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Hitters Must Be Consistant

Seattle WA. - Over the last few months of the off season, the Mariners have been dumping payroll as much as possible. Unloading major busts like Adrian Beltre and Raul Ibanez to the Indians for prospects Andy Marte, Frank Marotta and J.J. Bies. But they didnt stop there, no way. They kept up the frantic pace as veteran after veteran were traded away for prospects. Now we all know that prospects are just that, prospects, right? There is no guarentee that you have a keeper in any trade. As there is the case that the guy you trade away becomes a Major League All Star. The Mariners are counting on the latter.


J.J. Bies gets a triple in a spring training game against the Indians earlier this month.

J.J. Bies: "I think we will be fine. I just wanted a chance to start everyday. I cant compete with Grady, hes a much better all around player than I am. Im not a power hitter, Im an all gaps hitter. I like to hit to all fields, steal bases and bunt. I think for us as a team to be succesful this year, we are gonna have to play small ball."

The Mariners are counting on Bies to set the table so the big bats can knock him in. Most problematic for the Mariners this year will be run scoring. A lot of talent, but unproven talent. With speed burners like Bies and Johnson, they will have base stealing threats. Power from both sides of the plate with Elliott, Gunn, Valentine and Takacs. Defensively, they will be as solid as any team in baseball. Pitching will be the question mark that has to be answered this spring. They have loads of talent in the pen, but will it be enough to tame the likes of the Rangers, Angels and the A's. All 3 teams have improved immensely this year, so it will take alot for the Mariners to compete in a division this strong.


The 4 Hosemen: Robert Gunn - Upper, Chris Takacs - Upper bottom, Ronnie Valentine - Lower top, David Elliott - Lower bottom


The bright spots this spring have been the surprise power from the Four Horsemen. If the Mariners are going to score runs, they will need production from these young hitters.

Robert Gunn: "We are only as good as our last game, baby! We need to keep a focused mindset when we go out each and every game."

Chris Takacs: "Not much we can say about anything until the first pitch is thrown. Then we can start to see what we need work on, and what we are improving."

Ronnie Valentine: "You guys and your nicknames. I just have to laugh because I've never had a nickname or belonged to such a group of guys like these. Its just a good feeling to know that we are going to be together for a while and watch how each other developes."

David Elliott: My main concern is our 2 strike hits, and can we get the clutch hit to drop in. If we can do that consistently, we should be able to compete with anyone."

So from Mariner camp, signs are telling us that we might be in for a long season. We will just have to wait and see how these guys play. As much as i have liked the trades and watching this team take shape, I would hate to see the confidence break after a 10 game losing streak. Elliott said it best, consistency will be key and can they get the big hit when they need it most. I just hope they are not an over glorified AAA roster.

- T.B. Seattle Times Sports

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Seattle Pitching Depth Crucial

Seattle WA. - This week we focus on the pitching aspect of the Mariners. With the starting 5 set, we delve right into disecting the staff peice by peice.


Rafael Soriano is a converted starter to relief and back to starter again. He has had immense confidence problems in his career up to now. Getting to start again may help him to bounce back and be successful.


In the mold of Roger Clemens, Billy Wells has risen up the minor league depth charts with astounding quickness. With an astonishing fastball clocked at 95 mph, he can turn hitters into marionettes at the plate. He was drafted by the Mariners #3 in the 2003 draft.


Cliff Lee has all the tools to be a dependable pitcher. Traded to Seattle from Cleveland, via Minnesota, He looks to maintain what he achieved last year. His cutter is as dangerous as any, and he can fool you with offspeed stuff, and blow his 90 MPH fastball by you.


Frank Faron is what you might call a tank on the mound. He has amazing mound presence, and with a 98 mph fastball, forget about it. He has an infectous personality, and anyone who knows him, will tell you he is the greatest guy. Drafted #18 in the 2004 draft, Frank to has risen up the minors quickly, to get to the show.


Aaron Sele is the veteran in the rotation. He has had some success as a Major League Starter over the past decade. He has been with many teams, and this will be his second stint with the ballclub. He adds leadership to a youthful roster that really needs it.

Next week we cut down the 40 man roster to 25 as the Mariners head north for an early season showdown with Santana and the Twins. We will finally know who will be on the team and see who will be packing their bags for Tacoma.

- T.B. Seattle Times Sports

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Seattle Depth Chart Promising

Seattle WA. - With Spring Training finally over, the team now can concentrate over the things they need to focus on immediately. Like the Minnesota Twins, who are coming in to town for a 3 game series.

We are breaking down the roster into seperate categories, so you can specifically get an idea about all the new faces and names, and the positions they play. So let me intoduce the starting line-ups and bench players for the 2006 Seattle Mariners:


LF - Robert Gunn - Defence is his liability. DH is the spot he will share with Valentine, when he is not in LF. It doesnt make him any less dangerous.

CF - J.J. Bies - A base stealing threat and leadoff man, he makes great contact and moves runners over very well. He uses all fields and can make the spectacular catch.

RF - David Elliott - A Shawn Green type hitter, he needs to improve on his contact. Decent power, and a very strong, accurate arm, makes him a threat to throw runners out trying to be greedy.

CF - Lastings Milledge - A quality 4th outfielder. He can come in and play defence to keep his team in games. He is a work in progress, and he has a good power stroke.

CF - Kenny Kelly - Another OF prospect, as if the M's had enough? Very good speed and knows how to field. Needs contact consistency.

SS - C.J. Johnson - This is the gem of the infield. He likes to think he is Shawon Dunston at SS. Not a bad thing. He has the arm of Dunston and good pop in his bat, also.

SS - Joel Guzman - Very good defensive SS. Still learning how to hit. Dont count him out as a hitter yet. He is only getting better.

2B - Brandon Phillips - Out of options at Cleveland, he was let go to explore. He is now the defensive gem turner at 2B, for the M's. Needs to work on contact hitting more, and less power swings.

2B - Carlos Febles - A journeyman of sorts, and a welcome addition to the M's bench. He can still play and defence 2B.

3B - Andy Marte - Just what the M's were waiting for. A strong arm and the ability to throw out runners deep in the hole at third. Can one hand pick a baseball better than most and make the accurate throw with soft hands.

1B - Chris Takacs - He has the ability to play Gold Glove type first base. Makes good contact with decent power. 30 HR's are not out of reach.

1B - Ronnie Valentine - Maybe the best all around player on the ballclub. He will split time at DH with Gunn, but dont count him out at first.

C - Tony Pena - A young converted SS, Pena looks to prove himself at catcher. Makes good contact, and has a very accurate arm to throw out potential base runners.

C - Charles Johnson - A quality leader on this team. He brings leadership and the ability to teach young players how to play the game right.


SP - Rafael Soriano - Needs to learn how to be a starter all over again. Its the first time he has ever been given the number one spot.

SP - Billy Wells - He has a hard slider and fastball to strike out batters with consistency. He can really bring it and will be the future ace of the staff.

SP - Cliff Lee - Cliff still has what it takes. Guts and fortitude will get it done for him on the mound. By the way, his cutter is really good too.

SP - Frank Faron - Frank is the beast of the staff. He can bring it at 98 mph. He has the best stuff on the staff, but control gets him in to trouble, ALOT!

SP - Aaron Sele - With his career coming to a close, he hopes to finish strong with the club. Signing a 3 year deal worth 3 million a year, the M's hope he can still contribute.

LR - Matt Murphy - Solid young pitcher. Could have been the number 5 starter, if Sele hadnt come back. Hes a sinker slider style pitcher.

MR - Matt Miller - Looking a little like Gagne, the M's hope he can pitch half as good as him.

MR - Luis Vizcaino - A journeyman of sorts, but can still get the job done out of the pen.

SU - Frankie Fulton - Very hard throwing righty, who can get it up to 94 on the gun.

SU - DeMaso Marte - Gives the M's a quality lefty v.s. lefty out of the bullpen.

CL - Frank Marotta - Has a nasty sinker he uses with no remorse. He knows how to close out games in the clutch. Could be a crucial player down the stretch.

Mike Hargrove: "I think we are pretty pleased with what we have to this point. I have seen all of our players up close and know what each can do and what each is capable of. I wouldnt count us out, but I wouldnt say we are gonna win the W.S."

So the looks of things, the M's are in for a long season. I think that there might be a few surprises in store though, so you might want to keep an eye out on this team.

- T.B. Seattle Times Sports

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Mariners Mail Looks To Be A Hit With Fans

The news articles that get published by the Mariners and sent to the fans, through email, are the latest in online information. This will help cover the M's like never before. With news and interviews from players and coaches, as well as the owner and GM, will keep the fans in the inner circle and also up to date with the latest and greatest happenings with the club.


Bavasi: "I think this will keep everyone informed on the happenings around the league, when they just cant get a newspaper. I think its the best thing we have come up with for our fans."

Reshaped M's Look For Chemistry

Coming off back-to-back 90-loss seasons, the Mariners added catcher Charles Johnson, starter Aaron Sele, Luis Vizcaino, Demaso Marte and 2B Brandon Phillips as well as new pitching and hitting prospects in the hopes of ushering a winning era of baseball in Seattle. 

So here's the main question as the Seattle Mariners, losers of 192 games over the last two seasons, head into 2006: Can this be the beginning of a new, winning era?

The 2006 Mariners tried to change the tide of their 99-loss 2004 season, bringing in a new manager, Mike Hargrove, plus unloading a total of $120 million on the multi-year contracts for the three high-profile free-agent sluggers they had picked up in 05, Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson along with Raul Ibanez.


Sele: - "Ive been part of bad teams and good teams. This is not a bad team, just a team that needs to build chemistry and team emphasis."

- R.R. Mariners Mail

Hitters Licking Their Chops At Santana?

You know the last time I heard that was...hmmmm, wait, I never heard that. Sometimes I wonder if it is over confidence, or is there something these guys know about Santana? After all, he is the ace of the Twins and a top 5 pitcher anyway. But I digress, if these guys think that they are gonna walk over the Twins in this 3 game series, I have to say Good Luck! ! ! I love my M's, but this is a bit more than Im willing to agree with, to this point.


Santana: "I dont listen to half the things people talk about, and i damn sure dont listen to a team that ranks with the lower rungs of the league. We will see on opening day at Safeco Field."


You dont think that Santana is talking about the ranking of the M's whole system, do you?

- H.P. Mariners Mail

Pitching Coach, Chavez Doing Mad Work

Pitching Coach, Rafael Chavez is the man with the golden touch. He has brought out the best in every pitcher that has come through his camp.


Chavez: "I just want from these guys, everything they have for as long as they have it."

I guess when you can turn the likes of Soriano and prospects like Wells and Faron into great pitchers with filthy stuff, you know what your doing. I think the most positive thing to come out of M's camp, was the development of Matt Murphy as a long reliever. Everyone knew he was upset, but he is in a great position to help the team at its weakest spot in the pen. If everything works out, we should have one of the strongest pens in the league this year...........Just make sure you knock on wood first.

- R.R. Mariners Mail

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Well done, looking foward to following this 8)

I agree, ur doin an exceptional job!!

i also think so too, good job man.

hummm, u look really serious about this man. great job.


Thanks guys for the support. I promise not to screw this up and keep doing it. I think it should be pretty interesting when I get it started, soon. Just a few minor touch ups left, and then I get to the Twinkies.....:)

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M's - Twins Rivalry Heating Up

Seattle WA. - Things went from the frying pan into the fryer this morning as Johan Santana opened up for the first time about not winning the Cy Young last year and the recent comments from the M's hitters gonna hurt his pride and ego really badly.


Santana: "What have they done in recent years? They lose all of the time, and Im sure I have beaten them more than they care to count. Lets see: Uno, Dos, Tres, Quatro, Cinco? I can go on, can I? That Cy Young was mine last year, and the writers know it. I will win it this year, bet on it."

Soriano: "I dont know what his problem is. He is muy loco, and we need to hurt him, just so he will shut up. We will have to get him early to get him out of rythem. Maybe he should have won, maybe not. I dont care about it. I just want to win my start for the fans and my team on opening day. el mañana es mi día, el día nuevo del muerto. It will be the day I defeat the Twins."

You can always count on words from Raffy, powerful words from both pitchers. It should really be a great game. I dont know who is gonna win, but I can tell you that the first pitch to hit someone will be a bench clearing one. That you can count on.

- T.B. Seattle Times Sports

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Dynasty looks great so far, nice to see somebody taking a different direction with mostly prsopects, but why in the world would you trade away King Felix then? Just a question.

I was also wondering where Felix Hernandez is? You have plenty of prospects, but why not the best one in the game?

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Soriano Keeps Word - M's Roll 7-4

Seattle WA. - For all the verbage that was exchanged, the game was just as exhausting. Rafael Soriano looked to be in midseason form as the Mariners rolled Johan Santana and the Twins in the sold out Home Opener at Safeco.


Santana (0-1 7.88) was just never able to get it going. I guess to much talking and not enough performance. He was touched for all 7 runs in 8 innings giving up 9 hits walking 4 and striking out just 1 batter.

The Mariner offence was able to get to him in the 2nd on a Pena 2 run double and in the 6th that was capped by C.J. Johnson's 3 run blast.


Johnson blast in the 6th, sealed the win for the M's.


Tony Pena hit a 2 run double in the 2nd off of Santana.

Soriano (1-0 4.05) pitched about as well as he was expected to, giving up 3 runs on 6 2/3 innings work. He struck out 6 and walked 2, scattering 6 hits.

The Twins were able to get to Soriano in the 5th when Shannon Stewart singled to left-center, driving in a pair. Morneau hit a solo blast off of Frankie Fulton in the 8th, but that was all they would get.


Morneau hits a solo bomb in the 8th off of Fulton.


Bies steals extra bases with this remarkable grab in the 6th.

Fulton, Marte and Marotta combined for 3 hits and 1 run allowed in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Marotta picked up SV number 1.

Game MVP's:

T.Pena 2-4 2B, 3 RBI

C.Johnson 1-3 HR(1) 3 RBI

Grovers Recap:

"I think it was a great win for us today. We played well, we pitched well, what else would I expect out of my players. Im very happy with the way we played. It definitely was a team effort."

Tomorrows Probables:

Minnesota: Brad Radke (0-0)

Seattle: Cliff Lee (0-0)

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Good. :D

Dynasty looks really nice so far, nice recap. Going to make one when 06 is out (hopefully pretty soon), and was thinking of doing a Mariners one too...

I think you might have the best idea yet....lol I chose them for the uni's and Safeco is pretty sharp too. I guess you can never go wrong with the M's. Hernandez is a beast, I forgot he was in AAA when I started the dynasty. Im glad hes in my system. :lol:

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I think you might have the best idea yet....lol I chose them for the uni's and Safeco is pretty sharp too. I guess you can never go wrong with the M's. Hernandez is a beast, I forgot he was in AAA when I started the dynasty. Im glad hes in my system. :lol:

Well I lived in Seattle for two years, went to Safeco maybe 15 times, really nice stadium. It's either M's or Red Sox for my dynasty, with Cards and LA still in mind...tough decision. Good luck with yours though.

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Thanks sephiroth, so far so good, and Dom, dunno about Liriano, I kinda have my starting 5 set. Im gonna see how Sele works out and then bring up señor Felix up from AAA. Nice thought though. I do like Liriano, but not for my present Dynasty. 8) :)

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Lee And Co. Cruise 6-3

Seattle WA. - From the first pitch, the M's seemed to be in control. Cliff Lee (1-0 3.86) had the cutter and the change up working to perfection. He seemed to have the Twinkies off balance the entire time.


Striking out 7 and walking 1, Lee would scatter 5 hits and allow 3 runs. His only bad inning was the 4th, when he gave up 3 straight RBI singles to Mauer, Hunter and Hafner. He would eventually induce the groundball double play to get out of any more trouble. Miller and Marotta would combine for 2 innings scoreless work, while Marotta would pick up save #2.


Gunn was thrown out stretching a single, allowing time for Takacs to score in the 2nd inning

Brad Radke (0-1 13.50) was lost from the first pitch to the very last. He was on the edge of getting it blown wide open early, and finally it caved in, in the 3rd when he gave up 5 runs. He allowed all 6 runs and 5 hits, walking 5 in 4 innings. Walks hurt him for the most part and it gave the runs to the M's.

Robert Gunn hit a line drive single to right center in the 2nd inning and was thrown out trying to stretch it out. It allowed Takacs to score from 2nd. In the 3rd inning was when the damage was done. Takacs and Valentine hit RBI singles to open the lead up, and Gunn hit another bomb off the wall in right, it score Valentine from first to make it 5-0, they would later get a run on a double play from Pena.


Johnson was able to turn the unassisted DP to end the Twins threat in the 4th

Games MVP's

R.Gunn 2-4 2B, 3 RBI

R.Valentine 2-4 1 RBI

Grovers Recap:

"I think it was a mix of things today that allowed us to be successful against Brad. Hes a heck of a pitcher, but we were able to stay back on his change up. We got good swings and took advantage of the walks. Its a sign of a good ballclub when you can do things like that."

Tomorrows Probables:

Minnesota: Carlos Silva (0-0)

Seattle: Billy Wells (0-0)

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Is this with Soriano's rosters? I keep on wondering who some of these guys are. Anywho, nice job.

No not Sorianos rosters, although I am using Schmooze's UR, but I just added a few of my peeps to the game, and a few created ones that I made. Thanks KG....

I know it doesnt make sense, but I ripped the Mets of a couple prospects as well. Ichiro is with N.Y., He likes it there, I hear..... :lol:

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Johnson Calls It A Career - M's Sign Diaz


Johnson: "I just dont have the heart to play anymore. I would like to spend time with my wife and family now. I wish the Mariners organization well and the best of luck. I thank ownership and Mr. Bavasi for the opportunity to prolong my career, but there is really no reason for me to be here."

A 12 year vet, Charles Johnson was a career .245 hitter and was a devastating disruption to anyones running game. He played in 1190 games and was one of the most feared catchers to run on. Blessed with a solid arm and Gold Glove defence, he was the mainstay behind the Marlins rise to the W.S. in 97'. Known for being able to handle pitching staffs very well, he was the man every pitcher counted on to call a great game.

For the short term, the M's picked up FA catcher Einar Diaz for 1 year at $400,000, previously released from the Indians after Spring Training. Just to shore up a hole that is there now after Johnson retiring. Diaz still reasonably young, can catch and play defence well enough. His hitting is still questionable and will decidedly make him a backup to the young Pena.

Diaz: "Im thankful for the opportunity to play. I just want to try and help as much as I can, and if that means helping from the bench, than that is what I will do. I will try to help the young players learn how to handle the pressures of playing everyday."

So for the short term, this will help out, but I dont know what will happen in the long term. Pena is a very nice catcher, but he is raw. Maybe with experience, he will blossom into a Victor Martinez type player, but right now, the M's have serious problems at Catcher.

olney_buster_m.jpg - Buster Olney

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