May 23, 2013

Why I didn't like a great Star Trek movie (SPOILER ALERT)

Let me preface this by saying I loved the new Star Trek in 2009. I'm not one of those cronies that complain that it isn't William Shatner playing Kirk, or that it's a completely different universe or something like that. Whatever. It's a movie. It's entertaining. And it's a whole heck of a lot faster-paced than Star Trek: Insurrection where Picard and company saved a bunch of people from ... getting transported off the planet. (WOWEE, so exciting)

But Star Trek Into Darkness is basically Star Trek's Greatest Hits. It's done well. It's paced well, there are several character driven scenes that are a nice touch. You've got perhaps one of the coolest Star Trek villians since Khan (oh wait, it is Khan). The action is always just spectacular.

J.J. Abrams, however, has taken elements from the original Star Trek 2 and 3 and mashed them into this movie. Those were great movies, but I've already bought the DVDs and I want to meet something new. What I loved about the 2009 movie was that Abrams was basically like "You know what, I'm going to pay subtle homage to Star Trek but do my own thing here."

Now? Well we have nearly a shot-for-shot recreation of the Spock death scene from "Wrath of Khan" but... instead it's Kirk! What a twist? Right guys? It's so rushed and ham-fisted, and again THE SAME EXACT SCENE WE SAW IN STAR TREK 2.

If you haven't seen the old Star Trek movies, I'm assuming you have a girlfriend or are married and not living with your parents, and STID should be really entertaining. I'm not denying this. For the rest of us losers, we've seen it before. I was hoping Abrams would have added just a little more original material to this story. We have Khan, who's brilliantly done, but we've already seen him in ST2. We have self sacrifice of a key crew member. And we have their resurrection (because apparently McCoy has found the cure for death.)

I won't pick apart the plot because who cares? It's a movie, there is going to be plot holes. The fact that Abrams took his redone Trek in the same old direction it had been taken before is annoying. It's like if he redoes the Star Wars movies and had Luke blow up the Death Star again. Lets do something new guys.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars for non-Star Trek fans, 2 out of 5 stars for Star Trek fans.

(To buy the original... and better Star Trek 2, click here)

May 21, 2013

Mind Blown: Mariners in Cleveland

Just when you think that the Mariners are turning a corner... they go to Cleveland and just completely screw things up, making every Seattle fan make the same face Jackie Chan is making.

Yesterday, the Mariners hit go-ahead home runs in the ninth and tenth innings but Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes jacked a three-run shot for the 10-8 walkoff win. What. The. Hell.

I think M's closer Tom Wilhelmsen says it best.

"We are glad to leave Cleveland," Wilhelmsen said with no trace of a smile after the Indians pulled off their third walk-off win in sweeping the four-game series. Progressive Field has turned into a house of horrors for the Mariners, who've had eight walk-off losses in Cleveland in the last seven years.

Seattle has now lost four in a row, but the good news is they're still in third place of the AL West at 20-25. But then again, if they have more crushing series like the Cleveland one, they wont be there very long. They're now in Los Angeles to play the Angels, a team with a much bigger payroll than them. Well this should be fun.

Can't explain how awesomely trashy Florida Georgia Line is

If you want a good laugh, check out the Nelly/Florida Georgia Line remix of the FGL's "Cruise" song. Perhaps one of the trashiest country songs ever produced in the Western Hemisphere, Nelly's appearance and voice synthesizing has produced was of the most hilarious faux country songs I've ever hear. Oh and I will definitely play this anytime I'm driving around Lewis County.


Do you want to see something trashier than the video above? Then check out the original FGL "Cruise" video. Yehaw!


Apparently what Nelly brings to the table is hotter girls and newer cars. What Florida Georgia Line brings to the table is a bunch of white guys that look really excited to be in a real rap video. Excellent. Now go do a remix of Numa Numa, Nelly.

(Get Florida Georgia Line's Album here -- if you live with your sister.)

May 20, 2013

Meme Mondays: Most Interesting Cat Alive

Meme Mondays! And of course its a cat meme. 

Epic Photo - Priest Point Park in Olympia, WA

Here's a photo from Priest Point Park in Olympia, WA. There's several trails along the southernmost point of South Puget Sound, and the beach provides some nice clam shell digging opportunities. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon adventure. 

(Then make sure you get ice cream at the Olympia Dairy Queen)

May 9, 2013

The Mariners are getting outdrawn by the Oakland Athletics

Oakland has been long the standard for an empty stadium. The Oakland Coliseum is more like one big gigantic cement tomb then a baseball park, and fans don't show up accordingly. Seattle, on the other hand, has one of the nicer ballparks in all of baseball and in 2013 they haven't been able to attract more than a few homeless people of the street.

Check this out...

MLB Attendance in 2013
24. Houston 19,310
25. Tampa Bay 19,144
26. Oakland 19,034
27. Miami 18,864
28. Seattle 18,751
29. Kansas City 18,497
30. Cleveland 14,205

Houston has the lowest payroll in all of baseball, Tampa Bay has that hard-core Florida sports fan base of 80-year olds that don't want to leave their RVs, Oakland is moving and their stadium is the perfect example of urban decay, Miami fire-saled their team and alienated their entire fan base, Kansas City hasn't won since the Regan Administration and nobody lives in Cleveland anymore.

What. the. heck. Seattle?

What is finally starting to sink in to the fanbase is that the Mariners have put a sub-par product out on the field for an entire decade despite ownership having the money. Their leadership up-top has just been terrible. Think back at all the trades, drafts and moves and think to yourself "When was the last time the Mariners made a smart move."

In this era of Netflix, HD TV and video games, who wants to go spend $50 to go see a team that's afraid to make a free agent move and couldn't get a hit to save their lives. Throw in that early spring is chilly in Seattle and you have this quagmire. We're approaching Kingdome level suckage for attendance.

Seattle isn't a die-hard sports town either. They're like every other city that only supports winners. The Mariners aren't winners and that's why they're getting outdrawn by the freakin' Athletics. While they keep selling "The Future" and "Rebuilding" while their present continues to crumble away.

May 7, 2013

Epic Video of Greatness: Nimoy vs. Quinto

If you're a Star Trek fan, this is the funniest ad ever.

Meme Tuesdays: Otter Jokes

So I missed Meme Monday's yesterday, but I promise I'll make up for it with an extra cute meme...

May 2, 2013

YouTube Thursdays: Why is the night sky dark?

Ever look up at the stars and wonder why it's dark? Well here's the answer...

April 30, 2013

Good Riddance NBA?

You've no doubt heard that the NBA owners have scoffed at the Seattle offer for the Sacramento Kings. Oddly enough, the relocation committee is headed by Oklahoma City turncoat Clay Bennett and this Sacramento ownership group is more flimsy then a homeless person's cardboard hut.

It looks as if the Sonics won't be coming back for the moment, and don't start talking about expansion because it isn't going to happen. Seattle fans are shocked and understandably bummed, after shops had started expanding their Gold and Green gear collections and people signed up for season tickets, this is a pretty big letdown. 

But you know what? Let em go. This shows more than anything that the NBA just loves to hold cities hostage  Seattle was used as a bargaining chip to force Sacramento to scramble for a new arena. Why? Because the NBA is greedy, plain and simple. 

Both cities were fighting for the right to spend public funds for a privately-owner team. That doesn't seem right, but that feels like the standard nowadays in professional sports. What I really hope happens is that cities, with cash-strapped budgets, realize what a bunch of smoke and mirrors these owners are pulling on people, and make a stand. Take your team elsewhere, we don't need you and your high ticket prices. The day of the everyman going to an NBA game is over unless you want to sit in the back row. Look around at games and the people sitting there either got the tickets from work or are loaded with cash. They're always on their phone, telling everyone at the game. They're certainly not all sports fans. 

It's no wonder that attendance in the NBA has dropped off. It's a flawed business model and I don't think Seattle needs to be a part of it. Go buy affordable Seattle Sounders tickets instead. 

David Stern saved the league back in the 1980s, but his ego has gotten in the way. What other sport do you have the commissioner vetoing trades and helping relocate franchises that have been in a city for over 40 years? He's become meddling, out-of-touch and hurtful to the league.

And Seattle, you don't need to be a part of it. 

Are the Mariners turning it around?

What the heck is going on? The Mariners have their longest winning of the season... three... after thumping the Orioles last night 6-2 behind a complete game by plumber look-alike Joe Saunders. Extra-base hits are coming at more of a frequency for Seattle, which probably changed their tactics after perfecting the weak ground out to the third baseman.

The Mariners also won their first series of the season against the LA Angels, and in a shocking development they're in third place of the AL West ahead of the Angels and the Astros. We might be seeing something of the power surge for Seattle and while it's not immediately showing up in the runs category you're seeing signs of life from Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders, Kelly Shoppach and Jason Bay. The team is still just hitting .240 but that's an improvement. Heck, even offensive black hole Dustin Ackley has improved to hitting .241 on the season.

Meanwhile the starting pitching has still been stellar and Tom Whilhelmsen has become a lock-down guy. Seattle is at least winning the low-scoring games, and once the offense comes around more, they should be able to get a few more W's even if the opposition puts across a few runs.

This might be a turnaround in the season, so keep a close eye on what the Mariners are going to do here in the next month. Maybe Eric Wedge will even crack a smile.

April 29, 2013

April 22, 2013

Meme Mondays: The difference between cats and dogs

20 games in, the Mariners are terrible

Tonight the Mariners roll into Houston for a matchup of two terrible squads. In case you didn't see the series with Texas this weekend, Seattle just didn't get swept, the didn't even look competitive. That's not good if you're squawking about making some noise this season in the AL West.

The offense is now ranked 26th in runs, 29th in batting average, 28th in on-base percentage and 29th in slugging percentage. The only bright spot offensively right now is Kyle Seager who currently leads the league in doubles with 10 and is hitting .378 in his last 10 games.

Everybody else though? Ugh. Fans would be happy if their lineup had guys that could hit over .200.

Tonight Felix takes the mound against Houston, but the King has had zero run support and is 1-2 on the season. This key will prove vital for the Mariners because they've already painted themselves into a corner. They haven't won a series yet, and if they want to turn this thing around they need to win this series against Houston or sweep it.

But remember how things went back at Safeco this season? Good lord.

April 17, 2013

Why I hope the Kings don't come to Seattle

"NBA is back in Seattle! Well, maybe it is. Ok, it might not be now."

Those are the emotions that have gone through the Emerald City since it was announced a few months ago that Chris Hansen was buying the Sacramento Kings.

At first the city exploded with excitement and then the NBA stepped in and said the sale wasn't final and it was still up to the league if they grant the sale and relocation of the franchise.

The owners met today and it appears that a decision may still be a few weeks away from being made about the fate of the team.

And I must say, I hope they don't come to Seattle.

Now calm down. Before you burn me at the stake, hear me out.

I've grown up near Seattle and lived near the city almost my entire life. I love Seattle sports. I was a Seahawks fan before it was "cool", I root for the Mariners through all their highs and lows (and mainly they have lows) and I was a HUGE Sonics fan. When I was growing up I would stay up past my bedtime just to find out how the game ended.

So don't call me a Seattle hater.

(Get an early start on the Seattle Sonics bandwagon HERE)

However, being a Sonics fan I was here when the team was ripped away from the city and taken to Oklahoma City and rebranded as the Thunder. It plain sucked. And as a fan there was nothing I could do because I wasn't a multi-billionaire. I was just a fan. A poor fan watching the NBA team I grew up watching being taken away.

And now Seattle wants to do that to another city and that fanbase.

Sure it'd be easy for me to say "Screw them! Give us a team!" But I can't bring myself to do that. Mainly because I cringe everytime I turn on the TV and OKC is playing. I hope they lose every game and it makes me sick to see them with the number one seed in the West.

And that's how Sacramento would feel toward Seattle. The only difference is that I live in Seattle and can drown my NBA sorrows in professional football (Seahawks), professional baseball (Mariners), professional soccer (Sounders FC), college sports (University of Washington) and a plethora of minor league teams.

Take the Kings from Sacramento and those fans have...well...paying high taxes of California. I feel bad for them.

And to top it off, if Seattle gets the Kings they're just going to erase almost 70 years of history and re-name them the "Sonics" and pretend the team just took a six year hiatus. Which from a sports history point I think is lame. The Sonics are in Oklahoma City. Enough.

So as much as I'd love to see Seattle get an NBA team, I don't want it to come at the expense of another city. I'd like to think the NBA could make an exception and give Seattle an expansion team. That way both cities win. However, if the Kings do move to Seattle, I will support the Sonics version 2.0.

And here's how I see it going down. The NBA wants their money, so the NBA lets Hansen buy the Kings and move them. Then the NBA allows Sacramento to buy an expansion team. That way the league gets more money! Makes sense to me. (rolls eyes)

Anyway, when I want my NBA fix I'll watch a young, talented and growing team in that city down South of here. They're building something in the Rose City. And I don't mind watching it while I wait for OKC to give us our team back.

 (Buy your Seattle Sonics gear HERE)

Game 15 - The ghost of Doug Fister

Doug Fister? Remember that guy? He used to pitch for the Mariners. He used to be a really good pitcher for the Mariners.

Then Seattle shipped him off to Detroit for pitchers Charlie Furbush and Chance Ruffin, outfielder Casper Wells and Francisco Martinez. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go do something real quick. Obviously that has shaken out to be a really bad trade for Seattle. Furbush is the only guy in that trade still on the team and he doesn't exactly instill shutdown confidence in the fans when he trots out to the mound.

Fister went seven innings on Tuesday, striking out five and allowing four hits and 2 runs. The Tigers downed the M's 6-2. A quality start for a guy that had plenty while wearing a Mariners jersey. Mariners starter Aaron Harang didn't do too bad either, going five innings and allowing 3 runs while striking out. The big problem though... was the Detroit offense. They finished with 12 hits and scored scored five unanswered runs when the Mariners took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.

They'll no doubt have an excellent season. Have you seen that lineup? Good lord. Offense that only Mariners fans can dream about.

Mike Morse is back from his finger injury and drove in a run as did Kendrys Morales - the two guys in the M's lineup doing anything. Dustin Ackley was probably playing World of Warcraft in between at bats and his batting average is now a stunning .114.

If the Tigers sweep the Mariners in this series don't be suprised. They're a really good squad.

(Buy your Doug Fister gear here, Because what? You gonna buy a Charlie Furbush jersey?)

April 15, 2013

The Do's an Don'ts at Safeco Field

Having gone to the M's game yesterday, I noticed there's a few things you shouldn't do when you go to baseball's shrine in Seattle. To ensure you don't make the same mistake, here are some tips.

1. When you get bleacher seats on bright, sunny afternoon day, you'd better bring a hat - I realized rather quickly that we had ventured into an area that was about as hot as the surface of the sun - even though it was April in Seattle - and that my pale, weak, easily burnt skin would quickly resemble jerky. So I had to go down to the team store and get fleeced for a Boston hat. And the team store guy wasn't happy with me buying a Boston hat.

2. People show up late so make sure you defend your turf or moved to an empty spot - When the game started, the bleacher area was relatively empty but more and more and more people piled in. They were all roughly 300 pounds and had a Sidney Rice jersey on. These people also had a knack for trying to nestle up right next to you and squeeze you in your seat. Sidney Rice was never covered this closely in his NFL career. Since apparently Safeco ushers don't care if you move around in the cheap seats, move around to freedom becuase you won't regret hearing some guys drone on about how Seattle is the most-taxed city in American and how Motocross is "totally" going to happen at Century Link Field.

3. Coffee is expensive - Five bucks for a coffee?!?!? What is this Starbucks??!?! Oh you handed it to me in a Starbucks cup, I guess it is.

4. Dustin Ackley is as terrible in person as he is on TV - Like really bad. Like so bad the Jumbotron just shows reruns of Fraiser when he comes up to bat.

5. Watch out for the Seagulls - Good lord, its like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I shudder to think of what the people on the first base side of Safeco had to endure from droppings...

April 14, 2013

Game 12, 13 and 14 - A victory to split with the Rangers?

It most definitely is a victory to split a series with these guys. I mean they're the same Rangers that everyone in Spokane loves because they've made the World Series in two of the past three years, and we all know Spokane loves a front-runner. (Yes, I'm making fun of Spokane and being supportive of Seattle for the first time ever, and snowballs are the new interior decoration choice of Satan) The Mariners came into this series limping after getting roughed up by the lowly Astors with a payroll smaller than your local Pizza Hut.

And after today's 4-3 victory over the Rangers (Which Casey and I attended), there is a little more light at the end of the tunnel. Why? Because starter Brandon Maurer finally showed some of the promise he had in spring training. He attacked the Rangers lineup, struck out guys, and most importantly didn't get shelled like he had in his last start.

The M's lineup got 10 hits, which was amazing considering when a batter in a M's jersey gets in the batter's box, you're suprised when he has a batting average over .200. That is still a work in progress and Dustin Akley might be the biggest pit of offense I have ever seen on a baseball diamond (He's hitting .122 so far this season and that's an IMPROVEMENT). Casey and I have serious doubts if he'll even make it to "Dustin Akley Bat Giveaway Night" at Safeco before being sent down to Tacoma.

The win comes after a rather deflating 3-1 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night, so it was good to see the M's bounce back from that. And even though the Seattle offense was it's gawdawful self, at least Joe Saunders looked proficient giving up just 3 hits and 1 unearned run in his 7 innings of work as the starter. On Friday, Iwakuma out-dueled Yu Darvish in a 3-1 win and that should be taken a little seriously.

If you're keeping home at score, that's three straight quality starts by Mariners' starters and the bullpen is quite solid this season. You could also consider Thursday a quality start for Hernandez, even though it's not quite up to Hernandez standards.

The Mariners are now fourth in the majors in quality starts with 7, but rank 25th in the league in ERA largely thanks to Maurer's early troubles. This pitching staff can get the job done, but they need the offense to back it up and that's been the theme for Seattle for the past like 10 years.

27th in the league in batting average (.220) and 26th in on-base percentage (.292).

Got to pick it up guys, but at least for the moment, Seattle is in third place at 6-8. They're facing a super stacked Detroit squad beginning on Tuesday. So hold on your hats, it could get ugly. But, if the M's play with the Tigers, welllll... that would be a whole different story.

April 12, 2013

Game 11 - Felix's start goes down the tubes

Well at least the Mariners didn't lose to the worst paid team in baseball again. Texas handed Seattle a 4-3 loss and the M's squandered yet another quality Felix Hernandez start. Don't worry, this team is only ranked 27th in the league in batting average.

For a while during the game, you were kind of lulled in a "Hey! The M's are hanging with the Rangers!" but then reality set in when they scored a couple of runs. And that's all it takes to beat the Mariners these days... a couple of runs.

But this was a Hernandez start! Problem is, I don't think they were able to give away all of those free-Felix t-shirts since only 22,000 fans showed up. I think the t-shirts were for the first 25,000 fans. Oh well. Felix did strike out 5 and got to the 1,500 Ks milestone, but Texas rallied for 2 runs in fifth inning and the Seattle bats predictably could not comeback. That's the second straight start where Felix has been good and the M's couldn't capitalize.

To make matters worse Mike Morse broke fractured his finger and will be out for 7 days. You know the only guy in the Mariners lineup that can hit home runs?

Against Texas, we can only hope for a win by the M's with Iwakuma on the mound tonight - because I don't think the back end of the rotation has it in them to get by the might Rangers. The only problem is that Iawkuma is facing "almost threw a perfect game" Yu Darvish. So there's that.

For some perspective on how bad the Mariners offense is right now, think about this. Only three batters in the lineup are hitting .250 or above and two are hitting below .200. They may look like a major league ballclub but they hit like sh**.

(Here's how you Mariner fans can deal with depression.)

Hilarious Planet Fitness Commercial

Now Brandon has been "bulking up" for a while. And we actually had a converstation that went something like this the other day. It was strange to say the least...

(Help us out by buying your fitness equipment HERE)

A lunk according to Planet Fitness is someone who drops weights, grunts or screams during workouts. They even have an alarm that will go off.

April 11, 2013

Game 10: Another no-good, rotten, terrible loss at Safeco

Hear that? That's the Mariners' ship sinking badly. Houston has won its second-straight game against Seattle, notching 16 hits against the M's in a 8-3 victory.

You've got to be kidding me guys. All you could muster against a team with a $20 million payroll is 6 hits? SIX?

And to add insult to injury, the Mariners drew the smallest crowd in Safeco history, as 10,493 people attended that abomination of a game. Oh well, it might get smaller then that this season because if the Mariners can't get hits off a team with a AAA ballclub payroll then good luck with the Rangers, Angels, Red Sox, Tigers and basically every other team in the league.

I know we're ten games in, but this is time to panic. The offense save for a few guys (dragon slayer Mike Morse) has been abysmal. The pitching after Felix and Iwakuma is bad. UGH.

Seattle (4-6) put Hernandez on the mound today against the Rangers.

It's time to start acting like this, M's fans...

And if you're looking to jump on another team's bandwagon, I hear the Red Sox are doing well.

Ed Sheeran "LEGO House" video goes LEGO

If you've seen the music video for Ed Sheeran's song, "LEGO House" then you know that it features Ron from Harry Potter as a hilarious stalker.

(Buy Harry Potter: The Complete 8 Film Collection on Blu-ray HERE)

Well, someone has now recreated the entire video in what else but LEGOs! Check it out, it's pretty awesome.

April 10, 2013

Capture Bigfoot For A Reward

The Olympia Beer has put out a reward for the capture of a live bigfoot. That's right, Olympia Beer is still around! I had no idea.

No wait.

I mean, a reward for capturing bigfoot is the most important part of this story!

(Read about Bigfoot! : The True Story of Apes in America, from a real cryptozoologist Loreen Coleman by going HERE)

Well it's true. Offered by the one and only Olympia Beer, you can get 1 million dollars (paid out in tiny amounts for 40 years) if you can find irrefutable evidence of the existence of Bigfoot or if you capture him alive and unharmed.

Now I love cryptozoology and have talked about it a number of times on the blog. But now with the opportunity to make money at it I'm in! Who wants to join mine and Brandon's team? 

This is seriously the most clever marketing strategy ever! Find this elusive creature, make money and get exposure for your product.

But again, I'm not sure which is more elusive, finding Olympia Beer in a bar or finding bigfoot...

Sherman says half the NFL uses Adderall

Oh Richard Sherman, is there anything you WONT say?

The celebrated Seahawks cornerback who is quite good at his job (ask Skip Bayless) has been known to run his mouth - and has just come out to say that half the NFL uses Adderall. You'll remember that Sherman tested positive for this substance last season but was cleared from suspension when he said there were irregularities in the tesing process. He also said that he mistakenly drank a cup with a crushed Adderall pill in it.

Now he has come out and said that Adderall use is quite common in the league.

Following a day working with elementary school students in Surrey, British Columbia on Tuesday, Sherman told the Vancouver Sun that Adderall use is so prevalent in the NFL, the league should remove it from the list of banned substances.

“About half the league takes it and the league has to allow it," Sherman said of Adderall use in the NFL. "The league made a mistake in my case. Obviously, I didn’t do anything, but you have to go through a process to prove you didn’t do anything. There are still naysayers out there who don’t believe me. But I accept it. If everybody loves you, it probably means you’re not much of a player."

The better move would be probably be to just be quiet and let the whole Adderall thing blow over but this drug, used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, could be another villain wrapped up in the veil of pro sports. NFL players can use this drug if they provide the proper paperwork but Adderall is considered highly addictive. If he's right, this is a more serious problem for players than just failing drug tests. How many players are addicted?

Game 9 - An absolute disaster

You know, I could breakdown the Mariners' 16-9 loss to Houston, but instead I'm just gonna post this...

Mariners baseball... MY OH MY.

April 9, 2013

Anchorman and Thrift Shop

I love the internet. It has given us such things as Grumpy Cat, Angry Orange and now this...

(Buy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Unrated, HERE)

I'm Ron Burgandy?

Game 8 - Astro Physics...

Can the Mariners play these guys every game? The Astros came into the season with the distinction of having the smallest payroll in baseball, by a long shot.

21 million dollars. Even the Miami Marlins, who sold off their team in a fire sale and pulled guys off the street to play, have a bigger payroll at 35 million.

Their highest paid player is Bud Morris at 3 million, and only four other players make over 1 million. Houston (1-6) also set a record for striking out in their season-opening series against Texas. I kind of feel like this is the state of the Astros right now.

So naturally, the Mariners opened up with these world killers yesterday in the "new" Safeco Field's home opener. Yes the jumbo tron was QUITE BIG. In fact, Seattle fans hadn't seen something this large since Carlos Silva. The M's didn't embarrass themselves by beating Houston 3-0 with "looks like a plumber" Joe Saunders on the mound.

Kendrys Morales drove in two runs, Franklin Gutierrez knocked in another with a sac fly. Hey! And only 3 Mariners struck out last night. Meanwhile Saunders went 6 innings, gave up 6 hits, didn't allow a single run and struck out 5 on 91 pitches. He's be a destroyer of men in Triple-A.

Despite bringing in the fences at Safeco, nobody hit a home run, but that probably was because the Mariners and Astros were playing there. The game also wasn't a true sellout... which is worrisome for a Seattle team that has seen attendance fall off since the early 2000s.

Jamie Moyer also threw out the first pitch, although he kind of looked like a homeless guy (cut your hair!). He didn't rule out a comeback either. Judging from the back end of the Mariners rotation, he'd better keep that arm warmed up.

(And they wrote a book about Moyer, too!)

April 8, 2013

Game 7 - Heartbreak in the 10th

Three days ago, the Mariners had a chance to win their second series of the season. That fell apart quickly against the White Sox, as Seattle dropped the next two games despite having the front-end of their pitching rotation. After blowing a Felix start, the M's dropped a second-straight 4-3 game despite another good start by Hisashi Iwakuma.

This season... at least the beginning... is quickly devolving into more of the same from the Mariners. Promising starts by talented pitchers squandered. An offense that could be a whole lot better.

All the runs in this game were scored by homers. Mike Morse now has 5 dingers on the year. The Mariners' offense was again underwhelming with 11 strikeouts and they're now 28th in the league in batting average. Chicago seems to just have Seattle's number - having gone 26-5 against them since 2010. The Mariners haven't won a series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field since 2007.

We're seven games in but at 3-4, the Mariners will need to do some improving if they want to live up to that spring training hype.

The tenth inning walk-off homer was a dagger by the White Sox's Dayan Viciedo. Not exactly how you want to go into the home opener today against Houston - but then again its Houston.

April 6, 2013

Game 5 and 6 - Triumph and Defeat

After Friday night's 10th-inning 8-7 win over the Chicago White Sox that had Mariners' fans thinking "Hey! We can win games by scoring a lot of runs!", a big mess struck on Saturday. With the crowned king of pitching, Felix Hernandez, on the mound the Mariners still found a way to drop a 4-3 matchup to the Sox in swirling winds at U.S. Cellular Field.

Here's why the loss was so bad...

1. Felix was on the mound. If the Mariners want to be in contention for a division title, they need to win games when he's pitching. Much like in the past, however, Hernandez got very little run support from his guys. When he's the ace that gives you the best chance to win, you've got to take advantage of it - because the back end of the rotation isn't going to keep you in 1-0, 2-0 games.

2. It was a freak game. As said above, the wind was swirling, blowing the ball and garbage all over the place. Several times Mariners hits appeared to be knocked down by the win into harmless fly outs. That didn't stop the White Sox, who got a 2-run jack from Alex Rios in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. It was a crushing homer against Felix that I thought essentially ended the game. Michael Saunders notched a 2-run homer in the 8th, but the comeback fell short for the M's. You can't blame them with the weather conditions out there.

3. It was a missed opportunity. The M's defeated the White Sox 8-7 using the tail end of their starting rotation, meaning they were going to wrap up this series with their No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers going. Obviously in baseball you want to win series ... and this should have set the Mariners up win the series. Instead we're going to a rubber match tomorrow after a deflating Seattle loss.

At least Seattle (3-3) will get a three-game series against the Astros starting Monday at Safeco. Maybe that will put a little energy back in their sails. (But then they follow that up with four-game series against powerhouse Texas... yuck)

Epic Photo: A work of art

Ahhhhh, in America what CAN'T we do? 

April 4, 2013

Game 4 - Another vintage Mariner loss

Okay, so now we're four games into the season and have figured out a few things about the Mariners...

1. The Mike Morse kid is a hard-swinging, Jesus-looking, power package that M's fans are going to swoon over all season. Seriously, keep your girlfriend at home when you go to Safeco - don't want them getting any mini-crushes on a guy that can hit the ball a mile while you strike out during a game of wiffleball. Morse has 4 home runs in 4 games, the only other Mariner to do that was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997. So yeah, he's had a good start to the season. The home runs themselves have been awesome shots that travel further than some used cars. I also watched him grind out a 13-pitch at-bat before striking out today. That's still impressive.

2. The Mariners offense isn't terrible. Sure they scored 2 runs today in a rather deflating 8-2 setback against Oakland, but notched out 8 hits against one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. They definitely have more pop and can score several different ways. Don't look for those heartbreaking 2-0, 1-0 losses that have plagued the M's in previous years. It does need to improve, however.

3. In the last two losses, the starting pitching hasn't been great and apparently the Mariners can't recover from that. It was Brandon Maurer's first career start after a good spring training and he went 6 innings, gave up 8 hits and six runs. While that's nothing great, Seattle should still be in those games where the starting pitcher gives up a few runs. Why? Because not everybody can be Felix and Iwakuma. You're going to have games where you're going to have to score 7-8 runs. That's why the Mariners offense needs to improve.

The Mariners have scored 13 runs in four games and anytime Oakland has been able to get any sort of offense going, they were saddled with a loss. Seattle has shown, however, they can win the close low-scoring games. The backend of the rotation just hasn't delivered.

Now Seattle (2-2) has a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, who have been run challenged so far. They're batting just .235 as a team and have scored just 6 runs in 3 games. Blake Beavan will take the mound tomorrow after posting a 4.37 ERA last season. Jose Quintana will pitch for Chicago, he has a 3.76 ERA.

( here's some White Sox gear, just in case you're interested)

Game 3 - The curious case of Joe Saunders

For the first two games of the season, the Mariners trotted out pitchers who looked like world-killers. For their third game against the Oakland Athletics they put out somebody that looks like a gas station attendant and the whole team came crashing back to earth after a 2-0 start.

Oakland controlled their Wednesday night game against Seattle and won 6-2 and the Mariners looked like the baseball team we've all come to know and love... and wish they could get runners in scoring position.

Joe Saunders (pictured right, and he did not win a contest to wear a D-backs jersey, that's how he actually looks) was touched up for 4 runs and 7 hits in just four innings of work. Not a stellar outing by any stretch of the imagination - but still it shouldn't have been an insurmountable lead by the retooled Mariners offense, right?

The M's got two home runs from Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Morse in the first inning but the bats could muster just 5 hits in the game. Gutierrez took the fourth pitch of the game and deposited it in the seats, and Morse got his third homer of the season but alas, it was not a sign of things to come. Jesus Montero was 2 for 3 for Seattle as well.

The M's haven't started the season 3-0 since 1995. However, Seattle (2-1) will trot out spring training phenom Brandon Mauer against the A's today (in about an hour). No doubt fans should be interested how he does in his first career start. Hopefully he doesn't look like he should be changing oil at a Jiffy Lube.

(Buy a Joe Saunders Diamondbacks Jersey, because from the looks of it, he wont be in a Mariners jersey very long.)

April 3, 2013

The first cell phone call was made 40 years ago today

People can't live with their cell phones nowadays but there was a time in human history when you had to make a call from a land line.

The first mobile phone call was made 40 years today, on April 3, 1973, by Motorola employee Martin Cooper. Using a prototype of what would become the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, the world's first commercial cell phone, Cooper stood near a 900 MHz base station on Sixth Avenue, between 53rd and 54th Streets, in New York City and placed a call to the headquarters of Bell Labs in New Jersey.

The substance of the call is lost to history, but it probably doesn't compare to the first telegram ("What hath God wrought"), first telephone call ("Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you"), or even the first text message ("Merry Christmas"). Cooper's inaugural mobile conversation is remembered as, "I'm ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end,' or something to that effect."

At least he didn't make the call while in the checkout line of the grocery store. You can say the rest is history because basically now life revolves around our smart phones. Now if you'll excuse me I need to check my Twitter app on my phone.

(Buy an awesome smart phone here.)

Game 2 - Power surge for M's

Apparently all those big offensive numbers in spring training wasn't a fluke after all. The M's gathered eight walks, nine hits and downed Oakland 7-1 in the second game of the season.

The star of the game was Michael Morse, who hit two home runs including a bomb to center field in ninth inning and finished with 4 RBI. Kyle Seager, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak also knocked in runs for Seattle. The most promising sign was that the Mariners worked on manufacturing runs instead of waiting for that mythical big hit (which I mean they got too, but in this game they slowly added to their lead by various means and pulled away instead of keeping it close with the A's) against the second-best pitching staff in the American League last season.

They scored in five different innings, and left 10 guys on base meaning that the score could have been a lot worse.

On the mound Hisashi Iwakuma struck out seven and allowed just two hits in his first action out on the mound this season. If this is Seattle's No. 2 starter's normal foray, fans are going to be absolutely thrilled. Last season he struck out over 100 batters and posted a 3.16 ERA in 125 innings, so that's definitely possible. His only blemish was a solo home run by Yoenis Cespedes in the second inning.

It's a feel good win after a feel good season-opener that saw Felix Hernandez already in mid-season form. While the Mariners offense didn't blow up the scoreboard last night, it looked very serviceable in this game with every batter really working the count.

Tomorrow on the mound for the Mariners will be starter Joe Saunders, who posted a 4.22 ERA for the Diamondbacks and Orioles last season.

(Here's a rather odd Hisashi Iwakuma toy you can buy.)

April 2, 2013

Game 1 - Felix a king on opening day

Felix Hernandez won his fifth straight opening day start and the Mariners took down the defending A.L. West Champion Oakland Athletics 2-0 in their' season opener at the Coliseum.

This win also snapped a seven-game losing streak against the A's and obviously gives Seattle fans all sorts of good feelings about the potential for the season.

The Mariners' offense was still the Mariners' offense, however, as Seattle could muster 5 hits - but keep in mind this is against Oakland's ace Brett Anderson. Franklin Gutierrez used a two-RBI single in the fifth to notch the only runs on the scoreboard. It was good to see him do something on opening day after what feels like years of a health problems.

Seattle did get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Tom Wilhelmsen shut the door on the A's in the ninth. Oakland finished with just 3 hits.

Now there are just 161 games to go. Still, it was a nice start to the season and now we'll see how the retooled pitching staff behind Felix does. Keep in mind that Seattle has had a knack for having a good season and then a dismal season... so we'll see if they can buck that trend this year. It's definitely a newer look team and fans (20,000 of them who showed up to Safeco Field to watch the game on the Mariners Vision jumbo tron) should be a little excited about them.

(To jump on the Mariners bandwagon click here.)