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9.6.08 Pre-WSU Game Open Thread Plus Brandon Morrow Run-In


"If you don't know who this is, you are about to find out! via

Firstly, the action has been FAST and FURIOUS here.  Almost 2 Fast 2 Furious.  And if you've Tokyo Drifted away for a moment, you might have missed something.

Yesterday, we have the internet first, landscaping liveblog, Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory Of The Coming Of The Chainsaws, Part I, Part II, and Part III.

We also had a second look at the MSU game, Will Ta'ufo'ou highlights, a discussion of the Appeals Court ruling, YouTube Thursday, Alex Mack Highlights, Q+A with our beloved CougCenter, Eating The Enemy, and the Pac10 Roundtable

So, don't miss a moment of this past week's coverage of not only the Michigan State and Washington State football games, but also the historic achievement 2 years in the making.  Use this thread as our first open thread of the day to live-blog all the happenings as we careen helplessly towards game-time at 3:30 PM.  We are going to try the 1 post per quarter idea floated last week and see how it goes.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!  A while back I was reading Building The Dam and I saw this post where they interviewed Mariners blog, Lookout Landing, about a former OSU baseball player currently playing for the Mariners, named Jamie Burke.  It had hilariously dickish answers like this:

Four:  If you were GM for a day and Jamie Burke demanded a trade, give us your most realistic, fair-value trade for this player and that would benefit your team the most.

If I were GM for a day and Jamie Burke came to my office demanding a trade, I would have an attendant clear out his locker, buy myself a package of Ho-Hos from the vending machine in the hallway, and declare it a done deal. Jamie Burke is a third-string catcher. He has no value to the Mariners, and he has no value to anyone else.

Five: What is the most amount of money you would pay to take batting practice, fielding practice, or play catch with Jamie?

I'd probably pay $15 to be able to play catch with Jamie Burke. $5 to play catch and $10 to try and bribe him into giving me the phone number of somebody good.

As a (self-proclaimed) hilarious dick myself, this intrigued me.  So, I tracked down this Lookout Landing and asked if they would answer some kwestions about Brandon Morrow.  He was a superstud pitcher for Cal and just made his starting debut yesterday for the Mariners (after pitching as their closer for a bit). 

We got answers to our kwestions, but with all the insanity of the trees and WSU and everything, this seemed moderately low on our list of posts.  But then Morrow forced the questions by nearly no-hitting the Yankees!  Wow!  Go Bears! 

The answers are after the jump.  Feel free to comment in this thread not only on the football games going on today, but also Brandon Morrow.  Unless you guys force us to do it earlier, about an hour before game time, we'll put up the first quarter game thread.  Until then, comment away and GO BEARS!

How was Brandon Morrow's short-lived time as Mariner's closer?

For a few weeks, Brandon Morrow was the best closer this team has had all season. And you know that really means something when his competition for that title is Mark Lowe, Roy Corcoran, and the tattered remains of JJ Putz’s fragile ego. He was actually pretty good for a little while, but the lasting memory of his stint is inevitably going to be the two blown saves in three days in which he melted down against the A’s and Royals. Of course, were it not for Morrow’s dual hiccup, we might not be seeing him stretched out as a starter today, so with that in mind I suppose Morrow as closer was just enough of a failure to lead us to Morrow as starter. It’s nice when despair has a happy ending.

If you were GM for a day and Brandon Morrow demanded a trade, give us your most realistic, fair-value baked good for this player.  Note:  It doesn't necessarily have to be out of a vending machine.

Cookie with rainbow-colored M&M’s in it. I just think it’s an appropriate analogy. For one thing, cookies with rainbow-colored M&M’s in them are delicious and, like Morrow, take me back to a time when I was younger and happy and legitimately excited about what was to come. For another, one time when I was a kid I bit down on a cookie with rainbow-colored M&M’s in it and shattered one of my molars. So that sucked. You are my cookie with rainbow-colored M&M’s in it, Brandon. Frequently delicious but always capable of shattering something.

What is the signature play of Brandon Morrow's career with the Mariners? Describe it in as much detail as possible. Also, why did you choose a moment of failure?

I’ll always remember some of Brandon’s better strikeouts, but for whatever reason I can’t shake the memory of an appearance he made in Wrigley two Junes ago, where he inherited a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning, couldn’t throw strikes, promptly walked the first two batters he faced, and left the game having turned a narrow lead into a 5-4 deficit. That Cesar Izturis two-run double keeps playing over and over in my head, both because it was a big hit in a big game and because holy crap it was a two-run double by Cesar Izturis. Morrow threw six strikes that game. Out of 17 pitches. The Mariners would lose, and then lose another four times after that before getting back on the winning track. It was a groin-grabbingly (Ed Note:  Oh yah!) stupid game and the sort of thing that will forever leave me skeptical of Morrow’s ability to throw strikes when he needs to.

I chose a moment of failure because all two of Morrow’s successes blend together, whereas his collapses tend to be more memorable. Also I chose a moment of failure because you told me to. Quit biasing the results. You’d be a terrible scientist (Ed Note:  Yet another thing I'd be terrible at!).  

"This is a groin-grabbingly good photo!" via

If Brandon missed the team bus and was standing by the side of the road on gameday, would you only run over him once or would you put the car in reverse and give him another solid whacking?

In times like this I don’t want to imagine what a human-shaped dent in the hood would do to my Corolla’s fuel efficiency. So instead of running him over I think I’d probably just slow down and yell things. Maybe throw a shoe. But not a good shoe.

You just finished watching Brandon Morrow's one man play "I, Brandon". How many times would the words "Haughty disdain" and "Inability To Succeed At Even The Most Basic Tasks" show up in your review?    

Those aren’t words, stupid. Those are phrases. I’d blame your Berkeley education but this is more the sort of thing you ought to pick up in grade school (Ed Note:  I have shamed my ancestors yet again!).

I’d approach the show open and respectful, but if the stageplay went anything like Morrow’s career, there would be so many bewildering plot twists and the tempo would be so wildly inconsistent that I’d have lost any idea of what was happening by intermission. So my review would start out pretty descriptive but by the third paragraph I’d have nothing else to say so I’d just write "father goes to market every morning selling eggs" in between excerpts from Finnegans Wake.

The time I took to watch Brandon Morrow’s one-man play would’ve been far better spent watching that of a former Huskie.

Let's say you are standing over the dead body of Brandon Morrow, having just shot him 15 times at point blank rage while screaming "I, Jeff From Lookout Landing, hate you, Brandon Morrow, and feel no remorse over the shooting which is occurring contemporaneously with my shouting."  Would you feel any remorse over killing Brandon Morrow?    


One of our writers, CBKWit, is a huge Mariners fan and reads your work all the time.  But he isn't a raging asshole.  How come?    

We aren’t raging assholes. To be a raging asshole requires confidence, or at least the impression of confidence. Over the years we’ve had that steadily beaten out of us to the point at which almost to a man we can’t remember what it feels like to matter. You know that Jeff Mangum line, "Can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all"? We aren’t anything. At all. At least, it feels that way sometimes. So we’re not raging assholes. We’re more like somber, harmless…parakeets? Sure, why not.

And finally, how do you see Brandon Morrow working into the Mariner's plans going forward?

Today’s a big day, actually, because Morrow’s making his long-awaited and oft-never-thought-possible Major League debut as a starting pitcher. I’m not sure how well he’s going to make the transition from short high-leverage relief into working out of the rotation, but aside from Felix, he’s got the best strikeout stuff in the system, so I’m cautiously excited to see what he can do. While I don’t expect him to have a strong September, all I want is to see him do enough to build from next spring. Because Morrow as a good starter would mean an awful lot to the future of the organization.

If for whatever reason he can’t cut it as a starter, at least we have a pretty good idea what he’s capable of in relief – tons of strikeouts with come-and-go command and occasional problems with lefties. He could be somebody’s closer right now, and if his location gets any better, he could be one of the best closers in baseball. So it’s not like it’s the end of the world if he drops out of the rotation. He’s a heck of a reliever. It’s just important to try him in the rotation anyway, because a good starter’s more valuable than a good reliever, so you might as well go for gold before settling for silver.

Barring injury, Morrow’s going to be an asset. It’s just a matter of figuring out how much of one.



Many thanks to Jeff at Lookout Landing for their help with this odd and incredibly random request!  May the As defeat them 12 out of 13 times EVERY year!  Comment away, bitches!  Comment away!  GO BEARS!