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Michael Saunders Blames Neverending Prank For Batting Woes Thursday, May 5, 2011

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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Photo courtesy zimbio.com

On the outside, Eric Wedge seems like a typical, no-nonsense manager on which baseball tradition has been founded.  His discussions with the media are meager when frustrated and to the quick when trying to induce change in his lineup.  But unknown to many outside of the Mariners’ clubhouse is a kiddish prankster gone awry.  Unfortunately, Michael Saunders is more familiar with the latter portrait of the first-time Mariners skipper.

“It started with the nickname,” Saunders explained in an exclusive interview Wednesday night after a 5-2 loss to Texas where Saunders struggled 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.

While he wouldn’t reveal it, we found out from other players that “Colonel Saunders” was the unfortunate pseudonym to which the young outfielder eluded.

“But soon, I was greeted by buckets of chicken in front of my locker before every batting practice,” Saunders continued. “I would find mashed potatoes in my batting helmet.  My socks were being seasoned with 11 original herbs and spices.  I couldn’t even concentrate without smelling chicken somewhere.”

Hitting Coach Chris Chambliss noticed a change in Saunders’ demeanor not long after the season began.

“At first, I thought he was binging on his diet,” Chambliss told us.  “The kid was practically sweating fried chicken.  But eventually, he filled me in on the prank.  I think he could have fought past Wedge’s zany antics if it hadn’t gone to the next level.”

Saunders refused to elaborate, nearly breaking into tears at the question, but interviews with his teammates revealed a series of ongoing chicken-related abuses inside the clubhouse.  Live chickens were put in his hotel room on the road.  Boullion cubes were hidden in his water bottle.  During closed batting practice sessions, Wedge would throw buttered biscuits at Saunders’ head when he was trying to readjust his struggling swing.  And worst of all, Wedge wouldn’t even allow teammates to talk to Saunders after a while.

“A couple weeks ago, during that closed door meeting, Wedge issued an ultimatum declaring that none of us could talk to Saunders,” an anonymous teammate reported.  “Instead, we were only allowed to bawk at him like a chicken if he talked to us.  The guy was going nuts after the first day.  It’s too much for anyone to take.  I even heard he asked for a demotion to Tacoma the other day, but all Wedge would do is bawk at the poor guy.”

Wedge denied any knowledge of the situation when we confronted him this morning, but did treat us to a bucket of wings on our way out.  This reporter concludes that Saunders needs to stop making excuses and hit the frickin’ baseball.

Seattle Completely Eliminated Thursday, September 4, 2008

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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  Granted, there’s nothing surprising here, especially as the M’s were cut out of the division race officially last Wednesday when they lost to Minnesota, but I thought I’d report that as of the first of this month, after beating the Texas Rangers 12-6, the Mariners were officially eliminated from the Wild Card race as well (thanks to a Red Sox victory).  Not exactly a touching statistic, but it should be noted that their victory came at the end of a four game winning streak, which was a season high this year.  So… um.. I guess that’s something good, then, right?

  And for those of you who were curious about their performance so far both before and after their division elimination, I’m proud to report that the club is 4-2 in both the six games after and prior to last Wednesday’s elimination loss.

Ticket Prices Compared!! Sunday, August 17, 2008

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I’ve been thinking a lot about ticket prices with the M’s packing it in this year (worst season attendance in Safeco history so far) and I wonder just how much of that is due to the exorbitant ticket prices as opposed to the lousy performance…

So, to tally things out, let’s compare our prices for say… my favorite spot a few rows behind (not too close)the dugout on the third base side to the rest of the MLB and see how things square up. Now, to narrow this down, especially with price differentials for certain games and days of the week, I’m not including so-called “premium-priced” games (which were almost always Red Sox or Yankees) and I usually catch a game on a Sunday, so I’m only taking that day’s ticket prices here. Also, these will be “day of game” prices, not season ticket or pre-purchased tickets. Imagine that I arrive, find an available seat and buy it at the gate for whatever each team charges. Here goes, from highest to lowest:

New York Yankees – $380

Los Angeles Dodgers – $130

Boston Red Sox – $90

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – $85

San Francisco Giants – $85

Chicago Cubs – $80

Washington Nationals – $75

Seattle Mariners – $65

Toronto Blue Jays – $65

Atlanta Braves – $60

Arizona Diamondbacks – $60

Texas Rangers – $60

Cleveland Indians – $55

Baltimore Orioles – $55

San Diego Padres – $55

Chicago White Sox – $55

Houston Astros – $50

Oakland Athletics – $50

Philadelphia Phillies – $50

Minnesota Twins – $50

Milwaukee Brewers – $45

Florida Marlins – $43

Tampa Bay Rays – $42

Cincinnatti Reds – $42

Detroit Tigers – $42 (And kudos to the Tigers for the simplest ticket prices)

Kansas City Royals – $37

Pittsburgh Pirates – $27

St. Louis Cardinals – Seats Not Available For Single Game Purchase

New York Mets – Seats Not Available For Single Game Purchase

Colorado Rockies – (Too lazy to figure it out… The site lists $47-$100 without laying out the differences)

Interesting, no?

And now, to get a vague (and I mean VAGUE) idea of which place has the best deal, let’s arrange the teams by last season’s win record!

Boston Red Sox – $90 (96-66), Won Division, Won ALCS, Won Championship

Cleveland Indians – $55 (96-66) Won Division

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – $85 (94-68), Won Division

New York Yankees – $380 (94-68), Won Wild Card

Arizona Diamondbacks – $60 (90-72) Won Division

Colorado Rockies – (Too lazy to figure it out… The site lists $47-$100 without laying out the differences) (90-73), Won Wild Card, Won NLCS

San Diego Padres – $55 (89-74)

Philadelphia Phillies – $50 (89-73) Won Division

Seattle Mariners – $65 (88-74)

Detroit Tigers – $42 (And kudos to the Tigers for the simplest ticket prices) (88-74)

New York Mets – Seats Not Available For Single Game Purchase (88-74)

Chicago Cubs – $80 (85-77), Won Division

Atlanta Braves – $60 (84-78)

Toronto Blue Jays – $65 (83-79)

Milwaukee Brewers – $45 (83-79)

Los Angeles Dodgers – $130 (82-80)

Minnesota Twins – $50 (79-83)

St. Louis Cardinals – Seats Not Available For Single Game Purchase (78-84)

Oakland Athletics – $50 (76-86)

Texas Rangers – $60 (75-87)

Washington Nationals – $75 (73-89)

Houston Astros – $50 (73-89)

Chicago White Sox – $55 (72-90)

Cincinnatti Reds – $42 (72-90)

San Francisco Giants – $85 (71-91)

Florida Marlins – $43 (71-91)

Baltimore Orioles – $55 (69-93)

Kansas City Royals – $37 (69-93)

Pittsburgh Pirates – $27 (68-94)

Tampa Bay Rays – $42 (66-96)

Do different parks offer better amenities than other parks? Yes, of course. Will you find me complaining about prices at Safeco anyway? Yup. But for all those Mariner fans out there who keep complaining and complaining about our team and keep insisting that good fans would stay away from the park to cause ticket prices to drop, I have only one thing to say. You’re a bunch of idiots. You can see on this chart a vague representation of how better teams usually charge more and lousy teams usually charge less, but you’re mixing up cause and effect. Ticket prices are only slightly affected by results. It’s more a matter of how big a fan base is. Need some examples? Check out Baltimore and D.C. (And that’s with them competing AGAINST each other in the same market!) Don’t kid yourself that Washington D.C. and Maryland are hotbeds for upper-class baseball fans. Have you ever been to our nation’s capitol? Not quite Wall Street elite…

And you’re really forgetting about how amazing it is to watch a game at Safeco. You think this is a lousy team? It’s lousy, but it’s only been truly lousy for ONE season. Get over yourself. Suffer through the bad times. You want bad teams? You want pathetic? There was celebrating in the streets in ’91 when the M’s finally broke .500! No, I’m not kidding. I remember it!

And now I’m finished ranting. If anything, I’ve created a chart of how much it would cost to sit in the same seats in 30 different stadiums. Woohoo!