Fridays at Safeco, Saturday Edition

Yeah, I’m late. Again.

So things for the trip east are slowly but surely shaping up. I managed to find a decently-priced battery case for my phone the other day and that is on its way. It will be great for games here, too, since stadiums really tend to suck the juice out of the phone and often I find myself unable to take pictures or text due to the phone dying. Not normally a huge deal, but if I need a ride home, texting/calling is sort of necessary. The only thing I really have to do (but really don’t have to do) is get my jersey lettered. I’m not sure if I’m going to take it on the trip with me or not, but I would like it for the home opener here. This is all precariously dependent upon money right now, and weather; unlike my Putz jersey, my new one actually fits me, and there is no room under it for hoodies or other warm clothing. Doesn’t seem like much of a point to rush to get it lettered if the lettering can’t be seen.  And if it seems like I’m nitpicking on any details, it’s because I am. This trip is a pretty big deal for me, and even seven weeks away, I’m really sweating the small stuff.

Well, since I’m headed off to Birds territory soon, let’s kick it off with everyone’s favorite MarinerOriole:

IMG_2833As odd as it may seem, Adam Jones still feels like a major loss for us. I don’t know if others have had any benefit of time healing some wounds, but I’m still feeling it. If Chad Bradford started my interest the the Orioles, the Adam Jones/Erik Bedard trade was what cemented that interest, and part of what keeps it alive today is Jones’ continued presence on the team. That and after 5-6 years, you just don’t abandon what you love, even if it’s far away and you don’t get to see it but only a few times a year.  I am looking forward to seeing him play on his home grass.

IMG_2913The blurry, delicate ballet dancer that is Hisashi Iwakuma. This is not a good photo, but I love everything about the way he pitches. As everyone is aware by now, Iwakuma’s not going to be ready for the start of the season. This seems like a very Mariners thing to me by now, but I am concerned because starting pitching has really dried up in the free agent market, and I don’t know how I feel about our other current in-house options for the remainder of the rotation. Between this, Taijuan Walker’s “shoulder soreness”, and a look at our 40-man, my hopes for the beginning of this year are not terribly high. I’m not really complaining though. I miss baseball so much that even bad baseball is better than no baseball at all at this point. I’m not try to cast any aspersions, just being realistic.

IMG_3049This is the last photo I took of Mariano Rivera, outside of some really bad pitching shots from left field. It was the last time I saw him in person, and when he came out of the bullpen, my friend Jesse and I stood up and cheered. I was looked at by Mariners fans who likely thought I was a Yankees fan, but no, of course not. Just a fan of the game where things like retirement and awesome players are concerned. I like to pay respect where respect is due; and it was definitely due. I kind of wish we had played Enter Sandman, but at the same time realize that would have totally gone against all of baseball’s codes regarding, y’know, the home team. Ah well. You will be missed, sir.

Sometime between when I started writing this post and, well, now, the Seattle Times started requiring a payment of $0.99 a week to read their sports articles (the articles I posted above in links were easily read with a click earlier this morning, and I took some time out to eat lunch and such before I continued writing here). Since this is pretty much all I read from their paper, this is very disappointing to me. I will debate paying because it’s a small amount and I like our sports beat guys, but frankly, I don’t read stuff every day, and sometimes the articles that come into my inbox aren’t even about baseball or Seattle sports, so it will have to be something I think about. It’s probably more of an option after April and May, when I will be done with my current financial obligations.

One of the reasons this change is disappointing to me (outside of being so abrupt), is that there is an article here talking about Jesus Montero’s weight that I had hoped to read today and now can’t as easily. Quoted in the daily email is the tagline: “It’s up to him,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.” Ouuuuuch. Ouch. That stings. As much as I feel badly for Jesus Montero, and having things like this said about your performance and general being out in public for the world to see must surely be disheartening, Montero has nobody to blame for his present condition other than himself. I understand that there was also a recent sad press conference regarding his links to the whole ARod/steroids thing and his suspension. Unfortunately, this is the price you pay. The price we pay is Jesus Montero on the Mariners. I hope for all our sakes that he gets it together and surprises everyone, but I guess this is why we have John Buck now.

Last weekend, we had a party and a friend of mine and I were discussing the possibility of Ubaldo Jimenez making it to Seattle, and some of the gossip surrounding Mariners’ interest in Nelson Cruz. Well, all of that was for naught, because both players wound up in Baltimore, and now we have come full circle to April’s trip!  I think the O’s paid probably about $3-$4M too much for Cruz for the time (I am cheap, cheap, cheap! and therefore, probably unrealistic about money), but that is neither here nor there; he’s not going to be Seattle’s issue, and it seems like a lot of people are happy about that. Jimenez, on the other hand, I would have loved to have here. Oh well. The Orioles’ roster is now chock full of players I like, which will make watching them more fun. A few days ago we were rumored to have been looking at Chris Capuano.  Now we’re not anymore. Ervin Santana is still up for grabs, but there is not much left for free agents anymore. Due to Robinson Cano being here, it looks like Nick Franklin is likely mostly out of a job, so perhaps he can be used to trade for an arm while the remainder of the pitching is sorted out. I don’t really want to lose Nick Franklin (yet another case of “wow, look at this guy!” turned into “well, now we trade him.”), but I also don’t want to compromise our SP, and Cano’s contract sort of wins here, I’m guessing.

So that’s it for today. Have a good weekend!





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