Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Excuses

The Seattle Mariners are 10 games under .500 this morning. With 36 games remaining in the schedule, they would have to go 23 wins and 13 loses to get to even, and better to get into the playoffs. They've had their chances and there's no excuses for this year's team.

Three of the four teams with a lower team batting average have wining records, two leading their division and the other currently a wildcard team. Only one of the four has a worse record than Seattle.   And only one team with a winning record scored less runs.

This shows you can overcome poor offense with good pitching and defense, as the Mariners showed last year, but also it's the old adage about timely hitting, scoring runs when you have runners in scoring position (2nd or 3rd base), something the Mariners have done poorly this year.

The Mariners are in the top ten in fielding, and five of the seven teams with a better team fielding percentage have winning records, but many with a worse fielding percentage are winning teams, showing that fielding is important but not the most critical part of winning games. Last year the Mariners were in the top three all year.

Only one team with a higher team pitching ERA has a winning record, the Texas Rangers, currently a wildcard team. Last year the Mariners had one of the best team ERA's, especially their bullpen staff. This shows how much pitching matters in winning games.

The overall stats don't necessarily mean much to baseball analysts, but it shows where the team is with respect to other teams, and especially to winning teams. The Mariners have lost games this year from their lack of timely hitting, getting runs with runners in scoring positions.

But the stats show how critical good pitching is to winning, and where the Mariners have failed, and it's the whole staff, even the best of them had bad outings on the mound, but it's the whole staff, 22nd for ERA for starters and 26th for relievers.

The Mariners came into this season with a lot of promise from last year and better hitting (eg. Nelson Cruz), but they have failed in almost every way, but more so with pitching. They have no more excuses for not winning, not having a winning record, and not being in the playoff picture.

No fan is angry with the team, just disappointed. All the promises never paid off from the beginning, never being above .500 the whole season so far and likely to the end of it. They underachieved, and for that there are no excuses.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


When you choose to focus on one race or ethnic group when it comes to police brutality, calling it discrimination, it's discrimination against other races or ethnic groups when you exclude them from your discussion. While you're claims of excess forces against a particular group of victims may be fair, it's not fair to ignore all victims of the same excessive force.

No one doubts the facts of discrimination of black people by some police departments and some police officers in many parts of this country. That's been a tragic part of our history, as well as the times we live in now. And no one doubts the protections police departments and officer have under the law they're sworn enforce.

No one doubts the need to change the laws and change the practices of many police departments and the enforcement of the laws by many police officers.  And no one doubts the need to protest the actions of police officers when it comes to police brutality, and yes, it's often against a particular racial group.

No one doubts that group has the right to raise their voice to demonstrate and demand action against police brutality. But, you can't claim discrimination from police brutality when you exclude all victims of police brutality.

It's called discrimination. You shouldn't make distinctions for political convenience. And while many non-blacks agree with your effort, support the need for change, and want fairness and justice, you shouldn't exclude non-blacks in your fight against police brutality.

Police brutality is still brutality. The color of the victim isn't the issue when they're dead as a result of police brutality. It's the act that matters. Focus on that. Focus on all victims. Fix that because all lives matter, including black lives.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lives Matter

What the #blacklivesmatter activists don't seem to realize, or ignore it if they do, is that everyone matter, every life matters, so instead of demanding full attention on them - notice the white young man shot by police hasn't raised their voice - maybe they should consider these.


In short it's simple.


That's the idea. It's not about you, it's about off of us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sorry no

I've only been kinda' watching and reading the newstories about the activist group #blacklivesmatter, and it's clear to me, they're not succeeding except at raising noise and making themselves the enemy. I don't doubt their goals, motives and passion for the issue and agree with much of what they're trying to accomplish, but I don't agree with their tactics.

What I've seen is activists aggressively distrurpt the events of two male democratic candidates, Martin O'Malley and Bernier Sanders, forcing the latter to leave the stage after refusing to concede the podium and let him speak. But when they were refused the stage for an event by Hillary Clinton they spoke politely with her after she agreed to speak with them.

This was a WTF moment for me. They attack men but not women? Or did the Clinton campaign staff catch on to them and control access to the stage so they couldn't distrupt Ms. Clinton? But then they said they didn't get honest answers from her with direct questions.

Really? A politician won't give a direct answer to their questions. Are they naive or what? They're obviously not naive, but then they used her political answers to attack, like they expected her to tell them what they wanted to hear.

They promise to attack republicans candidates, or so they say they've planned. Really? Like the republicans staff and security are going to let them near any republican candidate to take the stage and demand the audience listen to them rants against white people, at almost all white republican events?

Do you think any security of a republican candidate is going to let black activists into an event where they can disrupt the event? And even if they can get in and try, how far do you think they'll get when security removes them from the stage. Do they expect to be treated with dignity?

All of what I've seen and read only shows me they don't care about other lives, just black lives, and they don't care we may care about other lives in part of the whole country which black lives are just one part of all of us. We care, just not solely on black lives, but all lives.

And that's where I part company with them on the issue of lives. Why not talk about black communities, unemployment, social programs, or the lack of them, guns and violence, and the whole array of issues effecting black lives, and all the rest of the country?

And that's also where I stopped paying attention. If you want my support, don't get in people's face and demand we follow what you tell us. You're not in charge, you're not directing our lives, you're not helping us, so we have a right to say, "Yes, we care, but not we don't about your tactics."

All #blacklivesmatter seems to be doing is turning off the very people they need to help them, those liberal white people they called racists. That's not winning our hearts and minds, but the opposite, it's losing what matters to your cause the most, us.

We're not against you, we're just not for what you're doing for attention. We're not against your cause, we're for it, but in perspective of the larger conversation about answers and solutions, not singularly focused on just black lives like you are and want us. We're not enemy, so stop treating us like we are.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Saving Grace

As much as I live on a very restricted diet and often consider food my enemy, I've come to also realize it's my saving grace. Really, food is a double-edge sword that can make me sick and keep me well. Yes, really.

The trick is that after reading an article in the Sunday newspaper (read four of them, Washington Post on-line, and the New York Time, Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune in print because I like sitting down with big print newspapes) I realized an extreme food sensitivity has advantages.

The author was writing about the loss of real flavor in food with the food industry using some many tricks to make packaged food taste good but often not real. I realized I rarely eat a packaged food product anymore because I can't.

That's because almost every food in packaged food, and restaurant food for that matter where I rarely eat anymore (about once a year), have foods or ingredients which at best will leave me mildly sick overnight and at worst moderately to seriously sick for days.

My diet consists mostly organic or natural foods, including meats (ham and turkey), vegetables, fruits, etc. and the rest are organic or natural packaged foods with few ingredients, like mayonaise, peanut butter, preserves/jam, etc.

In short I don't eat the foods the majority of people eat. I have a simple diet which I stay with along with occasional "food experiments", which are foods not on the list to see if they're still off the list or they're on the three strikes they're out list.

When I get a bad reaction to any food, I don't eat it for awhile, then try it, and if it still makes me sick, I wait longer and try it again. If it makes me sick a third time, then it's, yeah, three strikes you're out (off the list indefinitely if not permanently).

But sometimes food experiments are foods, such as meat, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, etc. which are on the off list (FODMAPS or other rules, eg. "Nothing green or leafy") which I know provoke a reaction, so it's more to reaffirm what I already know.

Anyway, the point of this is that while the list of foods I can eat can be written on a 4"x6" postit note and almost all other foods are my enemy, my diet is my saving grace protecting me from industrial packaged foods, fast foods (yes, those too), and 99% of snacks, candy bars, drinks etc.

My food sensitivities are what's keeping me alive but also saving me.

Bernie Sanders

The two (black) women activists representing the #blacklivesmatter group who interrupted Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders when he was about to begin his speech in Seattle Saturday (Aug. 9th) were rude and I will say racists.

They called the predominately white crowd, "white supremacists liberals", without the notion or thought that similar words of their race could equally apply to them to deny the right of whites to be liberal, progressive or other political views with concerns and interests, including but not exclusive, of interests beyond the black lives matter movement.

Like the economy, jobs, healthcare and health insurance, college debt, and the many financial, social and economic issues facing everyone from local to global. There are far more problems to make just one of them the only matter.

And to interrupt Bernie Sanders was rude to only hurt their cause in the hearts and minds of others. We've all grieved about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. We've all grieved about what has happened to the lives of young, unarmed black men killed by police.

But what about all the other young people, even children, who are victims of violence, from guns to physical abuse at the hands of family and their friends. Don't their lives matter? Don't their circumstances matter? Don't they count?

Sorry, the world is bigger than Ferguson, especially here in Seattle. And people wanted to hear Bernie Sanders, not two black activists cramming hatred in our ears, demanding we obey them out of fear of being labelled against them.

They only reinforced the view of what many people see and know about some black activists. You're no better than any race or ethnic group spouting hate in the name of a cause. And you wonder why we don't listen and many have turned off their hearing to your words.

We're not supremacists by any stretch of the word, but you don't want to have a discussion about that do you? You just want to yell and demand, and then cry racist when we walk away. Maybe you should look in the mirror with you call someone that.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hard to Watch

The Mariners games are hard to watch this season. Going into the bottom of the 9th inning ahead 5-3 against Colorado and a chance to even the road trip at 5-5 after being swept by Toronto and splitting 4 games with Minnesota, and winning the first two games of the series, the announcer said it all.

"Fernando Rodney blew it." Yeah, he blew another save with a walk, a double and a single to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the 11th, Rasmusson gave up a two run homer to lose the game 7-5 and the announcer said it again, "Oh no, not what we wanted."

The Mariners left 12 men on base in scoring position (2nd or 3rd), including a bases loaded inning and didn't pick up any of them after scoring 3 runs in the inning. All they needed was one or two more runs to avoid putting Rodney on the mound in the 9th inning.

They're 9 games under .500 going 4-6 on the road trip, to know now their season isn't getting any better despite good defense and good hitting by some players. They're pitchers just can't hold games, and it starts with Rodney who is supposed to the the ace closer, blowing 6 of 22 opportunities, most of them recently.

That's it and their season in a nutshell. So what will the Mariners do now? What will the management decide to change since the current roster isn't working to win games, even against teams with losing or worse records?

But then do they have choices? Can they really do something with Rodney? Do they have the players in Tacoma (Rainiers) to bring up and at least give the a chance? They're already brought up some, why not more in place of players who are underperforming, starting with Rodney.

Think about it. Not changing anything else, if Rodney had pitched this season the as he did last year, the Mariners would be at .500 just a few games out of the wildcard race. Just that one change. Add a few more and they'd be over .500. That's what has happened this season.

Small things, with many players underperforming their career or recent years averages. That's all, players not performing and a manager not managing to get them on track. When you add all the small changes, there's only one person who can be held accountable, the manager.

But the problem is that the owners and president of the Mariners don't have many, if any, options. They can't fire the GM or manager now in the season. You can move players, but are there any better ones in the triple-A Rainiers? You can't fire the manager, who would replace him?

So what happens now? We continue to watch them flounder through the season, just playing to get to the end and get out without embarrasing the team too badly? Rodney's already done that. How long do you go with McClendon before he knows he's not coming back next season?

The Mariners games are hard to watch this season, because you know, despite hoping they'll win, they'll find ways to lose, like this road trip and especially today. Don't the fans deserve something better, or at least a team we can know is going in the right direction?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Fork Please

The Mariners chance of anything this season are done. Their closer, not Rodney but Smith, just blew a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, who have lost 5 of their last 6 home games, leaving Smith with a 1-5 record.

Rodney can't close games, and neither can Smith. And there's no one is left to be their closer. They simply find ways to lose ball games, having a .500 in early June to 11 games under .500 tonight with just 57 games left in the season.

To get back to .500, they'll have to win 34 of the 57 games left in the season, losing just 23 games, and tonight shows they can't even do that, win games they're leading in the 9th inning. All they're doing now is playing to avoid being worse than Oakland in the western division.

In short, they're done and management has some hard decisions to make starting with the manager and the coaching staff, and then looking at a number of players who haven't played their career average. They had a winning team on paper but we see a losing one on the field.

It's time to rebuild, starting with the GM. He's been there for the whole time of their losing seasons bringing in players at the end of their career who don't play up to their career. It's time the Mariners look at how Kansas City, Houston, etc. built winners, to build a new team around core players.

And for that the owners need to start at the top and work down. Change is obvious, the question is if the owners see it in themselves to do it. Fans have had enough of this GM, manager, coaches, etc. Fans want a winning team, not this one.