The Media’s role in the 2010 Mariners season disaster

     Having reached the nice round number of 100 complete games I figured it was time for me to write something about this season thus far. Initially I felt compelled to write this post today after reading several stories on various Blogs and newspapers about the season where people were still grasping at straws to be the cleverest in their analysis. I was also amazed to read more than one reference to Ken Griffey Jr. in an attempt to blame this whole mess on him still. I am not quite sure if these folks at unnamed sites are serious or not but I just wanted to remind them that Ken Griffey Jr. is gone and the Mariners have actually gotten worse since he left. So perhaps it may be time to take a look at the one last group that has not taken any responsibility or blame for this season…..

   And yes it is the press and media myself included who might have to take a look at how the power of the internet, newspapers, twitter etc. may have a negative effect on  a team specifically this year’s Mariners. I suppose that we will need some new statistical categories to attempt to quantify the abstract effect that negative press and know-it-all bloggers have on a team’s record. Let’s start with LLT for Larry Larue at the Tribune who broke the story on Ken Griffey Jr. supposedly sleeping in the dugout. I would say that the net result in games lost from LLT this year is 5.5. This 5.5 LLT takes into account the pressure on Don Wakamatsu to end up having to be the fall-guy and benching Griffey till he just quits. This has no-doubt left Wak at odds with several of the veteran players who in turn have proven to be unforgiving of the way Griffey was treated and thus have played less than stellar as they pouted. Most notably is Chone Figgins. The LLT has also apparently affected Wakamatsu and he has been gun-shy up until recently with benching players thus letting guys like Jose Lopez get away with murder on the field. Again I attribute this to LLT which was a result of not only Larry Larue and the Tribune but a host of others at various other media outlets and Blogs.

  Another category that the media/blogosphere can accept the blame for a few losses is what I will call JZW or Jack Zduriencik Worship. Last winter with rare exception every move made by Jack Z. was greeted online and in the papers with endless praise and hero-worship, allowing Jack Z. to construct this disaster of a team with little or no public scrutiny leading to such phrases as “In Jack Z. we trust”. Like most of the abstract and random way that many of the new sabermetrics figures are derived and quantified JZW is only a new science that I developed 4 minutes ago. But I will give our team a net loss of 3 games to JZW this year and blame it squarely on the media.

   Ok let’s see, to be fair goofy Rookie Bloggers like myself deserve some of the blame and thus the new category of RBBS for Rookie Bloggers Bull S…T which is now part of the blogosphere jargon and I will arbitrarily accept the blame for 1 loss on the season. I have made some silly mistakes on my blog this year in punctuation, grammar and just generally not Skookum posts.

   Ok now let’s attempt to quantify the effect listening to Dave Sims all year has had on the Won-Loss record. In all fairness though he is a bit of a pompous dork, Dave Sims has probably only been accountable for 1-2 losses this year. Using the slightly modified acronym as I applied to myself, I will go with DSBS to account for the 1-2 losses he has caused with his rhetoric which demoralizes fans who in turn are forced to turn off the TV and thus withhold support from the team as they struggle.This results in less money for the Mariners to improve the team and aides the continuing downward cycle of this franchise.

   The final category has to go to Blog readers who comment on things they know nothing about and yet still insist upon being right. Let’s call this new but soon to be important advanced analytics term BRCBS and say it accounts for 1 loss on the year. BRCBS is irritating and influences morale of the fan-base and the players who happen to read these goofy blogs as well.

   So I believe with this post we have accounted for approximately 12 of the losses on the year and I personally accept responsibility for one loss, perhaps the 8-6 loss to the Red Sox last week (my favorite loss this year). Because if there is one thing this old sailor has learned in life it is that when you point your finger at someone else there are 4 pointing back at you….

Somebody had to Pay, Mariners explode for 15-8 Win!

Safeco field May 21 2010

On a cold May night I took the bus down to the Safe tonight following a hunch that yesterday’s come from behind victory marked a turning point in the season for the Mariners. Little did I know what was to follow would be a slugfest, thinking instead the pitching duel between Cliff Lee and Wade Le Banc throwing for the 1st place San Diego Padres. Cliff Lee didn’t seem to have his best stuff and the surprising Padres scored 2 runs in the first with Pesky David Eckstein starting things off with a single, followed by a double from slugger 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez.The padres picked up a couple more singles from Headley and Salazar, before Lee shut them down.

  In the Mariners half of the 1st I got my first clue that tonight King Neptune was on our side when Gutierrez reached first on a dropped routine fly to right field. We didn’t score in the 1st but something was different in the air tonight after the collective sigh of relief we all felt after Griffey’s clutch hit on Thursday to win that one.

  And then it came, the Baseball Gods decided to start the bottom of the second with a fluke base hit by Bradley that bounced off third Base and gave Milton Bradley the 1st of his 3 hits for the night. We loaded the bases up on walks before Josh Wilson delivered a single. Ichiro picked up a hit as well and on another odd play Josh Wilson scored from 3rd on a ground ball by Guti to third baseman Headley who instead of going for the double play, decided to throw home allowing Wilson to score. Mike Sweeney came up with 2 runners on and fouled a ball that just missed being fair for a homer. I’ve watched a lot of baseball in my life and 99% of the time when a batter hits a ball out but foul he doesn’t come back and hit a home run. But again this night was our night, and Mike Sweeney did indeed connect for a 3-run bomb and the Mariners were up 7-2 and never looked back.

 Our new starting catcher Josh Bard hit a solo homer in the 3rd to answer the Padres 2-runs effort in the top half of the frame. It was odd to see Cliff Lee labor tonight and he actually gave up 7 earned runs before the night was over. But this time things would be different for our suddenly on fire bats, every time the Padres scored we answered back, and then some.

  Mike Sweeney picked up another homer and had 4-hits and 6 RBI’s on the night. Milton Bradley had a 3 hit night, and Josh Bard lifted his average to .400 with his 2 hits. Only Jose Lopez went hitless tonight though he was robbed of extra bases late in the game by a Willie Mays over the shoulder basket catch by the Padres left fielder Denorfia. I had a great seat in section 120 three rows back, I brought the sign pictured above in support of Ken Griffey which Vargas and a couple other player acknowledged. But I kept looking for Griffey who must have been sitting back and enjoying the hit parade he started Thursday.

  Finally in the 6th he came up to the rail and Bedard pointed my way, Griffey saw my sign and acknowledged it by tipping his hat to me! And in reality he was tipping his hat to all of us that stood with him recently. That whole Larry Larue story is officially dead now. The Barometer is rising, though it has a long way to go to reach .500, so I think I will enjoy the memories of tonight’s break-out 15-8 win and let King Neptune do the rest.

The Plot thickens, Brian Goldberg Griffey’s agent speaks out….

In another bizarre twist to the Larry Larue/Griffey saga, I just found out that Brian Goldberg  Ken Griffey’s agent spoke to Bill Swartz at KIRO today with more of this story. Goldberg says the napping story was accidentally published by Larue before completing the story. According to Goldberg ,Larue felt horrible about posting the article before talking to Don Wakamatsu or Ken Griffey and tried to get the newspaper to retract the story but the Tacoma News Tribune refused. Goldberg goes on to say that Larue didn’t actually speak with two players but got the info from someone else in the organization.

  Ok so I’m going to pause and take a breath now before saying something I regret later…..Hmmm well I’m not quite sure how Griffey’s agent got in the act. It looks like this may be some sort of compromise so everyone can save face. However in all fairness this doesn’t feel quite right. Larry Larue needs to set the record straight for himself. If this story is correct so be it, let Larry speak at some sort of news conference and put this to bed. If it is not then it looks like we are heading towards a complete melt down of credibility for all concerned parties. I guess todays melt-down by Brandon League is not going to be discussed today by the local media,rather more of this blather. This is getting to be a little like high-school with all the he said, she said stuff. It should be noted that Darrin Beene the sports editor at the Tribune has disputed the claims of Goldberg. So it looks like we are back to square one.

 After todays game I’m begining to wonder if we could just go back in time and start this season over as it is going from a bad dream to a reoccuring nightmare that gets worse in different ways every day. The drama off the field only intensifies the frustration and has somehow turned many fans against each other in some sort of surreal Civil-War. I think it’s time for a truce.

Larry Larue is Through….

An unnamed employee at the Tacoma News Tribune has divulged privately that reporter Larry Larue is on his way out of a job. Apparently due to his taking a “Nap” and forgetting his responsibility as a journalist and posting a story this week where he used his position to push forward a personal agenda based on hear-say evidence. In just a matter of 48 hours the tide has turned against this one time respected reporter who appears to be past his prime and is avoiding retirement even though the Mariners players will no longer grant interviews to journalists while Larue is lurking in the shadows.

It is always difficult for a reporter to know when it is time to go, but it is time to bring in a fresh unbiased voice at the Tribune. Larue can no longer tell journalism from tabloid reporting and it may be time for the Tacoma News Tribune to call up a replacement perhaps from Walla Walla or Olympia. Larue is apparently in denial about his skills and ethics and is so far trying to hold on to his Glory Years at AAA Tacoma, but the writing is on the wall. Larry do it for the good of the game, the fans, and most of all yourself we can’t stand watching your numbers dwindle nor can your employer the Tacoma News Tribune.

Offers are coming into Larry Larue as we speak to help him set-up his own Blog and we wish him well in his retirement.

P.S. Yes this is a fictional post but had to do it as I knew many would like it and would drive the Griffey-Haters Bonkers! Jeff

Griffey asleep,Larue a creep…

Larry Larue a small town reporter for the Tacoma Tribune has made his mark as a big-league journalist by scooping a story on Hall of Famer Ken Griffey supposedly taking a nap during a game in the clubhouse. Dirty Laundry sells papers I guess, and with the demise of good reporters jobs I guess Larue is desperate. Makes me glad to be a non-commercial blogger and can’t wait till Larue has to join me someday when his paper folds.

  To be honest I’m more concerned about players like Chone Figgins, David Aardsma, Casey Kotchman, and Rob Johnson amongst others who appear to be sleeping on the field. The recent call-ups, Josh Wilson in particular seem to be wide awake. And how about us fans, no one seems to care about what it is like to try to stay awake while we listen  to Dave Sims and Rick Rizz night after night as they try to be clever.

 Unfortunately there is a 90% chance of rain in Baltimore for Tuesdays game against the Orioles. I can’t imagine what sort of story will be coming out of the center of sophistication and culture known as Tacoma, if we don’t get back to Baseball soon.

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