Mariners Insider

Archives: Oct. 2010

Oct.
21st

A quick comparison: Aubrey Huff vs. Casey Kotchman

Just cause I’m bored at work.

Aubrey Huff, 1B/OF, Giants

Acquired: signed as a free agent on Jan. 11, 2010

Contract: 1-year, $3million contract

2010 stats: 157 games, .290 (165-of-569) batting average, 100 runs, 35 doubles, 2 triples, 26 homers, 86 RBI, ..385 OBP, .891 slugging. WAR: 5.7

Thoughts: Two seasons ago, I was in the visitors clubhouse at Safeco waiting to talk to Adam Jones of the Orioles. Huff, who was with the O’s at the time, walked by in spandex shorts, a half shirt with his belly hanging out and flip flops and eating a donut. He

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Oct.
21st

Mariners, past and future, in the news

Former Mariners were in the news today, with one-time manager Bob Melvin interviewing for the managerial opening in Milwaukee – after interviewing first with the Cubs and Blue Jays.

Of more interest, perhaps, are the goings-on in Oakland. There, the Athletics fired their hitting coach, Jim Skaalen – who spent years in the Seattle minor league system – and replaced him with Gerald Perry. Yes, the same Perry who was the Mariners batting coach in 2001 under Lou Piniella.

Detroit was considered a potential landing spot for soon-to-be free agent Adrian Beltre, but the Tigers re-signed 34-year-old Brandon Inge – who

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Oct.
20th

Felix Hernandez named AL pitcher of the year by the Sporting News

Felix Hernandez has been named the American League Pitcher of the Year by the Sporting News. Obviously, it’s not the Cy Young, but it’s a nice honor. It’s also an indication that people are devaluing a pitcher’s record in judging how a pitcher’s performance.

Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay was chosen to as the National League Pitcher of the Year.

Here’s the story on the pitchers, including this quote from Jason Vargas which is interesting …

“Pitching without run support is a difficulty, but it also can make you better as a pitcher because you have to keep your focus all

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Oct.
20th

Mariners going green … with their jerseys

The Mariners will be bringing a bit of the not so distant past to the upcoming season.  They announced today that the next season they will add a new home alternate jersey to their selection of uniforms.

Yep, they are bringing back the teal of the early 90s. You may recall they broke out these jerseys on June 5, 2010 in a Turn Back the Clock game that was magically not televised in the Seattle area.

Officially, the jersey color is called “Northwest Green.” But whatever.

The “green” jersey will be the Mariners home alternate jersey and will be worn

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Oct.
20th

Now, all Mariners need is a better team

The  manager is in place, and within 10 days Eric Wedge will have a coaching staff.

Now, it gets hard. Now, general manager Jack Zduriencik must start righting some of the wrongs of his 2010 roster and find help for a Seattle Mariners team that could be filled with babies when spring training opens.

The ace of the pitching staff, Felix Hernandez, won’t turn 25 until April.  Right-hander Michael Pineda will be 22, and he and 21-year-old lefty Mauricio Robles will push for spots in the rotation. Dan Cortes, 22, will be a strong bullpen candidate.

Then there’s that offense, the worst in the

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Oct.
19th

Twenty comments from Eric Wedge’s press conference

AP photo

In the days leading up the press conference, I said a few times that in hiring Eric Wedge, the Seattle Mariners were basically hiring the same guy they had earlier in Don Wakamatsu. Both were former catchers, both were organization type guys, both were very protective of players, both had certain expectations that players should live up to and both were going to let the players be responsible for living up to those expectations.

But after today, there are some apparent differences, particularly intensity. They both had it. It’s just that Wakamatsu did a good job hiding it. He was intense, but calm to the point where some people may have mistaken him for being docile.

Wedge can’t hide that intensity. It’s simply not in his nature.  At certain points when he was talking about something he’s was passionate about, his voice would rise and his face would turn red and the intensity could  be felt. This is who Eric Wedge is. He’s a guy that views being in professional baseball as the ultimate privilege. And with that privilege a responsibility to prepare, to work, to perform and to maintain also accompanies it.

Wakamatsu expected all those things – he just put them all under one phrase: “Belief System.” Wedge isn’t like that. He doesn’t have an all encompassing catchphrase.  It’s readily apparent  that he can and will get in the face of a player that isn’t going to follow suit.  He won’t do it in the dugout. He won’t do it in the media. But he will do it.

AP photo

And the mustache? Well that’s just magical, and a whole other blog post in and of itself.

I’m not going to do a whole transcription of the press conference. If you want to watch or listen to it, you can go to MLB.com or KJR to listen to it.

But here’s 20 things that Wedge said from today’s press conference and post presser interview I found interesting.

1. When you talk about moving forward here in Seattle, there’s certain things we are going to work hard to accomplish – that are going to be foundation based, that are going to be things you can count on. There’s always going to be X factors involved. But the bottom line is, we are going to stand for something here within the Mariners organization, from head to toe.

2. It was interesting. I always thought I worked hard to keep the proper perspective and keep a bird’s eye view as much as you possibly can. But when you are that close to it day to day as you know you can get too close to it at times. I think the way it worked out, I was able to recall certain things that happened both positive and from negative standpoint that are going help me as I move forward. I think my perspective has always been good. But it’s even better now.

3. I think the experiences that I’ve gone through over the course of the seven years in Cleveland have been tremendous for me as I move forward. I think there’s a strong argument that if you go something the second time around you should be that much better. I think there’s an argument you should be that much better if you paid attention to what happened over the first go around

4. No, not at all. That’s about me. If I do my job, the rest will take care of itself.  I can’t be any more honest than that. I like that responsibility. I like the accountability and responsibility that goes along with being a manager. It’s not an easy job. Hell, it’s not easy to win a big league ball game. It takes a lot of work, a lot of preparation.

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Oct.
19th

On Day One, all things Eric Wedge

Eric Michael Wedge is the manager of the Seattle Mariners, and while that may not be headline news in many cities, there has been reaction to the hirinng.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, for instance, where Wedge went to high school, the response was that it’s about time. Wedge has a love for ‘all things John Wayne’ and will drink his coffee black, thank you.

Chicago’s Phil Rogers writes that Wedge had told ‘confidantes’ that he was the Cubs second choice and would get the job if the team couldn’t land Joe Girardi. Hmmm.

Out in the blogosphere, the

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Oct.
18th

Now it’s official: Welcome, Mr. Wedge

Jack Zduriencik and the Seattle Mariners have formally announced Eric Wedge has the team’s 15th manager.

“Eric brings the energy, passion and leadership that we think is important as we move forward,” Zduriencik said in a press release, “and he has a track record of winning at the Major League and minor league levels. Eric has taken clubs to the playoffs and he has twice won 90 games at the Major League level. As a former Manager of the Year he has experience working with both veteran and younger players and as we move ahead we look forward to his

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