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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 13, 2008 11:15 PM

Balentien ends monkey business

Posted by Geoff Baker

anah0813 037.jpg

No Rally Monkey was going to catch that Wladimir Balentien blast to center in the 12th inning. The ball clears the fence for a three-run homer, Roy Corcoran completes a third inning of shutout relief and the Mariners win 10-7. Raul Ibanez opened the 12th with a double, his fourth hit of the night.

This one is over. As things stand, the M's should arrive in Minneapolis by 8 a.m. on Thursday.

"We didn't give up, we didn't give in,'' Ibanez said. "We kept fighting back. It was a great win for us and we did it together.''

A good piece of hitting by Balentien, who'd fanned on four prior occasions on the night.

"I had a rough night,'' Balentien said. "But I stayed positive, stayed focused in the game and waited for an opportunity.''

So much to talk about, so little of it truly matters. But give the Mariners credit for staying in this game and fighting back time after time. A true team victory.

"We've been battling and today, we battled back with the intention of winning,'' Ibanez said. "And that made the difference.''

Indeed it did. It's one thing to make a final score look good by tacking on some runs in a onetime blowout. Quite another thing to keep answering the challenge, puch-for-punch. Tonight, as Ibanez said, this team finally played to win. Like a team not afraid of winning. And it was a difference. On August 13 of a season that began on March 31.

Hopefully, next year, it won't take so long.

anah0813 038.jpg

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Posted by quinn711

10:40 PM, Aug 13, 2008

First

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:42 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Roy Corcoran looks to be a bright spot in a very dismal season - he is winning a spot in the 2009 bp while guys like Lowe and Jimenez are playing themselves out of consideration. I guess tonight shows how far Batista has fallen as I thought they would use him some out of the bp.

If this is Raul's last game, he went out in style - he definitely will be missed for his quiet leadership and consistency.

Posted by NB

10:44 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Ichiro, on the other hand, will be widely derided for his quiet leadership and consistent consistency.

Posted by meagain

10:45 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Good to see that "We are the Champions" smirk wiped off Soscia's face in the top of the ninth when F-Rod got the same calls that Sean Green had received earlier. That's all a bad team can ask; the same calls that a better team gets.

And then the unexpected bomb after Corcoran pitched well. Sweet.

Soscia's a great manager, but boy is he smug. Fun to beat, and has a name I can't spell.

Posted by argystokes

10:48 PM, Aug 13, 2008

A monkey, good sir, it not an ape. Behold the power of Pedantry Monkey!

Posted by McDaniel

10:49 PM, Aug 13, 2008

There is no comparison between Raul and Ichiro when it comes to leadership; Ichiro is a SINGLES hitter with NO POWER. And he is a ZERO when it comes to leadership. Wants to play RF when he is clearly more valuble to the team as a CF.

Raul is a POWER hitter and a PROVEN Leader. If this team is able to win 65 games, its because of Raul and Feliix, not because of IDIOT SINGLES hitter Ichiro.

Posted by NB

10:50 PM, Aug 13, 2008

See?

Posted by JohnLA

10:52 PM, Aug 13, 2008

NB - why cant u do some some favor - help us understand Ichiro's leadership qualities.

And GO WLAD !!!!

This thread is not about Ichiro and Raul - u hijacked it with ur earlier comment NB. Now shut up and say GO WLAD !!!

Posted by NB

10:56 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Point proven.

Shutting up and basking in tonight's victory.

Posted by Alfred G. Packer

10:58 PM, Aug 13, 2008

I, too, would like somebody to detail Ichiro's leadership qualities. They have thus far escaped me.

He is, however, a fine singles-hitter. Maybe the best singles hitter in all of baseball.

Posted by Balentienforcer

11:11 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Isn't Baseball Great!

BIG W FAN CLUB

Posted by tomtom

11:15 PM, Aug 13, 2008

The M's will not be able to get enough for Raauuuuuuul to make a trade worthwhile. No-one has a player equal to him and there are too many hoops concerning next year. He is worth about 100 Sexons or 10 Arthurs. Someone would have to throw in about $10M and take the last $2M owed to him, just to get him for the post season playoffs.

It sounds like he wants a multi-year deal where ever he ends up.

Posted by doug

11:17 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Raul is a "proven leader" with what, one, two winning seasons in his career? how many post season runs? so much for his Amazing totally awesome godly leadership. He has lead us to 100 loss seasons and an 88 win season! YAY FOR AWESOME LEADERSHIP

Posted by adammorrisonfan

11:19 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Raul's proven leadership has done exactly what for the mariners the past 4 years? What, exactly would we miss with out his vocal and proven leadership? I'm curious

Posted by Scanman

11:20 PM, Aug 13, 2008

Great post McDaniel, You echo my feelings. Usually though some one chimes in with what a great hitter Ichiro is and yadda yadda yadda. They canít understand that singles hitters will never lead to the promised land.

Posted by Scanman

11:35 PM, Aug 13, 2008


Doug needs to echo his sentiments to include Ichiro in that leadership equation of his.

Posted by necroj

12:34 AM, Aug 14, 2008

McDaniel and Scanman: Ichiro is in the 1 spot. He's doing what he's supposed to do. Have you ever seen BP, or games from Japan when he batted cleanup? The guy can hit them out. I wish he'd do the home run derby to show this.

tomas: Racist piss-ant.

Posted by doug

12:40 AM, Aug 14, 2008

well, u raul lovers always say he is the ULTIMATE leader and teammate. I'll admit, ichiro is probably the worst leader/teammmate baseball has ever seen, but he isnt presented as some sort of leadership GOD that raul is. I just dont see what we would lose with out his AMAZING leadership, its not like he has done anything while here besides lose, and lose in kansas city. Is his leadership overrated by you guys or is leadership and chemistry overrated compared to talent?

Posted by McDaniel

1:05 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Doug - u dont have to wait long for an answer. You will see this team soon without Raul and then u will find out for yourself.

Posted by Dave from here & there

1:18 AM, Aug 14, 2008

If this was Raul's last M's game, he went out with a bang. I hope he has success wherever he is, for he deserves it. On the negatory side, I didn't like seeing King Felix act ing like a spoilt child in the dugout when he'd lost the lead. He's gotta get over stuff like that if he expects to be any kind of superstar. And finally, the M's just wouldn't go away tonite. They battled. This was a good game for them. This game was actually Fun To Watch.

Posted by Mr. X

6:01 AM, Aug 14, 2008

"Have you ever seen BP, or games from Japan when he batted cleanup? The guy can hit them out. I wish he'd do the home run derby to show this."

Me too. LOL!

Posted by Mr. X

6:10 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Good for Wlad to come back after that Adam Jones-like 4 strikeout performance to hit the game winner. The kids have been fun to watch, with the exception of Clement's act behind the plate the last few games.

Posted by jesse

7:12 AM, Aug 14, 2008

The Marners and their fans have to understand a very simple concept. Just because you pay player A 10 mil a year, that doesn't necessarily make him a better ballplayer than the underpaid player B from a low market ballclub. This is basically an over rated, over paid group of ballplayers on the current Mariner team. Plus the FO has over rated the prospects (or should I say Suspects) that have come through the farm system (Jones, Lopez, Clement, Balentine). The result: 110 mil/yr for nothing.

Posted by Ryan

7:20 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Doug,


Your comments about Raul are completely idiotic. He's a much better leader than Ichiro ever is, was, or will be, and I like Ichiro-- just not a good leader.

I wish Raul well, if he leaves. He's a good guy and a class act. I hope they pull him back off of waivers. I'd also like to see him get a shot in the playoffs. It'snot his fault that our front office sucks and hasn't given him the chance to play in the postseason.


Here's a concept!! You win and lose as a team. One player can no lead you to the playoffs. It's done as a team. Get that!! As a team!!!

Posted by RagArm

8:01 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Congratulations Vladie, you wiffed each time I saw you bat then homered while I snoozed in the lazy boy. But you came through in the end and won it for the M's.

This game had bright spots and low lights. For the first time, in a long time, it had a life of its own.

Nice.

Posted by notdoug

8:25 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Take note of doug's post of 10:56 PM, Aug 13, 2008 and tell me that his profanity and sexual innuendo is not vulgar and moronic. It is inappropriate for any blog and this has been a long standing characteristic of doug's posts.

doug is a vulgar moron!

Posted by Ziasudra

9:28 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Any news on signing Josh Fields? It seems we need a closer. . . .
What happens if he doesn't sign? Does he go back into the draft next year?

Posted by Sounders

9:39 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Howie: Chuck, how come The Angels are so much better than us?
Chuckie: Ummm (slurp slurp) Dunno. Maybe, because their organization has enough credibility that they can get good people there?
Howie: I'm gonna go after that monkey with my blowgun

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

9:47 AM, Aug 14, 2008

It sure would be a shame for Scott Boras to hold Fields out until next spring before signing with the M's - given the uncertainty of the M's closer situation re. JJ's health and whether Morrow can be transitioned into a full-time sp, having Fields available at the start of spring training is critical. Who knows how effective he can be after sitting out 3/4 of a year? Next year's lock #1 pick, Strasburg, is reportedly being "advised" by Boras so whoever is lucky enough to have the worst record in MLB will have to deal with Boras.

Posted by CaptainPoopy

9:48 AM, Aug 14, 2008

So what if Raul's a better leader? And what does the difference between a power hitter and singles hitter have anything to do with leading a team?

Team chemistry is vastly overrated. I can't wait until you guys realize this. The M's have been going after the "chemistry" guys for years now and where has that gotten us? I'd rather have 25 guys that hate eachother and win than 25 that love to go pick flowers after a tough and gritty loss.

Posted by M's joke

10:08 AM, Aug 14, 2008

These guys are sad sack.

The entire M's organization is a joke.

Even if you include the 25 p-ssies in that club house, there's not one full set of testicles among the entire organization.

Losers suck and suckers lose. These guys are all a bunch of sucky losers.

Posted by LakersAgain

10:45 AM, Aug 14, 2008

I love the "Ichiro can hit them out in BP like crazy argument." Well what good does that do in games? You can't start a game with a 5-0 lead with BP jacks. These are big leaguers, almost everyone can hit a few out in BP. It doesn't really translate to anything. At this point if Ibanez would accept the role as DH or even 1B I would like to see him stick around. Ichiro on the other hand, he gets paid a huge salary to be a slap hitter. He is not the player that we can build around.

Posted by scottM

11:04 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Nice game last night. Corcoran, especially, was a gamer. I thought the team would tank after JJ gave up the bomb to Texiera. Nice to see some resolve. JJ, however, proved once again that he is a concern as our future closer. Let's hope he finds his "edge" again.


GEOFF, what's the latest on the Washburn and Ibanez dealings?

Posted by Ben

11:21 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Well, according to ESPN - ibanez might be staying in Seattle, which i'm happy about (unless we could get some great prospects for him). But i tend to think that a lot of the Rays great farm system is now in the majors... maybe i'm wrong.

Also - Washburn possibly was going to go to the White Sox, but maybe the Twins blocked it?
http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/features/rumors?&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2ffeatures%2frumors

How does the blocking thing work? If a team puts in a claim for a player, is the block done by a team within that same division with a lesser record? or does it work some other way?

Posted by CaptainPoopy

11:26 AM, Aug 14, 2008

What the M's should do is call the Twins bluff and give Washburn to them. I doubt the Twins would have done that for fear of the M's letting Washburn and his 13M go to them. It would have ruined their payroll. But, then again, they know that the M's are stupid and think Washburn is worth what he's being paid and feel they deserve something in return.

Posted by CheapSeats

11:40 AM, Aug 14, 2008

WB will get shelled in MN.

Posted by angelfan

11:44 AM, Aug 14, 2008

Balentine and clement have had like 1 good at bat as pros and u guys want to crown them. WELL GO AHEAD AND CROWN THOSE SUB .200 HITTERS LOLL

Posted by ken

11:46 AM, Aug 14, 2008

It would be very frustrating if the M's pull Wash back from waivers and end up getting bullied by the Twins of all teams. Let Wash go to Minn. where he will be a $10m/year long-man as Minn. has a good young nucleus of sp. RRS or Feireband could take Wash's spot in the rotation at 1/20th of the salary. Maybe the M's will actually use the $10m in salary savings wisely this offseason although I don't think there is much sp help on the market (CC & Ben Sheets would never even think of coming to this mess).

Posted by Lucifer

12:38 PM, Aug 14, 2008

Several of you have acknowledged the importance of moving Washburn for salary relief, there remains the need to move him for the sake of young aspiring talent. Both these reasons are excellent baseball moves,the M's need to get leaner and younger and moving Washburn's bloated contract is a necessary means to this end.

Another factor is that if Washburn's contract is taken by someone, then there is less pain in absorbing other sunk costs. For example, the hideous contract of el buffalo Silva, Batista, and Johjima are all proving to be sunk costs, which the M's will eventually have to eat just as they did with portions of Sexson's and Vidro's contracts.

So even if the M's get nothing in return for Washburn, it is a good deal to free his payroll costs and move on with an eye for next year. If the Twins are in fact blocking the White Sox from obtaining Washburn, the M's should give him to Minnesota. He will make a "great addition" to their payroll, thereby weakening a rival. Call the Twins' bluff and release Washburn to them.

Perhaps once Washburn is no longer available, pitching desperate contenders will look at lesser lights for answers to their problems. Anyone for waivers on el buffalo? With Washburn gone, maybe their will be some takers for this "in your face" buffalo chip.


Posted by The Ancient Mariner

12:46 PM, Aug 14, 2008

With Lowell down, might the Red Sox be interested in a waiver wire for Beltre? Beltre's defense is great, however, his inability to hit with men on base and .250 average just don't cut it. After this season, he will be in his contract year, why not move him for some aspiring prospects. It looks like he could make it through the waiver wire to Boston and certainly as the worse team in the AL, the M's could claim whatever prospects might come their way in return.

Anyone for talks with the Red Sox? Get on it Lee.

Posted by doug

12:57 PM, Aug 14, 2008

what i hate about beltre (i do like his D, some times.) is the fact we pay him to hit .340 and drive in 140 and he will hit .225 by years and end and mb drive in 70? he is being paid a-rod money for that season in LA, worst bust than sexton!!!

Posted by notdoug

1:09 PM, Aug 14, 2008

In this post, I agree with you doug. When it comes to Beltre, you are exactly right and thank you for putting it in polite terms.

Recent entries

Aug 14, 08 - 03:26 PM
Ibanez, Washburn staying put

Aug 14, 08 - 12:42 PM
Ibanez likely to stay

Aug 13, 08 - 11:15 PM
Balentien ends monkey business

Aug 13, 08 - 09:57 PM
Picture tells it all

Aug 13, 08 - 08:27 PM
Mariners at Los Angeles Angels: 08/13 game thread

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