Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Running Diary Mariners Twins 5-31

7:07 PM: Hello everyone BTM here. Zem along side me and we are going to another running diary here. Good pitching match-up today as the Fist is going up against Francisco Liriano. Zem and myself are going to be keeping a close eye on Liriano’s arm slot, as the farther out he is the better he pitches, but the worse it is for your arm. Should be a good day for baseball.

7:09 PM: Both the Angels and Athletics won today. After the excruciating way we lost the last two days and the brutal stretch we have coming up, we need to start string together some wins.

7:10 PM: I never get tired of saying this. Now on the hill American League ERA Leader Doug Fister!

7:11 PM: Another sparse crowd today. It isn’t like the majority of people had the day off or anything.

7:12 PM: Mariners rockin the white hats with the American flag in the logo for Memorial Day. I like them

7:13 PM: Four pitches for the Fist, two strikes two outs. The way Fister works is just a joy to watch.

Now up Joe Mauer who is hitting under .400 against the Mariners. Good to see we pitch him well.

7:14 PM: Ground out to second. 8 pitches and inning over. Magically Fister’s ERA doesn’t drop that much. Now we get to watch Fancisco, who I really liked watchin in 2007. He was one of my best Fantasy pick-ups of the year. Unfortunately I got him the next year too. Good to see him back, well about 80% back.

7:15 PM: Good to see that we got some production from are catcher yesterday, and he is back on the bench. Another three hours of Rob Johnson. Oh boy.

7:16 PM: Ichiro batting .353 against Liriano. Liriano knows how to get him out it sounds like.

7:17 PM: Liriano throwing 94 and a biting slider. Maybe he is more than 90% back. Strikes out Figgins on three pitches. His arm slot is back where it was. This is going to be a pitchers duel.

7:18 PM: Liriano is making the Mariners hitters look foolish. Not that is news or anything.

7:20 PM: Gutierrez hit’s a double off the wall in Left Field. That is one talented man. Not too bad too look at either.

7:21 PM: Milton the Mumbler up now batting from the right hand side. He is playing Left Field today and Sweeney is the DH. With Tui at first this is a heavy right handed line-up against the left handed Liriano.

7:22 PM: Bradley K’s looking. And doesn’t agree with the call. But he doesn’t throw anything or yell at the umpire, looks like the anger management classes are paying off for the Mumbler. End of the first 0-0

7:23 PM: I wonder how many times Nieuhaus says at the knees for a strike with Fister. And Morneau hit’s a double off the wall. No wonder he is leading the league in batting average.

7:25 PM: Jim Thome up to bat. With his 569 Homeruns. He takes three pitches and then walks back to the dugout. Fister struck someone out. Wow!! I think that Thome was surprised that Fister challenged him.

7:26 PM: Nieuhaus thinks it is strike three when is only strike two. And on the next pitch Cuddyer singles up the middle to score Morneau. Dave still thinks he should have struck out on a 3-1 pitch.

7:28 PM: Fister working quickly and effectively so far. Even though he gave up a run the only mistake so far has been the double to Morneau.

7:29 PM: Jason Kubel, who Dave says absolutely murders the Mariners flies out to the Mumbler in left field.

7:30 PM: Delmon Young hit’s a homerun into the bullpen. As soon as it left the bat Fister knew it was gone. 3-0 Twins already. I think this will be the last time we hear American League ERA Leader Doug Fister

7:31 PM: Another flyout to Franklin. Middle of the second 3-0

7:32 PM: Just asked Zem if he wanted to add anything. His response. “Twins are a very good baseball team.” Man of few words.

7:33 PM: And now up the Mariners best hitter of 2010, a non-roster invitee who only made the team because he hit like .900 in Spring Training, and then he didn’t play at all the first six weeks of the season. Oh, and he leads the team in Homeruns too. What a great offense we have. Sweeney strikes out.

7:34 PM: Now up Lopez. No one on base. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts he gets a hit here.

7:35 PM: Lopez’s batting average is up to his playing weight .228. Oh and he singles to left field. Why can’t he do this when someone is on base.

7:36 PM: Now up the paperboy Josh Wilson. Is there a better nick-name for him than the paperboy. Not only does he look like he is 12 but he has got a cannon for an arm, throwing all those lasers from shortstop. I like Josh at short, I’m gonna miss him if Jack ever comes back. He singles to right field. Lopez gets to Third. First and Third with one out. Rob Johnson now up in a clutch situation. My hopes are not high.

7:38 PM: Rob takes a fastball for a strike. Rob takes a slider for a strike. Rob swings at a slider in the dirt. I think Rob is the only one who didn’t know a slider was coming there. Does anyone need a catcher?

7:39 PM: Tui up to bat now. Runners on the corners, two out. Tui strikes out on a slider. The black hole on the bottom of our line-up continue to not produce. This line-up is pathetic.

7:43 PM: Three strikes on Denard Span and another strike out for Fister. He is always around the strike zone.

7:45 PM: Ground ball to the Paperboy. He has great footwork and a strong arm. Now up Joe Mauer.

7:46 PM: Another groundball to Figgins. The 1-2-3 hitters are combined 0-6 now. And they are still up 3-0 That is why this team is so good they have so much balance in their line-up 1-9. Unlike the Mariners.

7:48 PM: Just saw a commercial for the Marines. A big shout out to all of the people who are or were in the Armed Forces. Thank you for representing our country.

7:49 PM: Second time through the line up for the Mariners. And it is looking a lot like the first time through as Ichiro grounds out again.

7:50 PM: At least Figgins saw a ball this at-bat. And made contact!! Even if it was a foul ball. Gotta look at the bright side of things here. And he got a base hit. Alright let’s see if they can do something with the top of our line-up cause we won’t get anything from the bottom.

7:53 PM: Gutierrez changes his facial hair weekly. Now he is rockin the straight goatee. Solid if unspectacular choice.

7:55 PM: Hit and run. Executed perfectly as Franklin grounds it right to where the second baseman was. Again the Mariners have first and third and one out. The Mumbler is up to bat. I am slightly more optimistic then when Rob Johnson was up to bat.

7:58 PM: The Mumbler hit’s the ball, something Johnson couldn’t do. Fielders choice and Figgins scored. 3-1 Twins. Sweeney up to bat one on two out.

8:00 PM: Sweeney strikes out again on three pitches. Needless to say he looks a little lost out there.

8:01 PM: I want one of those Mariner hats!!

8:02 PM: Ah Dave Sims is back. Even he is wearing the white hat. And another hit for Morneau. That is a hitter.

8:03 PM: Thome up to bat. As soon as he hit the ball on the ground you know it was going to be a double play. I think he is the slowest man in the American League.

8:04 PM: Cuddyer hits an absolute tee-shot on the first pitch. Fister needs to stop throwing the first pitch fastball.

8:05 PM: Fister throws a first pitch fastball. And Kubel hits another homerun. Two pitches two fastballs two moon shots.

8:06 PM: He starts Delmon Young off with a curve ball. Throws a fastball and he hit’s a double to right center just out of the reach of Franklin the Great.

8:07 PM: More damage done from the bottom of the line-up. This team is solid. A fly-out to center and Franklin makes a sliding catch. After missing the one before you knew he was going to get to that one. Middle of the fourth and it is 5-1 Minnesota. I am not optimistic.

8:09 PM: Lopez up no one on. Again my money is on him getting on base.

8:10 PM: And that is why I don’t gamble anymore. Groundout to shortstop. One out

8:11 PM: The umpire is very deliberate and slow in his strike call. And a hit for the Paperboy!! He is 2-2. But now Rob Johnson is up to bat. With one out. Double play anyone? Strike out anyone? I’ll give ya even money it’s gonna be one of those two things.

8:13 PM: The only reason why it wasn’t a double play is because the second baseman isn’t their everyday second baseman and threw it in the dirt to Morneau. He couldn’t come up with it and Johnson is safe. Tui up now.

8:15 PM: Tui grounds out to short. The 8-9 hitters are hitting under .200. You think that it can’t continue like this but I assure you. It can. Going to the fifth down 5-1. Oh and we both have six hits. The Twins have five extra base hits and the Mariners one.

8:17 PM: Top of the order for the Twins up in the fifth. If the pattern holds should be an easy inning for the Fist.

8:18 PM: Another strike-out for Fister on Span.

8:19 PM: I think Fister needs to approach every hitter as the first three hitters for the Twins. They are now a combined 0-8.

8:20 PM: Fister’s fastball has so much movement. Reminds me of Greg Maddux. Pinpoint control too.

8:22 PM: Even when Mauer gets out he hit’s the ball hard. The firs three hitters for the Twins now 0-9. Another easy inning for the Fist. With the way our bullpen is in shambles we need him to go deep. Need a couple low pitch innings. And of course we need to start hitting. Top of the lineup up in the bottom of the Fifth. Need at least two runs her boys come on now!!

8:24 PM: Zem and myself are convinced that the Mariners put microphones in our apartment before we moved in. Blowers and Sims always say something about 15 seconds after we do.

8:25 PM: Ground ball to Cuddyer, who again isn’t the normal second baseman and it jumps up on him. Lead-off guy on base for the Mariners for the second time.

8:26 PM: Figgins hit’s a line drive to left center. First and Third nobody out. Gotta love when the first two guys are on. Now bring them home Franklin!!

8:28 PM: Liriano’s arm slot is starting to get up a little bit. Looks like he is losing a little velocity. Slider is still nasty though as Gutierrez waves through a 2-1 pitch.

8:29 PM: Ichiro scores on a wild pitch. Now that is the Fransisco Liriano I know. Figgins also advances to second. 5-2 now.

8:32 PM: And the worst tradition for the Mariners continues as Mike Blowers hands out the Rally Fries. What a stupid tradition that is. People make stupid signs that get in the way of people watching the game.

8:33 PM: Bradley gets the job done again. Two RBI’s for the Mumbler today. I like him in the clean up hole he knows how to get people home.

8:34 PM: End of the fifth 5-3 Twins. They got the two runs that I mentioned earlier. I really like how this team listens to me. Now for the love of god Fister don’t let Morneau get on base band hold them this inning.

8:36 PM: The Mariners have out hit the Twins but are losing. They are way more clutch. Simple as that.

8:37 PM: Ladies and Gentlemen at 8:37 PM on May 31, 2010 the Mariners got Justin Morneau out. Mark this day down, it is a monumental day in history.

8:38 PM: Jim Thome is struggling today. Two strikeouts and a double play. Ouch

8:39 PM: We are in the sixth inning and Doug Fister has thrown 19 balls. Can he teach Ian Snell how to be economical with his pitches!!

8:39 PM: Another quick inning for Fister. They listen to me! Ok with Lopez and then Wilson let us shoot for one run this inning!

8:41 PM: Jose Lopez leads off his third inning of the game. That isn’t a good sign for Mike Sweeney. Oh well he is still one of the best hitters on our team.

8:43 PM: Dave Sims says the Mariners have to play on Memorial day the Fourth of July and Labor day. I wonder if Dave Sims has a family.

8:44 PM: Lopez leads off and grounds out. God he is frustrating.

8:46 PM: Josh Wilson strikes out. But even when he strikes out at least he strike out swinging. Now up the AAAA Catcher Rob Johnson. I can’t call him a major leaguer. It hurts too much.

8:47 PM: Rob Johnson now 0-his life this year when the team needs him to get on base to keep the inning going. His batting average with two outs has gotta be lower than the SPF he uses when he tans. He does have a nice base though.

8:49 PM: The Fist is learning. Didn’t start Kubel off with a fastball. And he didn’t hit it into Qwest Field. We are onto something now!!

8:50 PM: And now 8 in a row retired by the Fist. Dave Sims love saying how many hitters a pitcher has retired in a row and where each person was born and raised. Quick two outs for the Fist in the Seventh. This is what we needed from him after the bullpen debacle that was Sunday afternoon.

8:53 PM: Fister gets Punto to pop up to Gutierrez, who has been busy today. Even though he hasn’t been sharp he gets through seven. Rowland-Smith take notes!!

8:54 PM: And now a great version of God Bless America on Memorial Day. Thanks again to our troops for everything you do!! Classy move by FSN leaving it on there and not taking the extra commercial time. Good work Fox!!

8:56 PM: 9-1-2 For the Mariners in the 7th. Liriano is out and in is Jesse Crain. The Mariners chances to win just improved. I think. Although Crain just blew a first pitch fastball passed Tui at 96.

8:58 PM: Tui strikes out on a curveball. He needs to get the bat off his shoulder. Now up Ichiro. We really need to get something going here boys!

8:59 PM: Ichiro hit’s a rocket to Cuddyer who normally plays in Right Field. The versatility of the Minnesota Twins is just one of the reasons why this team is so good.

9:00 PM: 8 words you don’t wanna hear if you are a Mariner fan in a close game: “Ryan Rowland-Smith warming up in the pen”

9:02 PM: Easy inning for the Twins. This is the inning we had to do something. If the Mariners are getting something done it has to be through Ichiro and Figgins. With the way it is looking they wont be up again.

9:04 PM: Fister still in and it is the 8th inning, and he hasn‘t been sharp. This is what a starting pitcher is supposed to do is get you deep, even when he doesn‘t have his best stuff. Denard Span the first batter in the top three to get a hit for the Twins tonight.

9:06 PM: Fister gets J.J. Hardy to hit into a double play. Fister’s day is done as the Hyphen is coming in against Mauer and Morneau. Thank god no one is on base.

9:09 PM: Hyphen has an ERA over 7 and is going against two of the top hitters in baseball.

9:10 PM: Baseball is a funny thing. Hyphen struggling and Mauer is Mauer and he gets him out. You can never predict it.

9:11 PM: The middle of the Mariner order is coming up. Need some firepower here boys!!

9:13 PM: Gutierrez flies out. We got to get the leadoff guy on!! The chances of scoring a run just dropped by 30%

9:14 PM: Dave Sims being Dave Sims. Telling me that the hats are on sale at the Mariner Team Store and that Matt Guerrer is born in Cleveland and Lives in Minneapolis. He does that at least three times a night, listen to it you will see!

9:15 PM: Sweeney strikes out on three pitches again. Boy when you need the team to grind out at-bats the meat of the order goes feebly into the night. Now the top of the 9th and down 5-3.

9:18 PM: Hyphen meet Justin Morneau. Justin Morneau meet double down the right field line. That wasn’t a good match-up.

9:19 PM: Hyphen gives up a rocket single to right center by Jim Thome. First and Third no out. If Figgins was taller than 5’ 6” he would have gotten that. And the Hyphen is out and in comes wild thing, Brandon League. With two on and none out. I think this goose is just about cooked.

9:22 PM: Ground ball to third base. Lopez makes the right decision (WOW!!) and throws home. Rob Johnson goes to tag Morneau and drops the wall (not a wow) and almost scores but wild thing covers home and they get Morneau. Another reason why AAAA catcher Rob Johnson is in a little over head. He can’t hold onto the ball.

9:24 PM: Kubel grounds to third base. Get the runner at second. Delmon Young grounds to third. That is three straight ground balls to Jose Lopez who made three good plays. Lopez at third is so much better than Lopez at second!!

9:25 PM: Mariners and Wild Thing hold the Twins scoreless and we go to the bottom of the ninth down 5-3. Lopez, Wilson, and AAAA catcher Rob Johnson up to bat. We might have a Griffey sighting.

9:27 PM: Jon Rauch is in the game now for the Twins ready to close. I never would have thought that once Nathan gets injured Jon Rauch would be a great closer for one of the best teams in baseball.

9:28 PM: Leading off Jose Lopez. We really need him to get on base and he does!! Leadoff double!! Lopez I don’t hate you so much anymore.

9:29 PM: The Paperboy comes through!! Single up the middle 5-4 now!! Josh Wilson you are a stud!

9:30 PM: And now Griffey up to bat. The fans are loving this. Griffey really needs to get a hit here so he can get back on the good side of the Mariner Fans. That really want to root for him.

9:31 PM: And Griffey grounds out but again a bad throw on a turn and Griffey is safe at first. In comes Michael Saunders to run for Griffey and Casey Kotchman to pinch-hit for Tui. The lefties are making their appearances now and we need them to through.

9:33 PM: Kotchman hit’s a line drive right to Morneau who touches first and then throws to second for the game-ending double play. And we lose 5-4.

9:34 PM: Mariners now 19-31 and Fister gets the lost. He didn’t pitch great but he gave the bullpen a rest and went into the 8th. Liriano’s arm slot was not as low as it was in 2007 but it was still low enough to where he will be injured come July. And that is now three straight losses and a 1-3 record on this stretch of 20 games in 20 days where we have got to make up some ground!! With Vargas on the hill tomorrow it will be interesting to see if he can kill this losing streak and start getting it in the W column for the good guys.

Good Games for the Mariners: Figgins, Lopez, Wilson, League
Bad Games for the Mariners: Hyphen, Sweeney, Tui, AAAA Catcher Rob Johnson

BTM Signing Out!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Russell "The Road Grader" Okung

Some might consider that nickname inaccurate, as Okung is more fleet, than power right now. The operative word is right now. I am almost always skeptical and of the "wait and see" mentality on drafts, but Okung has me excited. Of course, Max Unger excited me last year till I noticed he was not built like a center and would make a much better guard if anything.

Unfortunately, Okung will be compared to the guy he is replacing, future Hall of Famer Walter Jones.  The comparisons will be unfair, but Seahawk fans now know what a great left tackle looks like. Granted, Okung is lighter and thinner and needs to add on some nfl muscle before he is a factor in the run game, but he has everything you could ask from a left tackle.

He is athletic, has long arms, does not battle weight issues and most importantly, as good feet and balance. Footwork and balance are the most important traits of any offensive linemen, especially a left tackle. A left tackle works in space, against the teams best pass rusher and sees the most blitzes, as defenses like to blitz the quarterbacks blind side. A left tackle needs to protect against the outside rush while simultaneously guarding against inside blitzters. This requires quick and balanced footwork, if a left tackle is caught leaning or turns his shoulders, a good pass rusher will eat him alive.

Fortunately, Okung has great feet, and the long arms needed to get into the chest of a defensive end, thereby neutralizing him. 

My only concerns are run blocking, in Oklahoma States offense he rarely, if ever, was in a three point stance, and rarely did any real drive blocking.  To call OK State's offense soft would be generous. I like physical linemen, I know Okung has the tenacity, I just don't know if the fundamentals of physical run blocking have been taught to him extensively.   He comes from a soft scheme, and you have to uncoach soft fundamentals.

I expect this year to be a year of growing pains for Okung, just as it was for Michael Oher last year. I watched both games the Ravens played against the Patriots, and in the first meeting, Oher was completely lost. In the playoff game, he was much improved and reacted well to many of the same blitz packages that confounded him two months prior. 

Lucky for Okung, the frequent two tight end sets that the Seahawks use will help him pass block from run formations, as I anticipate a learning curve getting into his pass blocking stance from a three point stance.  This guy won't come in and kick ass like Big Walt did, but he definitely could be a pro bowler, especially at the hands of Alex Gibbs.

Cliff Lee to the Dodgers?

Well with the Mariners spiraling downward and it almost being June, that means the Cliff Lee trade talks are starting to heat up. Because that will dominate the northwest for the next two months unless the Mariners magically start to hit and win games, let us take a look at the first time that has officially inquired about Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The Los Angelos Dodgers.

Now the Dodgers are in a very interesting position because of the pending divorce of their owners, so I don't think that this is a serious inquiry. They are in no position to take on any salary, and the Mariners will be asking for only top of the line prospects, as the Big Red Dog is one of the best pitchers in the game, plus his salary isn't outlandish.

Also, in looking at the Dodgers Farm System, they don't have the talent that is major league ready to appease the Mariners. They have some interesting prospects, but they are all lower than Double A and you would not trade a pitcher of Lee's caliber for prospects who were "A couple of years away"

On a scale of 1-10 I say the chance of Lee going to the Dodgers is: 2.5

As we hear more rumors here at the Real Seattle Sports Blog we will put up similar posts complete with the chances that Lee gets traded there.

Night all!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mariners win.. but lose so much more.

The Mariners won 5-4 today. They scored four runs in the 8th inning to win. It was a good comeback.

I should be happy.... But I am not.

The reason why is because Josh Bard got injured after running out a groundball to the pitcher.

Now Rob Johnson is the healthiest catcher on the roster.

Where is Jeff Clement when you need him?

Retro Blog: The Holmgren Years: A Retrospective: 1999

So, by no particular schedule, I've decided to look back on the greatest era of Seahawks football. It is without doubt in my mind that these great years are coming to an end, and a slew of mediocre seasons are about to arrive. So, without further adieu, for the sentimentalists in us all, I'll offer my fans perspective on the seasons of Mike Holmgren. First up, 1999.

Hiring Mike Holmgren was at that point the highlight of my life as a Seahawks fan. He was a great coach, and everyone knew it. He took the down and out Packers, a wild gunslinger quarterback, and turned them into a superpower that went 3 years without ever losing a home game, went to two Super Bowls in a row, and were a miracle play from another deep playoff run(Owens! Owens! Owens!). The Seahawks had talent and everyone assumed, the playoff dry spell would end.

It didn't start well. On the first offensive play of the season, in front of a sold out crowd in the Kingdome against a Lions team that everyone left for dead after the sudden retirement of Barry Sanders, Holmgren tried a flea flicker, which resulted in a sack. The Lions were up 25-7 before anyone knew what happened and a late comeback attempt failed and they lost 28-20, Kitna was hurt, and Glenn Foley was to start the next week.

They really should've been 0-2, they were down 13-0 entering the fourth quarter(should've been 20-0 if Curtis Enis hadn't fumbled going in for a touchdown), couldn't protect the quarterback and looked dead. Suddenly Holmgren switched to the shotgun and two big plays later the Seahawks won 14-13 and didn't look back for two months.

Holmgren showed off his ability to work with crap(in this case Jon Kitna) and still win. The Seahawks went through a stretch of starting on fire, building a big lead, then sitting on the ball. His game plans dazzled teams despite the fact that his passing game was severely limited. Kitna's arm was weak and didn't have the required zip on his out routes. Aside from fade routes on the outside, the Seahawks largely worked the seam and the middle of the field. Passes any quarterback can throw(similar to Mike Martz's offense).

The defense did what they did best, force turnovers, 5 against Pittsburg, 4 against Buffalo and 7 against Green Bay, all blowout wins. They bent, but didn't break.

Of course, to anyone who knows football(not me at the age of 14), the Seahawks couldn't run and relied on turnovers on defense. All this spelled disaster come the cold weather months.

After an 8-2 start, the Seahawks were slaughtered by Tampa Bay, well, not slaughtered, despite five Jon Kitna interceptions, it was still a competitive game until a late Tampa Bay touchdown, and would have been close till the final minute had Joey Galloway not dropped a touchdown in the first quarter. The wheels came off, defenses figured out Kitna, whose confidence was shattered, and a tailspin ensued, including an absolutely awful, heart wrenching miserable loss at Denver. The Seahawks were down 30-20 late in the game, cut it down to 30-27, recovered an onside kick, drove down the field and Sean Dawkins dropped a wide open touchdown pass that would've won the game. The pain didn't stop there, the Seahawks tied the game, won the toss(I think), and drove into Denver territory where Jon Kitna missed a WIDE OPEN Joey Galloway down the seam by about six inches. The next play consisted of a sack, fumble, and a touchdown. Game over. That was utterly crushing.

They recovered to beat Kansas City soundly in what was probably their best game of the season to go 9-6 and only needed a win against the disappointing Jets to win the division. They lost 19-9 thanks to some ill timed Jon Kitna passes and needed the Raiders to come back from 17 down twice to win the division in what was one of the wildest games I've ever seen, ever.

The playoff loss to Miami was only memorable for being Marino's last stand and the last game in the thunderous Kingdome. The Seahawks had a 17-13 lead and the Dolphins at their own 10 yard line facing a 3rd and 17. Of course the Seahawks played a soft cover 3 or 4, don't remember which, with a 20 yard cushion and the Dolphins picked it up, drove down, and won the game. Heart wrenching, but as in 2004, probably a merciful end to the season. I remember walking out of the Kingdome that day, thankful at least, to have finally experienced a playoff game.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Running Diary Mets Yankees

Here at The Real Seattle Sports Blog we are going to do running diaries of Seattle sports. Since the Mariner game already happened we are going to do our first Diary on the finale of the Subway Series. And away we go.

Johan Santana against C.C Sabathia today. Battle of two of the best left handers in the game. C.C Sabathia looks like he is going to eat Santana. Man that is one big hoss.

5:03 PM: John Miller and Joe Morgan are doing this game along with Oral Herschiser. The amount of times that Joe Morgan is going to say "When I talked to x-player today he told me" will be at least 24

5:09 PM: The lineups are brought to you by Taco Bell. Still doesn't make me want one of those beefy five layer burritos.

5:10 PM: Oral Herschiser is one of the best color guys in the game of baseball today. Almost makes up for having to listen to Joe Morgan for the next three hours. Almost...

5:11 PM: Derek Jeter leads off and hits the first pitch for a single up the middle. This man does not age and as far as I am concerened has a legitimate shot at 4000 hits.

5:12 PM: Johan Santana throws his first changeup of the game. Best Changeup in baseball.

5:13 PM: Joe Morgan just said: "When I talked to the players earlier.." And the count is at one!!

5:15 PM: Mark Teixera strikes out for what seems like the 274 time this season. One of the most interesting plots this year is that David Ortiz is playing better than Teixera right now. Ortiz, one of the most chastized men in baseball, has to be loving that... As do all Red Sox fans.

5:17 PM: Alex Rodriguez pops out to second. I have a feeling this will not be the last time I write that sentence today.

5:19 PM: Cialis commercial #1. We are going to see if there are more E.D commercials or Joe Morgan stupid sayings. My money is on Morgan

5:21 PM: C.C Sabathia is a large man. And he just gave up a single to Jose Reyes. That's right a Jose Reyes sighting!!

5:25 PM: What pitch is better. The Sabathia curve or Santana change.

5:26 PM: Joe Morgan is now talking about top spin and how Jason Bay hasn't hit a lot of homers because he doesn't get top spin on the ball. I thought it was because he isn't playing half his games at Fenway. Shows you what I know.

5:28 PM: Ike Davis singles to shallow left center proving Joe Morgan wrong for the 72nd time this year. Derek Jeter makes a smart play, which Herschiser correctly points out in getting the ball back in quick to prevent a run.

5:29 PM: David Wright strikes out for the 59th time this year. Him and Teixera are going to have an All-Star strike out contest. They will have to take the crown from Adam Dunn.

5:30 PM: Angel Pagan pops out to second because.. well.. he is Angel Pagan. Although he was the first person in 55 years to hit an inside the park homerun and start a triple play in the same game. And the Mets still lost. What a game Baseball is.

5:33 PM: For the second inning in a row the Yankees get a first pitch single on a fastball. Hey Johan, start with a changeup!!

5:35 PM: Now up to bat Fransisco Cervelli. It sounds to me like he should be telling me weather to drink a red or white wine with my Filet.

5:37 PM: Cervelli strikes out on a change up. Direct quote from Herschiser. "What a Nasty Pitch"

5:38 PM: Yankee Centerfielders: Joe Dimaggio. Mickey Mantle. Bernie Williams. Kevin Russo??

5:39 PM: ED Commercial #2. Dammit Morgan say you talked to Jose Reyes so you could ask him what his favorite romance movie is! If anyone would say that it would be Joe Morgan.

5:41 PM: Rod Barajas hits the first pitch from Sabathia in the second inning down the line for a double. And that makes three batters that have led off an inning with a hit on a fastball on the first pitch.

5:44 PM: Sabathia blows three fastballs by Jeff Francour. If you are surprised by that at all then you don't follow baseball at all.

5:45 PM: No longer "Lima Time". Jose Lima dead at 37. RIP Jose.

5:46 PM: Sabathia strikes out Santana. In other news the World is still in fact round.

5:47 PM: Jon Miller just brought up Lefy Gomez and Carl Hubbard pitching against each other in the 1937 World Series. I think we need more Jon Miller and less Joe Morgan

5:52 PM: Alex Cora hits a two run single to center field. Joe Morgan "That is what you call an excellent at bat." Because two run singles usually aren't excellent at bats. They are usually sub par at bats.

5:54 PM: Jon Miller. "Alex Cora not a threat to steal.." Two pitches later Alex Cora steals second base. It's ok Jon you still have a while to catch up to Joe Morgan.

5:55 PM: Jason Bay hits a two run homerun. And yes it would have gone out at Fenway too.
4-0 Mets"

6:01 PM: C.C Sabathia hits a single. I get to see him run the bases. Yay!!

6:02 PM: Joe Morgan " Derek Jeter isn't looking like the Jeter of old." Literally two seconds later Jeter gets a single to right field for the 43,875 time in his career.

6:04 PM: Brett Garner hits into a double play. Joe Morgan starts talking about short throws and long throws. No one is paying attention.

6:09 PM: David Wright strikes out again. He pulls ahead of Teixera. Herschiser is making sense again. Joe Morgan take notes!!

6:10 PM: Another first pitch hit off of a fastball from Sabathia. I think the Mets and Yankees have watched film and know how much these two love throwing first pitch fastballs. I would recommend something else. Just a thought.

6:12 PM: Jon Miller is going through all of the injuries that the Yankees are going through right now. Somehow I think the Mets fans are less than impressed especially with the way this team has dealt with injuries the last two years.

6:14 PM: Rod Barajas is leading the Mets in homeruns this year. That's right. Rod Barajas.

6:16 PM: Satana starts the fourth inning off with a first pitch slider. A-rod swings through it for a strike. Hmm.....

6:19 PM: One Two Three inning. Although Swisher his a first pitch fastball hard. Just right at Jason Bay. 4-0 Mets Bottom of four.

6:21 PM: Showing Oral, Jon and Joe. Great suit Jon Miller!! And now Joe Morgan is making up for him saying that Alex Cora is slow and can't steal a base by saying he went on first move and guessed right. Oh Joe

Alright Ladies and Gentleman taking a break for a couple minutes. Btw Lefty Grove was just brought up for the second time tonight.. Yes!!

6:29 PM: Alright I'm back. Jerry Manual is getting interviewed. Joe Girardi said he would but then mysteriously had somehwere to go. Now that they are losing.. Strange

6:32 PM: Of course Oral Herschiser got his first out against a guy who is in the Hall of Fame. That is just so Fitting of his Career.

6:34 PM: Santana strikes out Sabathia. Darnit wanted to see him try and stretch a single into a double and see if the middle infielder gets out of the way, Rashard Lewis style

6:38 PM: Jason Bay doing his best Chase Utley imitation and just hit his second homer of the game off of Sabathia. Now has three homers for the year, two today. 5-0 Mets

6:41 PM: Another seeing eye single for Ike Davis. Dropped in the Bermuda Triangle. Might just be the Mets day.

6:42 PM: It seems like everytime I watch the Mets it seems like David Wright either strikes out or hits a double. Today. 1-3 2 strike outs and a double. Now 6-0 Mets in the fifth.

6:44 PM: Sabathia has given up six runs. He is just hoping Girardi takes him out so he can be the first person to the Buffet line in the clubhouse.

6:46 PM: Jon Miller just said the powerful Rod Barajas. Hahahahahaha!!

6:47 PM: "The Powerful Rod Barajas" just hit a towering... pop-up to Centerfield.. Woo what a shot.

6:49 PM: Oliver Perez was moved to the bullpen for I think the third time this year. Wow, just get rid of him.

6:53 PM: Joe Morgan is talking about a naked cowboy and cowgirl. And seems unphased. Oral Hershicer is lost. Joe Morgan stay Classy.

6:54 PM: Derek Jeter again swings at the first pitch and hits it hard but gets out. He is 2-3 today swinging at the first pitch, but Joe Morgan thinks he should be more patient. I'm at a loss for words.

6:56 PM: David Wright dives and gets Mark Teixera out. 6-0 Bottom of the sixth.

6:57 PM: Sergio Mitre enters for Sabathia. Sabathia already on his third chicken leg. Somebody get the big guy a napkin he was working hard out there.

7:00 PM: Sergio Mitre started with the Marlins. I think there is a rule that if you don't speak English you have to start with Florida. Bud Selig ok'd it.

7:02 PM: Joe Morgan congratulates daughter on next Husband. Jon Miller just quoted Star Trek. Needless to say, not a very interesting game.

7:04 PM: Jason Bay got hit. With a Curveball. And yet the Met's fans are booing. Even though it was a curve ball. And Sergio Mitre threw it. No one should be surprised that this just happened.

7:08 PM: Alex Rodriguez is up to bat 6-0 game. Lets see what happens here...

7:09 PM: Alex Rodriguez pops up in the infield. I was right I did write that again.

7:11 PM: Johan Santana has thrown 16 balls and we are in the 7th inning. He is rolling along.

7:12 PM: As soon as i say that Santana walks Nick Swisher.

7:12 PM: Zem here, BTM is manning the grill.

7:13 PM: Morgan wonders aloud if the Rays can continue pitching well. Don't they always pitch well?

7:14: Instant Replay in baseball. Or are they taking a bathroom break? As useful as it can be, it already brings a slow game to a dead stop.

7:15 PM: A single for Cervelli, its also commonly known as a Ken Griffey JR single. A line drive off the wall that his lazy ass can't hustle around the bases for.

7:28 PM: The Powerful Rod Barajas grounded out, 6-1 in the eighth. With the Mets bullpen, anything is possible.

7:31 PM: Santana is having control problems, just walked Glenallen Hill lookalike Marcus Thames. This is the time of the game where Jeter rips a double.

7:33 PM: Brief aside, does Kyle Lohse ever leave the DL?

7:38: Bombers are knocking on the door. This is about the time A-Rod strikes out.

7:41: Santana does A-Rod a favor and walks him.

7:52: To the ninth we go....this games done folks.

8:04 PM: The bottom 0f the Yanks order is knocking Chan Ho Park's illegitimate son around. 6-2, here comes the hook.

8:10 PM: K-Rod comes in and promptly airmails a curveball over Jeter's head. My money is on Jeet in this one.

8:12 PM: Jeter tattoos a double off the wall, run scores, BTM called it.

8:14 PM: Fan in back just stood up and threw his hat, apparently there are reruns of Cougartown tonight.

8:15 PM: Gardner was safe, at least a tie in my book.

8:16 PM: 6-4, two on, A-Rod up. Orel just used the word circumference....I love this man.

8:18 PM: A-Rod missed a golden opportunity to tie it up. Game ends on the next pitch. Book it.

8:20 PM: A-Rod fouls it off again. Full Count, two outs. Two on.

8:22 PM: K-Rod shows he has more brains than balls, throws two 3-2 changeups and gets A-Rod swinging to end the game. A-Rod gets a hold of that hanger and that ball lands somewhere in the Atlantic.

6-4 Mets. Goodnight Everybody.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Jose Lopez is Keeping me up NIghts

Yes I know the Mariners won yesterday. I also know that they won 15-8 in their biggest offensive explosion since Nixon was in office it seems.

But lets take a look at Jose Lopez stat line yesterday in our 15 run barrage.


5 0 0 0

That is correct Ladies and Gentlemen even in a 15 hit game Jose Lopez goes 0-5. Now I didn't watch the game so I decided to delve in a little deeper and see where his outs were made.\

AB 1: Fielder's choice on a Groundball to third base
AB 2: Fly out to shallow right *
AB 3: Groundball to Shortstop
AB 4: Popped to Right Center *
AB 5: Fly out to Left

Now the reason why the second and fourth at-bat have an asterisk is because he hit the ball the other way. I think this is the first time in Lopez five years with the Mariners he hit two balls the opposite way in one game!!

The fact of the matter is Jose Lopez is still a liability in the field but we always overlooked that with the fact that he could hit the ball out of the ball park. Well this year he has only one homerun and has looked terrible at the plate. He is a dead pull hitter and in this park that is not condusive for right handers. He needs to learn how to hit the ball to right field, and maybe this two popout game is him trying. But the fact that he is hitting fifth, and was hitting cleanup up until a couple weeks ago, shows exactly how anemic this lineup is.

Fact of the matter is I don't think anyone has had more chances to hit with guys on base the last couple years than Jose Lopez. He has had literally hundreds of chances to get guys on base and has not been clutch. Sure he hit that grand slam in Chicago (Which we lost BTW) but you can count on one hand how many times this year he has gotten the job done for the Mariners.

And for those of you who are saying that Lopez is doing well at Third Base open your eyes. The man has no range out there. If it is not hit right at him he isn't going to get to it. He has terrible foot-work and he is lazy. The reason why Lopez and Figgins switched is because Wakamatsu was looking for anyway to get Lopez out of the important spot in the middle of the field. If you want to hide a butcher in the infield your best bet is at Third Base.

Last year when I went to a game and watched Jose Lopez play second base I would watch his footwork to see if it has improved at all. Later in the year I just stopped watching it all together because it was so appalling. I hoped that the switch to third base would light a fire under him to improve said foot work. But it is still awful. Every Ground ball he gets he stops his feet completely, then has to take an extra step to get the ball to third base because he has no momentum going that way. You learn at a very young age that you need to get your momentum going the way of the bag you are throwing to make sure you get a good throw, and he still hasn't learned that.

I thought they had a clause in his contract that he wasn't supposed to weigh more than 200 pounds. I know Lopez has always been chubby but look at Ryan Howard. He is a great player who was big and lost a lot of weight and do you know why? It is because he cares about being the best baseball player he can be. Jose Lopez does not care. He just wants to get paid and hit the ball to the shortstop with two on and none out.

It is incredibly frustrating to anyone who played the middle infield position as I did, and I'm sure it isn't any better for people who played the corner infield spots. Jose Lopez either needs to start hitting so he can be a productive DH, or needs to be turned loose!!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I cannot properly eloquate how awful a job Jim Mora did as Head Coach last year.  Although I did not like the Pete Carroll hiring, I respect his ability as a coach in an X's and O's sense. Jim Mora coached like a spoiled, petulant child, he called out his players in press conferences, bickered about officials, and talked with the false bravado and blind ignorance of a man either consumed or ignorant of his many coaching weaknesses.

As someone who has coached before, I find no shame in getting outcoached. It happens, every coach has been bested at some point in their career. Jim Mora refused to admit his weaknesses as a coach, refused to question the effort of his team and refused to acknowledge the fact that he was coached astoundingly poorly. His defense was overly complicated and utterly ineffective.  What was  most deplorable was his manner after games, as he refused to admit that the team sucked and his coaching sucked.  Instead, he made excuses. I think Pete Carroll is a flake, but I think that even he has a greater sense of accountability than Jimmy Mora.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Griffey Problem

Life, as it is, is far from a fairy tale. A fairy tale ending to Ken Griffey Jr.'s career would've been riding off into the sunset on his teammates shoulders at the end of the 2009 season.  Much like Karl Malone, Joe Namath, Willie Mays, Shaq and Johnny Unitas, Griffey chose to hang on for one more season. 2009 was perfect for him, his role was defined and he performed it perfectly. His timely hitting and occasional power combined with his locker room leadership overshadowed his declining skills.

2010 rolls around, Junior is a year older, his bat is a year slower and the departure of Russell Branyan and mental departure of Milton Departure has left Junior as the only option for power. Poor planning on managements part? Yes. But the real problem is Griffey's reluctance to hang it up. If a player is truly, solely interested in helping his team, he should see that his complete inability to be an asset to the team is hurting the team and should therefore leave.

To briefly grace over the Griffey dugout sleeping story...if this is true, then it isn't surprising. Griffey has always been lazy. He has always taken conditioning lightly, never ran out balls to first base, and relied completely on his natural ability, which, was utterly limitless.  The bad habits finally caught up to him in Cincinnati, and his laziness has resulted in a not so graceful final years in the big leagues.  Last year, his laziness was charming, it was part of his character, the resident overweight goofball that could still drive the ball 400 feet. This year, with his average plunging fast past the Mendoza line, its disheartening.

What I cannot understand is the general public's defense of Griffey. He was a great player yes, but his work ethic had nothing to do with it. If there ever was a pure natural in baseball, it was Griffey.  Griffey the player is finished. It is clear that Griffey is only on the roster for the promotional aspect. They aren't going to cut a player early on who has a series of promotional nights set up in his honor.  Seattle fans are sentimentalists, often remembering only the good of a players past actions. This is far worse than thinking Dave Krieg was a great quarterback instead of what he really was, the Scott Mitchell of his generation, Griffey was great at two things, playing baseball and being lazy. Its time everyone sees the whole picture we all seemed to see when he left two years ago.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome to the Ultimate Seattle Sports Expirience

Ladies and Gentleman today is truly a historic day. Right up there with Ken Griffey Jr slide in 1995 and the Seahawks going to the Super Bowl. Today the Real Seattle Sports Blog is born.

This blog is not for the faint of heart. It is for true Seattle Sports fans. Seahawk fans that remember Terry Wooden and Robert Blackmon. Mariner fans that remember Alex Diaz and Rich
Amaral. Seattle sports fans that remember what it was like to root for a team that had no history whatsoever. Those are the real Seattle Sports fans. Those are the fans we are writing for.