Mariners players, a mystery off the field

   The Mariners get a day to rest before starting a series with the Cleveland Indians tomorrow so there is no need for my usual ranting about the dismal state of this fading season. Instead I thought I would talk a little about the players themselves and their lives off the field. Of course being that I am simply a blogger and have no access to the players outside of my brief interactions in spring training, much of my profiles will have to be speculative. It is also difficult to keep track of exactly who has been on the 25 man roster at times this year, as well as the coaching staff which has recently undergone a major transformation, but I will do my best.

  There was a time in America say 30-40 years ago that the fans in a city with a major league team were fascinated with the lives of their hometown heroes down to the smallest details. Of course this was before twitter, facebook, free agency and the infamous short attention span of the average fan. Guys like Willie Mays used to play stickball with the kids in his neighborhood in New York in the early 50’s and players actually lived in the cities they played for and were embraced in a much less cynical manner than the current scenario. But we are here now in 2010 with a team playing for the Seattle Mariners that really we know little about, and since no one else in the media seems to be trying to figure out who these guys really are off the playing field I thought I would give it a shot.

  Ok well the first mystery guy is the new manager Daren Brown. Daren strikes me as a nice guy who probably hunts a little in the offseason and though not quite your average Texan in his political views, I think it is fair to say he won’t be moving to Wallingford soon to be around like- minded progressives. Daren played some ball and his father and uncle did as well so I imagine he has some sort of memorabilia collection, and has a fair but not extensive historical knowledge of the game dating back at least to the 60’s.

  Next we will take a look at another relative newcomer Brian Sweeney. Sweeney seems like an earnest guy who has been around the block and judging from his accent likes Italian food. While not attempting to stereo type, I hear he likes Mafia movies and probably has a hot wife who has stuck with Brian through all the ups and downs on his road to his current role as a multipurpose reliever for the Mariners.

   Josh Bard is about as difficult guy to read as possible due to his rather bland personality and demeanor (a common theme with this club unfortunately) but I do have a gut feeling he rides a Harley and like heavy metal music.

  Josh Wilson the “Paper boy” strikes me as the intellectual type who quite possibly is a sharp dresser and a bit of a ladies man. Josh also looks like he could enjoy surfing and perhaps like to fiddle around with computers in his never-ending quest to figure out things.

  Then there are the boys from Venezuela Jose Lopez and Felix Hernandez as well as the heart-throb Franklin Gutierrez. Jose obviously enjoys food, the spicier the better. He fancies himself as a fashion icon and sports a large wardrobe of flashy clothes and likes jewelry to go with his flamboyant style. Gutierrez on the other hand tends to favor poetry and has a deep appreciation for family, his roots and being adored by women all over the world. King Felix is just starting to grow-up this season and is undergoing a transformation of sorts from a brash kid to a national hero at home and here in Seattle. King Felix is studying stand-up comedy in the offseason as he looks to do some television and movie work as he goes along in order to bolster the image he is creating for his adoring subjects. Felix does have a soft spot for his mother and also has a pet cat called you guessed it “ Felix the Cat”

    Chone Figgins is a mystery guy, but don’t let those brooding eyes fool you he is quite a funny guy and is a student of politics. Chone plays the saxophone and at one time considered giving up baseball to form his own band of hipster vanguard jazz players in Paris, but could not handle the idea of not playing baseball every day even in an odd town like Seattle.

   Casey Kotchman is a secret fan of the show “Deadliest Catch” as he is the strong silent type. His great-grandfather was a military hero in WWI and Casey along with Edgar Martinez votes Republican though he and his wife are friendly decent people. Casey would make a good neighbor as he is the kind of guy though not flashy, can fix anything.

   Ichiro is perhaps the most elusive and guarded of the bunch. Besides baseball Ichiro spends time cultivating a large assortment of exotic plants in greenhouses spread out all over the world. His clothing line can be seen on the backs of the numerous hip young Japanese fans that travel to Safeco each year to watch their idol. Ichiro plans on using his considerable celebrity status and wealth to put together a TV show when he retires. Ichiro plans on using his new show entitled “Ichiknows” in order to contemplate issues facing modern Japan and has been secretly discussing the details of his show with Oprah!

    So that is all I have for now, feel free to fill-in the blanks with any players I have missed or if you have managed to scrape-up any tidbits of information on this assortment of characters we have on our TV’s nightly. I am sure some of my insights may be a little off-base but as an expansion-blogger I am still working on getting my foot in the door with these guys who have maybe not endeared us this year, but have certainly left an impression on us! http://jeffsmariners.com

Brian Sweeney holds Brew-crew in his debut 5-4

Sausage race in old Milwaukee

 

   The Seattle Mariners edged the Milwaukee Brewers in front of a sold-out crowd at Miller stadium today 5-4. The win by the Mariners snapped a five game winning streak for the Brewers and moved the Mariners to 9-8 in interleague play on the year. Doug Fister returned to the lineup today and had a gutsy performance despite the fact he obviously did not have the command of his pitches we saw earlier in the year. Fister threw 92 pitches in his four innings of work giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and walking one. The Mariners were able to stake Fister to an early lead scoring a run in the second off an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Rob Johnson with the bases loaded. In the third inning the struggling Milton Bradley hit a monster home run to left field putting the Mariners up 2-0. Of course when you are playing a club like the Brewers who lead the NL in home runs, a 2-0 lead is not enough and the Brewers came out swinging in the third.

  One of the quirks of  interleague play is the fact that NL pitchers actually have some experience swinging the bat versus AL pitchers who usually come to the plate without a clue. In today’s match-up Brewers starting pitcher the veteran Randy Wolf started a rally in the third with a double to right. Rickie Weeks then reached base on a walk and came around along with Wolf on a double by slugger Corey Hart. Hart then scored on an error by Fister making it 3-2. Big Prince Fielder sporting his sunglasses at the plate then connected for a solo shot to give the Brewers a 4-2 edge and send the goofy Brewer down the slide into the awaiting vat of beer.

  At this point in most Mariners games this year it would probably be time to go mow the lawn or take a walk around Greenlake. But our boys proved last week’s win streak was no fluke and came roaring back in the top of the fourth to take back the lead. With one down pesky Chone Figgins reached first on a walk and came around to score on a double by Franklin Gutierrez. Jose Lopez who is steadily heating up, then blasted another home run for the Mariners and we went up 5-4 to stay. Of course the big story of the day was the return to the mound of 36 year- old Brian Sweeney who got handed the ball in fifth inning after Fister gutted-out the fourth. Brian Sweeney last pitched for the Mariners in 2003 and came up from Tacoma where he was a dependable hand on the farm club. Sweeney moved the ball around the plate changing speeds to keep the Brewers bats silent for 4 innings giving up only 1 hit and most importantly not allowing a run. The Mariners may have found the missing link in an otherwise shaky bullpen.

  Though we were not able to score any more runs today it was entertaining to watch the famous sausage race which is way more entertaining than anything our Moose ever does! By the way what does a Moose have to do with a Mariner or anything nautical for that matter? Also entertaining was watching Brewers reliever Todd Coffey sprint in from the bullpen in the top of the 7th apparently he got the call late or was snacking on a brat himself, either way it was quite a sight. Unfortunately for the big fellow he lost a foot race to first base when Rob Johnson beat out an infield single off him-maybe a case of too many sausages or brews for the lumbering giant. I am hoping you get a chance to watch the game tomorrow as we finish out Interleague play. The whole set-up at Miller field is like a theme park for beer and sausages and the fans and some of the players seem like they fit right in. After this series we move on to Yankee stadium where things will be a little more intense but if the Mariners can play well-rounded games like today it could be interesting. Http://jeffsmariners.com

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