By Kirby Arnold Herald Writer
Welcome to the new game show, “Are you smarter than a baseball writer?” Today, it’s the Seattle Mariners Edition, where we’ll see just how well you really know this team. Let’s get right to the action.
By July 31, Cliff Lee will:
A: Be traded to a contender.
B: Remain a Mariner.
C: Pitch a no-hitter.
D: Lose that no-hitter if he remains a Mariner.
Which of these don’t go together?
A: Peanut butter and jelly.
B: Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro.
C: Pitching and defense.
D: The 2010 Mariners and a three-run homer.
This season went downhill when:
A: Cliff Lee suffered an abdominal injury in spring training.
B: Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t hit.
C: The Mariners got Texeira last December from the Yankees, then realized it was Kanekoa Texeira and not Mark Teixeira.
D: Downhill? This has been more like an uphill struggle.
When Ken Griffey Jr. made his long drive back home to Florida, he took:
A: A map.
B: A wistful, wishful last look at Seattle as he drove away.
D: Only his favorite CD, because the rest wouldn’t like the lack of playing time.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik proved in 2010 that:
A: We’ll have to be patient. A team just doesn’t go from 101-game loser to division champion in two years.
B: Pitching and defense won’t work if that’s all the team can do.
C: To win in this league, a team needs some consistent power.
D: Are you sure everything Midas touched turned to gold?
The biggest disappointment this year has been:
A: The demise of the offense.
B: The demise of the bullpen.
C: The demise of rally fries.
D: The demise of rallies.
The biggest surprise this year has been:
A: Jason Vargas and his 2.66 ERA
B: Doug Fister and his 2.45 ERA
C: Cliff Lee and his four walks in 862/3 innings.
D: That no Mariners pitcher — Vargas, Fister, Lee or Felix Hernandez — has more than six victories.
Erik Bedard will be ready to pitch again when:
A: His left shoulder is sound.
B: He can throw 100 pitches and at least seven innings.
C: When he feels good and ready.
D: Erik Bedard? He’s still on this team?
“Believe Big” certainly hasn’t worked this year, so what should next year’s team slogan be?
A: “Believe it … or not.”
B: “Hey, we score more than the Sounders.”
C: “We never promised you more than a bobblehead.”
D: “Trespassers will be prosecuted. Unless you’ve got speed, then we could use you on the bases.”
Name four opening-day Mariners and where they are now:
A: Eric Byrnes, playing beer-league softball (where, thankfully, he doesn’t have to bunt).
B: Kanekoa Texeira, now with the Royals, who also must have thought they were getting Mark Teixeira.
C: Ken Griffey Jr., at home and hopefully happy in retirement.
D: Casey Kotchman, on the bench realizing that Gold Glove-quality defense doesn’t hack it at first base if he can’t hack it at the plate.
When we heard the Mariners would play small ball this season, we thought:
A: They would steal, double-steal, hit-and-run, hit behind runners, sacrifice bunt and squeeze bunt to score runs.
B: They would play an exciting brand of baseball that triggered memories of 2001.
C: Four runs per game, not per week, would be enough to win.
D: We wouldn’t need a microscope to view evidence of offense.
In an obvious bunt situation, the Mariners:
A: Often don’t perform the obvious.
B: Give thanks that Eric Byrnes is playing beer-league softball (where, thankfully, he doesn’t have to bunt).
C: Wish the league would rescind that silly “you’re out on a fouled third strike” rule.
D: Suggest that fans cover their eyes.
The Mariners’ best No. 4 hitter is:
A: Milton Bradley with his seven home runs.
B: Mike Sweeney with his six home runs.
C: Jose Lopez with his four home runs.
D: Is it possible to just skip to the No. 5 hitter?
The Mariners’ most memorable give-aways this year have been:
A: The Griffey/Ichiro “Cooperstown Bound” bobblehead.
B: The Griffey 1995 slide bobblehead.
C: The Ichiro-designed T-shirt.
D: The 10 walk-off victories by opponents.
Singles Night went so well at Safeco Field this year that:
A: The Mariners expect it leads to plenty of home-plate weddings.
B: The Mariners hope love is blind, especially in the face of bad baseball.
C: The Mariners may hold a Doubles Night and hope their hitters take part.
If you could cherish one memory from this season, it would be:
A: Opening day, when Ken Griffey Jr. ran down the red carpet to a standing ovation from a full house at Safeco Field.
B: Cliff Lee’s ability to throw strikes and pitch deep into games.
C: Ichiro’s incredible consistency in what will be another 200-hit season.
D: The day this season is over.
Read Kirby Arnold’s blog on the Mariners at www.heraldnet.com/marinersblog