I was listening to Dave ‘Softy’ Mahler on KJR the other day. He said now that Seahawks camp is open and the Mariners have waved the white flag of surrender they would no longer be talking about the Mariners. I am sure the station may mention the M’s from time to time, but there will be little or no talk about them. That was certainly my impression. I am a big fan of Softy’s, but that really pissed me off.
I understand the Seahawks are a big story with two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl and everyone loves to talk Hawks. I also understand that radio is a ratings game. But if you are a ‘sports talk’ station then you should talk all sports relevant to the city and any national stories that have merit. If you don’t talk about the Mariners you are excluding a part of your audience.
KJR should change their identity to football radio and talk Seahawks, Huskies, Cougars and Pee Wee football. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, and was a Seahawk season ticket holder for eight years., but sports talk jocks like to denigrate fans who are frontrunners, and by essentially blackballing talk about the Mariners, KJR is nothing if not being a front runner. Seahawks win; Mariners don’t. We talk Hawks; we don’t talk Mariners. That is a front runner.
If I played for the Mariners, and next year during spring training and the opening of the season, if KJR came down from their front-running high horse and condescended to ask for an interview, I would say go to talk with Doug Baldwin.
The other sports talk station in town, 710 ESPN Seattle, is also spending more and more time talking Hawks. They are the flagship station of the Mariners, but they too want Hawk talk. At least they had Jayson Stark discuss why the Mariners were doing so poorly.
I don’t know what happens in other cities, but I hope to explore that as my cities sports talk stations will spend more hours talking about Russell Wilson’s contract than they will spend on a years worth of Nelson Cruz talk.
It might be a good thing the Sonics are gone and that the NHL is not coming anytime soon. There is no room for them on the airways. Unless they might win of course, but then the Seahawks would first have to lose.
I am a 12. I love the Seahawks, have for years. The way the Super Bowl was lost by the Hawks on Sunday was devastating, crushing, depressing, unreal, unbelievable. The local talk radio airwaves are filled with fans ranting and raving in despair and anger. It was the wrong play they say. Of course they wouldn’t say that if the play worked. But the Beast should have been given the ball.
There is a cure for the Seahawk blues and that is for the Mariners to have a great season. By doing so our minds will be diverted from pain. I won’t say anything about healing process. The wound will go away, but the scar will remain until we are buried-or cremated. I want my ashes in either a Mariner or Dodger urn and given to the Hall of Fame. Either that or have my ashes put in a rosin bag.
But back to the matter at hand. Seahawk 12’s need diversion, something to cheer about. Without it we will go insane with grief and sorrow. Or go into a violent rage out of frustration. The Mariners need to step up and help Hawk 12’s by winning. Not just having a good season, not just falling one game short of the playoffs as in 2014. No they must win, win win. They must crush the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs, then beat whoever in the World Series.
If the Mariners fall short, even worse, not make the playoffs (I will never attend an M’s games again if not in playoffs) then Seattle reverts to that city of sports failure. The Sonics were stolen by the 21st century version of carpetbaggers. The Seahawks blew the Super Bowl. The Mariners continue to flounder like a dying seal in Elliot Bay.
The baseball season can not come soon enough. We need to be rescued from the sea of despair by the Mariners.
Well sort of.
Consider that since the Mariners had an eight game losing streak, they are 27-16, the second best record in baseball since April 23rd. They have played at a .628 clip. If they play at the same clip over their last 99 games they will win 96 games.
Impossible you say. These are the Mariners after all.
They have been winning with only four starters, the fifth starter has been a black hole. They still do not have a clean-up hitter. They still struggle for hits. They are 25th in hitting with a .238 average. They are 29th in on-base-percentage at .298. In slugging they are 25th with .370. But they are 16th in runs scored.
The reason they are in the middle of the pack in runs while near the bottom in hitting and getting on base is that they get timely hits.
It also helps when the pitching ERA is 3.39, 2nd in the American League with a .236 batting average against.
Many Mariner fans still believe the team will take a big tumble. Like Pavlov’s dogs they have been trained; in this case, by years of futility. Baseball fans in Seattle expect things to go wrong. They expect the Mariners to make a trade in July for another Casper Wells. They think Taijuan Walker will be traded for Aaron Harang. They believe Chris Young will blowup, that Roenis Elias will be the next Michael Pineda.
Mariner fans are doomsayers. They will drink the Kool-Aid, they will head to Mt. Rainier to wait for the mother ship.
They do not worry that Marshawn Lynch will run out of Skittles, but that the NFL will make Paul Allen sell the Seahawks to someone who will move the team to Oklahoma City.
But what Mariner fans will never believe is that the Mariners will get in the playoffs, though currently they have a wild card locked up. And they certainly won’t believe Seattle winning 96 games. But what counts is today and today looks pretty good.
I have to say at the beginning the biggest difference between football and baseball is that football is an aggressive, physical game and baseball is a passive, reflective game. That means football fans are rowdy and baseball fans congenial. As a Seahawk ticket season holder for a decade I can testify to the rowdiness, fights in stands, drinking, swagger, loudness, yelling, and fear of ones life. Having gone to hundreds of Mariner games I can testify to the friendly, quiet, sober, clapping-not yelling, civilized folk . If the fans were rated like movies, Seahawk fans are rated R and Mariner fans are rated G, unless Boston or New York is in town, then it is PG.
It will never happen because of the mind set of the two sports, but if Mariner fans took note of Seahawk fans and became the 26th man, it would scare visiting teams like what happens across the street at The Clink. Imagine 40,000 + at Safeco yelling at the top of their lungs, “SWING” at every pitch thrown by a Mariner pitcher. Batters would be on edge as they wait for the roar of “SWING” to resound through their ears. They would be tense, off balance, befuddled, discombobulated, swinging at pitches before the ball has left the pitchers hand. There is no point in yelling insults to opposing players, they have heard it all, so there is no point in trying to be funny. Fans are rarely funny and when they are, it is to those immediately around them.
Since half the attendance at Mariner games are kids 12 years of age and under, they must be trained, perhaps by the Moose, though having been around him he doesn’t talk. All kids should be seated around home plate and the dugouts so they can be heard. They can have instructions passed out before the game and if need be their parents-who must participate or be ejected by ushers- can read them for the reading impaired. The Moose can cue the kiddies by holding up the “SWING” sign at the appropriate time.
The Mariners can form a modern version of a knothole gang with certificates, discounts on candy and kid stuff at the team store, getting their picture taken with a player, and of course the knothole bobblehead, and most importantly a colorful tee-shirt, like King’s Court fans get.
It won’t happen because no one listens to me, especially the Mariners. They just don’t see good marketing when they see it.
Carlos Peguero, designated for assignment by Seattle, was traded to Kansas City for the proverbial ‘player to be named later.’ The question is what player. Can George Brett still hit” Can Bret Saberhagen still pitch? I think the answer is no to both. Nor will they get any player on the 40 man roster.
The reason the Mariners will not get much is that Peguero has only hit .195 in 65 Mariner games. He is 6’5″, weighs 260 and has power with a capital P. I saw him hit a few of his nine homers with Seattle and they literally jumped off the bat as if they were shot out of it. One hit the façade in right field so quickly Carlos had barely got of the batters box. I was surprised that the ricochet off the façade did not fly all the way back to home plate. No long majestic homer runs for Carlos. His homers were bullwhipped out of the park.
But he struck out 84 times in 205 at bats. It seems the Mariners considered that a liability though that did not stop them from signing the likes of Russell Branyan and Richie Sexson in the past. Peguero hit 19 homers for Tacoma in 2013, hitting .260 with 83 rbis in 118 games. The potential is still there.
Usually the player to be named later will be a minor league player, who may not have much value. In many cases, the signing team, in this case, Kansas City will send Seattle some cash at some point.
For both Seahawk and Mariner fans, Russell Wilson, Seattle’s Super Bowl quarterback will be featured in a Topps baseball card in late April. It shows him in a Texas uniform (photo shopped) and he is pictured in an at bat ready to swing. I can’t remember if it is a limited run, one of the many subsets that card company issues, but I know it has to do with prospects. Texas admits there is no chance Wilson will play baseball, but it will be a cool card to have. It will look nice next to my football Topps Wilson rookie card.
Baseball fiction, “Loonies in the Dugout” Amazon, $2.99. Based on true story about 1911 New York Giants; Christy Mathewson, Rube Marquard, John McGraw, and the immortal Charley Faust. http://www.amazon.com/Loonies-Dugout-Terry-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00EEN7YNA/ref=la_B00EEVHN38_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391038079&sr=1-
I bought a tee-shirt for my monkey many years ago at a souvenir stand in the Kingdome. It has long blue sleeves, otherwise is white, with a star on the front and the Mariners trident over the star. Like I said it was many years ago, probably back when George Arduous owned the team.
The attendant at the souvenir kiosk asked if he could help. I said I was looking for a Mariner tee for a baby. When he asked how old the baby was I realized I was caught. I told the truth, that it was for my monkey. Talk about embarrassment; you see, I left out one word. The word being ‘stuffed.’ No, not stuffed by a taxidermist, but stuffed like a teddy bear.
So why did I buy my teddy monkey a baby tee-shirt? Because it was given to me as one of many Easter presents by my then girlfriend who a few years later put me on irrevocable waivers. It proved a setback to my career, as I bounced around quite a bit, collecting lots of waivers in the process. There is something about a stuffed monkey and in a Mariner tee that is off-putting to women, but it took me years to realize it. I was told it would have been better if he-for it is a he-wore a Yankee tee.
But the attendant was helpful and picked one that Alvin still wears; Alvin so named for Alvin Davis, one of the M’s first big stars. Currently Alvin-not Davis- sits on a couch in my bedroom, but after well over twenty years together I am going to give him a new home. I emailed an agency that shelters abused women and their children. They never answered back. They also put me on waivers. I think I will give him to some friends who have two young girls. The shirt will be optional. Alvin may end up with a Bronco tee as their mother is a Denver Bronco fan. When Denver played Seattle in the preseason at the Clink, she was kicked out of the game. She claims she did nothing wrong and after listening to her husbands story I agree.
But since the Seahawks, if they beat the 49’ers Sunday, could play Denver in the Super Bowl, I think I will try the police to see if they know of a shelter where Alvin will be happy. I could not bear to see Alvin in a Bronco tee. I don’t think Alvin would be happy either; he would feel abused.
All major league teams can expand their rosters in September. And after September 2nd, when Tacoma closes out their season, the Mariners will call up a few prospects. Who will be called up the Mariners have not said. But one thing is certain, there are players on the 25 man active roster who will be fighting for playing time-and jobs. The young prospects will want to impress, and if someone does, they will get their chance.
Pitchers will, I am sure, be among those heading to Seattle. Logan Bowcam saved 19 games for Tacoma with a sub 3 ERA. He is a 25 year old right hander and everyone can use pitching, especially in the bullpen.
Seattle could also bring up those who have been on the I-5 shuttle like Tom Wilhelmsen, Bobby LaFromboise, Hector Noesi, or Blake Beavan. A bigger question would be Taijuan Walker, 21, who was 4-3 in 10 starts. He struck out 55, walked 25, with a 3.86 ERA in 51 innings. Do they want to begin his major league clock with a September call-up? There really is no point.
Babe Ruth can not be called up. He is dead. But Seattle should look into cloning rights should they become available.
One name to remember for the future because you will not see him come September is Tyler Pike, a 19 year old left handed pitcher. He is 7-4, 2.35 in 21 starts. Not a strikeout pitcher, but he has three pitches, one is good curve ball. Batters hit .194 against him. He should move up the minor league chain next summer.
As far as hitters, Abraham Almonte, a 24 year old outfielder, is likely to be called up. Between Jackson and Tacoma he is batting .297 with 14 homers and 63 rbis while stealing 24 bases. A young outfielder with speed and some power needs to be looked at closely.
Stefan Romero, is a 24 year old whose future is undecided because hey keep moving him around. Most of his career was at third base, but Seager seems to have that locked up. Romero has also played second, but Nick Franklin has looked good there. Outfield? he has played there some, but the M’s, if they want to keep him, must find a position. He is batting .281 with 7 homers and 64 rbis.
It would be great to see someone catch September fire, like Almonte. But who would notice? Once football season starts, with the Seahawks more popular than a free day at Starbucks, no one will notice anthing the Mariners do, and that might be a good thing.