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I was ten years old when the Mariners made a major shift. To date, I'd only been decked in blue and yellow, from my first baseball cap to my first baseball that sat in my glove whenever it wasn't in use -- a Griffey fotoball issued in 19...
I was ten years old when the Mariners made a major shift. To date, I'd only been decked in blue and yellow, from my first baseball cap to my first baseball that sat in my glove whenever it wasn't in use -- a Griffey fotoball issued in 1990, before the trademark smile and personality shone through every subsequent piece of memorabilia owned by young fans such as myself. It's now been over 20 years since the Mariners changed from their former blue and yellow color scheme to the current silver and navy with teal. With the compass rose came a new, successful era in Mariners baseball fronted by a superstar with a beaming smile, joined by other stars in their own right. The Mariners toyed around with various color combinations over the years with jerseys and hats -- but the logo and color scheme have remained the same. Most teams have made changes to their uniforms since 1993, even if they're subtle. The Orioles tinkered with the bird and brought back white paneled hats. The Indians introduced a new hat logo. The Tigers took the actual tiger out of their logo and returned to the old English D. Kansas City made light blue a primary color and tweaked their logo. The Angels went through a complete overhaul, as did the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Old was new again for the Blue Jays and Twins, revisiting old logos from the past. Even Boston introduced new jerseys and alternate caps. Among American League teams, only the White Sox, A's, and Yankees have mostly stood pat in the same time frame as the last logo change. Through it all, the Mariners have stood still, long after the relative glory days of 1995-2003 have faded. A teal bill on a cap here, a throwback jersey there, or simply a navy or teal alternate jersey - the Mariners have slowly become one of the dullest franchises in sports when it comes to identity. It's understandable for franchises to stand still with a rich history of multiple generations of fans, but the Mariners don't have the age or the former glory to justify such a commitment to one logo. They're currently occupying the same identity of an era that's long passed, all while shamelessly reliving a past that grows more and more distant. Perhaps it's best to finally leave the past behind. The Mariners have been treading water for a decade. The results speak for themselves, and even though each new offseason brings some semblance of hope, the well from which to draw said hope from is growing more dry every year. Now, faced with a general manager who could be described as a lame duck and a franchise with only one firmly established star, another year of taking up the same uniform as Griffey, Johnson, Buhner, and Ichiro induces an uninspired shoulder shrug. Felix Hernandez is the bridge between eras. The Mariners were once fortunate to have one of the better logos in baseball. The compass rose planted firmly in the middle of the S was a revelation in the early 90s, but over time it has dulled. Baseball caps are worn today as fashion statements as much as a sign of devotion. When the Marlins underwent their overhaul, their awful new hats popped up everywhere -- in hip-hop videos, on celebrities, and even all across Seattle. New is interesting, even if the product on the field hasn't changed. New Era has changed the game with the boom of the 5950, and despite my begrudging resistance, it seems snapbacks are also here to stay for another few years. Fan interest has flat-lined. Despite a small improvement in attendance this season, the Mariners are nowhere near where they should, or rather could be. A new identity, even if cosmetic, can make a difference in not only local but national awareness. People will wear the new hat, even if it's going to be another sub-par year. In fashion, new is always better -- and if it's a new version of something old, it's a bonus. There was a flimsy rumor back in March that the Mariners may be moving to cream and gold for 2014. The buzz was based on a Facebook post from Ebbets Field Flannels,
about 3 hours ago
The Mariners are continuing their search for a manager, and while it's mostly been quiet since our last update, Jon Heyman wrote a small column last night highlighting a few names we've heard before, and a couple of new ones. Heyman say...
The Mariners are continuing their search for a manager, and while it's mostly been quiet since our last update, Jon Heyman wrote a small column last night highlighting a few names we've heard before, and a couple of new ones. Heyman says the M's have a "long short list" of 20 names, and Joe Girardi is nowhere to be found on it. That's really not a surprise, given the current state of affairs in the Mariners front office, and the three names passed along are much smaller profile guys. Let's run them down. Chip Hale is currently the bench coach for the A's, though he has managing experience in the minors, having previously been with the Diamondbacks organization, winning PCL manager of the year once. In between those stints, he was with the Mets as a third base coach. Fun facts about Chip Hale: Played between 67 and 69 games in three consecutive years for the Twins in the 90s Hit the ball that Rodney McCray famously ran through the outfield wall trying to catch in a 1991 minor league game Is named Chip Ron Wotus is another bench coach who once won PCL manager of the year. Wotus has been with the Giants organization for 25 years, dating back to his days as a player starting in 1988, then as a minor league manager from 91-97. In 1999, Wotus became the Giants bench coach, and he hasn't left that role since. Fun Ron Wotus facts: Made his major league debut when I was a week old Was minor league teammates with Barry Bonds in 1986 for the Pirates PCL affiliate in Hawaii Walked more times than he struck out over 900+ minor league games Pete Mackanin is 62 years old and is currently employed as the third base coach for the Phillies, hired yesterday. He's spent time as a coach with the Expos, Pirates, and Reds, and has twice been an interim manager -- once for the Pirates and once for the Reds, who eventually replaced him with Dusty Baker. After leaving Cincinnati, Mackanin went to Philadelphia, where he served as a bench coach for three years before leaving the organization for a year, returning yesterday. Fun Pete Mackanin facts: Played seven different positions in his major league career Had a .268 OPS his rookie season Likes apple pie, probably More from Lookout Landing: Taijuan Walker as Nuke LaLoosh—and not Report: Kendrys Morales will decline Mariners qualifying offer 10/8/13: Tuesday playoff thread Crowdsourcing: What's a fair contract for Kendrys Morales? 10/7: Monday Playoff Thread
about 6 hours ago
The Peoria Javelinas dropped the first game of the Arizona Fall League season to Surprise 7-6 in Surprise, Arizona Tuesday. Mariners’ Top-20 prospects Stefen Romero and Patrick Kivelhan each had a hit while LHP Kyle Hunter pitched ...
The Peoria Javelinas dropped the first game of the Arizona Fall League season to Surprise 7-6 in Surprise, Arizona Tuesday. Mariners’ Top-20 prospects Stefen Romero and Patrick Kivelhan each had a hit while LHP Kyle Hunter pitched two scoreless innings for the Javelinas. Here are the lines from the seven Mariners players on the Peoria roster. Romero- LF: 1-for-3, 2 R Kivelhan- DH: 1-for-4, K Hunter- P: 2 IP, H, 3 K Brandon Maurer, Dominic Leone, Carson Smith, Chris Taylor: DNP The Javelinas are back in action Wednesday against Surprise in Peoria. First pitch is set for 12:35 pm PDT. For more on the future Mariners players that are in Peoria for the AFL, check out our rundown we posted Monday. Peoria drops Fall League opener - SoDo Mojo - SoDo Mojo - A Seattle Mariners Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 6 hours ago
Throw out the numbers. The defense. The dingers. Disregard the coaching and the questionable decision making of a questionable GM and an even more questionable ownership group. Simply clear your head…you might need to take a few ...
Throw out the numbers. The defense. The dingers. Disregard the coaching and the questionable decision making of a questionable GM and an even more questionable ownership group. Simply clear your head…you might need to take a few deep breaths. Here let’s do it together…1…breath...2…breath...3…breath. Good. Let's do this. Projected 2014 Depth Chart C Zunnino 1st Smoak/Ackley 2nd Franklin/Ackley/Miller SS Miller/Franklin 3rd Seager/Miller OF Saunders/Ackley/Almonte/Guti DH Unknown SP Fexlix, Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton, Erasmo RP D. Farquhar (CL), Medina, C. Capps, C. Furbush, T. Wilhelmsen, S. Pryor That’s 20/25 players for our 2014 opening day roster. There are some holes. I’m not going to include Maurer, C. Truinfel, E. Chavez, O. Perez, L. Luetge, H. Noesi, C. Ruffin, B. LaFromboise. Those guys have either been horrible, need time in the minors, or need to be released. So 20/25……Lets fill those 5 spots. 21. Kendrys Morales 2yrs/$24M Despite his defensive inabilities and lack of speed he’s a solid bat. He seemed to fit in Seattle. I also believe he can at least put up those same identical numbers. Now if the M’s resign Ibanez then I would rethink this decision. 22. Jacoby Ellsbury. 5yrs/$100M is a risk for a 31yr old player whose game is based on speed. Ultimately, we need a solid defensive OF who can be a spark plug for our offense and instead of me babbling about potential trades for other star OF’s like Carlos Gonzales or Mike Stanton I’m just going to go with signing Jacoby. Shin Soo Choo would probably cost less and his game is less about speed and more about OBP. Take your pick. 23. Kurt Suzuki. 1yr/$3M We need another catcher to take some pressure off of Zunino. Suzuki is only 30 he hits both left and right handers (neither very well but better than most of the other FA options such as Sotto, Navarro, Buck, etc.) 24. Josh Johnson OR Dan Haren 1yr/$10M I’m tempted to chase after a younger pitcher with less health issues such as Ubaldo Jimenez, Tim Lincecum or Matt Garza. However, they will command a lot more money and years. With Iwakuma(32) entering a contract year and the M’s having several other question marks in their SP. Simply put I don’t feel like gambling on inconsistent pitchers such as those no matter the upside. Not to mention if we are horrible again this season I believe we enter full rebuild mode with a new GM and that’s one less contract to deal with. This is where things get dicey. I don’t like our infield depth at the major league OR minor league level. 162 games in a season and someone is going to get hurt. Though I really like our bullpen it could use 1 maybe 2 additional arms. Once you take all of this into consideration it’s easy to see that there is no one player that can address all of these issues with our final roster spot. As a result, I am going to suggest a trade. 25. Trade Dustin Ackley/Brandon Maurer to the Diamondbacks for Martin Prado (29yrs old). They might want more or less. There might be other small pieces involved. As long as things don’t get out of hand I would pull the trigger on a trade for Prado. He can play anywhere on the field and would fill a super utility role for us. Roughly $45M total spending. Much Improved 2014 Seattle Mariners Depth Chart C Zunnino/Kurt Suzuki 1st Smoak/Morales 2nd Franklin/Prado/Miller SS Miller/Franklin/Prado 3rd Seager/Prado/Miller LF Saunders/Ellsbury/Prado Alternates: Almonte/Guti DH Morales SP Fexlix, Iwakuma, Josh Johnson, Walker, Paxto/ Erasmo RP D. Farquhar (CL), Medina, C. Capps, C. Furbush, T. Wilhelmsen, S. Pryor Poll What would you do? I like this purposed plan Something similar A completly different way 0 votes | Results
about 9 hours ago
Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice has two catches over the last two games, and he could be the answer for an offense thats seeking to improve its efficiency in the red zone.
Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice has two catches over the last two games, and he could be the answer for an offense thats seeking to improve its efficiency in the red zone.
about 11 hours ago
Sep 23, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pinch hitter Michael Saunders (55) and Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) celebrate after Saunders hit a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals during the 8th inning at Safeco ...
Sep 23, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pinch hitter Michael Saunders (55) and Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) celebrate after Saunders hit a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals during the 8th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports Before I go any farther: No, he’s not ready. But I think he could be soon, given the right circumstances. Today the Mariners DFA’d catcher Henry Blanco. This wasn’t a huge surprise, given that Blanco was only mediocre in 34 appearances with the Mariners this season. Although he did have a pinch-hit grand slam, which ranks as one of the high points of my viewing season. Blanco has been all over the major leagues, and I suspect it won’t be long before we see him packing up and headed somewhere else. Most importantly, now that Blanco is gone, the Mariners are left with Humberto Quintero and Mike Zunino at catcher. Jesus Sucre is on the 40 man roster as well, but I think we can all agree that he just isn’t ready. Mike Zunino made his MLB debut this season, he’s been very highly touted for quite some time, and I think we’re all in agreement that it’s nice to be excited about something. Lets take a brief look back at his 2013 season. We saw Zunino 52 times this season, and he was the starting catcher for 49 of those appearances. Importantly, he made virtually all of the Mariners starts for September and got a taste of what it’s like to be the every day catcher in the Bigs. This season, Zunino hit for a triple slash of .214/.290/.329. At the same time he hit 5 homers and 14 RBIs. Those numbers aren’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination. For a guy who was so hyped up I think there was a little bit of disappointment in the air surrounding his season. Fangraphs lists his offensive WAR as a dismal -4.8 for 2013. Here’s a fun fact, that’s among the worst for the entire Mariners roster on the season, but still better than Henry Blanco (-9.3) and the suspended Jesus Montero (-6.1). Admittedly, catchers aren’t always brought in for their offensive abilities. Zunino has been a bit of a disappointment compared to what we all expected, but at least he wasn’t atrocious. Defensively, Zunino was moderately better. With only two passed balls on the season, he’s not a complete defensive liability. On the other hand, Zunino was able to throw out only 6 stealing attempts this season. Zunino’s overall dWAR finished at a -1.8. Some might feel that isn’t truly acceptable, but given that more than half of the Mariners roster is sub-zero in that category. That’s not really making excuses for him, but I just wanted to point out that he’s not the worst-of-the-worst. One season is admittedly a small sample size. Zunino is still a new guy and it’s to be expected that he take a few seasons to fully develop and get into rhythm. Humberto Quintero is signed through next season, and with any luck, Zunino will be able to find his stride next year and give the Mariners some options behind the plate. And lets not forget about Jesus Montero. After getting slapped with 50 games as part of the Biogenesis scandal, we all but forgot about him. “If he was that bad on ‘roids, how can he be any good without them?” There’s still hope for Jesus, I think so, anyways. Optimistically, the best case scenario for 2014 would be Zunino has a breakout season, Humberto is allowed to fade into the shadows, and Montero plays well enough in Tacoma to earn a backup spot on the big club. It’s going to take a lot of work. We’re all leery of committing to guys too early in their careers (erm… Dustin Ackley…), but there’s still a lot of hope for the guy. He needs some serious, positive direction. I don’t mean playing behind Humberto for the season and getting tips, I mean he needs someone to go in there and let him learn how
about 17 hours ago
Sep 4, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) hits a 2 run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports Not to...
Sep 4, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales (8) hits a 2 run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports Not too long after it was announced that the Mariners would extend a qualifying offer to DH Kendrys Morales, it is being reported that the switch-hitting slugger will reject said offer. This was originally reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, stating: “Morales will turn down the qualifying offer, as he’d expect to hit it much bigger in a market flush with cash but bereft of power…” The offer would likely be in the $13.8 million range, being arrived at by averaging the 125 most lucrative contracts in the league during the past season. Another benefit of extending in offer is that it allows the M’s to collect a compensation sandwich pick in the next draft in return for losing the player. While this sounds a little disheartening off the bat, it may not mean all that much. First of all, $13.8 million a year for a league average DH/1B (though he is much more important to such a poor team) seems a little high. Sure, he is probably the team’s best hitter. But that money may be better served going after a better overall player. But whether or not you are okay with paying Morales like a top flight player, this doesn’t guarantee he is gone. He likely just wants a little more security with a longer term deal. He is a 30-year old with injury history and without a true position. You never know how many more opportunities a guy in his situation will get to cash in. In my opinion, Morales should be a priority but not the priority. I think an outfielder is probably more important, with names such as Shin-Soo Choo (speculation coming later this week) and Jacoby Ellsbury coming to mind. However, the M’s should have a good chunk of money to spend this offseason, should they choose to do so. It is possible — though maybe not probable — that they come away with Morales, an outfielder and a middle of the rotation starter (Tim Lincecum anyone?) this offseason. All in all, there probably isn’t too much to draw from this. It does Morales was a little quick on the trigger, but it doesn’t mean he wants out. Report: Kendrys Morales to Reject Mariners Offer? - SoDo Mojo - SoDo Mojo - A Seattle Mariners Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
about 18 hours ago
Highlights from the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny ONeil.
Highlights from the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny ONeil.
about 19 hours ago
There were times this summer — lots of them, in fact — when I couldn’t tell if I cared about baseball anymore. The Mariners weren’t provoking any sort of emotional response at all, and that’s supposed to be ...
There were times this summer — lots of them, in fact — when I couldn’t tell if I cared about baseball anymore. The Mariners weren’t provoking any sort of emotional response at all, and that’s supposed to be my most favorite team. I didn’t just not want to watch them; I actively avoided them, and I recognized my own behavior. But it turns out it wasn’t baseball — it was the Mariners. The Mariners were downright unwatchable for stretches. I’m sitting here, watching the playoffs, and it’s incredible. No one has a better atmosphere than the Pirates right now. Pirates fans have been through a lot worse than we have. The Pirates are proof that the Mariners can be good again, and Safeco can be packed and loud again, and baseball can be fun again. Don’t know when, but no matter how you feel about the Mariners today, they’ll pull you back if and when they can win 90 games. Baseball’s awesome when it matters. The Mariners have a vested interest in mattering, and last offseason, a step they took toward that end was bringing in most of the fences at Safeco Field. It wasn’t something that was going to directly give the Mariners any more wins — it was a change that would affect the Mariners and their opponents equally. But the change was intended to make the park more neutral. More fair. More appealing to other players. More tolerable for current players. There probably was too much imbalance before, and it’s possible the park got into some hitters’ heads. Safeco seemed overdue for a fence-bringin’, and over the course of some months those fences were brought. A full season, now, has been played. So it’s only natural to wonder what’s become of Safeco Field. We grew accustomed to all the old park effects. How about the new park effects? We should have an idea by now, right, since it’s been a whole season? What is Safeco Field, v2.0? The answer is not contained within this post. But there will be numbers anyway. The most important thing to get is that park factors take more than a year to overpower the noise. There’s signal in there — there’s signal in there after even just one single game — but this is going to take years. Split the season in half, first. That’s how many home games there were. Then you have to consider all the balls in play, and how many of them were grounders, or routine flies, or homers that would’ve easily cleared any fence. Only a small percentage of balls in play are subject to park effects, and there aren’t that many of them hit to each location. Plus, there’s the matter of other, unseen, confusing park effects, like effects on walks or groundball rate. Parks do lots of stuff, directly or indirectly, and you just have to let the games be played for a while. There are a few things we know for sure, though. The fences were brought in in left, left-center, center, and right-center. The fence was lowered a little in left. Automatically, we know that’s going to mean more dingers. Reasonably, it can’t not. The dinger threshold is reduced, so home runs will go up, because they have to. The question is by how much, and the other question is what else is going to happen? What happens to doubles and triples? What happens to run-scoring, overall? Nothing can be said conclusively, but we can at least look in the numbers for clues. Below I’m going to include a table, showing 2000-2012 Safeco Field, and 2013 Safeco Field. The percentages are simple park factors. A percentage of, say, 90% means that Safeco’s rate was 90% the same measure on the road. For example, between 2000-2012, games in Safeco had a .252 batting average, while Mariners road games had a .269 batting average. The percentage shown is (.252/.269) * 100 = 94%. This approach is too simplistic, but I have interest in simple approaches. Years BA OBP SLG ISO BABIP 2B/3B HR B
about 20 hours ago
I've always been more of a Field of Dreams guy. The romantic mysticism of baseball is my favorite part, as it blocks out the frequent misery and random nature of the game. I didn't even see Bull Durham until college, but this is semantic...
I've always been more of a Field of Dreams guy. The romantic mysticism of baseball is my favorite part, as it blocks out the frequent misery and random nature of the game. I didn't even see Bull Durham until college, but this is semantics, as it's really a matter of preference between the romance of the game, and the narratives that drive it. And I have no problem with narratives, especially in the minor leagues. My sister works for the Rainiers, and I enjoy the stories she relays, even the mundane ones, because of the narratives they create behind the players we see almost exclusively on the field. With Taijuan Walker, that's a little different, as his Twitter and Instagram accounts do more to reveal his narrative. The most recent update to this always-online story reveals another tattoo for Walker, one that reminds me of a very specific quote from Bull Durham's Crash Davis. Here's the quote, and tattoo. You got a gift. When you were a baby, the Gods reached down and turned your right arm into a thunderbolt. Gift from God!! Very blessed and thankful #newtat pic.twitter.com/nA2SfgY3UL — Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) October 8, 2013 Taijuan Walker is our Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh. He's the hard-throwing righty blessed with an arm so powerful it leaves no doubt what Walker was put on this earth to do. And he knows it. That's really the best part. Walker brings an attitude befitting of his talents, which is rare to find with the M's. We've seen the alternative go both ways in the Mariners minor league system—humble guys who work hard and make nary a point about it, and then there are those who may have thought and acted a little better than they were. It's this awareness that makes Walker who he is, that and how he knows as blessed as he is with that thunderbolt of a right arm, it takes more than what's given to you. And this is also where his narrative separates from that of the fictional LaLoosh. Or maybe it's just the evolution. Maybe this is a finsihed LaLoosh. Multiple reports, including one from John Sickels, praise Walker's work ethic. Along with the work ethic, or likely causing it, is Walker's maturity. After his first start in Tacoma, John Stearns said "It's hard to believe he's 20 years old." Also—his catcher, Jason Jaramillo, on if he can believe Walker's as young as he is: "I can't," he said. "The biggest thing is his composure, even more than his talent. He knows he's got good stuff, and he's confident in it." Then, in the majors, his Crash Davis had this after the big-league debut: "He acted like he'd been here before," said Blanco. "I thought he was going to be nervous the first couple hitters, but he wasn't. He got ahead of hitters and went from there." I started this post as a bit of a joke, because when I saw the tattoo it immediately reminded me of the quote. And, sure, the idea of Taijuan Walker as LaLoosh is a fun one—but in looking at him I think we all know by now there's a deeper narrative here, one with immense potential for this franchise. Still though, wouldn't it have been humorous to hear this? Jen Mueller: So how does it feel to get your first professional win? Taijuan Walker: It feels out there. I mean, it's a major rush. I mean, it feels radical in kind of a tubular sort of way, but most of all, it feels out there.
about 20 hours ago