Posted on: August 11, 2010 4:48 pm

The Seattle Times cost Wakamatsu his job

Don Wakamatsu was fired on Monday, a week after Zduriencik declared "He's our manager."

Why the sudden turnaround? Check Sunday's Seattle Times.

At the top of the sports section's front page, Jerry Brewer declares "The Mariners aren't a baseball team right now. They're a lightning rod...Just when you think they've reached rock bottom, a trap door opens. Just when you think they're tired of spurning professionalism, an embarrassing relapse occurs. They don't just lose games, they lose their minds..." The Times invites fans to send in "short essays, poems or haikus" expressing their frustration.

If you were a GM, and you saw that on your town's front page, the panic button would be immediately hit.

Despite the fact that a recent poll in the Times showed that only 3% of the voters blamed the management (40% blamed the players), Zduriencik decided the best thing to do would be to fire Wak. I don't like this. I think the last thing we need is more instability in the team. In my opinion, the Mariners need to find a long-term manager, and stick with him. No matter what his winning percentage is over two years, he will provide stability, and he will become the face of the franchise. The more he stays, the more he'll learn about the team, its players, and its staff. Wakamatsu had the potential to be a great manager. I believe he was not the problem with this season, the players themselves were. Jack Zduriencik made all the right moves when acquiring free agents, the players just didn't play well when they got here. Some may argue that this is a result of Wakamatsu's bad management, but I think he was a new manager who was experimenting with his lineup, and given another year, he might have found a place for everyone to succeed in.
Category: MLB
Tags: mariners
Posted on: April 6, 2010 3:00 pm

Northwest Spring Preview

After a disappointing performance over the winter by our three big basketball teams, Seattle's version of spring has hit.

Oddly enough, it seems we are seeing more rain and cold weather now than we did back in winter.

Firstly, the Huskies finished their basketball season by getting into the NCAA tournament through way of winning the Pac-10 tournament, and then showed the nation why the West is vastly underrated. The Huskies beat Marquette and New Mexico to make the Sweet 16, a far better performance than anyone who is not a major homer expected.

The Zags didn't fare as well, getting into the Round of 32 before being blown out by the Orange of Syracuse, something to be expected when a 1 seed plays an 8 seed.

All that is in the past, though, as we take a look into the summer days of soccer, baseball, and woman's basketball.

The Sounders are looking to run the table in the West conference of the MLS in their sophomore year. They beat the new Philadelphia Union, but then lost to the Red Bull, giving them their first win on the road in regular season MLS play in two years. Freddie and Fredy, the two Sounders forwards, are looking to lead the Sounders to a long season of winning, b ut they need to find ways to put the ball in the back of the net. In the loss to the Red Bull, the Sounders took 17 shots, and none of them went in the goal. The ball was in the Sounders' offensive third for most of the game, but the forwards failed to capitalize.

The Mariners picked up quite a few new players in the winter, put together by second-year GM Jack Zduriencik and coached by Don Wakamatsu. Milton Bradley and Chone Figgins should help to pick the Mariners up offensively, and they also will help keep the Mariners' defense the best in the business. Cliff Lee will help out Felix Hernandez on top of the rotation, and give the Mariners a deadly one-two punch that the media will be (and has been) all over. At one point, the Mariners were the hot pick to win the highly competitive AL West, but a bad spring training made many people think twice. Most have the Mariners finishing third behind the Rangers.

The Huskies softball team will look to repeat as champions, led by Daniel Lawrie. Also, the Storm will again be led by Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, looking to take the title in the West.
Posted on: April 14, 2009 2:18 pm

Needle News: Opening Day for Safeco

SEATTLE, WA -- Alright, Seattleites, it's time for my post-college basketball hiatus to end and baseball season to get in full swing.

Nobody really expects the Mariners to do much this season, and that is reflected by their record of... wait, what? Five and two? With a sweep of the A's? Dang, nevermind, then.

Current record aside, though, the season is still young. The Mariners will be taking on a favorited Angels team for their home opener, which starts at 3:40 this afternoon. Don't expect any miracles.

The Mariners are currently in the bottom half of their starting rotation, which should be acknowleged as their worse half. Carlos Silva has yet to show us anything, Ryan Rowland-Smith had a horrible day against the Twins last week, and those two are you starting pitchers today and tomorrow, unless I am mistaken.

Silva could surprise us, or the bullpen could save us, but I just don't see the Mariners pitching winning this one. The key will be the bats. If the M's come out swinging, they could outdo the Angels in an offensive battle.

In other related news, Safeco Field will be bringing back my favorite ballpark service, the Nintendo Fan Network. Not only that, but last year's fees associated with this service are gone. There will be 150 DS consoles for the first people who ask for them, provided you have a credit card, and they are free as long as you return them. The software that you can download for your own DS no longer costs 5 bucks, but is freely availible to download at certain stations in the stadium. You can use the software to order food right from your seat and have it delivered to you, watch live video feeds from the nosebleed seats, and view closed-captions for the public service announcements. They can also be used as a radio if you have a pair of headphones. I'm really excited about this service, unlike most of the Mariners-related news. If you're heading out to the ballpark today, I recommend getting there early and grabbing yourself a loaner DS.

Moving on to basketball. The Oklahoma City Thunder (a name usually banned from this blog) played the Trailblazers last night. The 'Blazers dominated throughout the whole game and won, 113-83. That's a 30 point margin, folks. You don't see this everyday in professional basketball. Oh, wait, you do, because of the Thunder. That team is horrible. I'm almost glad we kicked them out before they gave us another stinker of a season.

So there's what you need to know for Tuesday. I hope you all have your tickets for today's game. I don't, since they sold out a while ago, but I'll be at the park in spirit.

Posted on: February 17, 2009 3:44 pm

Well, so much for that: The Griffey saga goes on

SEATTLE--Earlier today, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report told the world that Ken Griffey Jr. had signed with the Atlanta Braves, instead of returning to the Seattle Mariners as has been proposed.

But, about an hour ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Griffey denied the signing and has not yet made a decision regarding where he will play this year.

It's hard determining which newspaper is telling the truth, but I'm assuming the later report is the more accurate one. So, after it seemed like the Griffey saga was over and the Mariners had lost, it turns out some guy working for an Atlanta newspaper just spawned a story that would make Atlantians feel good.

Stupid journalists.

The P-I goes on to report that if the Mariners fail to sign Griffey, they will probably chase after Garrett Anderson, a free agent formerly of the Los Angeles Angels, but otherwise this should be their last transaction before the 2009 season.

If the Mariners do, in fact, sign Griffey, he'll reportedly play as a DH, in spite of being in center field for the Mariners before leaving for the Chicago White Sox. This would mean that Jeff Clement would probably be sent back down to Triple-A Tacoma, although that kid has great potential.

Also happening around the Needle, the Washington Huskies will get a chance to prove that they deserve to be tops in the Pac-10 when they visit Los Angeles this week. They'll start off playing UCLA on Thursday and then visit USC on Saturday. I predict that the Huskies will split this trip, losing to UCLA but beating USC handily.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com