Monday, July 31, 2006
Maine Was Killer
So yeah, like I said, Eliza and I spent a week with her parents in Maine. After a rotten red-eye flight to Boston, we flew into Owl's Head on a Beechcraft 1900 (those turbulence-prone puddle-jumpers always make me nervous), then ferried from nearby Rockland through the fog to the town/island of North Haven.
Our rental house was a short stroll from the beach, where I knocked dozens of rocks into the drink with a driftwood bat. We spent lotsa time lazing in the sun, reading and wading in the cold Atlantic. I tuned in the Red Sox's Rockland affiliate and listened to some games on the radio -- oddly enough, they played a three-game series in Seattle, and I heard that wild Sunday-afternoon game which the M's won, 8-7.
We also played lotsa tennis on an old clay court adjacent to the house, and in the evenings played lotsa Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. I did lotsa crosswords and read Rabbit, Run and Freakonomics. One day a stupid little bat got into the house and spent most of one day napping in the rafters, before Eliza's dad cleverly trapped it and returned it to the outdoors.
Yes, we ate lobster, David Foster Wallace be damned. We had a kickass lobster dinner at a restaurant on a pier, and later I lunched on a kickass lobster roll. Unfortunately, we were a week too early for Rockland's Lobster Fest. Maybe next year.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Our Easternmost, One-Syllabled State
For the next week I'll be outta town and largely away from the WWW, so my blog entries will slow down to, uh, whatever's less than a trickle. Eliza and I are gonna kick back with her folks on North Haven, an island in Maine. The Pine Tree State will become the 29th state I’ve visited in my life (ten of which I haven’t actually spent a night in (four of which I haven’t actually ventured outside the airport (and one of which, Nebraska, I didn’t actually venture outside the plane (at Omaha's Eppley Airfield)))). Like Dishwasher Pete, I eventually wanna visit all 50 states, though I don’t wanna wash dishes in any of 'em. Regardless, I'll post highlights and pix when I get back to Sizattle. Should you desire a postcard, please print the above image, cut to size, and mail to me with an SASE. Now bring on the lobster.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Let It Rock
Enough with the baseball posts. For now.
Here's a kickass video of Motorhead covering Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock."
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
From Rupe to Ichiro: 30 Years of Mariner All-Stars
Baseball’s All-Star Game is my favorite annual sporting event. I attended the 1979 game at the Kingdome (which I wrote about here), and I also saw parts of the 2001 game from atop a parking garage across the street from Safeco Field (a game which I satirized here). And every so often I enjoy watching my Awesome All-Star Action DVD. The game itself usually blows, but it's the overkill of talent and the crazy collage of different uniforms all mingling on the same field for one night a year that I love so much.
This year is the Mariners’ 30th season, and tonight they’ll represent in their 30th All-Star Game. Just for kicks I entered all the Mariner All-Stars into a spreadsheet, finding that the M’s have sent 31 different players to the 29 All-Star Games played since the team’s 1977 inception.
Along the way, nine Mariners have been selected to play in more than one ASG: Ken Griffey Jr. (ten games, though he sat out two due to injury), Edgar Martinez (seven), Ichiro (six, including this year), Randy Johnson (five), and Alex Rodriguez (four, though he sat one out due to injury), while Bret Boone, Freddy Garcia, Harold Reynolds and Kazuhiro Sasaki have played in two each.
Only six Mariners have been elected by fans to starting positions: Griffey (ten, minus the two games he was sidelined), Ichiro (five, including this year), A-Rod (three, minus the one he was sidelined), Edgar (three), and Boone and John Olerud (one apiece). Randy Johnson is the only Mariner to start an ASG as a pitcher -- a position chosen by the American League manager -- which he’s done twice. Garcia, Reynolds and Sasaki are the only repeat players who haven’t started a game; among the starters, Olerud is the only one not to repeat.
Among the 22 one-appearance wonders, it’s interesting to note that two of the three Mariners Hall of Fame members played in just one game: Alvin Davis and Jay Buhner. Of course, the third HoFer, M’s announcer Dave Niehaus, hasn’t played in any.
The first Mariner All-Star, appearing at the 1977 contest at Yankee Stadium, was Ruppert Jones. The reserve outfielder flied out in his lone plate appearance, and most of it wasn’t even shown on TV -- the network cut away from Rupe’s late-inning, pinch-hitting at-bat to show highlights from earlier in the game.
The ensuing Mariner All-Stars of the following decade didn’t make much more of an impression. In the first ten ASGs in Mariner history, the M’s had ten different players in the midsummer classic -- one token player per game, mostly used as relievers or pinch-hitters. None of them started, and four of them didn’t even get into the game, but I was still grateful for the rule stipulating that at least one player from each team must be on an all-star roster.
Not until M’s 11th season, 1987, did more than one Mariner achieve All-Star status (Harold Reynolds and Mark Langston), and not until their 12th season did any Mariner return to a second ASG (Reynolds).
Not until 1990, the M’s 14th season, did a Mariner start the game. Ken Griffey Jr. became the first perennial Mariner All-Star, elected by fans as a starting outfielder in every ASG of the 1990s. He’s also the only Mariner ever to win the game’s MVP award (1992).
Not until 1995, the M’s 19th season, did more than two Mariners become All-Stars -- Griffey, Edgar, Johnson, and Tino Martinez -- and also fielded more than one starter (everyone but Tino).
Six years later, during the M’s phenomenal 116-win season in which Safeco Field hosted the 2001 ASG, the team was represented by a whopping eight players, including four starters (Ichiro, Edgar, Boone and Olerud).
Then-rookie Ichiro is now a perennial Mariner All-Star, playing in five ASGs in as many seasons, starting in four. Tonight in Pittsburgh he’ll start his fifth game, and play in his sixth. He'll be joined by the newest Mariner All-Star, reserve second baseman Jose Lopez.
All told, that'll make 32 different Mariner All-Stars in 30 All-Star Games. Here they all are, year-by-year...
Ruppert Jones (OF), 0-for-1.
Craig Reynolds (SS) did not play.
Bruce Bochte (1B), 1-for-1 with an RBI.
Rick Honeycutt (LHP) did not play.
Tom Paciorek (OF), 1-for-1.
Floyd Bannister (LHP) did not play.
Matt Young (LHP) pitched one inning, allowing no hits and striking out one.
Alvin Davis (1B), 0-for-1, striking out.
Phil Bradley (OF), 0-for-1, striking out.
Jim Presley (3B) did not play.
Harold Reynolds (2B), 0-for-3.
Mark Langston (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out two.
Harold Reynolds (2B), 0-for-1.
Jeff Leonard (OF), 0-for-1, striking out.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-2 with a walk.
Randy Johnson (LHP) did not play.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 3-for-3 with a double and a home run.
Edgar Martinez (3B), 0-for-1.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out one.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched one inning, giving up two hits and a run.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF) injured, did not play.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-3.
Tino Martinez (1B), 1-for-1.
*Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out three.
Alex Rodriguez (SS), 0-for-1.
Jay Buhner (OF), 0-for-2.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF) injured, did not play.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-1.
Dan Wilson (C), 0-for-1.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-1.
Joey Cora (2B), 0-for-1.
*Alex Rodriguez (SS), 1-for-3.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 2-for-2 with a home run and an RBI.
*Randy Johnson (LHP) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out two.
*Alex Rodriguez (SS), 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 2-for-3 with an RBI.
*Ken Griffey Jr. (OF), 0-for-2 with one strikeout.
*Alex Rodriguez (SS) injured, did not play.
Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-1
Aaron Sele (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing one hit and no runs.
*John Olerud (1B), 0-for-2.
*Bret Boone (2B), 0-for-2.
*Ichiro (OF), 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Freddy Garcia (RHP) pitched one perfect inning, picking up the win.
Jeff Nelson (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing no hits and no runs, striking out one and walking one.
Kazuhiro Sasaki (RHP) pitched one inning, striking out one, picking up the save.
*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-2.
Freddy Garcia (RHP) pitched two innings, allowing two hits and no runs, with three strikeouts; batted 0-for-1.
Kazuhiro Sasaki (RHP) pitched one inning, allowing three hits and two earned runs, with one walk and one strikeout.
Bret Boone (2B), 0-for-2.
*Ichiro (OF), 0-for-1 and scored a run.
*Edgar Martinez (DH), 0-for-2, striking out twice, and was hit by a pitch.
Jamie Moyer (LHP) pitched one perfect inning.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (RHP) pitched 2/3 an inning, allowing three hits and four earned runs, with one walk and one home run.
*Ichiro (OF), 1-for-4 with a double.
Ichiro (OF), 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Monday, July 10, 2006
An anonymous reader emailed me this bitchin' picture of Seattle Pilot Ichiro Suzuki that he (or she) snapped at yesterday's game. Thank you, masked man (or woman).
Ichiro also graces the cover of the current Grand Salami, you know, the one with my Pilots article that I keep yappin' about. Look for it this month outside Safeco.
Yesterday's Seattle Times had some cool Pilots stuff -- a piece on
the team's cult appeal, a where-are-they-now update on former players, and an audio file of that infectiously jaunty fight song/sea chanty, "Go, Go You Pilots!" I also liked Art Thiel's column in yesterday's P-I on the P's, and I continue to love Mike Fuller's long-running Seattle Pilots fan site.
Now go pound them Budweisers.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Well It's 1969 Okay
The spunky, obscure fight song "Go, Go You Pilots" blared through Safeco Field this afternoon as Ichiro and his teammates took the field. It was a promotional "Turn Back the Clock" game, at which the Mariners wore replica uniforms of the 1969 Seattle Pilots, while the visiting Detroit Tigers were decked out in their '69 road unis. It was cool.
Safeco wasn't exactly transformed into Sick's Stadium of yore, but the first 20,000 fans received Pilots caps, and lots of other fans wore their own Pilots caps and jerseys and T-shirts. Live organ music sounded over the speakers, and samples of '60s rock tunes played before each batter's plate appearance. "Pilots" replaced "Mariners" on stadium scoreboards, as well in the stadium announcer's patter. Old Pilot players and management were introduced before the game, including Rod Belcher, the Pilots ad man who wrote "Go, Go You Pilots." Former Pilot Tommy Davis threw out the first pitch.
The M's have hosted TBTC games in the past, either dressing in '77-style Mariner garb or as the Seattle Rainiers, and in 1998 they even hosted a "Turn Ahead the Clock" game, where they and the visiting Royals dressed in bizarre, futuristic uniforms. I recall they once dressed in Pilots road uniforms at some other team's TBTC game, but I think this is the first time the Mariners ever went with a Pilots theme at home.
The M's -- er, the P's -- won the game, 3-2, and the victorious "Go, Go You Pilots" played once again as the stadium emptied. Next up is the All-Star Game.
Eliza took the awesome picture of Ichiro; I took the rest.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Hide the Salami Find the Salami!
Those headed to Safeco Field this month should pick up the current issue of The Grand Salami. Not only is the unofficial Mariner mag a great read, but the July issue reprints a slightly updated version of my Seattle Pilots article. Look for sidewalk vendors selling it outside the stadium before games. It's a mere three bucks an issue, and for guys like me who like keeping score, there's a bonus scorecard in the centerfold -- hubba hubba!