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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 19, 2008 4:52 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-19

Posted by Larry Stone

UPDATE 6:53: That was a very rough outing for King Felix. He didn't strike out anyone in five innings (11 hits, five runs, three walks). He's only had one other career start with no strikeouts -- and that was the one last year against the Twins, his third start of the year, in which he exited after one-third of an inning with elbow problems. We'll need to find out after the game what's going on. He got hit in the foot by a hard line drive off the bat of Juan Uribe in the fourth, but he was struggling long before that.

(Sorry, internet troubles. I've been trying to post this for half an hour).

I've got to think covering the White Sox is pretty fun. You've got a good, exciting team to watch, and you get to deal with Ozzie Guillen every day. I've sat in on his pre-game sessions the last two days. What a kick. He really does love to talk, he's colorful, he says outrageous things. Everything that reporters love. I asked him yesterday whether Joey Cora was ready to manage. He went into a long, tongue-in-cheek schtick about he'd love to get him out of here, before getting serious and telling how ready he thinks Cora is to manage.

I said, "I'd bet you'd hate to lose him."

"Are you kidding?'' he replied. "I don't want to lose Carlos Quentin. Bleep Joey. He can be replaced by any bleeping body. Sitting next to me on the bench and talking bleep? That's what he does. I don't want to lose Carlos Quentin or JD (Jermaine Dye) or any of those guys. Joey? Anyone can do that bleep."

He was kidding, of course, and it was pretty bleeping funny. Maybe you had to be there."

BTW, I talked to Joey today about the Mariners' managerial job. He was very even-handed, because the job technically isn't open and he doesn't want to be disrespectful to Jim Riggleman, who is a friend. But I get the feeling that he wants it very badly. I'd be very surprised if Cora isn't at least a finalist if and when the job does open up. He has strong credentials as Guillen's \coach for five years (third-base coach 2004-06, bench coach 2007 and 2008) -- including a World Series ring, and another possible playoff run this year -- and he has those strong Mariner ties. Plus he's managed three years in the minors, and one year in the Venezuelan winter leagues. Cora has already interviewed for openings in Pittsburgh and Washington, and is starting to get traction as one of the prime names on the "manager in waiting" list. It's hard to speculate on the next manager

Lineups

Mariners

Ichiro RF
Miguel Cairo 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jose Lopez 2B
Wladimir Balentien CF
Kenji Johjima DH
Jamie Burke C
Yuniesky Betancourt SS

Felix Hernandez P

White Sox

Orlando Cabrera SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Carlos Quentin LF
Jermaine Dye RF
Jim Thome DH
Alexei Ramirez 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. CF
Nick Swisher 1B
Juan Uribe 3B

Clayton Richard P

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Posted by 11Records

5:36 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Geoff, or Larry, or any serious stat geeks out there...

Not to drop some research on you, but...

One thing I've noticed is that even in games in which the M's get a bunch of hits, and even when they put up numbers early, they still don't knock pitchers out of games. In fact, guys often recover after a couple of bad innings and still end up getting though 6 or 7 innings.

The question is this - is there somewhere to look up how many pitches a team has collectively seen and thrown in a season?

I'd guess that right now the M's have thrown around 1500 - 2000 more pitches than they have seen. Because the lineup is full of epically impatient hitters like Yuni, J-Lo, and even Ichiro.

Anyway else who knows where to find this info, feel free to chime in... I definitely feel this is one of the reasons for the team's failure this year.

Posted by fire_chuck_howie

5:40 PM, Aug 19, 2008

So the front office is still determined NOT to find out if Ibanez can play DH. Also, what is the point of playing Cairo?

Posted by Faceplant

5:45 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"One thing I've noticed is that even in games in which the M's get a bunch of hits, and even when they put up numbers early, they still don't knock pitchers out of games."

Mariners team SLG: .389

That's what happens when you have a team full of hackers who have to string together three hits just to scratch out a run.

Posted by Bill

5:53 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Why is LaHair not playing?

Posted by Adam

5:58 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Why is LaHair not playing?


Didn't you know the Mariner Rule?


Young players MUST platoon.

Posted by Sounders

6:02 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Beltre at cleanup again.

He gets his RBI's, HR's and even most of his hits against bogus pitchers when they're already down 10-1 or when they're up 10-1.

Booooooo

Posted by Faceplant

6:03 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"Young players MUST platoon."

Well in Brian Lahair's case, that's probably not a bad idea.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

6:03 PM, Aug 19, 2008

As long as as Cairo is platooned and Balentien (who outgrew CF 3 years ago) keeps playing center we will be primed for Stephen Strasburg.

Re: Ichiro

I have seen five extra base hits in right-center field in the past 2 games, Ichiro no way near them. So the next time somebody states Ichiro covers right field like a center fielder call them a liar.

Posted by crapper

6:04 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Luis Sojo for manager!

Posted by The Mariners FO.

6:06 PM, Aug 19, 2008


I guess they missed my line up posting, so once again riggs, here it is.
The season is shot so please humor me with my fantasy lineup:
1. Hullett, SS
2. Reed, CF
3. Ichiro, RF
4. Ibanez, DH
5. Lopez, 2nd
6. Balentine,LF
7. Clement, C
8. Lahair, 1st
9. Beltre, 3rd

Posted by Mad Fan

6:07 PM, Aug 19, 2008

I am sorry Geoff you have to watch this crap when there is a real baseball game going on across town!

I know I would rather drink gasoline and piss in a campfire than watch this steaming pile of crap of a baseball team!

Why Oh Why do I torture myself!

Posted by DC

6:08 PM, Aug 19, 2008

..find out if Ibanez can play DH?
Why is LaHair not playing?

We know Ibanez can DH. Since he can play LF and bat, it's likely he can bat without playing in the field. Plus, he's done it plenty before (see 2001, 2005).

LaHair? Not to be mean, but ask yourself, "Does Brian LaHair play 1st base on a playoff team?" My answer is no.

What we need to see is if Clement can play 1st. Then play Rob Johnson behind the plate. Johjima's contract is unfortunately untradeable and the M's can't have Clement, Joh, and Johnson around next year unless Clement moves.


Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:09 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Beltre's hits come when nothing is on the line.

Beltre = Jonah - Through the empty headed stats our and get rid of him.

Posted by Faceplant

6:10 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"So the next time somebody states Ichiro covers right field like a center fielder call them a liar."

And next time Resin criticizes the only good defensive outfielder currently in the lineup, and ignores the fact that Balentien is a terrible CF, and Ibanez covers less ground than Mary-Kate Olsen's shadow...

Call him an idiot.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:19 PM, Aug 19, 2008

With Ibanez leaving, maybe there is nobody on this team worth keeping and building around.

Posted by Scanman

6:20 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Anyone heard of this latest Cy Young we are facing?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

6:23 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Faceplant,

You expectedly misunderstood my post. Like all Ichibots you went into attack mode with out comprehending what was written. In no way or manner did I state Ichiro sucks defensively or is the worst on the team.

Stick with the Beltre is unlucky ramblings and don't quit your day job.

Posted by ethan

6:40 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Clayton Richard??? just 0-2 ...8.44 ERA coming into this game.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

6:41 PM, Aug 19, 2008

LaHair? Not to be mean, but ask yourself, "Does Brian LaHair play 1st base on a playoff team?" My answer is no. What we need to see is if Clement can play 1st

That's a double standard. LaHair and Clement are both essentially rookies. To say one doesn't belong is rather Dave Cameron of you, DC.

Cameron criticized the M's for calling up LaHair saying " LaHairís not good, and his major league future is probably as a reserve at best."

I would allow at the very least both players to play all the time not in platoons.

I also read a Yahoo article stating the M's are quite impressed with LaHair. His play so far appears to contradict what some blogger LaHair being a reserve at best. Also, small samples have no bearing on scouting. Watching LaHair play 20 games is enough for me to start him opening day. Watching Clement this year, he's my opening day starter next year also.

Posted by Faceplant

6:42 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"You expectedly misunderstood my post. Like all Ichibots you went into attack mode with out comprehending what was written. In no way or manner did I state Ichiro sucks defensively or is the worst on the team."

Yet you singled out him for criticism. You aren't even good at lying about your biases.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

6:45 PM, Aug 19, 2008

RISP - It must be time for the Jonah.

Posted by Albatross

6:48 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Hey that grounder was hit hard right to the third baseman, gee Beltre is unlucky.

Posted by Charlie don't surf

6:50 PM, Aug 19, 2008

the Cora thing makes sense. Lincoln and Armstrong have a boner for anything 1995

Posted by Faceplant

6:53 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"In no way or manner did I state Ichiro sucks defensively or is the worst on the team."

In no way did I accuse you of doing so. Looks like you need to work on your reading comprehension.

I was simply pointing out how you have a tendency to direct your criticisms toward the best defensive outfielder on the team, while not mentioning anything about anyone else.

You'd rather criticize Ichiro, then point out how stupid Riggleman is for playing Balentien at a position he clearly can't play.


"That's a double standard. LaHair and Clement are both essentially rookies. To say one doesn't belong is rather Dave Cameron of you, DC"

And if you think that we are dumb enough to think that all rookies are created equal (as if all rookies have exactly the same amount of talent), then you better think twice.

Yes, Clement and Bryan Lahair do qualify as "rookies" as it relates to their service time. Of course that means absolutely nothing.

Bryan Lahair isn't much of a prospect. Jeff Clement is. That's the difference.


"Watching LaHair play 20 games is enough for me to start him opening day."

And that's why I thank god everyday that you don't work in baseball.

Posted by Plantface

6:58 PM, Aug 19, 2008

For obvious reasons "Faceplant" always makes me think "buttwipe." Clearly he is anal retentive.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:00 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Resin @ 6:41

Dave Cameron is sure he knows more about baseball then baseball knows about baseball. I wonder why he is wasting his time taking wedding pictures?

Ichibots

Posted by WSUx3

7:02 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Ichiro is a fucking liability, he is declining and plays slop in the field now. Balentine doesnt suck in CF, he is a naturaly gifted defender as he is dominican.

Posted by downonstrikes

7:05 PM, Aug 19, 2008

The King is dead. Long live the King!

five zip

Posted by Anything Can Happen

7:07 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Warning: a foolish post follows:

So now that Felix (may he pitch forever) has completed 4 1/3 innings of work, perhaps we ought to compare his stats (those available at this point) with Washburn's last night:

Felix: 4 1/3 IP 88 pitches (56 strikes, 32 balls); 5 ER on 11 hits, 2 BB, and 0 Ks.

Wash: 4 1/3 IP 79 pitches (43 strikes, 36 balls); 8 ER on 7 hits, 2 BB, and 0 Ks.

So, does Felix simply not have his good stuff tonight? Should we then say the same about Washburn last night?

Several posters yesterday suggested that Washburn gets criticized because he's paid $10 million/year. If Felix were paid $10 million/year, would he then get the same criticism? If he were 33 years old?

Yes, I'm a Felix fan, and not a Washburn fan. And yes, I am somewhat defending Geoff here because I think he does a good job of challenging some of the platitudes spouted here. That's called contrarian thinking--let's consider the flip side of the argument (and play "devil's advocate" on occasion) and see if we can actually learn something.

And here's where the knee-jerk reaction of so many posts yesterday revealed incredibly short or selective memories. Just a few days ago, Geoff suggested that Felix, despite some rough innings lately, had shown some progress this year (an assessment which drew some criticism). And I think Felix has demonstrated that again tonight. Despite giving up more hits and throwing more pitches through 4 1/3 innings than Washburn--and allowing three consecutive hits to open the 4th inning, Felix regained his composure and got three straight outs to strand runners on 2nd and 3rd.

This brings me to my final foolish observation. It seems that a number of us favor youth because guys like Balentien, Clement, and, yes, Felix, have "potential." I fully agree that Clement, Balentien, Johnson, LaHair and others should be getting an extended look this year.

But meanwhile we diss guys like Burke and Willie who, I dare say, continue to outperform their respective utility-infielder and backup-catcher peers around the league.

It would be quite refreshing if, for a change, some of us could set aside our visceral dislikes of certain players and engage in a bit more honest and fair critique. Perhaps then the FO might actually find something useful in our assessments. After all, I suspect that as human beings, they are susceptible to cogent arguments too.

Posted by RagArm

7:14 PM, Aug 19, 2008

What kind of lineup is this for tonight's game? Really. Look it over and see if you can honestly keep a straight face.

Poor Felix has had what, 6 no decisions recently? Or is it 5. Good performances have earned him this lineup tonight. If I were Felix, I'd look at my DH (Kenji) and number two hitter (Cairo), notice my catcher is the number 3 backup, and go into an immediate funk and be affected mentally.

Why oh why does this continue?

The CBS MLB website said this about Felix:
"Had Hernandez been pitching for a contender, he would already have double-digit wins and be among the top AL Cy Young candidates."

And what does he get when he starts for the M's? A lineup full of rejects, third stringers, and middle fielders who don't give a damn.

Can anybody really defend management on what's going on? Unless you are one of em.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:14 PM, Aug 19, 2008

i>

I was simply pointing out how you have a tendency to direct your criticisms toward the best defensive outfielder on the team, while not mentioning anything about anyone else.


Faceplanted- thanks for being the hall monitor and pointing out I only criticize Ichiro and nobody else. Rest assured everyone can sleep better tonight. On behalf of the blog we thank you.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

7:15 PM, Aug 19, 2008

I think Joey Cora would make a great manager for this team with all the Latino players on it. One thing that can be counted on is that he wouldn't tolerate the lack of focus we see from several guys on the present team incl. Yuni, Lopez, Felix. Joey always played the game hard and got the most out of his talent and he would bring that sorely needed presence here.

It may take a couple of years to weed out the garbage with multi-year deals - Joh, Silva esp. but I think we would see some immediate improvement beginning next season with Cora. Riggleman was handed an impossible job with the present group of losers.

Posted by Albatross

7:24 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Lucky hit, Jonah, was it a line drive? Hope someone got the stats right on that one.

Posted by George Orwell

7:27 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Drat, the Nats lost, can we ever gain ground on them? Worst is best, last is first. There is no substitute for finishing second worst.

Posted by Faceplant

7:34 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"Faceplanted- thanks for being the hall monitor and pointing out I only criticize Ichiro and nobody else. Rest assured everyone can sleep better tonight. On behalf of the blog we thank you."

And you still can't respond to the actual point I was making. Thanks for highlighting your ridiciulously irrational biases.

Posted by doug

7:35 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Lahair is clearly better than clement and how many at bats do u need? he is hitting for average and with authority. Clement is doing neither and frankly, is the worst C i have witnessed. Our best catcher is our 3rd string young guy no one has heard of from OSU.

Posted by 11Records

7:53 PM, Aug 19, 2008

the discourse here has really gone downhill. So, I'll stoop to that level by saying:

doug - would you actually wager that 5 or 6 years from now LaHair will have better major league numbers than Clement?? Because I think odds are you're insane.

Hey - I'd love for LaHair to become a productive hitter. But, I wouldn't count on it. With Clement, he's just adjusting to ML pitching. Plus, he's getting no respect from the umpires yet. When they stop calling all the borderline pitches strikes he'll really show something.

Posted by Faceplant

7:57 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Something really needs to be done about controlling the content. This blog really has gone downhill. It's gotten overrun by trolls, and losers.

Posted by Faceplant

8:07 PM, Aug 19, 2008

"Buttplant - boo hoo hoo, whine, we need control, boo hoo hoo."

Example number 783.

I'm convinced people seriously have to work hard to reach this level of loser.

Posted by whatever

8:19 PM, Aug 19, 2008

King Felix ?

That's a pretty ridiclious statement. Maybe the hype of two years ago, but he has not progressed.

Posted by mr. mariner

8:20 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Most of the players are now just putting in a token effort. Some, like Erika Boo Boo Bedard, are not even doing that. I hope Riggles is enjoying his managerial stint now because he is gone at the end of the year.

Posted by Whenever

8:26 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Interesting observation "Whatever," career wise Felix is only 37 and 33, which is pretty much mediocre or middling as it goes. But he has a 3.72 career era, so perhaps he is just unlucky. In this case, he's unlucky playing for the Mariners. How long do you think it will take him to figure this out? There is no way Felix will resign with the M's, he has more sense than that. Forget about building around Felix, King or not, he is already gone.

Posted by bob

8:36 PM, Aug 19, 2008

I am glad to see that Jeremy Reed, Bryan Lahair and Jeff Clement are getting playing time. They have been the most consistent hitters in the last week and half with Raul.

But instead of playing them against Perkins, Buehrle, and Richard all left handers, we got
Jeremy Reed 1 at bat in three days
Jeff Clement 1 start and 1 pinch hit
Bryan Lahair 1 start

Each receive pinch hitters or defensive replacements when left handed pitchers come in.

This team continues to value veterans and devalue young talent. And BS with the confidence issue with left handed pitching. If you are going to see if they can play, it needs to be against all pitchers.

Posted by northamericanscum

8:42 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Oh my God. If Little Joey Cora becomes the next Mariner manager........................boo hoo.........boo.............hoo......

This is just a typical front office ploy to get people in the ballpark. People who still live and die for the 1995 season would be the only ones excited about this. Tell me I'm not way off base.

As far as the players go, man they have a lot of work to do. How many new players will be on the roster next year. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen?

I can't think of more than ten that would be worth a crap.

I really hope they don't hire a manager before a GM.

Good lord, I hope they blow up the front office too. Armstrong, Peledorkus, Howie Linc and all those fools need to go. Do any of them deserve to keep their jobs?

Posted by drake

10:31 PM, Aug 19, 2008

Most posters are here are putting in a token effort at best. Lucky it's not a job for them, or they'd be let go like Riggleman at the end of the year.

Recent entries

Aug 20, 08 - 08:45 AM
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Aug 19, 08 - 08:44 PM
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Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-19

Aug 19, 08 - 04:08 PM
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Aug 19, 08 - 09:08 AM
Nah, on second thought

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