Sunday, May 30, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 5/30/10

Time to look back in the Mariners past again. Today's name should be one that is fairly familiar to most people. Maybe not, but if you watched the playoffs the last few years, or had the SuperStation in the 90's on your TV you know him. Before his ties to the biggest television broadcast of baseball, he was a player for the Mariners.

After graduating from Norman High School in Oklahoma, Joe Simpson was drafted in the 14th round by the Washington Senators in the 1970 draft. He did not sign with the Senators, opting to attend the University of Oklahoma instead. While with the Sooners, Joe made it tot the College World Series in 1972 and 1973. He was also named as a third team All-American in 1973. In June of 1973, Joe was drafted in the 3rd round of the amateur draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After spending 1973 with the  class A Bakersfield Dodgers and AAA Albuquerque Dukes in the minors, Joe moved up to the AA Waterbury Dodgers and again with the Dukes in 1974. After spending most of 1975 in AAA with the Dukes, Joe was a September call up to the Dodgers. He made his major league debut as a pinch hitter for Don Sutton on September 2, 1975 in Candlestick Park against the Giants.

For the 1976 season, he would spend some time with the Dodgers in May and June, but played most of the season in Albuquerque. The end of the season would see him back with the big club. The story was the same for the 1977 season, seeing time in July and August and sticking around again in September. Joe would spend the entire 1978 season in Albuquerque until being a September call up again. In 1979, Joe would spend spring training with the Dodgers in Vero Beach, Florida. Before the season started, his contract was purchased by the Mariners. He was immediately put to work in the outfield for the Mariners. While spending some time in left field, Joe was made into the everyday right fielder.

Joe would become a stable figure in the outfield for the Mariners for the next few years. In all, he would spend four years patrolling the Kingdome outfield for the Mariners. 1980 would be his most productive season with the bat, batting behind Julio Cruz. After the 1982 season, Joe was selected by the Kansas City Royals in major league portion of the rule 5 draft. The Royals decided to try Joe at first base instead due to the wear and tear of the Kingdome carpet on the knees. He also saw some time in the outfield for the Royals. On September 1st of 1983 the Royals were getting blown out 11-0 by the White Sox. Joe pitched the bottom of the eighth inning giving up two walks and a double to Jerry Hairston.  Four days at home against the Mariners, the Royals were again getting blown out 13-3. Joe pitched the last two innings against the Mariners giving up no hits and striking out 1 batter. Joe would spend 1984 in the California Angels organization, playing with the AAA Edmonton Trappers. He would retire after the 1984 season.

In 1985, Joe went into the field of broadcasting baseball. He would spend 1985 and 1986 with the Oklahoma City 89er's as a color analyst. During 1986, he also did NCAA regional games in Stillwater, Oklahoma for college baseball. In 1987, he was named to be a color analyst with the Mariners. He worked for the Mariners from 1987-1991. He was partnered with hall of famer Dave Niehaus, and Rick Rizzs on radio and television. For 1992, Joe moved on to work for WTBS television and radio for the Atlanta Braves.  During his time with TBS and TurnerSports, Joe worked with some of the great voices of baseball. He has spent time with Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and the man that he made his MLB debut for, Don Sutton. Joe now does games on FSN South and Sport South with Chip Caray. Starting in 2007, Joe also does playoff baseball on TBS, covering National League playoff games.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Noah was a Mariner, right?

Noah had an ark that sailed with animals. That would make him a Mariner in a round about way, right? I did a deal long ago with blog reader Noah. I sent him some Mets cards and in turn he sent me Mariners cards needed for the super set. We were both happy. Then, out of nowhere a box shows up in my mailbox. It's from Noah again with more Mariners cards I can use. This was a totally unexpected gesture. I very much appreciate the extra cards Noah. You definitely went above and beyond. I have a new found affection for that Mets fan. The cards he sent were from all makers and all kinds of years.

The coolest card, by far was this one though. Does the tie-dye jersey not just scream minor league rookie ball. The Everett AquaSox have been known to do some strange things.

Thanks again Noah! I'm not sure I know how to say thanks enough or re-pay you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Owl droppings are old school!

A thank you goes out to the Night Owl! Not only did he send me the six cards I needed to finish off Series 1, but he also sends just about every 1984 Fleer Mariners card I needed for the super set!!

I don't know even how to say thank you enough. Those cards are just as cool as cool can be. I love to go through some of the old school stuff and see names I forgot. I will have to see if I can hook you up with some more Dodger goodies. Thanks again to the Night Owl!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 5/23/10

Time again. It's Sunday, it's raining like all get out and I need to look back in the past for another player. The first name that for some reason was this guy this week. Not a guy I was all that fond of, but did help us when we needed him.

After growing up in Puerto Rico, Joey Cora went to Vanderbilt University. He was the 23rd player selected in the first round of the 1985 draft. He spent that summer in Spokane,WA playing for the Indians of the Northwest League. In 1986, he moved up to AA and was playing for the Golden Gators in Beaumont, TX.

During the 1986 season on June 22, Joey was tabbed after a game in San Antonio, TX.  He was waiting outside the team bus following the game against the San Antonio Missions at V.J. Keefe Stadium when two men called his name and then assaulted him. He was stabbed once in the stomach and once in the arm. Cora was quickly rushed to the hospital and later made a full recovery after spending six weeks on the disabled list. A man named Jose Puente, 29, was caught at the scene and was later charged with attempted murder. Apparently he had exchanged words with fans outside of the visitor's dressing room, resulting in the fans returning with more men later on.

1987 would see Joey make the jump to the big leagues and be the starting second baseman for the Padres on opening day in 1987. During 1987, he basically spent half his time with the Padres, and half with the AAA Las Vegas Stars. 1988 was spent in Las Vegas. Joey spent most of 1989 in Vegas, but also played for the Padres a small amount in 1989. 1990 was a 50/50 split on playing time between AAA and the majors. At the end of spring training in 1991, the Padres traded Joey and two other players to the Chicago White Sox for two players. In '91 he split time with Scott Fletcher at 2nd base, and in '92 he split time with Steve Sax. In 1993 and 1994 he was the everyday 2nd baseman for the White Sox.

During the start of camp in 1995 after the strike Joey signed as a free agent with the Mariners. He would be the everyday 2nd baseman for the next four years. He was remembered by the Seattle fans when the magical run of the 1995 season ended, when he was consoled by then rookie Alex Rodriguez while crying in the dugout of the Kingdome. Because of that little moment, the women of Seattle all fell in love with "Little Joey," and his sensitive side. For the years to come you would find many signs in the Kingdome asking "MARRY ME JOEY!!"

At the end of August during the 1998 season the Mariners traded Joey to the Cleveland Indians for David Bell.  Joey would finish the season with the Indians. In 1999, he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays, but did not play for them, opting to retire instead.

After spending 1999 retired, Joey returned in 2000 to manage the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. In 2001 and 2002, he managed the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachian league. 2003 saw him manage the Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League. (Side note: Do they not have one of the coolest names and logos or what?)

Before the 2004 season, Joey was hired by close friend Ozzie Guillen to be his third base coach with the Chicago White Sox. Joey held that position through the 2006 season. Starting in 2007, Joey became Ozzie's bench coach and currently still hold that position. At the end of the 2008 season, the Mariners were looking to replace Jim Riggleman, who had replaced John McLaren midway through the season. During the search for a new manager, the Mariners interviewed and considered hiring Joey as the manager of the Mariners. They eventually chose Don Wakamatsu instead. There is still love in Seattle for Joey when the Sox come to town.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Break out the BOOM sticks!

This is the game I think every Mariners fan has been waiting for. The offense absolutely exploded last night on the Padres! Nothing like piling on 15 runs on 15 hits. We needed almost all of it as Cliff Lee wasn't completely on last night. Mike Sweeney went off on the pitchers, going 4 for 5 with two homers and two singles and picking up 6 RBI's. Josh Bard has done nicely since being called up from Tacoma. He goes 2 for 3 last night with 3 RBI's. I even think the time off helped get Milton Bradley's head straight. In the three games since he's come back, he is 5 for 12. I think if he is in the right frame of mind, we will continue to be happy with the results. Let's hope that Ian Snell can keep it going to night and maybe soon we can get back into this thing.

Late to the Party

As everyone knows by now, Enough Already! is having a giveaway. Answer 6 simple questions and you could win. Go give it a try. Some cool prizes to be won!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kiss of Death!!

I'm a little fearful for Don Wakamastu's job right now. Before today's 4-3 walk-off win, Jack Zduriencik talked to the media and gave Wak the dreaded "vote of confidence." 

"We would love to be playing better baseball and we see signs here and there that maybe guys are coming out of it," Zduriencik said of the Mariners struggling offense. "It has been disappointing and perplexing in a lot of ways. Don has a job to do -- he has to get this club to where it needs to get to and I know he intends to do that. "We're very supportive of him right now that he will do that." Zduriencik pointed out that, "We are six weeks into the season, and there are plenty of games remaining to get the season turned around." 

 We have all seen in the past what that usually means for coaches or managers. Heads usually roll soon after. I was nice to see Wak get his 100th career victory today, even if it was from his office. Yes, that's right. For the first time in 203 career games as a manager, he was ejected in the 8th inning. It did spark a 3 run ninth inning for the win. I hope these guys will now get it turned around and get back to playing the way they can.

Birthday Bash!

1st and Goal is celebrating it's first birthday. In recognition of his achievement he is holding a mystery prize contest just for answering a few simple questions. Head over and give him a read and maybe you will win some cool stuff. He does a good blog about football and other nuggets of goodness. Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Contest Time!

Not here. I don't know what I have that anyone would want in a contest. Big D over at Hey, That's Mine! is holding a contest to make you very own custom card. I know that I really want an old school Tony Gwynn card if I get lucky enough to win one. Actually any Tony Gwynn card would work for me. Head over to his blog and sign up for your chance to win today!

What to say??

I have no words for my teams right now. The Mariners can't seem to buy a win. Once again Mr League takes the loss in the 10th. My Sharks can't seem to get out their own way either. Not good going to Chicago down 0-2. It does help that the Blackhawks haven't been great at home. "So you're saying there's a chance!" I really don't know what to make of the M's. Granted, we did get five runs, and Felix didn't pitch great but we have to find a way to win these games. I don't like the fact that our record is looking like 2008's when we lost 101 games. I hope something will start to change against Toronto. Also if anyone has a DH that can hit better than .185, we'll take him. Pull it together Sharks, and get after them on Friday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blast to the past

I know that everyone has moved on to Heritage, Chicle, and Bowman but I was wondering if anyone has these cards laying around that they don't need? I really don't do those three sets only the standard Topps set.I would really like to finish off the Series 1 stuff before I start chasing Series 2 soon. I lifted pictures of them off the internet since I don't own the cards. Thanks for all your help everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baseball cards come to my mailbox!

I recently got another hit on the super set wantlist. Bo over at Baseball Cards Come To Life sent me an e-mail saying he had a bunch of cards to help the list. In all he sent me 107 cards I needed for the set. Here are 9 of some of the coolest cards:

The card that I thought was most interesting was the Randy Johnson card that I showed the back of. It was the one time he wore #34 to honor Nolan Ryan after he retired when his arm gave out at the Kingdome. Just wanted to let Bo know that his cards went out today. The package is small, but I will send more when I have some time to search through cards for him. My son's baseball is taking up life five nights a week. What we do for our kids. If you don't read Bo's work, you should. He brings a comical and informative look at some of baseball's greatest cards. Thanks again for the cards Bo!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Do you have an extra...

run to spare me? The Mariners definitely need some. How do you let a performance like Cliff Lee's today slip away?! The guy goes 8, gives up 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts, and you can only score one run for him?! I'm starting to think the whole dang team should be fired and not just the hitting coach. We knew there was no big hitters on this team to hit homers, but how about a clutch hit that drives in a run or two. I guess we can hope for better in Oakland, but I'm not counting on it. As a team, you are only hitting .232 and can only get on base about 33% of the time, not going to cut it if you want to even be in the playoff hunt. Time to start working some more magic Jackie Z.

Retro Mariner Sunday 5/16/10

Sunday again, time to get in the way back machine and stroll down memory lane. Today's name is a very familiar one to most. Today we look at the big kid out of Chattanooga, Rick Honeycutt. After originally being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 14th round in 1972 out of Lakeview HS in Georgia, he opted for the University of Tennessee instead. During his time at UT he was an All-American First Baseman/Pitcher. He also won a batting in the SEC with a .404 avg. The end of his college career in 1976, saw him get drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round. The summer of 1976 saw Rick pitch for the Niagara Falls Pirates in NYPenn League. In 1977, he was moved up to the AA Shreveport Captains in the Pirates system. On August 22 that year he was dealt to the Mariners as the player to be named later in a deal that sent Dave Pagan to the Pirates. He made his major league debut two days later on the 24th, pitching the final 2 innings of a double header against the Toronto Blue Jays. He only gave up two hits and struck out three in that game. He would get his first start in Yankee Stadium on August 31, 1977 and pitched well but got a no decision. He would get his first win on April 7, 1978 defeating the Minnesota Twins in the Kingdome.

Rick was also remembered for an incident on September 30, 1980 when he was caught scuffing a ball with a thumbtack he taped to his finger in a game in Kansas City. After hitting a double Willie Wilson noticed the tack on his finger and pointed it out to the umpires. He had also cut a gash in his forehead because he forgot about the tack. When the umpires found it, he was ejected ans subsequently suspended for 10 days and fined $250. Those are the unfortunate thing a 17 loss season will make you do. On December 12 of 1980, Rick was traded to the Texas Rangers as part of a ten player deal. Considering he was part of some bad Mariner teams in the beginning, he finished his Mariner career with a 26-41 record in 99 games,a 4.22 ERA, he had 21 complete games(rare thing these days), and in 560 2/3 innings he gave up 299 runs, 187 walks and 229 strikeouts.

For the 1981 and 1982 seasons, Rick was a starter for the Rangers. In late August of 1983, he was traded to the Dodgers for Dave Stewart and $200,000. Rick would stay with in the Dodger Blue until late August in 1987. He was traded from the Dodgers to the Oakland Athletics for Tim Belcher. Although he would be granted free agency twice by Oakland in 1988 and 1992, he would sign both times with the Athletics to remain in Oakland. His highlight would be winning a World Series ring with the A's in 1989. After the 1993 season, he would again be a free agent this time signing back with the Rangers. After playing a year with the Rangers, free agency came knocking again. Due to the late start to the the 1995 season due to the strike, Rick signed again with Oakland in April of 1995. Late in September of 1995, he was purchased by the Yankees. He was not able to play against the Mariners in the famous 1995 ALDS because he was not on the roster before the cutoff. After the 1995 season, he was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals. He would spend 1996 and 1997 with the Cardinals as the oldest player in the league.

After retiring in 1997, Rick spent a year back home to coach his son Ricky's travel team and attend his daughter Holli's volleyball games at Belmont University. He also eventually opened Rick Honeycutt Sports, a sporting goods store in Chattanooga. He and his wife Debbie also bought a 100-acre, 42 stall ranch, that was transformed into a retreat for special needs children. In 2001, he was hired by the Dodgers to be a consultant for the minor league pitchers. He was promoted to Coordinator of the Minor League pitchers in 2002. In 2006, he was named pitching coach of the big league team by manager Grady Little.  When Joe Torre took over as manager in 2008, only Rick and Mariano Duncan were retained on the staff. 2010 sees Rick spending his fifth year molding some of the Dodger's good young pitchers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Please call him Mister

This kid is really starting to come into his own. I have been extremely impressed with the job Doug Fister(stop laughing) is doing this year. I wasn't too sure what to make of him last year. He was fairly shaky and easily rattled last year. I'm sure some of that was the first time in the bigs nerves. I know that he only lasted 5 innings, which is his second shortest outing, but he kept the Rays in check. They wouldn't have scored a run if not for catching a spike for a balk to score a run.

This kid has been awesome this year and isn't scared of any team he faces. I love the fact that he is 3-1 in 47 innings with only 35 hits, 9 runs, 9 walks, 20 strikeouts, and a 1.72 ERA. In his three no decisions, he was in position to win two of them taking a lead into the ninth, but David Aardsma proceeded to to blow the saves and the games. The third was a tie game when he left after 7 innings. I'm not trying to say he'll win the Cy Young, but not bad for a kid that was only drafted in 2006, and isn't a power pitcher. I think we really have a chance in this series, Vargas goes today and has been fairly good and Cliff Lee vs. Matt Garza on Sunday(must see TV). Here's to hoping for good things in Tampa!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

In a league of his own

I'm not sure what to make of Brandon League. One time he is good, one time he is god awful. Felix goes 7 yesterday, gives up one run and has the win coming. Brandon comes in in the eighth, and 16 pitches later we are down a run after a Luke Scott grand slam. He is 3-3, with 3 blown saves, given up 19 hits, 11 runs and only struckout 14 guys in 20 1/3 innings and has a 3.98 ERA. Not really the numbers you want to see out of one of your set-up guys. If anyone remembers the Mariners of old, Brandon is really starting to remind me of this guy:

I'm not really sure the 2010 Mariners fans are ready for another Bobby Ayala. Let's hope for something in Tampa Bay.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Clear Cut Dog Face trade

I wanted to send out a couple of thank yous to recent traders. Not too long ago I got an e-mail from Jason at Clear Cut Cards. He sent me this nice looking Johjima card and a few UD cards for the super set. Not a big Johjima fan, but it is a nice looking card.

Also in the mail recently was a trade I received from Tim at the Real DFG. He was looking for any cards that were Pittsburgh related. I was more than happy to send him some Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins cards. In return, I got the box that I originally sent to him filled with Mariners and Sharks cards.

Thanks again to both you guys. Hope you enjoy your cards and I look forward to future trades.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prime 9 gets a hit

A big thank you goes out to Jim at GCRL. I sent him an e-mail that I had a few cards off his Nefarious 9 collection and was willing to get them to him. He in turn rewarded me with some cards off my super set want list and two cards from my Prime 9. Look at those two cards of beauty. The rookie card of my favorite Mariner ever, and the highlight card from Tony Gwynn getting hit #3000. The Prime 9 will now have two new cards added to the list of the greatest cards I would love to own. Thanks again to you Jim. If you don't read his blog regularly, you should give it a look, he is good at what he does.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birthday cards from Padrographs

Yesterday was a very important birthday. It wasn't mine, but the great Mr. Padre turned 50 yesterday. Last week I received a package from Rod at Padrographs. He is streamlining his collection and had extra Tony Gwynns that he was willing to send to me. In all I got about 50 new cards that I didn't own. I big thank you to Rod, and a big Happy Birthday to Mr. Gwynn. Look at some of these cards, aren't they just great! Thank you Rod!