Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Seattle Mariners on the rebound

Last two years I have worked
for the Mariners breaking
ground for them on their
first Spanish Radio Network
and I have experienced
a corporate organization
operate not a small
or big market but a
market where they
are the show.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezRemember the line in
one of Mel Brooks films
“It is good to be The King”?
Well in Seattle the
Mariners are King.

This franchise born in
1977 has never won
a World Series but
they are the most
popular Sports franchise
in the Puget Sound
Area by far.

Maybe the most famous
sports personality to
have played in Seattle
is Edgar Martínez who
retired last season
after two decades
of great hitting. On the
night where the Mariners
announced Martínez
retirement Commissioner
Bud Selig was present
and declared that
starting in 2005 the
Designated Hitter
Award would be
named The Edgar
Martínez Designated
Hitter Award. That
would be given to
the best DH each

Bill Bavasi replaced
Pat Gillick in 2004
as the Mariners
General Manager.
From the Bavasi
family of Southern
California involved
with both the Dodgers
and the Angels Bill
knows how fast the
fortunes in baseball
can change for a

In 2004 the Mariners
lost 99 games and it
was not pretty to
watch on a great
city like Seattle with
one of the most beautiful
new parks SAFECO Field.

The Mariners attendance
was 5,000 less per game
(on average)than 2003
and the fan discontent
was evident in opinions
to the two daily newspapers
as well as the Sportstalk
Shows in the Emerald City.

The Mariners let John
Olerud go and they needed
a firstbaseman. They signed
Scott Spiezio to a multi
year deal starting in
2004 but he had a terrible
season and was also on the
DL. They brought up
rookie Justin Leone
to play third base,
Jolbert Cabrera played
third also(as well as
another 4 positions)
local favorite Willie
Blomquist also played
third. At the end of
the season it was
also evident the
Mariners needed a
third baseman.

Bill Bavasi went to
Anaheim for the Winter
Meeting and signed
Richie Sexson to
play first and Adrian
Beltré to play third.
Two sluggers and
RBI men(Seattle was
last in Home Runs and
RBI in the American
League in 2004) but
also Sexson and
Beltré are excellent
defensive players.
But they were signed
for their bats, their
power and with
guys like Ichiro
in front, the M’S
should be able
to score many more
Ichiro Susuki had
262 hits in 2004 a
new Major League
record and under
new manager Mike
Hardgrove will be
more agressive
on steals.

The Mariners got
new manager Mike
Hardgrove and new
hitting coach Don
Baylor and that is
a plus to any team
as Baylor is regarded
as one of the better
hitting instructors in

In Seattle things
are looking up and
the 3.5 million fans
that show up since
the new SAFECO Field
was constructed are
extremly happy of
the team by signing
those two sluggers
but more need to
be done in this
tough A.L West
Division were Anaheim
is getting stronger,
Texas is an agressive
young team and the
A’S should be in
the hunt again
all season.

For once Seattle
management delivered
with these two free
agent signings and
hopefully it will be
an exciting and
successful 2005
in the Emerald City.

The above deal
cost the M’S around
$115 million dollars
and they still might
make some moves.
The Mets are dangling
young Japanese shortstop
Kazuo Matsui and they
want outfielder
Randy Winn in
return. This might
still happen as we just
learned that ex-Mariners
and Mets outifelder Mike
Cameron is not going
to be ready for Opening
Day with the Mets because
of surgery.

Adrian Beltré’s best
friend in L.A was pitcher
Odalis Pérez and he has
been trying to convince
Odalis to move up to
Seattle. Pérez is available.

The Mariners pitching
staff is an interesting
one. Jaime Moyer on
his last season(signed
until 2005)Joel Piñeiro,
Gil Meche, Ryan Franklin
and newcomer Bobby
Madritsch, who impressed
everybody last September.
General Manager Bill
Bavasi still looking
at a possibility of
acquiring another
starter. Moyer who
turned 42 this
November had
a 21-7 3.27 record
in 2003 but went
the other way this
season. He is one
of the most popular
players in Seattle and
he could get a deal
to help their pitching
staff after 2005.
Ryan Franklin has a
great arm, maybe the
best among all the M’S
starters but last season
was the pitcher that
received the less support
from his team as far as
runs when he pitched.
Joel Piñeiro is only 26
and has great stuff.
Gil Meche had quite
a comeback and
rookie Madritsch is
here to stay.

Seattle Mariners
are looking good
again and hopefully
they will be a force


1 Anonymous { 12.21.04 at 3:47 pm }

nice analysis,Amaury,but 42 year old pitchers generally don’t have too much left in the tank. Also
you did not analyze the relief pitching situation. The way the game is played today, managers hope the starters go 6 innings and then bring in the set-up guys for the closer. What’s the situation there ? Is everyday Eddie healthy? The M’s will be better in the hitting department but I think they will improve overall but will go only as far as the pitching will take them.

Jerry F

2 Anonymous { 12.21.04 at 5:02 pm }

To: Jerry F
I agree with you. Eddie Guardado is healing and
we will see how he comes back. Also I didn’t
write about the #1 pitching prospect in the nation
is young (20)Félix Hernández from Venezuela who
is in the Mariners minor league system, he might
be a couple of years away. Ironically they do have
great arms in their farm system. I like working up
there, good city, good people, good clean air,
good food(Bill King agrees with me everytime we
speak he loves Seattle and the great seafood there)
People there are very much in tune with the
enviroment. I have been in Bay Area since
I was discharge from the US Army in 1969 so I have lived here most of my life, but I do keep
a studio in Seattle. My wife loves it. Althought
our permanent residence is Fremont. Both of my sons are A’S fans since they were born raised
under Rickey-Canseco-McGwire teams.
Happy Holidays.

3 Anonymous { 12.21.04 at 5:42 pm }

I love you amigo but I think you have been smoking too much Havana kemp. The Mariners will not get anybody out unless they change their pitching staff from top to bottom.


4 Anonymous { 12.21.04 at 7:33 pm }

I agree with you Amaury, I think the Mariners
have improved greatly. A’S have a very unexperience pitching rotation, the Angels
are the favorites and the Rangers still
have less pitching than anybody else.
Before your critics talk about Jaime Moyer
and he is 42, let me remind everybody in
this great site that some of the great
pitchers going today are over 40. Randy
Johnson, Roger Clemens just to mention
Best Wishes during your Holidays.
Raul V.

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