Amateur night in Peoria

St Patrick’s Day in the desert!

The Mariners/Rangers game last night was accompanied by chicken wings, celery and bleu cheese, and a healthy dose of beer and cider. Not an awful way to spend an almost-done-with-school Wednesday night. I have not yet gotten my swing back as far as writing about games, and frankly, the lack of games actually being broadcast have made it difficult to return to form. Also, it’s Spring Training, and like everyone says, ‘who cares’, etc. The one thing that I was most interested in is that the starting lineups were very similar to what you might see in an actual game. Not that I wouldn’t have loved to see our minors guys a little more, but there isn’t a lot of time for that now as we get closer to Opening Day in Oakland.

The first (and by far the most ridiculous) event of the night was Milton Bradley getting tossed from the game in the 3rd inning with the Mariners down 2-1. Geoff Baker’s got a little more about what happened here, but it basically boils down to Bradley just not counting the outs in the inning. Don Wakamatsu of course went out and calmly argued his case, like Wak does – and there was an earnestness in his face this time that I haven’t seen much before. Bradley apparently handled the situation well, but I have to wonder how many more times the assorted umpiring staff will do this to us – and I do hold them responsible here. Just keep taking it calmly, Milton – Seattle totally has your back on this one. Though if you do decide to go ballistic at a game, my only request is that it’s one I’m at.

David Aardsma was brought into the top of the 5th inning after Ian Snell, and did not do very well. He gave up a walk, a double, a sac fly, a single, then balked, then gave up a homer to Nelson Cruz before he was replaced with Brandon League, who gave up another home run before managing to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia out swinging. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Brandon League, I might add, has also been saddled with number 43; Miguel Batista’s old number. I don’t believe in curses, not really – but he might want to seriously re-think that before going onto a field of actual, real-game play. In fact, if the Mariners could just burn the actual number 43 and let it never be used in the world’s number lexicon again, it might be for the best.

Vladimir Guerrero did not look as frightening as he usually does. He was 1 for 3 last night, and his 1 was a base hit off David Aardsma and past Jose Lopez at 3rd into left-ish field. And he did eventually make it home for a run – but I haven’t really heard any rave reviews from any fans or writers in his corner so far, and he just looked tired last night. He’s always had kind of an odd run and looked like he’s been held together with duct tape and Krazy Straws, even a few years ago. Maybe that will change once the season gets underway – it’s obvious that the Rangers can still hit, so maybe Vlad is not a chink in their armor this year. He was replaced later in the game.

Last night also marked my first real look at Kanekoa Texeira. I probably should have paid a little more attention to him in general, but it was indeed discovered that I was lied to. Lied to! Texeira was not looking like much of a sidearmer last night, despite some photos I’ve seen indicating the contrary. But his 7th inning and his first two outs in the 8th made up for it (I remember making a comment on Twitter about him being broken, though I can’t remember what prompted me to say that). He was replaced by Jesus Colome, who finished the rest of the game with flying colors.

Like Jon at ProBall in the link there above, I too am terrified by Ian Snell. Camera angles were not cooperating last night, but it does look like he’s got his foot issue corrected. Unfortunately, all the foot placement in the world didn’t help him. Strangely, his post-game interview was not one of a guy who just gave up the bulk of our runs. He seemed very upbeat. Maybe he was just glad to be off the field and not have to listen to the rantings of some harpy who kept rooting for Texas under the broadcast booth. Lady, I remember my first beer, too; at least act like you’ve been there before.

It wasn’t an encouraging game by any stretch of the imagination, but it was only one game. We have a whole season of suspensions, ejections, and general calmness to look forward to. Still full-throttle for 2010, and the game vs. the Colorado Rockies today at 1pm. Also, it looks like Seattle’s weather has decided to behave itself today, so mentally I’ll be in the sunny warmth of Arizona, while sitting here in the sunny fake-out in Seattle. Go Mariners!

EDIT: I did not read Jeff Sullivan’s post at Lookout Landing before writing this. We were both lied to – I blame Jon Shields.

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