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

September 7, 2007 at 6:53 AM

A great year

No, this isn’t going to be another post saying, “Gee…the Mariners had a great year, even if they are in the process of flushing it down the toilet.”
I was talking about this date, Sept. 7, being the first anniversary of when I walked into the Seattle Times offices to begin a new career writing baseball for all of you. It dawned on me the other day that this anniversary had been coming up and I just could not believe how quickly the year had flown by. Must have been how much I enjoyed the city, rain and all. When you grow up in Quebec, the kind of snow and ice we saw in Seattle last winter isn’t something you complain about. I loved not having to wear boots. Love the Seattle restaurants and the great people I get to work with every day, especially Larry Stone. Having him around has made the transition so much easier.
Never dreamed that this blog would be occupying so much of my time. But that’s the fun thing about life sometimes, you can’t see everything that’s about to come at you from right around the corner. It’s nice to be surprised. And doing this blog, despite the work it entails, has made this baseball season so much more interesting. As have the Mariners, who have allowed me to cover a contending team in September for the first time in my career. It’s an exhausting pace. All of these games mean something and we, as writers, have to be up for them just as much as the players and fans.
I’ve tried to engage some of you more in the past few weeks than at the beginning of the year because our hit-count numbers have been going crazy. We are reaching new targets we never thought possible. I want to thank the hundreds of people who have emailed privately over the course of the past year to express their gratitude at this blog’s existence. We actually only began in February, but it seems like a lot of us have gotten to know each other. I wish that some of you who lurk here would participate in the discussion threads because the comments you send me privately would only enhance the debates we’ve had.
The fun thing about baseball is it leaves itself so open to second-guessing and discussion points. Almost every inning contains one of those. And the one thing I’ve learned watching this sport up close the past decade is that you never have it completely figured out.
Just letting you all know that. I’ve enjoyed doing this with you, even those of you who don’t share my views (good morning “Scott M”, “NB”, “Adam”). Like I said, feel free to disagree. Nobody is going to pull your counter-opinions off the site as long as you are respectful about it. And contrary to some beliefs, I actually do have the ability to “zap” you instantly. But I’ve tried to avoid doing that. You have to be able to accept criticism if you are going to dish it out. By the way, the three posters I mentioned above are not in danger of being zapped because they know how to be civil. Some others, let’s just say you’re pushing the limits…
I’m at La Guardia Airport in New York preparing for my flight to Detroit. I’ll answer a couple of your questions:
For the reader who proposed shifting Adam Jones, a former infielder, to second base, it’s an intriguing suggestion, but one best implemented over the course of spring training. It won’t happen in Seattle of course, because Jones will likely be a starting outfielder next year. But one of the toughest things for a new second baseman to do is to learn how to pivot and turn the double-play. Throwing Jones out there now might get him killed by a Jose Guillen type of takeout slide.
For the person who asked why Rick White got tested right away by the M’s and not Jones, that’s simple. One guy had been around the big leagues for years and was brought in to address a specific need. He failed at it, yes, but there’s no sense bringing him in to address a need and then not addressing it. Jones had never played big-league ball and was brought up to be used the way the team has used him. Some of you feel there was a need for him to play. The team did not, since Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro were scorching the ball and the M’s felt Richie Sexson was about to take off. That’s why it happened that way.
For “Scott M”, not sure what you expect me to have written about Carlos Garcia. First off, you may not know this, but we don’t write our own headlines. I don’t know what the header is until I open the paper the next day. But if I go off on Garcia on the blog, it would be somewhat cowardly of me to avoid the subject in the paper, no? Can’t exactly gloss it over.
For the person who keeps asking what relief pitchers were out there as options for the team at the deadline, I’ve told you, I honestly don’t know. Neither do you. The names that have been mentioned were likely only the tip of the iceberg when it came to potential deals. But I don’t know. Few of us do. It didn’t negate the fact that there was a question that had to be addressed. I never thought Rick White was the best solution, but it was the only one this team came up with. That’s it. I don’t have a crystal ball or all the answers. But it doesn’t negate the question.
Gotta run! Talk to you in Detroit…



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