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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

May 24, 2007 at 7:57 AM

Big day ahead

Another fine looking morning here in St. Petersburg, which is why I’ll be seeking about an hour’s worth of pool time in a moment. Those of you who caught ESPN’s SportsCenter last night know that Yuniesky Betancourt’s diving snare of that B.J. Upton grounder was ranked as the top play of the night. Indeed it was, because without it, as I’ve been preaching, the Mariners would not be in a position for their first three-game series sweep this afternoon.
Here’s another reason the team should not wait until this weekend in Kansas City for that inaugural sweep to happen. Yes, it’s safe enough for the Royals to start winning again. They are so far out of the chase that all the pressure is off. A dangerous thing with a young club.
So, we get to see Horacio Ramirez go for his first road victory of the season again. We all know about HoRam’s home-road splits. Just in case you don’t, here they are: 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA at home, then 0-2 with a 13.17 ERA in three road starts. My theory is that the quality of the opponent, the Angels, Red Sox and Tigers, had a lot to do with that road stuff. His home opponents have been teams that have struggled to score runs all year. We’ll see if that theory holds true because the D-Rays can’t score either. This story details all of that.
If HoRam gets lit-up today, we’ll have to revisit our assessment.
Around the game, is anyone else just a little troubled by the timing of this whole Jason Giambi-amphetamines revelation by the New York Daily News yesterday? Don’t get me wrong, the Daily News has been a leader in investigating the entire baseball steroids mess and turned out some superb work. I am not questioning the veracity of their report that Giambi tested positive for amphetamines use. It’s just the timing of the leak to that paper.
We all saw Giambi’s recent comments about how he made a mistake with what he previous took (he wouldn’t say exactly what, for legal reasons) and that all of baseball should come clean and admit wrongdoing in the case of steroids. The only way for the sport to move on, he said. Since those comments to USA Today last week, Giambi has apparently been gagged by MLB from further comment. He was summoned to MLB’s head office yesterday for a knuckle-rapping session with head honchos and the Yankees are seeking ways to void the remainder of his contract.
With all that, the leaking of a supposedly positive amphetamines test seems very much like a warning shot delivered across his bow by someone at MLB with access to his testing results. Who else had access? Beats me. It just looks bad. The Yankees players agree with me. After all, what’s the whole point of this Mitchell investigation? Isn’t MLB trying to get to the bottom of the sport’s drug problem? Shouldn’t it welcome players who call for more openess and honesty?



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