Links, News, and Other Stuff (But Mostly Links and News)

If you had told me when Willie Bloomquist started his career as a non-Mariner that this would happen, I would have laughed. OK, well maybe not laughed, but at least rolled my eyes. Or looked at you funny, at the very least. But good for Bloomie. He found a team that really wants him, that he seems to work well with, and he managed to get better money than he might have if he had simply taken his option. Then again, that’s what you get when your agent is Scott Boras.* He was actually a lot of fun to watch during the playoffs, even though the Snakes did not win. So good work Willie, I will look forward to seeing you on TV during the Mariners/Diamondbacks three-game series in June.

In scarier news, Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has apparently been kidnapped down in his native Venezuela. He was taken out of his home by four armed men, per the link above. No other information has really come out of this story, but it is only an hour or so old, so hopefully someone finds out more soon. Venezuela is not Brazil, but in Brazil there are doctors who specialize in plastic surgery to remodel ears for people. This is apparently a necessary service because of kidnappings that occur of wealthy people for ransom money. The victim’s ear is cut off and sent to the family as a threat of what might happen if the kidnappers are not paid their asking price. I’m not saying that the Nationals are going to wind up with an earless catcher, but I think I can safely say that Venezuela is one of the last places on earth I’d like to be kidnapped. I am hoping for a positive outcome for not only Mr Ramos and his family, but for the Nats fans and Ramos’ teammates as well.

I wasn’t going to ever talk about this until/if or when it happens (or doesn’t), but it seems like the Prince Fielder dream has reached the Seattle Times, so why not address it. First of all, in spite of comments I’ve made on Twitter, I’m not totally opposed to this idea; and the reasons I might be opposed to it are purely related to intangibles. Fielder is younger than I thought before I looked it up just now, and if he is looking for a long-term contract, and we can afford it, I see no reason the Mariners should not make the move. My reasons for being skittish about it are just fluffy, and have more to do with what I perceive Fielder’s general attitude to be and the fact that giving a long term contract to one of another team’s stars is still leaving a bad taste in my mouth from the whole Chone Figgins thing. There is absolutely no reason other than the possible payroll issue I can see that the Mariners should not make this move. Oh, and that USS Mariner seems to like Joey Votto better. But I’m sure the fans would like to see some balls spanked over the wall this year, so why not Prince? The whole ‘we’re not contenders’ argument is ridiculous. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that we need to see some good baseball in this city, and that right soon. Contention or no, I would very much like to stop being the butt of other cities’ jokes if at all possible. I’m not holding my breath, though, so if it doesn’t happen, I won’t be too upset. I’m totally going to roll with whatever this season. After the past few seasons of getting my hopes up during the offseason, I think I’m going to take a different approach.

Thanks to Jeff Sullivan, I now know that Safeco Field will have four electrical stations for those folks with electric cars. No thanks to my low pay rate at the time I bought my Hyundai, I will not be using them. But it is cool that they have them. I have very little knowledge of the way other clubs run their recycling and waste programs in their respective fields, but Safeco has been making a lot of moves that I really do approve of, with their vegetable-based “plastic” beer cups and recyclable cardboard food trays. I believe they are also using energy-saving lightbulbs in at least parts of the field, and I’m sure that there are other things they do to improve their energy usage. I think it’s a good move. There must be four Mariners fans who drive electric cars. There must be!

That’s all I have to say today. Thanks for reading!

*Boras, by the way, was mentioned briefly in Moneyball. They didn’t say his last name, but it was obvious who Pitt’s character was dealing with over the phone. I was the only one in the theater who laughed.

EDIT: The Washington Post has this blurb up about Ramos’ kidnapping, but 13 hours after the incident was first reported, there is still not much more information.

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