Mariners sink to Davey Jones’ locker 12-3

The Seattle Mariners dropped the third game of this four game series tonight by a score of 12-3 and find themselves 10 games back in the AL West after being mauled by the first place Texas Rangers. Ryan Smith lost his right to having two last names with his performance tonight and will probably get heaped into the bullpen or perhaps over the side of the good ship Mariners. Brandon League got slammed around the deck as well by the Rangers and the whole team is starting to look like F-troop. If I never have to see Vladimir Guerrero hitting another line drive off his shoe-strings, or their pitching coach Mike Maddux going out to talk to his pitchers even when leading by 7 runs, I will be a happy man.

   Going down to Texas everyone kind of knew this was going to be a make or break series for the struggling Mariners, and all the finger-pointing and hand wringing in the world won’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. We now are faced with a long summer, or perhaps maybe it will just keep raining all year in solidarity with our washed up Seafarers.

    I should have known when I saw first hand down at spring training this year the way the veterans were disrespecting  Don Wakamatsu that we were heading for trouble this year. Here are a couple of examples: One day I was watching the veterans taking BP and Wak asked some of them to play catch while they were waiting to hit. In this instance it was Sweeney, Jack Wilson, Griffey and Figgins,and a few others. The veterans just kept  doing their usual shucking and jiving ritual while they ignored the skipper. So then Wak  trying to lead by example grabbed a glove and started playing catch with one of the younger players, and I overheard Mike Sweeney say “Its overrated” meaning staying active and playing catch, instead of hovering around the cage while all the rookies were busting their butts is overrated. It struck me as odd and disrespectful and more importantly that Wak did not have respect of the veterans.

   In addition I saw Ken Griffey barely going through the motions during sprints and drills always being the instigator and trying to always get some of the guys to go along with him. I remember thinking what was Ted Williams or Ty Cobb like during their  final spring training and knew in my heart that guys like that would have worked just as hard as the rookies to set an example.

    You may be wondering why I’m saying this now after all the times I came to the defense of both Griffey and Sweeney on this Blog when everyone else in town was calling for them to go. Well to be honest I was hoping it was no big deal and we were going to kick butt this year, and some things are best left alone. So there it is, as an ex-player and long time fan who has reverence for the great game of Baseball, I knew in my gut that this team was lacking in discipline and leadership from the gate. And now my worst nightmare has come true……

Mariners lose 7-1 as lights grow dimmer

Felix Hernandez still proved he has not fully developed as a pitcher tonight as he gave up 7 runs in 7 innings losing in front of 18,774 Texas Rangers fans tonight. When Hernandez is on it is easy to overlook his brash almost cocky style, when he is facing a lineup like he faced tonight and he makes mistakes it is not pretty. Hernandez had Josh Hamilton behind with a 1-2 count in the first and instead of giving him a breaking ball he decided to try to throw a fast ball by him and Hamilton drove in 2 runs with a drive to left that Saunders couldn’t quite catch up to. Again in the 6th inning he had Justin Smoak down 0-2 and again he thought he was untouchable, giving up a line shot to right that drove in a Ranger run. In both these cases a more experienced pitcher knowing he did not have his best stuff that night would have thrown a breaking ball or something outside the strike zone rather than challenging the hitters. Just saying….

  Of course the Mariners offense tonight was back to the usual watch a strike down the middle, then fall behind and chase bad pitches. Rangers starter Colby Lewis threw a lot of breaking balls tonight and made the Mariners look like a bunch of  AAA hitters with no plan before going to the plate, but rather just reacting and not  being aggressive. Our hero Rob Johnson did come up with 2 out of the 4 total hits by the Mariners tonight including the lone RBI, a single in the 4th. Of course Rob will be Rob and he looked really silly in the third when he got caught half-way between second and third on a botched hit and run play. Perhaps he missed a sign or Lee Tinsley messed up at his new post as third base coach, either way it helped kill a rally and looked AAA  just saying…. 

   All kidding aside folks we are truly getting close to the abyss as far as the AL West race goes. The top three teams keep switching off as front-runners while our boys just seem to look a bit lost. It was entertaining to watch Vladimir Guerrero swinging the bat tonight at every thing thrown his way, then finally connecting for a 2-run bomb in the 7th to make it 7-1. Guerrero has always been a Mariner killer first with the Angels and now with the Rangers and would have loved to see him in a Mariners uniform this year, but I guess he wouldn’t fit into the “Belief System”.

  Not following the draft to closely as my experience has shown that it is a long way from college ball to the majors no matter how high up in the draft you are picked, as there is a lot that can happen trying to battle through the minor league system up the food chain. That is unless you happen to be Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals who rose to the top quick and struck-out 14 tonight picking up his first win!

     Anyway back to Texas where our club has a couple more games to go against the Rangers, led in the front office by Nolan Ryan who by the way is not a zealot about pitch-count like most teams these days. Not sure what to say about our chances  considering we have Ryan Smith {only giving him one last name till he wins a game} and Ian Snell on deck to do battle in the home run friendly Arlington stadium. As much as I love the Mariners I am considering having sort of an affair with another team. Maybe not love but more like a friends with benefits relationship with a team such as the Twins where I could follow them, enjoy myself and not be devastated when they let me down. Just saying…..

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