Category Archives: Mariners

Karate Emergency Ep. 18: Dae-Ho Diet Plan

Baseball season is upon us, which means we turn to part-time Karate Emergency member Ryan Divish for our 2016 Seattle Mariners preview.

Before we discuss the rotation, position battles, and the likes of Korean superstar Dae-Ho Lee, we have to address equally pressing matters: the Super Bowl, Husky basketball, and a long list of items that have drawn our ire.

All of this and more in the latest episode of Karate Emergency!

Ken Griffey Jr. and the Making of a Superhero

junior

On November 15th, 2007, a man by the name of Barry Lamar Bonds was served an indictment by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleged counts of perjury and obstruction of justice against Bonds, who, four years earlier, had sworn under oath that he had never used illegal substances provided to him by a Bay Area pharmaceutical company called BALCO.

Had Bonds held any other occupation, the story may not have been nearly as widespread. Bonds, however, happened to be a Major League Baseball player. And at the time of the indictment, the 43-year-old outfielder was resoundingly considered one of the best players in the history of his sport. Bonds was alleged to be nothing short of a liar, and as a result, a criminal. He never played baseball again.

Eight weeks before Bonds found himself indicted, another baseball player, also an outfielder, was fielding his position when he collapsed to the turf.

Continue reading Ken Griffey Jr. and the Making of a Superhero

Karate Emergency Ep. 2.12: You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

dipoto

Slickhawk returns after a few days spent with a murderer, and the crew has lots to discuss.

The Huskies put a whooping on the Cougars in the Apple Cup, the Seahawks have more questions than answers in the wake of a critical injury, and Jerry Dipoto is out to save the Mariners by dealing everyone he comes in contact with.

On top of that, Kelly has a new meerkat, this one more famous than his constituents, and Alex got shot in the face.

Happy listening!

The 2015 Ex-Seattle Mariners (or, Former Mariners in the Playoffs)

choomarinersThe 2015 MLB playoffs are underway, and for the fourteenth straight season, your Seattle Mariners are not invited to the party.

Lest you fret over not being able to watch your beloved M’s take part in the postseason, we’re here to bring you the list of all 24 former Mariners who find themselves on the active rosters of playoff-bound teams. Yep, you read that correctly. A total of 24 ex-Mariners have made their way to greener pastures since leaving Seattle, one shy of the number needed to fill a 25-man roster.

With 10 teams having qualified for postseason play (including Wildcard participants), that averages out to 2.4 ex-Mariners per roster. And in fact only one squad fails to employ a former Mariner: the St. Louis Cardinals, who have become renowned for cultivating their own homegrown talent.

Here’s the list of all 24 playoff-bound ex-Mariners, broken down by team:

Continue reading The 2015 Ex-Seattle Mariners (or, Former Mariners in the Playoffs)

Hisashi Iwakuma’s Happy Day

Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field, Wednesday August 12, 2015. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)
Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field, Wednesday August 12, 2015. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

No one was as big a fan of Hisashi Iwakuma as my grandmother. Every week when we got together for lunch, she would rave about the Mariners’ Japanese pitcher. Being Japanese herself, my grandma couldn’t have been more enthralled by a successful baseball player of our ethnic heritage plying his trade in Seattle.

“Why don’t they let Iwakuma play more?” she’d ask.

“Well,” I’d explain, “they only let starting pitchers play every five days. It’s just kind of how they do things in baseball. They don’t want him getting hurt. He plays as much as he’s allowed.”

“Hmm. I wish they’d let him play more.” My grandmother was not going to be appeased by the silliness of a five-man rotation.

When she passed away in September, I was upset with her favorite baseball team. She had wanted for years to see this ballclub succeed, watching every game along the way, win or lose. But following the Mariners seemed to be an exercise in futility. They hadn’t made the postseason in over a decade. They typically battled for last place. And who knows how long it would be before the thought of a championship so much as crossed anyone’s mind.

Continue reading Hisashi Iwakuma’s Happy Day

The Hisashi Iwakuma Trade Chart

Under what conditions should one consider trading pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma?

This question arose recently, as rumors circulated that Mariners ownership planned to retain Iwakuma despite interested parties around Major League Baseball inquiring about the right-hander’s services.

Baffled as many fans were that the team would choose to hold onto the veteran starter when a) he will be a free agent at year’s end (meaning the team could sign him in the offseason regardless of where he plays the next two months) and b) he’s been kind of sucky lately, we still find ourselves asking whether dealing Kuma makes sense or not.

Below is a hand-crafted flow chart that should help sort this mess out. (Please click on the image for full resolution.)

iwakumatradechart

The Dustin Ackley Trade Chart

Under what conditions should one consider trading outfielder Dustin Ackley?

This question arose recently, as rumors circulated that Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik turned down a seemingly reasonable offer to send Ackley to the New York Yankees in exchange for a pair of prospects.

Baffled as many fans were that anyone would refuse an offer to jettison the failed former No. 2 overall draft pick, we still find ourselves asking whether dealing Ackley makes sense or not.

Below is a hand-crafted flow chart that should help sort this mess out. (Please click on the image for full resolution.)

Ackley Trade Chart

The Z Files: Leaked Recordings of Jack Zduriencik’s Trade Talks

jackzzzOver the course of every baseball season, general managers across the major leagues engage in confidential, one-on-one conversations with their constituents. Many of these exchanges take place by phone. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on leaked recordings of trade negotiations between Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and a number of his fellow peers in the industry. The following is a transcript of those recordings.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Dave Stewart, Senior Vice President & General Manager

JACK: “Dave, it’s Jack Zduriencik.”

DAVE: “Oh hey, Jack. What’s going on?”

JACK: “Well, Dave, I’ll be honest with you: I’m calling about a do-over.”

Continue reading The Z Files: Leaked Recordings of Jack Zduriencik’s Trade Talks

Mariners Rants Unleashed

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 02:  Manager Lloyd McClendon #21 of the Seattle Mariners throws his hat after being ejected by first base umpire Will Little #93 (rear right) in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on June 2, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 02: Manager Lloyd McClendon #21 of the Seattle Mariners throws his hat after being ejected by first base umpire Will Little #93 (rear right) in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Safeco Field on June 2, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The following guest article is written by Mariners Rants, who you can follow on Twitter @MarinersRants if so inclined. Be aware that the uncensored commentary below is not safe for work and certainly not for the faint of heart. The views and opinions expressed by Mariners Rants do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Seattle Sportsnet staff.

What in the holy fuck are you motherfuckers doing out there? I mean, seriously. What in the complete and utter shit is this mess?

Here we are 54 fucking games into this godforsaken season and you assholes have somehow only managed to scratch together 24 fucking wins. Your own goddamn manager told us to be patient until the 50-game mark. Wait for 50 games, he advised, before you judge this ball club. THAT WAS FOUR GAMES AGO! And you guys are shit! It’s not hard to see. You. Are. Shit. You haven’t won shit, you can’t hit shit, your relievers pitch like shit, and everyone watching you play feels like shit because of the backasswards bullshit you’ve put us through. It’s a fucking monsoon of pure, unadulterated shit!

Where does anyone even begin when attempting to sift through all the flaws this team has displayed in the season’s first two months?

Continue reading Mariners Rants Unleashed

Everybody, Chill: The Mariners Are Just Fine

mariners-fan-catches-foul-ball-in-beer-then-chugsYou people are insatiable.

Three games into a 162-game season and you’re flipping out like Drake just walked in the room wearing your favorite team’s jersey. It’s goddamn ridiculous. Get ahold of yourselves.

There are precisely four possible outcomes for a team’s win-loss record after three games – 0-3, 1-2, 2-1, and 3-0. And because the Seattle Mariners haven’t achieved the very best outcome, we’re out here losing our shit on a Wednesday night because THE SEASON IS RUINED.

First of all, cool your tits. Continue reading Everybody, Chill: The Mariners Are Just Fine

Take It or Leave It: Rickie Weeks is a Pickle

Rickie+Weeks+Milwaukee+Brewers+Photo+Day+2Dq_D-DI612lPrepare yourselves.

The internet will be inundated with Mariners fanboys ejaculating unbridled excitement over the likes of one Rickie Weeks in the coming hours. I’m not content to sit idly by and accept irrational positivity in the midst of shoulder-shrugging circumstances, so here comes a massive, throbbing counterpoint to help keep you sober in spite of the slobbering, panting statheads working to do otherwise.

First of all, if you haven’t heard the news (and god forbid you’re getting your news from these pages), your Seattle Mariners went and signed the aforementioned Weeks to a one-year, $2 million deal on Wednesday. Weeks, formerly of the Milwaukee Brewers, is a one-time All-Star who used to be among the game’s brightest young stars before a dramatic decline in 2012. The second baseman’s career was on life support through 2013, but a platoon role a season ago helped rejuvenate Weeks’ once-powerful right-handed bat.

Continue reading Take It or Leave It: Rickie Weeks is a Pickle

You Better Induct Edgar Martinez Into the Hall of Fame

edgar-martinez-35-9Some of baseball’s Hall of Fame voters are idiots. We know this because every single year they do stupid shit like lose their ballots, over- or under-peruse player statistics, mock the system by handing their vote over to a third party, and just generally make decisions from a moral high ground so lofty and full of bullshit that the average person can’t simply fathom the pompous arrogance that goes into an act as simple as voting.

This isn’t a difficult process, either. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America are given a single sheet of paper upon which is printed the names of eligible ex-players. Beside each name is a check-box. Voters are then asked to check up to 10 boxes corresponding with the names of the players they’d choose to induct to the Hall of Fame. This is easier than correcting your neighbor’s elementary school math homework. And yet there are those who can’t complete the process without suffering an aneurysm because, well, who the hell really knows.

Continue reading You Better Induct Edgar Martinez Into the Hall of Fame

The J.A. Happening

You don’t like J.A. Happ. There are any number of reasons why you don’t like him. He’s a 32-year-old journeyman starting pitcher. His statistics are as mediocre as they come. Physically, he’s as unintimidating as a six-foot-five-inch human being can be. He only weighs 205 pounds for Christ’s sake. Eat a burger, Happ. Stop making the rest of us fat asses feel bad. And then there’s his head shot. I mean, just look at the guy:

happ

Remove the cap and that could be anybody. That could be your doctor, your accountant, your lawyer, the guy taking your order at Applebee’s, a serial bank robber, a high school math teacher, a U.S. senator, a creepy dude with seven or eight cats, your next-door neighbor, a soccer dad driving a Ford Windstar, and the list goes on.

Continue reading The J.A. Happening

Runs for the Border: Nelson Cruz, Crunchwrap Supreme

nelsoncruzThere is a special place in my stomach reserved for the gut reactions to Seattle Mariners free agent signings. It sits adjacent to the space allotted for the digestion of Taco Bell, and as a result elicits similar neural transmissions within my brain.

It all begins in the wake of a brief struggle between desire and logic, once reality sets in. An action has occurred, I discover. This action cannot be undone, I realize. From here on out, only reactions may take place. Thus, the time is nigh to react.

A part of me wanted that aging power hitter, I surmise, just like a part of me wanted that Crunchwrap Supreme.

The Mariners have now landed that aging power hitter, not unlike my belly, which has just landed a half-pound of mystery meat packaged within both soft- and hard-shell tortillas.

Continue reading Runs for the Border: Nelson Cruz, Crunchwrap Supreme

History, Home Runs, and the Unexpected Arrival of Fun

628x471They were down to their last at-bats, the Mariners, and a game they desperately needed to win was quickly slipping from their grasp. Their divisional foes, the hated Texas Rangers, had built a lead in the top half of the seventh inning and managed to protect it through two frames since.

Now, the Rangers turned to their closer, a lanky right-hander by the name of Jeff Russell. The 34-year-old Russell had enjoyed his best years with Texas, even leading the American League in saves in 1989, his fifth year with the club. He had bounced around over the past three seasons, however, embarking on an odyssey that had taken him from Oakland, to Boston, to Cleveland, and finally back to Arlington. All the while he continued racking up saves, and it was this very situation, pitching in defense of a two-run Rangers lead, that Russell had grown accustomed to enjoying.

His first assignment would be to retire a pinch hitter, the speedy, switch-hitting Alex Diaz.

Diaz was in the midst of what would ultimately become his finest big league season. He would finish the year with career highs in a number of categories, including games played. And his 18 stolen bases would triple his next-best seasonal output hereafter. For now, though, Diaz was merely focused on reaching base by any means necessary.

***

The Mariners had squandered eight innings worth of opportunities, as well as a quality start by Felix Hernandez, and now scuffled into the ninth deadlocked in a 0-0 tie against the rival Los Angeles Angels.

Continue reading History, Home Runs, and the Unexpected Arrival of Fun