Sunday, May 2, 2010

Do we have a problem?

I was able to go to the Mariners game on Friday night. The stadium was full of buzz as Cliff Lee was set to make his debut as a Seattle Mariner. He certainly did not disappoint as Rangers hitters looked seemingly lost against the Cy Young winner. He finished the night after pitching 7 innings of 3-hit ball with 8 strike outs and no walks. If any of you have the opportunity I say go see this guy live. It's really amazing to watch him work.

But for all the happy feelings I had from my first Cliff Lee experience, the joy was quickly ruined by the Mariners anemic offense and some questionable decisions from our manager Don Wakamatsu. Let me begin by saying I like Don Wakamatsu. I think he's done an unbelievable job not only bringing a clubhouse together but also performing his duties as a field manager. Unfortunately, on Friday night he made some decisions that I just can't agree with and regardless whether or not they led to a positive outcome, I had been questioning.

1) I believe it was in the tenth inning, but with the bases loaded and one out, Jack Wilson was stepping up to the plate. Jack Wilson is not a very good hitter but I have faith in him that he could at least avoid hitting into a double play. All he had to do was hit the ball into the outfield and we could go home happy Mariners fans excited about the prospect of our new pitcher. Instead Wakamatsu pinch hit Wilson with Mike Sweeney. The significance of this switch is two-fold; Sweeney, like Wilson, does not hit the ball well and once Wilson is out of the game we don't have a major league caliber backup shortstop. Sweeney immediately hit into a 6-4-3 double play and the threat was over. That next inning, Matt Tuiasosopo took over for Wilson at shortstop and actually factored in the outcome of the game as a 12th inning throwing error put the a Ranger runner on 2nd base.

2) After a leadoff single in the 11th inning by Ichiro Suzuki, Chone Figgins beat out a sacrifice bunt for a single. Runner now stood on 1st and 2nd with our best hitter, Franklin Gutierrez stepping to the plate. I thought a sacrifice bunt was possible, however considering the absolute lack of offense from anyone not hitting in the 1st or 3rd spot in the order, highly unlikely. Sure enough Wakamatsu had the sacrifice in effect and Gutierrez took two quick strikes before striking out. If any other batter had been at the plate I would not have thought twice about the decision, as it is, nobody on this team, outside of Ichiro and Gutierrez are even hitting the ball. Let's watch Guti excite the Safeco crowd.

This is only one game, and like I mentioned earlier, I'm a fan of what Wakamatsu has done with this team. But I'm hearing increasing rumblings about his mis-use of the bullpen and how he builds his lineups. Wak has one of the most difficult jobs in the majors, every day he has to decide who is going to DH and often that decision is between Griffey and Sweeney. There's obviously no reason to panic, but I'll definitely be keeping my eye on how Wak manages the lineup a bit more as games continue to be played.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Bush Leagues, Episode 12

The season is upon us! Tonight is the regular season opener for the Mariners, starting their campaign for the World Series in Oakland at 7 pm.

Since every team in the division is currently in first place, we thought we would make a prediction show and hit on some over/unders for the season. Milton Bradley ejections, Griffey Homeruns, Lopez errors, find out what is going to happen this season. Thanks again to our friend Dan Walters for stopping by and adding to the madness. Thanks also go out to our producer Cam Schwartz for helping us sound the best we can.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

One Beer Choice at Safeco?

I don't know how this got lost in the mix during the off-season. Those of you going to see your 2010 Mariners kick-off their home season against the Oakland A's on April 12th might notice a slight change in your Safeco Field experience.

Over the off-season, the management team (of which the majority stake is Japanese) fostered a new relationship with a vendor that will change the operations within the stadium. Safeco Field has partnered with Japan-based brewer Kirin Ichiban Shibori. With the partnership, Safeco has agreed to sell only Kirin Ichiban beers. The stadium will be selling the company's American line of beers which includes the Kirin Ichiban and the Kirin Light. Oddly enough, the beer is also distributed by Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Budweiser.

The whole thing makes absolutely zero sense to me. Why would they halt the sale of multiple beer partners at a sporting event, especially when the beer is being distributed by America's largest beer producer? It doesn't make sense from a business model or to ensure fan happiness. Kirin must be paying a pretty penny in order to have exclusive serving rights at Safeco. Personally I've never tried the beer, but I'm going to have to get used to drinking the Japanese import as opposed to my "Rocky Mountain Cold" Coors Light because, let's be honest...The Bush Leagues at Safeco just isn't the same without beer.

Another interesting tidbit, Ichiro is the official spokesperson for Kirin Ichiban. Check out the video below.

*Please note: The Bush Leagues does not condone drinking and driving. Enjoy your Kirin at Safeco Field responsibly and always use a designated driver.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bush Leagues, Episode 11

Its that time again. Spring is in the air, the weather is starting to warm up, and the 2010 Mariners season is about a week and a half away!

In episode 11 of TBL, our good friend Dan Walters joins us in discussing the biggest story lines of the spring, including Jose Lopez and Chone Figgins swapping spots on the diamond, Cliff Lee's injury woes, and the tricky situation that is Mike Sweeney.

They say three is a crowd, but we had a blast talking M's baseball with Wally, so thanks go out to him. Also, want to thank Cam Schwartz for being our producer today, helping set up mics and telling Noah to stop slamming the table.

Thanks for listening, folks.

Episode 11

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Bush Leagues at Safeco Field

Ever wonder what its like to go to an M's game with a couple of baseball nerds who like to quote movies? We finally got around to posting our recorded thoughts during the Griffey bobble head game in which we brought the podcasting machine. Listen in as we attempt to do a little of everything; play by play, the hat trick, and bat boy bashing with a whole lot more. A typical M's game with Nick and Noah.


It's funny how the volume of our rants goes up and the game (and beer) flow on. Wonder why that is...?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bush Leagues, Episode 10

Episode 10 is live! We go over the Eric Byrnes and Ryan Garko acquisitions along with our predictions for wins in 2010. We also managed to throw in a couple of funny surprises here and there to spice it up a bit. Also, there wasn't any MGD 64 this week.

Episode 10

Listen in and enjoy.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Randy Winn signs with the Yankees

News today from ESPN reported the New York Yankees and Randy Winn have agreed on a contract. Of course, what this means is the Yankees will not be re-signing Johnny Damon. The report mentioned that Damon's agent, Scott Boras will turn his attention to the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds for the outfielder's services. But, recent opinion from M's fans is that the Seattle front office should go after the speedy outfielder.

I'm not the biggest Johnny Damon fan but for as long as I can remember he has always been rumored to want to come play for the Mariners. Obviously, Johnny Damon wouldn't be a horrible signing but it gives us another left-handed bat when the team should really be looking for a righty. The thing that would make this deal most intriguing is if Jack Zduriencik were to get Damon to lower his asking price significantly which could happen as the market seems to be drying up.

Dave Cameron at USS Mariner does a much better job of explaining what the risk/reward of a Johnny Damon signing would be and although I agree that you should never discount a player because the match is not ideal I do feel there's something to be said about having a balance on the roster for situational purposes.