. I'll get my fix of that city in a couple of weeks when the Mariners visit the Oakland A's. Larry Stone will be with the team in Las Vegas. I'll be at the Sunday afternoon workout at Safeco. We call it teamwork.

3:34 p.m.: And Kevin Witt bounces out to second with runners at second and third, ending this one in a 10-10 tie. The three ties this spring equals a Mariners franchise record. Fun way to end things in Arizona. It all starts for real in a few days. To pborgs in the comments thread, the Yankees-D-Rays are division rivals who've had regular-season brawls and real bad blood the past few years. They weren't going at it because some ticket vendor got miffed at the quality of the other team's guys in a spring training game.

3:24 p.m.: The "Mariners'' fell behind 10-9 in the top of the ninth, but Greg Halman, pride and joy of Harlem (the Netherlands version, not New York's) opened the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to left. Halman hit 16 home runs in short-season Class A ball in Everett last season. Big-time prospect. So, it's now 10-10. Six errors in the game, four by San Diego. The field goal kicker is warming up, I'm told.


finalday 007.jpg

3:07 p.m.: Hey, the "Mariners'' just tied the game, 9-9 in the eighth. I can hear the sounds of Seattle beckoning. Mariners PR staffer Jeff Evans just gave us the best news we've heard all day. No extra innings today. One of these teams scores this next inning (a good bet, considering the score) or we all kiss our sister and go on home.

2:54 p.m.: Still a 9-7 game, heading to the bottom of the eighth (Mariners batting). Scrapiron asked about "bad blood'' on the field? Over spring training? Never heard that one until now. Perhaps there's some irritation between the two front offices. They did sell over 8,000 tickets to today's game. Then again, the M's left Felix Hernandez, Jose Vidro and Kenji Johjima behind. Oh yeah, and Willie Bloomquist? What could they possibly be complaining about? Um, oh yeah. Probably that.

Technically, the rules say you have to supply four major leaguers. There you go. Is that good sharing? In my book, good sharing is going beyond the mere minimum, so probably not. But I seriously doubt you'll see a brushback pitch from a Padres pitcher because the Mariners didn't send over enough marquee names to justify the ticket sales. I doubt players think that broadly. Padres broadcasters do. But like most in-house talking heads, they take their cues from the team. Which is why you read us instead.

2:23 p.m: The "Mariners'' just put up four runs in the bottom of the sixth -- a 10-run inning, in a game between scrubs, who would have guessed? -- to narrow the gap to 9-7. I'd tell you who produced the runs, but I've been too busy trying to find usable quotes for our Monday profile on Erik Bedard on that audio clip I played for you yesterday. Anyone want to help? (I'm kidding).

1:55 p.m.: The M's now trail 9-3 after giving up a six-spot in the sixth inning. Felix Hernandez was already done before Travis Chick and the scoreboard were lit up by the Padres. Remember Chick? The Texas native who got called up out of Class AA two Septembers ago. Had a rough go of it up in the majors, not helped by an arm problem he later had surgery on. Will be in Class AAA Tacoma this year. Hernandez yielded a home run on his second pitch of the game, another home run in the third inning and one more run in the fifth. Seattle was leading 3-2 at the time of the last run, so Hernandez wound up leaving with the score tied.

He faced 24 batters over five innings, which is too much. Gave up nine hits, but also didn't walk anybody while averaging a strikeout per inning. All in all, couldn't get much off Hernandez's final spring performance. Doesn't matter anyway. The team is done in Peoria. This weekend's games will be more a PR show than anything else. Time for the real games to begin.


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Posted by moscowms

2:15 PM, Mar 27, 2008

I hear you Geoff. I can't remember the last time I was actually pumped up about a Monday. Um... never.

GO M's!!

Posted by scrapiron

2:31 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Geoff - The Padres announcers are not happy with the lineup the Mariners trotted out today, and even went as far as to say that the Padres players have complained that the Mariners players don't "share" well in Peoria and it has led to some bad blood on the field. Have you heard anything about this?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:52 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Scrap - Please, please, please let that be true. We could use an actual legitimate rival, with some bad blood, a la mets/phillies, yankers / bosox, cards/cubs, and so on. The Padres "natural rival" thing was awkwardly placed on us, and now that Cammy's not a Padre anymore (IIRC), there's really no point in watching the games.

Posted by couger

3:00 PM, Mar 27, 2008

ANY ONE ELSE WORRIED ABOUT "FELIX" AND "BEDARD" LIKE I AM? MEAN WHILE AJ IS JUST DOMINATING IN BALTIMORE AND THESE GUYS ARE STINKING?????? ARGHHH! BAVASI????

Posted by scrapiron

3:06 PM, Mar 27, 2008

couger - give it up. The Caps Lock button is right under the Tab key, by the way.

Posted by Rodeochihuahua

3:07 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Who cares what Jones is doing... I am alittle concerned about Erik but not too much. Felix.. no worries.

Posted by pborgs

3:27 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Geoff, regarding "bad blood" during Spring Training, the Rays and Yankees actually had a serious problem earlier this spring and there was a bench clearing brawl. So never say never.

Posted by Adam

3:31 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Halman has a funky swing and some serious strike-zone recognition problems, but he's a great athlete. He'll take few years, but I'm pulling for him.

Posted by oregongal

3:35 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Well, at least when we were told who our bitter NL rival would be, they found us a team in the same time zone.

Posted by couger

3:36 PM, Mar 27, 2008

HURR THEY ARE PITCHING PRETTY BAD AND U DEFEND THEM. YOU HAVE TO BE A HUSKY!! SUPPORTERS OF BAD TEAMS!! RIP A JONES

Posted by Babu

3:40 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Hey Cougar -- Wishing your Cougs good luck today against UNC! But I was surprised at your comment that Adam Jones is "just dominating" in Baltimore, where I live (a Mariner fan in exile). AJ will, I think, have a successful big league career, but spring training stats for Baltimore have him 15th for AVG and OBP (on a pretty weak team), with no stolen bases. He is in the top three for strikeouts. Again, I think it is too early to evaluate the long-term value of the trade, but AJ is not "just dominating" here in Balmer Murlin.

Posted by BUBBA

3:43 PM, Mar 27, 2008

SCRAPIRON: dude, who are you, the blog sheriff??
if cougar wants to type in caps so be it! Last I checked this blog is free and if the caps bug you don't read it! DUH! SCROLL DOWN IDIOT! I am sick and tired of these fools in here that act like they own this blog, act like they PAY for it, trying to regulate what the F us all write. MIND YOUR OWN Fing biz AND GET A LIFE!

Posted by scottm

3:59 PM, Mar 27, 2008

From GEOFF: "I'd tell you who produced the runs, but I've been too busy trying to find usable quotes for our Monday profile on Erik Bedard on that audio clip I played for you yesterday. Anyone want to help? (I'm kidding). "

Shameful, GEOFF, I was all psyched to help. Stop toying with our emotions like that. [And the use of all CAPS is only appropriate for certain words. Otherwise, you come across like an uneducated Coug].

Posted by scottm

4:03 PM, Mar 27, 2008

I meant to say, "an uneducated 'COUGER'."

Posted by Tacoma Rain

4:21 PM, Mar 27, 2008

So Miguel Cairo does in fact make the 25 man squad, mainly because he has "been on winning teams, is a veteran who know how to handle himself on the bench, and is needed to teach the young kids how to win." Inrteresting.
What is wrong with the coaches then?? Are the coaches too old to relate with the young kids, or are the coaches too old to remember how to teach others how to win and teach the bench-warmers how to handle themselves???

Posted by markus

4:31 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Tacoma Rain-

Don't forget that 'he's been through the wars'. Yes, it's pointless and stupid to take him north on the club. Yes, it shows that the FO doesn't understand what they are doing. And worst of all, I think it leads to more veteran complacency. It goes along with resigning HoRam and Reitsma. they were both dismal last year, but both got brought back because they had been 'through the wars'. My grandpa has been through 'the wars' but I wouldn't send him back through the wars. You know why? Because he doesn't have the ability to do what he used to. Keeping Cairo is stupid, but their reasons for keeping him raises so many questions about their ability to run a baseball team at any level.

Cut Cairo!! Free the Kids!!

Posted by Tacoma Rain

4:41 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Now marcus, there you go being negative again...
We have to have a positive attitude, and trust that the FO/Bavasi, Mac and the old crew, and the veterans can lead this team to victory.
By the way, who are the young kids on this team any more that need this veteran guidance???

Posted by markus

5:49 PM, Mar 27, 2008

Tacoma-

I'm trying not to be negative, really I'm not.

I guess the youngsters are Lopez and Betancourt, since no other position player is south of 30 (except maybe Beltre, and he's the one that should be a leader). I guess the FO wants the kids to play more like old journeymen who can't hit or stay with a team. I would understand if they brought an older guy in who still had a little left in the tank and had been pretty good at one point. But I don't understand bringing in a guy who is exactly what you are afraid your young infielders will turn into.

Cut Cairo!! Free the Kids!!

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