Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Mariners’

Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the founding of a new Major League Baseball franchise, the Seattle Offense, which will start play in early July.

Major League Baseball confirmed the announcement, explaining the circumstances which allowed the three players to bypass most regulations concerning expansion franchises.

Ichiro is All Smiles About Hitting in a Lineup that Doesn't Feature Kenji Johjima

Ichiro is All Smiles About a Lineup that Doesn't Feature Kenji Johjima

“Ichiro pitched the team to me two weeks ago,” Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told the press, “And it’s fairly clear cut. We are granting Ichiro, Ken, and Russell a new franchise based on a ‘talent grievance’ they filed against their current ballclub.”

According to Selig, the three players have statistically proven that, while they remain under contract with the Seattle Mariners, the offensive production from Mariners teammates has crippled their potential for success.

The talent grievance specifically cited the offensive production of current Mariners Mike Sweeney, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Kenji Johjima. The report also included a retroactive claim against former Mariner Richie Sexson.

Selig showed nothing but confidence in the new franchise.

“The bottom line is this: Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan could give the city of Seattle some form of offensive production,” Selig concluded, “And believe me, that city needs it.”

Seattle Offense officials confirmed on Wednesday that former Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton has been named as the team’s first manager.

Griffey told the press that the decision was easy to make, citing the need for a coach who could demonstrate business aspects up front but carefree aspects in back.

“I played with Norm in the mid-1990s.” Griffey recalled. “I’ve seen the mullet in action, and believe me when I say it is fierce.”

Charlton had nothing but high hopes for the upcoming season.

“It’s exciting,” Charlton said at the press conference on Wednesday. “The guys and I have a chance to do something that Seattle fans are dying to see; score a lot of runs!

“Let’s put it this way,” Charlton added, “We might even finish better than dead last in total runs scored.”

Despite his initial excitement about the job opportunity, Charlton is aware that there are necessary roster moves on the horizon.

Major League Baseball officials reported that the Seattle Offense declined to partake in an expansion draft, instead relying on a preliminary roster which features only Branyan, Griffey, and Ichiro.

“Filling out a scorecard is going to be a stretch,” Charlon conceded. “As of now we have Ichiro penciled in at pitcher, Griffey playing left field, center field, and right field, and Russell playing pretty much the entire infield.

“It’s a stretch,” Charlton admitted, “But it will work out.”

Suit Him Up

Suit Him Up

There is no word yet concerning who will start at catcher for the Seattle Offense, but Charlton did not deny the current rumors which claim that Mariner Moose will be suiting up at catcher for the Offense.

Regardless of future additions, the current Seattle Offense players are excited about a new playing environment.

“We are doing this for a few reasons,” Russell Branyan said Wednesday, “But most importantly we want to see what its like to have a lineup full of competent hitters.”

“Imagine that,” Ichiro interrupted through his translator, “A lineup that goes Ichiro-Branyan-Griffey instead of Ichiro followed by three guys who should be in the minor leagues.”

According to Branyan, the idea came about after a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 6, 2009.

“Ichiro, Griff, and I were sitting around after the game and got to talking about how [the Mariners] offense was performing,” Branyan explained, “We were looking at the stat sheet and realized that on that night we accounted for over sixty percent of our team’s hits.”

“It was bad,” Griffey said of the June 6 game, “Ichiro and I were actually leaving notes on the bases which made fun of Adrian [Beltre].”

“It’s not as mean as you think,” Griffey said in defense, “It’s not like [Beltre] was ever going to get on base to see them. Regardless of the notes, we knew something had to be done.”

Ichiro declined to talk about how the idea came to be, instead focusing on what the Seattle Offense can accomplish.

“All three of us just want to win,” Ichiro said through his translator, “And in baseball, in order to win, you need players who can hit the ball.”

“Russell, Griffey, and I decided to take the best hitters on our team and move on.” Ichiro added, “Unfortunately we found that there was no one else who qualified to join us.”

The Seattle Offense expect to begin play on Thursday, July 16, following the Major League Baseball All Star Game.

The Seattle Mariners declined to comment on the issue.

Read Full Post »

Let me preface this article with a flashback to my middle school years. Listen to the first 0:15 then proceed to the article:

This much should be clear to the Seattle Mariners front office: enough is enough and it’s time for a change!

The Seattle Mariners decline (post-2004) has been mostly accredited to a series of horrid free agent contracts by now-fired General Manager Bill Bavasi.

In fact, an article on ESPN.com titled “Worst Contracts in MLB History” dedicated an entire section to the “Bill Bavasi Memorial Division.”

The bottom-line is that Bavasi’s tenure in Seattle brought some of the worst free agent contracts in MLB history to the Mariners, including the signings of 1B Richie Sexson, 3B Adrian Beltre, SP Jeff Weaver, SP Jarrod Washburn, and the ever-so-popular SP Carlos Silva.

Mariners Tigers Baseball

SP Carlos Silva

In 2006-07 Carlos Silva pitched two full seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Through two years he started 44 games, compiling a 24-29 record and a 5.01ERA. His reward for this completely mediocre stretch of games? A 4-year $48 Million contract with the Seattle Mariners.

No, there was no typo in that previous paragraph… A 27-year-old pitcher who managed a 5.01ERA over two full seasons somehow roped in a contract netting him $48 million…

His time in Seattle has done nothing but confirm that his mediocre statistics in Minnesota told exactly how much talent he has. To quote the aforementioned article, “Silva is that rare phenomenon: A sinkerball pitcher who also gives up a lot of home runs. Kind of a deadly combo, which explains why he went 4-15 with a 6.46 ERA in ’08.”

2008 is the only full season he has spent with Seattle, and his 2009 record so far is continuing his pattern of excellence.

Through five starts in 2009, Silva has a 1-2 record with a 7.36ERA. The only win he has was earned through five grueling innings of work, in which the game recap began, “Carlos Silva willed himself through five painful innings — practically begging rookie manager Don Wakamatsu to let him stay long enough to qualify for his first victory in almost 10 months.”

Yes, before his middle-of-the-road completely average performance in this game Carlos Silva had not earned a Major League victory in nearly 10 months…

The Seattle Mariners have a lot to gain in 2009. There are new faces throughout its offense which have already shown the potential to produce (1B Russell Branyan, OF Ken Griffey Jr., OF Endy Chavez) and a slew of young talent waiting in the wings if the current roster fails (SP Philippe Aumont, C/1B Jeff Clement, OF Wladimir Balentein).

The one thing that the 2009 Seattle Mariners cannot afford is a bloated contract forcing the team to start and/or play a certain player. It seems as if Carlos Silva has reached this point.

Silva has nothing more to offer this team, and the Seattle Mariners will be better off if they simply part ways and take the financial penalty in doing so.

Silva is one of the last ties the Seattle Mariners have to a painful Bavasi-era, and in order to win in 2009 the Seattle Mariners will need to simply cut ties and move on.

Comment with whether you agree or disagree, but I cannot see anyone defending Carlos Silva at this point in his career…

sk.

Read Full Post »

The first week of Major League Baseball has shown a number of surprise stories. In the fantasy realms, men like Emilio Bonifacio and Nyjer Morgan have caught fire. In the real world, however, the most shocking facet of Major League Baseball thus far is its respective division leaders.

Here is a list of the current division leaders:

AL West – Seattle Mariners
AL Central – Kansas City Royals
AL East – Baltimore Orioles
NL West – San Diego Padres
NL Central – Chicago Cubs
NL East – Florida Marlins

Needless to say, the only current division leader that was expected to be where they are is the Chicago Cubs. The rest of these teams are simply over-achieving, right? Maybe not…

Here is a run-down of the current division leaders and whether each team is teasing their fans with a good first week or could actually compete in 2009.

AL WEST – SEATTLE MARINERS

The general response to Mariners hype is “No way! They lost 101 games last season!” While this is true, most people overlook the fact that two years ago this team won 88 games and led the AL wild card race for most of the summer.

This is not to say that the Mariners will certainly win, but as I said in My Opening Day Article, the Mariners are capable of winning.

The three necessary components I listed are Griffey’s production (already 1HR), Bedard’s health (a near-shutout gem in his last start) and the bullpen gaining some consistency (David Aardsma and Brandon Morrow already look like a devastating 8th/9th inning combination). If these pieces fall into place, the Mariners could contend this year.

More than any other factor, the Mariners may benefit from playing in a weak division. The Angels are aging, the Athletics are talent-starved, and the Rangers seem content to keep winning or losing 15-run ballgames. If the Mariners develop some consistency they could pull this one off.

Verdict: Contender

AL CENTRAL – KANSAS CITY ROYALS

"Poppin' Fresh" Billy Butler Leads a Mediocre Kansas City Offense

"Poppin' Fresh" Billy Butler Leads a Mediocre Kansas City Offense

One of the most encouraging things about the Royals hot start is that it has come mostly against other AL Central opponents (combined 4-1 v. Chicago and Cleveland), but that being said it will be difficult for Kansas City to maintain this pace.

The Royals offense has been horrid, and in their first five games it scored a combined eight runs (1.6 R/G). Despite this terrible offense, Kansas City has been able to win with consistent pitching. Eventually this will fall through. Zach Grienke has an ERA of 0.00, Kyle Davies has a 2.13, and Gil Meche has a 3.21. These are excellent numbers, but to expect this production all year is ludicrous.

Grienke and Meche will remain solid, but Davies (career ERA over 5) and the rest of the Sidney Ponson All-Star rotation will not keep up this pace. Eventually the offense will drag them down.

Verdict: Pretender

AL EAST – BALTIMORE ORIOLES

This one is a slam-dunk choice for me. I’m not going to say that the Orioles are a terrible team, but I am saying that their competition is just too good for them to maintain their current pace.

Yes, they rocked the Yankees. But they caught C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in their first pinstripe starts, and if you look at each pitcher’s next round you can see what they are capable of.

Yes, they took a series from the Rays. But they caught the Rays’ back end of the rotation. They did not have to face Scott Kazmir or Matt Garza, while taking wins from Andy Sonnanstine and some guy named Niemann. B.J. Upton is healthy and the Rays are just getting started.

Oh yeah, then there is that team from Boston…

Sorry to Orioles fans, but 2009 is not their year. Baltimore has a good corps of five players (Roberts, A.Jones, Markakis, Huff, Mora), but the other teams in your division are just too talented for Baltimore to actually compete this year.

Verdict: Pretender

NL WEST – SAN DIEGO PADRES

SP Jake Peavy

SP Jake Peavy

I’m starting to feel like a jerk while writing this, but some of the things I’m writing have to be said.

I will give the Padres a great asset that the Orioles badly need: a terrible division to play in. However, I can’t say that the San Diego Padres can contend this year.

San Diego has split a series with the Dodgers (2-2) and swept a three-game series from the knockaround Giants. Unfortunately for the Padres, none of this has been done in convincing fashion.

San Diego seems content to let their pitching win games for them. They play in PetCo Park, feature a good-but-not-great pitching staff and to date the Padres have not scored more than seven runs in a game.

Jake Peavy and Chris Young are good enough to carry a team in this fashion. Walter Silva, Kevin Correia, and Shawn Hill, however, are not. Eventually San Diego’s mediocre offense will drag them down.

Verdict: Pretender

NL CENTRAL – CHICAGO CUBS

Yes. Is that enough to say here?

As I mentioned in My MLB Predictions Article, I believe that the Cubs have what it takes to win the NL Central. They have a solid pitching staff (Rich Harden is their No.4 Pitcher… That’s nasty) and excellent offensive weapons.

I don’t need to type much to defend the Cubs, as they are a near-consensus choice to win the NL Central this year (some Cardinals/Brewers supporters do exist).

Verdict: Contender

NL EAST – FLORIDA MARLINS

SS Hanley Ramirez

SS Hanley Ramirez

In 1997 the Florida Marlins shocked the world by winning the World Series with a low-income crop of players.

Six years later, in 2003, the Marlins again won a World Series with a group of unproven players (who have now gone on to be stars).

Six years later, in 2009, the Marlins have come out of the gate 6-1 and feature some of the best young talent in baseball.

Many critics suggested that the Marlins lineup would struggle without Hanley Ramirez in the leadoff spot, but Emilio Bonifacio is the new leadoff man and the Marlins haven’t lost a step.

2009 NL MVP Hanley Ramirez (book it, it’s happening) might be the best player in all of baseball, and while the lineup of Bonifacio, John Baker, Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, and Jeremy Hermida isn’t exactly “Murderer’s Row,” it is a serviceable offense.

The offense is average, but the pitching is outstanding. Many experts labeled the Marlins’ rotation of Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez, and Andrew Miller as the best in the NL East. They have an unprecedented amount of young talent, and if the rotation can gain consistency then the Marlins could contend for the NL East crown this year.

Verdict: Contender

That’s my opinion on what division leaders are faking it and who might be around to play in October.

Comment with what you think is right, wrong, and anywhere in between.

sk.

Read Full Post »

Major League Baseball’s 2009 Opening Day is in the books, and it’s time for Remember the Sonics to provide commentary on significant happenings from Monday night.

Here’s a look at some things of note from Opening Day 2009.

Most Overhyped Headlines

Johan Santana Can't Pitch Every Game

Johan Santana Can't Pitch Every Game

New-Look Mets’ Bullpen Throws 3 1/3 Shutout Innings – This headline should read Old-Look Mets’ Offense Scores Only 2 Runs! The media has gone into frenzy over the Mets’ bullpen performance on Monday. It’s true, this is why they brought in J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez, but the media is leaving out one significant detail: who is going to get them the ball? If Oliver Perez was pitching Monday and their offense scored only two runs, do you think K-Rod would have had a save opportunity? Instead of marveling at how K-Rod did a four-minute dancing celebration for an everyday save conversion, think about how the Mets offense needs to pick it up to be successful. Yes, the Mets’ bullpen looks better, but unless their offense can produce more than two runs (against a miserable Reds pitching staff) the Mets aren’t going anywhere this year.

C.C. Sabathia Gets Rocked In Season-Opener –
Yes, C.C. was beat up on Monday, but Yankees fans need to put away the pitchforks and pull out the history books. In 2008, Sabathia had an ERA over 10 through his first five starts (10.12 to be exact), and rebounded to nearly win the Cy Young award (in the National League). I’m not saying that C.C. Sabathia is going to suffer through four more terrible starts before turning it around (I’m not even saying that Sabathia will turn it around at all), but I am saying that if C.C. played anywhere else and were paid any less this would be back page news. For now, Sabathia is going to get butchered by the New York media and heckled by Yankee fans until he turns it around. Could he be the Yankees’ next big free agent bust? Absolutely, but I’d like to see more than one start until Sportscenter runs this story every three minutes.

Most Interesting Headlines

Aces Getting Busted – Opening Day was full of big-name pitchers giving up big-time run totals. Colorado’s Aaron Cook (2.1 IP, 6 ER), Arizona’s Brandon Webb (4 IP, 6 ER),  Cleveland’s Cliff Lee (5 IP, 7 ER), Toronto’s Roy Halladay (7 IP, 5 ER), and the previously mentioned C.C. Sabathia (4.1 IP, 6 ER) were all kicked around the mound by anyone and everyone. Throw these in with a number of other mediocre performances (Jake Peavy, Francisco Liriano, Roy Oswalt, etc.) and Opening Day 2009 looks like a hitters’ day. Johan Santana was in the minority of pitchers who earned their paycheck, but the majority of club aces got lit up on Monday.

Cardinals RP Chris Perez

Cardinals RP Chris Perez

Bullpen Turmoil in St. Louis – At the end of spring training, Cardinals’ Manager Tony LaRussa gave RP Jason Motte the closer nod while the Cardinals sent RP Chris Perez down to AAA-Memphis. Motte fell apart on Monday (1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER), heating up a previously comfortable closer seat. It will be interesting to see how LaRussa handles this situation. He is typically slow to oust closers (look at how long Isringhausen mucked up the Cardinal bullpen before he was put out of his misery), but if Motte blows any more save opportunities, especially in this fashion, look for Chris Perez to be called up. Perez was shaky as the Cardinals’ closer last year (converted 7 of 9 save opportunities), but he is a 23 year-old former first round pick… Expect to see him around sooner rather than later.

Winning Teams Who Provided False Hope for Their Fans

Colorado Rockies (9-8 over Arizona) – Monday’s showdown with Arizona was a typical Coors Field box score: 17 combined runs scored, 8 combined home runs, and no pitching to be found. The only problem is this game wasn’t played in Colorado, it was played in Arizona! Colorado won in typical fashion, by putting up impressive offensive stats, but the fans hopefully know that this fashion won’t provide a winning team. The NL West is open for the taking this year, but Colorado is my call for last-place. Until the Rockies gather some sort of pitching talent they simply cannot keep winning games. Last I checked this isn’t a Big 12 football game, so scoring every time you touch it isn’t enough to win.

Seattle May Be Doomed if Griffey Doesn't Return to All-Star Form

Seattle Could Win if Griffey Returns to All-Star Form

Seattle Mariners (6-1 over Minnesota) – I am a Mariners fan, and no one loved seeing The Kid’s home run stroke on Monday night more than me. Despite a good win tonight, here is what Mariners fans need to understand about Monday night’s victory: Felix Hernandez only gets to pitch once every five games! King Felix has Cy Young talent, but he can’t pitch every game for the M’s. Instead, the Mariners have to hand the ball to guys like Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn, and Ryan Rowland-Smith (Ouch). Also, don’t forget that the Mariners offense featured the Mike Sweeney batting in the three-hole… The Mariners could win this year. Why? Because the Angels are aging and if they stumble the AL West offers no clear contender. The AL West might be the most open division in baseball, but unless Griffey gets his stroke back, Bedard stays healthy, and the bullpen gains some stability the Mariners probably can’t win in 2009.

Winning Teams Who Could Be Surprise Contenders

Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez

Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez

Florida Marlins  (12-6 over Washington) – Don’t look now, but the Florida Marlins might have the best pitching rotation in the NL East. Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez, and Andrew Miller offer the most young talent of any major league rotation. The question is if they can pitch consistently. Nolasco’s line on Monday wasn’t too impressive, but it was enough to best a miserable Nationals team. The X-Factor will be Florida’s offense. Hanley Ramirez is an MVP-caliber shortstop, but his supporting cast is inexperienced (to put it lightly). Don’t expect Emilio Bonifacio to put up this kind of stat line all season (4-5, 4 R, HR, 2 RBI), but if the Han-Ram, Dan Uggla and crew can provide a marginal amount of offense, the Marlins pitching staff could pitch them into contention.

Texas Rangers (9-1 over Cleveland) – Coming into Monday’s game, all the stats/predictions favored the Cleveland Indians. Numerous experts and bloggers predict Cleveland to win a weak AL Central, Indians’ starter Cliff Lee is coming off a 2008 Cy Young campaign, and the Rangers’ made no significant offseason transactions to better a mediocre 2008 roster. The Rangers outperformed any expectations on Monday by lighting up Cleveland’s pitching staff for nine runs and limiting Cleveland’s offense to only one. As previously mentioned, the AL West could be the most open division in baseball this year.  If the Rangers’ young players who lack experience (super-prospect Elvis Andrus and former Brave Jarrod Saltalamacchia) can contribute on offense, the Rangers might be able to steal the 2009 AL West crown.

RTS didn’t get it out in time, but expect our 2009 MLB Prediction Special some time this week…

Comment with what you agree/disagree on, we look forward to hearing from you.

sk

Read Full Post »