How could you be more productive with an extra hour of time?

Time to Spare?

Daylight Savings

How are we all feeling this Monday morning after losing an hour and having our schedules screwed up due to daylight savings time?

Every year I tell myself I’m going to go to bed an hour earlier in order to stay up with this change.  But does it happen?  No.  It just seems too difficult to get everything done in the day, live life, and still have an hour to spare.  I got to thinking of some productive things I could do with 1 hour of free time. Time to do the things I never seem to have the time to do these days:

 

Read a book.  I currently have 3 books that I am reading.  One is a heavy duty (big) book from Ken Follett.  It is a great book, and I have read several of his series (beginning with Pillars of the Earth) but it takes me a while to read them due to their depth, storylines, etc. Therefore, I read other books in between with lighter fare.  The other is an autobiography from William Shatner.  I really liked the original Star Trek series, when I was a kid, and he’s pretty hilarious in the reality series “Better late than never”.  The third one is a book about World war II which goes against my rule of reading 2 “heavy” books at the same time, but it fell into my lap and I am really enjoying the factual insight as told by Bill O’Reilly.

Clean the garage.  It’s actually quite therapeutic for me when I get around to doing this.  I crank up some classic rock, pop open a beer, and get to work.

Figure out how to get all of my pics off of all of my old phones and store them on a flash drive/thumb drive.

Figure out how to get more songs on my old iPod.  I still love that thing.  I know, I now have an Iphone that has countless music options.  But years ago, I put a lot of good music onto my Ipod.  I still have a lot of room on it, and if I were a techy (or had the time to research it) I could figure out how to put more songs from my cd’s on it.

Wash the car.  I actually did do this on Sunday but we kind of cheated and took it to The Rave Car Wash on the corner of Orchard and Center street.  I’m just saying I could do this more often with an extra hour.

Go for a walk.  My mother in law walks the “trail” at Chambers Bay on a regular basis.  My wife and I have done it a couple of times.  It’s a really good “workout” and the scenery is more beautiful than I can put into words.

Go golfing.  I can never seem to find the time.  Of course, an hour isn’t enough time to put in 18 holes at a large course, but maybe 9 holes at “The Highlands” or even hitting a bucket of balls at the Gig Harbor driving range.

Clean the barbecue.  Yes, it’s getting close to that time!  (I hope). I know a lot of folks BBQ year round, but it’s not the same as having your whole patio or deck open with the sun shining and family and friends around.

Add up all of the sales tax on receipts for the year for income tax purposes.  ‘nuff said!

Clean the home office.  I just don’t understand how that thing can get so messy and cluttered in such a short time!  Sometimes it looks like a mess even after I’ve cleaned it!

Paint a picture.  Once in a while, I used to watch Bob Ross on TV.  He’s the guy with the afro who does paintings of landscapes.  He takes you through the painting from beginning to end, making it look so easy that you’re convinced you can do it.  I’m fairly artistic, so I was inspired to take it up several years ago.  I did a few paintings (mostly water colors) but now there my easel sits, along with all of the supplies.  Just can’t seem to find the time for that anymore.

Call an old friend or a family member you haven’t talked to in a while.

Clean/organize the closet.  Something I really don’t want to do at all,  I’m just saying….with an extra hour……

Go for a drive.  The mountain, the ocean, Point Defiance………

Some Things to Think About

As I was resetting our clocks on the microwave, alarm clock, vehicles, watches, outdoor yard clock (actually it is a 2- sided clock so every daylight savings time I just rotate it to the other side) I thought about what I could do with an extra hour of time.  Now, I know there are much more profound things I could do with my time, but I thought if I put some real things down in black and white it would be a start.  As we bring ourselves out of the “dark ages”  (pardon the pun), and consider abolishing this silly rule, perhaps we can all think about setting aside an hour, and what we will do with it, when this day rolls around again. Except for this time,  we won’t have to reset our time clocks- figuratively and literally.

The Snowstorm of '19

The Snowstorm of ’19

It’s CRAZY out there!!!

Round 1 of snow came and went without much hype.  Small amounts of snow and ice remain, as of today, but besides a little inconvenience, there wasn’t really much effect.  I shoveled all of our sidewalks at our office that day and sprinkled out some Zero Ice (which is a product for melting ice and snow on concrete surfaces etc.)  I had gone to McLendon Hardware and purchased a “shaker” jug, but in hindsight, I should have purchased one of the large bags that they had out front in large bins.  When I came back with the jug, at the time, my wife asked me why I did not purchase one of the large bags?  “ this will be plenty, I’ve had half a jug in the garage, for 2 years, from when I purchased it last time”.

When reports of the upcoming snowstorm came out on Thursday morning, I decided that I’d better go pick up one or two of those large bags. I was out in Puyallup, doing some pest control services, and I was going right by McLendon, so I stopped in to pick some up.   Nope “we don’t have any, we may be getting a shipment later today or tomorrow”.  Darn!  Okay, I’ll do my thing out here in Puyallup, and then stop at McLendon Hardware in Tacoma, by our office.

Went in ……“do you have any Zero Ice/Ice Melt”? “Nope shipment is coming in early tomorrow morning.  Be an early bird because it will go fast”.  Off to Lowes.  Any Zero Ice/Ice Melt?  Nope.  Darn.  Over to Home Depot.  Any Zero Ice/Ice melt?  Nope!  Darn!!!  I called my wife who was doing a Quality Assurance Inspection (She is a certified pest control operator too) at one of our restaurant franchises.  I asked if she could stop by Sarco Supply and see if they had any.  Nope!  None!  Nothing else to do but wait until tomorrow morning (Friday) and see if I can hit the jackpot.

 

A Costco run

On our way home from work last evening (Thursday) My wife, Beth, and I decided that we had better stop at Costco to get gas for our vehicle and for our generator. We also needed to stock up on a few things that we’ve been running low on.  It seems that we may be stranded for a couple of days or so and wanted to make sure we had everything we need.  What a madhouse!!!!!  The gas lines looked like something out of the “70’s and the entire parking lot was FULL!

But we had a brilliant plan!

I’ll drop her off so she can do the shopping and I’ll swing back around and wait in the gas line!  It worked to perfection.  At almost the exact time I was finished gassing up, she was calling me to say she was waiting out in front of the store.  We made our way out of the ridiculously backed up round-a-bouts, on Borgen Blvd,  towards home.  It looked like something out of a movie, one of those where the world is coming to an end.

 

It really is amazing how we fall into all of the hype.

I sometimes watch the news and wonder what the heck everyone’s doing.  Aren’t we all getting a little carried away with this “snowstorm of 2019”?  But I look at myself and see that I am doing the very same thing.  I guess if you really think about it that it’s better to be safe than sorry.  It goes back to my cub scout days of our motto “Be Prepared”.

I never did get any Zero Ice/Ice melt.  I went to McLendon today and they still didn’t have any.  There was a line I could wait in if I wanted to wait for one to two hours though.  I decided against it and instead drove over to the coffee stand and got myself a mocha and my wife a tea.  Here I sit, at work, writing this blog not knowing what’s in store in the upcoming days, but knowing We’re prepared.

I hope everyone is prepared for whatever comes in the next few days and stays safe.  Be courteous and patient, with others, as we are all in this together.

Happy snow days and please send us your pics and stories.

Snow days From memories as a kid growing up in University Place to running a business and still finding time to play in the snow. What's your snow story?

Ahh, snow days…..

Remember when we were kids and the snow started falling?  What an exciting and glorious feeling.  The possibilities were endless:  School being canceled, riding our sleds and inner tubes down the hills, snowball fights,  building snow fort walls for our snowball fights, making snowmen and snow angels, etc.  I think the best feeling was that the big world, we lived in, suddenly came to a standstill and we all just enjoyed the simplicity of having fun with no responsibilities nor commitments.  We had an excuse “It’s snowing, I can’t be expected to be anywhere or do much of anything.  Even our parents seemed to give in to the idea that this was like a mini vacation, a reprieve, to take a day or two and enjoy the beauty and simplicity of no expectations.

 

Memories as a kid……….

As a kid growing up, in University Place, in the 1970’s I remember snow days of epic proportions.  Back then there were a lot of woods and hilly terrains which were perfect for designing courses for our inner tube and sled runs.  There were a lot of kids throughout the adjoining neighborhoods which made for great snowball fights and inner tube run competitions.  Probably my favorite run was a course we called Knoll’s hill.  It was a steep windy track at the back of our friend E.J.’s house.  It led to the swampland down below.  The hill was surrounded by trees and underbrush but the windy path itself was rather smooth and had natural berms on the sides.    After a few runs, the snow packed down nicely and iced over.  We could build up some pretty good speed on our inner tubes and found that if we built a jump about halfway down, we could catch some pretty good air.  I remember being out there so long that I was practically frostbitten (it seemed) I was so cold.  It didn’t take long for my Waffle Stompers (very much the style in footwear back then) to get wet and not hold much heat.  We didn’t have all the fancy high- tech clothing we have now.  Regardless, we always had great times.

 

Lessons learned……..

We had a lot of ponds in University Place back then.  They iced over and were so Thick that we could walk on them.  There was one down by the church, in Fircrest, on 40th (Emerson) between 67th and Alameda that people actually ice skated on.  There was the one by Knoll’s hill, and then there was one, in the woods (at the time),  behind Bridgeport., between 40th and 44th.  I remember I was walking to school, one morning, and I took a short cut, through the woods (as I always did).  It was snowing slightly, as I came upon the pond, and decided to cross over it instead of walking around it as usual.  I knew it had been really cold, for days, and the pond would be iced over pretty good.   Jogging down the hill toward the pond, and as my feet hit the ice, they came out from underneath and I landed flat on my back, hitting my head on the ice.  I don’t know if I was knocked out completely or not, but I must have laid there on that ice for a good 5 minutes or so.  That day I learned a valuable lesson about making poor decisions, hastily thinking I was indestructible, and the general rule of the theory of relativity!!!  Anyway, I eventually got up, shook it off, and made my way to school no worse for wear, but with a nice lump on the back of my head.

 

Young adult snow years……………..

Woohoo!!!  The snows seemed to lessen from year to year as I got older.  It hardly ever snowed, and when it did, it was very light, and it did not last.  That is until the late nineteen eighties.  The snow fell for days one year and seemed to shut everything down.  My best friend, Ty, and I were roommates at a fourplex down at Mason Loop Drive on Tyler street.  There was so much snow that accumulated that our power went out.  We couldn’t drive to work or anywhere else.  So, what were a couple of young guys to do but venture out and see what was going on in the world?  We hiked through snow that accumulated to a depth up to our knees.  We walked down Tyler street towards Center Street and ended up at a tavern, in Oakland, called the nineteenth hole.  The group of us had a great time.  We met everybody from around the area who was in the same boat as us.  Again, that feeling of the world kind of stopping for a while, with no expectations, and shooting the breeze and having a good time with folks that are in the same situation and making the best of it.

 

Adult snow years…………..

It must have been in the nineties when we had the big ICE STORM.  It was snowing too, but I remember the ice was so damaging to our trees etc.  My girlfriend, Beth (who is now my wife) and I were living in a small house on North 44th street.  The power was out at our house and we decided to take a walk in the snow.  It was such a beautiful sight to see all of the white snow all around and it was equally beautiful and even more fascinating to see all of the ice that had formed on EVERYTHING.  Although the damage the ice had caused was considerable, it was still a sight to see.  As we walked through the neighborhood, we soon found the source of our power failure.  A live wire was on the street and sparking and jumping around.  We decided to take a detour.  We ended up walking down Pearl street to Indochine.  At the time, it was a relatively new restaurant to the area (it is still there) and we decided to give it a try.  It was fabulous!  Another find that we probably would never have gotten around to trying if we didn’t have this circumstance come up.

Mid 2000’s The Big Snow!!!!!…………..

We hadn’t had much snow for years.  It was nearing the holidays and it was getting pretty cold outside.  I was putting in a full day of pest control as the snow started to fall late afternoon.  It wasn’t seeming to stick, too much, and I had a 4-wheel drive truck, so I wasn’t too worried.  My route was in Gig Harbor that day and since we lived there, I planned on finishing my day out and taking my truck home.  My wife Beth was back at our Tacoma office and she made sure that everything was in order there.  The technicians were called in from the field and they, along with the office staff, were sent home early as a safety precaution.  I had one more job, in the field, left to do.  It was a treatment for a family who were having issues with rats at their house and I wanted to get it done for them.  By the time I reached the house, the snow was really coming down and it was sticking.  As I came around the corner, to their street, I saw that their house was up a fairly steep hill and the driveway was a steep downward hill!

 

I parked my truck at the bottom of their street and hiked up to their house.

After I got all of the lowdown, on the problem, it was time to inspect and put a plan of action into place.  After several trips back and forth to my truck (for coveralls, equipment, etc.) I put my plan of attack into place and I was ready to wrap things up and go.  This was about an hour and a half later and I hadn’t really paid attention to the snowfall.  When I got in my truck, it hit me that the streets and everything else was blanketed with snow.  I was about 5 or 6 miles from my home, so I put the truck in 4 wheel and off I went.  My truck was making it pretty good, through the snow, and there wasn’t anyone else on the back roads of the Ray Nash area.  As I came upon the old Sehmel homestead (which is now Sehmel Park) I approached the corner of Chapman/ 78th and Sehmel Drive.  There was a guy standing by his car at the side of the road, so I stopped to see if he needed some help.  He told me he didn’t need help, he was just looking at, and contemplating, the steep menacing hill he had to go down then immediately continue up the hill after you reach the bottom.  I told him that I would “plow the way” for him with my truck, as I needed to go this way to get home and advised him to get up to a steady rate of speed and continue it down and up the long steep hills.  I wished him good luck and off I went to blaze the trail.  It was a piece of cake!!!  Of course, I had a 4-wheel drive, but I’m quite sure he was able to make it through.  A few minutes later I was turning the corner to my neighborhood.  When I arrived at my house, my wife was just finishing up shoveling the entire driveway!!

 

Little did we know…..

We were in for much more snow to come and we would be shoveling the driveway a few more times!!  The snow proved to be a real force that year.  We missed several days of work, and our power was out for 3 or 4 days.   A friend lent us a small generator that we could plug 2 things into temporarily (a hair dryer and a coffee pot), which came in handy when it came time to get ready for our company Christmas party at C.I. Shenanigans.  I really feel for folks when we hear that their power has been out for an extensive period of time.   We take a lot of our simple day to day conveniences for granted.  The power finally came on towards Christmas and we were able to have our family over for a nice dinner.  The main roads were now clear, but a lot of snow and ice remained on our neighborhood streets.  That is until a local “neighbor” with a big bulldozer came by and cleared pathways throughout the neighborhood streets!  Again, there’s something about snow that brings people together and forms a camaraderie.  That gesture really went a long way to make our family “get together” very heartwarming and reinforced the very value of Christmas.  That gift was better than any present we received that year.

Today’s snow day…………..

We didn’t think much of it when we saw the reports leading up to today.  Everything seemed to indicate that it was going to be a dusting without much effect.  As we Snow days From memories as a kid growing up in University Place to running a business and still finding time to play in the snow. What's your snow story?saw it snowing, during the super bowl (yawn) we still didn’t think it was going to be much of a problem for work the next day.  Still, Beth and I have a business and a priority to our customers and our employees, so we watched the news and wondered what tomorrow would hold as we closed our eyes for the night.  As we awoke and looked outside, we saw the white dusting of a light blanket of snow on the lawns and streets.  It didn’t look like anything too intimidating nor worthy of stopping our daily routine.  We watched the news as we got ready for work.  Reports were a “mixed bag”.  Some areas were worse than others, but as a whole, it didn’t look too bad.  We decided to drive into work to get a better feel for the streets and surrounding neighborhoods.  As we drove through our Gig Harbor neighborhood and onto the freeway, it seemed like there was not going to be much of an issue that would prevent us from working today.  The Narrows Bridge actually did have “severe side winds” as the flashing sign always reports (even on calm days) and the snow was picking up again.  We approached our exit at 6th and Pearl and discovered quite a bit of snow and Ice on the street and the traffic light was out.  Making our way down 6th ave it was the same story.  Did the City of Tacoma not even prepare for this?   Every one of our dedicated employees showed up to work today.  Even the ones living in Lacey and Longbranch.  There were no excuses and no sniveling about having to work out in the cold.  Nevertheless, Beth and I had a decision to make.

 

We did not want to put our employees in harm’s way, nor inconvenience our customers.

We decided to take a wait and see approach.  As we watched the snow coming down at a pretty good pace, along with the wind, it took about 15 minutes for us to come to the conclusion that it was in everyone’s best interest to call it.  We wanted to make sure that the employees, especially the ones living far out, could get home safely and our customers were getting the best that we could give.  We sent everyone home and called all of our customers who were scheduled for today, to reschedule.   After shoveling and de-icing the office sidewalks, Beth and I headed to our snow day…………..The Clover Leaf!!!!  That “Monster” is truly delicious, isn’t it?  I hope everyone had a safe and fun snow day!

Grown up decisions…………..

Obviously, there are many, many more stories of snow days growing up, these are the few that first pop into my head.  As I read them over, I can see how priorities change as we grow older and take on new responsibilities.  What once was a day that we saw to take advantage of a free day, we now, as business owners, look at a snow day as a day that we need to analyze and worry about how we are going to make it work.  My wife and I have always loved the snow, and always will.  There’s something about a fresh blanket of snow that makes everything look so clean and sound so quiet and peaceful.  It does create many issues we never thought about when we were kids and happy to have a free day to play out in the snow with our friends…….

What’s your snow day story?…………..

We’d love to hear from you and share your stories

Randy Lind catching a ball at a Seattle Mariner's game

A look back at the Mariner’s Season, My Predictions, & the Future

Well, not too bad of a prediction about the Mariner’s season, huh? Other than the Ichiro comments I mean.

 

The REAL Surprises for the Mariner’s this year:

Edwin Diaz – Who’d a thunk this guy was going to be a consistent, lights out reliever, all year long for us? Without him, the Mariners would certainly not have gotten to the level of wins that they achieved.

Kyle Seager – What a bummer of a season. Is this guy on the downslide? I don’t know, but at the salary he takes away from the overall team budget, we need a lot more production out of him than we saw this year! A lot more!!

Robinson Cano – Really? After all of his years, and experience, did he not know that he would get busted if he took PED’s? I understand as he ages it is harder to come back from even slight injuries. I believe this is an indication he will wear down and spend time on the injured list next year – another huge drain on the overall salary chart. The decision should be to start him, but give him a day or two of rest every week in order to preserve his health, or perhaps, have him fill in at DH. The other alternative would be to trade him, but who in their right mind is going to pay the outlandish salary he carries for a one-time great player who is definitely on the downslide?

Mitch Hanniger– Although I listed him as a good player and a good hitter with mass potential, I did not quite expect the level of production he supplied this year. What a great surprise, and asset, for next year! Stay healthy Mitch!

Marco Gonzales – He was an unknown who had a great year and there is nothing to say he can’t do the same next year (or even better).

Wade LeBlanc – Ditto

 

The Told Ya So’s:

Felix Hernandez – I knew he would be injured and unproductive. My prediction had him winning 8 games and that final number was right on the money! He will be another huge drain on the overall salary budget for next year, with next to zero production to be expected.

Dee Gordon – I had a strong suspicion that he was going to be good – not quite superstar material, but very good, young, and full of potential. He delivered and I look forward to seeing him improve next year.

Mike Leake – As predicted, he ate up a lot of innings and finished with a respectable record. At 10 wins and 10 losses, he is definitely a keeper. A few different pitches here and there, or a few more runs, for support, and the number of wins could easily improve next year.

Mike Zunnino – Need I say anything? Okay I will. He’s exactly “what you see is what you get”. I think we stick with him 100 % knowing he is a great defensive player and a great field general who calls a great game. Plus he has a great rapport with his pitchers. AND he occasionally launches a monster home run!

Win predictions – With my pre-season prediction capped at 91 (as a ceiling prediction) and 82 (as actual wins prediction), I was pretty much on the money with a result of 89 wins.

 

The Future:

The Mariner’s brass has a lot to take in and think about. The real question is do we blow this thing up and start from scratch? Or do they think they have the nucleus of a really good team that just needs some tweaking?  Personally, I think it’s somewhere in between.

Things to consider for next year:

  • Age:

We have a number of aging players, that are not what they once were, and are going to continue to decline 2)High salaries  3) A very thin minor league prospect pool.

A) Robinson Cano – He has shown his age the last couple of years with injuries and a decrease in the level of performance that he once supplied. PED use is a continued concern, as he tries to keep up with the youngsters.

B) Nelson Cruz – He is still hugely productive, but will he be in decline the upcoming year? I think yes. He is a free agent and will receive a pretty hefty salary based on the productive year he had. I love the guy and he looks like he has a lot of fun on the field and with his teammates. But depending on the salary he’ll be looking for, and the number of years he is asking for, I think we need to think seriously about a replacement. Just look at Felix and his salary.

C) And speaking of Felix– He is the king, and always will be, but I think we all see the writing on the wall. And that writing says Felix is pretty much done. We can’t trade his huge salary, and we can’t expect a lot of production from him moving forward.

D) Kyle Seager – Can someone be old at 30 years of age? He sure seems to support the argument  It’s weird how some people can be a young 40 and others can be an old 30. I’m not saying he’s washed up or anything like that, but if he continues to play the way he did this year, then I would say age catching up to him could be the only answer.

  • High Salaries

A) Robinson Cano – are you seeing a trend? Yes, he is one of our aging players who is also taking up a lot of salary space on the roster. I don’t think he will be worth the money we are committing to him for the level of production we can expect him to supply. Furthermore, the trade value is not there, making this an unviable option.  STUCK!!

B) Felix Hernandez – Ditto!

C) Nelson Cruz – Yes he was a very productive player for us this year, but at 38, how many more productive years does he have left? 1 or 2 is my guess. If he’s looking for a multi-year deal, is it worth spending 5 years of salary to get 1 or 2 years worth of production? Answer – no.

D) Kyle Seager – Draining a ton of salary without supplying the production. Period. Should we pay a player for good third base defensive skills and a known “late starter” at the plate? This year he was not only a late starter, but one could say he never really did get started! Possible trade bait (if teams are willing to take the risk of paying him for his previous production – not likely).

 

Thoughts About Changes

  • Infield

1st base: I like Ryan Healy. He was pretty productive, adequate defensively, and a bargain salary.

2nd base: Robinson Cano – His better years are behind him. He’s likely to miss more time due to injury. Trading his salary is unlikely but worth a try if we can come up with an innovative bundle or take on part of his salary, perhaps we could trade him.  I think we bring Dee Gordon back to this position of choice.

SS: Jean Segura – A pretty good player but a terrible attitude. I remember one game when I saw our center fielder, I think it might have been Maybin, completely lay out for a ball. He ended up crashing into the wall and landed on his head and was obviously hurt, but stayed in the game. You never heard another peep. He didn’t miss a game.  Next inning, Segura gets thrown out at second base. He is barely, and I mean barely, grazed across the head by the other player’s knee. Drama ensued and he came out of the game and to my recollection, missed the next game if not more. I remember another time that he slid and had to come out of the game.

From my view, he doesn’t look like a team player and will not play if he is nicked up in the slightest. Is it a coincidence that he gets in a “brawl” with Dee Gordon whose one of the most upbeat and inspirational players on the team? I think not. Great player, terrible attitude, a ton of trade value. Get rid of him for a player of equal ability or potential.

3rd base: Kyle Seager – I think his hungry years are over. I think we will continue to see much of the same that we saw this year. He got his big contract after playing pretty darn good year in year out despite his “late start” every single year. If you can find a team to take on his salary and trade you a young player with potential, then I would not hesitate to pull the trigger.

Catcher: How many catchers can you REALLY count on to be a better than average offensive player? Not many. Be careful what you wish for. We’ve got a really good defensive catcher who knows the game and works well with the pitchers. Don’t ruin a good thing in the hopes you get a dream come true. Stick with Zunnino. He’s our guy.

DH: Nelson Cruz is the man!! He’s been awesome! BUT…..he is getting older and he is going to require a substantial salary. And if that salary is a multi-year deal….well, we covered that earlier. Can we get a hometown discount? By that I mean that I know he likes being here and he enjoys his teammates (which is obvious). If we can, then great, but don’t count on his production to be there in another year or two. Shop around. Who else is available? What about Cano at DH?

  • Outfield

Mitch Hanniger – Do nothing!! He is far and away our best player in the outfield. He hits for power and percentage and is a great defensive player to boot! And he also comes at a very reasonable price

Ben Gammel – I’m not sure why we picked up Maybin and decided to send Gammel to the minors! I think he is a more than an adequate player. The hustle and positive attitude he puts forth add a whole different dimension to the team. Not everything can be measured in home runs and hits etc. What he brings is a very important aspect to the team. I think he starts in the outfield alongside Hanniger.

Dee Gordon was good at center field, but we need him at second base and a bigger bat in the outfield.

That leaves center field – WE NEED A QUALITY OUTFIELDER!! One with some speed and some pop. Aside from pitching, this is the position we need to look at in the offseason.

 

A Brief Look at Starting Pitching

James Paxton – Great pitcher, the ace of the staff.

Felix – won’t be a factor.

Mike Leake – Servicable.  Eats up innings and gets you some wins.

Wade Leblanc – Complete surprise and a luxury. I think we can count on him for more of the same next year.

Marco Gonzales – Ditto and flashes of brilliance! A lot to look forward to with Marco.

WE NEED ONE MORE PITCHER FOR THE ROTATION (at least). It’d be great if we could find a number two, but if not, maybe Marco or Wade could slide in there which would allow us the luxury of putting a 3rd or 4th (with potential) into that position.

 

Relief Pitching

That is a category unto itself, but I think we’ve got quality middle relievers and obviously one of the best closers in baseball with Diaz. Keep it together and possibly make some trades to bolster our minor league roster.

We’ll see what happens in spring and make predictions from there.

 

What are your thoughts on this season and the Mariner’s future?

Seattle Seahawks 12th man flag

Richard Sherman, A Class Act On and Off the Field

I for one will stand up and cheer when Richard Sherman comes to town with his new team, The San Francisco 49ers. He will be revered and remembered as one of the best Seattle Seahawks of all time. There comes a time in all professional athletes career’s to leave their prospective teams voluntarily, through trade, or retirement. This is simply the time for Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks to come to grips with this. They have. And now it is time, for us as fans, to do the same.

The writing was on the wall. The Seahawks were getting old and had an agenda to begin a “youth movement” to replace our aging roster. It was no secret, and a logical necessity, when they cut bait with the expensive, oft opinionated cornerback who will be coming off of a major injury.

 

A Class Act.

Overall, Richard was a class act on and off of the field while he was here in Seattle. A Stanford graduate who balanced on the line of gracious eloquence and street talkin’, street-smart savvy, he could play both sides of the “field” very admirably and without compare. Only the great Gary Payton (GP) of the Sonics comes to mind when thinking of a rival to match his “trash talking” wit. As a Seahawk, he was beloved for this “gift”. However, I’m sure it was very difficult to take for fans of any other team in the league. That will now be us here in Seattle.

Sherman’s first call to duty was to stir up controversy while creating a competitive edge, in which he thrives, in order to fuel his performance. He cleverly began this campaign by creating a rift on Twitter which related to facts that he was not the bad guy who left the Seahawks and that they were the ones who let him go. He “fueled” the fire by stating fans were burning his Jersey. I don’t know about you, but I had not heard any negative words towards Richard Sherman, nor had I heard of the ridiculous notion that there were fans out there burning his jersey.

For the most part, all of the Seahawk fans I know, and who are true fans, saw this as being a necessary business decision on the part of the Seahawks. They wish Sherm nothing but the best. Our hope would be that he has a great game when he plays against the Seahawks. We don’t want to see anything spectacular happen for, nor against, him. We simply want to see our Seahawks get back to the winning ways we are accustomed to.

 

Richard Sherman is a sure-fire Hall of fame cornerback.

His stats, which he is not shy about personally pointing out, are rated at the top of the cornerback position of all time. Richard Sherman was an original member of the LEGION of BOOM which gave us much to cheer about and rejoice over! He most likely has a couple of really good years left in him to play the game near the level that will be expected of him. He was simply the product of a once great team, which held a lot of outstanding players, who all approached the “twilight” of their careers at the same time, demanded too much money for the salary cap to allow and still pay the rest of the players to create a successful team.

 

Coming home.

When Richard Sherman comes to town, The Twelves will be on their feet, with a standing ovation the likes of which Century Link Field has never seen!!! If you don’t have tickets for it now, you are SOL, ‘cause this will be the hottest ticket in the league all year! It will be the loudest ovation since the BEASTQUAKE!!! Once the game starts, all bets are off, and he is our enemy. Sherman wouldn’t have it any other way. But remember, we are classy fans here in Seattle, and though we’ll be rooting against his new team, #25 will always be in our hearts and we will ALWAYS have the utmost respect for him.

 

Thank you.

GOOD-BYE Richard! Thanks for the memories, devotion, professionalism, outstanding plays, community involvement, speeches, wardrobes, antics, intensity, playing hurt, leadership, dreads, amongst many other traits and reasons the Twelves will remember and hold you dear to our hearts!

 

 

Image by SeahawkScreamer

Randy Lind at Mariner's Game

Ichiro is back with the Seattle Mariners

Ichiro is back.

Some people are happy to have Ichiro back on the Mariners, some people aren’t so thrilled thinking it’s a ploy to sell tickets, and some people couldn’t care less one way or the other.

Personally, I think it’s great! A sure-fire, first ballot, Hall of Famer back on our roster! Don’t get me wrong. I understand, at age 44, he won’t be a regular starter. I’m sure, though, he will fill in admirably between all of our regular outfielders getting injured (which seems to be all too often these days). He will truly be a PEST on the bases, batter’s box, and outfield for opposing teams. I’m sure he still has some pretty spectacular plays left in him that we are fortunate to witness live in our hometown.

 

 

Time will tell how he and the rest of the team perform this year.

 

This will be an exciting Mariners team to watch. 

With a batting lineup that includes all-stars like Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, leading the way, they are capable of just about anything on any given night. Promising “youngsters” like Jean Segura, Ben Gamel, and Mitch Haniger have shown signs they are capable of being top-notch players. They have even made a case of being on the verge of stardom. The only thing that seems to have held them back is issues with staying healthy. Though Robbie and Nelson are getting into the twilight of their careers, they still have plenty of POP in their bats and is there anyone smoother out there in the field than Robbie?

It will be interesting to see what newcomer Dee Gordon offers. He has a proven track record of upper echelon base stealing and batting skills, but that was in the National League and at a completely different position (2B/SS). Can the Mariners really pull off converting a career (albeit short) infielder into a centerfielder all in the name of adding batting average and speed into their lineup? All of the early signs are leading to “YES”. 

 

Imagine if you will….

…an opposing pitcher facing a lineup of speedsters (Ichiro and Gordon) on the pads and having to stare down Cano, Cruz, and Seager back to back! Throw in Segura who can artfully spray the ball all over the field and supply some pop, Gamel and Haniger, who can hit with power and accuracy and you’ve got a pretty imposing offensive lineup.

Looming at the bottom of the order (usually) is catcher Mike Zunino. Mike calls a heck of a game, and his pitchers seem to have confidence in, and respect for, him. We’ve all seen him send the ball screaming, like a HORNET, out of the ballpark with sporadic consistency at times. The problem is the bulk of the time he is consistently mediocre, at best, at the plate. I hate to say that because he seems like a great guy who tries hard and does and says all of the right things. There is always room for a guy like that on any TEAM, especially with his great defensive skills and the positive presence he provides in the clubhouse and on the field. I’m rooting for Mike to have a breakout year and prove all of the naysayers wrong!

 

Pitching

This is the biggest question mark of the entire team. With King Felix getting older, and seemingly more and more fragile, I’m just not sure we can rely on him to win more than 8 or 9 games. Let alone stay healthy for any amount of time in order to make a difference. He’s been great and he’ll go down in the books along with “The Big Unit” Randy Johnson. 

James Paxton: “The Big Maple” has as much potential as any pitcher in the league. He has proven that he can be a dominant pitcher, yet he has not proven that he can stay healthy. If we can keep this guy on the mound, I can see him winning a Cy Young while leading us into the playoffs.

Mike Leake: I liked what I saw from this guy last year. He’s a tough competitor and capable of eating up a lot of good quality innings while giving his team a chance to win. Though not an ace, nor overpowering pitcher, he is a tenacious and relentless pitcher who seems to eat through opposing bats like a TERMITE. I propose this should be his nickname “The Termite”! He reminds me a lot of a former great Mariner pitcher, Jamie Moyer.

Middle relief and closing pitching is a complete toss-up in my opinion. There are so many inconsistencies and unknowns that I’m just waiting to see.  This and health issues could be the Mariners demise this year.  However, if we can find some diamonds in the rough (or some opals at least) perhaps we can give it a go!

 

My predictions

Ceiling season wins prediction-                                                                                                91 games
Injury-plagued season wins prediction                                                                                     76 games
Probable season wins prediction                                                                                              82 games

 

Thanks, Ichiro! Can’t wait to see what you have left in the tank!   

Let’s Go Mariners!