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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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August 16, 2008 12:39 PM

Game thread, Aug. 16, Mariners vs. Twins

Posted by Larry Stone


They just had a softball home-run hitting contest, in which the contestants stood near 2B and aimed for the outfield fence. Finishing second was Jeff Cirillo, now a Twins' broadcaster. Finishing first was T.C., the Twins' mascot -- someone in a bear suit. The dude (or dudette) could really stroke. T.C. was ripping balls into the upper deck, including one off the Kent Hrbek banner above the upper deck! In a bear suit! With a big hear head! I suspect T.C. got doctored baseballs, but I'm a cynic.BTW, he was a southpaw. And when I saw paw, I mean paw.

Not much going on with the Mariners. Raul Ibanez is at DH to save wear and tear on the Metrodome field turf. It's not as bad as the hard stuff that used to be here, but it still takes a toll on older legs.

The Mariners will announce a roster move after the game to make room for the expected activation of Ryan Feierabend to start on Sunday. Maybe they should activate T.C., too.

Lineups

Mariners

Ichiro RF
Jeremy Reed LF
Raul Ibanez DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jose Lopez 2B
Jeff Clement C
Wladimir Balentien CF
Bryan LaHair 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Ryan Rowland-Smith P

Twins

Denard Span RF
Nick Punto 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Delmon Young LF
Randy Ruiz DH
Brendan Harris 3B
Adam Everett SS
Carlos Gomez CF
Scott Baker P

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Posted by TimsHead

1:12 PM, Aug 16, 2008

If nothing else, today will be good to see what RSS has, and whether he is (we hope) a piece of the rotation puzzle going forward. Last time out he was good, but the Twins are a crafty bunch, for sure.

Yes, this is what we're left with in this season.

Posted by Lee

1:32 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Larry- See if T.C. is signed for next year. We need a DH.

Posted by Maui Mariner

1:36 PM, Aug 16, 2008

So Barry Bonds got a job as Twins' mascot?

Good move Barry, no one will know it's really you!

Posted by Fun Stuff

1:42 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Do you know what is funnier than being embarrassed? Is being embarrassed on national TV!

Posted by headliner

1:46 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Dickey and RRS think they should be MLB starters........they shouldn't. Silva should be put in the BP and not used the remainder of his contract, unless he renegotiates to something reasonable.

Posted by Eyes on the Prize

1:51 PM, Aug 16, 2008

It's not so bad, we need to lose at least twenty five more games to be in the hunt for Strasburg - go win Nationals and Padres!

Second worst is unacceptable!

Posted by Pirata Morado

1:56 PM, Aug 16, 2008

The Batista experiment, failed.
The Silva experiment, failed.
The Dickey experiment, failed.
The RRS experiment, failed.
I wonder waht the outcome of the Feierabend experiment will be.

Posted by scottM

2:07 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Why have Dickey and RRS failed?

Dickey has had mixed success as a starter, but has been a solid plus as a reliever.

RRS is young and just getting going. He should have seriously had the win in his first stretched-out outing last game.

Batista is simply past his prime. He has a WS Ring with the D-Backs in '01.

Silva, on the other hand.....

Posted by Balentienforcer

2:08 PM, Aug 16, 2008

So...I'm starting to think maybe Stottlemyre isn't the man for our job. Obvously the man has great respect throughout baseball, and was a winner in the past.

But as with the Yankees, he had QUALITY talent to work with, and the pitchers were of the mindset that they already had an idea of what needed to be done. Maybe he's in over his head trying to do things that lower quality pitchers can't grasp.
He's a "tweaker" not an "overhauler".

Just a thought I had while frying to a crisp in the yard.

Posted by Eyes on the Prize

2:09 PM, Aug 16, 2008

What say you about the Burke experiment?

Burke to the bullpen, Batista to the rotation, there is no substitution for worst record.

Posted by Mr. X

2:20 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Maybe Bonds could go to Japan, hit one home run, and become the all-time home run leader for both leagues.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

2:22 PM, Aug 16, 2008

I agree with the posts that the M's may as well end up with the worst record in MLB and getting Strasburg, despite having to deal again with Bora$, is a great prize. Coming in with the second worst record will mean our FO can have a chance to draft either another catcher or college reliever.

A once in a generation sp can make a huge difference in turning around this mess - despite the continued presence of the Three Stooges in our FO.

Posted by XXX

2:26 PM, Aug 16, 2008

X is subtle

Posted by AB wind out of here

2:41 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Amazing Beltre back to .250 with an rbi no less, did Minnesota scout him or can Baker throw that low and away breaking ball?

Posted by eyes on the Prize

2:47 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Careful, just keep it close so that everyone can say you are trying, but remember there is no substitute for worst record in baseball.

Posted by XXX

2:50 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Ichiro with risp, what say you X?

Posted by Mrs. X

2:51 PM, Aug 16, 2008

That's my ICHI !!!!!!!!

Posted by TimsHead

2:58 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Hang on, headliner. I have to defend my boy, RA Dickey. When he was told he'd return to the bullpen, this was his reaction: "I'm all right with it. ... I think this is the role they envisioned for me when they brought me here." He's not some veteran who believes he's entitled to anything. But he is a gamer, so he wants to start, but he's also enough of a team guy to realize when it's time to step aside and let the Mariners try out some young guys.

And is my radio picking up signals from Mars, or did the Mariners just small-ball a six-run rally?

Posted by ken

3:02 PM, Aug 16, 2008

LaHair, along with Roy Corcoran, are two older rookies who are making the most of this opportunity. I think LaHair may be winning a job for 2009 at least vs. R/H pitchers. He isn't trying to do too much and is showing great discipline at the plate - Yuni who hits behind him should just watch LaHair's approach at the plate. Good to see some young hungry players rather than old dogs just playing for their paychecks.

Posted by headliner

3:04 PM, Aug 16, 2008

timshead...Yeh, I like Dickey, I hope he turns into a heckuva reliever.

Posted by wag the dog

3:04 PM, Aug 16, 2008

I don't think the Dickey and RRS "experiments" have failed. What do people expect? Neither one is ticketed as the next Cy Young. Lots of young pitchers take time to find their groove.

These guys have had limited exposure to the big leagues. A few months doesn't seem like an ample sample size with which to determine success or failure. Especially not in the toxic environment of Mariner-land. I think at the very least Dickey and RRS have done well enough to earn more opportunity. It's not like they're holding back an otherwise stellar team. This season sucks. There is no harm in letting some of these young guys get out there and work. If they get lit up they either learn from it and get better or they don't. Experience is the best teacher. And it's probably the most the Mariners can expect to gain from this year. Better than nothing.

Posted by TimsHead

3:11 PM, Aug 16, 2008

I have to concur with those questioning the dubious statement that the RSS experiment has failed. This is, what, his second game as a full-time starter? He managed to survive two rocky innings -- with no help from a horrible defensive read by Balentin -- to hang in and complete five. If the Mariners somehow don't find a way to blow this one-run lead, he would stand to get the win.

Give RSS credit for staying focused and limiting the damage. A couple of veteran M's arms who need not be named seem to give up when they yield a few runs. Even if he doesn't win, RSS has definitely learned about resilience and shown some guts.

And at this time of year, it's about learning and building, so this experiment is about what you want and expect.

Posted by doug

3:27 PM, Aug 16, 2008

balenSUCK

Posted by scottM

3:41 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Jimenez needs to be gone. Time and time again he fails to deliver.

Posted by eyes on the Prize

3:47 PM, Aug 16, 2008

No need to sweat it, we can say we tried and take the loss, while hoping Washington defeats Colorado tonight. Close the gapon worst record, there is no substitute for anything less.

Posted by Strasburg Watch

3:48 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Time to send in Batista.

Posted by Sounders

3:48 PM, Aug 16, 2008

News Flash:
Dateline Minneapolis: Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong has been arrested for the alleged attempted theft of fifty cases of Fargo Fresh Turkey Sausage. Armstrong was apprehended loading the cases into the back of a Porsche Cayenne. Armstrong claimed they were for an unidentified person named Silva
He is being held without bail

Posted by eyes on the Prize

4:00 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Yes Batista, give it up with class, we need that worst record. Do your worst Miguel.

Posted by Strasburg Watch

4:02 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Riggs: Nice job. We owe you one.

Posted by eyes on the Prize

4:04 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Go win Nationals!

Posted by mariner man

4:21 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Jeff Cirillo. A nightmare from the past. Signed to a big $ contract and couldn't hit his butt. The first of many terrible free agent signings. Right up there with Sexson and Silva.

Posted by Balentienforcer

4:45 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Why, Oh Why!

Posted by Tomas

4:48 PM, Aug 16, 2008

Cirillo was a better 3b than beltre. And it wasnt that close.

Posted by Dennis in Vancouver

6:24 PM, Aug 16, 2008

This game was a perfect example of how the Ms don't understand baseball fundamentals. All of Riggleman's pitching changes from Green onwards were done to try to NOT lose as opposed to win the game...there is a big difference! I never saw one sequence of pitches attack a hitter and make him bat defensively. And what of Jimenez pitching in the 9th especially against hitters who eat up lefties? Does this mean JJ isn't to be trusted any more with a save/hold situation? I'd just as soon put in Corcoran...he seemed to know what to pitch the other night to give him some leverage against some pretty lethal Angels hitters.

There is a timidness, tentativeness in the way this team is being managed and overseen by higher ups. It really does feel like the life has been sucked out of this team...I'd give anything to find out what players who have escaped the Ms recently (Sexson, Guillen) think about the change in venue and perspective. I can remember Safeco rocking in the bottom of the 9th with excitement and hope even though we were down by 3...now I hope Raul (a player I admire) can find a team next year with which to make it to the postseason, because he sure ain't gonna experience it here (especially if he's the only 'power' hitter in the 3-6 spots...look at the Angels with Guerrero, Teixeira, Anderson and Hunter...what this team could do if it had TWO of those hitters, let alone three or four).

Posted by CheapSeats

6:31 PM, Aug 16, 2008

"Oh God, please don't hit it to me." "Damn, here it comes, throw to home, crap just like the last play"....Jeremy Reed.

"Why Oh Why" - no kidding!

Posted by tomtom

12:39 AM, Aug 17, 2008

The M's mice are looking for holes...Which means all the M's recent AAA Pitchers will ruin their arms before the end of this Season, instead of in May of next year. I am REALLY going to hate seeing that.

Posted by jon wells

12:07 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ya know it'd be nice if Dave Sims knew just a little about baseball.

In the M's fourth on that Lopez pop fly he claimed that the umpire called the Infield Fly Rule, which of course didn't hapen -- the infield fly rule is not in effect if there is only a runner on first base...

Posted by Not-so-grand salome

3:52 PM, Aug 17, 2008

THAT'S IT! I HAVE THE ANSWER TO THE M'S BASEBALL WOES! THEY SHOULD BECOME A SOFTBALL TEAM! HOW ABOUT IT?

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