Saturday, March 20, 2004

Edgar is God 

I’m starting to get the feeling that other Mariner bloggers don’t take me seriously and my main audience consists of fellow Ichiro fanboys (yes I am aware of my fanboy tendencies in case you were wondering). What has led me to believe this is the fact that practically ALL of the emails I’ve received concerning this blog are complaining about the lack of Ichiro updates. I even received a couple of emails that suggested I focus only on Ichiro and one that suggested I drop the title “EDGAR IS GOD” and change it to “ICHIRO IS GOD”.

NOT happening. EDGAR IS GOD will remain the official title of the blog (Note: Ichiro will devour your soul was shamelessly added as a method of increasing my hit total). Its true that I’ve been an Ichiro fan since he busted on the scene in 1994 and have followed him throughout his eight-year dominance of the Japanese leagues. I’ve seen him for power, I’ve seen him hit for insane averages, I’ve seen him put up monster OBP’s, and I’ve seen him win seven consecutive batting titles, seven consecutive gold gloves, seven consecutive best nine (silver sluggers), three MVP awards, and post a career .450 average with RISP along the way. After watching him over the past decade I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing beyond this man’s capabilities. He can do anything he wants. This year he says he’s going for OBP. Its gonna happen.

Still, Ichiro is no Edgar. Edgar is the classiest players in the history of baseball. One of the greatest hitters I’ve ever seen and also one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. I guarantee that if you visited Safeco during the offseason you would have seen Edgar busting his ass off. Sure Griffey and Alex were more talented, but Edgar’s great work ethic is what has allowed him remain as one the greatest hitters of his era and all the while he has remained humble and loyal to the fans. The last time I checked it was Edgar that hit .571 in the division series against the Yankees. Edgar was the one that belted that grand slam in Game 4 and knocked in Joey Cora and Griffey with his now legendary double that saved baseball in Seattle. Edgar’s been a great baseball player and a great person for his entire career. The man IS the Mariners. Hell, Edgar IS Seattle as far as I’m concerned. Its an absolute shame that the Front Office hasn’t treated him with the respect and the big bat that he deserves.

Now about the lack of Ichiro updates… PATIENCE BITCHES!!!! You WILL get your Ichiro fix!! Just keep your wigs on and don’t resort to crack! I will post anything I deem worthwhile from the Japanese press (although that happens to be very little). From here on out I’ll try to cater to my main audience and post on a more consistent basis. In addition all Ichiro interviews WILL BE translated and posted. Just Chill.

For now here’s a preview of an Ichiro vs Matsui television special that aired a while back:

“Even though I don’t want to swing, I end up swinging. There are times when its (the results) good and times when its bad. It happens to be one of my strong points, so its something I can’t afford to lose. However, I need to control it. That’s the hard part. When I’m doing well, I’m reacting well. But I start to feel that I can hit anything, and end up swinging (at bad pitches). When that happens I break down. I need to be patient (have self-control). There are some important elements for me: I must aggressively go after my pitch; I have to have the ability to hit the pitch I decide to swing at, and also have enough self-restraint to ‘not swing’ (at a bad pitch). Without a combination of the two, my true ability will not surface.”

As soon as I get the video in the mail I’ll post some highlights. Your not going to believe the depth behind Ichiro’s swing. Supposedly when he is in a slump, he can find the key to escaping it through a weak pop-up or groundout. The battle from there is strictly a mental one. Ya, I know… Absolutely zenlike.

Should be here in a week or two, so stay tuned...

Sunday, March 14, 2004

And you thought I was gassing you 


THE NEW ICHIRO: Ichiro, who has played in six of the first eight games, has 16 plate appearances.
Not once has he swung at a first pitch.
It's remarkable, given Ichiro's penchant for aggressive behavior at the plate, slashing at the first good thing he sees.
"Ichiro continues to be very good at taking so many pitches," Melvin said. "He could have been 1-for-3 today, but he took a walk and that got him to 1-for-2. If he keeps this up, you'll see him on base quite a bit more.
"It's a difficult thing for him to do, but he's still aggressive."
Melvin predicts once word gets around that Ichiro is laying off first pitches and taking more walks, the pitchers will respond by throwing him more strikes, trying to keep him off base.
"And that's ultimately going to give Ichiro more good pitches to hit," Melvin said.
Ichiro continues to work the count in spring games, a request made of him before camp opened. "He's been very successful being aggressive," Melvin said. "But if he starts taking pitches and getting walks, he's going to see better pitches. You don't want to walk him - he's probably the best baserunner in the league. And if pitchers realize he'll take pitches, he might have a season like his first year here."

People are starting to catch on. Ichiro is going to have a HUGE year. Just you watch.

4 walks and counting…


Bad man with an evil plan 

Yo… you know what? To be fair I don’t HATE Bavasi or Melvin. Yes, they are stupid. Yes, they are becoming the joke of the baseball community. But Bavasi and Melvin can’t help it that they’re dumb. Although they have NO BUSINESS being key factors on a contending baseball team, I can’t hate these men for their shortcomings. They are just puppets. The problem is greater than them. The real problem revolves around an evil man named Howard.

He’s power-hungry, he’s money-grubbing and he loves getting his ego stroked (I SMELL WHITEY!!!!!!!). He must be in control of everything within the organization at all times. And he just can’t get enough of those hollow Yesmen. Lincoln must be reaffirmed of his greatness at every corner of the Mariners’ organization; be it players(Ibanez), the manager(Melvin), or the front office(Bavasi). If Lincoln likes you he’ll hire you, if he thinks he can control you he’ll hire you. Credentials are unimportant. He doesn’t want to be challenged. He doesn’t want stars. He doesn’t want intelligent or innovative people. With talent comes personality, and that is something Lincoln just can not and will not deal with. He’s the reason Lou left to Tampa. HE has to be the dominant personality, HE has to set the blueprints, HE has to be the Seattle Mariners. This is just a business from his perspective. His main goal is to stay 'competitive' with the lowest possible payroll in order to continue milking the people of Seattle of their hard-earned money. Lincoln is not a romantic, he’s not a man out to represent the people, and his main priority certainly isn’t winning ballgames.

Let’s get this straight: I don’t hate the Yankees, and I don’t hate Steinbrenner. George does what it takes to win. He may be a power-hungry control freak, but he does everything in his power to win. He may be an asshole who sticks his nose into everyones’ business, but he’s still smart enough to stick with guys like Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. He has his biases, but when it comes down to it, he knows what’s best for the team. He hires the best people and he puts all of his money back into his team. I don’t think anybody would be complaining if “The Boss” was running things in Seattle. Hate all you want but the man is good for baseball. And the Yankees are good for baseball. Is there anything better than beating the Yankees? Would ’95 have been as sweet if we were playing the Baltimore Orioles? I don’t think so.

Ok I’m straying away from my point… Basically what I’m trying to say is that Lincoln is nothing more than a dickhead with a Sugardaddy backing him up. This is a bad bad man with selfish motives. He is the center of evil in the universe. Keep your children distant from him at all times.


Sometimes no news is a good thing 

It’s been a while since I’ve updated myself on some Mariner news since all it does is cause stress and a bruised forehead from excessive head bashing against my computer monitor. But sadly I can only stay away for so long until I come crawling back for more.

I just so happened to stumble on this massive heap of horse manure.

AAAAAAAAA!!!!! I should kept my head turned. Raul batting fourth??? NO NO NO NO!!! that just wont do admiral. Ibanez’ PETCOTA projection for next year is an abysmal .264/.324/.431 line. I don’t think Ibanez will do THAT bad, but DAMN!!! Do YOU want this chump batting FOURTH??? If this is really how this is going down, our cleanup hitter will be significantly worse than the Yankees #8 hitter next year!! HURRAAAAYY!!!

The justification for this move boggles my mind.

“The right-left-right breakdown will make it difficult for opposing managers to keep trotting relief specialists out there.
He hit 42 homers and drove in 193 runs the past two seasons for Kansas City, numbers that would fit well for any No. 4 hitter. Martinez's power numbers aren't as good as Ibanez's the past two seasons -- 39 homers and 157 RBIs.”
"Going lefty-righty makes the lineup more functional," said Melvin, who has been trying out a number of combinations.
"But using Ibanez fourth gives us four guys swifter than Edgar in front of him. It means our cleanup hitter will be fifth instead of fourth."

If you haven’t picked up on it already, I HATE this move. Edgar isn’t going to see a good pitch all year. You also take away Boone’s protection by moving Ibanez behind him. I mean, why would you give Boone a good pitch to hit when Ibanez is coming up to bat? Remember how bad Boone did when Edgar wasn’t around (most of 2002)??? Just leave it to Melvin to handicap our two most potent hitters.

Rich Aurilia batted sixth yesterday. But the plan is for Aurilia to hit second against left-handed starting pitchers, with Winn deep in the order, possibly ninth to put some speed in front of Ichiro. Beyond the fifth spot, Melvin has said he would like to have switch-hitting Scott Spiezio sixth, splitting up Martinez and John Olerud.
While this would break up the lefty-righty pattern, Melvin could pick it up again with Aurilia hitting eighth behind Olerud.
"It lines up as a pretty good order when you have two guys who have produced runs like Olerud and Aurilia hitting that far down," Melvin said.

Even Japanese managers don’t take the righty-lefty switch this serious. Shouldn’t the best hitters be in the heart of order regardless of which hand they hold their chopsticks with????
Winn batting ninth again left-handed pitching despite the fact that he has hit .314/.368/.491 against them over the past three years??? Olerud in the seven hole??? As bad of a year Olerud had, he still posted a .372OBP.

In other news Melvin is developing a crush on Santiago.

Santiago was 2-for-3. He's 8-for-15 this spring, making a case as an extra infielder. "Has he made an out yet?" Melvin joked.

Melvin has just moved into my “Top three Mariners I love to hate” list:

1. Lincoln
2. Bavasi
3. Melvin


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