The big news of the day is that Nintendo and Mariners owner Hiroshi Yamauchi has passed away. This is some sad news for the Mariners organization, and is bound to shake things up a little bit (or at least cause a ton of speculation). As the season winds down there’s only a few games left to get your Mariners fix in before the cold, miserable, rainy, rainy (ya, double rain) off-season. Just because we’re out of the playoff race, doesn’t mean there’s no good baseball to watch though! Thanks to Dan, we have a nice list of reasons why we shouldn’t get all dejected and throw in the towel too early. Remember, stay positive folks!
Quick notes on the Mariners games in Detroit, Hisashi Iwakuma was absolutely dominating last night against the Tigers. My personal favorite part was when he struck out Miguel Cabrera, twice. It takes a lot of testicular fortitude to challenge the best hitter in baseball and come out on top. Iwakuma has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, and has been very, very fun to watch. Also, there’s this:
Kuma's 25.0 consecutive scoreless innings on the road is tied for the longest streak in #Mariners history (Holman-1989, Johnson-1994).
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 19, 2013
Today’s game is a 10:00 start, which is great for me because I have the day off to watch baseball, but for some of you stuck at work it’s a bit inconvenient. To help you pass the time, lets go on to the links!
This is the biggest news in Seattle today. Hiroshi Yamauchi is largely credited with saving Seattle baseball, and more importantly directly contributed to importing talented players from Japan. As we move forward we’re seeing more and more Japanese players like Ichiro Suzuki and Munenori Kawasaki make their way across the Pacific to evolve the game here at home.
On the other side, Yamauchi took a lot of criticism over the years for having never actually gone to see the baseball team he owned. It’s peculiar to think he would never have been to a game, but I have a hard time making the connection between bad-owner and not going to baseball games. Yamauchi insisted on being involved in “major decisions”, so it’s not like he didn’t care. Maybe he just didn’t like garlic fries?
Greg Johns is reporting that Felix Hernandez had a solid bullpen session today in Detroit, and is marked as the Mariners starter for Sunday in Anaheim. This is great news for Mariners fans who are looking for something else to be excited about as we wind down.
I’m not alone when I express my discontent with some of the Mariners starters this season, there’s been a revolving door of old-guys running through Safeco this season. It’s about time we could move forward. With some solid starts from Tiajuan Walker and James Paxton in September, there’s reason to think that the rotation could be a little bit more youthful next year.
Raul Ibanez is on his way to 300 homers (299 right now), and he’s about to tie Ted Williams for most homers for an old guy. Raul also made it known this week that he wants to come back next year. The Mariners recently saw the emergence of Abraham Almonte, and Dustin Ackley appears to be destined for the outfield too, so it is going to be fun to speculate just how the defensive lineup will look next year if Raul wants in too.
Speaking of old-guys, how does the Mariners lineup look with the dramatic contrast between new-guys and old-guys? Manager Eric Wedge commented this week that the youth of the team contributed to the lackluster performance we were treated to this season. Do the stats back up his claims? (Spoiler: No)