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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

May 6, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Random thoughts on a drizzly Wednesday

  • Yes, I realize the Mariners are 0-2 since I wrote my “Mariner believer” post. Some of you feel I jinxed them. I don’t believe as strongly any more, if that helps.

  • Perusing the Tacoma Rainiers box score from yesterday’s game against Salt Lake, I saw some bad news for the Mariners. Not from any of the Tacoma players. It was this pitching line for Salt Lake:

    Lackey 4.2 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 0 er, 1 BB, 3 SO

    Uh oh.

  • I just read one heck of a story about Greg Norton, the former Mariners’ reserve now with Atlanta. Not to give it all away, but when he was 16, Norton discovered the dead body of his mother — who had been murdered by his father. Believe it or not, the article by Mark Bowman of manages to be inspiring. Trust me on this one.

  • Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post has another cautionary column about the perils of drafting pitchers with high picks. Yeah, maybe, but there are pitchers, and then there’s STEPHEN STRASBURG.

  • The Mariners have to be encouraged by the pitching of Phillippe Aumont at High Desert. He picked up his fourth save yesterday and has a 0.67 ERA in 13 games. In 13.1 innings, Aumont has given up eight hits, struck out 11, and walked six. But I’d still rather see him as a starter.

  • In a previous post today, I wrote about how happy Ken Griffey Jr. has been this season. Some of the reader comments on the Cincinnati Enquirer website in the feedback section of Paul Daugherty’s column praising Griffey might help explain why he appreciates being in Seattle, where he’s cheered boisterously every game, despite a .190 average. Here’s a sampling:

    “He did nothing here in Cincinnati but raise the cost of a beer.”

    “The guy was lazy – and you can ask anybody who ever managed him. Eventually his raw talent did not keep up with the wear and tear on his out of shape body.”

    “Think how good Griffey could have been if he weren’t so lazy and allowed himself to get in such bad shape in the off-seasons.”

    “The Reds thought they were getting the Tiger Woods of MLB when they threw away their 1999 96-win team to aquire the pouty walk to 1st base “superstar”……Griffey’s stats had fallen off a cliff a half a season earlier in Seattle……He had never spent a minute in the weight room and was way out of shape when he arrived here….He had “lost it” and was in fact way past his prime…..As a Red he was nothing more than a slightly above average player who was extrememly fragile and injury prone….Bad decision and bad luck for the Reds and their fans………”

    “Ask Jeff Brantley his opinion about whether Junior was a class act. I think you might get a different response…If anyone made the kind of gestures to me that Junior did to the WLW radio booth a couple of years a go, I’d consider pressing charges. He did so during a game w/ 1000’s of on lookers. He also set a bad example for younger Reds – don’t sign autographs – according to Josh Hamilton. He seemed like an angry, formerly talented spoiled brat to me and many other Reds fans.”

    To be fair, there are a lot of positive comments, too. But there’s no question that Griffey never earned the adulation in Cincinnati that he had, and still has, in Seattle.

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