Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 16, 2008 9:05 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
9:05 p.m.: It's now a 6-1 game after the Marlins scored on a Cody Ross sacrifice fly off Ryan Rowland-Smith in the sixth, then added a pair off Roy Corcoran in the seventh. Corcoran gave up two hits and committed a throwing error on the second of those to put runners at second and third with none out. He got a ground out, runners holding, then issued an intentional walk to load the bases. But Dan Uggla and Luis Gonzalez added singles for two more runs before Sean Green came on to notch a pair of strikeouts.
So, while we're waiting on that Bill Bavasi video, here's some audio from team CEO Howard Lincoln. This was done after the press conference, so you haven't heard it yet. Lincoln was holding court, saw me and motioned me over. I've been ragging on him for a lack of accountability, so this was my chance to ask a few questions I'd been wanting answers to. The first was on who engineered the Kenji Johjima contract extension. Lincoln told me that it was Allan Nero, Johjima's agent, who first approached the M's with the extension idea. After that, it was primarily the team's owner, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong who did the deal. Bavasi had limited involvement in it. Which begged the question of why Lincoln would sign off on the deal, given Johjima's poor hitting at the time and the fact some pitchers would rather throw to backup catcher Jamie Burke. I asked him about it towards the tail end of the clip you'll hear.
At the beginning, I ask Lincoln what incentive he's given the players to actually want to be accountable and perform. After all, he's fired a hitting coach and a GM. No players have been moved out in a long time.
Hear his answer right here on this clip.
"Pride in their profession,'' he said. "A sense of obligation for the money they are being paid. A sense of obligation to the community in which they live and in which they have an opportunity to play major league baseball. Because at the end of the day, it's not about us incentivizing them.''
A look above at new interim GM Lee Pelekoudas, who has yet to lose a game at his post, but likely will very shortly.
8:15 p.m.: First base umpire Bill Welke just made a very debatable call in the fifth inning. Not on the play at first base, in which runner Jeremy Hermida was ruled safe, avoiding a double play and allowing a third Florida run to score with two out. No, the debatable call was Welke ejecting Carlos Silva from the game. Silva jumped up in frustration on the mound and yelled something as the "safe'' call was made. Welke ejected him immediately. Now, let's get it straight. Welke was technically within his rights to do that. But it all comes down to judgement. You have a starter who's throwing well in the middle innings of a close game. The fans aren't paying to see Welke get his thin skin irritated. I think he could have used better judgement there. At least warned Silva first. Anyhow, John McLaren was incensed and went at it with Welke for a while. The fans went nuts, as you might imagine. Ryan Rowland-Smith is warming up as we speak in a 3-1 game.
A look at Silva, above, far left, trying to get by a bevy of umpires, players and McLaren to get at Welke.
8:07 p.m.: Seattle got a run in the fourth inning to make it 2-1 as Kenjo Johjima hit a sacrifice fly to left field. But the M's once again failed to bring a runner home from third with less than two out. Raul Ibanez was at third when Willie Bloomquist drove one to shallow right. But Jeremy Hermida was right there for the catch and the M's -- wisely -- opted not to test his arm. Yuniesky Betancourt flied out to right after that.
7:38 p.m.: Still a 2-0 game as we head to the bottom of the third inning. Carlos Silva has retired eight in a row since that walk in the first inning. On the other side of the mound, Andrew Miller has put down six of seven to start the game. Richie Sexson notched a two-out single in the second, but Miller then broke Kenji Johjima's bat on an ensuing pitch for an easy fielder's choice to end the inning.
7:20 p.m.: A half-inning in the books and it's already 2-0 for the Florida Marlins. The Lee Pelekoudas era isn't exactly off to a roaring start. Then again, neither is the Lee Elia era. Maybe they should replace fired guys with folks who aren't named Lee.
Anyhow, Carlos Silva gave up a pair of one-out singles, then Mike Jacobs ripped a ball off the glove of a diving Richie Sexson at first base. That scored one run. One walk later and Luis Gonzalez drove a ball to right for a sacrifice fly and a second run for Florida. We get to see former No. 1 draft pick Andrew Miller on the mound for the Marlins tonight. He was the big piece to the Miguel Cabrera deal with the Detroit Tigers this past winter.