Tag Archives: Milton Bradley

Mariners Recap — 5/21/2010

Mmm, 15 runs, it always goes down smooth. Beating up on San Diego brings to mind many Anchor Man quotes, but I’ll try and resist. First off, Sween Dog and Bard were fun to watch and cheer for last night. That is a scientific fact! Ok, I’ll stop with the Anchor Man fun. But really, who could have ever guessed those 2 vets could rack up 6 hits, 16 total bases, 3 home runs, and 9 RBI, in one game! Get used to seeing Bard behind the plate, because he has surpassed Hips and Moore’s combined performances in about 5 games.

This game was littered with statistical oddities, which is typical for a game where the teams combine for 30 hits and 23 runs. Baseball is a funny sport. The M’s scored 12 runs in 8 games between April 30th, and May 8th, a 78 inning stretch. Last night they scored 13 runs in 4 innings. Of course, they weren’t facing Wade LeBlanc during any of those abysmal 78 innings. I don’t understand how LeBlanc is good but I guess it helps pitching in the NL. It is also fun to look at how batting averages can change from one game to the next, when 15 hits are collected. The first number is the player’s average prior to the game, the second number is the new current average-

Sweeney- .226, .276
Bradley- .221, .244
Bard- .333, .400
Wilson- .239, .255

Here are a few more notes and hero/goat-

  • Milton Bradley had a great game. He worked the count, and his 3 hits were all stung. I could see him having a great rest of the year.
  • 347 pitches were thrown between both teams. I think that’s a lot.
  • I doubt Cliff Lee ever gets another win in a Mariners uniform when giving up 7 earned runs. But that’s what happened last night. Cliff didn’t have his best stuff, but even still, he didn’t walk a guy. His control is ridiculous.
  • The Padres didn’t draw a walk, and the Mariners scored 15 runs, but it was San Diego that had 3 more at-bats. Is this weird? I don’t know. I’m not sure why I’m typing this.

    Hero: Mike Sweeney and Josh Bard. Gotta go with co-heroes in this one. Those two were monsters last night.
    Goat: Jose Lopez. Lost in the fun and hugs from last night is the 0-5 night Lopey had. His defense has been great and with so many others struggling at the plate, Jose has flown under the radar. It’s tough to imagine Lopez gets anywhere near his 25 HR, 96 RBI from last year.

    Finally, if you didn’t read the live blog that Jeff Sullivan was doing over at LL, it is worth a read. I have pasted a few of my favorite lines. That dude is funny, and between the humor he recaps the game nicely too. Check that out after the jump! Continue reading

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    Filed under M's Game Recaps, Mariners

    A Spark or Just False Hope?

    This last week has been one of the most frustrating weeks I can remember as a sports fan.  Since last Friday’s win at Tampa Bay, the Mariners’ had gone on a 5-game losing streak in which they lost 4 of those games by one run.  Two of those games were walk-off wins and this 5-game skid doesn’t even count the 8th inning collapse in Baltimore last week.  We could see that the M’s were playing better than they had during their 8-game losing streak but the results weren’t there to prove it.  Unfortunately for this team, results are all that matters.

    On top of this, 5-star recruit Terrance Jones ended his recruiting roller coaster by signing with Kentucky Wednesday.  I’ve watched a Husky football team go 0-12, I watched the ’08 Mariners and I’ve watched so many other Seattle sports teams collapse but this was my mountain top of frustration.  These were my teams.  The 2010 Mariners were supposed to remind Seattle that it was truly a baseball city.  The 2010-11 Husky basketball team was going to be the one who finally made it to the elite eight, led by a mix of experience and great young talent.  But on Wednesday night, the lights were shut off on these hopes.

    Then came Thursday.  I don’t watch the Mariners because I think they’ll make the playoffs.  Sure, I hope they’ll make the playoffs but I watch the M’s because they’re my team.  Same goes for the Huskies.  Because of this, I faithfully took my place on the couch and turned on yesterdays afternoon game.  I didn’t expect to win but I watched anyway, again because they’re my team. 

    The game went like so many had before.  The Mariners’ kept it close but looked as if they’d come up just short.  But, this time they had a rally that didn’t end in disappointment.  With one swing of the bat by the most respected man on the team (yes, Griffey is the most respected player on that team) Mariner fans were allowed to do something they hadn’t done in a while.  Smile. 

    The question is whether this was a spark or just a good moment in a disappointing season.  The frustration of this week is still lingering even with the relief that yesterday brought.  Terrance Jones is still a Wildcat and the Mariners are still 8.5 back in the West.  But instead of the room being pitch black Griffey stumbled around to plug a night-light in.  Yesterday, he was the hero and I couldn’t think of a better way for this team to win than to mob the teammate they look up to the most.  But now, it’s a brand new day.  This team needs a winning streak and needs it to happen soon or this season will be all but over by July.  Today is not a must-win but it’s pretty dang close.  It’s time to see if this was a spark or if the room is still black. 


    A few random notes after the jump Continue reading


    Filed under Mariners

    The Worst Case Scenario? Pretty Close…

    Following the ridiculous 6-5 loss to Baltimore on Thursday, I was listening to Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN, and Dave Cameron from USSM was on the show. Cameron said the pre-season likelihood that the M’s would have finished the first 34 games at 13-21, would have been about 7-10%. This number is not a scientific fact, but anyone who knows a thing about baseball can look at the roster Seattle assembled, paired with the weak division they play in, and conclude that a 13-21 start would have been tough to imagine. Is this the worst case scenario? Well, of course it’s not the absolute worst case. That would be a winless team with multiple injured starters, a manager soon to be fired, and a clubhouse that is fist fighting. But this is pretty close to the worst possible scenario I could have thought up back in March. Here are 5 reasons why the M’s are where they are. (And sorry, this gets a little lengthy)

    1) Bad luck (aka sucking in crunch time)
    Last year, the M’s made hay in 1-run games. Despite giving up more runs than they scored, the M’s won 85 games, which by most standards, was an anomaly. The odd that Seattle could have racked up 85 W’s last year was slim when the year began. It was a pleasure seeing my team hang on in close games and show grit time and time again. This year, the Gods have not been so kind in similar games. In fact, in 9 of Seattle’s 21 losses, the M’s either led or were tied going into the eighth inning. That is a staggering result. If the Mariners could have won even just 4 of those 9 games, we would be talking about a 17-17 team heading into the Tampa series. The worst part is that in most cases, one minor miscue has been the difference between a win and a loss. The Byrnes whiffed bunt. The Johnson passed balls. The poor execution of bases loaded in extra innings. Those are the type of missed opportunities that has defined this team through 35 games. If you care to look at just how those 9 gut wrenching games played out, take a look at the quick summaries Shannon Drayer put together-http://www.mynorthwest.com/category/mariners_blog_articles/20100513/Too-Many-Tough-Losses

    2) Slow start offense
    In addition to the close losses, the Mariners are not hitting. Figgins, Kotchman, Griffey, Lopez, Bradley, Moore, Johnson and Jack Wilson are all off to slow starts. Typically you assume a few regulars will start slow, but it’s hard to win when all but 2 starters are hitting around .200 or lower. The offense is without a doubt the biggest reason the M’s are sitting where they are.

    3) The Bullpen
    The Mariners have a solid bullpen. I’d bet as many as 4 of our relievers could be closers on some major league teams. But despite good overall stats, some untimely blow ups have resulted in numerous losses. Lowe, League and Aardsma have combined to give up 6 home runs. That’s not the astounding number though, as 6 home runs between 3 relievers in mid-May is not unreasonable. What is astounding is that all 6 of those home runs were either game tiers or game winners, and all came in the 8th or 9th innings. Ouch. Often times home runs are not all the pitchers fault, because even perfectly executed pitches can be hit 400 feet by major league hitters. A lot of the bullpen’s failures are just plain bad luck. That’s just baseball. The bullpen is not a major concern for this team.

    4) Off the field issues
    The Bradley fiasco and the Griffey nap have been the two biggest off the field incidents thus far. The Milton thing was almost to be expected, considering his past, while the Griffey thing has snowballed from a minor issue to headlines on ESPN. That whole thing is just weird. You could include injuries in this category I suppose, to Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe, and Jack Wilson.

    5) Inconsistency
    The problem with this team is similar to the problem with my golf game. If I’m driving and putting well, my irons and chipping are failing me. If my short game is on, my drives are erratic. For the Mariners, the offense, starting pitching, and defense was great on Thursday. The bullpen was not, and so despite playing well in 3 out of 4 facets of the game, that one poor area bit us hard. It seems like that’s how it has gone all year. We just can’t play well in all aspects, and even when we play well in 2 or 3 areas, the 1 that we suck at ends up costing us the game.

    Reason for hope after the jump! Continue reading


    Filed under Mariners

    Michael Saunders Up

    Edit–See below as well.  Joe and I published the exact same thing, but he beat me.  Sorry Joe!

    Milton Bradley has been placed on the restricted list while he undergoes some counseling and what not.  He has to stay on it for at least 5 days, but he’ll likely be longer than that.  Baker speculates that a week from tomorrow is the earliest we’d see him again.  He’s remaining in Seattle, but not traveling or doing anything with the team for now.

    Michael Saunders has been called up to take his place.  He started the year at Tacoma in a terrible slump, but has been on a tear for the last week or so.  He’s been retooling his swing, so hopefully something has clicked now.  Most likely, he’ll not play much.  I could see him getting a start or two, but he’ll mostly be a back-up/pinch-runner type. 

    The team hopes Jack Wilson will only be out for a day or two, so they haven’t made a roster move with him.  Hope for no injuries to infielders, because there’s no one on the bench to replace them, except at first.  If someone got injured, they could send down a pitcher (Sean White!) and bring up Tui again, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

    Go Mariners!  Tonight is the night to assert your long-awaited dominance!


    1 Comment

    Filed under M's Transaction News, Mariners

    Bradley to the Restricted List; Saunders Called Up

    The Mariners have placed Bradley on the Restricted List, which opens up a roster spot and to my eye looks like a list for guys who are not injured, but have other reasons why they are not playing. Michael Saunders has been recalled from Tacoma.

    The good news is Bradley is receiving professional help for his problems. Appropriate move by the Mariners. Open up a roster spot, move forward because baseball will not wait, and hope Bradley can get healthy.



    Filed under M's Transaction News, Mariners

    The Rights of Fans

    Sports teams and players and their fans have always had a complicated relationship, and that won’t change anytime soon.  Athletes are often the most visible and popular people in a city or region, and at least in the professional ranks, fans are indirectly responsible for their salaries.  Combine that with the role sports teams and athletes play in fans’ personal lives, as entertainment and vicarious dream fulfillment, and fans tend to develop a sense of ownership over their favorite athletes and teams.

    Seattle fans currently find themselves in a couple of messy situations.  One involves a high school student from Portland who happens to be one of the best basketball players in the country.  The other centers around a 32-year-old man with a big bat and seemingly even bigger personal troubles.  The stories are probably familiar to everyone by now.  Terrence Jones, maybe the top uncommitted basketball player in the country, held a press conference on Friday to announce his choice of college.  He picked the Huskies, but has yet to sign a letter of intent, which would make the choice official.  There are next to no facts about the situation, but that hasn’t prevented fans and media alike from throwing accusations and judgments, at Jones for delaying the commitment, and at Kentucky coach John Calipari for trying to change his mind, and at anyone else involved, including Jones’ family and friends.

    Meanwhile, Milton Bradley, a man with a well-documented history of blow-ups and suspensions, stormed off the field Tuesday night after striking out, and upon seeing Don Wakamatsu had removed him from the game, left the stadium.  Wednesday, he met with Jack Zduriencik and Wakamatsu and later the team.  He reportedly told them he was dealing with some very difficult personal issues and asked for their help.  He’ll sit out for the forseeable future while the team tries to get him whatever help he needs.

    The situations are very different, except that they both have more to do with off the field (or court) issues than anything to do with performance.  That’s not totally the case, of course.  If it were, fans would not be at all interested.  Bradley’s issues affect his play and the rest of the team; Jones is a huge talent whose presence could lift any team to the next level.  And so fans find themselves stuck between caring about their team and respecting the personal life of the athlete.

    It’s a difficult place, but mainly because we as fans do not have a personal relationship with Jones or Bradley or any other athlete.  They are the athlete who entertains us, but that’s all, and we don’t give anything back.  Nearly any of us, if faced with a colleague or friend or family member who was asking for help or making a difficult decision, would try to help them any way we could.  We wouldn’t deride them or criticize them.  We might be disappointed in their choice or think occasionally about our interests in the matter, but usually we can set ourselves aside and be supportive of those we love.

    I don’t see any reason why that should be different with athletes.  I want to see Jones and Bradley playing and playing well in Seattle, and if they don’t I’ll be disappointed and maybe mad.  But I won’t boo them or write insults and racial slurs on their Facebook pages.  Rivalries and “sports-hate”, as Bill Simmons terms it, have a great place in sports.  There’s nothing wrong with booing the Oregon band when they run into Husky Stadium.  They know we’re booing because they’re from University of Oregon and anyone involved with the Ducks should be booed.  They’ll boo us right back.  The difference is that we all know that if we were Mariner fans and went to a game together, we’d probably have a great time.  Or we might not, but it would be because we didn’t get along, not because they’re Ducks and I’m a Husky.  If a rivalry is full of hatred to the point where that’s no longer true, it’s gone too far in my opinion.

    So keep the the affection or lack thereof based on the field.  Boo A-Rod when he comes to town, but don’t boo Milton Bradley because he’s going through some tough times, and don’t give Terrance Jones a hard time because he isn’t sure what to choose in the biggest decision of his life.



    Filed under Uncategorized

    Bradley Blowup, Act I

    I’m sure you’ve heard the story. Milton Bradley was removed from the game last night in the 6th inning, and was replaced for Ryan Langerhans. Usually that substitution would occur in the 9th inning, when the M’s are leading, and wanting to sure up the outfield defense. But that was not the case. It was the 6th inning and Seattle trailed 3-1. Hardly the time to remove your power threat from this anemic offense. The tweets began pouring in by Mariners reporters. Is Milton hurt? Is Wak sending a message? Now, it appears we have found out.

    Per Mike Salk:

    “The Mariners appear to have a serious problem. Milton Bradley left the team last night in the middle of the game. Bradley apparently left after striking out looking in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.

    According to a source, Bradley yelled at the umpire from the bench before being told by Don Wakamatsu to cool it. Wakamatsu said that he would handle the umpire himself. Bradley responded that someone had to say something and that if Wak wouldn’t, then he would.
    According to the source, a few minutes later Bradley walked back over to the skipper and said, ‘I’m packing my stuff. I’m out of here.’ And then he left.”

    First of all, Milton had absolutely nothing to be arguing with the umpire about. He struck out on a pitch that was clearly a strike, right down the middle. But that’s not the issue. The issue is Milton walking out during the game. If that is true, he committed a cardinal sin, the ultimate act of selfishness in sports. He abandoned his teammates.

    Seattle knew Milton’s baggage was part of the deal when he was acquired for Carlos Silva. They knew about his 8 teams in 10 years. They knew about the countless fits of rage, the turmoil he has created in clubhouse after clubhouse. But the Mariners also knew about his bat, his indisputable talent, and the numbers he put up just 2 years ago in Texas. Figuring Seattle could provide the bubble he needs to stay calm, along with Sweeney, Griffey, and Wakamatsu to counsel him through any rough spells, the M’s pulled the trigger on a deal that came with little risk, especially considering the sunk cost from Silva was all they had to give up.

    But now, the crap is starting to hit the fan. The M’s are on a skid, and with losing often comes poor team chemistry and lots of frustration. But Milton’s past, and the present situation, are no excuse to walk out during the game, shortly after undermining his manager. I can’t understand a grown man, who at age 32 simply cannot get his act together. You’d think by his 3rd, 4th or 5th chance he might finally just shut up and play baseball. Instead, it appears Milton is back to his old habits, with his temper getting the best of him. I am sympathetic for Milton, despite the millions he makes and the countless chances he has had to change, because he needs help. None of us are perfect, and in fact quite the opposite. Born sinners, we all need help, but a spotlight does not shine bright on us as it does for Milton. I am pulling for him because he can really help this team. But his actions are inexcusable, no matter how much of a fiery competitor he is.

    Something must be done if things played out the way Mike Salk has described. You can’t just stick Bradley in the lineup tonight and hope things get back to normal. His teammates don’t deserve that, and neither does Wak, who Milton greatly disrespected. Wak needs to step up and show that this team does not tolerate the kind of behavior he allegedly exhibited last night. Whether he does that by means of a suspension, which I think is most likely, or some other form of discipline. I suspect we have not seen the end of Milton in Seattle. The M’s would have to eat $27 million if they cut him. The first Milton blowup has occurred, to the surprise of no one, and now the M’s need to react before things get out of hand on the field, and off the field.



    Filed under Mariners

    A Tale of Two Miserable Weekends…and some ridiculous stats!

    I didn’t think things could get more painful than watching the Mariners give up 3 late game homeruns on route to being swept last weekend in Chicago. All 3 games were 1 run losses, and I remember thinking the M’s should have legitimately taken 2 of 3 in that series. Despite the frustration, those losses were a product of a few hiccups, albeit in consecutive games, by our usually solid bullpen. There wasn’t too much analysis required, and while it sucked to have them happen in a row, that’s baseball. We moved on.

    This past weekend, however, had many more layers of dreadfulness. To condense this mess, I’ve bulleted 5 events that were pretty unbelievable (not in a good way), and another 5 RIDICULOUS facts that may require reading with a puke bucket by your side…

    1. Sweeney’s double play: When a walk, sac fly, base hit, or really anything past the infield would have won the game, Mike swung at the 1st pitch from Darren O’Day, a slider low and away, and ended the bases loaded threat in the bottom of the 10th on Friday. Although I must say, none of this surprised me.
    2. Byrnes whiffed bunt: This oddity captured the short Eric Byrnes era well. With the bases juiced just one inning after Sweeney failed in the same situation, Wak called on Byrnes to just make contact on a bunt attempt. I liked the call because asking Byrnes to not strike out or pop it up to an infielder is a tall task. Still, he failed…and then struck out for good measure.
    3. Bradley’s blown pop up: Many say Milton just gave up on this play, while some argue the sun got in his eyes. Regardless, this ball needed to be caught, because it allowed 2 runs to score with 2 outs after Felix had fought back from bases loaded and none out.
    4. Aardsma’s blown save: For the 2nd consecutive game following 8 dazzling innings by “Can’t buy a break Fister,” Aardsma surrendered a lead-off walk, then after a stolen base and a base hit, the game was tied, the save was blown, and Fister was given another no decision. I’m scared every time Aardsma enters the game and starts firing fastballs. This past week reminded me why I have this fear, despite his league leading 8 saves.
    5. 2 passed balls in 1 inning by Rob Johnson: Perhaps the previous events are explainable, but this one is not. Andrew touched on “Hips” and his lack of catching in his recap from yesterday’s game, so I won’t ramble. This tweet from Dave Cameron pretty well sums it up-

      “Rob Johnson had as many passed balls in 1 inning yesterday as every non-Mariner AL team has all season.”

    What is especially disappointing about all this is that if ANY one of these scenarios hadn’t happened, the M’s would likely have won the game. But it all happened, and as the wheels came off, it was like watching a bad horror film that started off decent, turned frustratingly unrealistic, and ended up humorous. The snowball of unfortunate events that overcame this team could not be stopped, and this team was coming up with new ways to blow games.

    And now, grab your bucket… Continue reading


    Filed under Mariners