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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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April 10, 2008 5:44 PM

Tour Tropicana Field

Posted by Geoff Baker

In case you missed this earlier today, up above is a video look at Tropicana Field. We'll go down to field level and look at the artificial turf, complete with fake pellets designed to make it seem like earth inside real grass. We'll walk across the infield, then the outfield, then walk through an open fence in right center to take a short cut to see an aquarium filled with live rays that fans are allowed to pet. Later on, a look at a dining area behind the short fence in foul territory up the right field line. Finally, at glance at some on the goings-on inside the stadium concourse. If you've never been down here to see the Trop, now's your chance. Enjoy.

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Posted by oregongal

6:48 PM, Apr 10, 2008

When I watched this earlier, the sound didn't work. The shot walking across the turf reminded me of a bad movie where we get the monster's POV as he's stalking his prey. However, some guy came into your view and as far as I can tell, is still alive. I'll try watching it with sounds.

With all the airline problems, I hope you get home at a decent time.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:34 PM, Apr 10, 2008

joe: Bull. You tell me one thing O'Flaherty did wrong today.

Well, when looking at command, it's pretty easy to detect since the M's coaching staff mandates the catcher to set-up and give the pitchers a target. Johjima obviously set-up inside on Pena and had his mitt painting the inside of the plate and O'Flaherty completely missed with a fastball and it wasn't even close to debate. I can't even begin to see how Adam can defend O'Flat in the the next series of events.

In my opinion, putting in O'Flat, a pitcher that really doesn't have an effective out-pitch , with poor velocity in a hold situation with runners on 1st and second and zero outs, is plain dumb strategy by McLaren. Even dumber was mishandling the pen by burning the best reliever yesterday in a meaningless situation, while Baek could have used the work instead.

I would have opted to use another reliever to start the 7th inning with no runners on preferably RRS if Baek would have pitched yesterday instead of RRS.

O'Flat is not a strikeout pitcher, and crossing our fingers for a double play and strikeout is asking for a miracle in that situation. But maybe Mac had a gut feeling with eric being a lefty facing Pena and Hinske who are also lefties? I bet you that was good old fashion playing the percentages, eh Mac?

The bases are loaded and it's a 2-0 competitive ball game and O'Flat doesn't even get a mound visit from Stottlemeyer. Nice coaching. It would be nice to possibly give your pitcher an escape plan out there and calm him down if he was rattled by hitting Pena. But of course nothing happens.

Luckily for us Upton is swinging on every pitch and is down 0-2 in the count. What happens? The M's call for a pitch #3 inside for a ball. Not a bad plan to maybe set-up an outside back door breaking ball on a dead fastball hitter. Pitch #4? Fastball for the third consecutive time. Johjima sets up inside again, but O'Flat throws a meatball almost down the middle of the plate. Eric misses with the location again and it's a 4-0 game zero outs, 2 runners on. Game over. Terrible approach to getting Upton out. I would have thrown sliders to see if the aggressive Upton chases.

Are McLaren or Stottlemeyer out there to stop the bleeding? No, Mel is punching the pitch count meter with his thumb, which is meaningless when Eric has pitched in 4 out of the past 6 freakin games and probably has a dead arm. Anyways. Guess what? 2 sliders to hinske and he grounds out. Amazing, maximizing your pitcher by not having him throw his awful 89 mph fastball that was generously clocked at 92, but instead a breaking ball that Eric has confidence in.

So yes, Eric had a poor approach to Upton that created a close game morph into a bad situation being down 4-0 in the 7th inning. What was even worse is how Mel and Maclaren watched the implosion like spectators watching cars crash repeatedly into each other on an icy highway filled with snow.

Posted by Everett fan

9:09 PM, Apr 10, 2008

Comments on the last blog: Good to hear from Merrill, Donovan again. Oregongal and even Adam have good points.
But most of the rest of you are like 7 year-olds in a playground: "You're wrong!" "Am not!" "Are, too!" "Am not!" ad nauseum. Say something once and shut up - if the next person disagrees with you, they won't change their mind if you repeat your previous post - they will just repeat THEIR previous post and we get 100 items to scroll through.
(maybe some of you ARE 7 year olds)
I've been gone for two weeks, but I'l be back this weekend - I'll get to see my first game of the season. Question - what happened to Baek? haven't seen him in a box score.

Posted by scottM

9:27 PM, Apr 10, 2008

The stingrays in the pool look a bit like puny versions of the 37 pound halibut I caught today on opening day while the Mariners were getting thumped. But, hey, why not a pool at Safeco Field with a few 100 pound halibutts and a statue of a Mariner trying to harpoon the fish?

With the Mariner as our monicker, it makes more sense than having a Moose on an ATV trying to mow down Coco Crisp!!

Posted by Adam

10:03 PM, Apr 10, 2008

Resin - did you even watch the game?

Posted by M's Fan

10:56 PM, Apr 10, 2008

Geoff- Thanks for both tours (Tropicana Field and Camden Yard) Very interesting for those of us who have never had the chance to visit these parks. Would love to see more in the future. Go M's!!!!!

Posted by Maui Mariner

11:19 PM, Apr 10, 2008

Geoff, I also really appreciate the park tours but I have a further request. Could you do an outside to inside tour like you were walking into the park? It would be great to experience these venerable facades vicariously through your tour-de-stadium jaunts around the country. The inside tour stuff is great also places we would never get to see. Could you also do one of Safeco? As a faraway fan I would appreciate it.
Maybe even assemble them together on a link off the main Mariner/MLB page?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:21 AM, Apr 11, 2008

Everett fan - If you think that's a problem, the way to counter that is to post more like the people you describe.

Adam - After a full day of insightful analysis, your response to Resin is excessively dismissive. Obviously he was watching, and saw very different things than you did. (Saw them, like you saw them; didn't imagine or guess.)

Ms did take 2 out of 3 series to start the year. And I'd like to think the crowds will be behind our guys, and the offense will pick up and some learning somewhere from this week's bullpen adventures will have happened. Here's hoping for an exciting series...

Posted by Paul

6:07 AM, Apr 11, 2008

Forget yesterday. We're not decision-makers on the team, so all of our insight is lost on each other. I think it's time for our optimism to kick in.

This is a series-sweep for the M's. We've got a King, an Ace and a....well....Silva going, our top 3. They're all due for a win with Felix needing just a run or two and a pitch-count that keeps the game in his own hands in the 9th today. I'm expecting it. Otherwise, he'll finish the game with and ERA of, like 0.28 and a losing record. He won't let that happen today.

I expect Joh to get off the schnide in a big way today, and for Ichiro to set the table like he does when we're winning. That should be enough to pull out game 1.

I do hope to see a fully-recovered Rhodes join the team today too. O'Flaherty has his best days ahead, but let him mend his confidence a bit in AAA where the games don't count for the big club. Arthur knows how to pitch.

And bye-bye Cairo....PLEASE!

Posted by ricofoy

6:27 AM, Apr 11, 2008

Here we go again with the "results don't matter" BS. LMAO Results are the only things that matter and the fact of the matter is O'Flaherty has SUCKED! All year long!
Who gives a crap if he barely nicked the guy and then gave up a cheap hit..blah, blah, blah. The next time out he may give up 3 ropes but they all turn into outs. It evens out over the course of a year so the only thing we need to look at is his ERA. Which is 20 + . But wait, ERA doesn't matter! Well, it sure the hell does when it's 20 + . LOL

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

7:08 AM, Apr 11, 2008

Tropicana field is soooooo lame - can't wait for them to build the new field downtown, as I will be likely be moving to St. Pete in the next couple of years. But I will remain a Mariners Fan forever.

Do you know that they actually charge more for tickets to games against NY, Boston, and Chicago? In Tampa, and Florida in general, no one supports the local baseball team, and for that matter, no is even from Florida (myself included). I just wish the M's were playing in Tampa this summer, when I'll be down there, and not now, when I'm gearing up for finals!

Posted by Adam

7:59 AM, Apr 11, 2008

ricofoy - you are exactly right - things do even out. That's exactly why RESULTS DON'T MATTER.

Because if EOF pitches the rest of the season like he did today, I guarantee you he will not give up three runs every outing.

You don't even understand your own argument.

I'm sorry I'm being "excessively dismissive" about this, but it's ridiculous. Just because a pitcher gives up three runs in an inning doesn't necessarily mean he pitched poorly. And just because he has a 1-2-3 inning doesn't mean he pitched well. If you look at the final results, your judgment can be flawed. It's a really simple concept.

Look at location, look at how the hitters swung the bat, look at swings and misses, look at whether there were line drives or grounders, look at the number of walks - don't look at ERA.


Posted by Tony Imperiale

8:55 AM, May 17, 2008

From now on whenever" Sonny" pitiches I want to hear "On the Sunny Side of the Street played on the public address system.

Whenever he pitches "we leave our worries on the doorstep" and life is so sweet on the sunny side of the street.

The Rays used to "walk in the shade with thier blues on parade" but now we are not afraid because our Rover " Sonny" crossed us over to the sunny side of the street.

Please send me some complimentary tickets for my creativity.

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