MARINERS UPDATED: 4:15 P.M.
If you had a chance to read my column today, you caught glimpses of what I thought of Felix Hernandez’s performance yesterday.
As a smart old baseball man I know used to say all the time, “if they don’t score, you can’t lose.” Nothing was truer Monday. The A’s weren’t about to score on Felix – is it OK to call him by his first name? – so all the M’s had to do was push across a run.
Which the A’s gave them. Last year, it would have been the M’s making the error. So maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning.
OK, so my tune changes tonight (7; KSKN-22; 920-AM) if Jarrod Washburn yields three dingers and is knocked out of the box in the second inning, but, for this morning at least, the M’s bandwagon is full.
Today’s hot list …
• Opening Day is covered by just about everyone, including The Spokesman-Review. John Blanchette was in Seattle and filed this column with Felix as its subject.
• The best of the game stories comes from Tacoma’s Larry LaRue, who talked to everyone in both clubhouses it seems. There is also this from the Times and stories from the P-I, Vancouver and the Herald. How did the Bay Area media see it? Here’s a story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
• Columns abound as well, with this from Art Thiel about Felix of course. There were also columns from Steve Kelley, comparing Felix to Randy Johnson, Dave Boling on the offense, Times baseball writer Larry Stone on Richie Sexson, Ted Miller, John Sleeper and John McGrath.
• LaRue also had this piece which shows, publicly, manager Mike Hargrove – what’s with the goatee? – is not buying into the importance of this series.
• The P-I had a nice little sidebar on the two newest M’s and then this out of the A’s clubhouse, with the best quote of the year so far from Mike Piazza: “It’s tough to get confidence in your off-speed pitches when you throw 97. He obviously was able to do that today. He threw me a couple really good off-speed pitches on the first pitch. There’s nothing you can do with that. You just have to suck on it.”
• The San Francisco Chronicle was the only paper to cover the major league debut of Richland’s Travis Buck with a story.
• UPDATE: There’s this