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What do the Mariners have to do to win a championship this year? (2 comments)

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aj wilbur

Can the tigers have the best record ever posted by aj wilbur

The 2001 Seattle Mariners have the most wins ever in a season with 116. This is an astonishing record and one that would be very difficult to beat, but if anybody has a chance it is the 2012 Tigers.

I am going to give 5 reasons why we will break the record for most wins ever in a major league baseball regular season.

1. The Tigers have the most feared lineup in baseball from top to bottom

2. Justin Verlander, need I say any more

3. A great bullpen. Every Tiger fan has to feel confident with our 7th, 8th, and 9th inning relievers. Dotel, Benoit, and Velverde are a deadly combination along to go with a proven lefty in phil coke.

4. Better defence then all the so called experts say. Cabrera may not be brandon inge but he will play a solid third and prince is more nimble at first then he is given credit for.

5. Jim Leyland, he will manage this lineup to the fullest making sure everybody gets playing time and stays fresh. This will be a key down the stretch or if an injury pops up.

Finally my bold prediction 117-45 and a new regular season record

Continue reading "Can the tigers have the best record ever"


David

New season brings new hope posted by David

Two thousand eleven was a difficult year for Major League Baseball.  There was no strike, no brawl in which a player grabbed an elderly coach and threw him to the ground, and no collision between players that proved to be career-ending for anyone.  (Buster Posey should be fine this season.)  On the field, things were good.  In the stands and outside the park, however, tragedy struck the baseball world.

Christina Taylor Green, the nine-year-old granddaughter of former Phillies GM Dallas Green and daughter of Dodgers scout John Green, was shot and killed in Tucson at the Gabrielle Giffords Congress on Your Corner event in January.

Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, was beaten nearly to death outside Dodger Stadium on Opening Day.

Shannon Stone, a firefighter, fell 20 feet in front of his six-year-old son at Rangers Ballpark in July and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Greg Halman, a 24-year-old Mariners outfielder, was stabbed to death in his native Holland in November, allegedly by his own brother.

Despite the tragedies that occurred in 2011 – both during the season and before it began, inside and outside the stadium, accident or intentional – it was heartening to hear about Barry Bonds’s offer to pay for Stow’s children to go to college.  I have personally never been a Bonds fan – and I’m still not – but I give credit where credit is due.  Detractors may say that it was just a publicity stunt to improve his image, and I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t, but does it really matter?  A wealthy athlete did something he didn’t have to do in order to help someone in need.

Continue reading "New season brings new hope"


David

Edgar Martínez’s case for Cooperstown posted by David

One of the most talented hitters of the nineties did not receive enough votes for induction to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but I’m hoping Edgar Martínez does not have to wait too much longer.  I don’t expect him to be elected in 2011 because too many voters don’t think a Designated Hitter is a full-time player.  (Martínez came up as a third baseman, but injuries forced him to become Seattle’s regular DH in 1995.)  In my opinion, if a poor defensive player can make it to Cooperstown based on his offensive contributions, then someone who does not play a defensive position should be able to do the same.

Martínez’s career stats include a .312 batting average, .418 on-base percentage, .515 slugging percentage, 2,247 hits, 309 home runs, and 1,261 RBIs.  His best season came in 1995, when he slugged .628 while leading the AL in batting average (.356), OBP (.479), OPS (1.107), doubles (52), and runs (121).  Despite his monster year, Martínez still finished third in the MVP race.  Fifteen years later, he remains the only designated hitter ever to win a batting title.

Martínez was a seven-time All-Star, won five Silver Slugger Awards, and had one of the biggest clutch hits in postseason history – a two-run double in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS that sent the Mariners to their first-ever Championship Series.  Seattle had been trailing the Yankees 5-4 and were three outs away from being eliminated from the playoffs; the turn of events sent the Yanks home instead after having blown a 2-0 series lead.  For the series, Martínez had a Ruthian line of .571/.667/1.000 and 10 RBIs – nine of them coming in the last two games.

Continue reading "Edgar Martínez’s case for Cooperstown"


David

Playoff newcomers show the baseball world what they’ve got posted by David

While the fans in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and St. Petersburg may not have appreciated it, nearly every game played so far this postseason has featured a dominant pitching performance.  Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds, Tim Lincecum shut out the Braves on just two hits while striking out 14, and C.J. Wilson and Cliff Lee combined to hold the Rays to one run in 13.1 innings.  Lee displayed his talents during last year’s World Series, earning both of the Phillies’ wins over the Yankees, but Halladay, Lincecum and Wilson were all making their postseason debuts, and not one of them showed any sign of butterflies.

How ‘bout that?

How about Félix Hernández?  Despite a 13-12 record, King Felix deserves the American League Cy Young Award for his outstanding season on the mound.  He led the majors in ERA (2.27) and finished just one strikeout behind Jered Weaver’s 233 and one inning pitched shy of Halladay’s 250.2 – both of which led all big league pitchers.  The Venezuelan workhorse threw six innings or more in 32 of 34 starts, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 30 of them.  Had he played for any team other than the Mariners, whose lack of offense cost all of their pitchers, Hernández would almost certainly have won 20 games or more.

How about Danny Valencia?  Following a promotion to the big leagues in June, the Twins’ third baseman hit .311 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs in 85 games. Valencia was most productive during the month of September, hitting five homers and driving in 17 runs in 22 games.  Had he spent the entire season in the big leagues, Valencia would be a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year; as is he will probably be voted third behind Neftali Feliz and Austin Jackson.  Minnesota fans, however, should be happy to have a promising young hitter who will occupy the hot corner for years to come.

Continue reading "Playoff newcomers show the baseball ..."


David

Who's on first at the Midsummer Classic? posted by David

With All-Star rosters set to be announced this weekend, I’m hoping that fans made good decisions in for whom to cast their final ballots.  While voting began not long after spring training ended, the true All-Stars have revealed themselves over the entire first half of the season.

The race that I care most about is the one for American League first basemen, where the Royals’ Billy Butler deserves serious consideration but has tough competition.  There are three first basemen who have clearly earned a spot on the AL squad: Justin Morneau, Miguel Cabrera, and Kevin Youkilis.  Mark Teixeira (.232/.345/.408), however, belongs at home.  Butler (.322 batting average, .377 On-Base Percentage, 42 Runs Batted In) should be left off the roster only if Joe Girardi chooses to carry only three first basemen AND Kansas City is represented by outfielder David Dejesus (.331 average, .398 OBP, 35 RBIs).

How ‘bout that?

How about Josh Hamilton?  After hitting just .265 in April and .294 in May and combining for nine home runs and 27 RBIs in the first two months of the season, Hamilton caught fire in June.  His numbers for the month included a .454 average, nine homers, 31 Runs Batted In, and an absurd slugging percentage of .815 – not to mention the 23-game hitting streak he carried into July.  If he continues to hit this well, Hamilton has a real chance at winning the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

How about Adrian Beltre?  Coming off five disappointing years in Seattle, Beltre’s .349 batting average entering Friday was second in the majors only to Robinson Cano’s .353, and his 53 RBIs had him tied for seventh in the American League.  In 2009, Beltre drove in 44 runs ALL YEAR.  (He spent some time on the Disabled List but played in 111 of his team’s games.)  In roughly half a season (76 games) in 2010, he has 12 home run runs; last year he hit just eight.  Beltre’s signing is looking like the best of the offseason.

Continue reading "Who's on first at the Midsummer Classic?"


David

Offerman a disgrace to the game posted by David

I generally prefer beginning my blog with news that is positive or at least neutral, but I cannot think of a more worthy story than that of former Major Leaguer Jose Offerman, who was banned from the Dominican Winter League for life after attacking an umpire earlier this month.  The incident, sadly, is not the first time Offerman has embarrassed the game of baseball.  While playing in the Atlantic Independent League in August 2007, he charged the mound – bat in hand – after being hit by a pitch, and proceeded to break one of the pitcher’s fingers.  The catcher, trying to protect his pitcher, was hit in the back of the head and received a severe concussion that ended his career.  Now, two and a half years later, Offerman is still making the game look bad.  His behavior, without question, is Bad for Ball.

How ‘bout that?

How about Grant Desme?  The 23-year-old outfielder announced his retirement from baseball last week in order to pursue the priesthood.  Desme was the second-round pick of the Athletics in the 2007 draft, and last year was the only minor leaguer – at any level – to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases.  (He swiped 40.)  After being promoted to High-A, he hit .304/.398/.656 with 20 homers in just 227 at-bats.  He was then named MVP of the 2009 Arizona Fall League.  Desme would have had to put in more time in the minors, but his numbers certainly suggest he could have made it to the Big Leagues eventually if he didn’t feel the need to answer another calling.

Continue reading "Offerman a disgrace to the game"


David

The Big Unit hangs ‘em up posted by David

Big news from the Big Unit: 46-year-old Randy Johnson announced his retirement, concluding his career with a record of 303-166, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.  His five Cy Young Awards – one with the Mariners and four in a row with the Diamondbacks – rank him behind only Roger Clemens, and his 4,875 career strikeouts are second only to Nolan Ryan.  He was a 10-time All-Star, starting the Midsummer Classic four times – twice for each league. Johnson made history in 2004 when he became the oldest player – at 40 – to throw a perfect game.

Johnson was a crucial member of his Diamondbacks team in the 2001 playoffs: after pitching well but losing his only start in the first round, he went 2-0 with 1.12 E.R.A. in the National League Championship Series against the Braves, including a 2-0 complete game shutout against Greg Maddux.  Then in the World Series, Johnson shut down the three-time defending champions from the Bronx with absolute dominance.  He picked up three wins, including a complete game shutout in Game 1 and back-to-back victories in Games 6 and 7, to end the Yankee Dynasty.  He surrendered only nine hits and three walks in 17.1 innings for a remarkable 0.692 WHIP to go along with a 1.04 E.R.A.  For his extraordinary performance, he was named co-MVP of the Series.  A fan attraction everywhere he went, Randy Johnson will surely be missed.

How ‘bout that?


How about Matt Holliday?  Christmas came late for the biggest name on the free agent market this offseason, as Holliday was rewarded for his huge numbers (.353/.419/.604) after his arrival in St. Louis with a very big payday – $120 million over the next seven years.  Though it was painful to watch as it happened, Holliday has been forgiven for his costly error in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.  The slugging outfielder hopes to lead his team back to the playoffs in 2010, and with Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, and Adam Wainwright working together, expectations will be high once again for the Cardinals.

Continue reading "The Big Unit hangs ‘em up"


David

Phillies take a Halladay posted by David

After the way Cliff Lee pitched against the Yankees in the World Series six weeks ago, I would have been surprised to hear that the Phillies were even listening to offers for their ace.  But when the chance to acquire Roy Halladay comes around, I suppose any team would be crazy not to listen.  Before I knew it, Halladay was a Phillie and Lee was heading to Seattle, where he’ll join his third club in the span of four and a half months.  How often does that happen to the defending Cy Young Award winner?

Mauer wins Triple Crown in my book

No major leaguer has won the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, but this year Joe Mauer did lead the American League in what should be the three Triple Crown categories: batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), and slugging percentage (.587).  Home runs are exciting and contribute to a higher slugging percentage, but if I were a manager, I’d much rather see my cleanup hitter go 3-4 than hit a solo shot and strike out three times trying to do it again.  Reaching 100 RBI’s in a season is a nice accomplishment, but the stat itself is overrated.  If all nine guys in the lineup are getting on base 40 percent of the time, it doesn’t matter who is driving them in; someone must be.

Granderson to patrol center in the Bronx

At the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis last week, the Yankees landed themselves a great centerfielder in Curtis Granderson.  Many of Granderson’s fans – myself included – were disappointed that he will be wearing Pinstripes next season.  Even so, I’ll keep rooting for him wherever he goes.  Of all the people I met at the World Baseball Classic, he was the happiest to be there.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Curtis Granderson is the truest friend of the game.

Continue reading "Phillies take a Halladay"


Joe Gunderson

Action starting to heat up in free agency, trade market posted by Joe Gunderson

Hello Everyone,

Sorry I've been absent for a few days.  There really wasn't that much to report or discuss.  However, that has changed in the last 24 or so hours as the annual Winter Meetings are underway.  First, the Twins offered pitcher Carl Pavano arbitration as I said earlier and as of last night he has accepted this offer which essentially means he will be in the Twins rotation in 2010.  To make room for Pavano on the 40 man roster, the Twins designated pitcher Boof Bonser for assignment or release which means he will either be released by the Twins and be with another club for this coming season or he will start the season in the minors. 

There's not much else currently cooking on the Twins front other than that they could possibly look to trade starter Glen Perkins now that Pavano is most assuredly back.  The reason they could do this is because one, there doesn't seem to currently be a spot for him, unless he earns it in Spring Training, and two, he is not on managements greatest side after last season when he did not come forth with the fact that he'd been pitching with an injured shoulder until he had a really rough outing.  Then, when he was ready to return, he was sent to the minors, which upset him, because it meant that he does not have enough service time to qualify for arbitration himself.  He filed a grievance against the club to try and obtain some or all of his service time back, which he did get some, but not enough to qualify for arbitration.

Also, look for the Twins to look into the market for third baseman to see if they can come up with anything.  Former Angel Chone Figgins is apparently off the market already as he has agreed to a four year contract with the Seattle Mariners, however, I'm not sure that this really affects the Twins because he was probably too expensive for the Twins likes.  However, be on the look out for names such as Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz or last year's starter Joe Crede, as well as prospect Danny Valencia as possibilities for the hot corner.

Continue reading "Action starting to heat up in free ..."


Colin Linneweber

Zack Greinke Beats Batters and Psychological Issues posted by Colin Linneweber

Kansas City Royals ace pitcher Zack Greinke was deservedly awarded the 2009 American League Cy Young Award Tuesday afternoon.

 

Greinke, 26, who received 25 first-place votes and three seconds for 134 points, went 16-8 and he posted a 2.16 ERA for the putrid Royals (65-97).

 

Greinke’s sterling earned run average was the lowest mark in the American League since Pedro Martinez recorded a miniscule 1.74 ERA in 2000.

 

The Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez finished second in the balloting with 80 overall points.

 

The fact that Greinke won the most coveted pitching accolade in Major League Baseball is astounding when one considers the obstacles that the native of Orlando has had to overcome as a young adult.

 

Greinke, the Royals sixth overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft, led the AL in losses in 2005 when he went 5-17.

 

Furthermore, Greinke, who was named the Royals Minor League Pitcher of the Year and The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year in 2003, was forced to take a personal leave of absence from “The Boys in Blue” in February 2006 because he was suffering from social anxiety disorder and depression.

 

“Depression kind of runs in my family,” said Greinke, who agreed to a four year contract worth $38 million with the Royals last winter. “The medicine I take is an antidepressant. At the baseball field, I was unhappy.”

 

Greinke made plenty of fans at Kauffman Stadium very happy this past baseball season and he should be ecstatic at what he achieved on the hill.

Continue reading "Zack Greinke Beats Batters and Psychological ..."

Seattle Mariners News

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Seahawks honored as part of Mariners home opener (Yahoo Sports)

Russell Wilson, Malcolm Smith and coach Pete Carroll walked out from behind the center field fence to an ovation that rivaled anything heard across the street at CenturyLink Field. Even though it was opening night for the Seattle Mariners, they made sure the Super Bowl champion neighbors were recognized. Obviously everyone enjoys winning a world championship and just having fun with that,'' Seattle tight end Zach Miller said. ''I think everyone is excited about the opportunities coming ahead to bring it back together and a new season a new team.'' Smith, the MVP of the Super Bowl victory over Denver, carried the Vince Lombardi Trophy out as the Seahawks made their way to the infield where they were honored during the pregame ceremony. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Orioles batter Yankees in 14-5 win (The SportsXchange)

NEW YORK -- As center fielder Adam Jones was discussing the Baltimore Orioles' most productive day of the season, he used a chess analogy to made his point even clearer. The Orioles had a lot to like and laugh about Tuesday afternoon as Jones hit one of their three home runs in a 14-5 victory over the New York Yankees. The Orioles improved to 3-5 and had their most runs since Aug. 10, 2010, at Cleveland They also had 20 hits, which were the most since May 10, 2011, against the Seattle Mariners. Jones hit a two-run homer off Yankees starter Ivan Nova on the ninth pitch of the day when he drove a 1-1 fastball over the center-field wall to set the tone. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Blue Jays 4, Yankees 0 (The SportsXchange)

TORONTO -- Right-hander R.A. Dickey pitched into the seventh inning on Saturday for his first win of the season as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees 4-0. Catcher Josh Thole singed in a run in the second inning and left fielder Melky Cabrera and right fielder Jose Bautista homered in a three-run eighth. Knuckleballer Dickey (1-1) held the Yankees to five hits, one walk and a hit batter in 6 2/3 innings (108 pitches, 69 strikes). Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda (0-1) allowed five hits and one run in six innings (83 pitches, 58 strikes) in his first major-league start since Sept. 21, 2011, when he was with the Seattle Mariners. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Cano gets 1st RBI with Mariners in win over Angels (The Associated Press)

The Seattle Mariners quickly answered those critics who thought Robinson Cano wouldn't have enough support in the lineup to make a difference. James Paxton pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball and Cano drove in his first run for the Mariners on Wednesday night in an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, completing a three-game sweep in the team's first series under new manager Lloyd McClendon. ''The last couple of years, a lot of us guys were younger and going through battles and learning some things,'' first baseman Justin Smoak said. ''Now it's time for guys who have been here the last couple of years to step up.'' Smoak, Mike Zunino and Corey Hart all homered for Seattle, which outscored the Angels 26-8 while sweeping a season-opening three-game set for only the second time in their 38-year history. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Spring Headlines: Tim Lincecum suffers bruised knee on comebacker, Doug Fister to begin season o

Your browser does not support iframes. Baseball is back. As we get closer to the regular season, be sure to stop by The Stew each morning for your daily helping of spring storylines. TIM LINCECUM SUFFERED A BRUISED KNEE after being struck by a line drive comebacker off the bat of Oakland's Daric Barton. Lincecum was unable to put any weight on his leg initially, which obviously caused great concern. However, x-rays were negative and the team is so far labeling it a contusion. Speaking after the game, which was obviously a good sign, Lincecum himself didn't seem too concerned about the situation. In fact, he still seemed set on making his scheduled season debut on Thursday. From CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly: “Just a dead leg to the knee,” said Lincecum. "We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Right now, it feels pretty good.” “I knew it hit me in a relatively good spot, not in front of the kneecap or anything like that,” Lincecum said. “I feel better now … Right now things are looking positive, at least the way I feel right now.” Things could change when Lincecum wakes up on Saturday. For now, we'll keep the "Freak" penciled in for Thursday. DOUG FISTER WILL BEGIN THE SEASON ON THE DISABLED LIST after leaving his final spring tuneup on Thursday with a right lat strain. Fister was already behind schedule after suffering through some elbow inflammation early in spring training, but the team was pushing to have his ready for an opening week start. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has more: It is not clear how long Fister, whom the Nationals will re-evaluate after his five days without throwing, will remain out. Timetables can vary based on individual circumstances, but ace Stephen Strasburg suffered a minor lat strain last season and returned after the minimum 15 days on the disabled list. Fister’s return will be more complicated, clouded by the need to build sufficient innings for the season. As a result of Fister's injury, the battle for the final spot in Washington's rotation will turn up two winners as both Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan are expected to open the season in the big leagues. Roark, 27, was especially impressive in a late-season call-up last year, going 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA. THE RANGERS SIGNED VETERAN SCOTT BAKER to a minor-league contract just days after he was released by the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers are pursuing all of the reinforcements they can find with Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, and Derek Holland all shelved for the immediate future. The team also released veteran Tommy Hanson earlier this week, which doesn't bode well for his prospects to make a major league roster this season. Baker himself wasn't very good this spring in Mariners camp after missing most of the past two seasons following Tommy John elbow surgery, but the rash of injuries not just in Texas but all around the league keeps the door open. OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED FRIDAY • Erik Bedard signed another minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays after being released earlier in the week. He was able to find a major league deal elsewhere. • Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez is likely heading for Tommy John surgery, according to Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal . • Mets left-hander Jonathan Niese felt "amazing" in his return from elbow discomfort . He's on track to return from the DL on April 6. Finally some good news for the New York Yankees on outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Girardi says plan is for Ellsbury to play in final spring game vs #Marlins , weather permitting, confident he is healthy #Yankees — Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 28, 2014 More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813 [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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