Mariners Insider

Category: 2008 Winter meetings


UPDATED (4:24) –No Ichiro in today’s line-up

UPDATE 4:24 — Officially Ichiro has tightness in his left calf. It’s been bothering him the last week and it “grabbed on him” a little at the end of yesterday’s game. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Ichiro said the calf is much better today. But Wakamatsu indicated that Ichiro probably won’t play till Wednesday.

UPDATE 3:29 – Apparently Ichiro has a strained calf. Not sure of the extent.

Ichiro Suzuki is not in the line-up today, Bill Hall will be taking his place in right field. Not sure what’s up with it, but I will let you

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GAME UPDATES: Rays vs. Mariners, August 8th

Not much to say. Ian Snell makes his Safeco debut and the Mariners face a pretty good pitcher in James Shields. In six career starts, Shields has a 1-2 record against the M’s, but he’s only allowed 8 runs in 37 innings pitched for a 1.95 ERA, his lowest against any AL opponent.

First Inning

Well, don’t be afraid to mix in a strike every once in a while. Snell looks a little pumped to be pitching at Safeco. He’s all over the place. He walked two of the first three hitters, then gave up an

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Mariners 2, Tigers 1 — Washburn speaks on the trade deadline

Well, I made my flight, after taking possibly one of the scariest, most expensive cab rides ever. I’m not certain, but I think I may have similar pain in my neck that Franklin Gutierrez is experiencing after my cab driver used his breaks in the jump on them with two feet method.

Anyway, a great win for the Mariners. It wasn’t pretty offensively. Manager Don Wakamatsu called it “scratch and claw.” I guess Mike Sweeney’s RBI double was “scratch” and Wlad Balentien’s RBI fielder’s choice “claw.”

It was enough for Washburn, who was extremely candid following his fourth straight win to improve to 8-6 on the season and lower his ERA to 2.71.

We talked with Washburn who was very candid about the team, the standings and the trade deadline.

When asked about the Angels, he said …

“You pay attention. Our goal is to catch ‘em, so you pay attention, keep an eye on what they’re doing. All we can control is what we’re going on the field. We have to keep playing the way we are now and try to win the first game of a series. Then stay within striking distance when we really have a chance to control our fate, when we’re playing Texas and the Angels head to head. All we can control is what we’re doing. You pay attention. It’s just human nature to pay attention. But all we worry about is what we can control.”

In fact it was Washburn who first mentioned the trade deadline, not us.

To start the second half strong, a lot can happen, the trade deadline is coming up. We know the only way we can control what’s going to happen is at least try to make the decisions hard for Jack. Hopefully, we won’t be in a position we’re going to be selling the whole team off. I think we’re making it hard on him. Let’s see what he ends up doing, but we’re happy with the way we’re playing. We definitely need to come out and start the second half strong to continue the momentum we had at the end of the first half.

Given the opening we kept firing questions …

We asked if the feelings change depending on how things work out

“I’d say it’s a day to day feeling. A lot can happen in a day. Guti hitting the wall, luckily he didn’t hurt anything serious, he’ll only be out a couple of days. But if he was going to be out a long time, that might make some decisions easier for Jack. That would be a tough guy to replace. But we’ve had a few tough guys to replace go down this year, but it seems like someone steps up and fills that role. I don’t doubt anything we can accomplish here.”

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Wakamatsu: Olson still going to start on Tuesday

Perhaps Don Wakamatsu is reading what the writers and the bloggers have posted on the possibility of Garrett Olson being replaced in his start on Tuesday in Detroit because that was the second thing he mentioned in the pregame meeting with him today.

“As of right now, we’re still planning on pitching Oly (Olson) on Tuesday,” he said in his second sentence.

He later said he and his staff hadn’t even considered pulling him.

“Right now, we haven’t even talked about it,” he said. “Obviously it happened yesterday. But I think you get to a point where you have to be able to work through some things and not just vacate on him. We already have some depth and we have a plan on the guys that are down there already. From our standpoint, we don’t want to create an environment or a feeling that it’s do or die. And granted we know the trade deadline and we know the situation of everything going on right now, but still we’re trying to stick the plan that’s got us here.”

Wakamatsu said he didn’t think there would be much over the next few days to sway his decision.

“Not right now, that’s where we’re headed,” he said. “The way it’s slotted in the minor leagues, where if we wanted to expedite that (July) 25th guy. But right now, that’s kind of the plan we were going forward. Olson’s thrown some good games for us. He threw a bad game yesterday. We’ll get him back throwing a bullpen and see if he can go back out and give us another start like he did in LA.”

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Wak on Felix’s new delivery

The other day Jon Shields over at Proball NW, formerly Bleeding Blue & Teal, had a excellent and detailed post on the changing mechanics of Felix Hernandez, complete with video.

So we asked Manager Don Wakamatsu if he noticed these changes and here’s conversation about it.

“He’s done that at different times,” Wakamatsu said. “Early in the year, we were more concerned about it because he would turn and leak down the hill. Now he turns and comes back and is back and squared up. That’s fine if

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A moment of silence…

… for my laptop computer which appears to have expired after a few solid years of work. Because of that I could not post the links to Jim Riggleman to becoming the Nationals manager or my embarrassing appearance on Q it up Sports. This post is via blackberry.

Just a heads up that I will be doing a midseason Mariners roundtable with on KJR today with Ian Furness, Jason Puckett and possibly Steve Sandmeyer. Not sure of the time yet but it will be a few segments between 1-3.


Royal Reaction to the Betancourt trade

The Royals are in Boston and Yuni is presumably on his way there as well, longtime Royals beat writer Bob Dutton of the Kansas City has this story in which some of Betancourt’s former Mariners teammates now on the Royals – and there are plenty of them – seem happy about the deal.

But Royals fans? Well not so much. If you are looking for bitterness, anger, frustration, stunning disbelief and vitriol check out some of these links.

I went over to KC Star columnist Joe Posnanski’s personal blog — a must read. But

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UPDATED: Trade rumors swirl when Betancourt is a late scratch in Tacoma

UPDATE 10:36: OK, as far as I know, nothing has happened with Yuni on the trade front. Does that mean it isn’t being talked about? Not at all. In fact, I do think they are or were possibly close to a deal and that’s why he was pulled.

It wasn’t because of his hamstring. I asked him about it and he said, “I’m good, it feels good.”

Betancourt took part in batting practice, team fundamentals and infield.

“He did everything with us,” Rainiers manager Daren Brown said.

Brown said he got the call

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