Category Archives: Seattle Mariners

Mariners’ Passed Ball Ensures 4th Straight Losing Season

The Mariners had little hope of avoiding yet another losing season. But how fitting, in a game they should have won, that their 82nd loss of the season came on a passed ball by Mike Zunino in the 10th inning?

Catcher Zunino lets another win pass the Mariners by.

The Mariners let another win pass them by.

The error ensured a fourth straight losing season for the underperforming Seattle nine.  That’s the longest stretch of losing seasons for the Mariners since their first 14 seasons, ending in 1991 when they eked out a .512 winning percentage. It also marked their fifth straight loss, including getting swept by the Majors’ worst team, Houston.

I cheer again the inclusion of the Astros in the AL West, without whom the Mariners would very likely end up again in the division cellar.


The Wheels Come Off

Brandon Maurer registered an 81 ERA at home after serving up volleyballs to the Houston Astros last night. That lowered his overall ERA to 16.20 and record to 0-2. Those aren’t good numbers. Oh, and the Mariners got spanked 16-9 by the worst team in baseball this season and one of the worst of all time.  Sure, you’re gonna lose a game here and there, but sheesh.

Fortunately, Maurer got a good talking to by pitchers Felix Hernandez and Kameron Loe. “I heard a story about Randy Johnson giving up a few in an inning,” Maurer told the Seattle Times. “That always makes me feel a little better, I guess. It happens.” Maybe Maurer should pick better mentors. Loe got tagged himself for six hits and five runs including three long balls in less than three innings.

Brandon Maurer

But at least the team still enjoys fan support. Fully 10,745 packed into Safeco for the second home game of the season. Wait, that’s not very many people. In fact, that’s the worst attendance in Safeco’s history. Dear god.


2013 Season Is A Lock: 3rd Time’s the Charm Edition

ibanezIs Raul Ibanez the answer? General Manager Jack Zduriencik thinks so.  Ibanez will get his third go with the Mariners in 2013 and ComingUpSmall is pretty sure it’s not a home run.  The man will turn 41 as a Mariner next year and at .240 last year he was not a sure thing in the batting order. But he’s got some power and could launch a few over Safeco’s new more hitter-friendly confines.

Zduriencik has been doing some interesting things this offseason, including trading away one of the Mariners’ most consistent pitchers of 2012 — Jason Vargas — for some oomph in the lineup by way of Kendrys Morales.  Of course, Morales is a first baseman just like perpetual future-superstar Justin Smoak.  That could set up some intrigue in spring training this year.

With these moves in place, C.U.S. predicts the Mariners will not finish last in the AL West. Thank you, Houston Astros.


2013 Season Is A Lock: Jason Bay Edition

Never underestimate the inexplicable allure to Mariners management of signing an athlete with local roots.  How else to explain their signing of Jason Bay, who spends the offseason in the Seattle area and went to Gonzaga in eastern Washington State?

jason_bay_beach

Bay has not been impressive as a Met. His batting average dropped in every year since his first with the New York team, when he managed just .259 and 6 home runs. He was also injury-prone: sustaining concussions and rib injuries.

To be fair, at $1 million for a year with the Mariners, with only $500,000 in guaranteed money, it appears the deal is not overly expensive and could be a bargain if the 34-year-old can turn things around.

And the Mariners are still wooing Josh Hamilton to Washington State [insert marijuana joke here]. Would be nice for once to have a household name on the field that’s not playing for the other team.


Bring On Houston!

Mariners fans had precious little to cheer these past few years, save for King Felix’s perfect game and these snazzy throwback unis:

The team finished last in the AL West for the third straight year in 2012 and seventh time since 2004. But there’s good news on the horizon…the NL Central doormat Houston Astros are joining the division next year. With a meager .340 winning percentage, they were the worst team in all of baseball this year, for the second time in as many years.

One more candidate for the AL West cellar sounds like good news to me.


Mariners Face New Disgrace

With the Nationals backing into the NL East division title tonight, following a Braves loss, they are on a much clearer path to the World Series. Along with the Reds, they own the best record in baseball and spent much of the season atop the standings. Should Washington find a way to win at least seven postseason games, they’ll leave the Seattle Mariners as the last remaining Major League Baseball team never to have been to the World Series.

Image

Yet, back in 2001, when the Mariners appeared to be on the fast track to the big show, they had plenty of company among the World Series deficient: Houston, Colorado, Arizona, Anaheim, Washington, Tampa Bay and division-rival Texas. But as the Mariners sputtered in the playoffs against the Yankees, the Diamondbacks were on their way towards a Series win. Anaheim treated their fans to their first World Series (and World Series win) the next season, after a long 42-year wait. The Astros, 43 years overdue, found their way to the World Series in 2005. Colorado and Tampa Bay followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively, in their 15th and 11th seasons. Fans of the Rangers suffered longer, dating to their days as the second incarnation of the Washington Senators: 49-years. But Texas has been to the last two World Series.

Washington, combined with its time as the Montreal Expos, has been waiting a long time for such an opportunity, much longer than the Mariners who joined the league in a 1977 expansion. The 1981 Expos represent their only postseason entrant and the franchise has been around since 1969.  Meanwhile, Mariners’ expansion classmate Toronto is a two-time World Series winner.

And while it’s been longer than most Cubs fans have been alive (1945) since Wrigley Field saw a World Series, the favorite Chicago franchise has at least been.

Whether the Nationals deliver Seattle one more black eye, remains to be seen. But the 2012 Mariners are definitely coming up small.


King Felix, Perfect

Not small.

 


We’ll Always Have the Memories…and Danny Farquhar

Ichiro Suzuki, the last remaining link to the Mariners’ magical 2001 season, has moved on.  And with him to the Yankees goes the apparently dreadful stench of success, anathema to the Mariners’ front office wizards.

Left behind are a patchwork of also-rans, never-rans and coulda-rans.  Soft-hitting Dustin Ackley, Carlos Peguero and Michael Saunders aren’t likely to pack the Safeco stands.  And what’s to bring fans to the Mariners store once the marked down Ichiro jerseys are sold out other than Felix Hernandez memorabilia.  He’ll undoubtedly start pressing for a trade of his own soon.

J.P. Patches Was 84

“I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,” Ichiro said, “so I am not able to contain my excitement in that regard.”

Not that Ichiro was pulling $90 million worth of weight anymore. Batting a mere .261, he is off-pace to crack 200 hits again and is responsible for just 28 runs batted in.

We’ll have DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to look forward to, hardly household names and hardly intimidating pitchers. Mitchell has a dominating 5.04 ERA in Scranton/Wilkes Barre, while hot potato Farquhar has eked out 2 wins in 5 decisions for Toronto, Oakland and New York this season for a respectable 3.33 ERA.

Adding in the untimely death of J.P. Patches this week, Seattle just can’t seem to get a break.


Good With the Bad for Seattleites

First the good news.  With a mini win streak going against the Royals — read: two games — the Mariners have ascended to merely second worst in the American League. The M’s also aren’t dead last in the Major Leagues in batting average (29th) or slugging percentage (28th).

The bad news, they are still a dreadful team that IS dead last in on-base percentage. Our best everyday hitter is batting .259 and our star of the future Justin Smoak is a mere point above the Mendoza line.

Marshawn Lynch poses for a familiar camera

Oh, and Seahags running back Marshawn Lynch was just arrested for driving under the influence, after nearly plowing his Ford Econoline van into two other cars in Oakland. He’s scheduled for trial August 14, just days after the Hawks’ first preseason game. Not a good thing for Seattle football fans and definitely not a good thing for Lynch.

Way to come up small Beast Mode.


Mariners Descend to AL Depths

All season I’ve been singing the praises of the Twins whose futility has kept the Mariners out of the American League cellar. No more.

With a loss yesterday to the A’s, the Mariners (.413) are officially the worst team in the AL. They couldn’t muster a single run behind a stellar performance from Erasmo Ramirez who fanned 10 and allowed just three hits over eight innings.

“We’ve just got to get to the point where every area of our club is clicking at the same time,” Manager Eric Wedge said. “We couldn’t put an inning together. We had some good swings on the ball tonight, but we didn’t put an inning together.”

Make that 23, Eric. That’s how many innings it’s been since the Mariners scored their last run. Let me repeat that, not one run in 23 innings. They’ve also lost 5 of 6 to the Padres (.365), the second worst team in all of baseball.

Well, at least the Astros are worse (.411) and they’ll be joining the AL West next year.

Hooray Astros!