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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 17, 2008 4:07 PM

A wild one

Posted by Larry Stone

I'm going to make this quick, because I have to rush to catch a plane to Chicago. (Yes, Geoff and I like to live dangerously on getaway day).

What a wild game, in many ways. R.A. Dickey called his knuckleball action "violent" which is good and bad. It was hard to hit, harder to catch. The four wild pitches in the fifth were a major-league record. Poor Kenji Johjima (who had a passed ball in the same inning) didn't seem to have a chance with some of those pitches. Dickey said that Charlie Hough told him once that the knuckleball always was erratic in the Metrodome. Apparently, Gino Petralli set a passed ball record here trying to catch Hough's knuckleball. Didn't have time to look up the details.

All told, Mariners pitchers walked 10 in the game. Riggleman cut Ryan Feierabend some slack (nerves, three days' rest) and said he'll make his next start. But if he has another effort like this one, we'll see.

The Mariners have a .299 average since the break, and Raul Ibanez is ridiculous right now. They just need to get their pitching together to win some games. It would help if they didn't fall behind in the first inning every night. The Twins scored 2, 2 and 5 in the first inning. If you play catchup every game, you're going to lose most of them. And the Mariners are.

I'll leave with one last rousing quote from Riggleman after the game:

"We're going to get it together. You can sense it. We're going to get it together and get it turned around.''

I don't share his confidence. Do you?

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Posted by Sounders

4:21 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ugly. Disgusting. Shhlock. Smegma. Scum. Mess. Hideous. Horrifying. Bad. Bogus. Terrible. Half-Assed. Wimpy. Weak. Puke-O-Rama.

Riggleman is delusional. Nothing is gonna change until Howie and Chuckie get lost.

Posted by No Bait

4:22 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Wriggleworm is starting to sound a lot like McLaren, such is the depths to which he has fallen.

Posted by Sounders

4:24 PM, Aug 17, 2008

No Bait:

They'll all gonna sound like McLaren until Howie and Chuckie are gone

Posted by Tom

4:32 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I would rather have jon bon jovi on the marinerz than bitchiro

Posted by Balentienforcer

4:37 PM, Aug 17, 2008

......"We're going to get it together. You can sense it. We're going to get it together and get it turned around.''...........

Sounds like Riggsy found one of John McLarens old cue cards.

This team is getting really hard to watch. Down big at the beginning of every game is getting really old, and it's been going on ALL YEAR.

During the inning that we hit 3 HR's they cut to a shot of the dugout, and Ichiro was sitting alone not acknowledging anyone, just staring......I think it's time to cut him loose, let the Dodgers, or Giants deal with his 'tude and falling skills.

On the bright side, If Wladdy works on his defense he could be the next Cammy!!


Posted by George

4:42 PM, Aug 17, 2008

In a word: no.

When the pitching has been good over-all for short periods, the offense has been terrible, and vice versa.

I just don't believe that it will "all get put together" this late in the season - or early next season for that matter.

Posted by No Wriggles

4:44 PM, Aug 17, 2008

No one could spin and sugar coat it like McLaren, it was disgusting to listen to him or read his quotes. Made me gag like when RR was President. Wiggleworm learns from the best I suppose which says something for the FO with Chuck and Howie. So you do have a point, but of course they could become bald-face rascals lying through their teeth like GWB and, of course, Clay Bennett.

Posted by JC the kid

4:45 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ichiro could not lead a whore into bed. He is the most overpaid pile of non-run production in the game.

Posted by ethan

4:48 PM, Aug 17, 2008

"I don't see America having problems.."
- George W. Bush August 11, 2008

"We know where they are (WMD's). They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, north somewhat."
-Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003

"We're going to get it together. You can sense it. We're going to get it together and get it turned around.''
- Jim Riggleman August 17, 2008

Posted by Sounders

4:53 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Riggleman's Post Game Press Conference:

Reporter: "Why does Beltre stink when it matters?"

Riggleman: (staring off into space, a goofy smile on his face) "We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz......"

Posted by pbk13

5:35 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Tons of crappy players on this team. Ichiro is playing the same as he did when the Mariners won 116 games. But now they are heading toward losing 116 games.

Must be his fault, right, marinidiots?

Posted by 11Records

5:42 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Wlad cannot become the next Cammie. They have pretty disparate skill sets. Well, notwithstanding the tendency to strike out. But, Wlad doesn't have Cammie's speed or natural instincts in the OF.

Wlad does have more natural power than Cameron, and that's saying something. But - I think the better parallel, and it pains me to say this - is GlenAllen Hill.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

5:49 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Pbk13, if Ichiro is the same now as then, then that leads to one conclusion, He has been vastly overrated all this time. We crown him the King of Mediocrity.

Posted by ragarm

5:50 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Holy smoke! I can't believe Wriggleworm actually had the cajones to say that with all the rational world listening. Give me a break!

This team is pathetic, atrocious, bad, awful, weak, scum, bogus,wimpy, crappy, disgusting, pig chow, losers, numbnuts, unmotivated, disappointing, untalented, nauseous, beyond belief, funny, wretched and poor. Yeah, I lifted some of Sounder's words.

There is no confidence in anything about this team except 117 losses at $117 payroll.

Wriggleworm is as optimistic as Rick Rizz and that just about makes me puke.

Open your eyes, idiots!

Posted by wag the dog

6:00 PM, Aug 17, 2008

What else can we expect Riggleman to say? If the manager comes straight out with it and says "this team is terrible and about 3/4 of the players on this roster should not be here next year" the remainder of an unbearable season would only get worse.

Besides, Riggleman isn't trying to salvage this season with his words, he's trying to salvage the future. One way or another, plenty of the current roster will be back next season and if the team doesn't find a way to get some of these guys to focus and play hard, the turnaround process is totally doomed.

Seems to me the team is stuck between a rock and a hard place because if they get a few of these guys to play decently, they might have some offseason trade value. But if they play well enough to win they're just screwing the teams chances of getting the first pick of the draft.

Posted by pbk13

6:02 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Why? What's all of a sudden wrong with Ichiro, tell me if you're so smart.

Posted by WiggleWormMustGo

6:04 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Geoff, whats your take on ichiro? THe consensus here is that he sucks and wouldnt start on any of the contenders (or be on anahiem's roster), but i want to know what the baseball guy thinks

Posted by pbk13

6:09 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Someone here claims that Ichiro is no good, but that is not the consensus. Of course,there are people here who do not understand that Ichiro as much a great player now as he was when he was rookie of the year and MVP in 2001. Some people hated Babe Ruth, too. These people know nothing about baseball; that's the explanation. Let them wallow in their ignorance; who cares what they think.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:10 PM, Aug 17, 2008

With six straight two hundred plus hit season and the most hits in a given year (262), no rational person can label Ichiro as mediocre. Mediocre denotes moderate, middling or average, he has been anything but an average hitter over his career. Certainly even an idiot must concede that he is not mediocre, unless that idiot would suspend all reason.

There are, however, bigger problems with Ichiro this year. Clearly his skills are declining, needing forty-three hits in the remaining thirty-nine games, he will be lucky to get his two hundred hits this season. It was apparent in spring training when he went on an extended hitless streak that he was fading, which was confirmed by the idiotic comments of John McLaren.

The bigger problems surface, moreover, with his utter lack of team spirit. Ichiro is exceptionally aloof, often capricious in his response to questions, and whimsical in his attitude toward the team. Anyone who has watched his interaction with teammates and read his comments to reporters can surely discern these traits and attest to his aloofness. Put simply, he is not a team player.

In 2001, his aloofness did not matter so much because there were such great veterans and leaders around him, however, it now stands out like a sore thumb. Like in other personnel matters, the M's have mistakenly held onto Ichiro past his usefulness to this team. He should be traded while he has trade value.

Fans, however, are often into hero worship that prevents them from seeing the decline of their heros. Ichiro deserves to be on a winning team and the M's need to get young and hungry. Time to trade Ichiro and rebuilt this team. Holding on to such an aging and declining star will get you nowhere fast. Other aloof would be stars ought to take notice - eh, Eric.

Posted by CheapSeats

6:15 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I'd be curious to see the stats on Ichiro, w/RISP, and how he ranks with other outfielders in MLB. Or, even what his RISP is with other leadoff hitters.

I would think it's 200+ avg with RISP. I'm sure you Ichiro lovers will prove me wrong.

Posted by pbk13

6:16 PM, Aug 17, 2008

It don't matter if Ichiro is aloof. The problem is no one else but Ibanez is as consistent as a hitter, no one can pitch, the manager and management sucks.

If what you say is true, I point to Manny Ramirez who is proof that attitude don't matter. He's still killing pitchers and the Dodgers are happy. What matters is, can you hit?

Ichiro can still hit. And he's a lot better teammate than Manny.

A lot of players on this team can't hit.

Posted by wag the dog

6:21 PM, Aug 17, 2008

With Ichiro, I think the question is not how he's playing now, but how he'll be playing 2-3 years from now when, a good GM willing, the Mariners might be back in contention.

Whatever greatness you may think Ichiro possesses now, it's not enough to prevent the team from losing 100 games this season. Thus, outside of marketing, his value to the Mariners is really not that great and it doesn't figure to improve as he ages.

Ichiro's trade value is probably higher now than it will be at any point in the future. IMO, it makes more sense to trade him for prospects that will be ready to contribute in 2-3 years than it does to keep him for another 2-3 years at which point his contributions will very likely be on the decline.

The Mariners need major roster turnover but they aren't going to be able to fill all the holes through free agency. Some of it is going to have to come via trade and the sad truth is, the Mariners don't have many players that garner much in return.

A player like Ichiro could potentially jump start the rebuilding process by getting us some good prospects in trade.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

6:24 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Define Hit, a solid line drive or a pound it into the ground worm killer type hit. As a leadoff hitter he is no Rickey Henderson.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:24 PM, Aug 17, 2008

True, Ichiro can hit, however, he has shown a clear decline in his abilities this year. His aloofness stands out more now that he has few quality teammates around him. which results in his alienation from the team. Yes, Ichiro's value remains high at the moment, however, the signs of his decline should not be ignored. A rebuilding team does not need a star who stands alone, it needs youth with hunger and desire to develop a winning attitude. The M's will not compete next year or the year after, particularly if they hold on to these aging, underperforming veterans. Ichiro may be a cut above such guys, but he too is declining. It is, therefore, time to try and get something for him before he loses his luster as a star. Trading Ichiro will be a commitment to rebuilding and creating a winning team in Seattle. And for Ichiro, he will have a chance to compete for a winning team if the M's move him to the right suitor.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:28 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Excellent post Wag the dog.

Posted by pbk13

6:31 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I would not support even thinking about trading Ichiro unless chuck and howie are fired, and incompetence is booted out of the front office and the dugout. These idiots think the Mariners are contenders, or are going to be, apparently,

Ichiro is the only reason to go to mariner games. The ONLY reason.

Posted by robert

6:33 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Larry, I don't know what he means by "get it together," and without that, I am not sure how to answer? Does he mean win a game or two? Look good? Pitchers 1st inning ERA under 20.00? I guess my answer is this: When Balentin took his time getting to the ball in the 8th inning, Span took it upon himself to hustle and take an extra base. I guess the Mariner veterans are teaching the kids.

Posted by mr mariner

6:36 PM, Aug 17, 2008

What is Riggles been smoking in the dugout? This team isn't close to getting it together. The pitching is a shambles, particularly the starters.

Water Buffalo Silva, Erika French Poodle Bedard, Batista, Washburn.....what a staff that Conehead Bavasi assembled.

The new GM will be hiring Riggles' replacement...and the replacement for most of the coaching staff. I wonder if Stottlemyre will be brought back?

Posted by wag the dog

6:40 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Thanks, Ancient Mariner, and back at ya.

To pbk13, it's a question of whether you're thinking about the present, or the future. If you're thinking about the present, than yes, Ichiro may be the only reason to go to a game (although I'd rather see Felix myself). But Ichiro isn't always going to be worth the price of admission (and to plenty of fans, he already isn't).

More than any star player, WINNING is what sustains fan interest. It really boggles the mind how Mariner fans have stuck with this team over the last 7 terrible seasons. I don't know if the glow of 116 wins engendered almost a decades worth of good will or if Seattle residents are just suckers for a beautiful outdoor activity, but this team has been supported during years when it clearly didn't deserve it. Park this team in Kansas City (among other places) and they'd be lucky to see 10,000 fans a night.

Ichiro brings you to the park this season. But what will bring you to the park when Ichiro's skills no longer shine so bright? Will his name alone be enough? Or will you want another star to take his place? Or a winning team?

Stars and winning teams don't come cheap. Trading Ichiro while he still has value may be the best shot at attaining either, and if we're lucky, both.

Could next year be a suck fest that offers no stars and no winning? Definitely. But good players aren't going to magically materialize to save the day. We need all three player acquisition prongs - draft, trade and free agency - to be working for us if we expect to stop sucking.

Trading Ichiro is a short term pain, but also one of our best options for long term gain.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:44 PM, Aug 17, 2008

While I am all for trading Ichiro, I am sure it won't happen while Howie and Chuckie have control and Mr. Y owns the team. Given their due, these guys saved baseball in Seattle, but the game has past them by and there is need for change. So trading Ichiro needs to happen, just as the FO and ownershio need to change in order to again make the M's contenders. The M's came a long way with Mr. Y and we ought to be grateful to him for his fiscal benevolence to Seattle, but now someone who is not an absentee owner and who actually cares about the results needs to step up and take charge of the franchise.

Caution, we do not need the likes of Howard Schultz, but I wish him well in taking his fight to good ole boy Clay and his oily Okies.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

6:45 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Very well said WTD

Posted by pbk13

6:48 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Speaking of Howie, I find it interesting that two major league franchises forsook Seattle in just one summer. Given that Howie and Chuck won't let Portland have a MLB team, I think Portland should fight any effort to land another NBA squad in Seattle. That'd be fair. Unless, of course, Howie and Chuck relent!

Posted by WSUx3

6:51 PM, Aug 17, 2008

none of hits have ever mattered. look how he wilted away last year and hit barely .300 when we were contending and look how no one respects his arm any more.

Posted by daWgX28

6:57 PM, Aug 17, 2008

WSUx3 - does this mean you are a junior at the "Cow College" or might you be a graduate of three years? It is clear, however, that in your use of vulgarity, obscenity and sexual innuendo, you do not represent excellent in education. Perhaps the old charge of Cow carnality in the Palouse really does have some truth to it.

Posted by pbk13

6:57 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I agree that one day Ichiro will leave Seattle. As I said, there just is no reason to go to a Mariner game other than Ichiro -- and yes, Felix -- and to be honest, I felt a litigious mood overwhelm me the time I came to Safeco and found Turbo batting cleanup. That's soooo wrong in too many ways.

There's no reason to trade Ichiro now. You could rebuild around him, after all. If you think trading him will yield quality prospects, I want some of what you're smoking. Here's a good analysis of what you might get for him (warning, USSM link ahead):

I think Howie and Chuck must hate the fans. I'm not going back to Safeco until they are gone. There are fun ways to drink beer; watching this sorry franchise ain't one of them.

Posted by Scanman

7:00 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Just wondering, has any of the Seattle Pro Teams stepped up to support Big Lo the way he has always supported them? Some good will would go a long ways towards filling seats. Are you listening Chuck and Howard. Save a mans life rather than waste money on over priced ball players.

Posted by pbk13

7:02 PM, Aug 17, 2008

For the record the Mariners did NOT contend last year. Delusional fans might think they did, and the owner of this blog probably still hits his head over his desk for what might have been, but with that lineup and that rotation and that bullpen, they were not contending. They got lucky for a while. And Ichiro hit .369 and .347 last August and September,and .369 the last week. God he sucked!

Posted by wag the dog

7:08 PM, Aug 17, 2008

"You could rebuild around him, after all."

Two questions, where are you going to get the players to rebuild with? And how often does a team successfully rebuild using a 37-38 year old (Ichiro's age in 2-3 years) outfielder?

By the time the Mariners are rebuilt, Ichiro will be a complimentary part, not a cornerstone. You should not rebuild on a crumbling foundation.

The guy you rebuild around is Felix, a 22 year old stud whose best days are ahead of him. But that's only possible if you give him a reason to stay with the Mariners. Plenty of teams will offer him a ton of money. I don't believe the sentiment of staying with his first team will seal the deal. What keeps Felix in Seattle is a combination of money and winning.

To win he needs to be surrounded by good players who are on the upswing.

Trading Ichiro isn't the last move the Mariners need to make if they want to stop sucking. It's one of many.

Posted by wag the dog

7:10 PM, Aug 17, 2008

"And Ichiro hit .369 and .347 last August and September,and .369 the last week. God he sucked!"

How many games did the Mariners win while Ichiro was posting these huge numbers? How did his batting average and all-around awesomeness contribute to the bottom line?

It didn't. The Mariners sucked last August and September and they suck now.

Posted by pbk13

7:14 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Players with Ichiro's skills -- speed, defense, ability to get on base-- age well. You rebuild like Tampa Bay did with the draft, coupled with skill at signing international players, and effective evaluation of talent. Having Ichiro around will be useful, but yes you need some quality talent. This organization has proven itself to be inept at evaluating talent, obviously.A

The worse thing you can do is to make another idiot trade like five-for-bedard. Build with youth.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

7:16 PM, Aug 17, 2008

As WTD as so eloquently pointed out, building around Ichiro is not reason but romantic fantasy. Move Ichiro to another west coast team like the Dodgers or the Giants for prospects. You will be doing him a favor and making a major step toward rebuilding necessary to creating a contender is Seattle.

Posted by pbk13

7:19 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ichiro gets on base, a great skill to have. If the guys behind him aren't driving him in, then who's fault is that? Remember the rotation from last year?

Posted by pbk13

7:21 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I hate to break it to ya, but the Mariners aren't going to get swag for Ichiro. Teams aren't trading prospects for anything but a quality starter or a bomber anymore.

Posted by tomtom

7:28 PM, Aug 17, 2008

In spite of what the Press is saying, some the guys are doing well against the superior forces of the Twins.

The M's don't suck against a GOOD TEAM like our over-lauded last place team of the first half DID suck. THAT's AMAZING.

Posted by tomtom

7:29 PM, Aug 17, 2008

There are now about 5 guys within spitting distance of a .300 BA, and the Rookie Wlad is hitting a home run every three or four games. Our horrible batting Rookie Jeff, who is Jamie's obvious replacement next year, whenever he DOES manage to hit; is hitting during clutch moments rather than pulling off an embarrassing Sexon. A Sexon uses 5 AB to hit a LONE single in the 8th... when no-one is on base and the game is already lost.... or more typically a Sexon: strikes out before the rest of the team can get ahead in the game, and then does something insulting in the Umpire's eyes; like argue or hit himself in the head with a bat. In other words, Jeff is battling to be more like a Jamie, than even a Kenji... Kenji being the next overpaid Sexon style M to flunk and get dumped next Mid-Season. Jamie isn't a Sexon. Jamie has done a great job, and has one more cheap year in him, but somebody upstairs is trying to get rid of him early before he is an embarrassing 38 and 240lbs behind the plate. Jamie hit .301 in 50 games last year, and is .270 over 36 games so far this year, but he isn't tri-lingual. He has hit in the clutch, and doesn't complain when Felix and Silva speak Espanol at the mound, and who knows what they tell the FO about the catchers... I think they hate Kenji, and want another Spaniard behind the plate... so Jamie is out next year.

Posted by Merle

7:30 PM, Aug 17, 2008


Posted by tomtom

7:31 PM, Aug 17, 2008

We need to be a little proud: our favorite aged Vet, Raul, has a better defense than Manny or last years premium paid idiot, Bonds, so the M's need to be grateful for his grit.

Most of MLB's 36 year olds SUCK, and end up playing Utility man in Seattle, ahead of Willie,, where they can't jump without falling down, and they can't hit it to the fence. Not so with Raul. Raul has about a million softball players imitating his disciplines this Season, for good reason. He is a gentleman's gentleman when he is at bat, knowing exactly how to BE THE MAN... no matter the outcome. And he has a great sliding catch in the outfield, so he isn't hammering his head into the fence.

Too bad about Willie pulling a hamstring at first base. It could be worse, Adam Jones broke his foot and isn't playing.

Posted by tomtom

7:32 PM, Aug 17, 2008

The previous VP would have already offered up a three year deal on Raul,

and tossed away the obnoxious argument that Fantasy GM's are using against RAUL: the ridiculous "we need that bonus asset" of losing him for an "end of Round 1 Draft pick." I have nothing but contempt for that kind of blogging moron. Any serious M's fan knows by now, the Mariners REALLY can't find a replacement for someone like Raul unless an over staffed team like Boston wanted to let Ellsbury go after the Season ends. Not that the M's would ever try to get Ellsbury. That is why Mac was able to put Ichi in CF,,, because we don't want a domestic guy running the OF and we can't hire another Japanese CF to make Ichi happy.

Posted by tomtom

7:36 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Our Draft picks are a waste of effort.

When it comes down to it, our Draft management sucks because no Position Player wants INTO the M's Farm System nor do they want to "dead end" into the PCL behind an annual basement team that doesn't like domestic raised players. Adam Jones is a perfect example of a guy wasting time in the M's AAA Tacoma, as was LaHair, and Reed. They don't speak enough languages, so the golden boys hate them.

Let Morse dead end down there, or trade him. Whatever you do, don't bring him back. He reminds me of Sexon at the plate and exhibits little grace in the OF.

Posted by PayClayBennett

7:42 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Not only do I not share Riggleman's confidence - I couldn't care any less. This team is STILL a sad disaster even after they cut an all time record worth of guaranteed salaries in one year. Their prospects suck, their coaching sucks, the office sucks - they plain suck. I'm having trouble even understanding how anything Riggleman says is print worthy.

Harpoon these losers and shut the season down early. All the Mariners are is a guaranteed win streak for whoever they play. Disgusting.

Posted by PayClayBennett

7:44 PM, Aug 17, 2008

17-22 to avoid 100 losses....any takers?

Posted by wag the dog

7:51 PM, Aug 17, 2008

"I hate to break it to ya, but the Mariners aren't going to get swag for Ichiro. Teams aren't trading prospects for anything but a quality starter or a bomber anymore."

You seem to want it both ways, depending on which side of the argument you're trying to make. Ichiro is good enough for the Mariners to build around but not good enough for another team to offer good prospects in return?

Is this part of that argument where Ichiro only has value to the Mariners? I feel like this is the exact sort of thinking that got the Mariners to bottom of the heap in the first place. As Ancient Mariner said, it's romantic thinking trumping realistic thinking.

Ichiro is aging, expensive and provides little of one of the traits the Mariners most lack - leadership. On a veteran club with some good hitters behind him, I think Ichiro's value is actually greater than it is here in Seattle because he's not needed for leadership and there are guys who can actually bring him around to score some runs.

With the Mariners, Ichiro hits a single, maybe steals second, heck, maybe even steals third and is left stranded. Or he turns in a brilliant defensive play in 7-2 defeat. Who cares? He's not improving the play of the young around him. He's not a mentor. On a team that's contending his base hits would matter. His defense would win close games. And his leadership wouldn't be needed. Plus, he would likely be energized by playing for a club that doesn't suck.

"Build with youth."

Around a 35+ year old center fielder? Maybe Ichiro will age well. He certainly puts a lot into taking care of himself. But I would prefer not to bet the farm on whether Ichiro's body holds up. As I've said before, better to trade a guy a year too early rather than a year too late.

It took Tampa Bay about a decade to build a winner using almost exclusively the draft as a means of gathering young talent. Shrewd trades advance the timeline. Getting returns on guys like Ichiro, Ibanez, Washburn, Beltre has the potential to speed up the process.

Posted by pbk13

8:18 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ok, think a little bit. Let's say you're the dodgers GM. You get a call from LP, who offers Ichiro and his $20 million a year contract for your top 3 prospects. You say forget it. The three prospects are cheap and Ichiro is expensive.

So he doesn't have as much trade value as you'd like to think.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't have value to Mariners. In fact he has a lot. But other teams aren't going to dump top prospects for an aging, highly skilled veteran in his mid 30s. They just aren't doing that anymore. Prove me wrong.

As i said, Ichiro still has a lot value. A quality lead off hitter who gets a lot of hits and gets on base, and steals a lot of bases when he's not hurt (I happen to think his hamstring is really bothering him) AND plays stellar defense has a lot of value.

But will other GMs who are not named Bavasi trade for someone like that? I don't think so-- not in today's marketplace that places high value on cheap prospects with high upsides.

And if you can trade Ichiro for cheap prospects with high salaries, all you are doing is a salary dump. Ichiro is still two good for that to happen.

Only the Mariners would do something that dumb.

Posted by BWare

8:20 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I rate Ichiro right up there with the likes of Kinsler / Young / Youkilis / Jeter as one of the best pure hitters in baseball today. More than just being a singles hitter, he instills fear in pitchers.

If the M's put some bats behind him, then what he does would look much more beastly -- just like Kinsler / Young / Youkilis / Jeter. A great asset to the team and/or someone who would reap significant returns in a trade.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

8:45 PM, Aug 17, 2008

The harsh reality is that so long as Yamauchi owns the team, the M's won't be trading Ichiro and the arguments pro & con are basically moot. Everyone else on the team, including Felix, could be traded down the road but not Ichiro.

I'd love to see Mr. Y decide to sell the club but with a net worth of close to $8billion, he'll only sell if he gets tired of the criticism but he is pretty insulated being over in Japan. Maybe Yamauchi will decide to break the bank to bid on the Japanese stud pitcher, Yu Darvish, when the time comes that he's posted. That guy sounds even better than Strasburg.

Posted by HMJ

9:20 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Hey Scanman,

The sports teams have given the guy free tickets for years. Don't forget how he "cried" a la Joey Cora, until somebody GAVE him a free super bowl ticket. He is nothing more than a me, me, me person. All about self promotion that you have apparently bought in to.

Posted by ronny

10:01 PM, Aug 17, 2008

HA SUCK IT MARINER FANS!!!!! I'm glad I stubbled across this little chat page. Anyone who think the m's old, fat, and overpaid team will win anything in the years to come. What is there for you guys to look forward to? The return of bedard and silva who did so well this year? The amazing comeback jojhima? Or maaybe the other countless bad moves peloduksas will make this year? As a angel fan I find this hilarious.

Posted by Dereka

10:05 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Posted by jesse

10:31 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Think about the M's over the last 5 years, and think about Ichiro and what he has meant to the M's over the last 5 years. His face doesn't pop into the picture except in a negative way. Winning and Ichiro seem to be mutually exclusive. Doesn't seem to compute.
Seems like a black hole with him in the lineup. He seems to suck the life out of the team no matter what he does. He has numbers yes, but nothing meaningful comes from his numbers. No critical wins, no ctitical hitting with RISP, no spark, no passion, no meanigful defense, just a black hole with numbers swirling around it that seems to suck the juice out of the entire team. Barry Bond had numbers too, but a toxic effect on the whole team. SF Giants never accomplished a thing with Bonds. Bonds got his numbers, Giants got nothing. Sorry Ichiro

Posted by The Mariners FO.

10:38 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Very well said WTD at 7:51

Posted by Scanman

10:41 PM, Aug 17, 2008

HMJ, I donít live in the area so on Big Lo, appearently Iím not getting the whole picture

Posted by wag the dog

10:53 PM, Aug 17, 2008

"Ok, think a little bit. Let's say you're the dodgers GM. You get a call from LP, who offers Ichiro and his $20 million a year contract for your top 3 prospects. You say forget it. The three prospects are cheap and Ichiro is expensive."

Nice strawman you constructed to validate your argument. There are very few players in MLB worth a clubs top three prospects. The Mariners don't need to get the top three prospects in order to make it a worthwhile trade.

"So he doesn't have as much trade value as you'd like to think."
I'm harboring no illusions here. Unlike a lot of fans, I don't expect the Mariners to get something for nothing. I don't believe the Rangers are going to come to the Mariners and offer Josh Hamilton for RA Dickey. I don't believe the Mariners should have tried to get something for Ritchie Sexson. He wasn't worth anything. And I don't believe the Mariners are going to hijack the top three prospects out of any minor league system in exchange for Ichiro. The Mariner situation is far sadder than that. Trading Ichiro is no miracle solution, but it's a start. It's an investment in the future.

The bottom line is that Ichiro has been with the Mariners for eight seasons and in that time they've made the playoffs once. The Mariners most successful season with Ichiro occurred in his first season when Ichiro was surrounded by veterans who provided leadership and hitters who could knock in runs. Like so many players, Ichiro isn't a guy who can lift a team on his shoulders and take them places. He's just not.

Is Ichiro's trade value as high as an ace starting pitcher or power hitting corner outfielder? Hell no. But his value in trade is higher than his long term value to the team. There is absolutely no reason to continue to invest $20 million per season into a guy who gets you no closer to the playoffs than you'd be without him.

Posted by tomtom

10:56 PM, Aug 17, 2008

I also have nothing but amazed contempt for the blogging idiots, representing themselves as Seattle fans, who want to trade Ichiro. That kind of multiple aliased demagoguery is ridiculous.

I wouldn't give the time of day to an idiot at the ballpark, if he said that he wants to trade a gold gloved, silver slugger, and current all star hitting .309....even if that idio claimed to write a Seattle sports column.

Stop playing video baseball, phony fans, and get out of your Mother's basement; because you have been exposed as an inbred KKK racist. Go to the Field. The real MLB team needs a drawing card, not a Draft pick. Ichiro packs them two tiers deep into the seats behind the Outfield, EVEN when they are in last place. Only a mental midget would espouse ruining that. He sells Season Tickets to people on the other side of the Pacific Rim, just so they can plan their two week vacation to Seattle.

You on the other hand, are a tool that can't manage to zip up your own "virtual" pants in time to keep others from thinking you are an idiot.

Posted by Briguy17

10:58 PM, Aug 17, 2008

The Mariners have been forced to play catch up every game this month. In their last 15 games, they have fallen behind in each and every one of them at one point. Hard to win when you fall behind EVERY SINGLE GAME.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

11:31 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Aside from name calling and insult projection, tomtom, your argument appears to be that Ichiro is one a good player and two draws fans. In suggesting a trade of Ichiro, there is no question that he is a good player, however, it is clear that his skills set is declining and it will only get worse as he ages. Decline of this sort is inevitable, such veterans are commonly traded when a team is in a rebuilding mode. First, they have value which may yield prospects in return. The receiving team perceives such a player as one who will get them to that next level necessary for success. Ichiro has such value, however, not for the M's because they are not going to that next level anytime soon. So why not trade him for young prospects who might help the team rebuild and become competitive in the near future?

As for his draw, there are two sides to this argument. First, he does have great appeal to Japanese nationals who follow Mariner games, but these folks do not play his salary as the M's see little on nothing of that money. Certainly vacationers from Japan make no significant impact on Safeco field attendance, there simply are not enough of them to matter. In the second instance, folks seem to still admire Ichiro's feats for most hits in a season, six consecutive 200 hits seasons, and his general dedication to his craft, however, Ichiro is clearly declining and he will be hard put to reach two hundred hits this season. As he declines and the team continues to lose, no star will command attendance. At the moment, there seems to be a residual attendance at the Safe due to past success and projected success, as well as with what we might call a fade factor. By fade factor, it has become common practice to attend the games and enjoy the fraternity of cheering the home team in a lovely environment. Fans interested in this fade factor may continue until the fade fades or becomes less appealing due to chronic losing. Fans this year have likely not come to grips with the remarkable failure and breakdown of this team. As they face the reality of losing, they will begin to find other entertainments outside Safeco Field. Afterall the team was this year picked to compete for an AL west title, so it may well be that they remain in shock disbelieving that this team is do terrible. They have their tickets so they think they might as well use them, but losing will create a fading of attendance as it catches up with these fans. Ichiro or no Ichiro will make no difference as fans become tired of the losing. So Ichiro will not be a long term fan attendance factor, seldom does such a star pack the seats with interest unless he is breaking some lofty record. Ichiro's record breaking may soon be behind him as he continues to decline as a skilled player.

So I cannot buy either of your arguments and I suggest that there is no basis for verbal abuse in defending your opinion.

Posted by wag the dog

11:36 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Yes, TomTom, you intellectual giant, you've convinced me - we should keep an aging, expensive player who doesn't get the team to the playoffs, but does improve ticket sales during historically bad seasons. That's definitely what I, as a fan, am looking for - less winning, more one man shows. Lets scout out some more short term "solutions" that will ensure the owners continue to make money even as the team continues to suck.

Who cares how many butts are in seats this season? Or next? 10,000 fans or less every game would send ownership a message they can't ignore - put a winner on the field or suffer the consequences.

Oh shoot, I guess I'm too stupid to hang with you for more than a fleeting moment. I was so in your corner there for a minute. But then my mind faded and I'm stuck at stupid. Sorry. It must be really difficult for you to post here when there are so many people like myself who are so far below your intellectual level. Well, keep trying. You are providing a true community service with your charitable good work educating the foolish masses. One of these days, if I am ever fortunate enough to crawl out of my ignorant cave and raise myself up to a higher intellectual standard, I will have you and your brilliance to thank for setting the tone and making me believe that even someone as dumb as myself can hope for better if I dare to dream that I can one day be as amazingly insightful as you.

Posted by BWare

11:38 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Just to wrap our minds around a good conversation piece, critique this hypothetical trade proposal between the M's and the Halos...

To Halos -- Ichiro, $17 million cash
To M's -- Kendry Morales, Gary Matthews Jr.

Halos get a BEAST to stick at the top of the order

M's get a top-shelf power prospect at 1B, a Gold Glove centerfielder, and a net $18 million in salary relief (w/ GMJr salary offset)

Again, just a conversation piece to wrap minds around...

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

11:48 PM, Aug 17, 2008

Ichiro might do well in LA, but I think it would be across town in Chavis Ravine. He even plays more of an NL style in the manner by which he takes bases and moves into scoring position just so Beltre can so often fail to drive him in from third.

The dream proposal is creative, but I see little reason for the Angels to take the M's up on it. There is also the division rival factor, as you seldom wish to improve your primary competition. So I can't really see a trade to the Angels, A's or Rangers in the works. Better to move him into the NL with LA Dodgers being the best candidate. but then what do I really know about who might be interested in him. The idea is really just to shop him and seek a trade that yields the best return in prospects.

Posted by wag the dog

12:14 AM, Aug 18, 2008

I have to agree with Ancient Mariner again. The idea that the Mariners could get a top drawer prospect, an established everyday starter who plays a premium defensive position AND salary relief seems a bit too much to hope for. To say nothing of the division rival factor.

But, as AM mentioned, we might as well see what sort of offers Ichiro would command. Until we actually stick him out there, it's all just speculation designed to back up whatever argument is being made.

There's no harm in checking market value. It's not like once the Mariners admit they'd consider trading Ichiro that they'd be locked into accepting the first proposal for a bag of balls and tin of chew.

See what's out there, see if someone is willing to dangle a prospect or two to grow on. If the new Mariner GM doesn't like what's being offered, s/he is no worse off than before s/he made Ichiro available.

But the new GM also has to be realistic about expected returns. Nobody is going to cough up their top three prospects for Ichiro. That doesn't make every potential deal that doesn't measure up a bad one.

Posted by tomtom

12:35 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Wow... More racist non-sense from the forum's phony blogger.

How can you EVEN put that ridiculous idea in writing? You just suggested that Ichiro had to single handedly get the worst team in baseball ... past the Angels and every one of the East Coast teams.

ohhhhhh yaaaaaaaa... THAT is amazing logic...

In your obviously drug soaked opinion, the Western league's lead-off RF, at 5'9 and 160 lbs; merely needs to knock a 162 home runs and bat .599 just to keep an $11M/year spot on the M's next year.

errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... wasn't 6'8" 240 pound Richie Sexon supposed to do that for you.... at $15M a year? Ichiro was just supposed to get on, and your man Sexon was supposed to drive him in with a Grand Slam every game.

Your ill fed brain cells are asking one guy to do what the whole LEFT SIDE of the Yankees can't do. Just the THIRD BASEMAN in that NY combo makes more than THREE TIMES what Ichiro makes. And the Captain next to him,,, you know the one I'm talking about,,,, the guy that the largest number of Little Leaguers named as their favorite Player this weekend,,, the guy with the 10 year contract, makes how much pocket change this year?

Manny and Texiera will pull down $20M a year next year, and THEY couldn't do what you just suggested.

Now tell me,,,, ON WHAT PLANET are you going to find someone dumb enough to give SEATTLE the YOUNG POTENTIAL to do what you just suggested?

Let me re-read those posts you made:

Yep, ,,,,, some faceless, unknown team has a bench full of kids like that,,,, and has a few extra they would like to hand over to you..... Yep, its so EASY to do what you ask--trade for 19 year old NAZI bred baseball playing talents who are hitting and fielding better than Ichiro-- so you can promote them right up to the M's... Yep,,,,that TAMPA BAY is going to give you its whole $22M miracle team plus $17M for Ichiro tomorrow.... Poooooooooof !!!!!!!!!! Here they are.

You have no idea how ridiculous your multiple aliases have made you.

Posted by Jonathan

3:12 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Feierabend has done well in the minors, but man he is just getting shelled everytime he pitches up here.

Posted by pbk13

3:29 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Not at all a straw man, WTD. Truth is, with Ichiro's salary at 20 million per, we get at best mid level prospects in return. We don't get quality. Mike Morse types who aren't worth a damn. How is that going to help the Mariners?

And, as seems likely, what if our trading partner asks us to pay his salary? If so, then what's the point in trading him? To pay him huge dollars to kick our ass is something only Bavasi would do.

We are in for several years of rebuilding at best.

We've already been played for the fool, trading tons of potential for a sore-armed pitcher who in four years will probably be employed as a loogy in the NL east if he's in baseball at all.

There is no quick fix, no easy ride to the top folks. We could dream up all kinds of trade ideas, here in Delusion Central.

Ask yourselves this: after the bush leaguers we get in the Ichiro trade flame out, what then?

We have too many holes to fill before we think about creating a new one.

Posted by BWare

7:35 AM, Aug 18, 2008

The Ichiro trade to the Angels is just an attempt at a rational transaction - not sure if the Angels would bite on it per se. But my proposal is representative of the value I see the M's being able to get for Ichiro, wherever his destination might turn out to be.

But if the Angels decide to sign Teixiera, then Morales is expendable, not to mention the fact that GMJr is now effectively high priced dead weight languishing on the bench. For that matter, I'm not really sure if the Angels are in a position to sign Juan Rivera, with all the free agent / option year issues they have after the season.

My feel is that GMJr is poised to make a big stink about the loss of playing time and will demand a trade somewhere - salary and all.

Posted by Mr. X

7:35 AM, Aug 18, 2008

It's amazing when you look at the kind of people who continually bring up race in a baseball blog. It's always the Ichiro "fan(s)", and I put quotes, because they see him as an Asian first, and a human being second. Typical of the liberal mindset, obsessed with race and guilt, until they actually run into a person of color like myself, then they make sure they speak slowly and loud enough for me.

I can't speak for any of the other Ichiro critics on here, but I don't see Ichiro as "Asian Baseball Player", because none of that matters. He's just another Mariner, and an overpaid underproducing one at that. I don't like the way he plays the game. And he would be more valuable as a trade option, because there are dozens of players who could replace his "production", and for less than half the money. He can get as many infield singles as he wants, but he still doesn't get on base with the same percentage as an Abreu, Winn, Schumaker, Hudson, Blanco, Cust, Giles, DeRosa, or Theriot. Not to mention Sizemore, Granderson, Damon, Roberts, Kinsler, Pedroia, Figgins, or Reyes. That's it.

Posted by Mr. X

7:42 AM, Aug 18, 2008

And the next time an Ichirobot brings up the 200 hit season as an amazing feat, remind them that the Mariners have 2 players in the Top 5 in hits this season in all of Major League Baseball. Ichiro and Lopez are 4 and 5, respectively, and neither one is the best hitter on the team. And what exactly has that provided the Mariners this season? Yet another last place finish. The 4th last place finish in 5 years with Ichiro as the "star player".

And oh by the way, it's a crime that Curtis Granderson didn't get the silver slugger over Ichiro last season. If you look at the numubers, it shouldn't have even been a close vote. That's why unearned, subjective awards really shouldn't be brought into any sane discussion about a player.

Posted by byebye

7:43 AM, Aug 18, 2008

"Showing no bad effects from the bruised knee that forced his last start, Lincecum (13-3) allowed three hits, one run and four walks while striking out 10 - five with runners in scoring position."

Wow, maybe with all these losses the M's will get a chance to draft a player like Lincecum.


Posted by The Ancient Mariner

8:32 AM, Aug 18, 2008

tomtom -

Your 12:36AM post makes no sense, it is filled with false accusations, rage and nonsense. Just where in my remarks is there to be found anything racist? Likewise, I see no racism in WTD or others here posting ideas about trading Ichiro. Are we racists because we observe his skills declining and perceive the need to rebuild this team?

In all my posts, I have said Ichiro is a good player, but I do think he carries some baggage with his attitude. On the 2001 team this attitude did not matter because he was surrounded with productive veterans, but now he stands alone with his aloof manner and his cryptic remarks. My observation is that he is not a team player, as he appears to be more concerned with his own efforts rather than with the team's goals. But this aside, is not a reason to trade him.

The reason to trade him is associated with his decline in skills, he will be hard pressed to get his 200 hits this season, which is an indicator of his decline. He still has many good years left in him, no doubt, but the M's need to build a team not around a single superstar singles hitter but around young developing players. They are not one or two pieces away from competing, they need many pieces to even get to five hundred. Typically when teams find themselves in this position, they move their veteran talent and try to restock and rebuild for the future. Ichiro is a player that may net a decent prospect or two and that is all we can expect in return.

Moving Ichiro, Beltre, Washburn, and Bedard will make this team younger and give it a chance to get a few more pieces necessary to speed the rebuilding process. Keeping these players and watching them decline will do nothing to get this team out of the cellar and into the winner's circle. It is time to rebuild and that involves acquiring and developing young talent. The M's have tried it with aged, underachieving veterans and the result is this debacle - a $117 million payroll team headed for 117 loses. Is this what you really want?

By the way, I have posted these arguments under a single call name and I am myself an American Indian. While I do not agree with Mr. X in his politics, I do agree with his sentiments concerning the introduction of the race card here in the blog. Certainly I abhor racism and as far as Ichiro is concerned, I look at him first and foremost as a ball player. Aware of his Japanese ethnic origins, I have tried to understand his comments within a cultural and linguistic dimension, however, I think there is more going on than simply cultural and language differences. But I do not charge him with some kind of ethnic inequality or slander him based on race.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

8:41 AM, Aug 18, 2008

PS -

Let me add, I have followed MLB in Seattle since the original franchise - Seattle Pilots - and I like many others struggled through the drought years when the city, county and state fought for the Mariners.

Posted by meagain

8:42 AM, Aug 18, 2008

For purposes of the Ichiro discussion, here's a quote from last summer's AP release on his salary and amenities.

The All-Star outfielder's new contract extension calls for the team to defer $25 million of the $90 million he is owed, money that the team will not have to fully pay until at least 2032.

Suzuki, MVP of last week's All-Star Game, gets a $5 million signing bonus and annual salaries of $17 million from 2008-12 under the terms of last Friday's deal.

Seattle will pay $12 million in salary each year and defer $5 million per season at 5.5 percent interest. Suzuki, who turns 33 in October, will receive the money in annual installments each Jan. 30 starting with the year after his retirement from the major leagues.

Because of the deferred money, the average annual value of the contract is discounted to $16.1 million under the provisions of baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, he gets a housing allowance of $32,000 next year, an increase of $1,000 from this season, and the amount will rise by $1,000 each year. He also will be provided with either a new jeep or Mercedes SUV by the team, which also gives him four first-class round trip tickets from Japan each year for his family. Provisions for the Mariners to give him a personal trainer and an interpreter were continued.

Some of the provisions would make a trade an interesting proposition.

I'm a big Ichiro fan myself. I think his detractors undervalue his four-tool ability and the example he sets, and I think he'll be playing at a high level when Gary Matthews Jr. (to use an example of a 34-year-old mentioned earlier in this thread) has long since hung up his spikes.

I'd want a Grady Sizemore type player in return before considering a trade.

Posted by scottM

8:48 AM, Aug 18, 2008

The M's suck in '08 and all this talk surrounds dumping the team's best players (save Felix).

Rather than trade Beltre and Ichiro who are the least of the M's problems, why not focus on:

1.Signing Ibanez to be our DH for the next two to three years.
2.Trading Washburn for player/s in return.
3. Decide if you go into '09 with:

a. Clement behind the plate
b. Reed and/or Balentien in the outfield
c. LaHair as your full-time first baseman
d. RRS as a starter
e. Morrow as a starter or closer
f. JJ Putz as your closer
g. Yuni as your SS
h. Lopez as your 2nd baseman

The tough answers to those questions will have much more to do with the make-up of the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and who they try to move in the offseason, than talk of trading Ichiro.

Beltre, however, because he is only signed through 2009, may be part of the bigger deal that LP seemed to allude to with Larry Stone.

Posted by ls

9:05 AM, Aug 18, 2008

is ichiro the reason we lost 11-8 today? It seems pretty obvious that this season is such a loss cause that the only people willing to subject themselves to the torturous games, much less comment on a blog about them, are those willing to torch everything in mariners' blues. Ichiro is a fine player and would be desperately coveted by anyone needing a leadoff hitter. Think how bad the cubs would want him.
The truth is the following reasons are not reasons we suck and with better surrounding players, we could play around:
Ichiro singles, raul's defense, bedard's short innings, Beltre...whatever it is Beltre does that warrants his scorning.
These are reasons we do suck:
Lack of production from catcher, firstbase, DH. Yuni situational hitting. Silva and Washburn(save a month or so), Bedard's injury, and Putz injury/less than stellar season.
It seems to me that the front office is at least making some attempts to fix this by showcasing/giving opportunities to younger players who could play Catcher/firstbase/DH. Perhaps they didn't trade Wash for nothing because money isn't an option and they have no qualms about signing a free agent a sending Wash and Silva's expensive butts down to the minors to work things out or become adequate yet pricey long relief. Eating salary in that manner has been done by the Yankees for some years now. Of course, maybe they're stalling I don't really know. I just wish you guys would rationalize some of your disdain for this season and see that beltre, ibanez, and ichiro are not the problem and could fully be on very successful teams provided the postion/role they play isn't already being filled by another solid player.

Posted by ls

9:09 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Reasons we suck:
oh and could i have forgotten batista. Anytime i said wash and silva throw batista in their too.

Posted by Balentienforcer

9:28 AM, Aug 18, 2008


#1 yes - re-sign Raul to a two year deal
#2 No - At this point keep Wash - could trade him before next year's deadline

a - Yes Clement and Burke at C - try your darndest to get something for Joh - or he may just bolt for Japan in the offseason anyway.

b. - Keep Balentien - try to package Reed in a trade deal with someone else

c. - La Hair 1b - yes

d. - RRS - yes

e. - Morrow Closer

f. - JJ - I hate to say it, but trade him

g. & h - Try to move Yuni and/or Lopez.....we could get something in some deal to replace one or both of their positions.......we have Tug....and I used to watch Oswaldo Navarro in Everett....he will be better than Yuni

AND i - See what you could possibly get for Ichiro from an NL team...I think everyone would be surprised.
I think Beltre will stay as well.


Posted by Ryan

10:15 AM, Aug 18, 2008

Whatever Riggleman is smoking, I would like some of it. What has we witnessed in the last 4 months that would tell him that this team is going to turn it around?? Maybe he had a dream. I don't know.

Best quote of the year, hands down!!

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