BY Steve Rudman 08:52AM 03/21/2011

Number Crunch

Zeitgeist’s got numbers — good, bad, amusing, intriguing — that take the pulse of the Seattle sports scene.

    March 20-26, 2011

  • 10
    Of 10 non-walk-on-player options to start a game for Washington this past basketball season. Terrence Ross started the fewest times, four. (Todd Dybas)
  • 2
    Washington basketball players who started every game this year, Isaiah Thomas and Justin Holiday. (Todd Dybas)
  • 16
    Mariners who have hit home runs in Cactus League play entering Friday’s day/night split-squad games against the Cubs in Mesa and against the Dodgers in Peoria. The team has a total of 21 homers in 24 games, which is a pace Seattle would do well to keep up in the regular season. (John Hickey)
  • 103
    Where Henry Hasselbeck, the five-year-old son of Matt Hasselbeck ranked out of 5.9 million entries in his bracket after 48 games of the NCAA Tournament. That placed him in the top one percent of all entries (Steve Rudman)
  • 3
    Number of marijuana busts for the Washington State basketball team, after DeAngelo Castro after an early-morning interaction with a Pullman police officer. Previously, Reggie Moore and Klay Thompson had run afoul of the law (Steve Rudman)
  • 449
    In millions, the value put on the Seattle Mariners franchise by Forbes Magazine on the eve of the 2011 season. That ranks 15th among the 30 MLB teams (John Hickey).
  • 1.69
    Earned run average for LHP Erik Bedard this spring after he improved to 2-0 by defeating San Diego 4-1 in Cactus League play on Sunday (Steve Rudman).
  • 14
    Assists by North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall in the Tar Heels’ 86-83 win over Washington in the second round of the NCAA Tournament — five more than the previous record by an opponent against the Huskies in a postseason game, 9, by Tommy Amaker, Duke, 1984 (Steve Rudman).
  • .152
    Batting average for Michael Saunders, bidding for the starting job in left field, through Sunday’s spring training games. Other left field candidate, Milton Bradley, hitting .345 (Steve Rudman).
  • 18
    Following a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, the number of times the Sounders have failed to score a goal in an MLS match (regular season and playoffs) since their inaugural season of 2009. In other words, the Sounders don’t score in 21 percent (17-for-64) of their matches (Steve Rudman).
  • 104
    Number of combined starts by Washington Huskies’ returning players next season.
  • 165
    Number of wins for UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar since 2005 — the most by a coach in any seven-year span in school history (Steve Rudman).
  • Zeitgeist is published continuously throughout each week and is updated frequently. A new Zeitgeist appears every Sunday afternoon. You can access Zeitgeist archives by clicking here.


  • Jamo57

    I was going to make a humorous post by pointing out the Ms could help relieve port traffic by not importing so many bobbleheads, but after reading your column a more somber picture crossed my mind.
    That being who is the grizzled veteran with the post season cred who can call a players only, closed door meeting to help right the good ship Marniner and lay down the law?   Chone Figgins?   Miguel Olivo?  Ichiro and his translator? 
    I’m not sure a pitcher can do it.    Larry Bernandez?
    A bunch of Boy Scouts lost in the woods without a compas.

    • Trygvesture

      Absolutely right– razor sharp insight on staffing decisions. Is this a concept that should be unknown to the GM/Field Manager/ President, Ball-girl or  little leaguers there for base-path night?  The need for that grizzled veteran guy?  “Oops– forgot to get five guys to pitch” or, “Shouldn’t we have brought in somebody who hits left handed” or ” How many balls does it take to get to walk to first base? 3?” or ” Why did Griffey quit? Was he old?”
      It’s really sad. Today Wedgie was seemingly surprised at the performance of these guys: how is that possible? The got no numbers and they got no grit and they got no been-there-when-it-matters and the got no major league capability– not yet. Of course they are terrible now. 

  • jafabian

    Philip Humber will be the new Len Barker.  An average pitching career but had one shining moment.  If there’s any team you’re going to pitch pefection against, it’s the 2012 Mariners.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the team has a no-hitter thrown against them later this year.  They need to play with some fire. They could use a veteran who can keep things loose but also won’t hesitate to make players accountable.  I thought they had that with Junior but his own teammates went behind his back and told on him for dozing off in the clubhouse during a game.  (Never mind the fact that a lot of veterns occasionally do that.  Norm Charlton was legendary for it) It’s a long season.  IIRC, the players involved are still on the team.  But that’s the mindset for the club.  Do they play to win?

    The experiment that is Chone Figgins at leadoff is failing.  And I think part of Ryan’s problem is that he’s so low in the batting order.  I imagine that the M’s are hoping Figgins will at least bat .275 so they can trade him.  Maybe package League with him in return for good hitter.  At some point the M’s are going to have to consider cuttting their losses with Figgins and return Ichiro to leadoff.  Maybe have Ryan behind him and consider putting Ackley in the three hole and Carp at #4 since Smoak isn’t really protecting the 3 spot like a #4 should.  But then again, I’m not sure Ryan deserves a promotion to #2 the way he’s hitting.  No one on the team does really.

    I get why Jack Z. is building with youth.  They’re hungry and want to be in the majors.  Most veteran hitters balk at playing at Safeco Field and pitchers see how Felix Hernandez can pitch a gem and still lose.  Young players aren’t as jaded about playing for the Mariners as a veteran player would be.  But that youth has caught up with the club.

  • Grover

    Friday night was funny — less than 20,000 on Ichiro Bobblehead night.

    But, Sunday was also bad.  Perfect weather. And another giveaway game — it was “Little League Day”, and the M’s gave away free backpacks to every kid 14 and younger.  And, again, they drew less than 20,000.

    Compare this weekend to last year’s first weekend with bobblehead Friday and Little League weekend games.  Last year that happened also vs the White Sox, but it was the first weekend in May.  However, the weather this past weekend was far better than that first weekend in May last year (last year it rained during the Friday and Saturday games, and the temperature at the end of both games was in the 40’s).  So, here are the attendance figures from that weekend series last year:

    Friday Ichiro Bobblehead night 2011:  31,912 
    Saturday 2011:  26,288 
    Little League Sunday 2011:  26,074 
    Then from this season:

    Friday Ichiro Bobblehead night 2012:  19,947
    Saturday 2012:  22,472
    Little League Sunday 2012:  19,975

    So, for the comparable weekend in 2011, the M’s drew a total of about 22,000 fewer fans this year — or about 7,000 fewer per game this year, despite unusually great weather for April, and much better weather this year than last year for those games.

    What I can’t figure out is why is ANYONE paying to go to these M’s games?