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Malik (5/7/12)

II took last week off from posting since life is going fast and frantic about now. I've not had much time to even think about games as I juggle good weather (being a homeowner makes good weather into a time of chores...and a time to finally break down and say "I'm buying a mower instead of inheriting fix-em-up garbage mowers."), a few sport events I had to keep up on (Sounders FC are in a hell month of non-stop matches twice a week), an awesome job interview, and an attempt of sorts to see more money come into my current paycheck. When all of that comes together, it makes one need a vacation.

On the note of the Sounders, they are just amazing this year. Normally they start a season a little cool and then build from there into a playoff team. This year, the Sounders have started with a half dozen wins and only one single loss and one single draw. This is a team that just looks amazing...and that is despite having one injury plagued roster. Zakuani is still out from his bad leg break over a year ago, Johnson has only now come back to what was expected when the Sounders signed him, Rosales is still trying to get in a full 90, and now even Gsperning (the starting keeper) has a hip injury. If the Sounders can do this with so many injuries, it will only get better when the roster is healthy.

I wish I could post more, but until life slows down a bit, the only geeky thing allowed around me is to watch the Sounders twice a week while trying to get in some emails at the same time. I need a vacation.


Malik (5/9/12)

I'm still not getting much time with real games, unless you count playing far too much Angry Birds on Android. I know it's sad, but I have been unable to stop playing Angry Birds for the last two days. It started with my playing through of all of Angry Birds Rio, and now it's continuing into Angry Birds Seasons. It's like an addiction once you start playing, even when you really have no interest in playing. I mean my main reason for playing initially was to drain my battery (my somewhat new battery still has not gone through more than a single full cycle of drain 100% and charge 100%). It has moved beyond that idea of productivity and turned into a mess of me not being able to find an escape...besides the escapism of playing Angry Birds.

On a separate note, I have been watching the Mariners more than I feel like I should admit. When your local team is this damned bad, it is not a thing one wants to admit to following. I mean the M's still have an anemic offense and a few pitchers who may be good but seem uninterested to perform when they will expect to earn an L for giving up only a single run (due to the final score being something around 0-1 at the end of nine aggravating innings).

I have heard many reasons for why the M's are bad from local and national sports writers, but I feel flat out dumbfounded when the most obvious reason just doesn't get any mention. I'll hear that it's because of Chone Figgins. While Figgins is a complete bust (I never thought he was worth the hype even when he was with the Angles), one man doesn't cause eight others to lack any offense in a given game. I've heard that the team needs to play the young guys more...which would be wise if they were not already fielding a team that falls more towards young than old (unlike about four to six years back when the team looked like a senior all-star team...that was playing against current pros). I've heard that Wedge cannot coach worth a crap, but he is working with what he has. I've heard that Jack Z is a joke of a GM who doesn't get good players on the team, despite how he is hampered by Lincoln and Armstrong failing at the front office while suffering from an owner who things you must NOT spend money to make money.

The truth of the matter, I have a theory beyond these that seems to actually fit. When spring training begins, the M's look offensively amazing (instead of just having an offensive offense). As spring ball goes further along, the offense starts to falter. Then when the season is upon the MLB, the M's have no offense left. Now, with that in mind, either the M's have a team that cannot survive for more than a month of exertion, or they have something that is effecting them over time on their batting. Considering how many players use their own training styles and personally hired trainers in the off-season, it seems obvious to me. The M's have to have to worst batting coach in the MLB...and probably the worst out there at any level from little league, to college to A, to AA, to AAA, and up through the majors.

I think, in my theory, that as the M's batting coach gets his hands on the players, he starts to break them of good habits picked up in the winter and instills some bad lessons that don't fit the player. Each baseball player has their own approach to the plate, and this needs to be handled individually by a hitting coach. Instead, I see some fool who is just giving either a one-size-fits-all lesson, or a guy who just cannot figure out the style that best fits each player. If it is not the batting coach, then why do Seattle fans (all 2 of us who remain) continue to see a team get worse as spring ball continues and fails entirely by the end of September (October only counts for teams that have a chance in hell of progressing, and you need hitters to do that).

I think with guys like Montero, Ackerly, Smoalk (who looks especially hard hit with bad techniques being put in his head), Seager, Carp, and Ichiro, who all show natural talent, this must be the problem...and the solution is simple. The M's need to fire their batting coach and bring in someone who knows how to teach, and knows how to read what style best fits a player. Personally, I'd vote for the M's begging Edgar Martinez (who, from what I understand, used to help with hitting tips when he was still on the M's as DH). Whoever the M's get, they need to look at the hitting coach for the most likely culprit of years of flounders at the plate.


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