I got a whole bunch of emails/IMs from my posse back in Seattle about how Bill Bavasi just got fired.
I have to admit, I'm a bit out of touch with the Seattle Mariners right now -- all I really know is that they suck and that people are unhappy about it. I know that USS Mariner and Lookout Landing had a mondo blogosphere get-together party at the downtown Seattle library this past weekend, which brings back all kinds of weird memories since I used to work at a building kitty-cornered with that library, and because this blog kind of started as the result of a USSM meetup in 2004. I also know that the first time I met Bill Bavasi was at a USSM meetup, and I was astounded by how well he dealt with our crowd of weirdoes, statheads, but basically rabid Mariners fans.
And that's the thing. I'm not offering an opinion on this, because I did talk to Bavasi a few times, and he always seemed like a good guy. I mean, heck, he even apologized to us for trading Chris Snelling. I don't know how much of what is perceived as him sucking at his job came from problems we as fans don't really know about (like, do free agents really not want to come to Seattle due to the weather, distance, or coffee?) and how much of it was genuinely sucking.
So. Yes, I heard. Sorry, guys -- I hope stuff gets better back in Seattle soon! And I really do miss everyone, I hope I can be back in town for a blogosphere meetup again someday!
In the realm of other things I heard, first lemme spend a second on Yokohama, which is trying desperately to do something about their lack of pitching. Last week they traded catcher Kazunari Tsuruoka to the Giants for Hiroki Sanada, and then this week they traded outfielder Masaaki Koike to Chunichi for Yuya Ishii. It's odd because in both cases, I'm pretty familiar with the guy they traded away but not as familiar with the guy coming in. Maybe that's a good thing. I hope it works out for them, in any case, but I don't entirely understand why Chunichi needs another outfielder. (And I still can't help but hear "Hey Mickey" whenever I see Koike mentioned; it was his old at-bat music, so in my brain he's always "Koike you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, Koike!")
But speaking of Chunichi, do you remember how I said the 2008 Dragons Calendar is cursed? April was Kawakami and he got slammed, May was Morino and he got a random leg injury, and now... and now... Ibata also has a leg injury. I actually saw it happen at Chiba on the 4th, but since he went back in the game and continued playing for the next week or two, I didn't know how serious it was. In case you are wondering, Ibata is June on the Dragons calendar. And Iwase is July.
In complete randomness, I was reading this month's issue of Pro Yakyu Ai and am glad to see they are keeping up with the times -- Hayato Sakamoto, in addition to having a full feature story, had his first appearance ever in the Top 50. He knocked Aoki out of the top 3 and broke the Munerin-Nishioka-Aoki deadlock that's been there all year. Crazy. Now if only he wasn't on the Giants...
Anyway, I spent a lot of time watching the Chiba Lotte Marines this weekend, and writeups will be forthcoming very soon (with pictures).