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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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July 29, 2008 9:50 PM

Mariners blow another in ninth

Posted by Geoff Baker

suzuki0729 029.jpg

Just a short programming note, my Talkin' Baseball segment on KJR AM 950's Mitch in the Morning show tomorrow will run an hour later -- at roughly 9:20 a.m. -- to accomodate some scheduling issues with the start of Seahawks camp. Should be lots to talk about.

The crowd at Rangers Ballpark erupts as a two-run double to right center by Ramon Vazquez off J.J. Putz ends the game. An 11-10 loss for the Mariners after they'd overcome deficits of 7-0 and 9-3 to take a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth. By the way, it was a year ago -- on July 25 -- that Vazquez hit a homer off Putz to hand him his first blown save of the 2007 season. I'd say he's about done with the guy.

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Yes, that's Jarrod Washburn pinch-running at first base for Kenji Johjima in the top of the ninth inning after the latter was drilled on the left knee by a C.J. Wilson pitch. The Seattle bench is depleted, so Washburn was called on to run. For those asking, Jose Vidro has a bad neck, which is why he wasn't used tonight. No, Washburn did not enhance his trade value. He did score the inning's go-ahead run when Ramon Vazquez threw a ball away at first for a two-base error.

Asked to assess his baserunning, he quipped: "I thought pretty good. Freezed up on the ground ball to third and then showed my speed. Now the secret's out. They're going to want two prospects for me.''

Mariners manager Jim Riggleman also wasn't impressed with Washburn's running ability.

"He was at the wrong place,'' he said. "He was back at second base when the ball was thrown. Lucky the throw was so bad that it didn't matter.''

Washburn was so stunned to get the call that he had to race back to the clubhouse to put on his game jersey and spikes. He usually doesn't wear them on the bench between starts. He wound up forgetting his belt, so Riggleman pulled his off his waist and handed it to him.

The fact that Washburn was out there at all tells you what kind of game this was. A bizarre one on a night where pitching and defense took a back seat to everything else. Long balls, errors, blown plays, miscommunication. You name it.

One of the bigger gaffes was Yuniesky Betancourt failing to get a bunt down with one out in the ninth and Jamie Burke racing in from third. Burke was a dead duck when Betancourt missed the ball.

Putz even got away with trying to make a near-impossible out at third base on a bunt with two on and none out. Instead of throwing to first for the out, Putz tried to nab lead runner Marlon Byrd. The throw appeared to arrive late, as expected, since Byrd was only a few yards from the bag when the throw was made. Byrd is not very fast and he somehow, by the most microscopic of margins, was called out. Either that or the umpire blew the call. I'm still not sure. But Putz got away with one there (sorry Jack in the comments thread, 99 times out of 100 the runner beats that throw). It wound up not mattering moments later.

"It just seems like we've been involved in so many games like this that are decided in the ninth and 10th, 11th and 12th,'' Riggleman said. "There were an equal amount of things to be disappointed about and I'm disappointed in all of them.''


Putz battled his control throughout the ninth-inning stint. It was his second blown save in four days as he works his way back from injury.

Ichiro could not catch up to that last hit as it drifted out of his reach in right center. He's had trouble on quite a few balls hit in the air on this road trip. Not saying he should have caught it. He just didn't look as confident chasing after that ball.

Riggleman said the other day that Ichiro was having trouble seeing the ball off bats in Toronto. Looked like something similar tonight, though he had a long way to run.

Bottom line is, you can't give up 11 runs and expect to win.

Carlos Silva apparently wasn't happy at being pulled so early. Well, the only solution to that is to pitch better.

On to Ichiro's big night, I asked him about the perception that his 3,000 hits weren't as big an accomplishment because many of them came in Japan.

"People that want to say things like that...all I'm going to say is that in Japanese professional baseball, they don't use metal bats,'' he said through an interpreter.

In other words, it's not a cakewalk. The hits there don't come any easier.

"If you look at it, my pace at getting hits in the U.S. is quicker than in Japan,'' Ichiro said. "So, if people are going to say those kinds of things, I'd like them to take a look at that stat.''

Not hits per at-bat, as someone commenting on the blog mentioned earlier today. But certainly per season.

I spoke to Warren Moon earlier tonight by phone, just after the 3,000th hit. As you know, Moon's 21,228 passing yards during six seasons in the CFL did not count when his Hall of Fame credentials were assessed. He can sympathize with Ichiro and suggests critics consider he's done all he can in the places he was allowed to play. Remember, players in Japan have to spend nearly adecade with their teams before becoming eligible for free-agency. Unless those teams "post'' them to U.S. bidders.

"You can't blame him for where he was born and where he played,'' Moon said. "Just like me. You can't blame me for the NFL not wanting me to play quarterback.''

Ichiro didn't spend his post-game complaining about critics. He seemed relieved and pleased at having notched the hit and also was happy at the reaction he got from the crowd here. At first, he didn't know how to react, having notched the hit in a visiting ballpark. But when the feat was announced and the crowd gave him a nice round of cheers, he returned the favor with a tip of his cap.

"I got my first hit in 1992, and looking back on it it seems that from that point to this point, it wasn't a very long time,'' he said. "But for some reason, the last week, to me, seemed like a long period of time.''

We'll end of that. On a night of awful baseball, in an awful season, let's at least go out on a high note.

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Posted by seattle loliners

8:21 PM, Jul 29, 2008

how many days left till NFL week 1??

Posted by Sounders

8:24 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Hoi-ohhh!!!!!

Posted by Everett Fan

8:25 PM, Jul 29, 2008

What we've learned tonight is that Morrow is not going to have a chance to start in AAA this year. . . .

Posted by headliner

8:25 PM, Jul 29, 2008

JJ should stick to playing with bobblehead dolls and throwing pies.

Posted by dawgfan

8:26 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Tough loss, but what a wonderfull effort by the M's to get back in this game. There is just no quit in this team. You gotta love these guys.

Posted by levinea

8:27 PM, Jul 29, 2008

His injury killed his confidence, strength and skill. Putz is done as closer. Sad.

Posted by Alex

8:28 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Village Idiot, your name fits. Not every leader runs around firing up the troops. Please explain to me how Bllomquist and Burke are 10 times the men Ichiro is? Gotta love your hard working white guys. Of course like all white guys, they are known for their scrappy tough nature. Not Ichiro though, oh no. He isn't a leader. I mean he isn't running around the clubhouse yelling at the younger guys. Well that is the perspective of a man who cannot possibly understand that the man leads by example, but you wouldn't understand that. You want somebody who wears eye-black and pulls up their socks. Not Ichiro, who always performs, always plays, always works hard, and never is disrespectfull. Please tell me how Ichiro is not held accountable. What does he need to be held accountable for? Damn him for hitting so well. Damn him for playing such good defense. Damn him for playing hard. Damn him.

Posted by BrianL

8:29 PM, Jul 29, 2008

levinea - It's a little premature to say that.

Posted by mistadoc

8:29 PM, Jul 29, 2008

What trade value? They won't trade him. The mariners will play their usual stand pat crap. They refuse to give the fans anything to cheer about. As long as people keep showing up to see crap like this chuckie, and howie will continue to rip us off.

Posted by 20cent Bag

8:30 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I thought the Ms had run out of ideas on how to lose.

Obviously, there is huge pipeline if ideas infornt of us.

It's comical.

Posted by BrianL

8:31 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Alex - Give up.

Ichiro will likely go to the hall of fame as a trailblazing, remarkable player and these people will forever hate him.

Posted by huskiefan@aol.com

8:34 PM, Jul 29, 2008

GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!! This is such a sickening disgusting season........did we really have to lose this game????? I have never liked PUTTS......even last year, I swear I saw every single blown save Puttttts had, but this is over the top. For the worst team in baseball to come back like they did, and then have the worst closer in baseball BLOW it. What will he say?? "Well, I made a couple of bad pitches, and....." GO TO H*$# PUTTS>>>>>>>>you are NOT ready to pitch ........we all ready have the worst DH, and now the absolute, positively WORST closer in BASEBALL. They make the Sonics look good!!!!!

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

8:34 PM, Jul 29, 2008

BrianL: JJ should have swallowed his ego and spent more time on his rehab option with Tacoma instead of insisting that he could return after just one outing. He was shakey the other day and should not have been out there tonight in a tight save situation - that is Riggleman's fault. The good thing is that we didn't fall further behind the tanking Nationals in the race for next year's #1 draft pick.

Posted by familyguy

8:35 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I really don't care if the M's win or lose. They are a great bunch of guys that give back tons to our community. Mariners magazine always highlights the good worlk they do every week. I love going to Safeco and collecting the bobbleheads and relaxing after a long day. Remember there is more to these M's than just wins and losses.

Posted by BrianL

8:39 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Top pick in 09 draft - I don't think it really matters too much. This season is a sunk cost, so if management prefers JJ to get his work done on the ML level, that's fine.

I don't know, maybe he's in on the whole Strasburg chase.

Posted by Edgar FM

8:40 PM, Jul 29, 2008

One more down in the Strasburg race.

Oh yeah and BoSox...still want JJ? Please take.
Congrats Ichiro.

Posted by JonUW

8:41 PM, Jul 29, 2008

familyguy- Your sarcasm made my day. Hahaha, hilarious. Unless you were being serious. If that's the case, you demonstrate exactly why the Mariners will never be winners: their fans are willing to settle for less....

Posted by George

8:41 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Why Johjima hitting for LaHair?

Why Putz and not Morrow?

Is this the gong show ... ?

Posted by mikey

8:43 PM, Jul 29, 2008

familyguy, your mentality is whats wrong with this franchise.

Posted by mikey

8:44 PM, Jul 29, 2008

or maybe my sarcasm detector is broken

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:51 PM, Jul 29, 2008

To BryanL-Give up.


So when a scout watches a player a handful of times, it's small sample analysis eh BrianL? Any baseball coach watching the game today will tell you LaHair is good, and has every chance of becoming the M's answer at first base.

Park factors is the excuse now for Dave's incompetent scouting abilities? That's why Beltre and Ibanez were hitless today eh?

I guess you think LaHair sucks too? Should we trade Lopez too BrianL?

LMAO!

Posted by scottM

8:55 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Nice to see the comeback effort, but these are games that must be won.

OK, Putz looked horrible and cost us the game after an excellent come back. Down 7-0 to lead 10-9. Stuff a pie in your own face, JJ. HOWEVER,

Doesn't Riggleman know who his bunters are and aren't?

Johjima and Betancourt CAN NOT bunt.

Johjima pops his back and gets lucky that Laird can't quite catch it. Then Joh gets beaned in the knee. WHY WASN'T VIDRO PINCH HITTING FOR LaHAIR against that lefty?

And once again, the M's don't take advantage of golden opportunity with the score 10-9 with one out when Yuni stabs at his bunt attempt and strands Burke between third and home. Maybe the M's could have still won this game if Yuni had made it 11-9.

Yuni should be sent down to Tacoma for the rest of '08 to learn how to bunt AND the fundamentals of being a disciplined hitter. A month in the minors now will pay dividends for many years. Send a LOUD message to Yuni that his flailing, hacking style will no longer be tolerated.

And yes, Walla Walla Girl, let's revive the JOSE GUILLEN SOCIETY. Reed and SIlva for Guillen.

Posted by BrianL

8:56 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - I'd like to know which scouts are saying that Brian LaHair is a capable ML first baseman. Everything I've read (from non-sabermetric sources) indicates that LaHair is extremely unacceptable to the inside pitch, prone to being jammed, and simply doesn't project to be anything more than a bench 1B.

At best, he's a platoon partner. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, please go look up "ad-hominem" and "straw man" arguments.

Posted by 20cent bag

8:58 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I can't think of another team recently that always looks for a way to lose.

This "team" is a sports psychology in progress!

This team should be studied because they have absolute ZERO confidence in themselves.

It's funny, its comical.

I am beginning to enjoy the way this team loses because its like a spy novel on how someone commits an error, how someone gives up a hit, how someone drops a ball!

It's hilarious!

Posted by bob

8:58 PM, Jul 29, 2008

This is how bad Putz is right now.

One he is still not sharp to garner a save opportunity as was pointed out earlier.

Stat comparison from last year.
2007 IP 71.2 2008 IP 24.1
H 37 H 29
ER 11 ER 14
BB 13 BB 17
SO 82 SO 28

It is clear that he has no command and if you watch closely. It would have not been shocking if Vasquez did not knock any of the pitches he hit foul in the same place as the last one.

Putz has no movement and no location. He has not had it all year and until he gets it back should not be closing any games.

Live with Morrow as a closer this year, it is far to late to bring him into the rotation and remember where are we going to fit him in next year with all the veterans we have signed. Felix, Bedard, Washburn, Silva, Batista. Assuming we hold on to Bedard until midseason, which I hope we do Otherwise, we will not get much back for him. And obviously, if Wash is not traded. Batista hopefully will be long relief.

Posted by Adam

9:00 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Any baseball coach watching the game today will tell you LaHair is good, and has every chance of becoming the M's answer at first base.


If that's the only time the coach has, or will see LaHair, then maybe you have a point. No one scout is going to make a decision on a player based on 3 or 4 ABs. If he does he won't be long for his job.

Park factors is the excuse now for Dave's incompetent scouting abilities? That's why Beltre and Ibanez were hitless today eh?

And 10 ABs from Ibanez and Beltre are relevant - WHY?

I guess you think LaHair sucks too?

He really isn't the answer at first, that's for sure. Unless you can produce one of your mythical scouting reports which says he's a future regular in the bigs.


Posted by 20cent Bag

9:05 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Putz is a joke. Funny how all failure on his part is blamed on "injury" by Blowers, Senilehouse, etc

The fact of the matter is that Putz has zero injury to speak of, its completely mental.

How do you know? Then why would the worse team in MLB bring him back "too soon" .

It's a joke, Putz has LOST his confidence. He has zero confidence and is scared on the mound to make any type of mistake.

It's so obvious.

Posted by Adam

9:07 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I'm still trying to figure out why any ML team that is 25 games under, 25 games back of first, with the worst record in the league, in late July, is giving a roster spot to Burke, Cairo, or Vidro.


This is real simple: You release those three, and you call up Wlad, Diaz, and RRS.

Wlad becomes the everyday RF (Ichiro to CF), Diaz becomes DH, and RRS takes Washburn's spot in the rotation. It's not that hard, AND you actually give younger players (LaHair, Clement, Wlad) more playing time, which is exactly what they need (see: Jones, Adam).

Posted by ethan

9:10 PM, Jul 29, 2008

we seattle fans tend to stick on what "WAS" ...we think Jr. can come back and hit 50 homers. we think Marcus Tubbs will come back healthy. we think JJ Putz is an All Star. he's a piece of s***. no more. no less.

Posted by Adam

9:12 PM, Jul 29, 2008

The fact of the matter is that Putz has zero injury to speak of, its completely mental.

1) How in the world do YOU know he's not 100% healthy?

2) Even if he were, that doesn't mean he should step off the DL and be the Putz of old. There's more to pitching than just health...

Posted by Adam

9:13 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I hope the attacks on JJ are facetious, because otherwise there is a TON of idiocy on the blog tonight...

Posted by 20centbag

9:18 PM, Jul 29, 2008

1) How in the world do YOU know he's not 100% healthy?

Don't be an idiiot!

Why would Putz ever play injured nor why would the Ms ever allow him to play injured when they have millions of $ at stake?

You are a fool. Think about it.

NEWSFLASH: Ms are the worst team in MLB, no reason to risk any arms in the organization.

Obviously, you didn't major in economics in college.

Posted by BrianL

9:18 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam - This is the blog that praises Miguel Batista for pitching through pain (and giving up 5-8 ER in the process) but calls for Erik Bedard's head when he goes on the DL to heal up.

What do you think?

Posted by BrianL

9:21 PM, Jul 29, 2008

20centbag - See Batista, Miguel or Silva, Carlos.

Posted by Seadork

9:22 PM, Jul 29, 2008

The Mariners suck....bad. Send them to Oklahoma so that they can join the Wind Breakers. Maybe JJ Butz can be the closer of all wind break jobs. GO SEADORKS!

Posted by downonstrikes

9:23 PM, Jul 29, 2008

It's hard not to write a comment without 100 cuss words, so I'll just say one, "Damn!"

Posted by Adam

9:23 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Why would Putz ever play injured nor why would the Ms ever allow him to play injured when they have millions of $ at stake?

You are a fool. Think about it.

NEWSFLASH: Ms are the worst team in MLB, no reason to risk any arms in the organization.

Obviously, you didn't major in economics in college.


No, but I took a basic philosophy class that studied logic, so there you go.

First, you still haven't produced a shred of evidence that YOU know Putz is 100% healthy. You just haven't. So quit making baseless assumptions.

Second, are you honestly stating that the M's make sure that their pitchers are healthy when they take the hill? Really? Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva say hello.


For all I know, Putz is healthy. But quit making a fool of yourself by assuming as much.

Posted by Nat

9:24 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Oh, it's not just tonight, Adam.

Posted by GripS

9:27 PM, Jul 29, 2008

There are 2 people responsible for tonight's loss. Silva and good ol' Putz. Both need to be sent down to regain their command and confidence.

When I saw Putz warming up I knew the game was going to be lost. Morrow is our closer. PERIOD.

Lahair crushed that ball tonight. I don't buy the 'hitters ballpark' argument. Last I saw it's still a good distance to hit that ball out of the park and he hit that to the second level. I find it amusing that people judge a guy that is just making his start in the big leagues especially being as young as he is. Good potential to be a power hitter.

Cairo and Burke should stay as long as they keep performing like they have been. Vidro definitely needs to go though. Burke actually has a love for this game and is happy to just get a chance to play. Seems when those chances come along he doesn't waste em like a lot of the regulars do.

Good job by the team as a whole coming back from a 7-0 deficit brought on by worthless Carlos Silva. If we had a decent starter pitching tonight we surely would have won this game.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:29 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam-you come out and attack me on LaHair and you have have been miserable in your evaluations of Aaron Laffey and Corey Patterson. Give it up pal.

Mr. Geoff Baker-Did you hear this story below!

Julio Mateo model citizen

LOL!

Posted by tugboatcritic

9:29 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Regardless of injury, Putz has pitched very poorly all season. I have no idea whether he is hurt or not, but his splitter is quite suspect and has been, all year.

Putz seemed to go through a stretch last season where he didn't use the split much, I would suspect that it doesn't treat his elbow too good.

I think that the great Nolan Ryan wasn't a fan of either the split or the slider, because of that.

Posted by Bruce

9:33 PM, Jul 29, 2008

It's not all bad. Yankees just lost their 3rd in a row and Rasner had another poor game. If this keeps going they may go forward with the trade.

You guys can't have it both ways. Last week every one was up in arms about using Morrow to close in this lost season instead of stretching him. "Putz should close this year so Morrow can focus on being a starter" you said. Well, Putz is not quite ready and is a bit shaky. But in the big picture, as painful as these losses are, what difference one or two more losses make?

I'm with those who say any at bat by Cairo or Vidro is taking a way an at bat from Clement and Wlad (even though, sadly, I'm not sure they're ML ready).


Posted by Adam

9:34 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam-you come out and attack me on LaHair and you have have been miserable in your evaluations of Aaron Laffey and Corey Patterson. Give it up pal.

What, exactly, where my evaluations of Laffey and Patterson? That they'd be All-Stars? No. That they'd be better for the team? Yes, and nothing's proved me wrong on that point. I'd still take Laffey for Ibanez (and the M's aren't going to get that for him), and I still maintain that Patterson would have been better in LF for this team with Raul at DH. His defense alone would have been worth it, and I'm pretty sure he could have produced at a level similar to Reed, Wilkerson, or Balentien.

Not sure what you are trying to prove...


And BTW, you don't have that LaHair scouting report handy, do you? Or are you going to base your evaluation of the guy on two games?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:34 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam - This is the blog that praises Miguel Batista for pitching through pain (and giving up 5-8 ER in the process) but calls for Erik Bedard's head when he goes on the DL to heal up.

BrianL-if you don't like this blog go back to Lookout Landing. There you can hide among the teen angst profanity one liners, and no one knows a sinker ball from a splitter.

Posted by Jack

9:35 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Geoff is an idiot.......

He didn't make a mistake throwing out the lead runner. You need to change professions. It was a fabulous fielding play.

The fact that his pitching wasn't good is irrelevant to the great fielding play.

Back to Canada I say....back

Posted by BrianL

9:35 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - How many times do we have to rehash this Corey Patterson argument before you get it?

The idea was to sign Patterson, play him in left for his defense, move Raul to DH, and jettison Vidro.

Of course, you're just going to ignore this too.

While you're researching what "Straw Man" and "Ad-hominem" arguments are, add "Red Herring" arguments to your list.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:37 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I'd still take Laffey for Ibanez (and the M's aren't going to get that for him), and I still maintain that Pattersonwould have been better in LF for this team with Raul at DH. His defense alone would have been worth it, and I'm pretty sure he could have produced at a level similar to Reed, Wilkerson, or Balentien.

ROTFLMAO!

Posted by Ragarm

9:38 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I attend a few games in person each season, watching the bulk of them on TV or listening on the radio. Honestly, every game I have attended J.J. Putz has lost the game for us that he appeared. Every one. I have never seen the M's win when he came in relief. So, you can say I have no good feelings about him, and all the pies and bobbleheads in the world will not change that opinion. He is done as a closer. I've witnessed the same decline in Guadardo and Nelson and Charton. J.J. is finished. It's a mind game for closers and he is now officially a dud.

The M's find a way to lose each night and Wiggleworm gets interviewed and sprews out numerous excuses. And why didn't he use Vidro to pinch run? You should listen to the interview. Viddy has a bad ankle and back and pinkie finger or something. Wiggleworm has a tinge of disrespect in his voice as he explained why Vidro was unavailable.

This team sucks and FO is doing nothing. Our GM, whose name I can't hope to spell, was interviewed too and like he told Geoff, no changes to improve the team now. He's going to wait. Wait for the prizes to be awarded to all the other teams.

How can we continue to support this team? and familyguy you are full of it. If that was sarcasm make it more obvious next time. Seattle fans support losers and deserve losers. Speak with your feet. I'm turning off the TV and radio for the rest of the season to back up my words.

Screw this team's management!

Posted by Nat

9:39 PM, Jul 29, 2008

It seems very obvious that this time IS Putz's ST. After injury rehab he needs more than a few weeks to get back to ML readiness as a closer. Riggleman's fault for secondguessing Putz and thinking he was ready to close. I'm sure Putz will take responsibility for tonight's loss, howver.

About Mateo- see ya later, mister. Back to Mexico you go! The guy never learned how to be accountable.

Posted by BrianL

9:39 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - Tell me how this team isn't better with Patterson in left and Raul at DH.

Really, I'd love to know.

Are you saying that the team that took the field in April was better off with Jose Vidro as the regular DH and Raul Ibanez playing left?

I swear, Dave, Adam, or myself could say that the first three digits of pi are 3.14 and you'd disagree.

Posted by meagain

9:40 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Wow. Just read the comments on this and the previous blog entry; a game like tonight's drives people to extremes, I guess.

VillageIdiot, I'll take you at your word that you're a retired Marine--no such thing as an ex-Marine--and thank you for your service. Two points.

Before you use Ty Cobb as an example of leadership, you should read up on him.

And: I've seen young players approach Ichiro for help in spring training. He calls his interpreter over and takes as much time as they need, if it doesn't interrupt practice. I saw him stay after practice to give hitting tips to Rob Johnson. He'll never be Jay Buhner; he's too quiet, and he doesn't strike out enough. I'll bet if you could talk to Ichiro and Buhner, you'd find lots of mutual respect. But that's just a guess.

This season is the worst. Let's not dog each other, or ride our few good players too hard. I hope the front office has some answers.

Posted by Adam

9:45 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Defense doesn't matter, BrianL. It just doesn't.


And Patterson's been pretty bad with the bat, I'll admit. However, when I see a guy who cuts his K rate by 10 points (meaning he's putting the ball in play more often), but his BABIP is down 114 points from his career average, that tells me the guy is pretty unlucky.

And for the sake of things, I made my push to get Patterson as a backup OF before USSM did. Just so we have that on record.


But to stay on topic, I'm still waiting for any scouting report on LaHair that says he can be a regular 1B. I haven't seen one.

Posted by Tom

9:45 PM, Jul 29, 2008

God it sucks to be a Mariners fan.

Posted by downonstrikes

9:46 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I can guarantee that Mr. LIncoln and Mr. Armstrong don't read this blog anymore. If they did they would jump off the Space Needle.

Any fan that is not angry with this team, in fact, the entire organization, is not a true fan at all. Sports are meant to be competitive in which professionals are paid to win. We pay ours to lose and the stadium still fills up. Feel guilty fans, you are enablers.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:47 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Tell me how this team isn't better with Patterson in left and Raul at DH.-Brian/Adam

Because Corey Patterson is hitting .186/.220/.328 in 80 game this year!!!!

Are you saberheads insane? That is worse production than Jose Vidro!!!!

The lengths you fools will go to defend your Saber Gods.

Have a good night, I will have a good belly laugh the next few days on this one. .186/.220/.328

Posted by BrianL

9:47 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam - Those BABIP numbers for Patterson have been all sorts of wonky. I still say Patterson in left and Raul at DH would have been an improvement, though.

And yes, defense doesn't matter in the slightest.

Posted by tugboatcritic

9:48 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Laffey was just sent down in favor of a guy who gave up 9 runs in less than 3 innings. I'm sure that the Indians value him greatly.

Resin: Rec'd / Late/ First/ and last but not least STRAWMAN. Little BrianL is all growsed up! And all it took was 10,000 posts on several blogs where he has offered not one bit of original analysis and only a passing knowledge of what he restates.

Posted by BrianL

9:49 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - Vidro can't play defense.

Do study up on those fallacious arguments, would you? If you can provide that scouting report on LaHair, that would be wonderful.

Posted by BrianL

9:50 PM, Jul 29, 2008

tugboatcritic - Hey you're accusations of me plagiarizing arguments are back!

No thread would be complete without them.

Posted by Adam

9:53 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Yep - Patterson's been bad at the plate. But you couple his bat with his glove, and he's better for the team, short term.

Whether a player produces runs or prevents them, there's no difference.


It's not a difficult concept. Go ahead and sleep on it.

Not that Patterson really matters, given the fact that this is all in the past, and he isn't with the team.

But LaHair is!! I'm dying to see Resin's Magical Scouting Report on him!!

Posted by BrianL

9:55 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam - I suspect it's from the same people that surmised Shin-Soo Choo was going to be a first-ballot hall-of-famer. I think they also insist that Yuniesky Betancourt is still a gold-glove caliber defender.

Posted by Adam

10:05 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Laffey was just sent down in favor of a guy who gave up 9 runs in less than 3 innings. I'm sure that the Indians value him greatly.


Not sure how his replacement's performance AFTER the fact makes any difference whatsoever, but ok....

As for Laffey - if you think the Indians sent him down because they don't like him, you are mistaken. They are a smart organization. In his first ten starts, he was pretty good for a 23 year-old. .696 OPS against, less than one hit/inning, only 27 BB in 86 IP.

The last two starts he's been knocked around pretty good, giving up 16 runs in 7 2/3 IP. But let's not kid ourselves and think the Indians believe he's the guy of the last two starts rather than the first 10.

So, if you are asking me whether I'd take a 23 year-old LH pitcher with a GB rate over 51% and with better walk rate of any Mariner pitcher other than Silva or Washburn, who is cheap and would be under team control for another four or five years for a 36 year-old OF who can't play defense and is in decline at the plate AND who is in the last year of a contract, I'd say yes, unequivocally.

Posted by ethan

10:08 PM, Jul 29, 2008

NOT TO WORRY. batista goes tomorrow. chalk it up as a "W"

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:12 PM, Jul 29, 2008

So Brian, Patterson with the M's = an upgrade in wins this year. With his line. Really. Defense doesn't matter. But wait, I see now that it does. Your opinion makers have so stated, and that ground-breaking news is fresh just for this year. I shall forward this to all MLB clubs, I think that they will be shocked at the revelation.

I guess that its irrelevent that up untill the last 10-15 years, several positions on the field were graded on fielding first and bat second. Up the middle defense and so on. At such point when several mitigating factors required a change in philosophy, teams did so. LF is and should be a bat-first position, thats not old-school rhetoric, its just not that important of a position on the field. Made up BS stats designed to assign value do not change this fact. Of course the best of both worlds has a good bat and glove combo. Not always possible.

Presenting these BS stats as evidence to show that a buck-eighty hitter would have improved this woeful offense is dumb. We already have to shove another traditional power spot to another bat (see: Ichiro) now we are to gain by putting Corey frickin Patterson out there for a full season?

I believe that Bill James said something along the lines of 'if the numbers spit out by the metric created don't pass the sniff test, throw out the metric, not the player.'

Some of you folks have gotten out of control with what you think is possible by using what you won't admit is flimsy numerical assertions.

Posted by BrianL

10:18 PM, Jul 29, 2008

tugboatcritic - Yes.

Vidro is so unbelievably bad that Patterson, with the numbers he has put up this year, is actually an upgrade.

Prior to the season, there was no reason to think Patterson would hit .180. Despite that, he's still a more valuable player than Jose Vidro.

Are you suggesting that Jose Vidro's empty bat and inability to play defense, as well as his inflated contract, are more valuable than Corey Patterson?

(And if you missed it, when I said "defense doesn't matter" I was being incredibly sarcastic)

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:26 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Adam, are you cherry picking stats that make Mr. Laffey appear better? I think maybe so. He doesn't miss bats, and has little upside. Perhaps there are a couple of M's pitchers who have received your wrath for this. From a scouting perspective, he simply isn't that projectible. Maybe a back-end starter down the road. Needs to command what he has and come up with something he doesn't. I don't see a velocity improvement and his arm-slot doesn't usually produce a great breaking pitch. In short, probobly a servicable arm with not a lot of upside.

Need anymore help with how to project players from a realistic standpoint? Ibanez at this late stage in his career is worth 2 of him. If you would do a talent swap for Washburn or Batista, you most certainly would trade Laffey for him. And then add a real prospect.

Posted by alpenfan

10:27 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Congratulations to Ichiro!

Is there anyone else who has over 1,000 hits in Japan and over 1000 in MLB?

Posted by BrianL

10:28 PM, Jul 29, 2008

alpenfan - If I had to guess, Hideki Matsui.

Posted by Scott

10:39 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Ok, now can we get Morrow focused on being a starter? Is anyone else confused about this?

Posted by Bill

10:45 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Wow, ladies. It's gettin testy up in here. First it's the "You don't like Ichiro so you're racist" argument and now it's just a mess of Patterson, LaHair and Putz.


This team sucks.


Does anyone know of any pitchers that have had success as a closer then became a successful starter? I know the Red Sox wanted to make Papelbon a starter and haven't. All I can think of are Eckersley and Smoltz but Eck was a starter before he became a closer and Smoltz started before and after he was a closer.

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:47 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Brian, I'll let it go at this. You are wrong. I never compared Vidro to him and that's an unfair comp anyway. A full time LF hitting .180 is a net loss of unwholy proportions, no matter if you could sit the rest of the OF. Your argument assumes that I would have left Vidro at DH. Its silly anyway, Patterson wouldn't have made it past April with that line. Again, you seem to insist on using unfounded defensive stats that apply a faulty value both to your whipping boy (Ibanez) and your unfortunate glamour boy(Patterson).

Posted by FYI

11:08 PM, Jul 29, 2008

For Bill,

Batista was successful as a closer in Toronto and had one marginal season as a starter last year. If you are thinking about Putz he definitely doesn't have the stamina. If its in regards to Morrow the Yankees have done something similar with Joba Chamberlin and many clubs give relief roles to potential starters and move them up in that fashion building their confidence and giving them opportunities to face Big League hitters.

I think the consensus opinion is that Morrow should have been made a starter this year and that would have kept the Mariners from wasting money on Hot Carl Silva

Posted by MrGenre

11:17 PM, Jul 29, 2008

I love how Mr. Baker and every other sportswriter out there keeps glossing over the fact that there were TWO fellas on the bench to choose from, not just Vidro. Now, don't get me wrong, Clement's not exactly a speedster, but I'll take him over a risk to injuring Wash less than 24 HOURS before the deadline. Not to mention that if we lose one more pitcher to injury, we'll be lucky if we can get even Burke to toss a few more innings for us.
Ugh....

Posted by BrianL

11:22 PM, Jul 29, 2008

tugboatcritic - But the entire argument was comparing Patterson's production to Vidro's production! You can't change someone else's argument!

The original argument was to move Raul to DH and Patterson to LF. That takes Raul's terrible glove out of left, and removes Vidro entirely. That's a net improvement.

How is that wrong?

Posted by joey

11:45 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Geoff: a few observations:
1) LaHair is doing much better than Clement without all the pre-major hoopla and pre-major pedigree (in terms of a high draft pick who was supposed to be an automatic force at the major league level). Obviously, there has been limited data (small number of bats). But injury or no injury, Clement better get going or he will be gone quicker than “Bucky”.
2) Our shortstop (Betancourt) better perfect his skill set with respect to bunting, stealing, hitting, on-base percentage, being more patient at the plate, getting more walks, expanding his fielding range, bringing a greater focus to his profession, etc.----otherwise, he will have a short career even in Seattle.
3) The current Mariner manager is utilizing the bench with greater frequency and effectiveness than the previous manager.
4) Silva at $48 million is a worse signing than Meche (Kansas City) at $55 million. I rather have Meche. His ERA is much better.
5) Cairo has turned out to have been a much better bench player than Norton (Atlanta), who is not even hitting his weight and is a liability defensively. He made an error tonight. So, this is an example where Mariner management and front office were correct; this blog along with Geoff were wrong. So, sometimes Mariner brain trust is right, and we are wrong. On the other hand, even a broken clock is right or correct twice a day.
6) With 20-20 hindsight, this team would have been much better if Bavasi had taken a vacation last winter and did nothing with respect to trades and free-agent signings.
7) Even though Adam Jones has done very well as a 22 year-old player in his first full year in the majors, I am surprised that his home-run total and his number of successful steals are not higher. However, I am afraid how good he may be in a few years. We may be resenting the Bedard trade for the next 20 years---especially if Adam Jones goes to the Hall of Fame. Right now, he looks better than the highly regarded 21-year old rookie outfielder (Jay Bruce) in Cincinnati, who started out strongly but has faded badly.

Posted by joey

11:46 PM, Jul 29, 2008

Geoff: a few observations:
1) LaHair is doing much better than Clement without all the pre-major hoopla and pre-major pedigree (in terms of a high draft pick who was supposed to be an automatic force at the major league level). Obviously, there has been limited data (small number of bats). But injury or no injury, Clement better get going or he will be gone quicker than “Bucky”.
2) Our shortstop (Betancourt) better perfect his skill set with respect to bunting, stealing, hitting, on-base percentage, being more patient at the plate, getting more walks, expanding his fielding range, bringing a greater focus to his profession, etc.----otherwise, he will have a short career even in Seattle.
3) The current Mariner manager is utilizing the bench with greater frequency and effectiveness than the previous manager.
4) Silva at $48 million is a worse signing than Meche (Kansas City) at $55 million. I rather have Meche. His ERA is much better.
5) Cairo has turned out to have been a much better bench player than Norton (Atlanta), who is not even hitting his weight and is a liability defensively. He made an error tonight. So, this is an example where Mariner management and front office were correct; this blog along with Geoff were wrong. So, sometimes Mariner brain trust is right, and we are wrong. On the other hand, even a broken clock is right or correct twice a day.
6) With 20-20 hindsight, this team would have been much better if Bavasi had taken a vacation last winter and did nothing with respect to trades and free-agent signings.
7) Even though Adam Jones has done very well as a 22 year-old player in his first full year in the majors, I am surprised that his home-run total and his number of successful steals are not higher. However, I am afraid how good he may be in a few years. We may be resenting the Bedard trade for the next 20 years---especially if Adam Jones goes to the Hall of Fame. Right now, he looks better than the highly regarded 21-year old rookie outfielder (Jay Bruce) in Cincinnati, who started out strongly but has faded badly.

Posted by BrianL

11:52 PM, Jul 29, 2008

joey - Clement has struggled historically each time he's moved up a level. Same thing happened at AA and AAA. He has managed to adjust each time, it just takes two or three months of regular PT.

Posted by tomtom

11:55 PM, Jul 29, 2008

NO TRADES..... How many of you bloggers even suspected that?

so what do you guys do now?????
You start blogging about putting Ichiro back in CF.

WOW.... talk about a Zero term memory.

More bad news for you Trading NUTS... next years prospect,,, the big hitting First Baseman went to the Angels, traded for a hot hitting ex-Angel that only makes $1.5M for the whole year

It cost the Angels about $14M, or 1 Sexon , to buy him for the rest of the Season and Playoffs, and next year if the M's want him.... it will cost them a double Ichiro per year. The guy is happy because he might get to stay. He wants to stay because he doesn't want to be pressured into a spot with the M's. The guy wants $20M for quite a few years into the future... for which you could also buy Manny to replace Raul... chuckle chuckle.

LaHairs-'s minimum wage bat with a .375 BA and 2 HR this week,, has already made Sexon fans say, "Wow, maybe Sexy really was as bad as his numbers say."... "maybe he really did get the whole management team fired and allowed the M's to be exhibited as the worst team in baseball."

Yes, Sexon's sacred cow status in Seattle made idiots out of everyone who bowed down to him. And his .339 Sabremetriic BA against Lefty, has also left the building via the basement.

Meanwhile...The Press in NY is asking, "is that guy even worth $200,000?"

Now the question is: Who is left down in AAA when you draft 29 pitchers every year? Did you see all the young position players Boston beat us with? Those guys made it to the MLB in three years, and they did it playing the same position for which they were drafted.

What kind of imbecilic team drafts a big hitting Middle Infielder, and then kicks him into a spot he has no talent for????? Seattle, that's who.

Posted by Bums

12:44 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Silva rears his ugly head again and keeps getting rolled out there. Putz is no longer effective. Some hitting here and there. Bad defense. This whole season has just been one big disaster. Can the Mariners just call it quits now, forfeit the season, and go home to think about how much they stink?

Posted by ethan

1:25 AM, Jul 30, 2008

did some fellow Mariner jokester come up from behind and smear horse s*** in Putz' face? he certainly doesnt deserve a shot of shaving cream.

Posted by Swung On And Belted

1:46 AM, Jul 30, 2008

A couple of points regarding Ichiro. 3,000 hits is an accomplishment any way you look at it. Ichiro's quote is a good one. The fact that he was able to step into the Majors and have immediate success should tell you something about the level of competition that prepared him for it. The MLB won't officially recognize his non MLB stats, and this is unlikely to change, but there is no reason for the writers to discount them when voting for the HOF. So far, every HOFer that I've seen interviewed about it has said that Ichiro would get their vote. Hopefully writers will be able to put aside their own bias and consider the opinions of the HOFers who played. In any case, I can seriously envision Ichiro playing at a high level well into his forties, so 3,000 MLB hits are quite possible.

Posted by john

2:13 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Joey,
Clement will be sticking around longer than Bucky. No worries there.
TomTom,
I have read some of your posts and just see you ripping on all other posters and making your comments about Sexon (sic). What would you do if you were GM for a day?

Posted by Bums

2:33 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Ichiro has over 1,700 hits already and he keeps his body in great shape. What is to say he can't stick around another 8-10 years and have a shot at 3,000 MLB hits? That way there is no debate. If he wants to do that is another question.

Posted by built2crash

4:57 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Geoff, you can't start letting stats from other leagues into the pro's. I can't believe this is even a topic. What Ichiro has done in the majors is unbelievable no doubt, but it is what it is. And Warren Moon, same deal, you can not sell to me that the leagues are equivalent to MLB or NFL or NHL.. and your quote of how the US mens basketball team got beat in the Olympics is garbage, first of all we didn't have our best players over there, and secondly they just threw a bunch of players together and called it a team. Lets see how we do this time around. Ichiro is awesome, and I hope he gets 3k in MLB.

Posted by Mr. X

6:23 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Congrats to Ichiro on his 1723rd hit. Great accomplishment.

Typical Ichiro game last night too, well almost. Two hits, an outfield miscue, and the M's lose. The only thing missing was a baserunning out.

Geoff, I'm surprised you fell for his "spin" about getting more hits here. He never played more than 135 game in a season in Japan. Never had more than 542 at-bats in a season there. In 2004, he had the 2nd most at-bats in Major League history with 704 (3rd now). He had 210 hits in 130 games in 1994. In Japan, his OBP was over .400 every year, in real baseball, he had to hit .372 to have a .400 OBP (just barely). In Japan, he was able to hit 25 HR, and 91 RBI, not even close here.

In reality, the competition in Japan is nowhere near the level that it is here, and I'd argue that it's worse than AAA. That's why marginal major league players go there to be superstars. (Sheets, Petagine, Destrade, etc)

Posted by Mr. X

6:27 AM, Jul 30, 2008

And what will the Ichirobot say if ichiro doesn't lead the team in hits this year? It's looking like a possibiltiy.

Posted by Give it up 'X'

7:03 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Just in case you missed it 'X':

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/372436_hallbar28.html

hmmm...'X' says Ichiro is nothing special. Hall of Famers Lou Brock,Reggie Jackson,Frank Robinson among others say just the opposite. Who to believe.....boy that's a tough one! Give it up 'X'....

Posted by JP

7:05 AM, Jul 30, 2008

People scream at the tv saying play the young guys! Then when they struggle people scream man why are they playing these guys they suck! Seriously, we can't have it both ways. If we play the young guys it will take some time for them to adjust to MLB pitching. But they need to play before we can make or cast judgment at what kind of player they are or will be in the future.

We know what we have in Vidro, Cairo, Bloomquist, Burke. How bout finding out what you have in LaHair, Clement, Hulett, or any other miriad of AAA position players? I don't give a crap about Wins this season. I want to see what we have in the cupboard going into next year. With Riggleman he has his own selfish reasons for not playing the young guys every day. If his Win loss record is to bad then it hurts his ability to get a new job next year.

Let's face it. Riggleman will not be here next year nor will Pelekoudas. But they are both making decisions and moves that effect this team in 09. That being said i don't see us getting any better for at least three more years. Riggleman stunts the young guys growth for his own personal gain, Pelokoudas plays chicken with the Yankees over purging a 10 million dollar contract. This is just idiotic. To bad this isn't a publicly traded company because i am pretty sure we would have fired all the board members by now and brought in new leadership to right the ship.

Posted by Ryan

7:15 AM, Jul 30, 2008

The real reason we lost this game was Yuni's inability to get down the squeeze in the 9th. He gets that down, and Burke scores, it's a whole different game. I am tired of watching him fail every time he tries to bunt. There is oviously to emphasis on this in the minors, maybe it needs to start. He wasn't even close on it either, looked like he just chopped at it. Yeah, I'm frustrated with JJ too, but we need to look at other areas as well.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

7:16 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Geoff: Any news to report on signing Josh Fields as the signing deadline is coming up in two weeks (8/15)? With questions about JJ's effectiveness and whether Morrow can be shifted to a sp, I think everyone would like to see how Fields can do - perhaps in a Sept. callup role. I realize Fields is represented by Boras so this could go to the limit however as a college senior, Fields really doesn't have a lot of leverage. Boras is reportedly also advising Strasburg so if the M's can beat out the Nationals & SD, they'll face off with Mr. Boras again next year.

Posted by Ryan

7:18 AM, Jul 30, 2008

The Rangers committ 5 errors, and still win. I'm proud of the M's for battling back, but they did it against a horrible pitching staff. This is a game they should have won. Oh well, shoulda, coulda, woulda doesn't get you anywhere.

Posted by putzy

7:56 AM, Jul 30, 2008

what's up with PH'ing kenji for LaHair ? it's L vs L but then ask kenji to bunt ?wtf ? I know LaHair is a better bunter then Kenji and I've never seen brian lay one down. LaHair is 3-4 at the time. let him swing the bat.

where was morrow ?

Posted by Oly Mike

7:59 AM, Jul 30, 2008

As I have said before the frustration on this blog is boiling over and is near to exploding. It is so bad that as some have pointed out we are criticizing even the few good players on this awful team. Probably rightfully so because Baseball is a team game and everyone is partially responsible for the demise. But what is still readily apparent is the bad management of the team and individual players. And there is no stategy for winning now or building for the future. It is just plain awful. We will all need to be patient until the off-season and see if the management changes dramatically. If it does not this team should be boycotted until the money loss hurts and enforces necessary change. Because without drastic managerial change, from the frustration I have seen on this blog there might be mass suicide or murde occurring among the bloggers.r

Posted by daddydriz

8:03 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Thank God Silva's contract comes off the books after this year. What's that? Three more years? You MUST be joking! What kind of sad organization would sign a fat, talentless pitcher to a 4 year deal. Oh, that's right. YOUR Seattle Mariners.

Someone tell me again why local icon Jamie Moyer is making $6M per year with the Phils and wasn't good enough for a tender offer from the Mariners.

God, we are in a dark, dark tunnel with no light in sight.

Posted by Ragarm

8:13 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Hey dimwitted M's management. News flash: Adams Jones belts a grand slam against the Yankees. Vidro has a hurt neck and bad ankles.

Posted by msmesb

8:22 AM, Jul 30, 2008

RE: Ichiro

That he produced 3000 hits is a fact, and can be a factor
for his entering the Hall of Fame. That is all there is to it.
Nothing else.

Posted by doug

9:28 AM, Jul 30, 2008

imo JJ was not as good as we thought last year, he never had that dominant feel you get from real elite closers, it was obvious a lot of his outs were due to smoke and mirrors and him some how getting guys to swing at junk pitches. He is done. trade him or cut him. morrow for closer.

Posted by Jack

10:00 AM, Jul 30, 2008

Geoff (with a G),

It is interesting that you revised your origina post to eliminate your harsh wording on Putz. You might want to check with real baseball people and see if they think it is a wrong play 99/100. Your comment is hyperbole.

If it sounds like I'm telling you how you should write your blog, I am. You might want to wait a few minutes before posting, maybe go have a cold one. Its hard enough getting through a losing season without listening to an angry, ranting blogger.

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