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King Felix To Start All-Star Game

This combination made from file photos shows Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, left, and St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. Hernandez will start Tuesday night's All-Star game for the American League and Wainwright will open for the National League. (AP Photo)

Question: Do you plan to watch any part of Major League Baseball's All-Star game Tuesday?

‘Tis the season

I am not a Seattle Mariners fan.

But I know a lot of good people who are M's rooters. And each year about this time I find myself thinking the same thing.

I wish these various friends, co-workers and blog commenters could experience having their team involved in a pennant race. They have waited a long time. They deserve it.

Is there a sports team you don't care about personally but almost root for because so many people in your life are long-suffering fans?

M’s Lose When Manager Mixes Signals

In the ninth inning of the Red Sox comeback win over Seattle on Thursday night, Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen allowed the first four Boston batters to reach base safely. Acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson saw that Wilhelmsen clearly did not have his best stuff, and with switch-hitter Shane Victorino and righty Dustin Pedroia due up, Thompson left the dugout to bring in righty Yoervis Medina from the bullpen. But Medina was warming up alongside lefty Oliver Perez, and Thompson mistakenly lifted his left arm when pointing to the bullpen. He quickly realized his error and tried to signal for Medina, but apparently — and, really, who knew? — the arm a manager raises to call for a reliever is more than just a way to let the bullpen know which guy he wants/Ted Berg, ForTheWin. More here.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do the Seattle Mariners frustrate you?

Parting Shot: Mariners shellacked

Seattle starter Brandon Maurer surrendered six first-inning runs en route to his second loss of season.

SEATTLE – Jose Altuve drove in four runs and hit one of Houston’s five homers, and the Astros broke out of their offensive slump with a 16-9 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Headline pretty much sums it up.

Nobody asked me but…

The Seattle Mariners' plan to move the outfield fences in next season reminds me of the rationale for Daylight Saving Time.

Blanchette: Ichiro Trade Good For M’s

Going on record here that the Seattle Mariners shouldn’t have traded Ichiro Suzuki. They should have made him CEO. At least he grasped that he was no longer a fit with the only Major League Baseball franchise he’d ever known at this particular stage of its patented inertia. Howard Lincoln and his right-hand barnacle, Chuck Armstrong, would never have dared come to that conclusion themselves, nor would they have allowed their general manager to take any independent action.  It was Ichiro who asked out. Huck and Chowie have been studiously avoiding any tough decision on the matter – and any matter outside of where to go for lunch – for years now. Just one more reason for the congregation of 29,911 that assembled at Safeco Field on Monday night to murmur some proper amens/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo of Ichiro for first time in New York Yankees' uniform last night)

Question: I agree with colleague John Blanchette — the trade of declinging Ichiro was great for Seattle. How about you?

M’s make it 4 in a row

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez throws in the first inning against Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler during a baseball game in Seattle on Monday, May 21, 2012.  

 SEATTLE – Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners chased Texas’ Yu Darvish after just four innings in his shortest start of the season, and the Mariners rolled to their fourth straight win, a 6-1 victory over the Rangers on Monday night.

Felix Hernandez (4-3) rebounded from consecutive poor starts to hold the top offense in baseball to one run in eight innings.

So. Does anyone around here watch or listen to the Mariner's games?

M’s Fall To 1-1 With 4-1 Loss To A’s

Mariners' Justin Smoak hits a solo homer in front of Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki in the seventh inning of their American League MLB baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo onThursday. Story here. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Question: Predict the finish of the 4 teams from the American League West.

Ichiro, Ackley Lead M’s In Opener

Ichiro Suzuki racked up four hits — including an RBI single in the 11th inning — as the Mariners' right fielder had a homecoming to remember in a 3-1 victory for the Mariners in the first game of the Japan Opening Series with the A's on Wednesday. Second baseman Dustin Ackley drove in Seattle's other two runs with a home run in the fourth and the go-ahead single in the 11th, while Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings of one-run ball. “More than the four hits, it was more being able to enjoy the atmosphere with the fans,” Ichiro said through interpreter Antony Suzuki in the cramped Tokyo Dome visitor's clubhouse. “Being there with the same feelings, that was special to me. That's what will stay in my heart”/Greg Johns, MLB.com. More here. (AP photo: Dustin Ackley hits an RBI single in the 11th inning of their American League season opening MLB baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo today)

Question: How does it feel, Seattle fans, for your beloved Mariners to have the best record in Major League Baseball (1-0)?

M’s Begin Spring Training Games

Seattle Mariners' Blake Beavan throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics earlier today in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Question: Are you happy with the direction the Seattle Mariners are going?

APhoto Of The Day — 2.13.12

Seattle Mariners pitchers take part in an agility drill during spring training baseball earlier today in Peoria, Ariz. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Brother Suspect In M’s Player’s Killing

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early today and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said. Rotterdam Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said police were called to a home in the port city in the early hours of the morning and found the 24-year-old Dutch player bleeding from a stab wound. The officers and ambulance paramedics were unable to resuscitate Halman. Wessels said the officers arrested Halman’s 22-year-old brother. She declined to give his name, in line with Dutch privacy rules/Associated Press. More here.

Thoughts?

M’s beat Sox, win series

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Charlie Furbush

SEATTLE — When the trade was made that brought Charlie Furbush to Seattle, there wasn’t much background to know if the pitcher could eventually use his long left-handed frame to be a starter.

He was mostly used as a reliever in his time with Detroit, even though the majority of his experience in the minors was as a starter. Seattle has made the commitment for the rest of the season to see if Furbush can fit into its rotation plans.

More performances like Sunday, and he’ll certainly be there.

Furbush allowed just one run in a career-best seven innings, Casper Wells homered and scored two runs and the Seattle Mariners beat Boston 5-3, taking two of three from the A.L. East-leading Red Sox. Tim Booth, AP

Would just like to point out that the SEAHAWKS WON their first pre-season game last week. Carry on.

Hapless Mariners Lose 16th In A Row

Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira each homered and drove in three runs, Freddy Garcia stifled his former team and the New York Yankees handed the snakebit Seattle Mariners their 16th straight loss with a 10-3 victory Monday night. A rain delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes was the only thing that slowed this loss for Seattle. The game was barely under way when Teixeira crushed any pregame hopes Seattle had of jumping out early and snapping the streak, hitting a rare homer into the second deck in left field after Curtis Granderson walked in the first. In the third, Jeter hit his first homer since connecting for hit No. 3,000 on July 9. He also tripled in the eighth/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Curtis Granderson applauds Mark Teixeira's home run against Mariners)

Question: The Mariners have lost 16 games in a row. The American League record for consecutive losses is 21. Will they tie or break that record?

Wilting Mariners Face 100-Plus Heat

A thermometer on the dugout steps reads 101 degrees on the field at Fenway Park during batting practice prior to the Boston Red Sox baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Boston today. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Question: On the day that I successfully interviewed for the sports editor job at the Red Bluff (Calif.) Daily News, the temperature topped 118 degrees. I'm not exagerating. What and where is the hottest day you've experienced?

Mariners can really score — when fishing for lake trout

FISHING — A group of players and friends from the Seattle Mariners took advantage of the All Star break to catch a nice pile of Lake Chelan mackinaw on July 11.

 At left, Aaron Laffey of the Mariners caught with the big fish of the day, an 18.6-pound laker.

The group fished with Anton Jones (the short guy above) of Darrell & Dad's Family Guide Service.

“What still continues red hot is trolling for big lake trout on the Lake Chelan “Bar” early in the morning,” Jones said.  “We are trolling for those Mackinaw in depths of 120 to 150 feet on the Bar just out from the Mill Bay boat launch.  The uplake half of that piece of structure has been absolutely loaded with quality fish the past few weeks.  This pattern has been solid for over a month. 

“We have had consistent success pulling T4 and U20 flatfish in Purple Glow at 1.2 to 1.5 mph.  Mack’s Lures Cha Cha Squidders in glow colors with a purple blade also worked fine.  Additionally Silver Horde’s Ace Hi Fly in glow colors baited with a strip of Northern Pikeminnow also worked great. 

“Don’t forget that you can add an Action Disk from Wigglefin.com to give all those squid rigs a bit of a different action.  Big Smile Blades from Mack’s Lures are another fine choice. 

“Although early and late in the day continue to be best, we have caught nice numbers of fish throughout the day.” 

M’s Lose By 1 Run To Nats Again

Washington Nationals Jayson Werth, left, is tagged out at home by Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo (30) during the first inning of an interleague baseball game in Washington today. Werth was trying to score on a sacrifice fly to shallow center hit by Nationals batter Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals scored a walkoff run in the bottom of the ninth to win 1-0, their third one-run victory in a row over the Mariners this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Aardsman Brings M’s To Tweeple

Ever wonder what the showers look like inside the Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse? Mariners closer David Aardsma tweeted a photo a few weeks ago. Want to see the view from the Safeco Field roof? Aardsma is working on that. Aardsma, 140 characters at a time via Twitter, is bonding with fans this season in ways he never imagined thanks to the link that form of social media provides. He has answered fans’ questions, shown them photos, asked for advice himself and generally provided insight into life as a major leaguer/Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you follow any famous people on Twitter?

M’s Beat Angels Again, 2-1

Seattle Mariners' Luis Rodriguez, right, gets to the plate just under the tag from Los Angeles Angels catcher Hank Conger in the fifth inning of a baseball game this afternoon in Seattle. The Mariners beat Los Angeles 2-1 to win a pitcher's duel for the second straight day when newcomber Carlos Peguero singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Game story/boxscore here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Question: Izzit just me, or are the Mariners showing flashes of good starting pitching and starting to put some decent players on the diamond? I'll take youngster Carlos Peguero over Milton Bradley any day.

APhoto Of The Day — 5.6.11

Seattle Mariners' Luis Rodriguez is wrapped up by Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre after Beltre tagged out Rodriguez on a grounder from Adam Kennedy, who was safe at first in the third inning of a baseball game Thursday in Seattle. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Top Cutline:

  • 1. Major League players are now testing each other on the field for performance enhancing drugs with the reach-around technique — CoeurGenX.
  • 2. Due to the popularity of musical mashups, the MLB is trying athletic mashups. In tonight’s game, they’re mixing baseball with collegiate wrestling — Nic.
  • 3. Luis Rodriguez checks Beltre’s pockets to see if Adrian still had anything left of the many millions he stole from the M’s when he so-called ‘played’ for them — JohnA.
  • HM: Dennis & Charlie

Believe It Or Not …

… The Seattle Mariners beat host Detroit again today to sweep their three-game series with the Tigers, scoring 24 runs in the process to improve their record to 11-15. Here, rookie M's pitcher Michael Pineda delivers against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of the baseball game. Story here. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Vandersloot takes the mound

Courtney Vandersloot at Safeco Field, courtesy of the Seattle Mariners Facebook page.

Vandersloot to throw out first pitch for M’s

Record-breaking point guard Courtney Vandersloot, who led the Gonzaga women’s basketball team on a magical run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Easter Sunday.

The third pick in the WNBA draft by the Chicago Sky became the first player in NCAA history to surpass 2,000 points and 1,000 assists. The Kent, Wash., native won numerous awards and was a consensus All-American.

The Mariners play the Oakland Athletics, with the first official pitch at 1:10 p.m.

After the Zags made the Sweet 16 last year, coach Kelly Graves and Seattle native Vivian Frieson performed the same honor.

The Gonzaga release is here.

Blanchette: So Go The Mariners

After each home game, the Seattle Mariners media relations staff issues a page of notes, statistical curiosities mostly – RBI streaks, a hitter who owns opponent pitching, season highs and the like. All as straightforward as junior high math. On Sunday, however, after the Mariners were swept in their home-opening series by the Cleveland Indians, the final note read: “With today’s loss, the Mariners are currently on a seven-game losing streak … this is the first time they have lost seven straight since Sept. 8-15, 2010.” Now, these guys are pros. They have plausible deniability. Just pointing out the facts, they can say. No editorial comment intended. But you know. You just know. The first time since Sept. 8-15?/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Anyone ready to panic yet re: the potential for the 2011 Mariners?

Home Opener Focuses On Dave Niehaus

As family members look on, Marylin Niehaus, the widow of Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus, who died last year, throws out the first pitch of the Mariners home opener baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday in Seattle. The Mariners gave up 10 runs to the visiting Cleveland Indians in the fourth and fell behind 12-0 before losing 12-3. Story here. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Question: Who is your favorite baseball/sports announcer of all time?

One Of Those Days

Seattle Mariners catcher Adam Moore is helped off the field as Miguel Olivo, right, comes in to replace Moore during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, this afternoon. Moore left the game after hurting his right leg when retrieving a bounced pitched that he blocked and had just retrieved. The Rangers won 7-3. Story here. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Remembering Dave

Groundskeepers mow past a new outfield sign honoring long-time Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus at the team's ballpark Wednesday in Seattle. Niehaus died last November. The team opens their home season against the Cleveland Indians on Friday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

P.S. M’s Open Season In Oakland

In this 2010 file photo, Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez is kicked in the head by catcher Rob Johnson after the two chased a bunt from Baltimore’s Cesar Izturis in the fifth inning. Hernandez finished the game. Johnson is no longer with the club. But King Felix, the reigning American League Cy Young winner, will be on the mound tonight in Oakland as the M's open their 2011 season against the Athletics. Here's hoping that the Mariners don't suffer another pratfall this season as they did last year.

M’s Finalize Roster For Opening Day

In the waning days of spring, any summons into the manager's office is a heart-stopper. Hanging in the balance in the next few moments, depending on the words uttered, are exhilaration or agony. “My heart kind of dropped, but (Eric) Wedge had a big smile on his face,” said reliever Josh Lueke of his office call earlier this week. “I was like, 'Sweet.' ” Lueke was one of those Mariners bubble-dwellers who got the welcome news he had made the team. Wedge has been thrilled to deliver those messages to the likes of Lueke, Tom Wilhelmsen and Jamey Wright — but he dreads the flip-side/Larry Stone, Seattle Times. More here. (AP 2010 file photo, of Ichiro Suzuki sliding into home)

Question: Does anyone out there expect the Mariners to finish in any place other than the American League West basement this year?

King Felix Wins AL Cy Young Award

In this May 18 file photo shows Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez in action against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game, in Oakland, Calif. Hernandez was chosen AL Cy Young Award winner today by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Seattle P-I story here. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Question: Is it right for a Cy Young winner to come from a last place team like the Seattle Mariners? Shouldn’t the award be given to someone who helped his team to the postseason?