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SeaDog Pressbox Podcast

I was on with fellow Mariners fan and all-around good guy Eric Wahlquist for the SeaDog Pressbox Podcast. They will be doing weekly Mariners podcasts, and I doubt this will be my last time joining him for the show. Enjoy!

Opening Road Trip Decent, All Things Considered

Chicago is a house of horrors for the Mariners. It makes some sense. U.S. Cellular Field is the antithesis of Safeco Field. It's among the most home run happy ballparks in the majors, and a team built with Safeco in mind will probably always look out of place against the White Sox on their home turf.

Still, it was too predictable that Dayan Viciedo would hit a walk-off home run in the tenth inning. I wasn't even disappointed, not because it wasn't disappointing, but because I had already resigned myself to the outcome. It came as no surprise. Boo.

Viciedo's home run was the difference between a winning and a losing road trip for the Mariners, and it is about the most sour note the road trip could finish on. All things considered though, this road trip was neither good nor bad - which as far as I'm concerned, is ultimately good.

Jumbo Wagner's Record Total Destined to Last

I dabbled in card collecting as a child, starting around 1996 or so. I sporadically bought packets in check-out aisles (and by bought I really mean I threw them in with whatever my Mom was already buying). I remember one year, maybe 2000 or so, Score made the wrappers so thin you could see through them. I would stretch the wrapping as much as I could to see if I could get a glimpse of a Mariner behind the allegedly opaque veneer.

My card collecting faded away with MLB Showdown, a short-lived modern version of Strat-o-matic baseball. I enjoyed Showdown, although got frustrated with how limited cards were. I wanted to be able to play players at any position, have hitters pitch, etc. So I started working on my own card game. I even put card stalk on my Christmas list one year to get some needed supplies, and to my surprise Santa listened.

I haven't bought any baseball cards in at least a decade, but they have been back at the front of my mind as of late. The T206 "Jumbo" Honus Wagner just sold for $2.1 million at an auction. T206 Wagners are far and away the most valuable baseball cards on the planet, and no other card will ever rival them. A recent 30 for 30 short tells about their value much better than I could in the same space it takes to embed the video:

The Jumbo Wagner is the first baseball card to sell for more than $2 million at an auction, a breath-taking pile of cash to trade for a really old hunk of cardboard originally stuffed in a pack of cigarettes. There's something incredibly American about the whole thing. However, a closer look at the $2.1 million says something else. The baseball card industry is almost dead.

2013 Minor Leaguers Under the Radar

The minor league baseball season opens up tonight, and the Mariners announced their affiliate rosters yesterday. Click here for all the rosters. Or, alternatively, you can scan top prospect lists to know who to keep tabs on, and also keep reading on as I pick a hitter and pitcher under the mainstream radar on each team:

Perfect Problem

Yu Darvish nearly pitched a perfect game last night. Here's the evidence that he wasn't perfect:

Perfect games haven't quite become common place, but they are more common now than ever before. There had never been more than one perfect game in a season before 2010. Last year, there were three. For some perspective there weren't any perfect games from 1968 to 1981, a stretch of over a decade. Yu Darvish nearly pitched the sixth perfect game in the last two seasons, plus two games (and that total doesn't count the one Armando Galarraga lost on a blown call at first base).

On some level, perfect games are fluky. They are extreme outliers by definition, with them being perfect and all. Looking for patterns in extremes is a bit destined for failure for a number of reasons (sample size being one of the biggest). Still, it certainly seems like there is something about the modern game that allows for more perfect games. I decided to look for an explanation.

2013 Preview: The Case for Contention

The blogosphere lights up with season previews on this day, and why not? It is Opening Day. I ought to continue to knock out this major paper that my future career and livelihood depends on, but I have enough time to say a few words about how the next 162 games will hopefully turn out for the Mariners.

The 2013 Mariners are a bona fide sleeper team. They need a few breaks to contend, but not that many. Allow me to make my case.