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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 31, 2008 7:52 AM

Opening Day

Posted by Geoff Baker

Here we are. After a long winter and spring of guesswork, it's time to find out what the 2008 Seattle Mariners are really all about. You've heard my take on things. Had time to toss that all around. Here is what some other pundits think about this team's chances:

Peter Gammons of ESPN sees the Angels winning the AL West. But he also thinks Felix Hernandez will be top-three in the Cy Young Award chase and that Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien will be contributors in the division playoff race. Agree with his take on the two latter players, not the former.

In fact, 10 out of 19 ESPN pundits polled took the Angels in the division. The other nine picked the Mariners. Prettty split opinion. One guy picks Erik Bedard as Cy Young winner. None take "King'' Felix.

Tom Verducci of CNNSI picks the Angels, saying he was tempted to choose the M's, but that there are too many questions in their day-to-day lineup.

Over at Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal picks the Braves to win it all. He doesn't think the Mariners have enough in their lineup to win the AL West. Gives that to the Angels.

At CBS Sportsline, baseball writer Scott Miller picks the M's to win the West.

"Erik Bedard and Felix Hernandez could be the best match in Seattle since Jimi Hendrix and his guitar,'' Miller writes.

OK, you've heard from us. What do you think? Let's get it all down now for posterity. Your picks. We'll check them out at season's end.

By the way, to answer your questions about R.A. Dickey clearing waivers. It's important to remember that most Rule 5 picks aren't in their 30s with major league experience. They are usually young minor leaguers with plenty of minor league options left. Once the M's traded for Dickey's rights from the Minnesota Twins last week, he became like any other player. A guy in his 30s out of minor league options. That means, in order to be sent down, he had to be put through waivers.

CORRECTION (12:23 p.m.): OK, this is a great way to kick off the new season, but I'm already wrong about something. Disregard everything I wrote about Dickey above. Just re-checked the Rule 5 regulations and had it laid out for me. All Rule 5 players being offered back to their former teams have to first clear waivers. Yes, that's right. Every MLB team had a shot at Dickey before the trade with the Twins was consumated. This goes for all players, regardless of age or major league experience. And whether or not they have options left. Sorry for the confusion.

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Posted by -k

9:09 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's take the division. 91 wins.

I predict a bounceback year for vidro, but not Sexon. Wlad gets his shot in the outfield in Late June when Sexon gets benched and Raul moves to 1B

Posted by NB

9:11 AM, Mar 31, 2008

86-76. 2nd place by 3 games. Felix strikes out 9+ batters/9 innings. Bavasi extended. Mac fired. Wild profits for the team. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted by David

9:23 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's all the way!!! I'm proud of the team's management to finally do something "big-time" in the off-season and brought in a #1 pitcher. What the hell, I'll even say as far as "a truly big-time player that can help the team to the next level." I've been following the M's for too many years now to only see too many big named players to be only going to other teams, and watch all of us M's fans to be wishing for the team to acquire those players... Although Adam Jones will be a no doubt All-Star down the road, I'll take a #1 pitcher over a player who will be a "future Torii Hunter or Jim Edmonds any day!" Hunter has never brought a team to the WS, and Edmonds was not the reason the Cards won the WS a few seasons ago. I'm sorry Jones fans, Adam Jones is just not or will he ever be Jr., A-Rod, Pujols, M.Ramirez, Ortiz, or Guerrero, the big time "difference maker/x-factor." So have a #1 pitcher that will potentially make the whole rotation and bullpen better, I'll take that any season, any day.

Posted by BrianL

9:23 AM, Mar 31, 2008


Second place in AL West by three games, eight games out of the Wild Card

AL East - Boston
AL Central - Detroit
AL West - LAA
AL Wild Card - Cleveland

Posted by Anthony

9:26 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I think just like every year pundits and journalists and other baseball analysts are looking to hard at averages. Let's just play ball and see what happens. An average is an average for a reason, but there is no explanation for a guy suddenly getting hot an having a break through year. I'm not saying every Mariner is going to be stellar this season but you have to expect one or possibly two are going to have incredible seasons (my bet is on Beltre and Johjima) and that with Sexson it's hard for him to get any worse.

Geoff constantly brings up the pythagorean statistic to judge what kind of team this M's club is and that's all well and good but there's one thing that that statistic can't take into account and that's a will to win. You get in a close game it comes down to good base-running, getting a bunt down, the timely hitting and shutdown relief, the Mariners proved last year that they are going to win the majority of one-run games and I definitely think they will again this year.

To sum it up, stop looking at stats and let's just watch the team play! Let's play ball!!

Posted by ajdaddy

9:32 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Ok! The season starts...finally! Other than Dickey seeming to earn a spot and not getting it, and the duplicate bench situation with Cairo and Bloomquist, I can't wait. This spring has been like watching paint dry. No huge battles, and a wait and see attitude to the pitching. Spring training is fun, but with vets, you have to see how the season starts. I'll be listening, along with my patients!
88 wins. And I'm an optimist. I think the team structure has too many question marks to pencil in 90. I think 88 is overreaching. The offense doesn't really have anything to hang it's hat on. They're not good OBP guys, they're older, and I feel like it's a 'well, if so and so has a good season, or if so and so can bounce back'...but Go M's!

Posted by Kingfelix

9:37 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win the division with 94 wins.

Bedard wins 18, Felix wins 17.

Sexson hits 38 homers and 115 RBIs (take that Richie haters!)

Beltre 30 and 100, Gold Glove


Lowe and Morrow come back strong make us forget we ever had bullpen problems.

This is about as optimistic as I can get...

Posted by WestSide

9:45 AM, Mar 31, 2008

The Mariners will miss Guillen's leadership. If they went into freefall last August with him, they'll lack the heart to break through this year even more. I look for them to be in contention until August . . . again.

Posted by Simon

9:48 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I agree with NB. I think 86-76 sounds about right, and that's not likely to be enough for the division or the wildcare. Having said that, I am very excited to watch the Ms try to prove me wrong.

Other predicitions:

Sexson - hits about .250 with 28 HR and 95 RBI. Not his best, but a lot better than last year.
Beltre - IF he can play through his injury, 30HR and 100RBI.
Ichiro - .335, 45 SB, and another Gold Glove.

Bedard - 14-8, 4.00 ERA, misses some starts through injury
Felix - 16-12, 3.90 ERA
Silva - 10-15, 5.00 ERA

Posted by Adam

9:51 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win the division with 86 wins.

The A's are the surprise team and present themselves as the team to beat in the AL West for the next 5 years.

The Angels simply cannot overcome losing 45-50 starts from their top two, but by the end of the year, they are the best team in the division.

The Rangers' lineup is good (Josh Hamilton will be a star), but their pitching just can't keep up.

Bedard and Felix are as good as advertised. Vidro shows everyone why he's not any good. Sexson "improves" but still doesn't get to an .800 OPS. Ibanez regresses at the plate. Clement and Wlad play bigger roles than envisioned.

Bedard does NOT sign an extension.

The Mariners lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Tigers.

Indians win the AL, Braves win the NL, and in a rematch of the 95 Series, the Indians get revenge.

Posted by tharms

9:55 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I think the Mariners squeak out the division by 2 games on the Angels.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:55 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's barely take it w/ 90 wins, thanks largely to minimal bullpen use in the first half and the Angels seeing Boston, Cleveland and New York too many times in late July.

AL East - Toronto
AL Central - Cleveland
AL West - Mariners
AL Wild Card - Boston

Other handwaves:

- Baek comes in for Batista when Miguel's back finally goes "twang" in early May, and covers for him admirably until the ASB.
- The M's All-Stars this year are Felix, Ichiro and with an above-average offense, Joh.
- Balentien comes in for Wilkerson in June. Morse platoons with Bloomquist at 3rd, covering for Beltre who finally gets dragged kicking and screaming to the DL to rest his wrist.
- Clement comes in for Vidro in late July.
- The August Slump curse is finally broken thanks to Ichiro and Beltre's offense and some 1-0, 2-1, 4-3 sorts of nailbiters.
- Ichiro goes on an offensive tear in August and September and just barely misses hitting .400, settling instead for the batting title.
- Ms beat Toronto in 4 in the ALDS.
- Ms lose to Boston in 5 in the ALCS.
- Boston repeats as WS champs, adding Chicago to the growing list of cities that hate Red Sox Nation by beating the Cubs in 6.

Posted by Faceplant

9:56 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Wow, simon, you are pretty pessimistic about Bedard.

I think around 83-85 wins sounds right. They most likely will finish 2nd in the division.

Why so down on Hernandez Geoff?

Posted by couger

9:58 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Suckchiro will crash to earth and it will be proven once and for all that podsednik is a better CF than the ego that is Suckchiro. Oh and mark hendrickson > felix, this year at least. GO COUGS

Posted by downinthegroove

10:00 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's struggle to win 82 games....

Bedard struggles to win 15 but has low ERA....

Felix wins shy of 15....

Mid-season brings panic as team cannot score and further empties farms system to save Bavasi and his job....

Morrow is injured over the year as he is overused....

Vidro is .280 hitter with at best 6 HRs...

Sexson is around .230 with 25 HRs and has people excited he bounced back...

Silva doesn't get 10 wins and shows he is overpaid.....

Wilkerson misses around 100 games due to injury....

WBlad shows he is not nearly ready but close.....

Bench has no impact as it is only used when losing badly....

Mac shows why he has never been a manager before....

Ibanez shows his age and that he has no business being in LF....

Sherril is terribly missed....

Pessimistic or realistic? Don't answer now. Let the season determine.

I don't drink the Kool-aid.

West- Angels by 10 games
Central- Tigers
East- Boston
Wildcard- Yankees with ease

West- LA Dodgers
Central- Chicago
East- New York
Wildcard- Philly

WS- Boston

Big Random Pick- Devil Rays have a better record then M's by a game or two in a real division....

Posted by downinthegroove

10:02 AM, Mar 31, 2008

apparently you don't even attend WSU or you would know how to spell....


And Ichiro is a stud. Seriously.

Posted by BrianL

10:02 AM, Mar 31, 2008


Podsednik? Better than Ichiro?

I sure hope your post was an attempt at humor.

Posted by scottM

10:05 AM, Mar 31, 2008

it doesn't matter what we think...I'm just here to enjoy the ride.

Posted by SoCal M's Fan

10:07 AM, Mar 31, 2008

93-69 Mariners win AL West by 2 games. Clement gets the call up around the all-star break and provides the left handed power we've been missing. We avoid the long losing slumps of last year thanks to timely wins by Bedard and the improving Felix!

Go M's!

Posted by shane/olympia

10:07 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Sexson - contract year is playing for money and last years stats was a fluke. he will be the comeback player of the year and hit 39 home runs with 132 rbi"s.

beltre golden glove

uni bats .300

lopez either gets his job security by his play or losses it.

ichiro will have another ichiro season.

putz leads the AL with saves.

kenji goes the all star game. along with putz and ichiro.

felix and bedard will be scary to go hit off and will own their hitters.

sliva and bautista may struggle but washburn will have a great season

M's win the Al west and make a playoff run.


Posted by Babu

10:15 AM, Mar 31, 2008

By the way, The New York Times has picked the Mariners to win the AL West, citing the starting rotation.

Posted by ak-rowdy

10:19 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Just thought I'd ad that 2 of 3 at Yahoo Sports picked Seattle to win the west, including Jeff Passan (who I respect at least).

We'll see but I think we win the division by 1 or 2 games, but we'll sweat it till the end.

Indians win the Series over the Dodgers

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

10:30 AM, Mar 31, 2008


ICHIRO = MVP this year.
Big years from BELTRE and WASHBURN.
BEDARD and FELIX best 1-2 combo.


Posted by Adam The Lord

10:44 AM, Mar 31, 2008

The M's win 89 games and finish first in the division with the Angels finishing 2 games back,
Sexson bounces back and hits around .245 with 29 dingers and 92 RBI,
Bedard finishes 3rd in the Cy Young voting with Felix finishing 6th,
and in the rest of the league: the Red Sox win the east, the Tigers take the central and the Indians take the Wild Card...

Posted by Simon

10:48 AM, Mar 31, 2008


I know, and I really wanted to put something like 17-6 with a 3.00 ERA, but something just didn't seem right with that. Maybe it's just some lingering nerves after watching his spring training, or maybe his tendency to have niggling injuries, or maybe fears that our defense will let him down. Believe me, I would be thrilled to see him have a CY-worthy season and completely prove me wrong. I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong if he has a great season.

BTW, although predicting some injuries is not good, 14-8 with a 4.00 ERA is actually not a bad season. It's not great, but it's significantly better than average.

Posted by Eric

10:48 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I believe the lineup that takes the field today will not be the lineup that stays around long. Sexson, Wilkerson, Vidro will be replaced full time with Morse, Clement and Ibanez doing the DH chores. I think Dickey and Morrow will be with the team by May and Jimerson gone. I have reservations about John McLaren. His reliance on veterens may well be his downfall. iIwould like to see more flexibility from him. Felix and Bedard make a two man race for the Cy Young all season and end up sharing the award. Nice thought.

Posted by vkut79

10:50 AM, Mar 31, 2008

LOL of all players, I expect Washburn to be the most likely player to have a drop-off from last year.

Posted by Choska

10:58 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Mariners come up short yet again.

We are a better version of the Giants. Call us San Francisco North.

We've got two good pitchers and a decent bullpen, but our aging offense won't be able to generate enough runs to keep us in games. Moreover, our defense will cost us several wins this year.

Biggest concerns for us this year are the offense and defense of Sexson, Ibanez, Wilkerson, Lopez, and Morse, and the offense of Vidro. Throw in Betancourt as well since he isn't the defensive whiz that everyone thinks he is. He can make the occasional spectacular play, but his range and his arm are highly suspect.

Add up the offensive and defensive abilities and liabilities of the players above, and 6 out of the starting 9 are Replacement Level Level players whose WARP scores are effectively zero. In other words, for every run that Ibanez delivers with his bat he gives back with his glove.

My guess is that we are effectively out of it by the trading deadline. We'll end up somewhere between 70 and 80 wins.

A couple of more notes.

If we see Balentin and Clement by June that means that Sexson, Vidro, or Ibanez have absolutely cratered. Now, if two of those three guys fall apart - which is not only likely but probable - then how are we going to beat the Angels? I want to watch Balentin and Clement play, but I'm very aware that if I get the chance it means that Mariners have thrown in the towel on the year.

Also, Asbrudal Cabrera and Rafael Soriano make the All-Star team while Lopez slaps .275 and Horacio Ramirez continues looking for a new team.

Posted by BandwagonJumper

10:59 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's shock everyone and win 117, exit again in first round of playoff with loss to Boston.

Bedard and Felix are both win 20+ games.

Uni and Lopez both bat over .300 and turn into the double play duel they have been hyped to be. Sexon, Vedro, and Wilkerson do enough to get a new contracts.

I know that's a really high in the clouds prediction, but you set the bar high enough it's easy to jump of the bandwagon ;-). (winking eye for people that don't know that linguo)

Here's hoping for a great season (raises a beer).

Posted by fastrs4

11:05 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I predict a distant second.

- Bullpen is very uncertain.
- Jose Lopez just isn't that good and you need more from the number 2 hitter.
- I don't see much more out of Sexson than last year. I think pitchers have him figured out and his swing is too long to adjust.
- Wilkerson/Morse is a big ?

Two things I think could turn it around.

- Morrow. He has to develop a changeup and breaking ball. If he comes out this year throwing purely fastballs again. He's done for a while. Might have something to do with his dead arm too. (I have no idea if he's improved that in the offseason having not seen him pitch yet this year)

- Moving Ibanez to 1st base and scrapping Sexson.

Posted by CDUB

11:16 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Escobar never comes back for LA. Lackey never fully recovers. Mariners win 90 games and take the division by 5 games.

I have Detroit over Arizona in the World Series.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

11:19 AM, Mar 31, 2008

117 wins.

And A-Rod has never been a "big time difference maker/X-factor" as it relates to winning the world series.

Posted by dave

11:19 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Despite what sunshine pumpers like geoff will have you believe, the mariners are a distant 2nd or more probably a 3rd place team. They got luckier than any team in the last 20 years last year and guys like him think that it will repeat. Our O is the worst in baseball. our D is awful, our 3,4,5 pitchers are garbage and our bullpen sucks. Putz tailed off last year as batters figured out his 1 pitch. 75 wins would be EPIC for this team. USSM guys are entirely correct that this is a fundemantally flawed team and we need to discontinue support until more intelligent management is in place.

Posted by gk91

11:25 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I guess I could stomach your Felix hate if it was based on something factual, rather than nebulious stuff like 'his swagger'.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

11:28 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Sexson, Cairo, Vidro DFA in July. Too late to make a difference.

Mariners decide to just play Ichiro in the outfield as he was to run down all the balls anyway.

Geoff excuses poor performance by Bedard due to the unusually thin air this year in Seattle.

Posted by Cool Hand Luke

11:29 AM, Mar 31, 2008

M's 88 wins
Halos 88 wins

Mariners take the division in a tiebreaker with Bedard throwing a complete game and throwing his arms straight up in the air after striking out the last batter to send the M's to the ALDS a la Big Unit '95!

Posted by jujay

11:33 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I dont know why so many hate on Geoff for picking the mariners....look espn..... most people are now picking them to win it. If you dont that is fine, but don't act like they don't have a chance and anyone who thinks they do is crazy.

Posted by Frankie

11:46 AM, Mar 31, 2008

My prediction:

M's win 90+ and either win the division or finish closely behind the Angels and win the Wild Card.

Bedard will win at least 15 games and Felix will win 13+.

Happy Baseball Season everyone!!!!

Posted by Everett fan

11:47 AM, Mar 31, 2008

Our bullpen is the finest in baseball. Period. Putz, Lowe and O'F are all we need to know. Morrow spends time in AAA learning to start. After Baek is traded, Dickey takes over any 5 to 7 inning needs.
Incidentaly, once in the playoffs, we will dominate - Bedard and Felix pitch 4 of the 5 game seried, and 4 ofthe 7. (Reminds me of Koufax and Drysdate.)
This year, 85 wins the West, but the M's get 95+.

Posted by dave

11:48 AM, Mar 31, 2008

we pile on him b/c the mariners are not a good team and picking them to win shows either he is a homer or that he still believes in archaic baseball analysis not the enlightened statistical and analytical methods employed by modern baseball analysts. It is a statistcal unlikelyhood the mariners win the division. USSM guys are right, this team is garbage.

Posted by JJ

11:49 AM, Mar 31, 2008

I agree with Anthony. Stop obsessing over numbers people. How many wins did the "experts" predict for the 2001 Mariners?? Doubt any had 116

Posted by jujay

11:54 AM, Mar 31, 2008

relying on statistics is a waste of time, they can't predict the future. I was part of a highschool team that went 2-17, then won the state championship. there's no way to account for so many factors. The mariners may have a weaker lineup than many hope for but they will get the job done, we have one of the best rotations in baseball, and a top notch closer. Ms win it and have a good series v red sox/yankees.

Posted by JJ

11:54 AM, Mar 31, 2008

BTW...Mariners tie the Angels this year. One game playoff at the Safe. Bonds hits a HR in the 9th to win it...while Sexson watches from the bench. I'm off to the Safe

Posted by Chris

11:59 AM, Mar 31, 2008

For some reason, I scheduled a 3:30 to 5:20 class for my spring class schedule and now I have to miss the first two hours of the Mariners home opener. I'm sure you all understand how distressing this is.


so Mariners take second in the AL West and it comes down to horserace for the wildcard betweed NYY, Indians and the Mariners. Indians take it in the end.

and maybe I wasn't reading closely enough but does nobody see the Mets taking it far in the postseason? From my perspective they're the team to beat.

Posted by mickey

12:04 PM, Mar 31, 2008

This might be a very good year to be a Mariners fan. Now if all those "I hate the Mariners Blogs" would just get behind the team, but well some folks will never be tru fans.

Posted by Nat

12:10 PM, Mar 31, 2008

AL West - Mariners

AL Central - Detroit

AL East - Boston

AL Wild card - Toronto

Posted by scrapiron

12:17 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Ok, here's how I see it breaking down:

The Mariners get out to a 5-game lead on the Angels by the end of April, but the Angels gain ground as soon as Lackey is back. By the All-Star break the Angels are within 2 games and breathing down their neck.

So the Mariners make a huge trade deadline move and trade Kenji Johjima and Cha Seung Baek to the Cincinnati Reds for Ken Griffey Jr. Jeff Clement becomes the starting catcher, and new right fielder Griffey vaults them into first place with 92 wins.

The Mariners get all the way to the ALCS, but lose to the Tigers in 7 games. I'd like to say they win the ALCS, but I think the Tigers or Red Sox are better. The M's could take anyone in the NL if they could get to the World Series though.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

12:28 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I don't make predictions about where teams will end up, or how many wins they will get. I don't have any prognostication skills, and will limit my opinon to this:

The Mariners have a real chance to win the division here - a real shot that maybe they didn't have a couple of weeks ago. As the bullpen usuage, length of leashes on aging/declining veterans, and willingness to utilize both pitchers and hitters in AAAA go, so goes this team. The M's will need to maximize opportunities thrown their way this year to cover over holes left by the offseason. If the manager gets better at his job, this team can compete even if the likes of Richie Sexson or Jose Vidro fail to perform. They can shore up the bullpen with some smart well-timed call-ups and trades. They can create a more interesting bench and use the platoon where it needs to be.

The Mariners have some depth and flexibility to help these problem areas, and can adapt if they are willing to do it. The 25 man roster is not ideal now, and if parts of it begin to fail, the M's have some good options to right the ship. Here's hoping the brilliant flashes of Bedard, Felix and Ichiro's play are coupled with some brilliant and well-timed moves from John McLaren and Bill Bavasi.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

12:31 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Can we trade Batista and Silva for Meche?

Posted by jujay

12:41 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I'm going to predict a richie sexson hr tonight

Posted by AJ>BEDARD

12:50 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Bedards line tonight will probably be 5IP 110 pitches 3k 5 BB 5 ER all the while big Jones goes 3/5 with 3 runs 1 SB and 2 RBI. What a joke of a trade. What will the excuse for bedards SHIT pitching tonight be by the times? The air? Nerves? the fact he is NOT GOOD? wow

Posted by jujay

12:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I hope adam does well but more likely 0-4 tonight while bedard puts in 6-7 solid innings

Posted by xweb

12:56 PM, Mar 31, 2008

My Euclidian theorem shows:
AL West - Mariners 92 wins
AL Central - Tigers
AL East - Toronto
AL WC - Bahston
NL West - Dbacks
NL Central - Brewers
NL East - Mets
NL WC - Cubbies

WS - Mariners over Brewers in 6. Bedard and Felix 2-0 each.

Paypal me $50 and I'll reveal the top-secret Euclidian formula to you.

Posted by Digger

1:52 PM, Mar 31, 2008


How can those results not be significant?

My prediction:

With no major injuries or individual deteriorations in performance, the Ms look like a 90 win team. And this year, for the first time in recent history, they have okay replacements available at most positions. So if all goes well, they can strengthen the bench from the minors at mid-season and win 92. Or with several signifiicant injuries or regressions, they could go as low as 85.

With no significant competition in the AL West, even 85 should win the division.

Also a wild hunch:

Jose Lopez and ??? for Brian Roberts at some point this season.

Posted by Mint Husky

2:03 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win 83 games
Ichiro hits .341
Dickey plays at Safeco before 6/14
Beltre grounds into a DP 18 times

Posted by Anthony

2:12 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win AL West by about 5 games, I got them with 94 wins and 66 losses and 2 un-played make-up games.

Bedard wins 20 games, 220 IP 2.92 ERA 240 Ks
Felix wins 23 games, 234 IP 3.41 ERA 215 Ks and Cy Young award, book it!
Silva wins 12
Washburn wins 15
Batista/Baek/Morrow win 14

Beltre, Johjima and Betancourt all have great seasons. I see Beltre hitting 30+ HR and driving in 115+ runs. Ichiro has down season to build off his spring. Hits .290 with about 160 singles and 20 xbase hits.

East: Toronto
Central: Cleveland
West: Seattle
Wild Card: Detroit

AL Champs: Seattle

in the NL...

East: Philly
Central: Milwaukee
West: Arizona
Wild Card: Mets

NL Champs: Milwaukee

Seattle vs. Milwaukee in the series, Seattle in 6.

That's right boys, I'm calling our Mariners for World Series Champs in '08 Baby!!!

Posted by Lance

2:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Ok, I'll weigh in on this. AL only.

West - Mariners, Angels, Athletics, Rangers

Central - Indians, Tigers, Royals, Twins, White Sox

East - Yankees, Bluejays, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles

wildcard - Indians

pennant - Tigers

MVP - Vernon Wells
Cy Young - Chein Meng Wang
Rookie of the Year - Evan Longoria

Posted by MCC

3:00 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Angels 2.5 GB
Rangers 5 GB
A's 10 GB

M's swept by Tigers in Division Series

Posted by rock

3:00 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win 84 games and finish behind 2 of the other AL West teams (Angels & A's).

Angel's win West
Indians win Central
Red Sox win East
Yankees win the WC

Probably can cut and paste that result for the next couple of years.

Posted by Stuck-in-Chicago

3:06 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win 87 and take AL West.

Detroit wins AL Central.

Boston wins AL East.

Tampa Bay takes AL Wild Card. (!)

Posted by rc

3:17 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win 93, win division by 2 games. Beltre hits 310 with 115 RBI, to go with his gold glove. couger is awarded troll of year.

Posted by dixarone

4:03 PM, Mar 31, 2008

First post here, so for the record:

89 wins and a 1 game playoff with the Angels to determine AL West winner. Felix pitches the playoff, turns in best performance of year, and M's make playoffs.

As a result of Felix pitching in the 1 game playoff, the rotation is hooped for the ALDS...M's bow out in 4 games.

Posted by SDF Mariner

7:13 PM, Mar 31, 2008

AL East - Boston
AL Central - Cleveland
AL West - Seattle
AL WC - Detroit

NL East - Mets
NL Central - Cubs
NL West - Padres
NL WC - Phillies

AL MVP - Alex Rodriguez
AL Cy Young - Erik Bedard

NL MVP - David Wright
NL Cy Young - Johan Santana

Go M's!!!!

Posted by Phil

8:23 PM, Mar 31, 2008

M's win the division with 92 wins. They almost blow a big lead.
Bedard and Felix have great years.
The rest of the rotation is OK, two better than expected, one worse.
The bullpen is one of the best in baseball.
Sexton doesn't have a good year like we all want, Raul to first, Balentine to left and hits well.
Morse hits .300 but makes bonehead defensive plays. Lopez survives. Betancourt has a great year. We still wonder why we got Cairo at the end of the year.
We get a famous DH at midyear, Vidro hits the bench.

Posted by Big Ebu

9:26 PM, Mar 31, 2008

I am still worried about the offense but I will put on my “optimist” hat and say that the Mariners will get enough to win the AL West in a close race with the Angels. However, neither of these teams will get to 90 wins so I think the Mariners could have the same 88 win total and win the division.

Lowe and Green will pitch lights out as right handed setup men. They will be so good that the Mariners keep Morrow in AA and AAA and have him work on being a Starter. However they bring him up in August to strengthen the bullpen to limit his innings pitched to a safe level so he is primed to replace Washburn or Batista in the rotation in 2009 (for Chris: whip, neigh, whip neigh….)

Bedard and Felix both pitch well (no Cy Young for either though). But the lack of offense dooms the Mariners in the playoffs and they lose a couple of close, low scoring games to get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by CHEMDORK

10:02 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Mariner's Win West west with 93 wins.
Bedard 19-8, 3.58 ERA, 235 K's, 212 IP
Felix wins 18-6, 3.88 ERA, 186 K's, 206 IP
Siliva wins 13-10, 4.32 ERA 218 IP
Washburn 14-11, 4.49 ERA 178 IP
Batista 12-9, 4.37 ERA
Putz 44 saves 2.23 ERA

Ichiro .328 BA, 224 H, 37 SB
Sexson .258 BA, 31 HR, 108 RBI
Beltre .272 BA, 26 HR, 102 RBI
Ibanez .281 BA, 24 HR, 98 RBI
Wilkerson .244 BA, 27 HR, 78 RBI 117K
Lopez .271 BA, 13 HR, 72 RBI

AL East: Boston
AL Central: Cleveland
AL West: Seattle
AL Wildcard: Detroit

Seattle over Boston
Cleveland over Detroit
Cleveland over Seattle

NL East: Atlanta
NL Central: Chicago
NL West: Arizona
NL Wildcard: San Diego

Arizona over Chicago
San Diego over Atlanta
Arizona over San Diego

Cleveland over Arizona

Posted by PRchef

10:55 PM, Mar 31, 2008

98 in 08, yeah it's a stretch, but wouldn't it be nice?

Ms take the West and Lopez comes alive this season as well as Sexson

Go Mariners!

Posted by BavasiRocks

11:17 PM, Mar 31, 2008

Geoff, you forgot about the LA Times. They picked the Mariners to win the AL West too.

Mariners picked to finish first

Seattle hits for average and and has more power than the Angels.
March 30, 2008

1. Seattle (88-74)

The Angels with more power: Mariners hit .287 last season, drew fewest walks in major leagues.

2. Angels (94-68)

Vladimir Guerrero would tie Lou Gehrig's record by hitting .300 with 25 homers for 11th consecutive season.

3. Oakland (76-86)

Innings pitched by

the wondrous yet

fragile Rich Harden, starting in 2005: 128,

46, 25.

4. Texas (75-87)

Chan Ho Park II:

Two years into five-year, $60-million deal, Kevin Millwood is 26-26, 4.81.

Posted by Pete

12:20 AM, Apr 01, 2008


Also, Felix.

Posted by Bob

3:19 AM, Apr 01, 2008

The Ms win the division by 8 games because of the intangibles. Management stepped up with the big pitching moves, which has to make the players feel like they are supported. An important mental factor. The coaching staff is superb. The players should feel confident with the depth of experience and expertise at their fingertips. McLaren has a clearly stated plan of approach, leaving the players to perform rather than wonder what the plan is. The players believe in the team.

The pitching staff has the potential to be very good from top to bottom. Bedard looked more like an ace dealing with the difficulties on opening day than if he had pitched 7 shutout innings. Hitters gain confidence if they feel like they are in most games, which should happen with this staff. There has been a lot of expert trepidation over the run production of this team, but they were only a few runs behind the Angels and Cleveland last year, both division winners. A healthy Raul and Richie would make a big difference. Lopez has made it through some difficult times and is set to have a full good year. The team has some depth into the minor leagues, both pitching and hitting, that can be brought up to offset injury or non-performance.

Ichiro is Ichiro. Putz is Putz.

Great year to be a Mariners fan.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:55 PM, Apr 01, 2008

M's win 80 games. Second place finish. Fans will blame McLaren for his poor game strategy in dozens of close games this year. Like wasting outs by bunting with Lopez at the plate when speedster Ichiro is on first. Or bunting early in game when trailing, or pinch hitting for Betancourt with Bloomquist or Miguel Cairo late in a game.

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