It’s hard to sit with a cup of coffee, maybe a cookie and find time to write a new entry when your life is chaotic. I won’t bore you with my latest antics but we’ll leave it at this; my life has been crazy.
Even that sounds like an understatement.
Over here in the
rainy beautiful Emerald City, more specifically at 1st Ave and Edgar Martinez Dr, lots have been happening. The Mariners organization has been busy. Busy dealing with arbitrations, busy signing new and old players, busy inviting players to Spring Training, busy having photo shoots with new players, busy mourning the departure of Branyan and Johjima….
….ok the last one is just me.
Like I said on my Twitter, I have waited too long to update my blog that I have no idea where to start. I’m going to machine-gun my way through some Mariners updates but please note that they are in no particular order.
1. Felix Hernandez is staying! For FIVE more years! I expected 2 or 3, but 5? I’m beyond ecstatic and I’m sure a lot of other Mariners fans are too. The exact number for Felix’s raise is not disclosed, but I’m guessing it’ll be a chunky amount compared to his 3.8 million salary last season! When you’re a Cy Younger runner-up, you deserve it.
Wow, I’m pretty confident when I say we have the most vicious 1-2 punch for our starting rotation in the entire Major Leagues. Sorry Angels, we’ll be dethroning you this season.
2. Mariners closer David Aardsma and relief pitcher Derek Lowe signed a one-year extension and both a raise in their salaries. They certainly both deserved the raise after their outstanding (especially Aardsma) performances in the ’09 season. Aardsma was 38 for 42 save opportunities, and Lowe was one of the only consistently dependable RPs for us last season.
3. Say hello to our new 1st baseman Casey Kotchman from the Red Sox. Please don’t ask me how I feel about this or I’ll start crying. I would like to ask our GM one question; why wasn’t Branyan a good candidate? Sure, he was injured but he did his job as the team slugger hitting 31 HRs and manned 1st base extremely well. Ok fine, I guess the M’s offered him a 1 year deal and he rejected it. Let me pout for a few seconds.
Ok I’m done. As a faithful Mariners fan, I should welcome Casey Kotchman with a smiling face and open arms. Casey, I wish you success in our amazing team but please don’t do anything that’ll make me regret the smiling face and open arms. Mmmkay?
Russell, I will miss you dearly and I wish you the best. I highly doubt that anyone in our lineup (so far) is going to blast 31 homeruns like you did last season. What are we going to do without a slugger like you? Eeep!
4. The Mariners welcome Brandon League as a result of a trade with Brandon Morrow. I don’t have much to say about this trade because it kind of feels like an even exchange. Both their ERA’s are kind of high, both had an unstable season. I do like his glasses though.
There you go, a quick update of what the
2010 AL West Champions Mariners have been up to. :] I can’t believe Spring Training is right around the corner; it feels like it’s been ages since I’ve watched baseball. Now that I’m back in the Pacific Northwest, I plan on going to a ridiculous amount of Mariners game this season. Besides, I have my game shirt ready and everything:
It was a gift from Santa! ♥
How dare I get numb to the notion of a cold, baseball-less season?
I have such amazing news about the Mariners….
….which I’m sure everybody and their brothers know about already but what the hey.
No exciting build-ups, no beating around the bush….
MARINERS SIGNED CLIFF LEE!
Can I just say, WOW? I knew we had plenty of money this off-season to acquire some great players but Cliff Lee? I’m almost overwhelmed by the news. Lee rocked the World Series beating the Yankees not only once, but twice, and not only that, but Lee has a 5-1 3.49 ERA at Safeco Field! This Cy Young winning southpaw with a Cy Young contender (Felix, of course), both backed up by one of the league’s best defense, we are going to have a vicious starting rotation.
Watch out AL West, we’re gonna take all of you down.
Oh and to put the cherry on top of this wonderful Mariners sundae, we acquired Chone Figgins (he’ll be sporting a No.9 jersey) last week from the Angels. He is the guy I always get nervous about when we play the Angels…gosh, not having to worry about him is going to be awesome. Figgins signed a four year, $36 million deal with a vesting option for 2014. Figgins was a third baseman for the Angels which brings up the question as to where he’ll be defending next season if Beltre chooses to stay. Personally, I think he would own second base but I would hate to have to see Lopez benched for that. As far as I’m concerned, the only spot available right now is left field and with his third baseman arm, I figure he would excel. With his above-average batting and last year’s career high runs and doubles, I have no doubt he’ll be sending Ichiro home more often than not.
Our starting lineup will consist of Ichiro batting first (duh), Figgins, Lopez/Gutierrez, Branyan (still crossing my fingers for that one)….
…and of course our deathly pitching rotation.
Fellow Mariners fans, my baseball itch is worsening as we speak! The 2010 season is going to be…enthralling, captivating, engrossing, and riveting; I can hardly wait!
Now for all non-Mariners fans, you should probably be afraid.
Very much afraid.
I end with an evil laugh.
Everyday I think, ‘I must blog today!’…but of course don’t due to the fact that I’m working late or hanging out with friends or watching TV….pretty much everything but.
However, with an eggnog latte in one hand, I’ve finally sat my butt down tonight to update everyone on what’s going on here in the already rainy Emerald City.
Seriously though, my eggnog latte consumption these past few weeks have been beyond ridiculous.
You’re welcome, Starbucks!
Back to the point. Points, actually. 5 of them.
1. Ichiro receives his 9th Gold Glove Award. He’s 1 Gold Glove Award away from tying the franchise record which is held by Ken Griffey Jr with 10 Gold Gloves. Not to toot my own Mariners horn but am I surprised about this? Not really. Toot toot! Congratulations anyway, Ichiro! This just adds to how amazing you are!
2. Branyan declines a one year offer from the Mariners. Personally, I’m actually pretty depressed about this. If you’ve read my previous entries, you know I am a huge fan of Russell. I’m crossing my fingers no other team offers him a 2+ year deal or else he’s leaving the Mariners! Am I truly this selfish? Yes I am. Sorry, Russell.
3. Griffey returns for one more year. As a Mariners fan, I am ecstatic that he’s returning for the 2010 season. As a practical baseball fan, I feel like maybe it’s a gamble. Terms of the deal wasn’t disclosed but could the salary have been used more wisely towards someone else? Maybe. Please though, don’t get me wrong. I think Jr truly brings the team together and has a great impact on the organization; I do ♥ him!
4. Ichiro receives his third Silver Slugger Award. Just like his 200+ hits, it seems like the awards keep coming too! For those that are not familiar, this award goes to the best offensive players voted on by MLB managers and coaches. Again, am I surprised? Well, if I’m talking about how I’m surprised he doesn’t have more than three, then yes, I’m surprised. Really? He only has 3? Hmm.
5. Jack Wilson signs a two-year deal with the Mariners. Woohoo! I’m very excited about this although I knew the Mariners didn’t acquire him just for the last few months of the ’09 season. Matt, aren’t you excited? You can keep wearing your M’s jacket around with pride :] What I was unaware of was that Wilson had won the Fielding Bible Award as best fielding shortstop this past season. I’m definitely not surprised but I feel horrible as a self-proclaimed baseball fanatic that I didn’t know about this “Fielding Bible Award“. Is that bad?
Well, I’m beyond pleased with the progress the Mariners are making already and definitely excited for some more to come!
I don’t think I congratulated the Yankees for winning the World Series this year. I know, really belated but congratulations anyway! Congratulations to the Phillies too, Both teams made the WS so fun to watch ♥
Does someone have any advice or an anti-itch product for my baseball itch? :]
For godssake, baseball season ended like five seconds ago and I’m already having withdrawals. Perhaps there are therapists out there for off-season baseball withdrawals? Maybe that’s my calling; getting a PhD specializing in Off-Season Baseball Withdrawal Therapy. Sounds amazing already.
I don’t watch football (more like I don’t understand football) so I suppose I’ll have to settle for the NBA. I generally only watch the 4th quarter of an NBA game but I suppose I really should start supporting my boys. Much love to the Portland Blazers ♥
I hope all you Yankees fans are still enjoying the delicious after-taste of the WS Championship and for all other fans, I hope your teams are conjuring up something good for 2010. I’ll be back soon for more Post Season M’s updates!
I’m slowly adjusting back into the working girl life (thank you for the wishes, I got the job!) in the best coast…I mean, west coast, while I, together with my Grandpa, sulk that baseball season is practically over.
For Mariners fans anyway.
Now call me cheesy but I got teary-eyed watching the final game of the Mariners season. The boys won 4-3 against the Texas Rangers and so much happened in the game. Not one player gets honorable mention because practically everyone did. Felix got his 19th win this season while he vies for the Cy Young, David Aardsma closed the game, Ichiro had a hit and a run, Griffey had a hit, Guttierrez scored some runs, Lopez scored the winning run, Batista had a perfect 8th inning and Wakamatsu led the team for their 85th win of the season.
I cannot believe the Mariners had such a great rebound year after last year’s 101 game loss. With Bavasi gone, that should have been a good sign anyway, but when the new GM chose Wakamatsu, there were definitely some speculation as to how he was going to perform as the new skipper for a disconnected 40-man-40-cab team after the 2008 season. I hate to say it but the 2008 Mariners were plain sad to watch. No player chemistry or respect, no smiles or hugs….and of course barely any wins. I am a Mariners fan through thick and thin but no season was as tough as the ’08 season.
Hiring Jack Zduriencik (GM) and Don Wakamatsu was truly the best change the organization could have made.
Now only if they would hire me as the assistant coach, right? :]
Actually, I’ve always wanted to organize a dance team for the Mariners. I admit, one of the many things I like about baseball is that there are no cheerleaders or dancers dressed in close-to-nothing making provocative moves. However, as a former dancer (jazz/hip hop) and a Mariners fanatic, I would have so much fun making up a dance team for the M’s! It would consist of dancers of all ages, we’d wear Mariners jerseys and have dance moves that everyone in the stadium can learn! Oh I wish ♥
As the Yankees and Phillies compete for the World Series Championship, I truly wish the best for both teams! I’m going to have to jump on the Phillies band-wagon though, because I’m assuming the Yankees have enough intense supporters and I think the Phillies can use some DG oomph ♥ Good luck to both teams, though!
Also, I’d like to say a special farewell to my favorite catcher, Kenji Johjima. The news came as a surprise when the fans were informed that he was breaking his 3 year contract to return to Japan. In a nutshell, there was some controversey with the reason of breaking the contract. Joh had told the Mariners he was leaving due to the fact that he wasn’t close to his family. However, Joh told the Japanese media that he was leaving because he wasn’t going to get any playing time next year with Johnson taking most of the spot-light this season. Joh had told them he wanted to be their main catcher, not their back-up. According to a Japanese article I read, you can’t opt out of a contract just because you aren’t satisfied with your position or playing time; yet you can opt out if it’s for a family issue. Apparently Mariners management are not happy with Johjima and his communication discrepancy between the Japanese media and the U.S media. Ah well. As a fan, none of that matters. I just have to say I’ll miss him and wish him the best back home in Japan. I’m sure he’ll continue to play amazing baseball.
But jeez, now I have to buy a new Mariners t-shirt. I’m starting to accumulate ex-Mariners t-shirts in my bottom drawer. It’s kind of a dilemma for a Mariners fan to choose whose t-shirt they should buy without it becoming unwearable after a season. I’m guessing I’m good to go for a few years if I buy an Ichiro t-shirt.
As far as next season….
……will the Mariners go for 85+ wins next season? Is Griffey returning for perhaps one more season? Is Johnson’s hip surgery going to affect his performance next season? Is Moore going to be a sufficient enough catcher to fill the shoes of a departing Johjima? Will Ichiro keep breaking his own record and go for 10 years in a row to hit 200+ hits? Will Felix get 20 wins? Will Aardsma have 45+ saves once again? Is Beltre coming back to man third base? Which J.Wilson (Jack or Josh) will rise above during the off-season to dominate as SS? Will Gutierrez continue to build on his successful season? Is Branyan signing with the Mariners and will he lead in HRs again despite his back? Will Zduriencik and Wakamatsu find an efficient third-base coach?
As you can see, fans and I have a lot of questions. Yet, all I want to do now is sit back and reminisce on the fantastic season the Mariners have given us this season.
Thank you boys for giving me a reason to be passionate!
Rest up though, because spring training will be here before you know it ♥
Let this be the first “real” entry I’ve written since…oh, a month ago? Either way, too long ago! Not only do I finally feel settled back in the Pacific Northwest, but I even have internet! I haven’t been up to much, just working from home and waiting for a response from the interview I had last week (crossing my fingers!). No offense to any Michiganians but I am truly glad to be back here where I’m surrounded by friends and family and am extremely excited to see how my life pans out from here on!
First of all, congratulations to all the teams (and their dedicated bloggers) that are competing in post-season! I only wish I could say the same for my boys but it’s alright because this season has been such a huge turn-around for them; who would have thought we would go from 101 losses to 85 wins? I definitely didn’t! I believed in baby steps but apparently the Mariners are making much bigger steps than that!
Now speaking of making big steps into a successful season, I’d like to present to you the 2010 Mariners lineup DG style.
Skipper: Don Wakamatsu – No brainer here; as a first-time Major League skipper, he invented the “belief system” for the then-40-man-40-cab team of 101 losses in the ’08 season and with the help of Griffey Jr and Sweeney‘s amiable nature, Wakamatsu (aka Wak) made a family out of the team. ..and not to mention a winning season with 85 victories.
1st Base: Russell Branyan. Yes, this poses a couple problems. 1, he has been out of the active roster for the past month and a half with a herniated disk in his back. Apparently his back had been an issue for almost the whole season despite leading the team with 31 homeruns (none of the Mariners caught up to that even after he was placed on the DL) and setting career highs in RBIs and doubles…but that’s probably because Wak gave him a chance to play (also a career high) 116 games. Of course the other problem is his number of strike outs. 149 of them this season but perhaps it comes with swinging for the fences? Oh and another thing…Branyan was a gamble for the Mariners and only signed him for a year. Now he’s a free agent and although he’s expressed his intentions of returning, I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
2nd Base: Jose Lopez. Another no brainer, especially after this season where Lopez reached his career high in doubles (42), homeruns (25) and RBIs (96). He’s even nominated for the Heart and Hustle Award after his performance and improvement this season. With this years’ stats, he was one of the most productive AL second baseman.
Shortstop: This one is a complete tossup. Do I want solid defense and poor quality offense, or do I want mediocre defense in such a crucial position and a matching level of offense? I’m talking about Jack Wilson (mid-season addition from the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Josh Wilson (also a mid-season addition but from the San Diego Padres). Jack Wilson’s defense is stunning but it seemed as though he was having a hard time maintaining the same average from his Pirates days. As far as Josh Wilson, his defense is not as great as Jack’s yet his batting average is a lot better. I’ve talked to a lot of Mariners fans and interestingly they all fall 50/50. Who will climb to the top and take on the daily role of SS in ’10? Only the off-season improvements will tell.
3rd Base: This will largely depend on Beltre‘s return to the team or the lack thereof. Beltre is a management and fan favorite at third base which mean if he returns, he’ll be back manning the territory. However, the base is empty if he chooses to leave. Who would be able to fill Beltre’s shoes as far as defense goes? Jack Hannahan has played third base while Beltre was on the DL and did a phenomenal job, yet his batting average of .213 is not all too impressive. Perhaps Bill Hall, one of our newest members of the family from the Brewers can attempt to take on the role. However it’s the same issue as Hannahan; batting average issues.
Right Field: I’ve got 3 syllables for you and no explanation; I-CHI-RO.
Center Field: Franklin Gutierrez. Wow what a great idea to acquire Gutierrez from the Cleveland Indians! Not only can he play center field seamlessly, but this man can hit! He’s played very well batting after Ichiro with an average of .283 and 70 RBIs which are both career highs.
Left field: Oh boy, what a tough one. The most interchanged position of the season. We’ve had Bill Hall, Ryan Langerhans, Mike Saunders. We’ve already discussed Hall so onto Langerhans hailing from the Washington Nationals. He had a couple walk-offs which was memorable, but two walk-offs and a .218 average isn’t going to get you a permanent spot on the daily lineup. Now Mike Saunders seems like another management favorite although his batting average is .221; sure a little better than Langerhans but he did play more games than he did. Actually, I’m going to go on a limb and say Saunders. This is because my Grandpa loves Saunders and thinks he’ll succeed. But mostly because I love my Grandpa.
Catcher: Putting aside my bias for favorites, I’m going to call up Rob Johnson as next season’s daily catcher. He was Felix’s personal catcher all season and obviously he was successful. His offense struggles but are there many catchers with great batting averages with the exception of Joe Mauer? Johnson is such a fan favorite and I think I’m alright with Kenji Johjima being back-up. At the end of the season, we were introduced to Adam Moore. I can’t judge much considering he played only a handful innings but as far as watching him bat, I’m not too optimistic. Perhaps he’ll be back next season and prove me wrong.
Well there we go, If I were the GM, I would have it this way. A team mostly full of newbies but just enough veterans to keep them together. After this successful season, I can’t imagine them doing anything but get better, and it’s never been more exciting!
Now that I’m done moving out of my apartment for the most part (I’m living with my boyfriend till this weekend when I really leave Michigan for good), and Ichiro has reached his 200+ hit and all that the Mariners are doing now are playing the spoiler role (really well, if I say so myself), there’s so much wiggle room in my personal life and topics I can write on.
Then I remembered a guy commenting on one of my first entries ever. With the support of other bloggers (you know who you are), he was reported and blocked from commenting on any MLBlog ever from that point on…but anyway, I was thinking about what he had said. He was talking about (all in capslock) how I was writing this blog to get male attention, how I didn’t know smack about baseball, how females should never talk about baseball because we’ll never understand it as well as males do, how females only love baseball because of the tight uniforms and the players….
….and so I dedicate this entry to that guy.
I think it’s ridiculous that he thinks I can’t talk baseball, but mostly because he was such a sexist oink-oink. Sure, the ratio of men to women that can straight talk baseball or fill in a score-card properly is unbalanced but look at this blogosphere, what a great example! There are a lot of ladies that write fantastic blogs that can talk baseball for days and discuss stats with the best of ’em.
Another thing. I don’t think it’s unprofessional at all that the ladies like what they’re looking at. Puh-lease! You can’t tell me that guys watch beach volleyball or football or basketball or tennis without checking out the athletes or the cheerleaders! So for anyone to tell me that I can’t appreciate eye-candy when I see one? Boy, just build a bridge and get over it because I see it as just another way to appreciate the game of baseball aside from the stats, competition and pride for your team.
And last but not least? Trust me when I say I don’t watch 160-something games or learn the athletes names or keep up with stats or waste money on over-priced garlic fries and stadium seats just for male attention. You know why I say that? It’s because I’ve actually scared more than a few guys off with my baseball knowledge. Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s definitely not attracting male attention.
So that’s all the ranting from me…and now on to the good stuff (that’ll make that guy want to jump off a cliff). This is a compilation (in no specific order) of what I call : “My FHH List” [FHH=Future Husband Hopefuls]
1. David Wright (New York Mets)
2. Gil Meche (Kansas City Royals)
3. Russell Branyan (Seattle Mariners)
4. Jack Hannahan (Seattle Mariners)
5. J.J Hardy (Milwaukee Brewers)
That is all….for now ♥
Today the Mariners announced the signing of Dustin Ackley, our 1st pick (2nd overall) this year.
Ackley signed a 5 year Major League contract and will be headed here to the Emerald City next season bleeding navy and green. Financial information was not disclosed due to club policy.
Post surgery on his right elbow, Ackley has primarily been playing first base at the University of North Carolina. Apparently he has experience playing OF also.
I realize that most players that are drafted do not play their first year but assuming Ackley does, I wonder which position he’d be taking.
I’m going to go ahead and say LF, partially because we’ve been alternating our newbies to play that position but mostly because I can’t see him replacing Russell Branyan. I adore him too much.
I know, I know. If only he would stop striking out so much.
Either way, WELCOME TO THE CLUB DUSTIN!
On a personal note, the reason of my inactivity is due to the fact that I am indeed still on vacation and have little to no access to the internet where I’m staying. Oh Grandpa…maybe I should start teaching you how to use the computer.