Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
April 17, 2008 5:52 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
A shot of Richie Sexson, above, trying out a new split-fingered fastball under the watchful eye of pitching coach J.J. Putz. OK, maybe not. But the two players have something in common tonight. Both are hurt and not going to play. Sexson has been bothered by nagging leg and shoulder pain and is getting a rest. Might get another rest tomorrow. Greg Norton gets the start at first base.
Here's John McLaren's explanation:
"Richie's had a sore leg, a sore shoulder,'' he said. "I wanted to calm things down a bit.''
McLaren added he wasn't certain Sexson would play tomorrow night's opener in Anaheim.
"I don't know,'' he said. "You know him. He wants to play every day. But he's got some soreness.''
Brad Wilkerson also gets a night off. Willie Bloomquist is in to face the lefty pitcher. Yes, yes, I know, some of you are going to write in telling me Wilkerson has better splits against southpaws. He's also not hitting. So he gets the night off to collect himself.
Two former catchers, above, ponder the meaning of life. McLaren and Ray Fosse, famous for getting run over by Pete Rose at home plate in the 1970 all-star game. Fosse was also an original Mariner in 1977. Now a color commentator for the Oakland A's television broadcasts.
The lineups for tonight's game:
51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Jose Vidro DH
10 Greg Norton 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
16 Willie Bloomquist RF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
52 Carlos Silva RHP
6 Travis Buck RF
14 Mark Ellis 2B
10 Daric Barton 1B
32 Jack Cust DH
8 Emil Brown LF
7 Bobby Crosby SS
15 Ryan Sweeney CF
24 Kurt Suzuki C
22 Jack Hannahan 3B
25 Lenny DiNardo LHP
Posted by Mind blog
6:01 PM, Apr 17, 2008
In an intriguing subplot, this blog appears to be digressing into a kind of juvenile defensive posturing that supports name calling and mocking innuendo as a means to defeat reason and critical insight. While the blog has plenty of “rah rah” types to support the M’s – no harm in that it is part of the enjoyment of all sports - it has, to its merit, a degree of individuals supplying reasoned and critical insight into the workings of a professional baseball franchise. These individuals produce sound critiques of the decisions and actions of the General Manager, Manager, Coaching Staff, and Players. All of which is in the public eye and just fare subject to scrutiny by fans. Such critiques are to be expected from knowledgeable fans and this activity is simply of the sporting business. In other words, the personnel of the Seattle Mariners are justly subject to criticism – they public figures that represent the community and as such they are never above social judgment – good or bad. Notwithstanding this measure of criticism, there is an element surfacing on the blog that appears personally invested in defending the players, coaches, manager and GM. These individuals resort to weak defenses of their favorite players, et al, and quickly succumb to the immaturity of petty stereotyping and name calling as their primary defense of their apparent personal investment in the team.
Last night these childish posters took their sham to new heights with uncivil and immature insults. Consider for example the following series of comments: posted by “Alex” at 5:43 PM - "pokenour are you a mariners fan or a little trading card popular among little kids and friends with jigglypuff? Looking at your excellent and brilliant analysis I think it the latter.." - Is this kind of debasement - "jigglypuff" - really necessary and appropriate? Or “Alex” at 5:48 PM - "You are really calling Brandon Morrow a one pitch wonder....haha. Brilliant small mythological creature you are" - juvenile comment here - "Brilliant small mythological creature you are" - totally inappropriate. Subsequently there is “adam=wrong=pokenour” at 6:16 PM, at 6:23 PM and at 6:30 PM - creating a display name "adam=wrong=pokenour" designed to demean two regular posters who are critical of team performance and managerial actions. As Adam and Pokenour have not demeaned anyone but simply attempted to assess player performance and analyze managerial and GM performances, this taunting is again wholly inappropriate. The taunting was engaged in by three suspects – Alex,” “Putzy,” and this phony "adam=wrong=pokenour" character, all of whom seemed overly invested in the Mariners with something personal in their responses.
These inappropriate posters are again evident in the blog columns today, for example, there is the childish wordplay manifest in a little ditty from “debby downer” who at 12:51 PM posted the following: “pooh pooh pooh Morrow, pooh pooh MacLaren, pooh pooh we didn't get Lincecum, pooh pooh Sexson. Pooh pooh we gave up Adam Jones for for 2 yers of Bedard,. Does that about cover it?” Accompanying this little tantrum, there is one “AKMarinersFan” who labeled “Chris from Bothell” “clueless,” such name calling is wholly inappropriate and not befitting mature adult communication.
As I study these peevish posts, I find myself wondering about the identity and character of those who made them. In reflection of the evidence, the answer that I am left with is not a pretty one. Odd posts are surfacing regularly – last night and today – for example, there appear a series of comments that appear to implicate some rogue element of Seattle Mariners players or personnel in creating this childish and inappropriate byplay with fans. For instance, we have a non-coherent post generated by “Grandson” at 11:32 AM – “Without a doubt, Grandma is my hero. I love you Grandma!! – it has appeared here at least twice today, but it makes no sense whatsoever, unless one finds a contextual reference. At 3:42 PM “Grandson” again posted another obscurity: “OK some tell Armstrong that he needs to work his bicep curls. haha lol” The reference to Armstrong is somewhat telling because it would seem to implicate Chuck Armstrong, the Mariners President. With this contextual reference, a pattern appears to be surfacing that gives insight into the identities of these juvenile pranksters. Yesterday, “putzy” posted at 6:34 PM the following retort: "dudes, you are now telling me how to pitch ? He's not a starting pitcher ! okay ! I feel like I'm at the first day of kindergarten...this is the alphabet...this is the letter Aa,,,,come on !" - which suggests that the name "putzy" may be more than coincidence with the M's reliever. In fact, this person appears to take personal offense and replying - "telling me how to pitch" – remark which makes me wonder if it might not be an M's pitcher inappropriately playing with and insulting fans with these juvenile posts. Another post from “putzy” at 4:46 PM yesterday suggests an insiders knowledge: “to quote Sweet Lou:get someone up here that can throw the d** ball and get someone out !” Although Pinnella was know for shall we say his colorful language, this quote suggests a personal awareness. Today’s posts by this rogue element of juvenility again suggest insiders, for example micke at 1:54 PM which reads: “Why do some twerps seem to use every single thread to knock the players, even a thread on travel and on stadiums, can’t they even read?” Certainly this seems to suggested some disaffected persons with personal investment in the activity under scrutiny. Early in the “Kings for a Day” column, “Ziasudra” challenged “Well, what else can we complain about today? …We win las night, and yokels are still looking for whinning opportunities,” further implicating a personal investure of some sort.
In fact, I suspect that "Alex," "putzy," and "Adam=wrong=pokenour," “debby downer,” “Ziasuda,” “Grandson,” and perhaps others may be disaffected players toying with the blog and inserting these juvenile and inappropriate comments in this blog. Surely fans are to be given more respect than this from the ballplayers. Might not the Seattle Times wish to avoid association with such behavior? Particularly if proven to be the product of the players themselves? By nature, the fans have a right to criticize the management of the M's, including the General Manager, Manager, Coaches and Players, such would seem to be an important function of the blog, which should be kept free of meddling by vested interests including those of players and others affiliated with the Mariners. Afterall fans are just tying to express their interest and knowledge of the game, which in part includes criticism of the professionals involved. It is simply juvenile to resort to these mindless insults and petty assaults upon legitimate bloggers.
Posted by Aaron
6:12 PM, Apr 17, 2008
and further more...it was professor plumb in the library with the candle stick...sheesh..its just a sports blog. We're not solving the worlds problems here...relax.
Posted by SABR Matt
6:13 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Oh great. Not only do we lose one of the power bats...but McLaren foolishly decides to rest another one. Historically, power hitters do better against DiNardo than contact hitters...A LOT better. This is a BAD game to bench Wilky...DiNardo is a low-ball hitter, hits better against lefties, and has a history of crushing DiNardo...good call...benching your slumping hitter against the one guy he can probably handle.
Posted by Ziasudra
6:24 PM, Apr 17, 2008
To mind blog - I appreciate your insights, and calling out of some posters - but my comment referred to an earlier post, which started out whinning. I think most would catch the sarcasm intended. I, too dislike the personal, non-sensical comments. We all should stick to discussing the team, etc., as you suggest.
When I want to demean someone, I'll quote Socrates, or Shakespeare, or Einstein, pointing out their Zillogical statements, etc., not "putssy-pooh."
Posted by Zach
6:26 PM, Apr 17, 2008
SABR Matt -
I think it's a little naive to call Wilkerson a "power hitter."
Posted by Zach C
6:26 PM, Apr 17, 2008
maybe you're the one that is offiliated with the Ms...
pointing out other posts is just a coverup...its perfect. None of use would ever expect it, except I did, haha. Wait, what if im the sectret mariner...
Posted by AKMarinersFan
6:32 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Wouldn't we be better off by not having a right fielder. Give Ichiro more room to run. Silva could probably hit as well as Willie.
Posted by Mr. X
6:35 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Regarding the 6:01 post, if a life ever presents itself, grab onto it with both hands, and never let go.
Should be interesting with Norton in the lineup. Ritchie has been getting on base, but that's not what we need from him. Not with a slappy at DH.
Speaking of banjos, maybe a day or two off would arouse the fire that's obviously dormant in the innermost recesses of our leadoff hitter's soul. Then he can come back in a few days with the zeal of a challenger.
Posted by chris
6:43 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Mind blog: this blog needs juvenile commentators only a little bit less that it needs long-winded moralists. If you don't want to risk being offended by the character of the posts, please form your own blog where you can discuss the inanities of front office criticism to your wildest desire.
Posted by Adam
6:46 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Zach - although he isn't a power hitter in the class of A-Rod or Pujols, Wilkerson's calling card is still hitting the long ball. And the fact that he has zero HRs so far this year has absolutely zero relevance to whether he'd be a good matchup against DiNardo.
I agree with SABR Matt.
Indeed, there's really little logic for starting Willie over Wilkerson. Wilkerson just had a day off two nights ago, and despite what some might believe: WILLIE ISN'T ANY GOOD; DEFINATELY NOT BETTER THAN WILKERSON.
As for Richie, ho hum. I don't think the team misses anything with him out and Norton in. For all the hoopla about Sexson's mini "resurgence" (I admit, I noted my pleasure with his patience at the plate), he's still only got an OPS of .749.
Side note: for all the talk of Lopez taking extra pitches, would it surprise you to know his OBP is a sickly .299? Once in a while, he's got to stop swinging at ball 4, even on 3-2 counts...
Posted by Babu
6:48 PM, Apr 17, 2008
So ... Richie and Wilkerson have the night off because its their turn to be fake bloggers? I don't think so.
On with the game, and the baseball discussions!
Posted by Mr. X
6:59 PM, Apr 17, 2008
"would it surprise you to know his OBP is a sickly .299? Once in a while, he's got to stop swinging at ball 4, even on 3-2 counts"
Not surprising at all, since the guy(s) in front of him aren't getting on base on a regular basis. Not to be a broken record or anything, but:
Night and day.
Posted by Blair
7:00 PM, Apr 17, 2008
AK Mariners Fan,
I'm a big Willie B fan and did you not see his line the other night? 2-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB? Pretty good. Now, I won't sit here and say Willie is the greatest player or even that he deserves a spot in the starting lineup but give him a little credit. He had a decent average last year, runs well and plays all over. Do you have a better idea for a utility man right now to spell Wilkerson in right?
These nagging injuries already are piling up. Sexson looks to be doing better, hope he isn't hurt too bad. Go Mariners.
Posted by Tony In Dallas
7:00 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Mind Blog you have too much time on your hands...
Posted by joeinseattle
7:01 PM, Apr 17, 2008
I have two questions not related to the blog:
Has anyone been able to access Geoff's most-current podcast on KJR's website? I was able to hear last week's, but this week's offering only gives me Mitch doing a Daniel's Broiler ad.
Also, does MLB.com prorate the month when you sign-up to watch games via the web?
Thanks in advance and Go M's!
Posted by Adam
7:14 PM, Apr 17, 2008
X - Yes, not to sound like a broken record, but we've already established that better options exist in the middle of the lineup.
Further, given Ichiro's slow start (.338) OBP, you would hope the new and improved Lopez would be getting on base more often. He isn't.
And you don't stick a guy with a whopping career .786 OPS w/men on just because he performs better there...
Posted by Adam
7:16 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Correction - you don't stick him in the middle of the lineup because he's better w/men on.
Clutchness doesn't exist, and even if it did, in Lopez's case, it wouldn't mean a whole lot.
Posted by blah
7:26 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Mind blog: is that you Merrill???
no offense, I am sure your post was well intended, but after about the 10th sentence with no breaks, I grew tired of the preach...
Posted by LAMariner
7:54 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Mind blog, I too thought your post was long but after reading it, I think you made a very good point and the length of your post was necessary to provide your supporting logic. Too many posters just want to put up sound bites rather than meaningful dialogue. Thanks for your post.
Posted by Mr. X
7:59 PM, Apr 17, 2008
What a bizarre response, even for Adam. Try to stick with the point. I already won the other argument, very effectively. This is a brand spanking new topic point. Lopez will get on base more when Ichiro starts doing his job. Team concept, imagine that.
Posted by Adam
9:04 PM, Apr 17, 2008
X - You won the other point? LOL! Oh, that's right. You accused me of cherrypicking OPS, yet you used slugging %. And your rationale? You weren't interested if a hitter gets on base himself with men on!!
And I'm still waiting for you to settle on a proper parameter to make your argument. First you argued men on base, then you argued against it, then you used men on with 2 out, then with men on 1st and 2nd.
All the while, the simple fact remains that Lopez is less productive (using OPS, like most of the baseball world) w/RISP or men on base than most of his teammates.
So keep on believing...
And as for Lopez's general OBP - it has very little to do with Ichiro. Given the fact that Ichiro makes an out more than 60% of the time in his career, is it too much to ask Lopez to get on even if Ichiro doesn't?
I know you don't care for Ichiro, but geez - let's place the blame where it lies.
Posted by JJ
10:55 PM, Apr 17, 2008
Mind Blog....you need to get a life. You have way too much free time on your hands
Posted by kingk
12:43 AM, Apr 18, 2008
Oh wilkerson didn't start Mac you are so stupid no way we can win now...Do any of you see how inane you are?? Knowledge is a dangerous thing especially when you have no clue how to use stats...NONE
Posted by faithful
6:47 AM, Apr 18, 2008
Sexson needs to go on the DL followed by a 60 day rehab assignment in Wisconsin.
Posted by zDawg
10:27 AM, Apr 18, 2008
Feeding trolls can be hazardous to your mental health.
Reading them only increases your blood pressure.
Posted by tikamiha
4:13 PM, May 09, 2008
Richie Sexson Fight Video!!!! Really worth seeing!
Jul 4, 08 - 03:16 PM
Detroit Tigers at Mariners: 07/04 game thread
Jul 4, 08 - 12:28 PM
Jul 3, 08 - 11:13 PM
Better opposition tonight
Jul 3, 08 - 08:56 PM
Detroit Tigers at Mariners: 07/03 game thread
Jul 3, 08 - 05:45 PM
Hernandez throws, Rowland-Smith blogs, Clement struggles