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Weaver must have pitched his way out of the rotation

MARINERS

If Jeff Weaver makes his next scheduled start, I'll be shocked. Shocked I tell you. After watching Saturday night's first inning, wow.

Weaver was so hittable, I was sure he was tipping his pitches. You know, doing something different so the hitters knew when a breaking ball was coming. But, after a quick perusal, I couldn't see anything, so I had to surmise he was just throwing B.P. And how about Emil Brown, the only guy Weaver got out? Is he headed to the minors today, or what?

Anyhow, this has to be why the M's kept Brandon Morrow on the roster in the first place, doesn't it? To take Weaver's spot in the rotation? Well now's the time.

They can't throw Gil Meche in the breach, as he's now the Royals' No. 1 guy. Even though he's got a winning record, his outing last night was so Meche. Given a big lead, he went through spells where he walked guys, fell behind others and yet his great stuff still pulled him through. It's that stuff that made us fall in love with his potential and enticed the Royals to spend millions. But if he doesn't get command some day, he'll never reach the level he should have.

• The M's finish the three-game series with the Royals today (1:05; FSN; 920-AM) with Cha Seung Baek (0-0, 8.31) facing Brian Bannister (0-0, 6.23).

Today's hot list …

• Weaver's "outstanding" outing was the lead of every game story, starting with the Times and including the News Tribune (with my favorite understated quote of the year from Hargrove: “Tonight was not a good outing for him.” You think?) and the Herald. From Kansas City, here is the story from the Star.

• As I said the last few days, Hargrove is managing the bullpen as if his job depends on winning every game (and, of course, something close to that is true). But it is wearing down the arms out there.

• I mentioned after Friday's game the trainers visited J.J. Putz during his five-out save stint. Turns out, he wasn't hurt. He was just angry.

• Larry Stone relates how the "hot seat" comment reminds him of some moves in the M's past.

• Everett baseball beat writer Kirby Arnold is preaching patience with this Mariner team. Two things I noticed listening to fans at the park the other night: They were patient over the past three years; and that patience has run out. The booing of Weaver last night is just an outgrowth of that.

• With you M's fans rooting a couple of products of the Japanese major leagues, this story about what the defections mean to the league might hold some interest.

• And our question of the day …

• Is Morrow the right choice to replace Weaver in the rotation? Or is there someone else you think might be better?




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