San Shin
This is Jeff Shaw's blog about the Seattle Mariners and writing and politics and whatever else comes to mind.

"In Marines' Way," Sierra Magazine, July/August 2004.
"The Price is Wrong," In These Times, March 31, 2004.
"Out of Burma," Multinational Monitor, Jan-Feb 2004.
"Discover Lost Lake," Bellingham Herald, April 15, 2004.
"Peruse Canyon Lake Creek Forest," Bellingham Herald, April 1, 2004.
Older articles on politics, the outdoors, etc. Poems.

The USS Mariner
Mariner Musings
Seattle P-I
Leone For Third
Mariners Wheelhouse
Mariner Optimist
The Safest Blog
Mariner Rumblings and Grumblings
One Hundred Sixteen
Sports and Bremertonians
SoDo Oh No
Cracking the Safe
Nice Guys Finish Third
Trident Fever
At Least the Red Sox Have 1918
Mariner Minors
Sons of Buhner
Grand Salami
Dead Reckoning (an M's news blog)
Olympia Mariner
Dave's Mariners Blog
Just Another Mariners Blog
Mariner Talk

Sportsfilter (community sports 'blog)
Baseball Blogs
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference

POLITICAL BLOGS Talking Points Memo
Poltical Animal
Daily Kos

Poynter (home)
50 writing tools
Reporter's Desktop

Copper Canyon Press
Academy of American Poets
Lannan Audio Archive
Atlantic Audio Anthology
Laurable poetry audio links
Slate poetry audio files
Missouri Review blog

In These Times
The Christian Science Monitor
Mother Jones
The Progressive
Z Magazine
The Japan Policy Research Institute
The Nation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Washington Post OnPolitics
Latest AP news
LA Times
New York Times
Congressional Record

Sean Meade

Contact me: jeffmshaw at hotmail period com

"Two U.S. Banks SWIFT To Skirt Burma Sanctions," The NewStandard, March 9, 2004.
"Certifiably Insane? Wood-labeling program less green than it appears," Grist Magazine, Feb. 23, 2004.
"Review of Chalmers Johnson's Sorrows of Empire," Seattle Weekly, Feb. 4, 2004.
"A Base Draws Ire, So U.S. Looks to Sea," Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 22, 2004.
"Quietly, Bush Administration Moves to Implement Patriot II," The NewStandard, Dec. 30, 2003.
"From Worst to First: Under Pressure, Boise Cascade Agrees to Stop Logging Old Growth Forests," Multinational Monitor, Nov. 2003.
"Bioprospecting: Corporations Profit from Indigenous Genes," In These Times, Nov. 26, 2003.
?Opportunity knocks: under cover of war, the Bush administration pushes for fast track,? IN THESE TIMES, Vol. 25, No. 26, Oct. 26, 2001.
?BC Considers Putting Treaty Process to a Vote,? NATIVE AMERICAS, Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 2001.
?Granny B: British Columbia Green Party candidate Betty Krawczyk,? IN THESE TIMES, July 9, 2001.
??Free? no more: activist Jeffrey Luers,? IN THESE TIMES, August 6, 2001.
?What goes around: an interview with Chalmers Johnson,? IN THESE TIMES, October 29, 2001.

"Bring the Family to Connelly Creek Nature Area," Bellingham Herald, Feb. 19, 2004.
Trail Report: Shadow of the Sentinels, Bellingham Herald, Feb. 5, 2004.
"A Walk to Racehorse Falls," Bellingham Herald, Jan. 23, 2004.
"Railroad Trail Passes By Scudder Pond," Bellingham Herald, Dec. 25, 2003.
Fall Hikers View Migrating [Mountain Goat] Herds," Bellingham Herald, Nov. 5, 2003.
"Catch the Colors at Chain Lakes," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 30, 2003.
"Break a Sweat on Pine, Cedar Lakes Trail," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 11, 2003.
"Panoramic view; Trail's summit reveals Mounts Baker, Shuksan," Bellingham Herald, Sept 25, 2003.
"High divide; Trail features great views," Bellingham Herald, Sept 22, 2003.

"A word with writer Russell Banks," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 11, 2003.
"The Weakerthans Grow Strong," Z Magazine, Dec. 2003.

"Prayer at the Tomb of My Wife's Grandfather," Arbutus, Summer 2003.
"Memory," Arbutus, Summer 2003.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004
Shameless Jeff-promotion: I've got a story about Scuba diving in today's Bellingham Herald. Check it out if you're so inclined.
posted by Jeff link 4:51 PM [edit]

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

There can be only one ... or two at most: Many of you have no doubt taken a peek at the new home for my Mariner thoughts. A team blog makes more sense for me, given that interplay with a talented writer like Peter White will be fun, and that both of us are getting busier.

This blog will stay alive, though posting will be less Mariner, more politics and writing. In the meantime, check out Mariner Musings!
posted by Jeff link 9:29 PM [edit]

Ichiro Is Everywhere!:

"Yeah, everybody's got a little bit of Elvis in 'em.
Everybody except one person.
The evil opposite of Elvis.
the Anti-Elvis."
--Mojo Nixon

If, as Mojo posits, we are all moving in perfect peace and harmony toward Elvisness -- as part of a process called ElvisLution -- then Ichiro is surely further along than most.

Musically, Nixon suggests that The King's doppelganger is Michael J. Fox, who reflected very little Elvisness in his role as Alex P. Keaton. After tonight's paean to Ichiro!, I asked myself: Self, who is the evil opposite of Ichiro?

Just then came the dulcet tones of Ron Fairly. "And there's strike three on Bloomquist, his second strikeout in as many at bats since he replaced Justin Leone."

Too perfect.

Follow me as I prove using undisputable scientific facts that Willie Bloomquist is, in fact, the evil opposite of Ichiro: the Anti-Ichiro.


Bloomquist: bats right
Ichiro: bats left

Bloomquist: white
Ichiro: not

Bloomquist: has both lowest Equivalent Average and lowest Value Over Replacement Player (-5.6!) among regular M's (with more than 100 plate appearances). His .216 EqA is even lower than Scott Spiezio's
Ichiro: has both highest EqA (.312) and highest VORP (50.6) among regular M's

Bloomquist: from Port Orchard
Ichiro: from Kasugai, Japan, about as far from Port Orchard as you can get

Bloomquist: can't get down a bunt, even as a sacrifice
Ichiro: regularly bunts for base hits

Bloomquist: considered a poor man's Charles Gipson
Ichiro: considered a rich man's Kenny Lofton, or maybe is just much richer than Kenny Lofton

Bloomquist: primarily an infielder, allegedly can play the outfield
Ichiro: outstanding defensive outfielder

Bloomquist: slogan associated with him is "Wolf Pride"
Ichiro: slogan "baseball is just baseball" embodies philosophy of Zen-like grace, has inspired book

Bloomquist: He'll turn 27 in November, and is batting .239 with an OBP of .261 and a SLG of .291, may be league's Least Valuable Player
Ichiro: When he was 27, was hitting .350 and stealing 56 bases on his way to the league Most Valuable Player award

The non-similarities are eerie. Anyone else feel those Twilight Zone chills?

Let's just hope Ichiro doesn't high-five Bloomquist after a base hit. The reaction might be like matter versus anti-matter.

Lest the blog become to pessimistic: Is there a more enjoyable player to watch on the Mariners than Bobby Madritsch? Ichiro! and Bucky Jacobsen are the only players that I have as much fun tracking. Even if the guy weren't a great story -- a tattooed Lakota refugee from the independent leagues -- he pitches fearlessly, and there's a lot to be said for that in terms of watchability. This is somebody to root for.

posted by Jeff link 7:43 PM [edit]

With tonight's effort -- he's 4 for 4 with five RBI as of this writing -- Ichiro has 60 multihit games on the season. This is the Mariners' 118th game.

People going to see the Mariners this year have a better than one-in-three chance of seeing two or more hits from Ichiro. Excuse me: from Ichiro!.
posted by Jeff link 7:12 PM [edit]

Monday, August 16, 2004

The TV Critic becomes The Dance Critic:

Between the third and fourth innings yesterday, the Safeco Field grounds crew stopped grooming the infield to perform one of its cutesy dance routines to the tune, "There's No Business Like Show Business."

One fan in the spendy seats was so stirred that she gave the crew a standing ovation.

In truth, it wasn't deserved. The dancers' spacing was off and their movements out of sync.

Hey Mike, maybe Levesque should start posting his reviews of grounds crew dance performances on the P-I blog. It could be like American Bandstand meets Rob Ryder's ESPN column: "Well, I liked the guy with the rake, I gave him a 43."

I smell a boost to unique hits! Or maybe that's just the bullpen that stinks.
posted by Jeff link 10:40 AM [edit]

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Bad thing to come out of today's game: Doesn't Shigetoshi Hasegawa coming into tie games give you that Ayala-esque "well, there's no way the Green Hornet is getting out of this one" feeling?

Good thing to come out of today's game: Rico on the radio broadcast: "The Mariners and Yankees actually are about even in hits on the year. But the Yankees walk more, and they hit more home runs, and that translates to more runs."

Based upon this one, simple revelation, I'm willing to make The Rick general manager if Bavasi's willing to swap jobs.

posted by Jeff link 6:03 PM [edit]

Friday, August 13, 2004

Bret Boone has cleared waivers, says Jayson Stark.

Though this means he can be traded before Aug. 31, I don't expect him to be. If the market was bad for him before, it likely still is, and he'll probably be back with us at $9 million for next year.
posted by Jeff link 4:45 PM [edit]

Another reason to like Bret Boone: Hit streak, whatever. I love that Boone pooh-poohs this sort of thing, especially because the M's commentators seem obsessed with "hit streaks." Ron Fairly earlier this year said that Dan Wilson was "working on a little two-game hitting streak."

Can we just agree, as a society, that such a "streak" doesn't start until it reaches double digits? I'll ask for 15, plead to 10, settle for eight. At least eight.

Maddening: Just finished a season of Madden 2004 in anticipation of the new 2005 game's release this week, so I was pumped to read all the anticipatory propaganda foreshadowing the world's greatest video game. Sadly, save the usually reliable Sports Guy, almost all of it sucked. One example:

Is it just me, or does this guy come across as the one lamer who always manages to put the wet blanket treatment on group gatherings? "Sure, you beat me ... but you went for it on fourth down! That doesn't count!" "OK, you won ... but you hit pause when your girlfriend brought the nachos in! That's cheating!"

Someone page Spaulding Smails, I think we have a new gold medal favorite in the Whining Olympics.

This serves me right for actually looking at ESPN's Page 3. And it could be worse: I could be playing one of these.
posted by Jeff link 8:55 AM [edit]

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

David Cameron's right. The injuries to Guardado and Soriano deal a real blow -- maybe the death blow -- to Mariner contention for next year. All year long, whenever I've wanted to play Bavasi's Advocate, I'd point to the Guardado signing as one that hadn't turned into a big sack of broken glass. So much for that.

Yes, I know that Eddie Guardado's injury isn't the GM's fault. Ultimately, though, the man at the top takes responsibility for the sundry dilemmas created by his choices. And let me tell you, the decision not to trade Guardado is looking mighty bad right now. Another reason that relief pitchers ought not be overvalued when considering untouchable trade commodities.

One more thought: Guardado is getting a second medical opinion in the hopes that he might be back on a mound before the 8-12 month forecast. The obvious thing to do would be to root for a more favorable diagnosis.

The contrarian part of me, though, says "Eddie, go get the surgery. Forget about the second opinion." That part of has two words on its lips: Scott. Spiezio.

Remember at the beginning of the year, when it seemed Sand Frog would be done with back surgery? One doc wanted him to get the ol' bones sawed on posthaste. But he got that second opinion, and glory be! He could do rehab instead.

I don't think I need to tell you how the year has turned out for the Speez. And it should be apparent that I'm suggesting his back just ain't what it needs to be.

Sure, we should have expected a decline from Spiezio anyway. This is more of a Wile E. Coyote death plunge with an Acme anvil attached to his leg, though, and I wonder if he should have just gone ahead and went with the surgical solution.

I'm not a medhead, so I don't know the physiological implications of much other than "that sixth beer is not a good idea". Doesn't it seem to you like Scott Spiezio still isn't right, though? And mightn't this offer us cautionary implications regarding player injuries? Someone page Will Carroll.

And make me a reservation for last place next year. I have a feeling the Mariners are headed there again.
posted by Jeff link 10:57 PM [edit]

As it turns out, Edgar is retiring at the end of the year after all. This is good. Consider my tinfoil hat removed.
posted by Jeff link 2:32 PM [edit]

Monday, August 09, 2004

So long, Edgar: Others will come with the requiems for a hall of famer, a legend and a local icon with more eloquence than I. Since it's my policy not to pile on, but to fill in gaps where I have something to offer, I will say simply this: we will all miss Edgar, a quiet and classy player, one of the top 50 hitters of all time, a Hall of Famer in our hearts and hopefully Cooperstown as well.


Maybe it's the suspicious investigative reporter gene in me, but I think we're going to hear more on this.

Do I have a rational basis for believing in the dark lining to this dark cloud? Yes and no. Here are the dots we can see so far:

As the ESPN story points out, Edgar was upset about Olerud's release. He'd also been losing at-bats, of course.

It's also unusual for a player to up and retire immediately, in the middle of a season like this. It could be that Edgar, ever the class act, didn't want to go out as a show pony on a last meaningless trot through ballyards dragging a last-place record. That would be consistent with his character.

When Lou Piniella left, though, it didn't come out immediately that he had been effectively forced out due to conflicts with management. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that someone had a talk with Edgar, saying that the plate appearances would be hard to come by? Or that this is Edgar's quiet protest against the dismantling of the team?

Typing these words, the notion seems a little silly. If it turns out to be the case, chalk it up to not wanting to believe the news: that Edgar Martinez has just decided not to be a Mariner any more.
posted by Jeff link 2:05 PM [edit]

A little help: Can someone please tell me the Mariners didn't get shut down by Rob Bell yesterday? Anyone? Yes, it would be dishonest to tell me this. But it would make me feel better.

A 3-11 road trip. Justin Upton, here we come.

Some of my friends have made the same argument Jason Barker suggests here -- maybe Bob Melvin was the right man for the job for a veteran team, but changes have come, and the new blood is in town.

There's something to this. Certainly, people have different strengths, and laid-back Bob might have been better suited for vets than kids. The best managers can adapt, I believe -- but like any workplace, some situations are better than others.

That said, my take is that Melvin just isn't a very good manager at this stage of the game. I don't know what his clubhouse demeanor or people skills are like, but from a game-management perspective, he's brutal. Thus, it doesn't really matter if you have rookies or veterans -- if you're bunting with a power hitter or letting Willie Bloomquist hit late in the game, you're not doing what it takes to win.

Jason hopes the Mariners are "willing to consider the possibility that he's not the right guy," but I'll go a step further. I hope they use this "veteran/youth" dichotomy as an excuse to get rid of Melvin, which might help save a bit of face for the extension gaffe.

Personally, I don't care what the stated cause of dismissal is, but I get the feeling that a warm-and-fuzzy readymade excuse might make Melvin's departure more likely.

New articles: A bunch of them have happened or are coming, and I'm not keeping pace with 'em all. Today, though, I have a letter at Romenesko about the Unity conference. One of my pieces (that isn't online, unfortunately) is quoted in a ZNet story about Bush's environmental record. Trying to track down English versions of my latest two stories for the Okinawa Times, but I'm not having much luck.

In the next few days, I'll have something up at Grist and hopefully a story in E! fairly soon as well.
posted by Jeff link 12:04 PM [edit]