• The all-stars (Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, Kevin Towers): Cashman and Epstein are both in the last year of their respective contracts, so you never know. Towers has done terrific work in San Diego for 13 seasons. But even though he just signed an extension through 2010, there are persistent rumblings that he has lost clout in the Sandy Alderson era and might be willing to listen to inquiries from a place like Seattle. Stay tuned....and Jim Caple for the deadwood:
• Ghost of Mariners past (Pat Gillick): Gillick has already announced he's retiring after this season. But it's hard not to notice that he's been hedging just enough lately to leave his options open. And he's long had a soft spot for his previous destination, plus he has a home near Seattle and an unusually high level of interest in the state of the franchise. So don't count out a return to some sort of high-ranking position, even though the official title might not read "general manager."
Sadly, with a 4-4 record and 4.14 ERA, Bedard barely cracks the Top 10 Biggest Disappointments for Seattle. Carlos Silva (he of the 3-6, 5.59 ERA and $48 million contract), Jarrod Washburn (2-7, 5.83 ERA, $15 million left on his contract) and Miguel Batista (3-8, 6.09 ERA) have been dreadful in the starting rotation. J.J. Putz has been ineffective and injured. DH Jose Vidro has a .563 OBP. Catcher Kenji Johjima is batting .224, and not one of the pitchers wants him behind the plate (though none of that stopped Seattle from giving him a three-year contract extension). And Richie Sexson, well, Richie doesn't have an extra-base hit in the past four weeks, but at least his $50 million contract expires in a couple of months.Much more at the links.
There's certainly no hope for this season, and the next might already be beyond salvaging. Mariners in 2010!
Update: On cue, the Mariners won the first match of the Riggleman Era.