Some MLB teams are entering this final day of the regular season with an eye on clinching a playoff spot. Others are hoping to avoid loss No. 101.
The Mariners dropped their 100th game of the season on Saturday night with a 5-3 loss to the A’s at Seattle’s Safeco Field. David Pauley allowed four runs over seven innings, Chone Figgins went 0-for-4, and the M’s were shut down by Oakland starter Brett Anderson.
Seattle manager Daren Brown, who is 19-30 since taking over for Don Wakamatsu in mid-August, spoke to the Everett Herald after the game.
“I don’t look at it as a milestone,” Brown said. “A milestone is
something you’re going to remember.”
The M’s opened this season with hype and promise, but a lack of power plagued them all year long and they were easily out-hit on most nights. Felix Hernandez had a season worthy of Cy Young hardware and guys like Jason Vargas and Doug Fister also pitched well, but Seattle simply couldn’t score runs and will finish the year ranked last in hits, doubles, triples and home runs. General manager Jack Zduriencik will look into changing that this winter.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.