Mariners Insider

Archives: June 2007


Maybe This Guy Isn’t Darth Vader

A word about judging major league players too quickly.

Don’t. It almost never works out.

Reggie Jackson didn’t hit a home run in April, 1982, and was all but booed out of the park in Anaheim – then helped lead the team to the post-season and shared the American League home run lead.

Countless veterans comeback from the brink of disaster, in part because they have a reserve of confidence that younger players lack. And sometimes, they’re just streaky.

Maybe Jeff Weaver is streaky.

Certainly, when he was 0-6 and his earned run average

Read more »


Ah, Those Were the Glory Years

Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t beat the Seattle Mariners this weekend, although he depressed a few of their fans.

What Junior did for three days was remind everyone of what it was like to have a Hall of Fame personality around, never mind a Hall of Fame player. When Griffey was here, he reigned over a golden era of loons – Jay Buhner, Norm Charlton, Randy Johnson, Lou Piniella …

No one ever had to wonder if there was a team identity then. There was.

Junior was the ring leader, Buhner the clown, Johnson the crazed loner, Charlton

Read more »


A Moment Of Spendor In the House That Junior Built

The Northwest finally got to say ‘goodbye’ to Ken Griffey Jr.

Whatever animosity followed his departure after the 1999 season seemed relegated to the bin of history when the Seattle Mariners through a Welcome Back Junior Night at the favorite son of a franchise.

Touched, Griffey admitted "I didn’t realize how much I missed Seattle," and a warm reception turned hot.

Griffey began producing memories the day he stepped on the field in 1989, from a first-at-bat double in Oakland to a first-at-bat home run in the Kingdome that same season.

As talented as any player

Read more »


To Deal Or Not To Deal

The question keeps coming up: If the Seattle Mariners stay within range first place in the American League West, will they trade to improve their club?

They will try, but that’s not as easy as it seems.

For one thing, who could they acquire that would seriously improve the every day lineup?

What the Mariners will likely need is what everyone wants – starting pitching – but the price is always high, both financially and in terms of what talent you have to give up. In truth, there’s not much Seattle is willing to move that anyone

Read more »


Undaunted Courage On the Mound

The term ‘courage’ is probably over-used in professional sports, where players are well compensated to do what they do.

Seattle closer J.J. Putz, however, may have exemplified bravery on the diamond this week, and it had nothing to do with facing down a tough hitter or the pressure of a save situation.

It had everything to do with controlling his bowels in front of 40,000 fans and a televison audience.

Putz was battling a stomach ailment in Chicago that kept him either in the training room or the bathroom – and he was rarely comfortable in either.

Read more »


A Loss That Comes With Perspective

A lost game didn’t mean as much to the Seattle Mariners as it might have 24 hours earlier – before they learned Wednesday that second base Jose Lopez’s 28-year-old brother was killed.

He wasn’t a ballplayer, and none of the Mariners had met him.

Their grief, however, was genuine, and they shared it with Lopez, who decided to stay with the team in lieu of flying home to Venezuela to be with family.

"If I left tonight, I wouldn’t get there in time for the funeral," he said. "My father told me to stay and play for

Read more »


It’s June, And We Still Have Baseball

The winning streak is five now, the deficit in the American League West down to three games – and the Seattle Mariners bullpen is exhausted.

Kind of fun, isn’t it?

Somewhere in the next week or so, they’re going to lose a game because the Seattle starting pitcher is going to leave after six and no one is going to be able to throw a strike.

That’s how tired Mariners relievers are.

Now Adrian Beltre is down again with a bad left thumb, and after the game Tuesday was even hinting at the disabled list.

Read more »


Another Day, Another Change In The Bullpen

On their way from city to city to city, the Seattle Mariners flew in pitching reinforcements Monday – something they’ve had to do with alarming frequency this season.

In the middle of a three-day, three-city, three-game stretch, the team lost right-hander Chris Reitsma to elbow inflammation, and turned to Tacoma lefty Jake Woods, who joined the team in Cleveland.

It’s an issue that won’t go away, this burning of bullpen arms.

Starters rarely get to the seventh inning. Relievers rarely get days off. It’s a lovely problem to have when J.J. Putz has to keep closing games

Read more »