Indians beat drum and Mariners 9-1

Indians Fan John Adams beating drum as Indians rally

  The Cleveland Indians avenged Saturday’s 9-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners with a 9-1 trouncing of the visiting lads from the Puget Sound today. Felix Hernandez pitched great through 6 innings and had two down in the 7th before a costly error by Chone Figgins opened the flood gates for the tribe. The Indians rally features a grand-slam by Travis Hafner and allowed the Indians rally drummer John Adams (pictured above) who has been beating the distinctive loud drum at Indians games for 37 years,  a chance to pound away as the Cleveland fans finally got to something to get excited about in this series. Felix Hernandez definitely has fallen into the category of what they used to call a toughluck pitcher back in the day. As a matter of fact I was interviewed yesterday by the author of Baseball Past and Present for an article on Dusty Rhodes and we found an old-clipping describing my Grandfather in 1934 as the league’s tough-luck pitcher. Well Felix Hernandez is definitely the AL’s version of this year’s tough-luck pitcher considering the meager run-support he has received from his offense on the campaign thus far in 2010.

   But believe it or not the Mariners won their third series in a row this weekend and now move on to another hot and humid series in Baltimore. I expect to see a little media attention for this series as both teams are playing decent ball under their new respective skippers. Daren Brown vs. Buck Showalter the rookie against the wily veteran trying to make one last run at glory. Many of you may remember Buck Showalter as the manager of the 1995 Yankees who got fired after losing the infamous series to the fabled 95 Mariners before going on to Texas and then of course TV. I like our chances in this upcoming series, and would like to see our wayward sailors pick-up another series victory before heading on to play the Yankees and Red Sox before sailing home to Safeco field.

  I received a message on Twitter that I am being followed by “Fire Nintendo” which is apparently a grassroots effort to build a campaign to oust Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln using social media. I support this endeavor and urge my readers to get involved as well. It has been refreshing to see the mainstream media get onboard with this issue as of late in the Seattle Times as well as other publications. However at the end of the day it is going to be up to us the Fans to mobilize and organize around the Top Management problem with this team, if indeed we ever hope to move out of the lower tier in Major League baseball that we now occupy with teams like the Indians and the Orioles. Look for more information on this campaign as I receive it here. I hope everyone is enjoying the weather and getting outdoors to enjoy that time of year we relish here in Seattle, too bad we don’t have a heated pennant race to complete the summer….

Russell “the muscle” Branyon is back!

Welcome back Russell 'the muscle" Branyon

Just got it confirmed from multiple sources that Russell Branyon is coming back to the  Seattle Mariners in exchange for two minor leaguers. The mariners sent outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and shortstop Juan Diaz to the Cleveland Indians for Branyon. Branyon is hitting 263 with 10 homers and 24 RBI’s since coming off the DL on April 24th. This move comes as a surprise and will take care of the first base issue leaving Kotchman, and Carp expendable. As interesting as it was to watch Mike Sweeney and Josh Wilson playing first I for one will be happy to see Russell “the muscle” back at first.

   It is hard to say how this fits into the plans for further trades as this will answer some of our power shortage in the lineup. Perhaps it means we will not trade Cliff Lee and Jack Z. is going to try to win this year. Very interesting development. I saw Jack Z. and Chuck Armstrong in the stands at the game today and had a hunch something was up. We shall see what else transpires in the next couple of weeks, should be interesting…..

Official press release: 

CLEVELAND, OH — Today, the Cleveland Indians announced they have acquired OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA and SS JUAN DIAZ from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for INF RUSSELL BRANYAN and cash or a player to be named later.

Carrera, 22, has spent the entire 2010 season to date at AAA Tacoma as he has hit .268 (57-213) with 24 runs scored, 6 doubles, 2 triples and 18RBI in 64 games. He has stolen 9 bases in 14 attempts this season but is currently on the AAA disabled list with a left hip pointer. Before being injured, Carrera was hitting .311 (19-61) with 6 runs scored, 3 doubles and 6 RBI in 18 games during the month of June. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Carrera was ranked as the 15th best prospect in the Mariners organization by Baseball America.

Last year, the left-handed hitting outfielder, won the Southern League Batting title as he hit .337 (111-329) with 68 runs scored, 12 doubles, 4 triples, 2HR and 38RBI in 91 games at AA West Tennessee while being named to both the Southern League All-Star and also the Topps Double-A All-Star team. Carrera also posted a .441 on-base percentage which aled the Southern League and was 3rd best in all of minor league baseball. The Venezuelan native was named the best defensive outfielder in the Florida State League in 2008 by Baseball America. Carrera was originally signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 and will report to AAA Columbus in the coming days.

Diaz, 21, a 6-4, 170-pound switch hitting shortstop, has spent the entire 2010 season to date at High Desert of the California League batting .295 (75-254) with 39 runs scored, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 7HR and 41RBI in 70 games. He has also stolen 8 bases in 10 attempts and has an OPS of .779 (.345 on-base % & .433 slg. %).

Last year, Diaz batted .311 (101-325) with 55 runs scored, 22 doubles, 5 triples, 4HR and 29RBI in 84 games at High Desert as he was named to the California League All-Star Team. The Dominican Republic native was on the disabled list from June 25-August 4th with a fractured hamate in the left hand however came back to finish the season and played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by Seattle in 2006 and will report to Kinston in the coming days.

Branyan was signed by the Indians on February 24th and hit .263 (45-171) with 24 runs scored, 9 doubles, 10HR and 24RBI in 52 games for Cleveland this year.

The Indians will make a roster move prior to tomorrow’s game with the Cincinnati Reds to fill Branyan’s spot on the Major League 25-man roster.

Jeff’s Mariners Expansion Blog

Scan_Doc0009 click to open 1995 World Series ticket

In August 1995 I got back to Seattle after a 60 day voyage on a Sea-Going tug just in time to witness first hand the miracle of Seattle’s first pennant race . From August 24th all the way till the bitter end of the AL Championship Series with the Cleveland Indians, I went down to the old Kingdome and bought a ticket to watch the game every day.  But there is still one ticket I never got to use, a World Series ticket like the one above that I bought in advance. I’m hoping this is the year, and am excited to be a part of it with my small contribution.

I don’t sail anymore so I took vacation time to go to Spring Training this year in Peoria and loved every minute of it. Right before I left I decided I was going to put my own Mariners Blog together this year, an Expansion Blog so to speak. As you may have noticed by now my Blog is pretty basic and non-commercial. However even getting it up and running for this Old salt has been quite an ordeal. But with the help of a couple techies and reading a book called “Create your own Blog” I have come this far. I appreciate the fact the Seattle PI has lended a hand and allowed me to post my Blogs in their Readers Blogs section, as well as to all of you who have come by now and then for a look.

  Just like the early season Mariners, I’m still working the bugs out and hope to add some bells and whistles by the All-Star Game ie podcasting, photos,and  historical pieces. Not since that sad October Day in 95 have I allowed myself to get my hopes up, but I think this year has the makings of something special. As you may have read in my profile my Grandfather GordonDustyRhodes pitched in the major leagues from 1929-36, this Blog is also a tribute to him for the Love of the game that is in my blood.

  So there it is in case anyone was wondering who this Jeff guy is and what compels him to put together these posts together everyday. By the way I’ll be sitting in Section 147 row 17 seat 1 tomorrow and sending live tweets when our boys come back to the Safe, stop by and lets talk Baseball!

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