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June 26, 2009 at 5:58 AM

Video look at appearance on Northwest Sports Tonight

I’m actually off this weekend as Larry Stone heads to Los Angeles for the start of the team’s all-important road trip. I’ll be joining the M’s in New York on Monday, then in Boston later next week.
The Mariners did what they had to do yesterday, finishing 7-2 in their nine-game stretch against San Diego and Arizona. When you break it down, that’s about exactly what they had to do. Hard to win all nine games against any group of poor teams, no matter how many troubles they have.
How about the season put forth by Jarrod Washburn so far? Glad to see him finally get some run support. To answer any more questions, no, this team cannot trade Washburn while it is still in contention. Washburn is one of the reasons the M’s are 2 1/2 games out of first place. And with Erik Bedard now not scheduled to come off the DL until July 4, this team needs as much of Washburn as it can get to avoid falling out of the race.
What will it take to stay in that race? Going at least 4-5 on this trip would help. Won’t be easy. The team could really use Bedard on the front end of it. Given how the Mariners have gotten by for weeks with the trio of Jason Vargas, Garrett Olson and Brandon Morrow, it truly is amazing to see Seattle two games over .500. Vargas has been a true find, but things start to get tougher from here.
And these kinds of road stretches, facing teams ranked No. 1, 2 and 4 respectively in ESPN’s latest Power Rankings, are where contenders need their top-line starters to be out there for them. The M’s hope to have Bedard for the back-end of the trip in Boston and none too soon. If they delay his return any longer, he’ll just about kill off any real pre-July 31 trade value he has left. Teams renting a player want somebody who can take the ball every time out for the two months they get him. And they’ll want to see Bedard do that several times before pulling any trade triggers.
Right now, I’d say Washburn has greater trade value. Then again, that only matters if the M’s fall out of the race. Right now, they are still in it, and any trade talk today should be about adding a bat — not subtracting from what got the team here. How do you add an impact bat while not breaking your own team’s back in the process?
Well, I’d suggest that this team has several top-flight bullpen arms and might be able to part with one once Shawn Kelley returns. Frankly, I like all the guys they have in there at the moment. But you could deal Miguel Batista, especially if the bat coming back had some salary attached — which it probably would for a veteran. I also think that Sean White would be highly attractive to a number of teams but only for the right guy coming back in return. White has been a true find this season and I honestly would not want to see him go. But come next year, this team could have four guys vying for the same eighth inning job and you really only need one or two. Like I said, in a perfect world, I’d keep them all because I love this Mariners bullpen. But you have to give up something to get something decent and demand is usually heavy come deadline time for eighth inning type arms.
And for me, if you have to give up something of quality to help this team hit, I’d much sooner do it from the bullpen than the starting rotation and a guy like Washburn. I think this team could absorb the bullpen blow and get better in the process on offense.
Washburn is one of many things I was asked about in an appearance on Northwest Sports Tonight that aired Wednesday evening.
I meant to post this the other day, but with the early game, I figured I’d wait until today and use it as a bridge until Larry takes over this afternoon. You saw the video from the KJR AM 950 appearance earlier on Wednesday. Now, a look at the NST interview with King5 host Paul Silvi. The video above provides a behind-the-scenes look at my visit, where I also pull out the camera and start rolling in the middle of our on-camera interview. To see it the way it aired Wednesday night, click this link right here.



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