Larry is covering tonight's game as I work on the second part of our series on other teams in baseball the Mariners can emulate. The first story ran on Sunday and it focused on the Minnesota Twins.
Here's what the cover looked like on Sunday's section front.
As for my story. There was a lot more I could have written about, like the decision to draft Joe Mauer over Mark Prior, or some of the mistakes the Twins have made as well. Realistically, the Twins' success may stop at the divisional level. As they are currently constructed, and even in their stronger teams in the past, they seem to a player or pitcher short of being a legit World Series contender. But all in all, I think Mariners fans would gladly take seven of eight seasons with records over .500 and three playoff appearances.
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Let's get to some more links ...
* Here's Larry's game story from today's paper that leads with the strong performance of JJ Putz. Apparently the sooner JJ returns to form, the sooner the process of converting Brandon Morrow to a starter begins.
* The game notebook talks about Erik Bedard playing catch for the first time in a month. What is the over/under at the number of starts he makes the rest of the season. I'd put it at +/- 3 and take the under.
* I know it's torture for some of you, but I wrote feature on Adam Jones on Friday. I talked with him for quite a while, he's great guy and not much different from when I was covering him with the Rainiers. And everyone I talked to in the Orioles organization raves about him.
* From the Baltimore Sun, Jones left Safeco in a walking boot after taking a foul ball off his already achy ankle that he's been playing on.
Here's the Sun's game story.
AUDIO ALERT: Lee Pelekoudas did an interview with Mitch Levy this morning. You can listen to it here.
I don't necessarily agree that the perception that it was just dumping salary with Washburn. Look if Washburn is part of your plans in the future then say it. But if he's not, dumping his salary on another team and freeing up $10 million to be used on someone else next season doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.
* Speaking of lefties in the Mariners system, Ryan Feierabend won again on Sunday for the Rainiers, who have won six in a row.
From the Mariners' minor league report...
Ryan Feierabend notched his 3rd consecutive win since returning from the disabled list, giving up 1 earned run on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts in 7.0 innings. He has not lost since April 13 and lowered his ERA to 1.91.
I covered the game on Saturday, and got to see one-time prospect Denny Stark's return to Cheney Stadium. AFter finishing 14-2 in the 2001 season, Stark, Jose Paniagua and Brian Fuentes were sent to Colorado for Jeff Cirillo. Yes the same Brian Fuentes that's one of the better lefty relievers in the National League.
I'm actually going to try and take a break from writing to sneak over to Cheney and watch Ryan Rowland-Smith start tonight.
* Here's an interesting story from SI's Jon Heyman that broke down how the Manny Ramirez transpired.
* Here's a story on Dustin Pedroia from ESPN magazine. He belongs to the Glen Hubbard/Mike Gallego all-stars (players that I'm actually taller than) - Chone Figgins, Erick Aybar, David Eckstein are all members.
* Yahoo's Jeff Passan offers up another example of why I want to cover a team Ozzie Guillen manages. It was awesome when he spiked his hat and offered up the lineup cards to the umps.