Mariners Mini Morsels: September 22

According to Wikipedia, Howard Lincoln was an active Boy Scout. As a twelve-year old boy, he posed for the famous Norman Rockwell painting The Scoutmaster, which was published in a calendar in 1956. In the painting, young Lincoln is on the immediate right of the campfire. Lincoln eventually attained the rank of Eagle Scout and received a Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. You can find out who’s who in the Mariners front office here: Front Office.

 

Baseball Best Practice

ESPN baseball analyst Jim Bowden is a former general manager who served under George Steinbrenner and Marge Schott, among others. Bowden said that, in general, it’s the owner’s team and they “can and should do whatever they think is best for the organization, because they own it. I think people tend to believe that an owner should hire a GM and not be involved, and that’s really old-school thinking,” Bowden said. “There are very few situations left in baseball where the GM has full autonomy in making the call. I’ve never had a situation my entire career where I got to make the call, ever.” That said, Bowden added, “the most important thing is to be on the same page.”  —Clark Spencer at the Miami Herald

 

So they said

“I have a sneaking suspicion that Theo Epstein is not going to can himself for the crimes his Cubs have committed against baseball the last two seasons. I’m not suggesting he should, but the idea that manager Dale Sveum deserves to be sent packing because of this mess is laughable. Blaming Sveum for the Cubs’ hitting, pitching and fielding would be like blaming a director for Paris Hilton’s rendering of Lady Macbeth.”Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Sun-Times

 

“It doesn’t matter if you’re MVP or king of the world. If you’re going to do things that are illegal, you’re going to get caught for it and you’re going to get suspended. It’s a shame because I really like him a lot as a teammate,” Royals pitcher James Shields said after Miguel Tejada was suspended Saturday for 105 games after testing positive for an amphetamine.

 

“Seeing as Jeffrey Loria is calling all the shots anyway, the simplest move by the Miami Marlins would be to have Loria appoint himself president, chief of operations and general manager and apply the salary savings to a roster upgrade. Loria’s impulsiveness is indisputable. He has gone through seven managers since he bought the team in 2002, and Mike Redmond was the fourth different Opening Day manager in four years in April, which seems like eons ago for the Marlins, who will miss the playoffs for the 10th season in a row.”Linda Robertson at the Miami Herald

 

Mariner’s potential off-season targets

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News states that the Rangers could pursue one of the elite international players, Cuban defector Jose Abreu or Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in the coming off-season. He also opines that Brian McCann will be the team’s primary off-season target.

 

C. Trent Rosecrans at Cincinnati Enquirer offers a view of Shin-Soo Choo’s chance of staying in Cincinnati when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season: “At 31, Choo is hitting free agency for the first time in his career this offseason. As a third-year arbitration eligible player, he made $7.38 million this season — $3.5 million of that paid by the Indians. He will make much more than that next season and beyond. That could be in Cincinnati, it could be elsewhere.

“Even if the Reds can’t afford a large, multi-year deal for Choo, someone else will, for sure. The Reds already have $78 million on the books for 10 players in 2014, as well as arbitration raises for Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Ryan Hanigan. The Reds’ payroll of nearly $107 million in 2014 is a record-high.”

 

“Jose Abreu, another Cuban slugger, is expected to be cleared to sign sometime this offseason. The Marlins have interest and will conduct their due diligence until Abreu signs. Abreu reportedly will have a showcase later this month in the Dominican Republic. Landing Abreu, who profiles as more of an American League, first baseman/designated hitter-type, would require a substantial commitment. Word is he’s looking for the richest contract for a Cuban defector, north of the four-year, $36 million the Athletics gave Yoenis Cespedes and the seven-year, $42 million deal Yasiel Puig commanded from the Dodgers.” —By Juan C. Rodriguez at the Miami Sun-Sentinel

 

By the numbers

The Mariners’ bullpen ranks 29th out of 30 teams in the Majors with a 4.54 ERA, yet it has set a single-season club record for strikeouts with 503. The old record was 476 in 1996. The team became just the seventh in American League history with more than 500 strikeouts in a season. —GregJohns MLB   

 

The Rays and Orioles played for 18 innings on Friday night/Saturday morning. David DeJesus won it for Tampa Bay with a walk-off single to drive in Desmond Jennings. The game-winning hit came on the 593rd pitch of the game. The two clubs combined to use 21 total pitchers, which is a new major league record. Gotta love September call-ups. At six hours and 54 minutes, this was the longest game in both teams’ histories. —Mike Axisa at CBS Sports

 

Farm Report

“Retired Minor League pitcher thrives as Pulaski Mariners GM. Ryan Kiel’s pitching career ended in 2012 when the left-hander was released by the Cincinnati Reds after blowing out his elbow. But paradoxically, his baseball career has just begun.  As chronicled in a milb.com article that ran last December, Kiel attended the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings in the hopes of transitioning from the playing field to the front office. Shortly afterward, the then 25-year-old received an offer to return to the very same place in which he began his playing career: Pulaski, Virginia, home of the Seattle Mariners’ Rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate. But this time around, it would be as the general manager. In the inaugural 2012-13 edition of the bimonthly offseason column ‘Minoring in Business’ [here], Kiel reflects on the challenges, triumphs, tarp pulls and  the trophy of his first season in the front office.” —By Benjamin Hill at milb.com

 

Sicnarf Loopstok won the minor league’s Moniker Madness title. The Indians prospect edged out Stryker Trahan to claim the 2013 season crown. He grew up hearing remarks and questions about his name, but when a teammate told him he’d been selected for Moniker Madness, the Aruban catcher instantly embraced the moment. “I thought, this is a great thing,” said Loopstok, a backstop drafted by the Indians in the 13th round of this year’s draft. “My family noticed and they supported and voted for me — they were great.” Loopstok owns one of the most unique and unusual names in sports, which made him an early favorite when Moniker Madness began its seventh annual voting contest earlier this month. A native of Oranjestad, Aruba, Loopstok moved to the U.S. and attended Penn Foster High School in Scranton, Pa. before joining Western Oklahoma State College, where he saw time at second, third and catcher. His name? It’s his father’s name, Francis, spelled backwards. (As was Nomar Garciaparra by his father Ramon.)  The Mariners’ Forrest Snow came in 4th. See the final results at: Moniker Madness. —Based on a story by Danny Wild at milb.com.


Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the 2008 Draft, entered the Rays‘ game as a pinch-hitter against the Rangers Thursday night and singled in his first big-league at-bat. It marked a milestone for the infielder, who crawled through the minor leagues, never hitting all that impressively at any level, before posting a line of .276/.342/.387 in 2013 for Triple-A Durham. All of the 20 players drafted immediately after Beckham made it to the big leagues before he did. (Many, of course, were drafted out of college; Beckham came out of high school.) Remarkably, as Baseball America’s John Manuel notes (via Twitter), Beckham is the first player drafted by the Rays since 2007 to make it to the big leagues with them. —By Charlie Wilmoth at MLB Trade Rumors