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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 12, 2008 4:32 PM

Hello, Dalai (and J.J. too)

Posted by Larry Stone


Larry Stone here. Thanks to Bob Condotta for a great pinch-hitting appearance yesterday. Man, now I've not only got Geoff to live up to, but Condotta.

Sorry, I couldn't resist the awful pun in the headaing. For those out-of-towners, the Dalai Lama is in Seattle this weekend and appearing today in a "Seeds of Compassion" event at Qwest Field, across from Safeco. That led to some major traffic snarls near the two ballparks, but I eventually made it here.

Just got done talking to Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Turns out the Angels are staying in the same hotel as the Dalai Lama, and Scioscia had a chance to talk to some of his entourage. "Junior Dalai Lamas,'' Scioscia said. "Is that what you call them? Vice Lamas?"

The Angels were pretty loose despite their tough loss yesterday. During stretching, a few of them were messing around with the J.J. Putz "soul patches,'' an adhesive replica of Putz's facial hair that the Mariners are giving out as a promotion. Reggie Willits was applying it to his cheek, forehead, hat, etc., while Jered Weaver plopped one on his chin and went over to talk to Putz to see if he'd notice.

Speaking of Putz, the news was again encouraging today. He had another 10-minute throwing session that went very well. He long tossed, then threw hard from pitching distance, but on flat ground. He said he had no discomfort at all. The next step will come Sunday when Putz will throw a bullpen session from the mound. It is likely he will throw a simulated game before a decision is made on when to activate him, but there still is no timetable on his return, or any decision on whether he will need a minor-league rehab appearance. His bullpen session Sunday might help give some answers.

Otherwise, manager John McLaren was still glowing over Friday's victory but lamenting the team's sloppy defense. They now have 12 errors, tied with Texas for most in the American League (the Phillies have 13, and the Pirates 16, proving that no one in Pennsylvania can field).

"Defense is a big part of our game, and we have been really sloppy,'' McLaren said. "It is something we take pride in. We have to do a better job. When it is your strength and it works as your weakness, that’s not good."

OK, in honor of the Dalai Lama (and stealing an idea from the Mariners' P.R. staff), here's Carl Spackler's legendary riff from Caddyshack. Baker may give you video, but does he give you Murray?

"So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one -- big hitter, the Lama -- long, into a ten-thousand foot crevice, right at the base of this glacier. And do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consiousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

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Posted by pauly

5:32 PM, Apr 12, 2008

larry that dalai caddyshack spoof was an epic fail. are you smoking crack or something?

Posted by Nat

5:35 PM, Apr 12, 2008

"Defense is a big part of our game, and we have been really sloppy,'' McLaren said. "It is something we take pride in. We have to do a better job. When it is your strength and it works as your weakness, that’s not good." Mac, Mac, Mac...

I know it isn't easy to answer questions on demand, (to be fair, we all might struggle with it at times) but as someone who taught English for a number of years I had to laugh at McLaren's remarks. If you take it literally "It is something we take pride in..." is a modifier that refers to the phrase..."we have been really sloppy."

Personally, I hope that one day soon their defense will be something the M's can take pride in again! I was at the game last night and agree with those who have commented in earlier threads that it was high drama, highs and lows, momentum jumping back and forth between the Mariners and Angels teams on a minute to minute basis. It didn't lack for excitement for lany stretch of time. And it was all worth it cuz we won.


The three errors the M's made, however, dampened the fan mood when they occurred, something palpable throughout the stadium. Something you don't really get a feel for when you're watching on TV. Anyway, here's hoping for another great game with the same result! Go M's!!!

Posted by AKMarinersFan

5:38 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Vidro batting 5th....how is that possible? The Angels lineup is much better than the M's. Silva better pitch a good game and go deep or the Angels win this one easy.

Posted by dc

5:40 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Gambling's illegal at Bushwood Sir.....and I NEVER slice

Posted by Ryan

5:44 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Fun game last night, my first of the year in my new seats (moved from 1st deck RF to 1st deck LF).

1. Why did we not bring in a lefty to pitch to Anderson in the 7th? **Free RRS!** Or does he not have the 'menatlity' Grover?

2. Is Felix trying to get the gold glove this year? How about that effort!

3. Did anyone catch what Scioscia was arguing about after Sexon tagged out Izturis in the 6th? The only thing we could come up with was that Sexon was in the runner's lane..but that doesn't matter if he ahs the ball right?

Posted by sfmsfan

5:46 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Pauly is a moron, you can never go wrong with Bill Murray.

Posted by Tom

5:50 PM, Apr 12, 2008

The Dalai Lama comments were inappropriate, to say the least. Would you have made similar jokes about the Pope, a Jewish rabi, etc.? I don't think so.
Stick to baseball.

Posted by Allah

5:58 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Tom, follow your own advice and stick to baseball....and have a sense of humor for God's sake....uh oh....I said God. How about for Lama's sake.

I'm so insensitive.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

6:02 PM, Apr 12, 2008

I'm with you on the Bill Murray-Dalai deal Larry. Can you imagine that match-up at the Qwest for 20 minutes................

The bigger question is not why Vidro is batting 5th but why he is our DH.......... Is Mac stuck in a time warp?

Go M's

Posted by i heart Morse

6:05 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Time to build upon a quality win...Go M's.

My Sunday afternoon will be much more relaxing if Bedard is pitching for the sweep instead of a series win.

Posted by Paul

6:10 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Good stuff...here we go. I'm calling a big game from Ichiro and Sexson today.... and I think Wilkerson too.

Posted by Donovan

6:10 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Tom - Did you hear the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the imam who walk into this bar ....? The Dalai Lama is on my short list of the most admirable humans alive, let alone religious leaders. In part that's because he seems to actually have a sense of humor. I wouldn't be surprised if he's seen Caddy Shack. If so, I bet he thought it was hilarious.

The M's are tied for the AL lead in walks with 47. Last season, we were dead last. That's blowing my mind.

Go Silva!

Posted by Paul

6:14 PM, Apr 12, 2008

That was a quick 1,2,3. Nice start for Silva.

Posted by Anthony

6:14 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Larry, nicely done on the Bill Murray Dalai Lama line. That is absolutely hillarious. Gotta love Bill Murray..

Posted by Paul

6:56 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Here we go again, Richie. Walk?

Posted by tjp

8:08 PM, Apr 12, 2008

Headline, JJ Putz doesn't have a "soul patch".
Ibanez does.
You brothers out there know what a "soul patch" is, putz doesn't have one. But, the mariners have always been clueless.

Posted by Chet

10:49 PM, Apr 12, 2008

"Big hitter, the Lama." I've always loved that line.

Tom, dude -- I'm guessing you're a huge amount of fun. Get offended much?

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