Mariners Insider

Archives: Sep. 2011

Sep.
30th

It’s the baseball way – find a scapegoat, fire him

The Boston Red Sox were supposed to do more than contend in 2011 – one Northeast beat writer humbly dubbed them the best team ever.

Fast forward to the final game of the season, and Boston lost to Baltimore, missing the post-season entirely. I tweeted from Safeco Field that night: “‘Tonight might have cost Terry Francona is job.” Now, it appears the Red Sox are about to cut their manager loose.

It’s the baseball way.

Managers I have respected, from Sparky Anderson to Lou Piniella to Jack McKeon, have all boiled down the art of their job with this: It’s

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Sep.
28th

And there you have it, the 2011 season

They began the year beating Oakland in back-to-back games, 6-2 and 5-2, and the Seattle Mariners closed 2011 by being shutout in consecutive games by the same Athletics.

Yes, Virginia, the Mariners say they’re a much improved team than the one that broke camp back in March.

And now, that season has ended. At 67-95, the win-loss record was an improvement over the 61-101 of last year, though too many numbers didn’t change.

Seattle’s .236 team average in 2010 was the worst in baseball. And their .233 average this season was, well, the worst in baseball.

New manager Eric Wedge

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Sep.
28th

Mariners to open 2012 season in Japan

The Seattle Mariners are scheduled to open the 2012 season in Tokyo, Japan, March 28-29 against the Oakland Athletics, Major League Baseball announced today.

The two-game Japan Opening Series 2012 at the Tokyo Dome will be “road” games for the Mariners. To account for the two regular season games that will be played in Tokyo, the previously announced games at Oakland on Sunday, April 8, and Thursday, July 5, will be off days. The Mariners 81-game home schedule is not affected by the games in Japan.

“The Seattle Mariners are proud to represent Major League Baseball and open the 2012

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Sep.
27th

Those Mariners zeroes are adding up …

The Seattle Mariners haven’t built a .234 team average in 2011 by accident, and they showed their stuff – or lack of it – again by being four-hit in a 7-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics that was historic.

It was Seattle’s 15th shutout loss of the season, matching the single-season record of the franchise.

And for those who think it’s gotten better as the season wore on, consider this: It was the Mariners ninth shutout loss since the All-Star break.

Rookie Blake Beavan had one of those nights, giving up all seven runs in five innings – with five

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Sep.
27th

How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?

The Seattle Mariners have spent the last few months auditioning some of their almost-ready-for-prime-time players, and now it’s apparent even more talent from the minor league season will be on display in spring training.

Two of the teams younger pitchers, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, were honored by Baseball America.

That publication named the right-handed Walker, 19, the Midwest League’s top prospect of 2011 – and listed Paxton as the league’s No. 8 prospect. Paxton went 6-5 with a 2.89 earned run average in 18 starts, held opponents to a .202 batting average and struck out 113 batters in 96 innings.

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Sep.
26th

Vargas joins the 10/200 club with a win

The Seattle Mariners remember a year ago, when Jason Vargas won his ninth game of the season and then didn’t win again in his last eight starts.

On Monday, Vargas followed win No. 9 last week with win No. 10 in his final start of the 2011 season, beating the Oakland Athletics, 4-2, on home runs by Miguel Olivo and Justin Smoak.

By the end of the evening, Vargas had pitched the 201st inniing of the season and won his 10th game – both plateaus he’d never reached.

“I’ve never had either before,” Vargas said, beaming. “The 200 innings is what

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Sep.
26th

Thanks, kids – now get to work

The young and talented Seattle Mariners – some considerably more talented than others – are about to complete what has been a long and difficult season only to learn it’s going to be a long winter, too.

General manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge are assigning the kids homework.

“Jack and I talk with different individuals. It’s not everybody, but most of the young guys,” Wedge said. “ We’ve got coaches involved in some of those meetings as well.

“This is going to be arguably the most important winter that these guys are going to have,” Wedge said.  ”With all

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