Episode 19 – Blood for the Blood God

Pulling a hammy together, as a family

Welcome, friends, to an extremely nineteenth episode of the Dome and Bedlam podcast. We talk about it briefly during the episode but I’ll re-state it here: This is our attempt to do the show a bit more regularly than, ah, once every other month or so. We’ll be keeping episodes shorter, tighter, and a bit more focused, but hopefully still provide the feel and flow of our show we think works, and makes for a fun listening experience.

As always, we really appreciate your feedback and thoughts/comments/insults over at the ol’ tweeter. Got it? Ok, on with the show.


Let’s catch up on injuries! Between last week and this, the Mariners have lost 3-4 players to injury including their presumptive fourth starter, their star second baseman and designated hitter. This, this is not good!

David, Scott, and Nathan talk about that, the free agent market finally shaking out a bit, and try to figure out what’s worse: Offering Jon Jay a three-year contract, choosing a 44-year old Ichiro over Jon Jay, or having a need for Jon Jay in the first place?

Additionally, we answer your questions, including trying to get to the bottom of the TRIDENT CURSE.

(Musical credits: Howard Ashman, Teenage Wrist)

As always, rate and FIVE STAR REVIEW us on iTunes here, and check us out at SoundCloud here. No, we aren’t really on anything else. Yes, we find technology confusing and threatening. Thanks again all!


Episode 18 – Ichiro? ICHIRO! Ichiro….

In which the Mariners fulfill their role and purpose

THE MARINERS ARE SIGNING ICHIRO! Yeah, uh, well that’s not a great idea. Nathan, David, and Scott convene for an emergency broadcast to collectively roll eyes, talk about what this could portend for Jerry Dipoto, reminisce a bit, and come up with a few #fun #facts.

Want to feel great about Ichiro coming back? Awesome, by all means do so and have a great time. To a certain extent, that’s our plan too. But bringing back a 44-year old outfielder when Jon Jay gets 1 year 3 million dollars makes it pretty clear where the scales are balanced for Mariner ownership. What a pity.

(Music credits: Ben Gibbard, and some random guy I found on YouTube who I think does this as a joke. Sir if you read this and these tracks are indeed your passion/vocational aspiration, please accept my apologies)

As always, you can rate and subscribe to this here fine podcast on iTunes here. For you SoundCloud mavens, find us here. Follow the blog on Twitter @DomeandBedlam, David at @SkibaScubaShop, and Scott at @ScottyWeebs.  We are grateful for you.

Mariners re-sign Ichiro, insist they can juggle both work and family

“We can have it all”, swears team spokesperson

The Mariners, it would seem, are back. Not the Mariners organization, which has been stubbornly playing baseball games annually for over forty years now. Rather, what fans of a certain experience level and age think of as the capitalized, formal, “The Mariners”.

During the entire Jerry Dipoto Regime, we have been sold on a Grand Plan working towards some grand vision; a sort of seventy-five dimensional chess leading towards checkmating all the Friedmans, Lunhows & Epsteins that only the True Galaxy Brains could see. We’ve heard it over, and over, and over, how this team has rubric’d, and positive energy’d, and essential oiled its way from one of the worst farm systems into, erm, one of the worst farm systems and a major league roster with oodles of club control READY TO DISRUPT A $9 BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY.

I won’t go as far to say that after today that’s all over now. Jerry Dipoto is still the Mariners General Manager, and Andy McKay and Lorena Martin have barely had time to implement any of their ideas and philosophies. It’s foolish to try to guess the future, and far more so to try and predict it. But, faced with an offseason as pivotal as any in recent memory the Mariners have sat on their hands, and have only acquiesced to bolstering their depth after the fourth member of the hypothetical 25-man Opening Day Roster was lost to injury. To break their streak of near winter-long inactivity to acquire a 44-year old outfielder coming off a a 75 wRC+ and -0.2 fWAR is a comical, and definitive point: The 2018 Mariners are not serious about contending for a playoff spot. I have no insider information but I would frankly be shocked if this was a decision sprung from anyone in the Dipoto front office. This is a move catering to sepia-toned slideshows, begging for a voice over from James Earl Jones and directed by Ken Burns. It’s blatant, obvious, fan service.

And you know what? On a very real level I think it’s fantastic. Ichiro Suzuki is one of this organization’s five or six greatest players ever, and is probably only exceeded as an icon here by Ken Griffey Jr. That’s to say nothing of his status globally, where he is almost certainly the biggest star this franchise has ever had. The Mariners, that’s “The Mariners” again, have finally stepped out behind the mountainous pile of dung they’ve been flinging at fans for six months and gone for a straight, naked, common fan good will grab right through those fans’ hearts to their wallets. We’ve been crying for the Mariners just to do something fun, and this is indeed fun.

From a on-the-field perspective, well, there’s a few things to consider. The first is that Ben Gamel, whose injury likely was impetus for Ichiro’s return. like Ryon Healy before him, is probably not all that good even if healthy. If the oblique injury sidelines Gamel for longer than the 4-6 weeks currently projected, well, here is a thing for you to consider.

Last 215 major league plate appearances:

Ichiro Suzuku – 75 wRC+
Ben Gamel – 52 wRC+

Incredibly, despite the DECADES that separate their age, saying that Ichiro and Gamel are comparable defenders and baserunners may actually be too generous to GAMEL. Considering Guillermo Heredia’s rapid recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, Mitch Haniger having gone a full week without hurting himself, and Dee Gordon taking to centerfield in a promising manner, this will likely have a negligible impact on the won-loss record of the 2018 Mariners.

But the real takeaway is The Mariners are back, baby! In twenty-four days Ichiro, number 51 emblazoned in navy on the back of his pristine white home jersey, will step out onto the red walkway, and casually run out to an uproarious standing ovation from a gleeful sellout crowd. Hell, I just spent 500 words mostly making fun of this team and I may just change my plans to make sure I’m there among them.

Nothing about this news changes what we expect out the performance of the Mariners this year. But The Mariners have never been about capturing fans with success. We’ve all fallen in love with this stupid team for various different reasons, and we’re fortunate that baseball is a game that still allows enough space for those various reasons to co-exist.

We’d all love the Mariners to be poised to have breakout success in 2018, and it’s frankly fairly silly and, depending on your perspective, infuriating that instead they are dipping back into the safe, money-filled sea of nostalgia. But I’m choosing to be happy about it, and I can’t wait to see it. At a certain point, you realize most things in life have a healthy portion of love and hate mixed together. I’ve been hating on the Mariners all offseason. It’s time to find some of the love.





Episode 17: Matt Ellis and The Bad Place

Chair swivels, revealing ROBERT ANDINO petting an exotic lizard. ANDINO smiles menacingly…

Through the combined miracles of technology, camaraderie, and good old fashioned All-American gumption the Dome and Bedlam Podcast has bridged both time and space, as Nathan, David, and Scott are joined by Matt Ellis FROM THE FUTURE. Matt talks labor, love, labor, and why the heck no one will sign Lance Lynn. Additionally we take your twitter questions, a fight breaks out over the right time of year to eat a hot dog, and we get lost in Dan Altavilla’s Baby Blues. As a wise man once said, “beep bop boop good to be back.”


0:00-40:00 Let’s talk labor! Well, let’s let Matt talk about labor. A discussion on collusion, the market, and why blaming the players for the current situation is misguided. This is about as high brow as the show gets, which is why Nathan, David, and Scott do very little of the talking. It’s for the best.

40:00-75:00 TWITTER Q&A – A discussion on Ian Miller name searching himself, a plot for ANDINO’S REVENGE goes horribly awry, and we identify the proper time of year for eating hot gods (SPOILER – it’s year around).


As always, you can rate and subscribe to us on iTunes, or on Soundcloud here. We are very grateful for your support and listenership.

Scouting Report: Mike Ford (1B/DH)

We’ve broken down the tape and can confirm Mike Ford does exist, at least in the sense that anyone or anything can exist in this so-called “reality”

With Ryon Healy more spurred than a horse in an old west bank robbery getaway, and the Mighty Vogdor now booted like the car you left FOR JUST FIVE MINUTES on 3rd Ave last Wednesday, the Mariners’ options at first base are, essentially, Rule V draft pick Mike Ford. So, who is Mike Ford? Well, we here at Dome and Bedlam Industries are not, and will never pretend to be, professional scouts, but here is our brief overview of the man who may very well toe first base come Opening Day. Every scouting report has a bit of a different structure and form, but for our purposes we are going to stick to a simple Pro and Con list.




  • Plus pitch identification and strike zone command should result in healthy walk rates, and manageable strike out rates.
  • Has two functioning arms and ten non-broken fingers
  • Ditto legs and toes
  • Currently plays in the Seattle Mariners organization
  • Makes a mean Denver Omelette
  • Has played first base in the minors to a degree we would rank “not atrocious”
  • Two syllable first/last name combo shows high efficiency and ability to focus on his game, while not being distracted by superfluous puffery
  • Did NOT plagiarize his tenth grade English final on Flannery O’ Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard To Find, despite what JANET says
  • Swing plane and strong hip turn indicates potential for untapped power
  • Again, like, not even a little bit hurt.


  • Bad goatee
  • Through age 24 season only twenty-five games above AA, and zero in the major leagues
  • Plays a better defensive first base than Daniel Vogelbach and Ryon Healy, and that’s about it
  • Buys his vinyl through Amazon, does not support his local record shop
  • Liked a somewhat nebulous but potentially right-wing leaning Facebook post in 2012
  • Swing seems geared to crush mistakes, but aforementioned hip turn seems to sell out for pull power, and may make driving the ball to all fields difficult
  • Sunrise peaks the horizon, framing the silhouette of a ragged yet hearty band of freedom fighters. Their cry echoes across the land, ringing the Bell of Truth:”Fuck the ivys! Fuck the ivys!”
  • Claims Pinkerton is the best Weezer album
  • Without further development in power tool major league pitchers will challenge Ford in the zone with much more regularity than he has experienced in the minors, requiring him to hold onto his ability to run a low K rate, a significant challenge in the modern game
  • Says gif with a hard “g”


(this has been the first in our series of Dome and Bedlam Scouting Reports. It may also be the last. All these facts are true and not at all just randomly generated while we sip our coffee, desperately trying to cling to our sanity as weather and holidays have kept us indoors with two children for practically the entire week. Remember, baseball is serious business, and baseball blogging should reflect that)

The Mariners Beat The Padres In The First Spring Training Game Of The Year And You’d Better Not Expect Many More Of These From Me This Season

The Mariners first game of spring training gave us some crucial looks into what will be thei–zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Well folks, what we had here was an honest for goodness real baseball game played between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres, just like the ones we’ve gotten every February since we can remember. There were baseball men wearing baseball clothes, both hitting and grabbing baseballs out of the air and in this economy, you would think they would choose to stick with one or the other, but Not Today, Pal!

Ah yes…that great gasping maw that is The Promise of Spring. I remember one February a couple of years back where Ji-man Choi shattered his leg after jumping to grasp an errant throw at first in like the final play of the first game of spring training (and here we are chewing out Ryon Healy for wanting to Compete In Each At Bat!). This was like the first thing that he did after getting suspended for doping, and while he never played another game for the Seattle baseball franchise, I also thought about this story while watching today’s baseball game, so I suppose that probably means something.

But today it was Dee Gordon in center and our big ol’ boy Danny Vogelbach wearing the northwest green down in Peoria. Here is where, in years past, I might have really started to dig into some of the stuff that happened in order to tell you, the reader, what takeaways one might take from this exhibition event designed to give a sneak peek of the 2018 Seattle Mariners baseball season. But I’ve got bad news: I like, barely watched this. I barely watched this because I don’t have to watch baseball games anymore unless I really want to, and let me tell you what, friend, it fucking rules.

Did I see Dee Gordon hit a double in his first at-bat as a Mariner? Hell no, I was making myself a burrito in the kitchen. Did I see former Mariner closer and bad eighties dancer/Aquasox bobblehead hall-of-famer Tom Wilhelmsen pitch for the Padres in the third inning, promptly earning a double play and easy flyout? I’ll let you guess, but what I was doing at that time was getting a beer out of the fridge because I’m three hours ahead of you all, work from home, and its Friday. Bone spur this, world (please, actually don’t, I’m incredibly out of shape and still have to be able to type on a keyboard for a living).

I suppose I should stick to some kind of routine here, considering I have no reason to still be doing this five years in with this dumb team that refused to give us anything fun like a Bartolo Colon or something boring and useful like Jason Vargas. Yes, the Mariners won, barely, no, it doesn’t matter, nothing that happened today tells us anything about what’s going to happen this season, blah blah blah blah blah. I’m just happy there are baseball sounds again.

Sure, Kyle Seager put some runs on the board with a double early in the game. Ariel Miranda walked two and gave up a run, and whatever, he’s going to be the Mariners’ #1 option in August. Christian Bergman did double duty of reminding me that my favorite director of all time has a new resto series running I need to catch and that Lucas Luetge has been out of baseball for a year. Perhaps a nu-metal side project could fill up the time spent waiting for that phone to ring (the worst part is this sentence could refer to like 600 different people!)

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 5.00.09 PM (2).png

God, what am I doing? I told myself I wanted to quit this shit and here I am again rambling about some stupid baseball game that doesn’t matter whatsoever. Now, to be clear, that’s how they all have gone during my time writing about this team save for like, I don’t know, the last game in 2014 and those five minutes in 2016 when Nelson Cruz was the single most terrifying baseball player to ever set foot in Washington State since 2000.

I’ll try this instead. Late in the game, the Padres’ broadcast announcers started to debate the merits of the rumored coming automated strike zone. One argued this is not unlike the recent debates over instant replay and technology “ruining” some ancient pre-modern American agrarian pastime, while the others scoffed and declared that what makes baseball so great and unique is that it is a “human” game with “errors” and room for “mistakes.”

As this was happening, a Mariners rally started with a bunch of NRI randos stealing bases and hitting the gaps. With two outs and two on, Kirk Nieuwenhuis came to bat for the Mariners, and the announcers quickly transitioned into wondering what happened to this 26-year old prospect. “I remember when he was going to be the next wunderkid for the Mets!” one said.

Nieuwenhuis promptly drew a walk, and the announcers immediately declared the moment a perfect opportunity to announce a Padres promotional deal while he removed his elbow pads and slowly jogged ninety feet to his right:

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 5.30.09 PM (2).pngPerhaps it is commonplace to say that nothing matters in these early spring training games, and while that sentiment is certainly true, it’s not necessarily indicative of anything. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was probably happy he earned that walk in the top of the eighth inning, but all it really did was give the announcers a brief moment to pitch a Unique Opportunity™ for Padres fans to surrender to ownership even more money. I mean lets be honest, your mans certainly will not be starting games at Safeco any time soon.

And then that idea made me wonder: what really is the “human” element of this game? Was that walk an error, or was it precisely what the game is designed to do, filling otherwise unprofitable time with a promise that It Will Look Good On Your Fangraphs Page while shilling shitty ballcaps? If this walk technically mattered to the box score, did it actually do anything to a 26 year old trying to resurrect a once-promising career on a team filled with similar low-to-mid-ceiling prospects being groomed as trade chips rather than franchise cornerstones? All this build up over a marketing opportunity; all this  Spring hope blossoming over a future that will only come to two men wearing green.

I’m not entirely sure, and part of me wonders if this is actually the “error” we talk about when we say baseball is a game filled with them.

Maybe if he had stuck with pitching in middle school we would be singing a different song. Hell, do we know how fast he can throw?

Sweet Merciful Cthulu Please Let the Mariners Sign Tim Lincecum

Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself, Mariners. And me.

It is important, when advocating these kinds of things, to be intellectually honest. Tim Lincecum did not step on a major league mound in 2017, and that was not because of injury. He has not thrown 100 big league innings since 2014, when Nelson Cruz was a Baltimore Oriole. He has not been anything approaching useful since 2013, when Jason Bay, Michael Morse, and Raul Ibanez were roaming Safeco’s green expanse.

It is not unfair to state that Tim Lincecum is probably finished as a major league baseball pitcher. If so he’ll leave the game with nearly 30 wins, half of which was accrued in 2008-2009, when he very well may have been the best pitcher alive. An excellent, Hall of Very Good kind of career.

Sadly, it’s 2018. If the Mariners, one of the 15-20 teams with scouts at Lincecum’s recent workout at Driveline (did you know that’s just down the road in Kent?) were to sign him the odds are extremely long he provides significant contribution to this year’s team. That’s how time, and baseball, work.

The Mariners have made it abundantly clear that they believe in Marco Gonzales, Erasmo Ramirez, and Andrew Moore. That is fine, they certainly know more about pitching than my keyboard-bound butt does. But the Mariners do not have a monopoly on the skill of counting, and that I can do just fine.

Starting pitcher used by the Mariners:

2017 – 17
2016 – 13
2015 – 10

In the interest of fairness and deference to the team we should probably chalk 2017’s inflated number up as a bit of an outlier. Still, if we average out that sample size and adjust for 2017’s weirdness it is fair to assume the Mariners will need between 11-13 starting pitchers this year. Here are the pitchers the Mariners currently have I figure could start a game:

James Paxton
Felix Hernandez
Mike Leake
Erasmo Ramirez
Andrew Moore
Ariel Miranda
Marco Gonzales (Go Zags)
Sam Moll
Chase De Jong
Max Povse
Rob Whalen
Hisashi Iwakuma
Christian Bergman

I got to thirteen, but the same way a cinder block gets to the seafloor. I just kept sinking. While I and others have been howling for the Mariners to add actual major league quality starting pitchers for the last two winters, it’s clear that they simply will not be doing that any time soon. A Lincecum signing does not do anything to allay the concerns over the Mariners starting pitching, but it does do three things, which I’ll outline briefly:

1. It throws cantankerous, obnoxious, overly verbose jerks like me a bone. It says “Hey, we know we could use some starting pitching too. Here, have this. Now shut up already.” I’m sure the team, and probably you as well, would like it if I did that.

2. It does actually buff out the scant starting pitching depth without even a modicum of risk. If Lincecum is bad, if his fastball velocity isn’t sufficient to allow the split change to work as an out pitch, he’s cast aside in late March with no further loss to the organization. If he recaptures even a tiny bit of value, well, Andrew Moore’s career isn’t being hurt by another 2-3 months in Tacoma to start the season.

3. It’s fun, dammit. Everyone knows the story of Lincecum; his local ties, the Mariners famously passing him over for Brandon Morrow, and Lincecum’s subsequent explosion into a force of nature in San Francisco. Baseball moves shouldn’t be made with narrative and fan service in mind, but in the least enjoyable offseason I can ever remember baseball having, this would give us something to smile about. At least for a few weeks. We need it. I need it.

The Mariners have, for whatever reason, stood to the side as pitcher after pitcher has signed to short term, team-friendly contracts. They ignored the market last offseason, and they have done so again this offseason. The market has so cratered for mid to back of the rotation starting pitching that even Dipoto’s greatest pitching acquisition, Mike Leake, has a salary that no longer looks the bargain it once was. The team is projected by PECOTA to miss the 2nd Wild Card by a single game. There are fliers everywhere, including a skinny dude from Seattle, chucking balls into a net a half hour south of Safeco.

Do it, Mariners. Sign Tim Lincecum.