Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"If Only Someone Had Warned Us The Bullpen Was About To Implode!"

After a rally the inning prior tied the score at 5-5 and the game feeling winnable again Sean White displayed the pitching ability of his snowboarding namesake. Which is to say, he allowed 3 runs and fucked things up quicker than Artie Lang on Joe Buck's talk show. If only some sage-like person had warned that the high highfalutin ways of our bullpen were about to end. Oh wait, someone did. Armed with this knowledge today's implosion would seem less painful. This is not the case, or at least not for me. I kept hoping that somehow the 'pen could push their regression back just a few more days at which point they would suck all collectively at once before returning to mediocrity. Sadly, this did not happen.

In a battle of highly touted bullpen arms turned struggling starters the M's tried their best to stay with the Yankees. Going into the today the game was predicted to be a death march for the M's. This prediction was due to Brandow Morrow being a extreme right handed fly ball pitcher going against left hand heavy lineup built to take advantage of the short right field porch like Jerramy Stevens on a drunk girl. These factors combined with the fact that even pop up bunts are being blown out for homers in the new stadium made the chances of a close low scoring game about as likely as finding a well adjusted person on reality TV.

In a reversal of expectations Morrow magically managed to give up 2 fly balls compared to 12 ground balls which helped him not have the Yankee's hitters go all Kobe Bryant on him. However, ever struggling with his command, Morrow walked 5 compared to just 4 strike outs. The walks ended up being his undoing and he was pulled after 98 pitches. He limited the lumber of the Yankees to just 3 runs with only one of them coming as earned.

Things look bleak for the rest of the series as the M's run out Washburn, another extreme fly ball pitcher, against Petitte and then another flyballer in Jason Vargas against CC Sabathia for the finale. I'm holding my expectations low and praying to Jobu that the Mariners can manage to come out of the series with at least 1 win. However if things start to fall apart I'm gonna root for some real fail only so that there is an impetus to trade Bedard and Washburn.

In reality, with Beltre gone and Chris Woodward not being the answer, this team needs some serious luck to make it into the playoffs. I know many would see trading two of our better pitchers as punting the season and giving up on '09. In reality this is not the case. With the upgrades in areas like the middle infield could make for a net gain for the pitching loss.

These next few series before the all-star break will prove our mettle. My guess is, though, without key contributors like Beltre and his awesome glove at 3rd this team will start to fall apart. Sad but true.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Well, That Was Unexpected

Behind the decent pitching of Garret Olson and the bullpen combined with a few timely runs the Mariners managed to escape Chavez Ravine in East LA not only with their wallets and money but also come out 2 wins richer putting them at 3 games over .500 this year. Going into the series I had felt we would be lucky to come out with just one win. It's a damn pleasant feeling to double that prediction.

After getting knocked around like Rihanna in the first game the M's went all Lifetime movie and took the fight back to their abusers. Felix threw 8 innings of 4 hit 1 run(unearned) ball, keeping hitters off balance with his pitch selection. He even threw 8 breaking balls out of his first 20!!! In the past few games Felix has been looking deserving of his title of King, mowing down all opposition. He has come to chew bubblegum and kickass and he is all out of bubblegum!!

The M's offense, while not a juggernaut, has come back from it's comatose state in May and shown some quality power. This is a nice change of pace as there was a stretch where even the shittiest of right handers(Vincente Padilla, Sidney Ponson et al) could make this team look like a bunch of blind little leaguers. There is a comfort from not expecting to be shutout every time this team faces a moderately good right handed pitcher.

This stretch of 7-3 over the last 10 games has all come at a time when this team has had more injuries than a hypochondriac. Outfield defensive specialist Endy Chavez was lost this week when he tore his ACL in a collision with "shortstop" Yuniesky Betancourt. A few games later Betancourt was put on the DL with a hamstring pull or possible tear. Jarrod Washburn has missed time with a back injury and Erik Bedard has been bothered by shoulder inflammation and will hopefully be back on July 5th.

An already injury plagued team was told yesterday that it would lose 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre for 6-8 weeks when he goes in for surgery to clear out bone spurs in his shoulder. There is a lot of speculation on how the team will make up for the production of his combined bat and glove. While the organization has a derth of oufielders and 1b/DH types in the system 3rd base is not a position of depth. To get the most out of Beltre's absence it may take some creative ideas on player positions.

Many people are lobbying for Griffey to take over as the every day left fielder for the team. What people fail to realize is even if Jr didn't have to get 3 liters of fluid drained from his knee every time he sees extensive time out in the field, he is simply not a good defender. Luckily the front office recognizes this and brought in Ryan Lagerhans, whom Dave Cameron lobbied for the team to pick up. Lagerhans isn't quite the defensive wiz that Chavez was,though who is? But he brings more patience and lefty power to a team in desperate need of both.

As the team heads out to the east coast to face the Yankees and Red Sox there looks to be little hope to continue to play so well against top teams. But hell, no one expected them to take 2 of 3 from LA. So maybe with a little energon and a lot of luck they can come out of the road trip above .500. If not, I make a simple request, tank the damn trip and acknowledge that you are now sellers!! We have a lot of attractive and valuable pieces for trade. I'd like to either see us gain a little ground on those ahead of us or just end the suffering all together.

US loses 3-2 To Brazil In Confederation Cup Final. Americans Make Collective Wanking Motion

After much hype and hope had built up surrounding Team USA's advance into the Confederation Cup final for a rematch with Brazil the end result demonstrated to burgeoning American soccer fans what the rest of the world already knew. The US has a long way to go before being on the same level of the elites of the soccer world

Many pointed to Team USA's victory over #1 ranked Spain to advance to the finals as a a soccer equivalent of the Miracle on Ice minus the cold war implications that made that game so poignant. The truth is to even be allowed to play Spain the US was afforded an absurd amount of luck. After being dismembered by the far superior Brazilian team the US not only needed to defeat Egypt by 3 but needed Brazil to kick the shit out of the Italians by at least 3. Somehow both these improbable events transpired and the US had it's shot at#1 ranked Spanish team.

Many people, because they lack originality, are dubbing Team USA's toppling of soccer powerhouse Spain, "The Miracle on Grass". Personally, I feel that title is more fitting for Michael Phelps. I barely have the motivation to put on pants when I am high and yet he managed to win 8 Gold medals? THAT'S impressive. Anyway, more than skill or tenacity or teamwork or any of the other horseshit the media throws out as the cause of the worst defeat of Spain by the Americans since the Spanish/American War there is only one reason Team USA came away with a 2-0 victory. They were luckier than Longshot holding a four leaf clover with a rabbit's foot shoved up his ass. The US team had all of 2 shots on goal and magically they both went in. Meanwhile, Spain had 11 shots on goal and failed to score worse than me on prom night. So yes, the result was a nice shiny win but the idea that the win was somehow a defining moment that would propel the team on to better things was wrong. You play that game out with the same amount of shots on goal and I bet 9 out of 10 times USA loses.

Truthfully I expected another beat down at the hands of the Brazilians. They do so many things better than us it's not even funny. Better waxing, better women, better movies about street gangs, better plane crashes, you name it they do it better. So it only made sense that their soccer team would be far superior as well. The first time these two teams squared off the disparity between the teams was evident and the US went down 0-4 to Brazil.

This time though the confident US team came out and kicked some Brazilian ass, going into the half up 2-0. Coming out of halftime the Brazil team woke up and realized that they could beat the US team drunk and high. They then proceeded to score 3 goals in the half to win 3-2.

Here in Seattle, where soccer is the new hip thing to like, this years fixed gear bikes, there were people who actually cared about this loss. The rest of the country made a dismissive wanking motion and either went back to watching NASCAR or baseball or drinking heavily, as it should be. Soccer pundits try to pump fear and say that one day America too, like the rest of the world, will bow to almighty deity of soccer. Good thing that'll never happen. Because if I know one thing it is this, Nobody Likes Soccer

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

M's Continue To Flirt With .500. Heavy Petting Expected Soon

The M's came into the series against hated rival San Diego their Catholicism looking to pick up a few more wins before they head out on the hellish 9 game road trip that takes them to the home run heaven of the new Yankee Stadium, minuscule Fenway Park, and out to Chavez ravine in East LA. Today was not a good start to the series.

Garret Olson showed why he is a back end rotation starter/long reliever by taking the M's Win Expectancy down below 10% before handing the game over to Roy Corcoran to add another 3 runs to the Padres lead. Corcoran has been less than stellar in his small amount(10 2/3 innings) so far this year. His line drive percentage is at 27% compared to last years 10.2%. Combine that and a walk rate of 10.13BB/9 innings and you got a dealy mixture like Codeine and Promethazine. Hopefully as he gets healthy he'll start pitching better, until then I'd like to not have him in while the game is at all still in question.

The M's decided to show itself later in the game with both Griffey and Branyan homering do satisfy the crowd with requisite dingers to keep them distracted from the loss. Griffey's homer was the 5,000th HR in M's history. Rather fitting he be the one to hit it.

Scoring 7 runs and only losing by 2 stings like a mofo. Many fans will blame Corcoran for not stopping the bleeding by letting the 2 runners he inherited score but then adding 3 earned runs of his own to the mess. In reality Olson put is in the tough spot by giving up so many runs earlier. Over 90% of the time the M's lose that game with just the 4 runs that Olson gave up in his 5+ innings of work.

No matter who was to blame for the runs given up there was no excuse for the M's offense to only awaken once the decidely mediocre Chad Gaudin left the game with the best line of his career. Same old story I suppose. Right handers with a pulse are the M's kryptonite. It's really sad.

Tough loss against a pretty terrible team. We do it again with Morrow starting again(I know WTF?!) and then Washburn to close out the series. Hey M's try to not to lose the series to a terrible Padres team. PLEASE.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seahawk Fans Must Be Jizzing In Their Pants Right Now

Star wideout for the Denver Broncos, Brandon Marshall, has requested to be traded. Apparently his want for dismissal has something to do with him feeling that the team hasn't been supportive of his recent relationship issues. And by relationship issues I mean his repeated beatings of his girlfriend. Although, I'm sure having his up and coming QB traded away to Chicago for a neckbeard doesn't help matters.

Normally when I player asks to be traded the team feels no obligation to indulge in his wishes(see: Boldin, Anquan). The player is under contract and if they choose not to play they don't get paid. For some reason Bronco's GM Pat Bowlen fails to understand the concept of leverage and will be giving into Marshall's demands.

As I Seahawk fan I have a huge hard-on over this development. And not just the schadenfreude variety, though I do love how they kicked out ol' Leatherface Shanahan and his succesor has managed to fuck things up in the few short months he's been there. But this hard on is one that derives from fantasies of a top 10 pick in next years draft, quite possibly a pick in the top 5.

With Cutler gone and Marshall on his way out this Bronco's team looks like it has the potential to break the lions 0-16 records set last year. Going 0-18 would seem impossible with a 16 game season but with the ineptitude on display from Bronco's leadership anything is possible. The fate of the Bronco's season lies in the DT shaken hands of a drunken neckbeard, a rookie running back, and a piss poor defense. Sam Bradford here we come!!!

I have to give McDaniels credit for such a Machiavellian scheme of ineptitude. He truly is the brightest of all Belichek's pupils. Crennel, Weis, Mangini, they all took years to ruin their respective franchises and and alienate themselves to their fan bases. McDaniels, ever the w√ľnderkind, has managed to surpass his predecessors in mere months. Papa Belichek must be so proud, y'know, if he wasn't really Ultron in disguise and actually felt emotion.

Right now the idea of two first round picks(one possibly top 5) in a loaded draft next year has me riding a wave of euphoria similar to what David Carradine must have felt in his final moments. The return to respectability in the NW is coming about sooner than expected.

This whole debacle make me happy for many reasons but among them is that this clip is relevant again.
Sports Videos, News, Blogs

In America, First You Get The Money, Then You Get The Power...

Donte Stallworth is a lucky son of a bitch. He was given his sentencing today, a little over 3 months after the Cleveland Browns wide receiver was arrested for vehicular manslaughter and DUI after mowing down a pedestrian like he was living out "Death Race 2000". The results, in my mind, further the idea that the OJ trial was much less about race and much more about money. I feel that in today's society people like OJ, Paris, or Donte aren't getting off because of race or celebrity, they are getting off because they are rich as fuck.

At the time of his arrest, given the witness reports and his .126 blood alcohol level, it seemed a forgone conclusion that Stallworth would be serving a LONG time in the pen. The normal sentence for non multi-millionaires for this crime is a decade and a half stint on the big house. Donte Stallworth received 30 days in jail. Granted he also is under house-arrest for two years, has to complete 1000 hours of community service and in on probation for 8 years. But compared to 15 in the slammer all that is a slap on the wrist. Plus he'll only do 2/3rds of the time if he's a good boy.

His ability to escape what seemed to be certain hard time in the pen is a feat more impressive than David Blane freezing himself in a block of ice. Though, unlike Blane's trick one does not need any sort of experience to get themselves out of such situations. All you need is a healthy amount of cash money.

The exact terms of Stallworth's plea agreement that allowed him to catch the bullet of prison time like Ozymandias are unknown. What is known is it must have been a fuck ton of money to be able to convince the court system to drop a sentence from 15 years to 30 days.

In his ability to get off relatively free, Donte Stallworth exposed something that is known to anybody who has ever gone through the court system, you get what you pair for. It doesn't matter what you do murder your ex-wife, drive drunk, kill someone while driving drunk, rape somebody, all you need is a lotta cheese and you are off like Mister Miracle, Scott Free. Money is power, like you needed me to remind you.

Look at Leonard Little, whose case is eerily similar to that of Stallworth's. In 1998 he was driving home hammered when he ran into Susan Gutweiler, mother of one, killing her. For his actions he received 90 days in jail, 4 years of probation and 1000 hours of community service. As if that wasn't bad enough in 2004 Leornard was pulled over for speeding when the cops noticed he had bloodshot and watery eyes, and reeked of booze. After failing three field sobriety tests he was hauled in for DUI and speeding. This would seem like a clear cut case and that Little was going to be going away for a long time. But Leonard's copious piles of cash had other plans. He got off with just a speeding charge.

So while many people are rightfully outraged about this whole thing, they seem to lose sight of the fact that Donte is merely living out the American dream. You can have the best of anything if you are willing to pay for it, here in America. Legal counsel is no different. So try not to act too surprised the next time some athlete/celebrity type gets off with minimal consequences after paying more than the GDP of a small banana republic. That's the American way.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rocky Mountain Lowe Colorado

After a solid stretch of baseball got them back to .500 the M's hiked up the Rocky Mountains to face their first interleague opponent on their home turf and their National League rules, The Colorado Rockies. The Rockies were better than their record suggested and were on an 8 game winning streak coming into the series against the M's. There was hope that this could be there series that could move the M's from being tied with Anaheim to making a serious push for first. Of course it's the Mariners so that didn't happen.

Jarrod Washburn fell apart as the first game progressed, and after some early offensive explosions the M's bats went dormant. The Next game Marked a new Lowe point(get it? genius I know) for a bullpen rife with low moments so far this year. On a single on the third base side of the mound by Troy Tulowitzki Lowe Picked up the ball and had a chance to get the runner out. Instead his throw was as off target as a Glenn Beck rant, sailing wide right and allowing Tulowitzki to advance to second. Next batter put down a bunt and Lowe tried to get cute and throw out the lead runner at third. Instead he showed off his poor command throwing the ball on the foul side of third base causing Beltre to have to wheel around and make the tag to no avail. The next batter lined in a run and then Lowe walked two more batters to load the basses. The damage was mitigated by a sac fly and a ground out. By then though the final nail had been hammered in. The 2 runs scored that inning ended up being too much for the M's to overcome.

Then just today the offense seemed to disapear and again the starting pitching fell apart late giving up 5 runs the inning before heavy rains caused the game to be called. It was not the way anyone wanted to end the series.

Now the M's are back to 3 games under .500 and being generally annoying. They can't seem to decide if the want to be a good team and make a push for contending or if they wanna be mediorce and be seller at the trade deadline. A few weeks ago I had written off this team to be sold off piece by valuable piece. Then they had to go on this run that brought them a tie with the Angels at .500 and all I could think was "So you're saying there's a chance!!" Now this terrible stretch of three games has made me wonder what the hell is going on.

Damn it, M's I need stability in my life right now. You can't keep reentering into my life just when I've made my peace with you for the season only to have you walk out on me right when I start to truly believe we have something going. It's not right. I wish I could quit you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Montana to Washington

I had meant to write about Skyline QB Jake Heaps choosing BYU over local school UW. This seemed like a big blow, not necesairly because he was an irreplacable talent but because Coach Sarkisian was making a strong push to keep all the top in-state talent to stay home and play at UW. Getting Jake heaps to commit to UW would have bee a great recruiting tool for the rest on the in-state players.

The ghosts of incompetence from the last regime haunted this commitment from the get go. Ty failed to start recruiting of Heaps in any sort of timely manner especially considering how many other schools wanted him. Ty probably felt that similar to courting a girl you don't let 'em know how much you want them and by doing this she will fall over herself trying to be with you. Sadly, this style of recruiting does not work these days when colleges proposition recruits like they are Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal. UW's lack of interest led the school of Magic Pants(BYU) to do some heavy recruiting using religion as the main point of interest.

When Sarkisian came on as Head Coach one of his first acts was to get into contact with Heaps and his family in attempt to make up for lost time. It turned out to be too little to late. BYU had planted its insidious seed in young Jake's mind. I was crushed.

But now there is word that Nick Montana has given his verbal commitment to UW. Montana, does that last name sound familiar? That's because he's the son of fucking football legend Joe Montana. OH FUCKING YEAH! Now, I don't know a whole lot about Nick, but I have heard he may possibly be a better QB prospect than Heaps. That Heaps may be farther along, but Nick is more athletic and taller and has the tools to be the better QB.

Another thing, how bad ass will it be to have Joe Montana in the stand on Saturdays? This program has needed a boost in vitality and a raise in profile. Adding Nick Montana could very well do this.

So, all in all it sounds like that by losing out on Jake Heaps may have been a better thing than getting him. I'm getting excited as more and more recruits commit to UW. Sark seems to have recruiting down and his development of QB's speaks for itself. If he continues racking up quality recruits the future will look pretty damn bright.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One less Ivory Backscratcher for Lebron

Lebron James learned that the media's right to ask inane post-game questions will not be obstructed for any reason. Especially not because he was in a bad mood after a crushing loss to the Magic that knocked the Cavs out of the playoffs. To do so is tantamount to not giving David Stern a reach around when visiting his office. The consequences of such a slap in the face will be harsh indeed.

$25,000 was the sum of the punishment meted out by Herr Stern to show that blowing off the media will not be tolerated. Let this act as a deterrent to all the rest of you primadonnas who think they are too big for the media.

While $25,000 might mean one less ivory backscratcher for Lebron, nonetheless it is a ridiculously large amount for merely failing to acknowledge the media. It's not as if some deep insight about Lebron was going to be gained by having him answer a bunch of stock questions. The questions would probably be along the lines of "How do you feel about coming up short in the conference championships again?" and what is he going to really say to that? "Well, if I had any sort of talent outside of myself on this team maybe I could do something. But when the second best scoring option on the team is Big Z I'm kinda limited, y'know? Give me the talent they got on the Lakers and I win 80 games easy!" Fuck no! And even if he did that's not the kind of honest answer the media wants. They want easily digestible bullshit like "It's disapointing to work so hard and come up just short. I'll continue to work hard this summer and be prepared to make another run next fall."

I understand Lebron's decision not to talk with the media. What I don't understand is David Stern felt the need to make this into a public recrimination. The fine almost seems to be saying "You were a bad boy, now give back part of your allowance."

I hate David Stern for many reasons. His part in stealing the Sonics from Seattle, his enforcing of a new dress code to "clean up" the NBA's image, to the cracking down on hard fouls and giving out bs fines for said fouls. Add this to the list of reasons to hate Stern, putting media access before the feeling of his players. Fuck you, Stern.