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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 30, 2008 9:30 PM

Rhodes takes loss in possible swan song

Posted by Geoff Baker

Those were three debatable walks issued by Arthur Rhodes in the eighth inning. Especially the last one, to Marlon Byrd, on a pitch that appeared to go right through the strike zone. A checked-swing on the previous pitch could also have been called a strike. But it became a walk. Michael Young (who'd come in to pinch-hit for Brandon, I wasn't actually at the game, those photos took themselves) delivered a sacrifice fly and Rhodes and the M's take a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Rhodes, predictably, told umpire Paul Nauert, what he thought of his umpiring, Just as predictably, Rhodes was tossed. He had to be restrained and directed towards the dugout. His final M's moment? We'll know tomorrow afternoon.

Eddie Guardado gets the win. He could also be gone by tomorrow. When's the last time two pitchers of record in the same game were on different teams the following day?

Rhodes wasn't a happy man after the game.

"I'm not going to comment on that,'' Rhodes said of the umpire's calls. "I'm out there making good pitches and the ball's over the plate.''

Good thing he didn't comment.

Rhodes insisted he hasn't gotten caught up in all the trade talk. He'll probably wind up with the Marlins tomorrow. If not them, the Brewers. Guardado, the less-coveted of the two, will likely go to the team that doesn't land Rhodes.

Despite insisting that he's still a Mariner and plans to be here, Rhodes did take a positive view of all the interest expressed in him.

"I look at it as I'm having a great year this year,'' he said. "I had Tommy John surgery last year, but came back this year and proved I could still pitch.''

For now, Rhodes said, it's tough going on this Mariners team.

"This whole team is in a funk right now,'' he said. "And once you get in one, it's tough to get out.''

Mariners manager Jim Riggleman echoed those sentiments.

"Your character as a man is judged more in bad times than in good times and we're getting sorely tested here,'' Riggleman said.

Riggleman doesn't feel the team's mood will lighten any once the deadline passes and everyone knows who's staying and who -- if any -- is leaving. He says the players all rumored on-the-block are veterans who have been through this before and likely haven't altered their play because of it.

No, he wasn't thrilled with the umpire's calls either. But he was careful not to say it.

"They might have gotten every call right,'' he said. "But they're so close and you're seeing them the way you want to see them. You want them to go your way. But we can't keep forcing these games to depend on calls.''

No, they can't.

Riggleman didn't have a problem with Willie Bloomquist being sent home from third on that bases loaded, none out flyball to right by Raul Ibanez. David Murphy nabbed Bloomquist with a strong throw to complete the double play and the inning died soon after.

The manager was also pleased with how Miguel Batista rebounded from that long delay to start the fifth inning. It seems that there was some very wet ground to the right of home plate and that a hole had formed there. Both Bloomquist and Ichiro complained later that they nearly pulled hamstrings running over it. So, the long delay ensued as the grounds crew kept bringing out pails of dirt to put over the wet ground.

It took a while.

Bloomquist really distinguished himself later that inning in throwing out Jarrod Saltalamacchia at the plate after a strong relay in from Ibanez. He also had a pretty good view of the Rhodes pitches in that eighth.

"It's tough to comment on that without getting into too much trouble,'' he said. "But Arthur made some pretty good pitches. It's tough. Art's a competitor and he knows he made some pretty good pitches there.''

Not good enough tonight. Maybe the Marlins or Brewers make a better pitch tomorrow.

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Posted by Ziasudra

8:18 PM, Jul 30, 2008

That hp ump has never seen a curve before - he called pitches ten feet away. Really bad. . . .
What was the deal in the 5th (6th?) inning, when Batista had to stand on the mound for 10 minutes while the groundskeepers had a work party? Why didn't he go rest in the dougout?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:18 PM, Jul 30, 2008

To me, Betancourt looks like Jose Lopez from last year. I wonder if he has the focus and mental toughness to bring his "A'' game night after night. Lopez is doing a much better job of that this season.-Geoff Baker

Betancourt has been a career .300 hitter with Villa Clara in Cuba. You stated in an earlier thread that pro level baseball is pro level baseball. Betancourt's numbers were good in April and May. He has been asleep at the plate in June and July.

Geoff you were wrong about Lopez saying, as of late this spring, that you did not agree Lopez's approach at the plate had changed from last year. Besides your obvious negative bias towards Betancourt, our shortstop is under team control until 2011. He signed a contract that is dirt cheap. Betancourt gave the M's 2 nice years, "night-after-night" but has suffered an off year.

If you decide to trade Betancourt, here's what you can sign in free agency according to Cot's Baseball contracts:

Orlando Cabrera CWS
Alex Cintron CWS
Alex Cora BOS
Craig Counsell * MIL
Adam Everett MIN
Rafael Furcal LAD
Cesar Izturis STL
Ramon Martinez LAD
Edgar Renteria * DET
Juan Uribe CWS

Renteria and Furcal are the big names that will command a large contract but they are huge injury risks. I have watched Renteria break down this year.

If you like Orlando Cabrera, his .676 OPS is only a marginal offensive improvement over Yuni right now in his worst season. I believe Yuniesky will not repeat 2008 offensively and return to his career numbers. Betancourt also is the youngest, most durable, and best defender out of that list and makes $2 million next year and he's your #9 hitter.

It would be stupid to replace Betancourt based on one inconsistent season and pay $9 million a year for an Orlando Cabrera or $13 mill for a Furcal.

Posted by bobbus451

8:24 PM, Jul 30, 2008

@Scanman: Touché. +1

Posted by DMo

8:24 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Any idea when the last time someone was ejected in their last appearance before being traded? Seems like it would be an odd way to leave a town...

Posted by putzy

8:25 PM, Jul 30, 2008

the home plate ump sucks !

Posted by Nick

8:26 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Geoff, Michael Young hit the Sacrifice Fly.

Posted by Nick

8:27 PM, Jul 30, 2008

he also hit it to CF. Were you watching the game? haha

Posted by Scanman

8:27 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Sorry Bob it was a cheap shot, but all I need is a Straight Man and a rimshot sound effect.

Posted by putzy

8:29 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Yuniesky Betancourt:

If you call hitting .289 with an OBP of .300 consistent then he is consistent. He can pick it but can he throw it ? on pace for 22 errors in 08

Posted by downonstrikes

8:31 PM, Jul 30, 2008

To the Mariners it is always somebody else's fault. There are so many people in this organization passing blame. Maybe calls were bad, but good players get even and find a way to win. This team rolls over and cries.

Posted by bobbus451

8:32 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Scanman: By all means, continue. I deserved it. Certainly more amusing than the ball the M's have been playing since, oh, April 30.

Posted by putzy

8:33 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Yuniesky Betancourt:

he's a first pitch hacker. He has no clue at the plate. He doesn't understand situational hitting or he does not care. See ball hit ball. Yuni Doesn't walk much. If there ever was a misleading stat it is Yuniesky Betancourt hitting .300 big deal. About a week ago he had three AB's and he saw four pitches....hey way to make'em work...

Posted by downonstrikes

8:34 PM, Jul 30, 2008

"The Baseball IQ around here sure has plummeted."

Whose bobbus451? Maybe it's because of your return.

Posted by More Clown Time

8:36 PM, Jul 30, 2008


I knew they would find another way to lose.

It's fun to watch this team unravel every nite. They actually invent ways to lose.

Posted by ethan

8:40 PM, Jul 30, 2008

did we load the bases with no outs? and didnt score? sounds about right for this team

Posted by Pirata Morado

8:41 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Geoff, let me suggest you a post about the umpiring. You should really talk about that. This team is bad enough to lose by themselves, they don't need any help from the umps to keep on losing, but the job by the umps has really been frustrating.

Last year we had a pathetic job by the umps right in the middle of that long and frustrating losing streak against the Yankees, that made one of our pitchers get tossed. Today Rhodes was tossed, and his an "entitled vet". Really, those are too many bad calls in the same inning.

Please write about that, maybe you can tell us what does Riggleman think about that, he was very mature out there, not complaining, I would had kicked the ump down there if it were me.

Posted by bobbus451

8:42 PM, Jul 30, 2008

I didn't realize The Scanman wrote all of your jokes for you.
/22 minutes ago

Posted by bb

8:46 PM, Jul 30, 2008


Betancourt is a BUST!
...and LaHair has a long slo-motion swing

Posted by Sounders

8:46 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Hoi-ohh. The M's might be good again by the next Ice Age

Posted by putzy

8:47 PM, Jul 30, 2008

I wonder if the ump and Rhodes have had a history...he was squeezed big time...but the game never should have got to that...

When will these anouncers ever learn ? "whoa that put out of Willie Bloomquist at the plate really looms large now."

Hey announcer man on all would have been different if Willie had scored or if he did not attempt... or can't say that. It all would have been different

Posted by Scanman

8:51 PM, Jul 30, 2008

RRS , 7innings 2 runs 3 hits. Lee, are you paying attention?

Posted by Sounders

8:52 PM, Jul 30, 2008

The M's might be good again by the next Ice Age

Posted by meagain

8:55 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Tonight's game: poorly called, and poorly played despite a few nice moments by the M's. Raul and Adrian, 6 and 5 LOB.

One kudo: nice call by Blowers on Johjima dropping his arm down on that errant throw to second. Negated Joh's good play at the plate to tag the runner out.

What a season this is turning out to be. Good point, Geoff, about how agonizing these losses are, no matter how dead on arrival the season is. If you have any gumption, these last two losses are excruciating.

Posted by Msfan

8:56 PM, Jul 30, 2008

the first orders of business is to get rid of Johjima(.210) and Vidro (.225). Then the next order is to get Bucky Jacobsen back, what ever happend to that guy? anyone know?

Posted by NB

9:04 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Man if only Arthur would have thought of the team first and looked to the veteran experience of someone like Felix Hernandez to help him keep his head in the game. I guess Arthur still has some growing up to do. No matter how talented you are, you can't do that to your team when they need you.

Posted by Scanman

9:10 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Tug Hulett homers, Wlad doubles, Lee, are you paying attention?

Posted by yardwork

9:19 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Bucky Jacobsen is a large human with normal sized knees.

He can't play with his bad knees and was a marginal prospect who was shane monohan but weighing in at 2.5x as shane.

I got a telemarketer call from some lady in Hermiston OR....Bucky's hometown.....and after telling her no thanks I said, "Tell Bucky Jacobsen everyone in the Seattle area says HI"

She got a good laugh out of that.

Posted by meagain

9:29 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Arthur is the guy who still wants to kill Omar Vizquel over the earring incident several seasons back. He is in-tense. If you want a calm, collected veteran, you don't want Arthur.

Posted by Scanman

9:29 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Has any one refigured where we are headed at our current losing rate? You have to admit it is getting funnier by the day. I think everyone is past the frustration point.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

9:41 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Scanman: I'm figuring this team is good for 56 wins (56-106) which would be right there with the Nationals and Padres for the #1 pick next June. If you're going to suck, you might as well make it all the way to the bottom so even our invisible owner can't deny the dysfunctional organization here. Looks like the Nationals are also finding ways to lose - you don't think Mr. Integrity, GM Jim Bowden, would deliberately try to lose in order to win the Strasburg derby do you?

Posted by Bill

11:03 PM, Jul 30, 2008

What character?

Posted by Sounders

11:24 PM, Jul 30, 2008

The M'[s are like the Bush regime. It's gonna take 20-30 years to unscrew it.

Posted by ChokejobRhodes

11:34 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Why is everyone so in love with Rhodes?? The guy is a bum. Does ANYONE remember him choking in the 2000 ALCS??? Just ask David Justice...oh, and let's not forget the 2001 ALCS either. He's the definition of choke job

Posted by Baseball Moron

11:35 PM, Jul 30, 2008

How can ANYONE defend Betancourt after the terrible season he is having?

He really blows and doesn't do one part of the game well. He can't walk, steal, run the bases or even field much this year.

How stupid is anyone wanting him back? Its not like it will be hard replacing a guy who can't do anything with that great .270 on base average which must be in the bottom five of any every day players in all of baseball.

Is this Resin guy for real? Must be a family member. Good reason no one has agreed with him. Yuni playing for free would be too much money.

Even I could figure out he sucks

Posted by tomtom

11:38 PM, Jul 30, 2008

John, that was quite a question. What would I do if I were GM.... To be honest, they do not need me.

But just to prove it:

1... I would send out a memo commanding that fans be honest. No-one is after ANY of the M's. No Team out there wants to trade Seattle anything unless they think their player deserves to be on the worst team in baseball. There is not a Pro in the MLB starting line-ups that wants to be in Seattle next week. Likewise, not one M needs to think they wouldn't get a salary cut or just plain sit on the bench, or land in a platoon somewhere else if they even started that kind of garbage "trade" talk.. We can find a ton of "leagues' worst Stats to prove what the memo suggests.

Meanwhile, this management does NOT want any manager who does not want to be here... which I think is a healthy outlook. This is a small world, and no one employee is allowed to be as dumb as Mac, who thought he could complain to the press in NY and not have it get back to the fans in Seattle.

2... continue to be honest like they have been. Tell the purposely lying press corp "There will be no trading today, and you are dumb for thinking so." Send another memo stating: "In order for any of the marginally tradeble M's to get a new start on one of the play-off teams, a crazy M's GM would have to dump them on the Market tomorrow, eating their whole salary, and then " ssssssomeone " who isn't too bright might try them for half the minimum rate. Admittedly, this would almost be impossible to pull off again... particularly since a no-talent named Sexon tanked the team so badly he actually got his fantasy job for three more years on the NYY. DID I SAY 3 YEARS... chuckle. In spite of whatever Sexon THINKS he did, the guy is done. It is back to little league coaching for that bum. And no matter what any other player hopes to achieve, they would end their career in the MLB... site Sexon and Boone, who couldn't even make his Dad's team this year."

Of course, anyone who plays against the M's would love that "dump" to happen. they would love to see the M's get Zero for $127M... realistically however; As bad as the M's are today , they are still twice as good as the best AAA team; and they are probably still better than they will be next year.

Now if someone were as mentally handicapped as some of our "fonied-up" one dimensional bloggers, or if we realistically had a GM that heard God say he was going to Tampa next year making the same he is now,,,, that guy and his phony god might attempt one of the ridiculous "trade aways" that have been suggested by the Press in Tacoma: : trade M's in pairs and get one damaged player in return... Jerrod, Arthur, Yuni, Willie, Bedard, Raul, Kenji, Vidro, Burke and even Ichiro.... presumable so we could keep one kid pitcher and an espanic to talk to him.........Wouldn't THAT be brilliant. A 10 player "trade away" for 5 guys that deserved to be on the worst team in baseball....

But THEN WHAT FOR THE Mariners? Augment them with another five guys from Tacoma??? BRILLIANT! Five years of REALLY horrible 50 and 112 seasons? For what?: so that someone could write a book about it.

As bad as it is to watch every M's game today, I have not seen one blogging multi-aliased journalist whose ideas would make things worse.

Reasonable goals for next year: a first round draft pick and two more picks at the end of Round One because we lost two guys who became free agents. Pre Season the M's budget another $127M and improve the team slightly... What we hope happens: nobody bats sub .200 and we catch 5 starters that hit .280 and 10 home runs in the first half instead of their last 10 games.

What I foresee: $9/gal gas and lower attendance, no King on the mound, another year struggling to get out of the basement, another bunch of managers getting sacked for saying "we are going to beat the Angels this year", and time to get to know a couple great new guys who are having their best year ever.

Posted by The Bone Yard

11:42 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Jul 30 John Hickey, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, reports the New York Mets may be interested in acquiring Seattle Mariners CL J.J. Putz.

Posted by putzy

5:12 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Last I heard, Bucky was playing in the Mexican League and actually doing pretty good but he was cut.

do a google search of bucky

Posted by putzy

5:17 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Arthur is the guy who still wants to kill Omar Vizquel over the earring incident several seasons back. He is in-tense. If you want a calm, collected veteran, you don't want Arthur.

Thanks for the reminder of this event. I went to that game. Hella funny

Posted by ancient mariner

5:37 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Arthur Rhodes is a competitor who has distinguished himself with his grit and determination. I wish that Erica Bedard had an ounce of Arthur's character.

Posted by JP

6:53 AM, Jul 31, 2008

It just gets old seeing the bases juiced and we don't have the ability with our current hitters to drive in any runs. We are currently ranked fourth in all MLB in runs scored. That is absolutely pathetic. This quite possibly could go down as the biggest most expensive flop in Major sports history.

Does MLB hand out trophys to teams that lose as many games as they spend in millions on their team? If so i think we might win that trophy. They could call it the Chuck Armstrong memorial trophy. For an orginization that is known to have created the term Mendoza line why not be tabbed with the biggest flop (Next to Vlade Divac of course).

Maybe in the coming weeks all of us bloggers should just re-read the book "Where the Red Fern grows," and pray that the M's FO will do us the same way.

Posted by Ryan

7:06 AM, Jul 31, 2008 is reporting that Ken Griffey Jr has been traded to the White Sox pending his approval. That's a big one!!

Posted by Ryan

7:12 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Has any one seen Erica lately?? Will he pitch again this year??

Posted by Ryan

7:14 AM, Jul 31, 2008

" We are currently ranked fourth in MLB in runs scored."

Ummmm, I don't think so. Maybe fourth from last( if even that high). We score more than the Nats, Padres, and Royals. I think that might be it.

Posted by JP

7:26 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Ryan- i miss spoke. My next line after we are fourth says that's pathetic. Obvious intent was we are ranked fourth from last in runs scored. Thanks for the heads up though.

Maybe Geoff could hire you as his editor.

Posted by KW

7:42 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Look at the bright side, folks. Adam Jones is hitting around .280.

Oh, wait...

Posted by shane/olympia

7:53 AM, Jul 31, 2008

rhodes was traded to the marlins for gabby hernandez

check him out

Posted by GripS

7:54 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Looks like Rhodes just got dealt to the Marlins.

Posted by dono

7:54 AM, Jul 31, 2008

looks like rhodes is gone to the marlins for a prospect gagy hernandez.....

Posted by henry

7:57 AM, Jul 31, 2008

rhodes traded for marlins pitcher gaby hernandez

Posted by shane/olympia

8:06 AM, Jul 31, 2008

come on lee 2 more to go

wash and raul

if we could add melky and felix pie that would be tight

Posted by JP

8:11 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Gabriel Hernandez:
2007: 9-11 4.22 era 113 so, 56 BB
2008: 5-8 6.47 ERA, 71 SO, 30 BB

He's with Carolina Mudcats AA affiliate of the Marlins. Oh well what can you really expect in return for a 38 year old lefty?

Posted by shane/olympia

8:12 AM, Jul 31, 2008

"Mets should make a run at Ichiro
0Speak Out
July 30
columnist Jim Baumbach
"The countdown to the trade deadline is almost at 24 hours, just enough time for Omar Minaya to pick up the phone, dial the Mariners' interim general manager and blow his mind away with these words. "Forget about Ibanez. We want Ichiro." Yes, interim GM Lee Pelekoudas will probably laugh, but his cackling might stop once Minaya mentions the names Fernando Martinez and Jon Neise. Yes, give them both untouchables, the top two prospects in the Mets' system. And you know what? If throwing in Binghamton reliever Eddie Kunz seals the deal, I'd do that, too. No doubt every Mets fan will disagree with me, and probably Pelekoudas wouldn't do that deal, either. Heck, this is the same guy that has ..."

Posted by Willie Mays Hays

8:20 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Nice little article in the NY Times about Ichiro's 3000th hit

Posted by Waz

8:24 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Rhodes pitching for Jimenez? what a smart move.
Vidro, pinch hitter in ninth inning? What a smart move.

67 and counting.. embarrassing.

Posted by Bruce

8:25 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Rhodes was traded to the Marlins according to ESPN

Posted by downonstrikes

8:46 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Well said TomTom

Posted by bongo

10:49 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Sources said the Reds and White Sox will essentially "split" what remains on Griffey's contract this season, along with the cost of his $4 million buyout for 2009. The Reds had a $16.5 million club option for 2009 on Griffey, but Chicago did not have to exercise the option as part of the deal.

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